Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mega Man Villains Idea

I was watching a playthrough of Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X (a PSP remake of Mega Man X) and I noticed that Boomer Kuwanger changes his attack pattern when you use the Homing Missile compared to the Mega Buster (I always used Homing Missiles against him so I never knew he had a different attack pattern).

How about a Mega Man game where each robot master is susceptible to two other masters' weapons. One weapon causes more damage while the other weapon alters the attack pattern to make it easier to defeat. If you then make each robot master's attack pattern difficult to dodge, players have an incentive to use either weapon (more damage to kill it quicker or easier attack pattern to survive longer).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

American Education System as a Game

I had this thought while reading dok's blog but I figure it was tangential to the main point of his post and figured it would be better to post here than as a comment there:


When I was in school, my school district decided to split the players into three leagues. The bulk of students remained in regular classes while those who struggled were put into remedial classes and those who excelled were put into accelerated classes.

This started as early as 2nd grade when students were bused from several neighboring schools to form a single class once or twice a week. At the junior high and high school levels, when these students all fed into the same school, they comprised whole classes along the accelerated learning tracks.

I remember hearing that someone was challenging the school district's ability to separate gifted students out of normal classrooms at the elementary level when I left for college but I see that the program is still up and running (and actually expanded).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mapping Trokair - Issues

I have been trying to mentally map out Trokair's world on three scales - global, continental, and local.

Global and local have not been much of a problem. I know where Dhezhan, Rackthilde, and Trokair are located relative to each other. I also know where the ruins of Trokair lie relative to the mountains, forest, road, and nearby cities.

Continental, on the other hand, is giving me a lot of issues. Based on my feelings, the Black Duchy lies to the west (and a bit north) and has a mountainous northern and eastern border; Aelonia to the north (and a bit east) and has a mountainous northern border and an open border with the Free Cities (to admit refugees); the Free City Region has a coast along its eastern border (for Wyndhaven) and mountains along its northern (for Trokair); barbarians and orcs inhabit the mountains and lands beyond north of Trokair.

What I really want to do is find a semi-suitable map and then fit the countries into amenable positions. It caters to the "random background generator" character creation I love so much.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Regional Airline Dream

I just woke up from a fitful sleep. Usually, when I have an involved dream and I wake up long enough to toss or turn, I cannot go back to the same dream but only a version of it. As an example, and related, in a way, to my current dream, I once dreamed of flying on a better-than-first-class jet (very spacious, very special; like flying in Air Force One). After I woke up and turned over, I dreamed of working at the airports where that jet lands (one was a vastly over-sized school basketball court covered in fall leaves; another was a huge metropolitan airport that looked like a whole side of the building had collapsed or been blown apart but everyone just hopped over the gaping holes or drove around the rubble like it was nothing).

My dream last night was about a small regional airline. By airline, I mean to say that this company had one small jet. They flew a few short routes during the week and on the weekends, they took chartered flights. This is not very interesting because I cannot remember the "hook". All of the employees of this small company were outcasts in some way (the same way), similar in feel to a marginalized religious sect. That lent a strong bond to the whole business. I wish I could remember but that was the first nebulous bit of the dream to flee my brain upon waking.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Spectral Directions - Color in Motion

I just watched a TEDTalk video about Tom Shannon, an artist with Parkinson's disease who creates paintings using a big pendulum to squirt paint onto a canvas on the ground (the motion of the pendulum can be wholly contained within the canvas or, more commonly, sweep widely beyond the canvas). He started in the 1970s with a pendulum and a single color of paint. The paint flowed freely and he had real trouble refilling it while it stayed in motion. He now has a pendulum with six or eight colors whose release is remote controlled (mechanical clips hold the rubber nozzles shut and he can control how far each one opens at any given time).

It was at the moment he mentioned he wanted a pendulum with six colors that an idea hit me. I would like to see a painting, sculpture, or animation that utilized the primary colors across the three planes of our dimension. In animation, for example, you would follow a flowing line like a dribble of paint as it flowed across a rough surface. The color of the line would vary based on its current vector, with correspondingly greater amounts of blue, red, or yellow as it headed further into the x, y, or z planes.

Or, to put it another way, imagine a black dot in the middle of an empty white universe. If the dot moved left, it would leave a blue streak. If it moved up, it would leave a red streak. If it moved away from you, it would leave a yellow streak (but you would only see it as a dot). If, while moving left, it then turned in a shallow curve upwards, you would see the blue streak slowly turn purple then red as it flowed through the curve and moved upwards. If it then moved away from you while still going up, you would see an orange line (red + yellow).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Creatures of Shadow At Home in the Light

I saw a clip for The Tower of Druaga: Sword of Uruk volume 2 DVD. A large group of black, birdlike monsters swarm across a desert landscape attacking a group of soldiers. One party, most likely the main characters of the anime, take off running. The girl in the back trips over a branch or broken arrow and falls. The rest of the group only has enough time to turn around before the monsters fall upon them.

But when they turn, they see the monsters stopped cold at the edge of a large shadow. The girl had fallen in the shadow of a large rock and it seemed that the monsters were not able to leave the sunlight (despite being black and looking like shadow creatures or monsters of darkness).

This would work in Dhezhan.