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Aaron Blain

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About Aaron Blain

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  1. Aaron Blain

    Doom 1 and 2 are ugly?

    I completely agree. I think the main thing is that Doom was forging into territory where techniques were not well established, and what they achieved was pretty good, especially with a small team. If you look at the characters from ROTT or Mortal Kombat 1 nowadays, they look a bit static and silly. If Doom had a team of highly-trained anime artists doing all the rotations, the game could have looked much better. There just wasn't a strong connection between traditional animation and videogame art in the western sphere, it seems. Japanese games from that era just hold up much better, visually. Your point about in-betweens is a good one. Perhaps Aladdin is a bad example. (I mentioned it because of its strong, expressive keyframes.) Look at Magic Sword from 1990. Many cool enemies with 3-4 frames per animation, that are very expressive. Doom looks O.K. . It's not a timeless beautiful thing like Mario 3 or Day of the Tentacle. It's a little janky overall, but it's adequate and it has some good bits and tons of personality. I love it the way it is, but I'm not shocked or offended when the uninitiated call it ugly. BTW, re PoP -- if anyone hasn't already watched this, the story of how the creator filmed his little brother in order to animate the game is great.
  2. Aaron Blain

    Doom 1 and 2 are ugly?

    Off the top of my head, Shinobi 3 and Aladdin were released in 1993 for the Genesis and feature character animation drastically superior to Doom's. (Vastly higher production values, I assume.) Although stretch/squash is a stylistic choice, Doom's characters also simply have poor poses and poor frame timing. Watch an imp walk. What the hell is happening with its arms and legs? The characters are generally quite wooden and have little sense of weight. Some of them look better than others. Baron is pretty good but still very stiff. The low-tier monsters are the worst. Heretic and especially Hexen have individual frames that are much better-drawn than Doom's but, as discussed by M_W and others, have rather poor timing. It's been a wish of mine for some time now to re-make Doom's characters in Blender, with good animation, but eh maybe just let Doom be what it is. Doom's retail levels are ugly overall. Some of Doom 1 looks pretty good but Doom 2 is largely pretty bad. And I always insist on 320x200, which helps tremendously. Doom rode on the strength of its engine, and its atmosphere. The art and design range from pretty good to adequate to poor. There are many games from that era with much better art. Also - whole other topic here, but later 'Doom-like' environments make extensive use of irregularly-shaped sprite decorations to break the visual planes and create a more natural-feeling space. REKKR does this brilliantly, but there's already a huge improvement between Doom and Hexen.
  3. Aaron Blain

    Does Mayonnaise belong on pizza?

    This movie is a little bit more evocative of froyo or marshmallow fluff, however: I'm from Appalachia, where ranch dressing is a standard pizza condiment. I never heard of mayo on a pizza, but I can't judge anyone.
  4. Aaron Blain

    Should we develop a universal meaning for the like system?

    I interpret the ambiguity of the DW 'Like' function as intentionally subversive. Mostly, I see it as a way to express appreciation or agreement without cluttering threads with redundant posts.
  5. Aaron Blain

    Does Coding Require Any Math?

    I understand the worry that math will make programming difficult. But in my experience, it's oddly the other way around - programming makes math easier, more interesting and more relevant to my interests. For example, I didn't do very well in highschool trig. But, when in my game development I started to think about rotating something, suddenly I had an interest in trig functions. They had context and they 'clicked' for me in a way they didn't before.
  6. Aaron Blain

    Do you guys even lift?

    Ah, sorry, a weird phrase. Competitive male posturing. Phallus waving. Urination contests. Do you even do pointer arithmetic, Bro? I get a macho kick out of C. But then I don't program for a living, so it's all a game to me. Another subject where egos are a problem.
  7. Aaron Blain

    What are your top 10 most beloved video games?

    If any of you Dark Souls fans have an original Xbox, I highly recommend both Otogi games. I don't know why on earth they haven't been re-released on modern systems.
  8. Aaron Blain

    Do you guys even lift?

    If you count your reps backward it shaves off an instruction. Noice. Do you other bros even code, bro? It's great to not be a douchebag, and to make it this far in life with virtually no experience with one-upmanship.
  9. Aaron Blain

    The Compare and ranking thread.

    I totally get that. I was exactly the right age to be obsessed with Mortal Kombat 1 & 2 at the peak of their popularity, but the new games are actually maybe a bit much for me. I'm interested in Ghosts of Tsushima but I don't really need that level of violence.
  10. Aaron Blain

    Do you guys even lift?

