The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posts Tagged ‘Robots’

The World Hates Me

Posted by Matt on December 9, 2010

Why else would they give me a movie about boxing robots, a concept that is TOTALLY ME, directed by Shawn ‘Maestro of Mediocrity’ Levy?

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Posted by Matt on August 29, 2010

Behold: The Festo AirPenguin!

And that’s not all!

(Thanks to This interview with William Gibson for linking to the The Best Things)

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When Things Stop Making Any Sense

Posted by Matt on May 15, 2010,_Zax_&_the_Alien_Prince

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Posted by Matt on February 9, 2010

Via this via this.


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True Murder Stories

Posted by Matt on September 9, 2009

Now that DC is finally reprinting Shade The Changing Man, and I couldn’t be happier. So now, I will drown my happiness in sorrow because the following series that I have read or have interest in reading are either not collected or are still out of print. And some of them may never see the light of the trade paperback day for one reason or another. And it’s a damn shame.

The New Adventures of Hitler by Grant Morrison & Steve Yeowell
Numero uno on my list of series that may never see print again is this early-90s Morrison story from 2000AD-spinoff Crisis!. I honestly think this is one of Morrison’s best, and that’s no small feat considering his considerable high-quality output. It’s definitely his most angry work, something that combines the surreal, absurdly comedic quality (especially in Yeowell’s art) of Doom Patrol with the satire and vitriol of stuff like We3. Unfortunately, that controversial message (this is a book that basically says Britain’s long history of brutal conquest is a direct antecedent to the Third Reich, but even that is sometimes overlooked for the fact that the book is a humorous take on Hitler at all) and the relative obscurity of it means that it won’t be collected for a while, or ever, even with Morrison’s prominence. It’s almost as frustrating as the legal limbo that has trapped Zenith and Flex Mentallo. I am just glad I was able to read this on Scans_Daily before that site went under.

Automatic Kafka by Joe Casey & Ashley Wood
Here’s a series that I have not read, but is really up my alley. I’ve read Casey’s Godland, which was pretty good (although I think if I were a bigger fan of Jack Kirby I’d maybe like more), and the idea of a robot superhero tripping out and meeting his makers. Just read the Wiki entry. I want this. Yet DC/Wildstorm have yet to collect it. It’s possible that this oversight will be corrected sometime. But nearly 8 years after it was published is too damn long, and it makes me wonder if this is even too strange for the publisher. And if that is true, I want to read it even more now. To the torrents, I guess.

(Read Paul O’Brien’s review while you’re at it)

X-Statix by Peter Milligan & Mike Allred
Here’s a series that’s been collected in its entirety, but I assume has not been in print for a while, considering that I cannot find any of the books aside from some of the earlier ones at a decent price. Maybe that’s just Amazon, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Marvel just hasn’t felt the need to keep its best series in years in print. I can only hope that they don’t pull the same bullshit with Nextwave, or at least not until I get my copies of the two trades.

Chances that are more that are even more outrageously not in book form, but you’d have to go to a real comics blog to find out about those. Like this one.


I am going to say this once: Dante’s Inferno, as in the upcoming game version, may be the most aggressively stupid thing I’ve ever seen. When you think EA is done hyping it’s God of War clone with the dumbest damn marketing schemes and interviews with the creative ‘minds’ behind it, they throw another curveball of stupid at you. The game could be alright in the end, if hopelessly derivative, but goddamn, since Day 1 they’ve been trying their hardest to show themselves as having the mental maturity of 14-year-olds.

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Game Ideas #1

Posted by Matt on August 29, 2009

(Note: I originally wrote this in April. I’m reposting this so I can continue on with my game ideas posts without confusing the lot of ya’. Also because I like them.)

I’ve been thinking a bit about directions established game franchises can go to stay good. The problem with most gamers is that they are creatively retarded, and just want the same thing over and over again (while still whining that the games are rehashes). Me, though, I’m allllll right.

So now I’m going to talk about some game concepts I came up with. Why not? I’m sure I’ve done it before.

And what better way to start talking about videogame franchise ideas than with the videogame franchise?

Idea: Super Mario Metropolis

Now, it seems like a bit of a downgrade to take Mario from space back down to earth, and then restrict him to a certain environment, like a city. But wait! There’s more to it!

