After watching them, I immediately downloaded the mods and installed them. I can’t think of anything better to replace the original sounds with, to be honest. SEE RIGHT THROUGH MEEEE! Ba ba ba ba ba da ba bo, ba ba, ba BA ba ba!
And didn’t I tell you? Captain Falcon can and will be incorporated into everything. FALCON PAWWWNCH!!
Anyway, what else…? Ah yes, firstly, I’ve not been updating ULSG for a LOOONG time. Not 100% sure WHY, maybe the game’s just getting retardedly big and that’s kinda putting me off a little. It’s either that, or university work getting in the way, DAZ Studio getting in the way, or just a temporary state of "can’t be arsed". I’m gonna try picking it up tomorrow.
Gaming hasn’t helped ULSG, either… I’ve been playing Call of Duty MW2 a fair bit recently, and I doubt Mass Effect 2 will help when it comes out… unless Bioware has officially lost their touch. Dragon Age SERIOUSLY lowered my opinion of them, I found it THAT bad. I’ve never known a BioWare game to be as bad as that, hell, even MDK 2 was pretty awesome way back when. I like exciting RPG’s that require skill and reactions to get through them, with good, interesting characters, a good story, and lots of action.
Probably why I thought Dragon Age was utterly terrible, because that
contained nearly… no, sorry, ABSOLUTELY everything I don’t like.
Mass Effect 1 was interesting, fun to play, and had a fairly decent (if
somewhat confusing) story, a few of the characters were fairly interesting (I especially liked Wrex, he was really cool, but my pursuasion skill wasn’t high enough. People who have played the game will probably know what I mean. ) and RPG’s are BioWare’s speciality… they can’t
make TWO bad games IN A ROW, right? Besides, it got 95/100 on Metacritic, so it’s gotta be good… then again. Dragon Age got 91. Don’t rate it "good" just because it’s one of Bioware’s games, geez, look at what you’re playing first…
I don’t like the sound of the "all new and improved combat system", though… what the hell was wrong with the combat system in Mass Effect 1? It accomodated to the two main playing styles… the tactical, and the "run in and shoot the living crap out of everything" style, aka, ME. I don’t see how they could improve it, but I’m not part of the development team, so I probably can’t think of anything they can. If they’ve thrown boring, slow "click-n-watch" shit into there, though, I am gonna be PISSED.
I can think of ONE major, MAJOR improvement for Mass Effect, though. GET RID OF THAT FUCKING GAY INTRO SEQUENCE. I didn’t know what the HELL was going on when I started a new game. Something about logging in, and then it "couldn’t find your data" so you had to watch a stupid animation and "rebuild" your data… and it wouldn’t let you change your last name. I know there’s a reason why you couldn’t change it, but… why did they put a greyed out text box there in the first place? Ever thought that’d confuse people? Try something like… I dunno, NOT PUTTING IT THERE? For GOD’S SAKE, what was wrong with a CHARACTER CREATION SCREEN?! That stupid intro alone really irritated me, and you know, introductions are the first thing the player goes through… they DO make a huge impression…
Another improvement you might consider, sirs, is the ending. What’s wrong with you, BioWare? What’s wrong with nearly EVERYONE? Why are Infinity Ward the only people who can make decent endings? I mean, sure, your ending to Mass Effect 1 wasn’t… TERRIBLE, it was just… a bit naff. Forgettable. Disappointing! I can remember CoD MW and CoD MW2’s endings VERY well, but yours? All I remember is an explosion of some sort, and some people getting owned. We pay for your games, and we put hours of our OWN free time into playing it, and sure, it’s enjoyable… but how about rewarding us and thanking us for playing with an ending we can properly remember?! A bad ending is like saying "Yeah, you’ve done everything, thanks for the money, now fuck off!"
Game endings REALLY tick me off sometimes. I pay a fair amount for new games, to ENJOY them. Usually, all is well, and I really enjoy the game… RIGHT up until the ending. It’s a VERY rare sight to see a truly GOOD ending in a game. It doesn’t HAVE to be GOOD good, like… "and everyone lived happily ever after", if you know what I mean, but I at LEAST want to think "YES, now THAT was a REALLY cool ending to finish off an awesome experience. Won’t be forgetting that for a while!" Usually, though, I get an empty, disappointed feeling after finishing a good game, because of its less-than-spectacular ending. It’s happened with all sorts of games, which I will list off now, cuz I can.
Mass Effect – BOOM! Enemy gone, colonel/captain/whatever guy is made something better than what he currently is, end.