    Ha! I absolutely did not expect this thread to actually be about lifting. I'm more accustomed to dumb jokes like, "Do you even code, Bro?" or "Are you even liberal, Bro?" or "Do you even drink coffee, Bro?" I'm very fortunate to have a private backyard, where I use a light kettle bell for warmup/cardio, and I have some rusty old adjustable dumbbells that I bought secondhand. Work/life balance constantly intrudes. Not just finding time, but also feeling run-down so often. I live in Brooklyn, have a day job in a cafe, a creative side gig which is basically never done, and out of respect for my wife I have to maintain a certain degree of decorum that I might otherwise allow to lapse as a single dude. It's tough to keep up, but I'm about 20-30 lbs down from my unhealthiest weight (college), and am getting some more definition in my shoulders. It takes less than an hour to warm up and get a few different muscle groups to fatigue/failure a few times. I don't count, just put tension on the muscles until I can't anymore. I have to say that it helps tremendously that my wife and I both love to cook. edit: BTW I recommend looking around for used sporting goods stores. I got everything I needed for under $100. I don't care if it's a little janky.
  11. Aaron Blain

    What are your top 10 most beloved video games?

    Just for fun, some unconventional or obscure choices, in no order: Archon Cossacks: European Wars Gold Box Unholy War Romance of the Three Kingdoms 3 Otogi: Myth of Demons Joust Roma Surrectum 0space
  12. I'm so sorry to hear all this, and I'm not at all surprised. My first taste of this was when I stumbled onto a youtuber called RPGPundit who uses his role in the OSR industry as a pretense to make long reactionary rants. I'd like to wade in and push back against the toxic culture in a patient and reasonable way, but if I'm honest with myself I'm not really a TTRPG player anymore (I'm a wargamer), so I don't feel qualified to argue in this sphere. I think narratives about the past always have this dual quality. Look at the cover art for Great Battles of Alexander. It's a positive, neutral depiction of a Persian and a Spartan as equal, competent counterparts. We could have a whole conversation about 300, but in short I think it's clearly a modern Starship Troopers; but for many fans it's an unironic affirmation of white supremacy. People with both outlooks are inevitably always going to be interacting, and I think you just have to be always on your guard, and always trying to push back against reactionary aggression. Look at Doomworld. I'm always afraid that a reactionary element will creep in here, but when someone comes along who says Doom is an example of how great videogames were before they were ruined by inclusion and human decency, the community responds with zero tolerance. I think we just need people to keep working to nurture the decent side of OSR.
  13. Aaron Blain

    The Compare and ranking thread.

    Boo hiss! ;) AW2 is one of the best games of all time. Each successive game succumbed further to feature creep, power creep, and grimdark. Check out Kozumikku Wozu. It's essentially a Wars game in the Gradius universe. Smash (all) < TowerFall < Samurai Gunn
  14. Aaron Blain

    Subjective vision of new generations

    I agree that only bias makes one era seem absolutely better than another, but I also assert that it's reductive to say that no specific thing ever gets better or worse (at least with respect to some fixed value system). Who here likes medieval art? I think the Book of Kells and the Bayeux Tapestry are captivating. But put them next to, say Laoöcoon and His Sons. I won't say one is objectively better, but things are profoundly different. I began to wonder if something was wrong with me because no big action-adventure movie has sparked a particle of joy in me since . . . the first Avengers? I recently re-watched Conan The Barbarian for the first time in several years and I was thrilled to find that it gives me the same (frankly, spiritual) joy it did ten years ago. Without writing a wall of text exploring the specifics . . . I love oranges, but nowadays they only make apples. With respect to the things in videogames that give me joy, Doom corresponds more to . . . I don't know, maybe Hotline Miami than to Doom Eternal. Another specific case: I love tactical RPG's from 1989 - 1991. I've gone through phases where I'll lie awake at night formulating strategies for Wizard's Crown or Gold Box. But once VGA graphics took off and people suddenly went crazy designing turn-based games for all-mouse-control-all-the-time, I can't stand those games. Eye of the Beholder? Sorry, I just haven't managed to get into it. Even with current indie games, there are lots of design norms that I can't stand - handholding, lock-ins, 'Progress Quest' meters to fill up for everything, etc. etc. Or just compare Doom 2 to Quake 1. The creative factors/process changed and suddenly FPS games became catastrophically less free and fertile. Many of us have a clear favorite, between the two.
  15. I think you'll have better luck searching the Zdoom forums for something that remakes Blood in the GZDoom engine, or brings elements of Blood into Doom. Here's one that I found: https://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?t=64783 I think there are others too. There's also a Shadow Warrior project, and Dark Forces. I'm not sure how far along they are. As for combining bolognese with extensive GZD mods, who knows. It won't hurt to load it up and try, or maybe learn to mess around in Slade yourself. My first thought, from the thread title, was "Brutal Ken's Labyrinth". Water fountains that shoot jets of blood and brains. I mean, heck, we already have Brutal Chex Quest, don't we? Brutal Super 3d Noah's Ark? Why not?