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Creation Date: 2002-03-15
Today's lesson will be brief (relatively) because I am not to happy with spending time on JF right now. The rant is another story. It is immensely long. Que sera sera. The lesson today is to make those bad models better. You know the Beatles song, "Hey Jude" right? It goes, "Hey Jude, don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better..." Well, that's what I think of when I look back at some of my earlier works. I think "Shoot, this certainly is too good to give up on. I'm going to subdivide and delete, turn edge, scale, scale, move." So that's what I did. Part of making a bad model better is correcting the number of triangles. If you have too many, try deleting them. Usually my older models either have too few triangles or are no good. So it is with this model. You might remember this being the face of Jav from Scene 3 to Scene 5. It's been eighty some days. It's nice because it can animate the mouth and it looks decent. It's semi anime and semi realistic, which is right where I want to be. What did I exactly do? I messed with the jaw a bunch. I messed with the forehead. I really couldn't seem to get it to look like a head. But bald anime people don't look human. Just check out Dragonball Z! Hehehe. I need to add hair tonight. What can I say about my lesson of making it better? Well, after my first five hours on a model, I'm pretty much dead for ideas. I need to give it a rest for at least five more hours to get a new approach. If you don't have the will, just start a new model, your will ought to come back with a lightning flash. If all else fails, draw in your notepad. You can either copy your notepad idea directly or your brain will do it automatically. Remember: minute differences in length, angle, and curvature make a huge difference in the look of a character. Be sure to push and pull those vertices in real time.

I was playing Grand Theft Auto today and I had this idea that perhaps it'd be cool to check up on GTA 3. I've heard that it's supposed to be 3d and pretty cool at that. The screenshots say it all. If you haven't seen all fifty, go to Grand Theft Auto 3 screenshots. Either the game was made for screenshots or they have the world's best ultra-violent game. I must admit that I have a morbid interest in GTA. You see, way back when GTA first came out, I was about 12 or so (I remember that because it was rated M-13 and the Software Etc guy let me buy it anyway. Thanks, bud!). I played the demo before buying it of course and found that it was not only addictive, but also intense. It was actually more intense than anything that I had ever done. Kayaking, Bicycling, school, cartoons, R-Rated Movies, Best 2000 Shareware CD, music. None of these came close to the adrenaline rush that I got from playing the GTA demo. It was too much for me. I started hyperventilating. After my six hour walk on the dark side, my pancreas was shot for a few days. I don't like 2d, but the truth is that GTA is not 2d. It's just top view with 2d sprites for cars. I say that's fine because what GTA did was empower. GTA empowered me to think for myself on the topic of the renegade lifestyle vs. victimization. One can pick one of these or choose something else. Certainly, no one ought to be in either of these two lifestyles. But I'm making arguments without clear definitions. By renegade, I mean murder, theft, destruction, and all crimes with victims. By victimization, I mean being the victim of such a crime. My brother made the point to me recently that I act like a victim often. It was partially true. Whenever I was forced to explain my circumstances, I portrayed myself as the victim of a crime against all humanity. I've been trying to fix that and trying to empower myself to not allow myself to victimize myself. I am in control of my body and my mind. I am not afraid. I will learn to do the right thing when I am put to the test. I will do the right thing at all times. With me on my side, I can certainly attempt tasks in the realm of the possible.

But I said "world's best ultra-violent game", so what would be the world's best non-violent game? An adventure game, 3d, beautiful, complex, extremely well written, inspiring characters, Sci-fi or fantasy, 10 hours long with infinite expandability, voice acting, interactivity on the low level (ie. tell your character to move forward), high level of difficulty for the genre buffs, and easy for casual players. What have I described? Hentai games! Hehehehe. No, just kidding. I don't even know what a hentai game would be like. I've never seen one myself. Remember that as long as it's consensual and moral, hentai games are non-violent. Often, the words sex and clitoris are bleeped out of songs on the radio. While sometimes the words kill and gun are not. Sometimes, though, all four words are bleeped out as well as the word Jesus, a crime in my view. Certainly it is our job to ensure that children are exposed to words rather than not. What permanent damage will words do that have not already been done by age 10? In fact, it's my belief that the more that words, no matter how vulgar, will enhance a child's well-being.

