Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Idea for A Sequel for "Wreck It Ralph"

I will admit, I enjoyed watching "Wreck It Ralph" in the theaters.  It's not them most brilliant of films, and it could have pushed a bit more of the edge...but, it was pretty good.

So, time for sequel thoughts!  Authorial notes-I would love to see this done and I even have a script outline done, but if it doesn't...

Anyways!  At the end of the first movie, Ralph decided he wants to do more heroing stuff-he likes being the good guy.  It's at least easier on the back and such.  Meanwhile, the arcade gets a new video game, Roar Fire Green, a Japanese 2D fighting game (an expy of BlazBlue, with the tie-in game made by Arc System Works), where the gaming world learns that anybody that beats the game gets a single wish.  Ralph, deciding that he wants to get this wish, gets into the game-and gets his ass kicked, hard.  He needs to learn how to fight, and a mysterious character (voiced by Doug Erholtz, who's voice and character design should be red flags RIGHT THERE) tells him that maybe he should get some training and learn how to fight first.

So, training montage (I mean, we go through Street Fighter, Soul Caliber, and Mortal Kombat montages) and a mysterious woman (whom is NOT Rachael from BlazBlue, even tho she has the same voice actor) whom gives Ralph a weapon (a big-ass hammer) and warns him that "time can be reversed, but an observed event cannot be changed".  Considering the nature of the huge number of characters descending on the game to play, it's now been turned into a tournament team play for the top title position.  Ralph has a team with a lot of other "bad guy" characters (i.e. probably M. Bison, Kano, and a few others), and he now has an additional team member from the game (a Cattleya expy voiced by Carrie Anne Moss of The Matrix fame) and they start fighting their way up the tournament ladder.

Ralph is wondering why his ally is in the tournament in the first place-and why she has the locket that she wears.  After a "fighting/flirting" training session, she reveals why she has the locket-it's her daughter.  In an earlier game her husband was killed defending her and her daughter-and the daughter died, anyways.  She wants to make it to the end of the game, where she can get the one wish and restore her daughter to life.  Ralph offers to help, even at the possibility of giving up his wish of being a hero.

Meanwhile...the players discover that the whole "tournament and wish" was merely a disguise by the Big Bad that organized it to link all the video game systems together, then crash them all.  When they were rebooted, he would be the ultimate power across all the systems, making him into a God.  Learning this, the entire tournament is attacked by clones of the contestants, in which Ralph and all of the characters defeat and they go forth, fighting their way up the mountain where the Big Bad is hiding out.  In the process, he sheds teammates holding off various threats until he reaches near the top of the mountain, where he and his female ally are nearly knocked off the bridge into a deep, fog-filled chasam.  Ralph is holding onto her, but can't pull her up...and she tells him to let her go, go beat the Big Bad.  Ralph refuses, keeps trying to pull her up as the bridge starts to collapse...and she makes him let go by hitting his hand.  She falls into the fog-filled chasm, and Ralph thinks she's dead.

Getting to the top, the Big Bad reveals that his weapon will start by attacking the world of Wreck It Ralph-and Ralph has to choose between saving his own game or letting all the others fail.  In a cold rage, Ralph defeats the Big Bad in crashing ruins of his game, walking away as the last of it falls and the game machine dies in the Real World, destroying the Big Bad as well.

Hailed as a hero, Ralph wonders what happens next and wonders what will happen to him.  At that point, the mysterious Rachel expy shows up and thanks him for doing what she couldn't do, because she had observed those events.  Ralph, angry, demands to know why she couldn't warn him about losing his friend-and the Rachel expy reminds him-"time can be changed, but an observed event cannot be changed.  You saw her fall-but did you see her land?"  Ralph realizes that he can save her, so he "borrows" Star Fox and a R-Wing, travels back in time with the Rachael expy's power to fly through the fog bank, and catches his friend.  Returning to the game of Roar Fire Green, the Rachel expy reveals that there are hidden characters and as it just turns out, there was one of a certian Ralph...

The movie ends with Ralph, his girlfriend/wife and their son playing in the game's world, hearing that a new challenger has appeared.  The grab their weapons and head out the door to face the challenge.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wow...I Didn't Think It Was Possible

But, it is.  It truly is.

