Thursday, April 28, 2005

Astro McFly...Now In Technicolor

More on this soon. I mean it this time.

Sausage Link (Get it?!? Cause its a link....and...)

More more and more in a few days coming.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Parody Me This

I never thought I'd be able to hammer this out in one and a half weeks.

But here it is, in all its Flash animated glory...
I present to you....Project Two. Or is it Three? Jesus, I don't fucking know anymore. Its a parody project, and at 3 AM in the morning that's more than enough of a damned identifier for me:


This was one hell of a ride to create.
The moment I got the idea for the project I opened Notepad and immediately began jotting down ideas.
Everyone (well not everyone...a lot of people) has seen those commercials done by the US Army. They feature closeups of soldiers standing tall and proud, silhouetted against the sunset, or standing stoically over their work from their field of expertise, like a mortar, and saying simple phrases meant to stir the heart like "If there is terror overseas...I shall confront it" or "I am a protector of our country".
This continues while a heart swelling, patriotic tour de force plays in the background until it ends, finally, on one soldier saying "I am an army of one" and everyone watching goes "Wow" and their hearts are supposed to swell with pride as they are inspired to get their fatsacks off the couch to enlist for a few years of getting your ass kicked.

I'd also recently watched the flash animation "I am Resident Evil" by Legendary Frog. If you haven't seen it, just google "I Am Resident Evil" and it should be the first one that pops up. It takes the same style as the commercial, except applies it to the popular scare-your-pants-off zombie survival game Resident Evil.

So I thought why not apply it to executives of big corporations?
It made sense at the time.

ANYWAYS...first came the obvious ones: Starbucks, WalMart, Enron, Shell, Microsoft.
Then I hit up some of my friends and asked them for some names of corporations that had a reputation for being asses in general. This dug up some more names: Reebok, McDonalds, the RIAA, ConAgra, Disney, Firestone.
Once I had all my names, I could start animating...all I needed was voicework.

Thank sweet fuck almighty god that the internet exists.

If it weren't for the internet, there is no way I would have been able to have received all of my voicework in the time I did.

But there it is.

"I Am Corporate Greed", presented by yours truly.

I'm going to bed.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

What Do You Want From My Life???

Still haven't figured out how to make this dungheap work.

Please god someone help me.

Link...He Come To Town...Come To Save...Th- Nevermind
(The link above doesn't have any of the music files attached to it, since I finally got that already figured out, for fuck's sake. All code involving the sounds attached has been commented out.)

Show Me The Money! And By Money I Mean Sketches!

We may.
Just may.
Have progressed out of the initial planning stages of things.

I am a link. Hear me roar.
There is the initial gamescreen design for the game that we have (temporarily) christened "Astroy McFly"

Here's the concept: you play as Astro McFly, someone who is very Astro, and Fly.

You pilot your spaceship, unofficially named by me as the McFly Express, through the dangerous byways and flyways of space, avoiding asteroid debris, dodging the fuzz, who are trying to shoot you down, and collecting parts to mixed drinks, which just happen to be floating in space, to please your cargo of celebrity partygoers.

Awwww yeah.

I too am a link. Hear me roar.
In other news this is the first time I've ever been able to tell someone "I just drew a spaceship with an afro" and mean it.
(For those of you who are easily lost, the link goes to sketches for some potential designs for the McFly Express)

I am a link. Here me mumble incomprehensibly about roaring.
That is the game schematic....a sort of map of how the game is going to go from one screen to the next, starting from the loading screen all the way up til the Win/Lose screen at the end of the game.
Its not pretty. If it had a name, it would be "Grigor" and would have the unusual hobby of wrestling bears into submission using the weight of its ugliness alone.

Russian bear wrestling by ugly aside, that is what we have so far....there seems to be a general consensus that its a good design for the game. Though our lead programmer seems to be missing.

I'll get back to this at a later date.

An Addendum

For those of you who care (and you shouldn't, considering you're still reading this despite the title of this little thing), it has occurred to me that there is a chance that I may be absolutely fucking wrong in everything I said in the post below this one.

If that turns out to so you all have permission to beat me with a sack of oranges.

O Heart! Or Parody!

