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  • I'm not easily shhhhcared.

    8 minutes ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    A Quiet Place (2018)


    The premise overlooks an obvious flaw, and it distracted me through the whole thing wondering when they were going to figure out what they should have known from the very beginning.

    It takes a lot to make me scared. Show me what's supposed to scare me and I can deal with it rationally. Convince me that there's something to fear but not what it is and I can't deal with what I don't know.

    "How do we do that?" someone might ask. You do it by good acting from those I can see. Have them make me believe in the terror, not some fully visible monster...

    ...and not by CGI creations. CGI doesn't impress me. Go back to getting it as much as possible in principle like we used to do. There's no graphic representation of formulas and curves that will match the fidelity of principle photography.

    For horror nuts like me, I cannot recommend this.

    Since I am a horror nut, I can't say whether I would recommend it to others. The logical flaw from the start might make it a difficult suspension unless one can brace themselves against it. I was told that this movie was good. So, I wasn't ready for such a basic error.

    My personal score: Low. My recommendation for others: Unknown.

  • Marvin...

    5 days ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    ...the Paranoid Android, not the Martian...

    I'm in the market for an Android phone. It will be the first Android phone for me.

    I need one that is sturdy and that has a large screen.

    The Windows Phone that I currently have has been Microsoft Security Updated into oblivion. (No more feature updates and, apparently, no more app fixes, either.) It has been through Hell physically without any hardware failure. No scratches or cracks on the touch screen. Not misshapen despite being wedged once. Also stepped on many, many times. Streamed audio and video for hours in high heat (which you should not do).

    ...but it has now come to the point where apps (SMS (Skype), Sync (OneDrive), Weather, Email) are crashing all of the time. The camera reboots the phone after a few snaps. ...and these are "native" Windows Phone 10 apps from Microsoft. 3rd Party apps do not seem to have these issues.

    So, I've read a couple of recommendations. Any Android Phone users out there with more recommendations and the reasons for the recommendation?

    (I refuse to use that refuse of an app called iTunes that ignores your answers to questions during installation and, without permission, digs its claws into many native features of a PC. Any update resets any attempts to remove those invasive measures, and updates are required to keep the iOS device up-to-date. You must use iTunes to connect iOS devices to a PC. Android requires nothing to connect to a PC or to keep it up to date, and if you turn off auto-update, it stays off without requiring updates until a 3rd party app requires it.)

  • Inktober Day ? - "Spell"

    1 week ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    I'm hopped up on cough medicine, trying not to fall asleep. I rushed this one, but I'm about to go to bed and don't really care. Good enough. First time drawing a monster since I was a kid with crayons.

    "Spell" (subtitle: "c wut i did there?")


  • The Magic 8-ball says: "Not Likely"

    1 week ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    Microsoft's Project xCloud (which means that's not going to be its final name unless it's cancelled) is essentially what Google's Project Stream is trying to do - stream games from the cloud...

    A while back, NVidia announced a partnership with Microsoft's Azure team - the folks behind the Microsoft cloud. They talked about cloud-based rendering and cloud-based AI, but my brain immediately went to games. Microsoft also had some rumblings about an XBox with such a service in recent history. Like Project Stream, it's hoping to target all devices, mobile, consoles (including switch), desktops... and whatever direct-to-brain gaming technology they'll probably invent soon - Matrix style.

    I guess I was right about what Microsoft would do with it, but again just like Google's idea, I am certain that the technology just isn't here, yet - and even less so for mobile devices with a slower and high-latency connection. (I might see the technology before I die, but I'm not willing to bet on that.)

    MS has been working on this for a while, but so has Google. I don't know who's has the most experience in designing such a service, but I'm curious who has the more resources to put behind their research and development.

    I don't really think it's a race. People see Microsoft as less open than Google. People seem to have this notion that Google gives so much away for free - which is far from the truth. So, people are ready to trust Google more even if they charge more than Microsoft for the service. It's all about how people perceive something. I think Microsoft already lost this race thanks to Google's PR claws buried deep into the public - and a dangerous set of claws does Google have...