I no longer have any reason-at all-to watch Network TeeVee.

Let's see...the 2012-2013 schedule is...grim.  To say the very least.  There is not a single new show that does not insult my intelligence (Last Resort, Revolution), "comedies" where the males are basically overgrown children (Ben and Kate), or is "US remake of the BBC version, and the BBC version was better" (Elementary).  And, while I am a big fan of CSI, NCIS, Castle, Criminal Minds and Bones...why am I paying $100 a month or so for just those five shows? 

Or network TV news that I don't watch.

Or just about everything ELSE that I do involving network TeeVee.  Maybe basic cable shows, but I can get most of what they have on iTunes.

So, why should I support it with my money?

Next year, I'm getting a Roku Box (after getting a new iPhone-it's time).  And, I'm just going to order shows that I want.  I'll even pay for them.  But, I don't want to pay for what I don't want.  I don't need these shows.  And, if my money is no longer supporting them...I'm a happy camper.

The only question becomes...consequences.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

If I Only Could Organize A Kickstarter #1

I'm an aspiring (i.e. I need to write more) science fiction writer and one of the biggest issues for me is simple.


Or, more accurately, how do I calculate how long it takes things from getting to point A to point B without pulling numbers out of my ass.  And, I don't want to pull numbers out of my ass and have the hordes of sci-fi fans that do know math to crew my ass about how I got it wrong.  I understand why getting it right is so important-some movies and shows that otherwise would be good start to piss me off because they get something wrong that I know is some other way.

This is the tool I want to relieve me of the fear of math, and if I could figure out how to budget it and get a staff, I would have the Kickstarter page up so fast heads would swim.  This program would let me do something like this-

"Okay, I'm sitting is Ceres on October 22, 2311. I can do 0.01 G continuously, but I have only three days worth of life support. WHERE can I get to?"

Or, something like this-

"The day before Challenger blows up, I've got the Space Shuttle, a NERVA rocket that fills up the cargo bay with engine, fuel, and a very small crew module with 75% efficient air and water recycling and three people. Total mass is 24,000 kilos, half fuel (water). From a Cape Canaveral launch, where can I go and still have enough food and fuel to come back? And, can I do better if I have a Titan IV-B launch at Cape Canaveral lift the engine and fuel tank, and have the Shuttle carry the crew and passenger module?"

Better yet, something like this-

"I've got a ship sitting at SFO that has AG lift that basically makes my ship neutrally buoyant, a 1 G continuous thrust drive, and a hyperdrive that I need to get at least 100 diameters away from any planetary body larger than Ceres and can do a light year a day. How long from Earth to the (theoretically) habitable planet of Tau Ceti if I leave tomorrow?"

Even better!  Here's an idea I'd love to simulate out-

"How would the mission of 'Time For The Stars' work out if the ship could accelerate at 3Gs once it got outside of the equivalent of the orbit of Neptune for Sol?  Or just 1G the entire trip?  What would be the time dilation difference between a person on Earth and a person on the ship?"

Note, this is all menu-driven, you build everything from ships to star systems via the menu system.  The program would have a "near star" map of all the stars in fifty light years, and let you create your own stellar system.  And, yes, I know there's AstroSynthesis out there-it isn't quite what I need...but it's pretty close.  And close only counts in horse shoes, hand grenades, or tactical nuclear weapons.

I can even see the if you just want to simulate "historical" missions, full features unlocked if you buy an access code.

So, would you want to see this particular piece of programming work?  Pay $50 for it?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not A Good Time To Be A Gamer

It is definitely not a good time to be a non-twitch gamer these days.  Case in point...

  • Looking at the list of PC game releases for the next few months, the only games I'm even remotely interested in are Max Payne 3, Tom Clancy Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (now, isn't that a word salad), Carrier Command: Gaea Mission, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.  Which doesn't sound too bad...except that's about four games out of a couple hundred.  And, none of them have the grand scope and sweep of Supreme Commander, Sword of the Stars, or the intense action as what Half Life 2: Episode 3 should be.

    (Assuming Half Life 2: Episode 3, Manchester United 0 ever comes out...)

