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So for weeks I've had a few blog ideas in my head and really wanted to get them typed up. Sadly I'm just still too busy to regularly post, as some of you already know. In this post, I've merged the two blog ideas into one single post. There isn't enough in either to merit a full blog post anyway. Also this is my first go at the new editing system, hope it goes well :)
Minecraft is In Need of Fish Eye
Minecraft has finally pick axed and dug its way into my life and it's gotten a firm grasp around me. Really it's gotten problematic but I love this game and love killing time in it. Even though there isn't a whole lot of "game" in it, imo where you basically have to make the game for yourself.
But this isn't about talking about Minecraft, I want to talk about some features in this game. Well into this games crust, a friend invited me to for some online cooperative play. Needless to say, he was much further than I was, knew way more tricks and had a ton more valuable stuff than I did. And this friend of mine introduced me to two features in this game: you can turn off the hand and the HUD so that all your view isn't obstructed. All this time I had been taking screenshots all wrong!
But yeah, I was screwing with this feature and trying to get some gnarly shots in the game world, but what dawned on me is that the default view is kind of weak. And it could be fixed by giving the option for a "fish eye" view. For those who do not know, the following is a camera with a fish eye lens.
And this is the difference that such a nifty attachment makes:
In short, it makes you see considerably more in the image than a standard lens does. And this also happens to make the picture look that much more amazing, though everything in it has this rather queasy curve look about it. Not a photographer myself, I still know that this equipment is expensive, IRL however for a video game we're only talking a matter of coding. You see it seems that Minecraft uses the default type of view. So how awesome would it be if we could get the option to see in a fish eye, and take even better pictures. Well very awesome actually!
Anyway, below are some examples of pictures I've taken in Minecraft and what they would look like with a fish eye -- sort of, I'm not an image editing whiz.
Of course, with recent news, I'm sure this won't even be a possibility. But then again it isn't that important, I didn't decide to write about this blog because Minecraft is in the news right now. Rather this was just an itch to get some thoughts jotted down.
How Fallout 4 Can Take the series' Immersion to the Next Level
I'm a big fan of Fallout, there isn't a doubt about that. Without going into too much history, I hated 3 from the moment I put it into my PS3, flung out the disk immediately and didn't play it till urged to give it another go out of curiosity, at which point I melted for that game. Then New Vegas was a no brainer for me -- side note: damnit I wish I got the collector's edition. And one of the big aspects of the game, new to me at the time, was the music.
I'm a mighty man!
Ah yes, that was not what I excepted to be introduced to, staring at that gritty artwork on the box. And I'm thankful that they've decided to go with this route for Fallout. It really did expand my horizons and make me way more open minded, as I'll tell you all about in a second. For a little background, the Fallout games take place in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi world where instead of the Cold War being uneventful in the nuclear warfare department, the world is torn to hell with explosive radiation. Since the 1950's in this world, culture never really moved forward, which is why even though Global Nuclear War happens in 2077, the game is bleeding with 1950's American War era cultural references, music, attire, slang and other phenomenon. It's complicated, but you can read up on the backstory here.
So we get this game, that is essentially an RPG -- originals were from a top-down perspective and the new ones switched up the formula for FPS -- that is brutally violent and depressing (the formula for grit), with the music of our grandparents playing all the while. And this is why the soundtrack stood out to me as significant, it created a contrast between these two opposites. This was uncanny and an effect to die for.
Several sentences back I mentioned becoming more open minded. Well yeah, because I now have Nat King Cole in my music library, introduced to me by Fallout, I see that era of time as a cultural gold mine instead of just being something we're forced to learn in class boo. I now have a greater interest for that culture and that has led me to discover and become addicted to television from that time. Thankfully there is a channel for this purpose, called Antenna TV. It has the classics of television. Sitcoms, dramas, movies, etc. It's really great and I've been taking my time going through different shows one by one. Something that would've never happened otherwise.
Looks like some of the Vault-Tec billboards in Fallout, doesn't it? This is the Patty Duke Show
So I say, the next level of immersion is this: We already have 50's music in Fallout, how about 50's television? I hope Bethesda is reading this. It would be sick if they got the rights to some really old TV shows -- or made up their own like with what they did with Dean Martin -- to be made viewable and have appearances in the next installment of this franchise. To me, this would increase the immersion that devs and our journalists make so sought after.
Now I brainstormed this a little and the main counterpoint I could come up with is that there is no television in the Fallout world. Makes sense, how could there be space for TV in a post-apocalyptic fiction? However, that is simply not true and easily proven against. For starters, there are plenty of television sets throughout the franchise. There is also electricity, for example some local areas have power generators for personal use and some bigger colonies just have power for some reason, such as the Las Vegas strip. And of course, there are all the computer monitors that are practically all functional -- even the corrupt ones -- such as the terminals or the faces of the securitrons. However, the thing that irks me is I cannot think of a single television set working in the game. The only thing that comes to mind is the opening sequence of the original Fallout but nothing more recent than that.
And I will close out here: Picture this; you, the player, have just returned from a quest where you took out a gang of raiders. They tore your health bar in two. Your clothes are stained with gunpowder and blood. You take a seat at the bar and the commercial on the nearby television set catches your attention.
(skip to 0:50)
Then your vision gets all hazy because you've been taking down med-xs and psychos like a clown takes down ribbons