Thank heaven for parody or we'd all take the world a bit too seriously.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am of the firm belief that Jerry and Mike have once again proven themselves online comics masters by pulling this out of their collective asses.
Its a pure mark of perfectly orchestrated internet genious that Penny Arcade has managed to not only make fun of the absurdity of webcomic breakups, but to make us actually believe that they are experiencing one themselves.

...webcomic breakups?

For those of you who out there who actually have social lives outside of the computer and the world of webcomics, there have been a few notable breakups of fantastic webcomics created by multiple author/writer/illustrator teams, most notable of these the breaking off of Largo from the writing team of the much-celebrated comic Megatokyo.
Many viewers have, since then, had nothing but beautiful, glowing flames and complaints to heap on the new one-man Megatokyo comic.

I remember first reading the Penny Arcade news post for that first comic that I linked up there at the end of last week.
I thought it was for real. Gabe and Tycho, the two-man cornerstone of the webcomic world, were breaking up. It couldn't be happening. It couldn't possibly.
It would be an event that would affect the world of webcomics while Tycho's writing defines the humor of Penny Arcade, its Gabe's art that is the visual identity of the comic, which is almost as important given that its a comic...not one of those ebooks that you get off of obscure literature websites.

I remember my heart skipping a beat when I first lay eyes on the comic the next day and found Gabe's art gone....and not in the way it skips when you see a burning fox of a woman walking down the road. No, this was more the OH GOD ITS HAPPENING ITS FUCKING HAPPENING WHAT THE F- kind of skip. It was the end of an era. The end of an -age-....a golden age of comics. Tycho couldn't draw to save a bag of dog droppings. I was watching history unfolding before me, a new era in webcomics was beginning, and I had a feeling that it involved a lot of good old fashioned downhill rolling.

Thank heaven for parody or we'd all take the world a bit too seriously.

Long live Penny Arcade.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Game Genre: Suspense/Horror Exploration and Puzzle Solving

Working in a group that consists of both artists and programmers, I am of the belief that any project we undertake should balance both of these aspects of creating a game in Flash. Not too art-heavy, yet not too code-heavy, either.
A suspense style or survival/horror type game would be perfect in this situation. The artists of the group (and myself) get to flex their imaginative muscles on drawing environments, critters, backgrounds, objects, and creating the visual and audio ambience of the entire game, while puzzles and environmental and even possibly time-based events will keep the programmers busy figuring out how to incorporate code into a graphical environment while still making the puzzles and mini-games easy enough to play, yet interesting enough to drive the story along.
The specific theme…..whether it be vampires, zombies, lycanthropes, abstract spectral beings, cosmic horrors, or ghosts….is unimportant. Its equally easy to be frightened by a shambling ghoul as it is to be frightened by hands bursting from the walls. What is important is that the game must play towards the viewer’s fear of the unknown, the unseen, while still driving the viewer to explore and discover further. The setting can be any number of places…a park, a manor, an underground lab.
I’m hesitant on deciding on story-wise and environmental specifics without the rest of the group’s input…if everyone can agree on a theme or setting that they like, it makes the project that much easier to work on.
As it is, I, personally, have always wanted to work on a project where I could stretch the more twisted parts of my imagination and show them to a wider audience.
That, and its fun to try to scare the flying pants off of people.

Friday, April 08, 2005


I've told people that a computer's operating system is much akin to whatever it is that connects the human brain to the rest of the human body. Without it, the computer is retarded. Nothing but a brain, which, as wondrous and complex as it is, is about as useful as a spongy lump of fat and cholesterol can be in any other situation when it has nothing else attached to it.

I'm sending this post out now from the Syracuse University computer labs located near Kimmel Dormitories, because my computer has turned into a paralyzed vegetable capable of only four words.

"Operating System Not Found"

Tomorrow morning I'm going to try to wrangle myself a new hard drive from the student store and get Windows installed on it, and hopefully, the data on my hard drive will still be salvagable.



It's come to my attention fairly recently that I swear a lot in my blog. Namely the word 'fuck.' Well, not a lot, but more than is to be expected....the profanity is there, in other words. Especially when you note that this blog is supposed to be for a class, though I post other non-class related stuff in there as well.

But why, Patrick? Why the dirty mouth? Surely there are other ways of expressing yourself that doesn't involve the words fuck, shit, and damn.

