I Made A Superman Game!

Not really.

Just the idea. But it’s a good one!

Making a Superman game is hard. Why? Because Superman is an overpowered character. He’s the symbol of hope, and by that theme alone, he is unstoppable. I mean if you read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series you remember he one an imagery competition by being Hope.

Naturally, the opposite is despair, so Superman needs to fight more existential battles rather than tests of strength. But since personification of that scale is best suited for the Japanese anime culture, we can still use bad guys and magic sticks to make the people of Metropolis (the the universe it lies in) feel despair.

However, I believe I have a good idea for a good beginning. Realize I made this before the 2018 Spider-man game, nearly three years ago in fact, as the Google Docs file tells me.

Enough for my rambling, let’s get on with the show!

First game: Clark Kent growing up in Smallville learning of himself and his powers. He gets to know Earth, and about the morals of good and evil. Makes friends, including Lex Luthor and female friends. Time skip to Clark in his teenage years learning to use his powers in secrecy while balancing a normal life of trying to be a human. After his first successful mission, it time skips to his travels to Metropolis, fully adult and well into his role of being Superman, including having his suit and looking for his job at the Daily Planet. He finally gets his break to reveal himself to the public and while shaky, he saves the day. Then the Superman hype begins. And the beginning of Clark Kent/Superman balancing act begins.

Game play: The method of playing relies a lot on high jumping, fast running, flying, and switching between powers like Batman switches between gadgets. The city has a health bar, not Superman (yes, borrowing this from the Superman 2006 game). And the health bar is contained within the missions, so there is free roaming so the player can enjoy the mechanics of flying around. There can be specific instances superman himself can have a health meter: when the sun is gone, when he is transformed or taken advantage of via magic, Kryptonite will not be introduced yet.

Setting: For the first game it’s mostly small scale, but high in detail to teach the player that superman lives in a cardboard world, and he must try to not break it. Places like Smallville, Metropolis, Gotham, Star City, Jump City, Steel City places he visits mainly as Clark Kent for job missions and personal vendettas are all filled with buildings and people and life.

Presentation: Of course with today’s technology, it’s nothing to make everything look good. The challenge would rely in keeping the balance of great looking graphics, multiple towns, and computer AI people, villains, and enemies to stay looking good, and still have enough depth in the cities and DC universe. Because Superman can be anywhere in no time flat, the machines shouldn’t limit where he can go, and what the villains and Superman should be able to do. And since this is the beginning for Superman, he doesn’t have to be as strong as he will be in upcoming titles. And in speaking of what he can do this may be a drawback, but this first game features a young Superman, which means vulnerable to magic, love, conflicting morals, conflict in making choices of going on a trip with Lois to get a good story, or staying in town to keep Lex from successfully winning the town over by looking like a hero. Nonetheless, he will still be Superman, thus he will have a variety of his powers, eye beams, frost breath, flight, super strength, superhuman speed, and others. And his powers can affect the health of the town. But his powers can also heal and fix the town. Since he is Superman, he can fix a building in a series of mini-games through varies button mashing sessions to earn extra experience, or points, or currency, or fame. If you leave them idle they go to Lex who uses the advantage to make himself look better.

Story: The story as hinted from earlier entries can rely on the relationship of Clark and Lex. Clark goes from being a small-town boy to a big city man with a secret of being a superhero. Lex grows up with Clark and they become friends, but have different worldviews. Those views are what make them grow apart. And later they come back as adults, to Lex, Clark takes a humble route of being a journalist, while he looks to improve Metropolis through force and his secret of underground tactics and under the table handling. Yet, they have an interesting relationship as adults, seeing as Clark is a man of the press and Luthor still holds Clark in some regard as they were friends as kids. Clark uncovers the dark dealings Luthor has been using and plans to take it to light, but Luthor plans to deal with Clark harshly. It is then that Luthor no longer keeps his facade of a do-good citizen but reveals his underhanded plan or controlling the town through force. Superman then takes on Lex, who with an army of robots and his own special suit and realizes the man of steel is unbeatable. It is then revealed that the conspirator that has been helping Lex is none other than Brainiac, who has been analyzing the man in blue since he revealed himself.

Brainiac then takes over Lex’s suit, with the man still in it, and vastly upgrades it. He then turns half of the town into a giant Brainiac-looking war machine that goes to collect everything the town can have to make himself the strong, and then go on to every other town and do the same until the entire world is consumed under Brainiac, and then he will go on to other worlds in the galaxy. Superman in this moment has to save a vast amount of people, in greater numbers, and in faster time than he ever has before. As a building lights up and starts becoming a part of Brainiac, Superman must go through a series of challenges of button mashes to save everyone he can, or stop the mechanics from connecting to a building to begin with. When Brainiac has enough of Superman’s interference, he uses what power he has to bring the man of steel down. Superman quickly learns he can’t completely destroy the building at his current state, and with it being night and the sun intentionally blocked out by Brainiac, Superman must dismantle the giant war machine and then attack the heart of it and take out Brainiac.