  • Inktober Day 3-4 days late...

    1 week ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    (Day 2 - Tranquil is here.)

    Day 3: Roasted


    Special reminder: This is me practicing on a tablet Surface - not Ink.

  • Official Comics

    1 week ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

    When it comes down to it, it's just like those comics that tell backstories or side-stories about main characters.

    I'm not a fan of taking the main characters from the original trilogy and making them side stories, but we did have The Clone Wars and Rebels do just that with those from outside of The Trilogy. They were accepted just fine.

    The story is told like a comic and done well in that regard.

    It incorporates pieces of the EU (now known as Legends), but does change much of the established EU story. This will upset a lot of people still clinging to the Legends canon as official canon. There's no way around it. I've accepted it for the sole purpose of continuing to enjoy Star Wars.

    Unpopular opinion: I wouldn't mind seeing another comic-book movie in this side-story about some of the primary characters.

    More unpopular opinion: I'm pleased with the direction that Kennedy has taken the franchise. She's allowed creators to recover as much as was possible from Legends without contradicting established movie canon, but still following the rules of the Star Wars series: the printed material never comes before a movie. If it gets penned, it will never see the silver screen. (She claimed interest in the material found from the abandoned Star Wars 1313 project. She was also disappointed with EA's move to dismantle Ragtag. I'm thinking she's unhappy with the deal that Disney struck with EA.)

    Don't @ me. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

  • A24: Part 2

    1 week ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    Read part 1 here.

    The Vvitch: A New England Folklore (2015)

    The cast is excellent with great performances, but it is still just an A24 horror film. The Vvitch [sic] features Ann Taylor-Joy who gets to stretch her acting muscles more than Split (2016). Her performance in The Vvitch [sic] makes me a bit more interested in Glass (2019) now.

    The thing that makes this particular A24 film its own entity among the rest is the fact that it is stylized with a flair of an early 1800s British horror novel about the early 1600s. (A churro to whoever gets that reference.) Otherwise, it's what one should come to expect from A24.

    I found the story to be tiresome - been there, done that - but it was still told well by the performers. It is a bit of a strain to understand the motives and dialog from the early 1600s in the modern day where nobody bothers with history anymore. There are inaccuracies as well, but I feel these were for the purpose of trying to connect to modern audiences.

    The pacing is slow. Most of the pacing isn't based on suspense. That might be intentional with the lonely life on one's own in the New England woods of the early 1600s. Yet, A24 movies seem to trend toward the slow burn. This might put off people who desire faster horror and are already struggling with the culture shock of the setting as well as the predictability of such a story.

    For the most part, I cannot recommend this but to a small group of people. It's not a bad movie, but I feel that it has a niche audience in mind.

  • The Genetics of Grief

    1 week ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    Hereditary (2018) is about grief from the perspective of the grieving. It's an interesting take on the topic. It is set in a story of horror, but you can count the "stages" along the way.

    All in all, it's a decent allegory of it. Those who have experienced grief to a debilitating level will probably find the movie to be very upsetting. Those who've witnessed such may find it extremely unsettling. Those who find horror movies unsettling might find this terrifying. Those who like horror movies might end up over-analyzing it, but we tend to do that anyway to all movies.

    I will say the acting is wonderful. The pacing is quite a rollercoaster. The pacing is all over the place, but it fits in with the tempo of grief in my opinion.

    The downside: The music (as I mentioned elsewhere). I did not feel that it was used appropriately. It was where it didn't need to be, and it was often against the grain of the scene without purpose. I mentioned that the shots should be able to work without the music. There were a few scenes that just didn't work at all, but they appeared to try to use music to invoke feeling - against the grain of the scene - or, as I stated elsewhere, trying to fix it in post via the soundtrack.

    I cannot mention anything further without going into serious spoiler territory.

    I can recommend this only to certain people and would not recommend it to others. As for me, it has its good and bad points in production and story. As an A24 production, it hits the bullseye.

