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Topics - Dincrest

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General Discussions / The "7 plots of literature" discussion.
« on: March 25, 2012, 09:46:03 AM » This site looks at the various theories of there being 1, 3, 7, 24, or 36 basic literary plots and that every story boils down to one of these.  

I figured this would be a good time to bring up this topic of discussion since the Hunger Games film is out and we're already seeing people spouting stuff like, "Yeah, I already saw it back in 2000 when it was called Battle Royale" and other stuff about how they don't have to see Hunger Games to know that "it's just a cheap knockoff of 'the original.'" (which, you know, isn't a truly original concept.  It's certainly been done before.)  I'm reminded also of the "Simpsons Did It!" episode of South Park. 

Basically, no matter what story you see, someone already did it first because there are only a finite number of plots, right?  Reflects the finite nature of the human experience?  For me, I don't expect true originality in my stories, but I do expect good storytelling.  I feel as if "How To Train Your Dragon" explored the same themes as "Avatar" much more effectively and presented IMO a more engaging story.  It's like two chefs making mac 'n cheese and one just pleasing my palate more I guess.  

So, do folks buy into any of these plot theories presented in the link?  Why or why not?  

Do you think there are any plot points that these theories overlooked?  

Is "so-and-so did it first" an acceptable argument against a story's credibility?  When does that argument go from being decent to pseudointellectual snobbery?  

In looking at the various mediums we enjoy at the 'Fan (video games, movies, books, comics/manga), is that "been there done that" feeling stronger in one medium vs another?

Basically, discuss and debate the whole notion of "finite plot" theories and perhaps even how we use them when trying to argue a point.  



I'm a couple hours into the demo and man is it FUN!  The 2D sidescrolling goodness makes me feel like a kid again.  If you dig games like Popful Mail, Eternal Daughter, or the VanillaWare stuff, this'll be up your alley.  The storyline is pretty basic so far, centering around an adventurous young girl named Arche who's new in town and trying to fit in.  She's pretty deft with a sword, but all the kids in her new school use magic and her family can't afford an Elemental Stone to allow her to participate in magic class.  Although Arche makes a new friend, there are a couple of students who tease her and stuff.  She doesn't let it get to her, though.  I like that even though the mages tell her that she should wield a staff or dagger, she cheerfully says how she likes using swords.  

Yeah, the story isn't Le Morte de Arthur or anything, but this game is more about the gameplay anyway.  The graphics are stylish but nothing flashy.  The style is more cartoony cutesy.  The vibe of the game is so cute... but even in the early going it's no stroll down lollipop lane.  Button mashing will actually put you in harm's way and its finessed use of the controls that will see you through even normal battles.  The controls are fairly tight, though jumping can be a little floaty.  This is definitely a game you want to play with a gamepad.  

As soon as I met a swordswoman at an armor shop complaining about revealing armor, I totally grinned since that's something I complain about all the time in my reviews.  

The only negative I have is that the music is pretty nondescript.  The voices are cute, though. 

I'd recommend checking out the demo.  This doujin 2D sidescrolling action-RPG is quite fun.  

EDIT: I just finished the demo (the prologue).  2 hours 41 minutes and I even unlocked an optional bonus dungeon, which was amusing to do.

My mom got me a Kindle for my birthday back in May.  She had gotten one before then and she sold it on me.  I love it now (currently reading The Taqwacores on it.)  So I ask, what are some good "indie" or self-published novelists who may have e-books available for e-readers?  Genre-wise, I'm mostly an epic fantasy and sci-fi (I love cyberpunk) kind of guy, but a good book in any genre is a good book. 

I would think that e-readers would be a place for independent writers not on Simon and Schuster (or a reasonable facsimile) to showcase their works, right? 

Just like in the local music scenes (I myself play in a local punk band) I like seeing what's in the underground, and I want to try and do the same for writers.  Look for writers in the underground. 

General Discussions / Why the best kids' books are written in blood
« on: June 11, 2011, 02:15:08 PM »

Pull quote: "Does Ms. Gurdon honestly believe that a sexually explicit YA novel might somehow traumatize a teen mother? Does she believe that a YA novel about murder and rape will somehow shock a teenager whose life has been damaged by murder and rape? Does she believe a dystopian novel will frighten a kid who already lives in hell?" -Sherman Alexie


Some of my favorite albums released in 2010 are (in ABC order):  

Abnormality- The Collective Calm in Mortal Oblivion (EP)- female-fronted death metal.  Their song "Visions" is on Rock Band 2.  I think Mallika is the best female death growler on the scene now.  One of the coolest people I've ever met too.  

Abserdo- Raising a Pervert (Crossover thrash from a precocious young band.  The guys are in the 18-20 age range and sound more refined and mature than their years.  Really a band to keep an eye on.

Gholas- 3агадка- Really good doom, sludge metal.  

Raymond Strife & Swisschz- Self-Loathing Egomaniac- It's been a long time since a hip-hop album really made me groove heavily, and this one did.  "Spawn #1" from it is my favorite hip-hop song of 2010.  And Ray's a really cool guy.  

The jury's still out on #5, but two albums I really want to listen to are "Full of Hell" by Howl (doom stoner metal) and "Scenes From Hell" by Sigh (a unique Japanese metal band), both of which are said to be fantastic. UPDATE: The Sigh album is incredible; one of the most unique records I've heard in a long time.  Definitely one of 2010's best metal releases in my mind at least.

So what are some of your favorite albums of 2010?  And tell us a little about them, if you will.  Good music is always welcome here.  