Once inside the heart, Superman finds a fusion of Lex and Brainiac. Brainiac is all prepared with the magical Spear of Destiny he found with his extensive knowledge of Earth history. Superman must then fight Brainiac/Lex until it doesn’t look good until Lex takes over for a minute, giving Superman a second chance to turn things around. Defeating Brainiac, he frees Lex and the giant war machines crumbles and the day is officially saved. Lex goes to prison, and Brainiac is kept locked away. The game is finished, but, there is post-game working to do, where you can find the fortress of solitude to give Superman a home away from home. And Metropolis needs to be rebuilt so you can rebuild Metropolis back and earn some great things in doing so.

So, did you like it!? I hope you did, I had fun making it. Tell me how you feel! And if you have comments, critiques, or add-ons, let me know!

Fish “TANKED” Shenanigans

Who doesn’t love a good fish tank? A huge glass box with water, some underwater plants, and colorful aquatic creatures. It’s a combination made for exquisite home design. You can stare at them mindlessly swimming all day, as much as you want! They are super low maintenance, and it’s awesome.

Could you imagine making them for a living? Well Brett and Wayde know what that’s like. They are the stars of the Animal Planet show, Tanked, and they go to ultra rich people and places and make the most extravagant fish tanks ever imagined. I don’t know if it’s going to get me in trouble for posting pictures on the blog here, but here we go:

On top of that, they are funny dudes. From New York, to Las Vegas, they spent many years perfecting their craft and company, and brought the family into it, and now have multiple seasons of a show all over media.

So why am I writing about them?

Well, I got to meet them!

In Lexington, they attended a home and garden convention (so many conventions lately), to showcase themselves. They had a Q and A, and spent some time telling their story to success, and how they landed a TV series. I didn’t get the chance to meet them personally, (unless you count running into Wayde in his hotel as he exits the elevator, then yes!) but I grabbed some pics and will tell you of some of their talk, and future endeavors.

They’re some funny guys, and I and my wife are convinced they are real on and off camera.

Brett explained how they got a television show, despite his father saying he’ll never do it, through his persistence, and his connections, they managed to get off the ground after waiting for a couple of… years. As an artist, that hurt. Imagining your dream being crafted, but then ignored for a couple of years I could feel the hurt when he said he put it away and went on with himself.

Ouch.

But with some connections from college, they became the famous tank builders they are today, and that’s inspiring!

But more importantly, since their show cancellation in December, they have announced “Lifestyle of the Fish and Famous”, they’re YouTube channel coming soon that will be behind the scenes to their works, and how they handle other elements of the job the show didn’t normally see. On top of that they’re talking to a network producer, but keeping any other info close to their chest.

So, if you haven’t watched it, let it be done so! Treat yourself to some great background watching while you read blogs, surf around on Facebook, or play video games.

Museum Shenanigans

Cincinnatti, Ohio is known for being super supportive for the arts. Wood carving, sculpting, painting, the works. Lots of people flock to become known, and to know the bright and beautiful.

Having been there twice now, The Cincinnatti Art Museum is home to three stories of famous art pieces.

I. Love. Going there. I get so inspired by looking at the paintings and seeing peoples and culture from long ago, and not so long ago. The sculptures are always a thrill to look at. It’s unbelievable how one person can perfectly mirror a real person out of rock.

So this will be a short post, because it’s going to contain some poor images from my phone’s camera. I hope you enjoy them!

As a short notice I want to say these are the ones I found inspiring for me, so they may not have an effect on you. I highly encourage you to go look through their halls if you can afford the trip. And if you’re in the area and haven’t gone… What’s wrong with you?

Meeting Authors Shenanigans

So!

(The very famous first word of Beowulf)

If you’ve been looking at my Instagram, I managed to drop a butt-load of photos of people in familiar looking outfits similar to TV shows, Video Games, and Comic Books. What’s the reason for this phenomenon?

Comic Con!

The annual Lexington Comic and Toy Convention for Kentucky rolled around, and I was there, accompanied by my ever-cosplay-loving wife. This is my excuse for why my blog was silent for a couple of weeks. That and I have attained work! You are reading the words of the newest member of Pepsi!

With all of that out of the way, let’s go!

This year I wanted to do something special; spotlighting. There were a myriad of things to see; such is the nature of a convention. Comic books for sale, reasonably priced. Plushy toys, video games from the bygone era, special appearances of actors -on camera and of unique voice-, and independent artists from the area.

Naturally, I thought, “Hey, I’m a blogger, I should… do writer things!” ha ha ha, and I set out to ask some questions, to bring you, the reader, some of the rich ore the Kentucky art vein has to offer.

May I introduce, Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr.

The face of scientific and fictional brilliance

I had a wonderful chat with Mr. Stockum. He told me about his book, Xortal, a fantastic idea that compelled me to know more.

Afterwards I asked Mr. Stockum some questions:

“What is your favorite movie?”
7th Seal

“Where do you get your inspiration from?”
It just happens. Your imagination compels to make you write.

“How long have you been writing?”
For over 40 years.

“How did you get your start?”
I was a Sentinel news article writer.

“What drives you to write?”
I cannot not do it.