    One more thing: If you saw trailers, you were misled. They were not reasonable representations of the story or style, but as usual, they do contain some nasty spoilers. Avoid them if you can.

  • Inktober 2018 Day 4 Minus 2: Tranquil

    2 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    (Day "1": Poison, is here.)


    What? Too literal?

    The way I understand it from the Dragon Age series, becoming Tranquil is not a pleasant process and not an enjoyable life if one was able to emotionally compare their lives before and after Tranquility. So, I consider it spoopy enough for Inktober.

    (Though, Templars apparently [spoiler] [spoiler] and [spoiler] [spoiler], and it was discovered that [spoiler] [spoiler] [spoiler] [spoiler].)

    One can see where my hands are shaking because I need a burrito. The slippery Surface doesn't help with that.

  • Inktober 2018 Day 4 minus 3: Poison

    2 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    I'm practicing with this tablet. The "pen" is really slippery on this Surface.


    If you get the reference, you get a breakfast kolache.

    Need a hint:

    "The vessel with the pestle has the pellet with the poison, but the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true." from The Court Jester.

  • There are words?

    2 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    I tend to listen to the music and not the words. The music (not the words) hits my feeling of mood this morning.

  • Futuraventure..?

    2 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    Imagine if the people from Futurama voiced an adventure game set in space made by the folks who made Space Quest adventure games decades ago...

    Then, you'd have SpaceVenture...

    I'm still not sure how I feel about the progress of this game. It seems they're moving away from the sprite animation that's excruciatingly outdated, but Pixar, they are not. I would go with the cell-shading route a la TellTale games to make it a cartoon than a CGI animated feature, which the cartoon-style is actually more in-step with the old Space Quest series if they're really wanting to recapture their glory days. That's the route that Sierra went with King's Quest (the sibling to Space Quest both published by Sierra).

    I loved the old Space Quest games. Roger Wilco is my spirit animal. I'd like to see a modernization of it. I'm still crossing my fingers for this one. Surely, the creators of Space Quest know it best. Right? (Oh, wait. George Lucas...)

    I am curious to know why they changed the ethnicity of the main character, though.

  • For the record...

    2 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    I don't own pets.

    I raise them.

    They're my responsibility, not my property.

  • Motivation

    3 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    Yesterday was the anniversary of the release of the original Wing Commander - the series from which Ryan got his XBox Gamertag.

    In response, I mentioned that the game was the reason I built my first DIY computer.

    I came to realize that my second DIY was specifically to play Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom (whose star is a major character in the still upcoming Star Citizen spin-off called Squadron 42 - spearheaded by the guy responsible for the Wing Commander series).

    (That's also the game where Ryan's Gamertag namesake's luck ran out.)

    My foray into custom builds was for the Wing Commander games. Such memories...

    Yet, I don't think I'm going to be building a new computer just to play (or even test) Star Citizen or its spin-off. I'm fairly certain that I've lamented the beast of a game engine that they're using - the CryEngine-based Amazon Lumberyard. It's an unnecessarily resource-consuming monster of an engine even for the simplest things, and what they're planning isn't simple. One of Chris Roberts' goal was to end the stagnation of desktop hardware for the sake of console compatibility.

    I've poked around with other engines, and UE4 seems to me to be likely more in-line with what they want and can still push the envelope of computer hardware without wasting resources while doing it. Unity and UE4 are far more efficient than Lumberyard and can achieve comparable results with less overhead, shorter development, and far less waste (not to mention also having better cross-platform development than Lumberyard).

    The only things that Lumberyard can really do better is twitch integration, Amazon cloud integration, and VR. ...but at what costs?

    So... essentially, I'm not upgrading for the next spiritual iteration of Wing Commander simply because I'm not going to try to accommodate a waste of resources.

    I have to wonder what is going to inspire me to finally build another computer. So far, my motivation to do such is left wanting.

  • Paddy-whack, Give the Dog a Bone...

    3 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    I messed up my Rooster Teeth order and RT Customer Service corrected the order in short order in order for me to order two things that I needed to replace and one inordinately unnecessary thing.

