Category Archives: Creative_Writing

Yoda’s Species Follow-Up

A couple weeks ago when I posted my personal head canon regarding Yoda’s species, I got a couple of interesting comments in response. I’ve been mulling them over since I read them, and as I think they bring up some good ideas. Instead of just letting them drive me nuts because I wasn’t clever enough to think of them the first time around, I’ve decided to do an official response to them here. At least this way we can all geek out together (again) instead of me trying to do it quietly in my own head.

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The internet, as seen a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

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Yoda’s Species Finally Revealed

For a series with as much lore as Star Wars, it always amazes me when certain details are left undefined. Don’t get me wrong, I do see the appeal in leaving bits of data blank; the imagination of writers often pales in comparison to the variety and scale of the fan theories that will arise in its absence. However, Star Wars is rarely the type of franchise that leaves stones unturned. There are entire encyclopedias of information about the Star Wars universe that never makes it into the movies, games, or other official media. The ridiculous extent to which the story takes its world building is part of what rocketed George Lucas into film and sci-fi history — and why it seems so odd to me that no official name for Yoda’s species has ever been established.

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Until now, that is.

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The Secret Legend of Princess Zelda

Well, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you by now that the interwebs are buzzing like a hive of fangasming hornets about the plethora of reveals made at E3 so far. Gamers around the globe have been inundated with so much new information that many folks can’t even pick a topic to squeal about, which I quickly noticed when a friend of mine IMed me as soon as I got online and covered three different topics in a single sentence.

Among the many reveals Tuesday was Nintendo’s announcement of a new collaborative spin-off for the Legend of Zelda series. Partnering with Tecmo Koei, Hyrule Warriors offers a departure from the typical LoZ dungeon crawl and keeps a much tighter focus on the combat. Between the Dynasty Warriors-esque gameplay style, the abundance of playable female characters, and Link’s decision to partake in the trend of protagonists sporting rad new scarves, there’s been a lot of chatter in the last 48 hours.

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Leaving that much vital chest area exposed doesn’t seem very wise for the person the holding the Triforce of Wisdom.

Zelda in particular has been getting a lot of the attention. While this isn’t the first time she’s been playable, one would think that the series’ title character would’ve had a lot more active roles by now as opposed to spending the bulk of the last 25 years as the proverbial carrot on a stick. Furthermore, the only two games in which Zelda is actually the protagonist are sorta… well… they’re not quite… they… okay they suck. For this reason, many a fan is celebrating the news that we’ll all be able to assume the role of the iconic princess without having to bother with possessing phantoms, entering a fighting tournament, or obtaining outrageously rare hardware and software that isn’t even fun to play.

But perhaps the bigger news is the fact that we’ve all played as Zelda plenty of times before without even realizing it.

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The Deception of Gender-Neutrality

In the wake of the Dec. 9th announcement of Dina Abou Karam as Comcept’s community manager, the gaming community is still feeling the aftershocks of screeching dudebros splitting the earth. Outcries range from simply not getting along with her personality to demanding that she be fired from the team and/or refunding donation money. Karam’s big crime? Suggesting on the Mighty No. 9 forums that the female audience receive more acknowledgement. Oh, and being a woman herself.

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The unanticipated backlash of Karam’s appointment has once again raised the issue of the grotesque amounts of sexism and misogyny present in the world of video games. Discussions have fired off over the harassment of female gamers (such as what’s happening to Karam) as well as the under-representation of women in games themselves (which was Karam’s original point). I was going to write an article that examined these issues as well, but my attention shifted to something more subtle — and more insidious.

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Portfolio Piece: Baker Cat vs. Hellthy Veggies

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Project Length: 5 Weeks (5/4/13 – 6/1/13)
Team: Loud Cat (4 Members)
My Roles: Concept art, Game Mechanics, Character Development, Artwork (Environment, Weapons, Interface)
End Product: Full Game (Android)

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In late spring 2013, I became a member of Team Loud Cat, which to date has been my most successful team. With little more intent than the decision to make a mobile game, we centered on the idea of a chaotic top-down shooter that broke the mold of fighter jets and roaming tanks. After quickly agreeing that junk food vs. veggies could have mass appeal, we settled on a cat as the protagonist, at least partly to honor our team name. Zach Allen, our programmer, nicknamed the project Baker Cat vs. The Veggies.

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Baker Cat vs. Hellthy Veggies is the most adorable bullet hell gamers have ever seen. Players take on the role of the Baker Cat, who’s had enough of this ridiculous health food craze and is determined to bring delicious baked goods back into the public spotlight! Employing the use of donuts, cookies, cupcakes, and frosting, Baker Cat progresses through either a farmer’s market or an organic farm to eliminate the veggies — and it’s just as well, because it seems like the vegetables are getting a little out of control…

Both adults and children enjoy this exciting cute-’em-up, which offers a refreshing mix of challenging gameplay, catchy music, and fun characters and environments. Baker Cat is available free for Android via the Google Play Store.

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Sandopolis’s Spooky Secret

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to take a gander at some spooky elements to our favorite video games. Despite my desire to write about Batman: Arkham Origins, that game actually takes place during Christmas, so I figured I should expand my view beyond the game that’s currently sucking away every free moment of my existence. There are the usual suspects, such as Silent Hill or Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but I doubt there’s anything I could say about them that hasn’t already been written by players far more familiar than me — or in some cases, hilariously illustrated in a video.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already accustomed to taking the road less traveled anyway, so today we’re going to take a closer look at one of the more notorious levels in Sonic & Knuckles: Sandopolis Zone. In addition to difficult terrain and a sharp increase in challenge difficulty, Sandopolis also introduces the Sonic canon to ghosts.

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Anyone that’s played this game probably recalls a neurotic fixation with keeping the lights on and a lot of cursing when Sonic Adventure 2 revived the use of ghosts in 1998.

The ghosts (or “hyudoro” as they’re technically known) do a good job of spooking up the pyramid and making the level generally more annoying. For most of their screen time, they’re not even actually a threat, but the mere presence of one, two, or three extra sprites on the screen (no pun intended) can still prove distracting. Overall, they’re typically regarded by the Sonic community as a level gimmick that’s thankfully tucked away within a single act of a single game.

I, on the other hand, did what I do best and poured way too much thought into the topic, which has led me to a surprisingly dark conclusion.

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Original Story: Uurha

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Part 3 of 3: The New World

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Original Story: Uurha

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Part 2 of 3: The Test

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Original Story: Uurha

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Part 1 of 3: Madame Dibi’s Resolution

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Original Story: Uurha

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This map depicts the setting of Part 1 of the story.

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