The story would be the basic one: Mario & Peach travel to the biggest city around, Peach is captured by Bowser, Mario must save her because that’s what he does. However, he’s got bigger problems: not only is the Princess locked a high rise tower that he can’t seem to get into, but he’s also constantly being chased around by police robots working with Bowser. Still not that much of a departure? Here’s the big catch: Mario himself teams up with a robot to save the day once again.

One of things I’ve noticed with most Wii games is that they usually only subscribe to one of the ideas that are possible for the system. That is usually the aiming or shaking concepts. There’s a lot more possible with this thing, and I hope to combine some of the old and unused ideas in here. See, players control both Mario and the robot, the former with the nunchuck, and the latter with the remote. Mario would get his usual abilities, which can easily be assigned to the nunchuck buttons. The robot would be a bit more complicated.

I haven’t completely figured out the specifics of the robot’s control scheme. Should he move with the d-pad, or by pointing? The pointing would seem to be necessary for some of the robot’s unique skills (long range weapons, for example, similar to the star bit shooting in Galaxy). Does the robot need to move at all? In any case, the general idea would be that you would control both characters simultaneously using each half of the controller package. Co-op play could be an option, too. This seems like a pretty basic idea, so I wonder why so few have used it before?

The game would be equal parts Mario, Pikmin, and The Lost Vikings. You will need to utilize Mario and the robot to solve the games puzzles. This will make some objectives easier (how much more relaxing would the average “take this thing from here to over here” challenge be with back-up?) and some more difficult, as you try to get down the timing and placement of both characters down pat. There might be a few sections where the two are separated, and you only have to pay attention to one of them at a time. There’s plenty of possibilities.

The basic “find the MacGuffins” gameplay would remain, but with a twist: instead of collecting 120 magic objects, you collect various machine parts, much like Pikmin. By collecting the appropriate combination of parts, Mario can use them to upgrade his robot buddy, granting him even more new abilities. The robot could transform into vehicles, and essentially work like a combination of the FLUDD from Mario Sunshine and the various power-ups from every other Mario game. Many of them would also be able to utilize various remote functions to add some variety.

Not only do these new abilities give you access to more challenges and thus more parts, they can also be used to bypass the security and traps and get further and further into Bowser’s skyscraper fortress. This is similar to the structure I had for my Zelda game idea, which I’m pretty sure I mentioned before, but should probably go into further detail about another time. It’s a different kind of game structure, one that progresses in a way that you feel a lot more part of it.

Of course, all this talk and I don’t address one major problem: level variety. One thing people didn’t like about Sunshine was that the island setting limited the different environments in the game, while on the other hand Galaxy was nearly limitless. The same problem could come up in Metropolis, but there are ways around it. A big city has lots of places to go that could provide suitable Mario worlds to explore: the park, the mall, the sewers, amusement parks, docks, factories, clock towers…and let’s not forget the big city itself. Each of these could also be expanded to include the archetypes (ice, lava, etc.), but maybe we don’t need them again. Just a thought.

There’s still some unanswered questions in this pitch, but even so, I think the basic groundwork for something good. Really, though, I just like the idea of Mario working with a robot.

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Posted by Matt on August 8, 2009

I see people who want to buy/have bought of the Watchmen motion comic, and I honestly wonder WHY. I have come up with the following theories:

1) They are big fans of the old Marvel Superhero ‘cartoons’ (“The ever-lovin’ Hulk! Hulk! Hulk!”)

2) They have a secret love of Reading Rainbow, but feel they must watch something slightly more mature in order to avoid possible public embarrassment.

3) They are collectors who will buy anything branded with a name. In which case, they deserve to have their money siphoned away.

4) They are lazy-asses who can’t even read a damn comic.

5) They honestly think this will be a different experience from reading the comic. Whether they came to this conclusion through ignorance or marketing trickery may vary from person to person.


You know what I’ve figured out? The reason most of the Mega Man bosses are so memorable is because they were originally designed by children. Only children have the imagination to come with things so entertainingly simple (I mean, Heat Man is a zippo, that’s pretty inspired). I mean, the guys at Capcom ultimately put the designs through their redrawing/standardization process, but they are smart enough to let the original child-like ‘feel’ of the characters shine through.

As someone who still likes drawing robots, it is something hard to capture in my age.


Oh yeah, last issue of Planetary is out in October. The last full book might make it in March of next year, if Amazon’s prediction (they had the date up before the release of the last issue of announced) comes true.

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