Blog 716: Ode To MacArthur Park

It’s hard to pinpoint when I first heard MacArthur Park. I associate Donna Summer’s rendition somehow with being in the car in Dunoon, which means my parents must have taped it off a proper vinyl record onto a cassette as we did back then.

After that initial spark, I lost the song, but deep inside the synth solo that Giorgio Moroder slammed into it stayed with me. Eventually those same parents bought a Donna Summer compilation CD and the connection was re-established: I fell in love with that three-minute slice of pop perfection. Yes, even the line about leaving the cake out in the rain.

Then I heard the original version.

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Blog 715: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 9

Too many characters spoil the broth? Maybe Rouge One could have been improved with some streamlining and focus — collapse some too-similar characters together and spend more time developing a smaller cast. I know I don’t really do characters as anything more than plot devices, but even on that scale there are a few too many plot devices with not much to offer the film.

No additional thoughts this time. Am I actually getting better at articulating myself during live chat-time? Heaven forbid!

Blog 714: SiN


My brother gave me five games for crimbo, but I’ve been so busy working on my own that I’ve hardly even looked at them. I played open-world RPG Two Worlds during the festive holiday but didn’t have much to say about it; it’s a bit janky, sometimes interesting, couple of nice ideas but ultimately bland.

Sometimes, though, you need to recharge your batteries with a classic late-90s first-person shooter, and it seems we have one in the pile — SiN.

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Blog 713: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 8

To me, it will always be Rouge One. I grew up in Warcraft III forums awash with quick-typing teenagers spouting about fantasy archetypes, and the word “rogue” always, always, always came out as “rouge”.

So, yes, much as I enjoyed Rouge One at the cinema I can concede in the light of deeper analysis that it’s rather wobbly in places. In the spirit of this stand-alone film really not being stand-alone, then, we’ve folded it into our mainline analysis of the Star Wars core cinematic sequence.

I have some things to add about characters and plots because I don’t think that what I said about “Star Wars not really being about characters” came out very well in the mix. Let’s face it, I’m a writer, not a speaker. (Not that ruminating on the thought for a bit longer will necessarily make my argument any more valid, but it might at least clarify my position.)

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Blog 712: Time-To-Crate

Three years have passed so quickly and yet so slowly, since I threw that first prototype together from random bits of script off the internet. I had destructible crates in that first prototype, but they just never quite felt necessary when I started the real project in earnest… until now.

Yes, I have finally added crates. Loot-containing, on-death-disintegrating crates. It didn’t take three whole years to implement crates, just that long to get around to it. Honest!

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Blog 711: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 7

After the attack of the interstitial film where nothing really happens, Revenge of the Sith has far too much going on in it. Suddenly we have to complete Darth Vader’s origin story and cement the rise of the Empire by ending the Clone Wars. Our conclusion is that it has far overstretched itself to have both, and our money is on the rise of the Empire plot as the more interesting one.

Let Darth Vader’s origins remain spoken of in hushed tones — it’s the galaxy-spanning double-sided Sith-puppetted civil war conspiracy plot that delivers the proper goods. After all, the original trilogy wasn’t about the death of Darth Vader, it was about the rebellion and the fall of the Empire. (Although the final battle between Obi Wan and Anakin is a stonker of a fight sequence. Could we have had that with General Grievous instead? :>)

No transcripts this time, and no additional thoughts either because we’ve pretty much covered all of it.

Blog 710: Fun With Level Generation

Every so often in your life you realise you’ve gone down a massive dead end, and you have to go back to go forwards. This is the point I’ve now reached with my existing level generator; to add the decorative features and traps and sensible enemy placement I need, the current approach just ain’t going to cut it.

So enjoy this video, because it’ll probably be the last visual demonstration for a few weeks.

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