Do You Want To Play a Game?

jack-o-lantern-1679164_640It’s been a while! How are you doing?

I’ve been working in the shadows lately to prepare new things. Since Halloween is near, I wanted to do something special other than the usual giveaway.

So I created this little interactive horror game for browser (I haven’t got to the mobile version yet):

Do You Want to Play a Game?

At the end you can win free ebooks, but even if you’re not interested in my writings, the point is having fun playing, so I hope you enjoy it.

I also created a Facebook event if you want to stay in touch and let me know what do you think of it.

And if you just want to read some of my things, there’s still a 20% discount on the Digital Store.

Have a spooky holiday!

Angry Birds Vs. Zootopia

Sorry if I’ve been quiet for a long time, but summer is always a mess for me, and I’ve been thinking about what to do next, what to write next, and a lot of other stuff, but I’ll be back on track. For now I repost an old article that has been in stand-by from the last move.

Maybe a bit off the usual themes of my blog, but not at all, since it’s always about stories and speculation.

I would like to talk about these two animation movies together because there are similar things and different things.

Both with animals, both with a subtext that can be applied to a lot of things.

I won’t talk about the political/ideological labels some people tried to stick on them, I’ll just talk in general about the message of the movies.

And pardon me, I’m going to drop some massive spoilers. So if you don’t want to read them, just go to the CONCLUSIONS of the post.

 
Angry birds movieFirst Angry Birds the Movie.

If you’re not familiar with Angry Birds, it’s a nice arcade game in which you must throw birds with a slingshot to destroy some structures with exploding things and pigs in it. Why? I have no idea. But it’s fun.

So the movie has succeeded in taking these game elements and creating a pretty solid and entertaining story.

It’s like Animal Farm directed by Michael Bay.

The story is about Red (-pilled) who lives in the Bird Island (I couldn’t remember a name to save my life so forgive if I get them wrong), where apparently everyone is happy and nice, while he has “anger issues”, so he needs to go take some kind of anger management class. But in the middle of this, a boat comes from the see and it’s full of green pigs loaded with TNT.

Actually the pigs act all friendly and bring gifts (one of which is a giant slingshot) and the birds are happy to let them in and party with them. Except Red and some other friends from his class, a yellow super-fast bird and a black bird that when upset explodes. They notice that the pigs are just pretending to be friendly but in the end they destroy the birds’ city and steal their eggs (their children aka their future).

So the three birds go summon the mighty eagle, who should protect them but now has become fat and lazy and doesn’t care anymore about the other birds, just contemplating his past glory.

But when all the birds realize what the pigs have done, they decide to make a boat and go to the pig island to take back their children. And that’s when that giant slingshot comes in handy, and a lot of explosions and mayhem happens. And it’s absolutely hilarious.

What’s the message of this story?

Don’t judge by the first impression.

Be careful whom you let in your home(land).

It’s okay to get angry if someone takes advantage of you.

When something bad happens, don’t expect other people to fix it, just go fix your shit yourself.

 

zootopiaNow Let’s watch Zootopia.

It’s the classic story of the country girl moving to the big city to follow her dreams.

But the girl is a bunny and the big city is a utopia where predators and preys live side by side in harmony. And for some reason they are all mammals.

The bunny’s dream is to become a police officer, and she’s so full of hopes and good intentions while everyone makes fun of how tiny she is. (I can quite relate to that).

And she’s optimistic like any other Disney princess, and she thinks everyone is good and everyone can realize their dreams. But then she meets the real world and discovers that no, not everyone is good, there are criminals and that’s why there are police officers in the first place, so actually why would she become one if she thought everyone was a good person? No wait, she said that anyone can be good but anyone can be a jerk too, okay. I agree with that.

Unfortunately she gets in a lot of trouble because she wants to do things her way and constantly breaks the rules she is supposed to enforce. Nice cop, girl.

But in Zootopia anyone can be anything, “and these guys they’ll be naked” (cit.) and that’s how she learns that everyone is different. Small, big, fast, slow… because it’s in their DNA. Except being a prey and a predator because apparently fuck science.

She even teams up with an outlaw fox, blackmailing him to help her solve a case and save her job as a cop.

You are the worst cop ever, girl.

Anyway what happens? Some predators go nuts and aggressive and peopl- ehm animals start to freak out. And that’s basically the bunny’s fault (for telling the truth that the mayor was trying to cover up).

“I came here to make the world a better place, but I think I broke it.”

“The world has always been broken that’s why we need good cops.” (cit.)

And then it’s when she decides to quit and leave all her mess behind. She goes back to her hometown and she finds out that what made the predators go nuts are… flowers.