    Hell, nothing is coming out that looks like another version of Portal and Portal 2 (something exciting and does something different).  Which is irritating...and, let's not even get me into the whole DLC dime-bagging that seems to be the new business model of game companies-sure, you can have all that neat stuff...either by grinding yourself retarded, or a few small payments of $10-20.  Or Day One DLC that seems to be features that the game cut to make deadline, but installed later to motivate you to buy the Super Uber Collector's Edition, or spend more money to get the content that you should have gotten with the game. (cough Mass Effect 3 cough).
  • Pen-and-paper RPGs being seriously into the whole "go through dungeons and find the 12'x12' room with the kobold guarding the treasure box" aspect.  Don't get me started on whatever version of Dungeons and Dragons is coming out, as it seems that the game is trying to play "we're a mumorpger that you can play in person with other people in the same room!" games with us.  Pathfinder is playing "we're D&D 3.5.1" games...and the games I'm enjoying the most?  The Warhammer 40K RPGs coming out of Fantasy Flight Games, especially Rogue Trader (but not Black Crusade, as I'm not their target market-i.e. 18-21, angsty, and goth, or all the Elric books written by Michael Moorcock in his youth).  Hero Games is having a serious slow-down in their publication speed (but, I must say that Hero 6th doesn't do anything really that FRED didn't already do pretty well...and I'm a Hero Games fanboy).  Cthulutech and Eclipse Phase haven't had any releases in a long, long time-at least the creators of Cthulutech admit they were having publisher issues.  Steve Jackson Games seems to have gone over to a mostly-PDF release format for GURPS. 

    The big thing for White Wolf Games is the re-release of the Original World Of Darkness books.  Mind you, I want to see and play with Shards of the Exalted Dream...but only if they have nifty starship combat rules.  Otherwise, I can do without.
If you're a gamer that doesn't like games where you like brown muddy battlefields (Battlefield 2/Call of Duty whatever), or aren't jazzed by pattern matching games, or other games of this ilk, you're stuck.  I'm tired of a lot of the first person shooters out there, because they don't do anything new.  Or interesting.  Or fun.  And, there are no serious RTS games coming out, except an endless stream of add-on packs for Starcraft II.  Most of the games seem to be mumorpgers waiting to find a new audience to break off small chunks of the monolith that is World of Warcraft.  And, nobody has been able to convince me that these games are not just really fancy games of Whack-A-Mole.  And, even the esoteric pen-and-paper RPGs are having a nostalgia kick as they want you to find and fight more monsters in a maze of twisty patches that are all alike.

Maybe it's just me and my tastes are getting old (I think a few of my friends would say "refined").  But, I know I want to see Tenra Bansho Zero come out-not only because I've been waiting for it for the last few years, but it sounds like the game is in a lot of ways right.   I'm glad with the existence of Kickstarter, which has brought me games like Witch Girls (which has optional wizard rules, I can so see a Harry Potter-esque game here...), Hellas (sci-fi Greek tragedy/drama adventure gaming-who wouldn't love that?), and Torchships (something I haven't seen in a while, 3D starship combat without the laws of physics being broken, spindled, and mutilated...).  Without Kickstarter, these games may never see the light of day, for which I am very glad.  And, if they come out, there may be more that follow on the path they blaze.

Oh, and I want them to be successful-if only to wash the taste of compromise, brown muddy battlefields, and kobolds guarding treasure chests out of my mouth.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'll Take "Things That Confuse/Annoy/Frustrate Me" for $500, Alex

Since today is Martin Luther King Jr Day and a day to reflect, consider, and understand the world around us all...I'm going to reflect on some things that are annoying, confusing, and frustrating me lately. Be warned, highly geeky and probably NSFW at some point...

1) Mass Effect 3, the third game in one of the better action/adventure RPG series out there, is going to have online DRM via EA's Origin platform. Well, bugger that idea of finishing off the Mass Effect series until they have a DRM-free/Steam-only version. Why? It's intrusive, automatically assumes that I'm going to be involved/dealing with a pirated version of the game, and the moment they don't want to support the game anymore, boom goodbye. And, they probably will NOT release any way to patch the game to avoid DRM issues (Alpha Protocol did this when the game series was canceled-the company released a patch that disabled the server check).