Well I don't know about 'damn' and 'shit.' But I would like to say this.

"Fuck" has got to be one of the most versatile words in the English language.

I can make it mean anything. Nouns. Adjectives. Verbs. Adverbs. Conjunctions.
It can be used to punctuate a sentence, to add an extra emphasis to a sentence or to take away from a sentence.
George Carlin even proved that fuck could be just as effective put inside another word too, i.e. in-fucking-credible, or unbe-fucking-lievable.

It can be used to get an idea across very quickly, and very effectively.
"Fuck off" has half the length, and about three times the punch of "Leave me alone."

In other words, I like the word fuck.
Its a valued, versatile, and hardworking member of my vocabulary.

If any of you have a problem with it....
....too fucking bad.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Damn My Eyes. Or Fingers, Rather


When my instructor told me oh so many weeks ago to -save- constantly, and to -save- many versions of your Flash work in seperate files.
He wasn't kidding.

Of course, I, being the collosal dum-dum that I am, didn't listen until I've already lost a metric fuckton of work in my last Flash Actionscripting exercise.

The original idea was to create a lens flare effect, similar to the one I posted down below a few posts ago, except to elaborate on it and make it look not-quite-so-crappy.
Attach a sound, change the shapes, bind the lens flare to the mouse. While not quite as easy as pie, there's still a progression there.
However, as I have taken care to mention before, I am a colossal dum-dum.
Somewhere along the line I managed to totally lose any semblance of sound or mouse-tracing in the entire project. The code for the sound is -there-.
mySound = new Sound();
...which is the code for creating a new sound object, is sitting -right there- in the middle of my code.
All things considered, the moment I hit Ctrl+Enter, I should hear the sound of a grown man crying from some unspoken atrocity being committed on him.
But instead, I am greeted with the stony silence of the ages. And some circles that drift across the screen when I click the mouse.
I have managed to do the simpler things like bind object alphas and the actual drifting to the click of the mouse:

But any semblance of the tribal wonders of a lens flare shining behind a the silhoutte of a colossal, nameless pyramid have thus far been lost in the seas of my stupidity.

Damn my eyes. Or rather, my fingers. Damn my fingers.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Down With The Sickness

Isn't being sick a wonderful thing?


Unless we're talking psychologically sick, if you said 'yes' I reserve the right to give you a left hook across the jaw.
Being sick blows. It blows harder than a northern wind coming down from Greenland if they installed a huge-ass fan that spanned the width of the country, powered by a half dozen nuclear power plants the size of Kentucky.

And that's pretty hard.

One of the many many reasons it sucked like a whore out of Amsterdam is it kept me from focusing on....-anything-....for a full two or three weeks. I can't really say for sure whether it was two or three, cause I was too damn delirious to pay any attention.

At any rate, I saw the movie Sin City over the weekend.
Go see it.
Now. RIGHT now. Go here -> Find the theater nearest you. Buy tickets. Wait for the time to come. Then SEE THE MOVIE. If there was a way for me to reach through this screen to collar you and shake you back and forth while saying this I would.
I kid you not. Sin City is, bar none, the most amazing movie I have ever seen. I will tell you no more about it, because that's how I went in seeing it, and to be honest it utterly blew me away.
If this doesn't get big I will be shocked.
Of course, if this gets big, there will come the inevitable fanboys, the endless quoting of lines from the movies, the mobs of fans, and of course, the inevitable endless parodies.

First will come Saturday Night Live, and MAD TV. Then the Simpsons, or South Park. If Family Guy still ran, it would be Family Guy, too. And don't even mention the endless amounts of internet prop it would get.

Is this a bad thing?

It can be a bad thing. Things like satire drive such nice things harder into the mass marketing spotlight, which tends to have a habit of spoiling the nicer, fewer-and-farther-between works of art that come out once in a blue moon. On the other hand, it makes for some truly genious work in multimedia all on its own as well. Just look at Newgrounds (, the premiere online location for independant flash artists and has an entire section devoted to parodies, tributes, and imitations done in Flash.

I may as well jump on the bandwagon. Sketches and ideas to come soon.

That last sentence took about fifteen minutes to write. Its impossible to write anything when you hack up a lung everytime you write a word.

I hate being sick.