To the RPGM Developers:

Firstly, I'd like to say that it has been amazing to see how far the scene has come since Aveyond back in 2005.  The commercial RPGM scene has grown exponentially and the accelerated growth has seen the bar constantly being raised in many areas.  As you know, RPGFan is quite supportive of the indie scene and I myself believe that, as with music, the next big thing will come from the underground.  

That being said, because the scene is growing so rapidly, the staff and I felt that some guidelines/policies regarding how we handle the scene were needed.  The scene is very recent and we ourselves are new to it, so we've been taking things as we go along; basically growing along with the scene.   I'll be honest, with the scene blooming as rapidly as it is, we at RPGFan are doing our best to define our evolving role within it.  The bottom line is that we want to support the scene while still maintaining our level of professional integrity.  And we want there to be a good relationship between us at RPGFan and you the indie devs.  

This is what the staff as a whole have come up with after much laborious discussion.  

1) If we review an RPGMaker game, it should be a commercial (for profit) title rather than a freeware title.  This is because commercial titles tend to avoid the major pitfalls in 2 and 2a.  

2) The game should not have "plagiarized" content such as music or sprites from other games.  This has, thus far, never been an issue in commercial RPGMaker titles, but it's very commonplace in freeware RPGMaker titles.   Xenogears music and Dragon Quest sprites, for example,  belong in Xenogears and Dragon Quest respectively.  Anti-plagiarism policy applies to storylines/scripts as well.  

2a) Freeware titles are more numerous than fleas on an Old English Sheepdog and, well, a lot of them just aren't very good and/or have borrowed content.   As a semi-professional site, we're more interested in evaluating commercial RPGM titles since those are professional/semi-professional in nature as well.  

3) With games like Aldorlea's Millennium and Warfare's Dark Souls 2 (to name two examples) raising the bar on the production values possible in an RPGM title, our standards/expectations from developers will naturally go up as well.  We now ask that a commercial RPGM game we review have some original aesthetic content in the character art, sprites, tilesets, and/or music.  With the scene being what it is now with so many games sporting original/custom content, a game that uses 100% stock/default everything probably isn't going to "cut the mustard" with us.  Basically, using a blend of stock and original stuff is perfectly fine given the nature of the toolkit, but we definitely would like to see at least a few aesthetic elements that set your creation apart from someone else's XP or VX title.  For example, Dark Souls may have used stock music, but had original sprites; and Dawn's Light may have used stock graphics but had an original soundtrack.  

Basically, if your RPGM game is aesthetically on par with RPGM games we've already reviewed, then you should be fine.  If it exceeds them, even better.

4) With the scene expanding the way it is (and I love that it is) I may not be able to personally review every commercial RPGM game that comes down the pike (even though I would love to.)  There's so many indie games and only one of me.  With RPGFan I also get assigned to mainstream projects (that sometimes take precedence as per my big bosses), and *gasp* I even have a life outside of RPGFan (heh heh.)  In addition, site policy is that we like to complete retail copies of games prior to reviewing them.  It's time consuming, yes, but we think it's better for the readers.  So other writers may be given the chance to review your games.  Some are bigger old-school fans than I am, some are getting into the scene and don't want me hogging all the fun, and some have even tried their hand with the RPGM software themselves, so rest assured, evaluations of your games will be thorough and fair.  Honest, but still thorough and fair.  Plus, we at the site feel that having multiple editors evaluate RPGM games will show that someone else other than me actually cares about the scene.  

*Please be aware that we care about the indie/underground scene and want to see it grow, even if we don't like every game within it.  It's like with music, I enjoy the progressive-metal genre but I don't like every band within it.        

That being said, I will still be the primary indie/RPGM developer contact.  If you want RPGFan to potentially review your RPGM/indie game, contact me.  I may then have to confer with the rest of the staff about it (since they're now taking more stock in this growing scene as well).  If we accept to review your game, I'll be the one assigning/distributing the reviewables to other staff members and I'll get back to you with the email contact of the staff member reviewing the game.  

5) We've been asked about doing affiliates in the past. We generally do not, since it could be construed as a conflict of interest.  However, the Computer RPG boards are open to promote your games and/or you can contact our advertising/marketing person (you'll find him on the staff page) about possibly having a banner ad on the boards.  We had a banner ad for Blossomsoft's Eternal Eden at one point.

I think these protocols are reasonable, especially with the scene growing at the exponential rate it is.  We ourselves at RPGFan are growing with the scene.  Any questions or concerns you may have, shoot me a PM or an email (it's on the staff page) and if I can't answer it, I'll point you to someone else on staff who can.  

Talk about your recently viewed movies here.  


I just came back from seeing Transformers today.  It completely exceeded all my expectations (which weren't super high since I'm not a Michael Bay fan and I'm a Transformers fanboy).  This reimagining of the classic franchise gets a thumbs up in my book.  Sure some things weren't "tr00" to the Transformers I grew up with, but as a reimagining of a classic concept for a new generation, it was terrific.  

The in-movie music was good, the transforming sequences were cool, and everyone was very well cast.  Shia was great as Sam.  

I liked that they gave Bumblebee some 'tude and loads of personality.  That first scene where he
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completely destroys that VW bug Bobby Bolivia tried to sell Sam was great.  

The action sequences were amazing and I liked that Michael Bay eased up on his trademark "shaky camera" techniques, which kinda make me seasick in other Michael Bay films.  

Film was fast paced, wall to wall action, and just loads of fun.  The little  
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hacker bot that started life as a boombox in Air Force One stole the show for a lot of the audience.

I still hold my opinion that Meat Loaf's "And I would do anything for love (but I won't do that)" music video is still the best thing Michael Bay ever directed.

Next weekend, I plan to see the Simpsons movie.  I have VERY high expectations for that since I've been a Simpsons fan from day one and still think it's the greatest TV show to have ever existed.

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