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Showing posts from May, 2009

Comics: Mature Themes

What are mature themes?
Have you ever heard of the "three subjects never to be discussed at the dinner table"?
They were: Religion, Politics, and Sex
(Which some say are actually good things to discuss with the family.)
Anyway, these three things are generally the subjects people feel very personal about and very passionately. It is sure to get a reaction when posted for public viewing. And usually that's what the artist/writer intends.

Mature Themes used in media
Including these topics in your story is guarantee to bring eyes to your work. Sex Sells is a phrase often thrown around, but it's true. Controversy also sells, particularly political or religious controversy. To me at least, it seems like Mature Themes are used as an advertising ploy to get the most attention. Because attention means money.

Similarly, the idea applies to Indie media too! Web-comics are the medium I'll focus on in this blog. Sex is certainly a seller if you want people to read your comic. Look…

My Relations with the Elves

It's no secret that one of my favorite fantasy creatures to draw and write (besides unicorns) is elves and fairies. Even when I was in middle school I enjoyed the fantasy of fairies being like the creatures in Disney's Fantasia or the cute little dolls I had. And as I matured and read more fiction and watched more fiction, I grew to like the idea more and more. Now I still like elves as a fantasy creature but it's a very shall I say "popular" version that I prefer over the "traditional".
Yep. This blog post is going to be similar to my post about unicorns I made awhile ago.

Traditions, Traditions
Most folktales about the fair folk come from the British Isles (although I'm well aware that the rest of Europe had these stories too!). But the ones most familiar I think are the ones from Ireland. In general, they're miserable little buggers. (Bugger is such a naughty British term. :)) Fairies would steal children, cause back luck, and make mischief. T…

Game Review Magazines

Last year for a research project, I did an analysis of the content of game review magazines. For the project the purpose was to provide a competitive analysis for our proposed project. My project was a family oriented game review magazine. There really aren't many. In fact, I could only find one online magazine.

The Big Players
For my analysis I chose what I considered the most popular game magazines in print. They were:
Game Informer
GamePro
Nintendo Power

By far, game informer had the most previews and reviews of all the magazines. Consequently it also had the most ads. Nintendo Power is the oldest of the three and was pretty exclusive to Nintendo brand games so naturally the list of reviews and previews were less.

For awhile I had a subscription to Game Informer and I got some free issues of Nintendo Power as a bonus for some pre-order. Personally I preferred NP because I really only had Nintendo systems so it made sense. When I signed up for a member's card at Gamestop they…

Japanese Games

I had promised to speak a bit about this in another post. First, I should start with a disclaimer. In no way do I claim to be any sort of expert of Japanese culture. My resources are from friends who have visited the country, movies, anime, and some game research. Any claims I make is pure speculation and if I am making any blatantly incorrect statements I ask any readers to please point them out so I can correct them.

But luckily this should have very little to do on Japanese culture expertise and only reflected in their games. (An expression of culture like any art form.)

Some Literature
I have with me a very lovely book my friend, professor, adviser gave to me (that she help write) called "Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat". (Shameless plug?) In it there is a chapter written by Mizuko Ito called "Gender Dynamics of the Japanese Media Mix". It outlines the way Japanese media (including video games) have time and again created something that crossed gender boundaries.…

Nostalgia Game Design: RPGs

Today I'm going to type up my reflections on Role-Play Games (RPGs). There are many games that can sit under the umbrella term "Role Play Game", thus creating sub-genres of RPG.
Currently I'm part of a community called Rpg Rpg Revolution (RRR) which is dedicated to the creation of 16-bit style RPG games using the program RPG-Maker. What is considered a Pure-blood RPG is a topic of debate. So I'm going to go back and retrace what I know.

The Roots
RPGs evolved in a way from both text-based story games and table-top role play games such as Dungeons and Dragons. There are some basic elements associated with these games. These things are: Characters with statistics, items, and abilities.
A world map to explore.
A system of movement and battle.
Monsters to fight.

In most table top sessions, the goal of the session is to make it out of a dungeon alive. This requires a combat focused plot to validate player actions. The system of movement and battle are based on rolls of dice…