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Discovered this game beta a couple of days ago and found it so thoroughly enchanting that I've since played it three or four times (it's only about 10 minutes long). It's a totally unique concept, and the artwork is utterly beautiful. If you need something that'll put a smile on your face, go download this:

Gorogoa

Short impression of the gameplay: Video
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... Blueberry Garden, Sword & Sworcery, Botanicula, Machinarium, Samorost 2 and Windosill. (The last three links lead to playable online demos. Here's a pay what you want bundle of Botanicula, Machinarium, Samorost 2, Windosill & an animated movie.)

I just may die of an overdose of beauty if I play all these in the next few days.
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is that I always get tempted away from social things by books or comics (mostly books and comics, that is. Occasionally TV or games.)

I really think, sometimes, that I need therapy to learn to cope with *people*. It can't be normal that even *pleasant* social interaction is so draining for me that I shy away from it, can it?

I've been job hunting and doing housework and reading, mostly. Yes, I stopped the LJ catch-up almost immediately after I'd started. There was a rather large number of interesting job ads recently, but that's no excuse, really.

Gah.

Have some recs:

[livejournal.com profile] beccatoria made another awesome Farscape vid! Actually, I'm sure she's made at least a dozen good vids recently, because she went a bit crazy last month and tried (possibly even managed?) to make one vid(let) per day. So head over there and enjoy!

Did you realise you can read shitloads of classics of the fantastic genres for free on gutenberg.org? I've decided it's time to check out some of that old stuff, and have read Peter Pan and am currently reading The Napoleon of Notting Hill (I read The Man Who Was Thursday years ago, though maybe a reread is in order...) Peter Pan was much odder, and darker, than I expected. TNoNH is about as odd as I expected, because after TMWWT I expect major weirdness from Chesterton. Got any recs of other old stuff I should check out? Maybe A Voyage to Arcturus? That's definitely available there. Or I could try to get back into News from Nowhere, I started that two years ago and then was interrupted by uni stuff...

I've also reread two webcomics I'd more or less stopped checking regularly because they were (and still are) in the habit of going on really long hiatuses. They're both really really good, though. Dicebox is social science fiction with beautiful art and very three-dimensional characters and relationships. Hero is fantasy with religous/mythological overtones, possibly set after some apocalyptic(?) conflict between some analogues between the forces of heaven and hell. Or something. Beautiful digital watercolour manga art, and a surprising sense of humour. (For even more webcomics, check out the links in my sidebar here.)

I've spent a bit of time playing flash games, too:

I really enjoyed Little Rocket, despite the fact that it took me ridiculously long to learn how to control the rocket. But when I finally had the hang of it, I played the entire game through twice.

Endeavor is a nice, big-pixeled exploration platformer.

Looming plays like an extremely minimalist, retro version of Myst.

Seasons is another beautiful web toy/experience by the maker of Windosill.

The Dreamerz (don't ask me about the stupid "z"!) is a charming little point-and-click adventure that feels like you're reading a slightly surreal picture book.

And Transform is another example of patented Eyemaze madness. In other words, it's awesome.

****

I just rediscovered a very fitting old tag so I'm using it...
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http://beccatoria.livejournal.com/100884.html?view=1445396

A vid about Farscape's central relationship pentagon: John/Scorpius/Guns/Wormholes/Aeryn

I will be reccing this at fs_10percent... later. As in, next week, possibly. First I need to watch it another twenty times or so, so as to understand all the facets, and then I have to do some Greenpeace stuff, and reinstall my system, and so on. I don't think I'll have the leisure for a proper rec this week.

(ETA: I should perhaps add that me having to reinstall my system has nothing to do with me having watched this vid. *g* My system's been borked for a few weeks now, and I hope a computer-savvy friend of mine will have some time to help me restore it to full functionality this weekend.)
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It's been a while since I did one of those, so, so as to keep a complete record of the games I *really* enjoy, here's some - mostly - more recent recs.