That last one had me thinking, so much so, I almost forgot to be professional and finish the conversation. I wasn’t thinking it was profound; there are many people who live on the right side of the brain. Some live so far right, they have no idea of left. And those people interest me, they live for art, breathe art, and stay in below human conditions while pursuing the genius behind the craft. And with that way of living, they sometimes say things like, “I cannot not write,” like they’re possessed. And that’s sort of how Mr. Stockum came across. And I must admit, I labelled him as such, a total right brained, seeking the art to the point of insanity. I don’t mean that as a bad thing either.

And then…

I began writing this article. I turned in my homework, gathered my materials, and reached for some websites to gain some finer details, when all of a sudden a hidden cache of information appeared. I forgot to add the ‘Jr’ to his title, and found a highly decorated military soldier with the same name. Naturally, I was wrong, but with the date of the man’s birth, and his career, something interesting was forming. Even further on, when I was looking for the right man, I was finding a completely different side to… Dr. Van Stockum.

Dr. Stockum has three degrees in biology, one degree in law, and is a practiced attorney (or former).

Here’s his website:
http://vanstockum.com/website/Home.html

A man teetering on the edge of a sane mind, AND heavily practiced researcher of science and law? It became apparent that I was looking at an “Ambidextrous Mind”

I am using that title from an article he gave me to look at. With all the pieces together, I see now his love for science and fiction come to life. His series, “Markman’s” takes place in an apocalyptic Kentucky. He gave me a gander at the map for the story…

For your viewing pleasure

And now you have a gander!

It goes without saying he was a very talented writer, with much experience in art and logic to provide a unique storytelling few can offer. If you’re looking for some apocalypse writing, and need to know what it’s like to read from a local Kentucky artist, then I urge you to try this. I certainly am, and I can’t wait to get my copy.

Sources:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B010J65HRA?_encoding=UTF8&offset=0&pageSize=12&sort=author-pages-popularity-rank&page=1&langFilter=default#formatSelectorHeader

A Moon Poem

Art is amazing.

I’m not a big poet guy, but every once in a while I get these urges and feelings, and only poetry can do it justice. This I understand.

So for viewing pleasure I’m exposing myself for a bit to give my audience a piece of junk. It’s been written, and edited and peer reviewed. Obviously, it’s far from great, but I like it. I feel like it captures me.

There is a secret appointment tonight,
Between a boy and the moon.
Unbeknownst to others,
He runs away from home at the splash of darkness.
The seasons may determine how much they meet.
Bravery doth it take to challenge the nights of winters bite; in the
Summers warmth, the heart takes ease.
What is the purpose of this meeting?
So the moon can bestow the muse of art.
There, in it’s rays, the boy, open arms,
Shouts hidden verses:
“Come beauty!
Come magic!
Come lost song!”
Visions of astral houses are revealed.
Walls of shimmering energy,
Roofs of dragon scales.
Roads of cloud, beings of light.
The splendor of cosmic powers unveil
Themselves.
Those light beings, raising their hands, jump from place to place.
Some of them hold hands together,
Holes of strange dimensions surround them.
With a wave, stars sail across the sky, carrying their commanding hosts,
With clenched fist the ocean of dark carries the vessels closer to heaven.
Oh, the desire!
He stretches out his hands to grab hold
And climb the sky between he and his destination.
The moon says “not yet.”

***Okay, that’s my stuff. What do you think about it? I’m happy to hear your slander, comments, critiques. I can always use the refinement.***

Made in China Shenanigans

These moments are what this blog is all about.

Every once in a while the planets align, a blue moon rises, gas goes on sale for no reason, and you win that one giveaway you were sure to not win.

And that’s when the purest of shenanigans grace the world.

Chengdu, China! A typical ceremony, one that was sure to be yet another humdrum of a time for the Municipal Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources. Don’t know what that is? Take watching grass grow, add some paint drying segments, followed by an intimate match of old people playing Dark Souls, and that’s almost the excitement level of that branch of government.

So lucky them, to receive this honorary moment! Surely, they are being smiled upon. They probably needed it! The ceremony is so boring I can’t find any information on it. Not that many people are going to report on this kind of news anyway; I’m limited.

I Made a Sea Shanty

A long while back, during the novel’s development, I thought my pirate should have some songs to sing. I got to work, struggling through the amateur challenges of song writing, and a piece of slop came out. I put it up on other sites, but for some reason never thought about letting this blog and its followers experience the process of my terrible writing skill.

Well, here goes.

Verse 1:
A pirate, so stout,
Big as five barrels of ale.
Stole the pants off from folk,
So he covered his tail!

He never could find, 
a pant that would fit.
but he never stopped taking,
no he never could quit.

Chorus:
The pants thief they called him,
The pants thief they cried!
The pants thief will take 
All your trousers and pride!

Verse 2:
He stole from the men
He stole from the lass.
He stole from the king
But he had too much mass.

Bridge:
It was a quest for the pants he could wear
It was a journey he had to take bare!

And at last he came, *pause*
‘cross a giant the same, *pause*
size as his waist *pause*

And he almost acquired
The massive attire
but he fell to a sharp blade
And cooked o’er a fire

Chorus:
The pants thief they called him,
No pants ne’er he wore!
Smelled delicious and sav’ry 
as a great roasted boar.