Gears of War 1 – BOOM, Locust dead. Oh wait, no they’re not. Fairly boring game, anyway.
Gears of War 2 – BOOOOM, Locust ACTUALLY dead now, but humans screwed, too. It made the ENTIRE story completely pointless, and I hope they don’t try to continue it, because it is NOT POSSIBLE to continue that story. Also, too much gore makes a game seem like a joke to me, a pointless new alien race was introduced for no reason, and there was a retarded overuse of PA systems, too. It wasn’t even fun to play.
GTA IV – "WE’RE FREE!" Yeah, great, where’s the ending? Oh, that was it? GTA IV had the makings of a near-perfect game, but the ending destroyed it all.
Spore – "I’m STEVE!" Great, what’s at the centre of the universe? Something big gonna happen now, like the release of a super-alien race? No? Oh. An anti-climax after nearly 20 hours of playtime is NOT funny in ANY situation, even when Maxis are involved.
Halo 1 – I think they end up floating in space after escaping something. Huge lump of disappointment after the awesome final mission. This WAS the best game in the series, though, because it wasn’t nearly IMPOSSIBLE to understand.
Halo 2 – Cliffhanger of some sort, which was shit. Arbiter was involved in this one somehow, and you make a space station fall, that’s all I remember. All Halo 2 did was introduce another character who was cooler than Master Chief John in every possible way.
Halo 3 – After the brilliant final mission, the war’s finished, aliens go home, and John is supposedly dead but isn’t. They basically copied the cliffhanger from Halo 1, and just made it Halo 3’s ending. LAME.
Unreal Tournament 3 – Okay, the entire campaign was pretty weak. It was fun, but weak. At least TRY with the ending? No? Oh, great – a cliffhanger that’ll never be resolved.
Bioshock – Unraveling the mysterious game world was fairly cool, and the very clever plot twist near the end actually DID take me by surprise. Unfortunately, all of that was ruined by the absolutely ridiculously generic ending. You grow old and die happy in the good ending. USELESS WRITERS! I was planning to do two playthroughs to get both endings, but thanks to the ending I got the first time, I traded it in instead.
Borderlands – Weak, unimaginative final boss, took me and Ped under two minutes to take down. Woman is satellite for some reason, Claptrap turns out to be some sort of assassin, but when we visited him after the final cutscene, he wasn’t. Final loot drops from the boss were pathetic. And to top it all off? You don’t even open the vault, or you DO, and the loot was so pathetic it wasn’t even worth the time. FAIL ON EVERY LEVEL.
And this list is not even HALF of the crap endings I’ve come across. Seriously, if I ever release Dragon Tail and you read it, or if I end up passing it ’round and you simply read Dragon Tail right up to the ending, if you’re honestly not satisfied with the ending, you CAN kick me in the wedding veggies when you next see me. But remember:
Right, what next?
Ah, yes, my new character portraits. I’ve been tweaking my dragons down to the very last details in DAZ Studio recently, especially working on their sizes. They all used to be based around Whirlwind’s size, who was the smallest in the group, because he’s the youngest. Smallest Western Dragon, anyway – Ifri is around half the size of him. But, when I added Victoria 4 (DAZ Studio’s female model) into the scene with all my dragons, that’s about when everything went tits up. No, I didn’t poke her tits into the air. Well, okay, once, by accident.
IT WAS ALL HOPELESSLY WRONG! Ifri was smaller than Vicky, Whirlwind was only just taller, but looked tiny when he was on all fours… the dragons’ sizes were generally WAY off. So, I decided to retweak them and take the sizes fairly seriously, instead of just throwing out random percentages. I got myself a 3D CUBE, sized at 1ft x 1ft x 1ft, and scaled the cube until it was the same height as Vicky. I then found out that measurements in DAZ Studio ARE generally accurate – Vicky was ~5′ 10", which I’d call realistic. So, I scaled my dragons to the size I wanted them to be, and just to check that I wasn’t going too over the top, I used the cube on my dragons (as well as Ssaramak, the Nightmare ) to figure out their heights. After I’d tweaked them, and started to pose them for cool new character preset icons, the idea for character portraits came back to me.
