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  ‘Warcraft’ Machinima Explains Role of Internet [Corrected]  
 
 
Posted 2005-12-05 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Forget online shopping and e-cards, everyone knows the internet is for porn. So do a group of machinimists who have put together a truly bizarre video using the online game World of Warcraft as a filmmaking tool [link via ainfigree]. The movie-makers have cleverly captured, and edited together Warcraft's built-in animations with hilarious results.

The video's musical performance was stolen from Avenue Q, apparently a musical theatre group that works with puppets [thanks, Hank Hoodoo for the heads up]. It's a pity the machinimists didn't create a wholly original work, and moreso that they didn't give due credit to Avenue Q.
 
     
 
   
 
  4 comments  
  Kids Make the Darnedest Game Bosses  
 
 
Posted 2005-12-05 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Jim Purbrick of Linden Lab recently headed a workshop for kids wherein a video game boss creature was collaboratively created. The creatures were made by drawing and collage, and were scanned for use in a game appropriately entitled "You're the Boss." The results were fantastic, but since the names of the critters weren't mentioned in Purbrick's post, I've made up my own. Behold: Tentacled Relationship-Monster, Fangy The Rainbow Snail, Tripod Head, and Winey-Goat-Face-Cleaner!

This is right up there with a 2004 experiment involving kids and games, whereby Dr. Evil Stinky and the Poison Cake was created. Forget child actors--there's a goldmine in child game-designers, I swear.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  On ‘MirrorMask’  
 
 
Posted 2005-11-05 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I recently enjoyed a screening of "MirrorMask," a fantasy film designed and directed by artist Dave McKean, written by Neil Gaiman (with Dave McKean), and produced by the Jim Henson Company. It does, as expected, very much bear the mark of McKean, Gaiman, and Henson, echoing themes and situations of earlier Jim Henson films The Dark Crystal and Labryinth.

I'm not sure how excellent of a film MirrorMask is overall, but as a piece of engaging artwork it's extremely satisfying, giving viewers a glimpse into McKean's mind not entirely afforded by his traditional illustrations and paintings. MirrorMask is one of those movies that seems more like a dream (well, one of my dreams, anyway), not unlike Brazil, Dark City, or even The Wizard of Oz. The world of MirrorMask is populated with strange, grotesque creatures found amongst architecture that appears to have been damaged in a fist-fight between a giant-sized Dali and Escher. I recommend MirrorMask for tweens and adults interested in journeys off the beaten Hollywood path, into shadowy, unknown lands.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  ‘World of Warcraft’ Expansion Announced  
 
 
Posted 2005-10-29 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The first expansion pack for the wildly-popular multiplayer online game World of Warcraft has been officially announced. "The Burning Crusade" introduces a continent's-worth of new gaming material, including:
  • "Outland," a new continent accessed through Azeroth's Dark Portal (sounds yucky).
  • An increase in the maximum player level from 60 to 70
  • Two new player races, one of which is the Blood Elves.
  • New flying mounts in Outland
  • "Jewelcrafting" as a new profession, which goes along with "socketed items" that can be augmented by adding jewels.
  • New monsters, quests, and items
Players won't need the expansion pack to enjoy some of the new material, but obviously The Burning Crusade will be needed to access new player races and Outland. No release date for the expansion has been announced.
 
     
 
   
 
  6 comments  
  Toronto of the Living Dead  
 
 
Posted 2005-10-18 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Canada's richest and stuffiest city will soon be crawling with brain-hungry zombies. The Toronto Zombiewalk begins at 2pm on Sunday, October 23, 2005, on the western edge of Riverdale Park, and shambles across town to Dundas and Yonge. The destination spot is the home of one of Toronto's busiest shopping districts, arguably frequented daily by real-life zombies. Ironically, most of the Toronto zombies are likely to be dressed better than the city's homeless population.

I intend to snap some pics, if possible.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Jay Stephens Launches ‘Monsterama’ Blog  
 
 
Posted 2005-10-13 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Brilliant artist Jay "Sin" Stephens, an acquaintance from my forgotten days as a young adult rat in the mid-1990s, has launched a blog entitled "Monsterama." Jay's new effort (he is also a contributor to Drawn!) threatens to bring us "cute creeps from popular culture," and I have every reason to take him seriously. He is, after all, the genius behind Space Ape Number Eight, Jetcat, and Tutenstein. And two human children.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Look Forward To The Past  
 
 
Posted 2005-09-29 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Just when I thought paper-based zines were a 1990s throwback, I received a pair of `em in the mail from Canadian expat illustrator Randy Laybourne. The now-Californian publishes his zines every six months. The crisply-trimmed, 36-page, 4x6-inch booklets are packed with full-bleed black-and-white artwork comprised of found photos and appealing, thick-lined illustrations. I've got my hands on "Real Piece of Work" (fall, 2004) and "Known Truths" (summer, 2005). Past issues can be found (and some viewed) at Laybourne's site. "Known Truths" is still available for ordering at the time of this writing.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Monstercake  
 
 
Posted 2005-09-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Illustrator Eugene Smith is drawing fabulous monsters. Daily. We'll see how long that holds up. The only thing I manage to do reliably on a daily basis is drink a cup of coffee. My life is so hard.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Sean Bean on ‘Silent Hill’ Movie  
 
 
Posted 2005-07-13 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
ComingSoon.net recently interviewed actor Sean Bean, who stars in the upcoming movie adaptation of the Silent Hill video game property. Says Bean, "I think the game is quite psychologically demanding, because it's not about chopping people up...It's about using your brain, and I think this will be really good because Christophe Gans, the director of 'Brotherhood of the Wolf', has given it a really quirky, bizarre feel, very spooky and sort of like a European genre film." The movie, which wraps up shooting in Toronto this week, is due out in 2006.

I, for one, am disappointed the movie may lack in the "chopping people up" department. I'm all for sophisticated Eurostyle psychodramas, but when one of your main villains is a 7-foot-tall demon carrying a carving knife the size of an Audi, there'd better be some hack-and-slashery afoot.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Politics of the Living Dead  
 
 
Posted 2005-07-04 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
LA Weekly's Scott Foundas dissects zombie king George Romero's body of work, putting the filmmaker's bloody politics on a stainless-steel platter. Foundas highlights Romero's previous motion-picture statements, and examines the growing humanity of his zombies. Oh, the humanity.

Foundas: Michael Moore notwithstanding, it still seems risky to make a movie this political in what is effectively a risk-averse Hollywood climate. I'm thinking particularly of those scenes where we see captive zombies turned by their human captors into Abu Ghraib-style sideshow freaks.

Romero: I'm not sure if you showed this movie at the White House that anybody would get it, except when the money burns at the end -- then they might feel a little pang of sadness.

Read the full article at AlterNet.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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