Ubisoft does this with their games, with the addition of "you must have a all-the-time, fully on Internet connection or else!" DRM scheme that the moment you have packet drop or any other issues dealing with the Internet...goodbye game. It's almost like they're allergic to making money or whatever. And, as far as I can tell, it's because EA is a bunch of anal-retentives whom like being in control of everything with their games, to the detriment of the game itself. When you have Sony (notoriously anal-retentive on the whole piracy thing) that has a problem with Ubisoft and EA's copy protection schemes-admittedly for legal reasons-maybe you should be reconsidering the whole idea.

It's like watching Star Wars and the whole scene of "the more you squeeze, the more control you'll lose". Which, of course leads us to...
2) George Lucas and his increasing madness. Okay, sometimes it's a good thing (Red Tails probably would not have been released/produced if he wasn't involved-it doesn't fit the current Hollywood paradigm), but I Did Not Ask for a 3D version of the Phantom Menace. It has almost reached the whole insanity thing of "Lucas will not keep remaking A New Hope until he dies" in the madness involved. It's not as bad as Force Unleashed II, or the Clone Wars animated movie...but that's sort of damning with faint praise, isn't it?

Hell, I'm not asking for 3D movies at all-it's another attempt at copy protection (it's hard to record a 3D movie in the theaters, I think...), an effort to create a "premium" experience to drive up ticket costs (which are already at the "obscene" levels for even a casual movie experience), and it's an effort to create a "oooh, shiny!" thing for audiences. I did not ask for any of this. I very much DO NOT WANT this. If you spent more on making good movies, taking chances on new Intellectual Properties, that sort of thing...I wouldn't mind so much. Except, well, now, I do. Very little appeals in terms of films and I've pretty much given up on watching network TV-so far, my "big three" network schedule pretty much consists of House after Law and Order: SVU became Law and Order: Lifetime Movie Of The Week. I probably watch more BBC America and Comcast's Music Choice TV than any actual TV programming...which is exceptionally sad. Let's not even talk about "popular" music-I can't even understand it, let alone the appeal. I don't feel old...and there's no urge to yell at the kids to get off my lawn, so it can't be that.
3)Yes, I know-anime exists to cater to young people to buy licensed items and love pillows in Japan and the US market exists at best as a "nice bonus" bit, but still... There were some great series in the past that hit the US market like a lemon wrapped in a gold brick and I don't just mean Naruto or Dragon Ball Z or Evangelion-Ergo Proxy, Serial Experiments Lain, Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin, FLCL...the list can go on and on and I'm just in the official licensed stuff, not even counting fansubs.

But, this year? I'm mildly more optimistic than Steven Den Beste, but not by much... So far, my total list of series this year that look even remotely interesting is very, very short- Boacious Space Pirates, Aquarion Evol, and Lagrange. And, all appear to have US licensees already (which means it's either FUNimation, FUNimation, or...FUNimation, with the closure of Bandai Animation in the US), so no "legal" fansubs for any of them. Which means we can be waiting for up to two years for any of this to come out on DVD...after everybody and their cousin have been watching the horribly timed illegal fansubs out there. And, quite frankly, I want to give Aquarion Evol a test run for free before even thinking of buying it.

The rest of the shows out this Winter season? High School DxD looks like a plate of sick trying to fake being an "edgy" drama/fighting harem show that insulted my intelligence (the main character is a jerk asshole that is a massive violation of rule #1-when dying, he just wants to grope his killer's breasts). Listen To What Papa Says!, yay for vague incest loli erotic fun, not. Dog x Me SS, another supernatural "odd couple" romantic drama that looks like it'll be stalked by cherry trees (with all those blossoms everywhere...). Kill Me Baby! looks to be a very stupid show that will make most of it's "humor" from the whole "fish/soldier out of water" thing that Full Metal Panic! did so much better. And with giant robots.

Damn. It's probably the cold out there (it was below freezing last night here), but it's probably making me more cranky than usual. Still...not happy. The Secret Masters who run the world should clearly be fired and replaced with new people in charge. Immediately, please.