Yes, a while back, when I was on my games design course, I was pretty interested in dragon art, and I REALLY wanted to be able to make my own. Hell, I still AM interested in dragon art, I love it – I’ve got a collection of the best I’ve ever been able to find on my PC – helps with inspiration sometimes. Unfortunately, I’m not really much of an artist, so I can’t make my own through "manual" means. I can sort of "visualise" things, sure, but when I go to put them on paper, the vision’s already floated away. And I can’t draw things that actually EXIST, even if it’s right in front of me, let alone mythological creatures. The final drawing I ever did was really something to be proud of, though:
I’ve shown it off quite a few times now – I’m pretty proud of it. Few problems here and there, when I look at it again, but hey, for an amateur, you’ve gotta agree, it’s not bad!
After I drew Whirlwind, though, I wanted to make a portrait of ALL of my characters, because I’d never been perfectly clear on their appearances, and I thought that drawing them all would help. Besides, I could look at them if I ever needed any inspiration for Dragon Tail. I think that image was my last hurrah, though, because after that drawing of Whirlwind, I just couldn’t seem to draw anything that was even CLOSE to being as good as that. Now, thanks to the magic of DAZ Studio, and my pretty good Photoshop text modifying skillz, I reckon I can make my character portraits better than I ever could’ve hoped to make them back then.
So, instead of looking up info about them in a lame, boring text file to refresh my memory (yeah, I can’t remember the 3-digit ages of all 11 of my main characters (and that’s excluding the bad guys) ), I’d be able to load up an image of them with their info on the image. It looks pretty, and I also figured it would help when I’m writing, because the character is there, looking at me, and their pose is supposed to reflect their personality. It’s supposed to help set off a small spark of inspiration. Besides, I could use the images for the DAZ Studio character preset icons, it helps develop my characters further, and its fun to do, anyway.
So, I’ve been focusing on one character at a time, looking at every single morph and texture setting, tweaking them as best I can. I’ve rendered a few of the characters already, but I am truly, TRULY impressed by the work I’ve done on Whirlwind:
Seriously… whoa. When I managed this render, my face went . He looks like everything I ever believed Whirlwind to be – a young dragon (yeah, 126 IS pretty young for my dragons – they live for around 1300 years. ), who is peaceful and beautiful, calm and cool, kind and understanding… it’s just perfect! Sure, it’s probably not that much to YOU, but you’ve gotta understand that this is one of MY characters. I’ve been developing him for years through writing and stuff, and therefore I suppose I have some sort of connection to him. I DO write Dragon Tail in first person, with me having to sort of act and think like him, I suppose.
… Shit, this is kinda starting to sound pretty otherkin-ish. Just to clear the record for those who ARE thinking along those lines, yes, I know I’m a bit crazy sometimes, but I’m not THAT mentally retarded. I just LIKE dragons, ‘kay? And I just happen to be writing a story from a dragon’s perspective. I don’t think I AM a dragon, and I don’t particularly want to BE one. (Although, you’ve gotta admit, it would be pretty cool if you think about it. )
Anyway, yeah, the render of Whirlwind gave me a bit of a shock. I was also pretty impressed at my render of Ifri:
Need to fix up the lighting a little, and a bit more shine on the scales, horns and talons would be nice, too, but I’m REALLY proud of that render. He looks just like I expect him to, fun-loving, casual, witty, entertaining. And he is probably the most entertaining character in Dragon Tail, too. His lines are so satisfying to write. Here, have an extract – Chapter 8:
“You’re joking, Ifri.” I said, already managing
to figure out his plan.
“You have a better idea?” He
I stayed silent.
“All we do is get into Satler and…”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!” I
interrupted. “Satler? You mean the
biggest human city in the Ice Realm?!”
“What, you think we’re gonna find some
answers to military operations on some farm?”
He asked, rhetorically. “C’mon, dragon, I thought you wanted to help this
“Yeah… but… I was thinking less
along the lines of suicide… a lot less, in fact.” I replied.
“Well, life’s not exciting without a
risk, eh?” Ifri returned, laughing.
I’ve annotated this section with "THIS IS WIN ON A WHOLE NEW LEVEL!!" I love writing Ifri’s lines.
Anyhoo, I’m working on the other characters – I’ll probably end up posting them here when I’m done. But tomorrow, when I have free time, it’s gonna be maximum focus on ULSG – I wanna at LEAST get most of the Intergalactic Mall finished by the end of tomorrow. People on TDC must be thinking I’ve given up on it, it’s been a month since I last updated its project page.
And finally… I have recieved another spam message. Subject was "hello"… and the message was…
"find girls who want to have sex in your area right now! See them Here! Start hooking up!"
LOL, straight to the point this time. But anyway, I wouldn’t touch an online dating site or something called "hotyblog.com" with a 100-foot pole, thanks.
Anyhoo, I’m off for now. See ya later!