    I have purchased my first knickknack.

    I'm not one to buy dust collectors, but the green idol called to me. (I have another Tiki mug that someone gave to me many years ago.)

    As for the others, I've been needing a new towel, and my Hawaiian shirts are showing their wear and tear. There's a sale on the Aloha shirts (and more), and my green Hawaiian shirt is in the worst shape. So, it made sense to get a green towel and replace my old green Hawaiian shirt.

    Again: Kudos and many, many thanks to RT for fixing my mistake quickly.

  • Jurassic Monsters (Double Feature)

    3 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    Rampage (2018)

    Fun movie. Hearkens back to the old monster movies from before even I was born (and I was born a long time ago).

    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

    Like Rampage but more serious but, yet, not a wholly serious movie. Fun still takes priority.

    I'm not saying the stories are anything alike. The stories are nothing alike. It's the general feeling about each movie that I'm asserting.

    Now, Rampage is inspired by an old arcade video game of the same name (that existed before some of you were born, even). Knowledge of the arcade game is immaterial. There is fan service thrown in late in the movie for those who know, but we also realize that the Rampage game had no story and, ultimately, no point. We know full well that there's no way to make a movie out of the game. Even without any knowledge of the arcade game, the movie still accomplishes its obvious goal with its own story.

    So take it for what it is: a throwback to the old monster movies with an homage to an old arcade game (which itself was an homage to old monster movies). For that, it does it well.

    Fallen Kingdom might have a special marketing agenda, but without spoilers, I cannot say more. It involves the ending, specifically.

  • Let's be honest.

    3 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    I saw one portion of a Let's Play of Tales from the Borderlands (from @LoZelda stream) after playing it myself first. I have not seen any other Let's Plays of adventure games.

    What about you?

    (Part of the issue with me catching a live show is that nearly all creators either stream too late in the evening for my work schedule or too early while I'm still working, but I doubt that being able to watch streamers regularly would change my answer.)

  • Schrödinger's Tale

    4 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.


    Is TellTale Games closing down or not?

    There's a rampant claim on the Internet that they're closing shop with a handful of people remaining to finish TWD. (Some have the decency to declare that it's a rumor. Some don't.)

    ...but TTG just posted a number of images a few hours ago.

    EDIT: It is confirmed. TTG is going to finish their obligations with whoever remains and are closing shop.

  • First Post: A Call Out to All Lovers of Broadcast Tech

    4 weeks ago

    Napping_Sloth Isaiah

    Hey there world, it's ya boy.

    I've never made a journal before, and honestly it's nerve-wracking (like, I'm sweating at the thought of putting this out into the void that is the community (that maybe like 1 person will see)). Uh, I just wanted to make this post as a kind of, call to arms for others who come from a background of technician work (broadcast, theatrical, radio, concert etc) who would all like to sit around and talk stories or gear or goals and stuff.

    For example, my background is theatrical sound design and lighting/electrician work. Audio is easily my best work and I could gush for hours on stuff I want to design or be in or mix and master or score. Podcast ideas and the list just goes on and on and on.

    And I figured if enough people (assuming that anyone sees this and then cares about it) maybe putting together a group or a forum or something. 

    I don't know, I'm rambling to help get my thoughts together and also anxiety i guess. All I know is that, I want to pursue audio, and that if I could find a gig that was half as nice as RT, I think that'd be swell.

  • 15 minutes of fame...

    4 weeks ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    GTA Online takes place before the events of GTAV.

    So... what happened to my nightclub? We were doing so well.

    Is it because I stopped managing the nightclub to play RDR Online in a couple of months?

  • The Bongocat Bandwagon

    1 month ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    Am I doing it right?


  • Watch what you read...

    1 month ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.


    Watchmen (2009)

    To put it simply, it's like watching a comic book come to life.

    However, a comic book and storyboard are two very different disciplines. A comic book has a different set of rules for timing, themes, and camera angles than movies for a good reason. It's like they used a comic book as the storyboard.