But first, two public service announcements:

The Submachine series, which recently gained a sixth part, has a new home: http://www.pastelportal.com/stories/the-submachines/

And so does the Deep Chalk series, which likewise gained a new part somewhat recently: http://www.deepchalk.net/

Okay. Newish discoveries:

http://www.alchemiagame.com/ - Alchemia, a nice point-and-click adventure in the vein of Samorost

http://www.bubblebox.com/play/adventure/1362.htm - Morningstar, a science fiction point-and-click adventure

http://www.smallgreenhill.com/games/finwick/ - Finwick, a beautiful platformer (only the first 26 levels are free, though, the rest costs 5 dollars.)

http://windosill.com/ - Windosill, quite possibly Vectorpark's best game yet (only half of it is free, the rest costs 3 dollars.)

http://jayisgames.com/cgdc6/?gameID=9 - Small Worlds, an unusual, beautiful and slightly disturbing exploration platformer

Also, I'd like to link you to Hapland, a series I really like (although I never managed to finish the third part), but the creator's site seems to have gone MIA. I'm sure you can find it on other sites via google, though. I just don't have the time to do the searching.
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Insanely relaxing and pretty online games:

For the most part, don't expect much challenge here; although *some* of the games do provide some nice puzzles to make you think. Most are very easy, though - and all are very pretty. If you should need a walkthrough at some point, http://jayisgames.com is the place to go.


Point-and-click adventures:

http://amanita-design.net/samorost-1/
http://amanita-design.net/samorost-2/ - Samorost is a classic of the genre.

http://www.daymaretown.com/ - Some people find this a bit creepy.

http://www.submachineworld.com/ - This series is a bit more challenging. Also, long.

http://fastgames.com/littlewheel.html - Very simplistic gameplay, but exceedingly pretty.


Surreal flash experiences:

http://www.polcarstva.net/ - Russian fairytale based?

http://www.vectorpark.com/park/ - Try everything.

http://www.feedthehead.net/ - Do what the URL says.

http://box7box.com/tinygrow.html - The point? Who needs a point when you can grow surreal flowers?

http://www.deepchalk.net/ - The intro screen looks a bit rough, but the game itself is pretty, even if surreal to the point of incomprehensibility
http://www.deepchalk.net/secondphase.html


Exploration platformers:

http://westykid.deviantart.com/art/nevermore-1-26567268 - Vaguely Miyazaki-esque series, first part. Second and third part vastly improve on this.
http://westykid.deviantart.com/art/Nevermore-2-30222032 - Technically a prequel.
http://westykid.deviantart.com/art/Nevermore-3-120482622 - The prettiest, longest, and generally most accomplished of the three.

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/503833 - You're a beautifully animated fox running around in a rainy mountain landscape. Insanely relaxing.


Puzzles:

http://launchingpadgames.com/games/the-pretender - Lovely platform puzzle; beautiful, and not too difficult. If the dialogue that keeps popping up annoys you: that's only in the three intro levels, to give you the backstory.
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in my last entry.

What I really meant to say was this: if you download just one vid in the next twelve months, let that vid be "Improper Dancing". It's like a drug. I can't stop watching it.

(There's a list and detailed description of all the clips used in the lj entry I linked to yesterday. It's helpful to read, to get some of the finer details.)
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So... yesterday I was looking for a link to a vid I seemed to remember and stumbled across this. Much procrastination ensued.

Out of all the - invariably great! - vids I downloaded and watched - and yes, I should have been working for my M.A.... problem is, I'm in a massive motivational crisis right now, and have been for more than a week - there is one that stood out so much that I need to rec it. It's multifandom, and it's the first multifandom vid I've seen that has all my major fandoms (HL, FS, LOM) and *nearly* all my secondary ones. It has Chris (from Life on Mars) dancing dorkily and John (from Farscape) in women's stockings, all within the first thirty seconds! Instant vid-shaped happiness.

The vid: "Improper Dancing"
The vidder: [livejournal.com profile] marycrawford (leave feedback at link above)

Multifandom vids are always a great opportunity to play 'spot that fandom', so here's what I spotted (not necessarily in this order) - bolded are things I am at least passively fannish about, i.e. like a lot and will ocassionally consume fan produced works about, or have at least been known to do so in the past; bold and underlined are active fandoms; in italics are shows/movies I actually haven't seen but can recognise anyway:

HL, PotC, SGA, DW (9), DW (10), DS, FS, LoM, LotR, Xena, Hercules, Princess Bride, SW, BtVS, AtS, ST:TOS, Spiderman, Sentinel, ST:TNG, Heroes, Lawrence of Arabia, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Red Dwarf, Harry Potter, Smallville, Firefly, Dexter, Jeffrey, In & Out, Matrix, Hair.
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[livejournal.com profile] amonitrate writes a brilliant Cooper. She says her Albert isn't quite as good, but I don't remember Albert well enough to judge that. Anyway, go read her TP snippet here.

