jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

A week or three ago, Bungie, the makers of Halo, opened their upcoming MMO first-person shooter, Destiny, to PS3 / PS4 players, for an open beta and stress test. I played it for a few hours, the night before the beta ended.

A day or three ago, Trion Worlds made their MMO third-person shooter, Defiance (sponsored by Dodge!), free-to-play for people on PS3 consoles. It's based on a SyFy TV series that I've never watched. I downloaded it a few days ago, and have played it every day since, partly because a PSN friend invited me to her clan.

Here's what I make of the two.

Defiance

A few minutes into Defiance, I thought "This game is awfully silly." That impression has yet to leave me.

It tries very hard to be "hardcore" with its characters and world design, from the square-jawed colonel in charge of the Not A Spaceship at the beginning to the wise-cracking, alien Bad Girl, who largely pushes the main plot forward. She loves chargin' in and killin' her some post-apocalyptic mutants, and the whole game is based on the premise that you do, too.

Which leaves my "survivalist" character up shtako creek without a paddle, because so far she's run into:

  • Men who can take a direct shot to the face from a bolt-action rifle,

  • Hills that can't be climbed even with a backpack full of survival gear,

  • Wildlife that runs after her as soon as it sees her,

  • Trucks that just sit in one place and disgorge wave after wave of enemy soldiers without resupply,

  • Quests that can't be completed until I run up close to a target with no cover,

  • "Friendly" soldiers that shout at her to "Get over here and HELP!" while she's finding a position to snipe from,

And more cheesy one-liners than you can shake a hellbug at.

In a way, it's kind of a letdown. Because they let me create, as my character, a woman of colour who's a "survivalist" and a "professional" and who actually dresses the part, right down to the beat-up propane tank attached to her pack. And instead of Don't Starve in 3D, I ended up having to bro it up in the bro-iest bro shooter ever.

So why the jekk am I playing it?

Because I haven't played pretty much any shooters since DUST 514, minus brief excursions into Uncharted and Bioshock, and it's ... actually kind of fun. In a cheesy, ridiculous way, but fun nonetheless. The premise (an alien colonization of Earth gone wrong) is interesting, despite how the game handles it, and I feel invested in my character. This is one of the few games that feels like it lets me inhabit a world as myself, so I figure I might as well make the best of it, especially as long as I have a few friends here.

I just get the impression that it was made by a bunch of TV execs, based on a stereotype of "what gamers like."

Destiny

Other than that it was made by the people behind Halo, and that it involved a big sphere floating over a city for some reason, I had no idea what to expect when I logged in to the Destiny beta. But enough people were talking about it online, with what seemed to be wonder and awe, that I started it up with my headset on and the overhead light switched off.

It pulled me in right away, with graphics that seemed almost PS4-quality and ... a reverence I rarely see, for the power of myth and the people who want to be part of it. Just the way they use words, like Titan and Ghost, that makes it seem like these are the names for something sacred. I didn't feel like I was "playing a game" so much as that I was physically there, helping act out a story, like when I went on the Star Trek: The Experience "ride" years ago.

I didn't know what was shooting at me, or why I was able to shoot back. I just knew these things were somehow responsible for the destruction that I'd woken up in, and that my revival was supposed to somehow bring back ... what?

Transhuman civilization, apparently, including both living machines and mysterious "Awoken." "These worlds were once ours," says the poster in the limited edition set, depicting the solar system. But what was that civilization like, besides grand and ancient? It felt kind of like playing Journey, and having to use your imagination to fill in the intentional gaps in the myth. This was no dystopia I was fighting for; it was whatever I thought was ideal. The best impressions I'd gotten from living on Earth.

I'm sure there's story material that fills in the gaps, somewhere. But they don't give it to you up front, and there aren't all the silly, ridiculous things in the gameplay that jarred me out of Defiance. Granted, I haven't played Destiny as long. But it left a strong impression, and I am tempted to preorder it.

Oh, and the gameplay was fun, too.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

The other thing I tell young filmmakers is when you get going and you try to get money, when you’re going into one of those rooms to try and convince somebody to make it, I don’t care who you’re pitching, I don’t care what you’re pitching—it can be about genocide, it can be about child killers, it can be about the worst kind of criminal injustice that you can imagine—but as you’re sort of in the process of telling this story, stop yourself in the middle of a sentence and act like you’re having an epiphany, and say: "You know what, at the end of this day, this is a movie about hope."

http://www.filmcomment.com/entry/steven-soderbergh-state-of-cinema-address

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
Become Your Fursona is still online, despite [personal profile] feathertail's infosuicide. Some of the stories there are [personal profile] rev_yurodivy's, and they are not marked as such because I never finished updating the site properly. Most of them were written by me, though, and there's also the popular fursona species quiz, which is still the #1 search result on Google for "fursona quiz".

I'd like to get back into writing furry stories. The problem is, in order for it to be competitive on a per-word basis with even the cheapest articles the Major News Site asks me for, I'd have to charge something like $100 for a 5000-word story.

I'd like it if someone were willing to pay me that much, but I don't like the idea of producing a luxury good that only rich furs can afford. I also find that writing, for me, is much more enjoyable when I get to decide which stories to write. I'd rather write for someone who needs their story told, but doesn't have that much money to pay for it with, than someone who's willing and able to drop $100 on a whim.

So ideally, I'd like the price for a 5000-word story to be somewhere in the vicinity of $50. Here's how I'm thinking of making up the difference:
  1. Furry-themed ads, similar to what you'd see on FurAffinity but with less fetishy stuff. Also ads for webcomics and stories and things; stuff that you'd actually want to see and isn't just Google spam, and that doesn't interrupt the flow of your reading too much.

  2. eBook compilations, that people could buy and download for their offline reading. Also printed books, in case someone would like to have them on their shelves.

  3. Sponsorships by people who'd like their fursona (or furry-themed service?) to appear in a story, even if it's not their own. $15-20 might let your character cameo in a commission, and you could include a suggestion for what they might do. I experimented with this earlier, and people seemed to like it!

  4. Another thing I've considered is asking for tips after the story is complete. This would be completely optional, and it'd be understandable if someone can't or doesn't want to provide one, but it's also an opportunity to let them express their thanks if they really like how it turned out.
Every now and then I could hold a PBS-style fundraiser auction. I could either say "This is the kind of story I want to write, please pay me to do it," or I could swing to the other end and say "Pay me to write you your story."

Finally, I'm thinking of offering to make Pathfinder stats for someone's fursona and their abilities. This may be tricky sometimes, but I used to stat out the characters in people's furry art for fun, and if our Pathfinder setting gets off the ground this idea might get some more traction.

What do you think?
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] ausbatlyssavirus has a pretty good post on how there don't seem to be a lot and there need to be more:
I thought that I had to be a tomboy to some extent to be someone like Merida (from Brave), who stands up for herself and what she believes in. ...

If I wasn't, then whatever struggles I have - internal and external - weren't hard enough, and I needed to toughen up.

It's just that I haven't seen any stories about people like me struggling with their identity, growing up, and their conflicts.
I posted on Identi.ca about it, and so far I've gotten Spirited Away and magical girl anime as suggestions. Anyone else?

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~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

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