    Imagine reading a comic book at someone else's pacing. Sometimes, you'll want it to hurry up, and sometimes, you'll want it to slow down. Sometimes, the internal monologue gets in the way. Sometimes, it seems absent.

    ...and this is not a superhero movie. It's a 1980's political drama that browbeats a message into the audience. Imagine if Ayn Rand wrote a comic book about war - instead of a 1950s novel about big government - and turned it into a movie.

    Now that you're prepared, go ahead and give it a watch. Watch it knowing what it is, and it's a good movie... for what it is.

  • Back in Black after 13 years...

    1 month ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    Riddick (2013)

    It immediately abandons the fanatical Underverse storyline from The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) and returns to the theme (and, for the most part, story) of Pitch Black (2000). (It acknowledges the events of Chronicles with nothing more than a mere nod.)

    If you've seen Pitch Black, you'll essentially be rewatching that movie with minor adjustments scattered around. One might say that it's just part 2 of Pitch Black.

    In truth, this should have been the sequel to Pitch Black because, even with it's painful predictability, it comes full circle with that movie.

    Can't say that I was impressed, but to be fair, Pitch Black didn't impress me, either. (Chronicles just left me confused.)

    I would put this on par with Pitch Black but 13 years too late. If you recently saw Pitch Black for the first time and enjoyed it, Riddick could be a good follow up even if just more of the same. If you saw Pitch Black over 18 years ago, I think too much time has passed to resurrect that story. If you saw Chronicles in between, you'll probably be rightfully expecting disappointment, though you might still enjoy Riddick despite... whatever Chronicles was.

  • Pro-Tip

    1 month ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    I keep seeing questions about this. There are two funny icons on the video site in the upper-right corner of the thumbnails for recorded videos and live events.

    4lxUfV2.png This means that it is currently early-access for First memmbers.

    It will become available to all viewers later. Depending on the show, it could be the next day or the next week before it is available to all viewers. The icon will disappear when it becomes available to everyone.


    DINjqx2.png This means that it is for First members only.

    It will not become available for all viewers. Live broadcasts may become available as a separate on-demand video with its own icon of early access or First-only (or even no icon for all viewers). Not all live broadcasts are First-only, but must of them are.

    I hope this helps those who happen upon this journal.

  • Primed for Prime Time...

    1 month ago

    EricHVela Don't be a divider.

    So... this might be happening. Alan Wake TV series.

    Now, many games have trouble translating into a linear media outside of the players' control. Yet, I think Alan Wake (2010) is a good candidate to try.

    Its narrative was very on-rails. The players played through a story that was told to them, but they weren't really in control of the story at all. The players were corralled into each paragraph of the story by force, interrupted for some gameplay in between. The character's personality was strictly defined to the smallest details and the player had almost no influence on that. Players played Wake just how the authors wrote him. ...and it was still a good game and story.

    I believe this makes the transition to linear media far easier than games with characters of loose backgrounds or a high amount of narrative freedom or customizing.

    That said: A hurdle would be that the character model, Ilkka Villi, is native Finnish and doesn't speak English well and the voice actor, Matthew Porretta, looks nothing like Ilkka. The iconic Alan Wake from the two games will be difficult to reproduce, but a reasonable substitute is possible.

    I loved the Lovecraft-esque feel of Alan Wake. The freaky stuck-in-a-mind-hump that was American Nightmare was good, too. I want more.

    I'm crossing my fingers so much!

    Trivia: Ilkka and Matthew did a live action trailer for Alan Wake's American Nightmare (2012) where they made fun of Ilkka's name, portrayed by Ilkka as Mr. ₴₵Ɽ₳₮₵Ⱨ (the psychotic alter ego of Wake), who lip-synced with Matthew's voice-over as they did in the game itself for the FMV sections of Mr. ₴₵Ɽ₳₮₵Ⱨ. One might not even know that Ilkka didn't voice the character because of American Nightmare.

    Trivia: Matthew Porretta played the character, Will Scarlet O'Hara, in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). (Will's from Georgia.)