*wants TP box set*

Wow.

Dec. 14th, 2007 02:12 am
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[livejournal.com profile] kazbaby? You win. You totally win the Most Disturbing Farscape Slash Vid Award. I think Poison is officially not the most explicitly slashy John/Scorpius vid out there anymore... and I, for one, am delighted by that! The world needs more disturbing vids about that relationship!

To everyone else: This is a vid rec. Download Rift at Unrealized Reality. Oh, and if you haven't seen it, do download Poison, too (linked above). I'm not allowed to praise that one as I was involved in making it, but you should watch it for historical value if nothing else: it's one of the few times that I've been accessory to slash. And maybe after watching it you won't be so sorry that I usually don't indulge in that particular endeavour. Because, would you *want* to read something like that? ;-) ([livejournal.com profile] dunkle_feuer excepted. I know you would love me to produce stuff like that. *g*)

Nitpick for [livejournal.com profile] kazbaby: There are a couple of very quick edits (I *think* they're edits and not accidental flaws, anyway) that *in my players* (Zoom Player and VLC) look almost like ghost frames. Those were a minor distraction from the supreme disturbing slashiness... do you think I need to download some special codec or something, perhaps?
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(Because occasionally I do take a five-minute break from uni work to watch a FS vid, so as to reduce the "unsorted" folder on my disk and be able to finally burn them all to DVD.)

Yesterday's discovery:

Love and Peace by Di. A vid about the final four of season two that makes *excellent* use of internal movement and internal effects to create a very dynamic impression. Nitpick: Image's a bit blurry, sadly. Still, as with the last vid I recced, it would be a shame to ignore this vid because of that. Simply watch it in small instead of full screen mode and the problem shouldn't bother you. If that seems like an unacceptable hardship, try to remember what watching vids was like in 2001! ;-) (I still have favourites from those days... and I still love them, even though you can only watch them by minimizing the player to stamp size...)

A note: When I play this vid in zoomplayer the image breaks up in the fast parts, so there's either a problem with my zoomplayer or with the vid. It plays fine in VLC, though.
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To celebrate the finishing of my horrible essay/paper/thing I spent about an hour or so today watching Farscape fanvids from my 2.9 GB "still unwatched" folder. I need to catch up with that folder, and with the vidding activities of Farscape fandom in general - it's such a frelling prolific fandom, where vidding is concerned, that it's pretty much guaranteed that there are several GB of unwatched new vids out there I haven't even downloaded yet. My last big trawl was in autumn 2006; I currently have 20.4 GB of Farscape vids on my hard drive. I'm a completist.

So. I watched something like 10, 15 vids, some of them good, some just okay. One of them stood out. So I decided to share the joy by reccing it - and I think I'll keep that up as long as I'm catching up with that folder, and as long as I'm finding really good vids in there.

Here's the find of the day:

Ain't It Fun by el_rika and edeea2001.

Downloadable from this page here.

Setting Into the Lion's Den to a very aggressive song by Guns'n Roses that fits the action and angst of those eps to a t. Nicely structured - usually this kind of mostly linear retelling doesn't work so well in vids, but here it does. Some pretty good motion-to-music matching. Nitpicks: the footage's a bit pixelated (nothing you'd want to watch maximised), and a the editing could be a little more on the beat in a couple of places. But it's a really good vid regardless, and a very nice retelling of a crucial two-parter in five minutes.
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but since it's currently getting thoroughly revamped, it's worth pointing out again:

North World by Lars Brown.

A webcomic about a wandering swordfighter in a world that looks much like 1950s/1960s America, only without television, and with slightly more up-to-date clothes styles. And an amusingly anachronistic (sub)culture of people who run around the woods armed with swords, hunting monsters. (Yes, the monsters are real.) If this premise sounds a bit bizarre, wait till the hero decides to attend his highschool sweetheart's wedding in his old hometown. Yes: it's Grosse Pointe Blank meets Dungeons and Dragons. Lars Brown, the author, calls the genre he invented with North World "plain-clothes fantasy", and that just about describes it.