Flowers that acts like a drug and make animals rabid. And the Walter White of the situation (with an actual Breaking Bad reference) is a sheep. Who’s tired of being mistreated by the predators. Who’d have guessed?

But in the end the predators are not really violent and don’t want to hurt the preys. Except the ones that are actual criminals. But the cops will take care of them.

I have just one question left unanswered: WHAT DO THE PREDATORS EAT?

I know I know, it’s a children movie, again, fuck science.

Anyway, what’s the message here?

Don’t judge by the first impression.

Lying to protect your narrative will backfire. But apparently it’s fine if you are a politician? (I don’t agree with that part).

Doing drugs is dangerous.

The cops’ job is to help people.

Anyone can be good or bad, or a bit of both.

Just don’t be a sheep.

Oh, I forgot. Follow your dreams. (Said every Disney movie ever).

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Both movies are spectacularly well done and I highly recommend to watch them both, ponder about them, and make your kids watch them because it’s important to develop a critical thinking without dismissing thoughts that might be different or even opposite of what you think is right.

Open your mind and try to understand what other people think and why, even if you don’t like it.

Don’t close yourself in an echo chamber.

And at the same time, don’t take things too seriously, they are just kids movies.

Let’s have some fun for once and don’t turn everything into a political debate.

But when your kids grow up, let them read Animal Farm too.

Reveal The Deep

unnamedWhat a lovely game!

I think it’s perfect for a casual player who loves a simple gameplay and creepy atmosphere.

I bought it on sale on the Steam store:

“Reveal The Deep is a short exploration game set in the wreck of a 19th century steamship. Navigate through expansive levels, uncovering the stories of the ship’s demise and it’s passengers. Keep your nerve, your wits about you, and prepare to reveal the secrets of the deep.”

It won’t take too long to complete and it’s not so difficult either, but it was a pleasant surprise.

The graphics is pixelated, minimal but effective.

It’s composed of 3 chapters, but pay attention because you can’t save in the middle of a chapter so if you quit befor completing it you’ll have to start back again, but it doesn’t take long so there’s not much bother.

You can die in some occasions, but you’ll respawn and can get back to play from a certain point. There are some minor jumpscares, but nothing to worry about.

The best part is that if you turn on and off the lights the surroundings will change, and there’s a bit of a lovecraftian theme to it.

If you’ve tried it, let me know!

Watch Out! Jump Scare!

MainMenuOldFreddyI’ll be honest with you. For a moment I thought to call this post “I scare for jump scares” but I still have some self esteem and respect for English grammar, so be grateful I didn’t do it.

Anyway.

Long story short. I hate jump scares. I normally don’t believe in the Devil, but when I get startled by a jump scare, then it’s when I doubt. Because just pure evil could create such a cruel device.

Ok, I’m being a little too dramatic here.

Anyway, for my birthday my usually wonderful boyfirend decided to give me, among other presents, two steam keys for two horror games (I love horror so it appears the right thing to do). The games being Five Nights at Freddy’s and Slender: The Arrival.

I’ll do another post about Slender soon because it needs its own space.

Let’s go back to Five Nights at Freddy’s.

If you know it, you know what I mean. If you don’t know it please go on with your happy life.

I just tried it and I honestly don’t know if it’s really one of the scariest game, I just know that two minutes in I had my first heart attack XD

The gameplay is pretty simple, you’re stuck in a control room with many cameras and two doors and there are these creepy stuffed mechanic animals that like to wander around and if they meet you they’ll kill you. And you can do absolutely nothing except turning on the lights and closing the doors, but the doors consume a lot of power so you must close them only if really necessary.

And it’s totally creepy as hell. I played other horror games, but usually I prefer when I can actually kill the monster, like in F.E.A.R. where I had lots of jump scares but also lots of fun.

But, love it or hate it, the jump scare is one of the elements of visual horror. It’s used often in video games and movies, mostly because it’s easy to do and it makes you jump on the chandelier even if the movie isn’t scary at all.

Have you ever seen that Korean web comic? No? Maybe we’ll talk about it another time.

Fact is that you can’t use jump scares in written fiction. You can try, but it won’t have the same effect as some spooky monster coming out of the darkness, and that’s why writing horror is more difficult and subtle, and you have to rely on other things for scaring your audience.

Does this make the jump scares cheap or abused? Not necessarily.

I think we must use the means we have to scare people, and a little jump scare, placed at the right time in a well crafted story, could really improve the horror experience.

But playing Five Night’s at Freddy’s can sometime be called masochism.

(And that’s why I’ll be doing it again soon).