Of course, parents don't want to tell their child what crystal meth is after they hear it in Third Eye Blind's awesome song, "Semi-Charmed Life". But the keyword there is want. Parents ought to be able to explain what crystal meth is if their child is old enough to listen to alternative music and understand the words enough to ask the question. I myself knew what crystal meth is far before I ever listened to 3EB, but that's probably because I'm old. But what about Pink Floyd's references to drugs, or even the Beatles "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"? They didn't affect me. I remember my dad telling me that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is about LSD the drug, and that the Beatles' artistic purity was hurt tremendously by it. Not that anyone faults the Beatles, do they? What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the virtue of non-violent media. Indeed, violent media has it's place to move a person's live towards empowerment, however, so does non-violent media. Flight simulator did as much good for me as Jane's ATF. Daytona USA did as much good for me as Streets of San Francisco (a very, very old game that featured racing in the streets of San Francisco with lightly populated pedestrians similar to Midtown Madness). Then there's Outpost 1 (technically 1.5 also) SimCity 2000, and Sim City. They were great fun. But notice that I cannot think of any other good non-violent games. Tomb Raider 1 and 2, Urban Chaos, System Shock 2, MechWarrior 2, Command and Conquer: Red Alert, GTA, Outpost 2, Phantasmagoria, DooM, Half-Life, Quake, and Duke Nukem 3d were certainly the best video games that I've ever played and they're all extremely violent. So back to the idea of a non-violent adventure game. There's a lot of possibility. But what about conflict in the story. If there isn't a violent antagonist that you must defeat with violence, how will you ever engage the player? Make the violent antagonist be the player themselves. No, not like Tie Fighter. You have an adventure game (even a survival horror) where the enemy is yourself. You have to fight your own violent behavior, your own hatred. It's been quite a quest for me in real life. I often liken it to fighting an evil violent antagonist who's name coincidentally was the same as mine. Not my evil identical twin or my clone, me. The game could create a beautiful complex 3d world that mimmick's our own and put the player in it to interact with the world with the goal of destroying this evil beast (the player themselves). If you aren't interested in making a satire of pacifist ideals, there are many other possibilities. Would non-lethal combat still be considered violence? Yeah, probably. Not to me, but I have specific exceptions regarding my morals. What about non-lethal combat versus robots? Hmm, probably still in the M-13 range. What about building? Building stuff. Yeah. Not city development like Sim City or anything, but rather an adventure game that requires you to gather components and build something important to the next task. Then you need to accomplish another task. That's a lot like Dark Side of the Moon, a very cool game by SouthPeak Interactive that didn't do very well on the market because of their very neat system of full motion video with 3d controls. It was too weird, I guess. Adventure gamers thought it wasn't linear enough, action gamers thought it was too linear. That's how it goes. Anyway, it displays some good elements of non-violent adventure game play.

Ack, enough video game philosophy. I saw a divx today that made me ashamed to be a 3d developer. It was a perfect example of how awful 3d animation can get. You're probably saying, "It can't be that bad, it's probably just a different style than the type that you like." No, this is a clear picture of inability and then some. The artist's brain seems to write checks that his ass cannot cash. Actually, much like myself. However, this person is using raytracing. Yup, the problem is that the ability is lacking and the tools do not make up the difference. For me, my ability is lacking but my tools make up the difference and then some. We cannot say that JF is awesome, but we can say that it is moving in the right direction and has the possibility of good stuff. With my idea of accelerated particles and 3d anime characters, I believe that I can create a system that is so smooth and pretty that it will make reality seem dull. But if I were that confident, I'd be working on it right now, wouldn't I? *sigh*. I have so much studying to do, but I just won't do it...
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