North World is one of webcomics' bigger recent success stories. The author recently got a publishing deal for it with, err, I forgot which publisher but it was a well-known one (in the realm of comics, that is). He's using this occasion to rewrite and redraw parts of the - already finished - first volume, and, being a generous webcomicker, he's posting it all, page by page, to the North World website again. It's like a rerun, only better, because it's improved! *g* (It was pretty good to begin with, but you could see that the author was 'still growing', in places, and there were a few things that were a bit confusing, which will hopefully be cleared up in this new version.)

Lars Brown also endeared himself to me by being a Finder fan, something he has in common with the authors of some of my other favourite webcomics, too. :-)

Oh, and I recently updated the links bar here in my LJ (left column in my current LJ layout), so if you want a few more recs, do check that out. Or you could just click on one of the tags here, of course, for older recs. I can only encourage anyone who hasn't so far dipped a toe into the world of webcomics to try it - it was, to me, just as wonderful a discovery as reading fanfic.

Well, and now I'm off to make dinner.

I am...

Oct. 22nd, 2007 11:38 pm
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ridiculously intrigued by this development:

http://www.lightspeedpress.com/index.php?module=Finder&func=pub&issue=40&page=75

Rachel meets Brom. I've always liked Rachel. I've always liked Brom (even before I knew his name *g*). They both have - probably - extremely different images of Jaeger in their heads. I always like it when very different images of the same person "collide"... This should be interesting. ;-)

I'm wondering if I should be nervous because of the emergency room setting. But Brom doesn't seem to be worried, so I suppose not. And, well, this is Jaeger, so...

To those not already reading Finder: Carla Speed McNeil recently published a new, smaller-format collected hardcover edition of Sin-eater 1&2, the two first volumes of the series. This is also the storyline that introduced Rachel (and her entire, interesting, broken family), so it should get you ready to read the current story. (And if you want to know more about Brom, you should get Five Crazy Women, which contains a long conversation between him and Jaeger. About Jaeger's sex life, no less.)
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Sadly, communicating (except for these one-way missives I'm posting here), thinking about Stuff, writing, and getting Stuff done are all impossible at the moment.

And no, I don't feel bad, not really - except for the usual guilt of not being able to keep in touch like a normal human being etc. In fact, I've spent a lot of the last two weeks or so on a near-constant reading high - and I guess I feel vaguely guilty for this, too, because all that time... well. You know.

Reading is my additiction, I guess.

Here, have some more recs:

Shí Lòng Páng: Kung-Fu and Chinese history in a way you've never seen them presented before. Philosophy, gentle humour, great, unique art style.

S.P.Q.R. Blues: Roman history and intrigue. Hyper-detailed, intricate artwork. You had that David Macaulay book about Roman city planning when you were little? That's what the artwork of S.P.Q.R. Blues reminds me of.
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This time: ten really good webcomics that feel like graphic novels:

Dicebox: Female migratory workers in space.

Digger: Wombat in Wonderland.

Gunnerkrigg Court: Not Hogwarts.

HERO: Philosophy, lyricism, dry humour.

Kaspall: Great worldbuilding, great page layouts.

North World: "So you didn't become an accountant?" - "No, I'm doing the sword thing."

Otter Soldiers: Santa Claus is dead. Raisins are evil.

Rice Boy: An acid trip. With plot.

Templar, Arizona: Not *the* Arizona. Just *a* Arizona.

What Birds Know: A mushroom collecting trip gone weird.
hmpf: (fanatic)
Beccatoria has made another vid, this time in a reasonably obscure fandom: Neverwhere! And it's good! So go and download it, and leave her feedback here: http://beccatoria.livejournal.com/19883.html?mode=reply
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My article's up:

http://www.fictionbox.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3000&Itemid=1

Saturday, Kabel 1, 20:15 and 21:25 (yes, two eps). Some of the best TV you're going to see this year. Unfortunately dubbed, so the hilarious/brilliant Mancunian accent is gone. *sad*

DVDs will be out in April, it seems.

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