Alien3 – Rediscovering a Masterpiece

The Aliens franchise is one of the longer running and most interesting scifi properties out there. It spans 4 dedicated films, 2 spin-offs, 1 pseudo prequel, hundreds of comics, a plethora of games, books, toys and more! When I saw Aliens I became an instant fan and never let go. My fandom went so far that my college film thesis was even on Alien (and a little on Aliens).

Most fans of the franchise focus only on Alien (Ridley Scott) and Aliens (James Cameron) and discard Alien3 (David Fincher) and Alien: Resurrection (Jean-Pierre Jeunet). After reading a few articles and rewatching the movie again, I’ve found new excitement around Alien3 and think you might too!

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Game – Starbound – Preview

From the creators of Terraria comes a game that blends the creation aspect made popular by Minecraft, the space exploration dynamic from Spore, and the (possible) combat similarities to Borderlands. The game will possibly launch in early 2013!

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I have never been good at Minecraft-style games simply due to the amount of time they require to see results. I also lean heavily towards games with story and character development. While this game does not appear to have much – I can see the potential for story creation within the mind of the player. Similar to the game FTL, there are sometimes stories that can be created within the experience that happen naturally vs. those created by the developers. One other game like this, Journey, has a stronger story (and an amazing score that won a Grammy!) that has some story but relies on the user and the unique multiplayer component to “craft” your own experience through the game.

There seems to be a unique trend of games coming up with different methods of telling stories and allowing the user to have their own adventure instead of completely relying upon the game developers to push us down their own path.

LINK: Starbound Is Like 2D Minecraft Meets Borderlands…In Space

Article – How to Revise a Novel

ARTICLE: How to Revise A Novel | Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage.

For the holiday season I received a huge stack of books on writing and editing – which has me a bit daunted with the tasks ahead. Instead of diving into a long book I wanted to read something quickly on the art of editing. I found this article quick and effective for helping me to set the stage for the type of effort, commitment and approach that is necessary for editing a novel.

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Movie Review – Indie Game

Watch Indie Game: The Movie Online | Netflix.

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I just recently watched Indie Game: The Movie (which is streaming now on Netflix). The movie follows the creators of 3 of the most amazing indie games through their final phases of development. The games they focus on are Fez (Phil Fish) , Super Meat Boy (designer Edmund McMillen and programmer Tommy Refenes) and Braid (Jonathan Blow).

The movie was one of the first films to be born on Kickstarter – which is also an achievement as well.

If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to make an independent game, the type of crazy and insanity that can come from it, or just a window into the minds of creators and developers, this is worth checking out. It is raw and emotional. Tears are shed and death threats are liberally handed out. It is also a worthwhile viewing for anyone who wants to create, who is creating, who wants to understand the mind of creators. Films and Big Budget Games are made by huge teams but independent games (and books) are created by very few people. It can be a very isolating and insular activity that is libel to have impacts – which this movie clearly demonstrates.

Once you are done watching this, if you haven’t, make sure to listen to the soundtrack for free on Bandcamp: http://jimguthrie.bandcamp.com/album/indie-game-the-movie-soundtrack

Lastly, if you haven’t played these games, they are available on Xbox and PC/Steam for very reasonable prices.