All posts by rosefishrebecci

Most Believable Conspiracy Theories – 2015

 

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Conspiracy Theory: It’s a term used by many people to brush off a sound theory that clashes with what they believe in, or have believed in for a long period of time.

Conspiracy theorists can see that the information passed to us is not completely revealed, and see the potential for secret plots behind world events and our consideration of reality.  Everyday questions may pop up into the curious and skeptical mind such as, how did they fake the moon landing? And does the Yeti really exist?  What if…. our world leaders are really something more sinister?    And maybe, we are all inter-dimensional travelers?..

You decide!  The power is yours.

 

The moon landing was faked.

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Figure 1:  Hard evidence.  * Gregory Peck is reputed to have played both Buzz and Neil in this shoot.  

When you look closely at the images that NASA released you can totally see it was faked.  It is most notably obvious when you look properly at this American flag.  To me it looks like it is blowing in the breeze, which of course if IMPOSSIBLE considering there is no wind anywhere except for on Earth.  Also humans were very primitive back in the 60s and there is NO WAY that we could of thought up how to get to the moon.  I mean, think about it, the internet was barely in conception in those days.

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Figure 2 : More compelling evidence.

It is clear that these “moon” photos were taken in a CIA bunker with Stanley running the production.  He gets some eerily good special effects for the time, and I use the above picture as an example (Fig. 1) to his directorial genius.   Stanley Kubrick was a very powerful film-maker back then and could fool even the best of scientists.

The CIA must have used mind control/hypnosis on subjects involved in the “moon landing” project.  It was so effective that they still believe, to this day, that they had gone to the moon or helped in some way.  This is why the “astronauts” and the many people involved in the project continue to deny the fakery of the whole situation.

 

Powerful reptilian overlords are taking over the world.

Sounds cray right?!  Well it makes perfect sense once you get over all the lore, and all the history, and science.  It was a hard conspiracy theory to follow but it has a Game of Thrones feel which is cool.

Hopefully the following summary makes David Icke proud.

Reptilian, blood drinking, shapeshifter aliens came and visited the Egyptians back in ancient times and shared their secret with a few people.  They needed to cross breed with people in order to take over the human population, so the Egyptians got to work.  Once the Illuminati got a hold of this information they started doing it too, and now it’s hard to distinguish who is human and who is a reptilian.

But we DO know is they generally are powerful politicians, celebrities and news readers – basically anyone who is filmed and scrutinised a lot.

Katy perry and barrack obama

Figure 3:  Based on these pictures alone I would determine Katy Perry and Barrack Obama are indeed reptilian overlords.

 

Our memories are more REAL than REALITY.

This interesting theory is called the Mandela Effect and has come about when people were reminiscing about The Berenstein Bears – an animal family featured in popular children books and TV shows.  These people found out it was actually spelled The Berenstain Bears rather than the The Berenstein Bears,  which was ridiculous because they clearly remember spelling it with an E rather than a A.

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Figure 4:  Impossible to disprove.

This strange phenomenon is called The Mandela Effect, where many people misremember the same detail.  The theory is that we are travelling to different universes with alternative time-lines, without even realising it!   So if you remember The Berenstain Bears, you are from universe A or if you remember The Berenstein Bears, then you are from universe B.

This theory is particularly  enticing because I believe my memory is super accurate even contrary to historical evidence.  For example, I am sure in the universe I am actually from, definitely was spelled defiently, that’s why I get confused with the word now.  I was relieved when I found out about this theory because it confirmed my belief that I got right every question right on trivia night, just not in this particular universe.

 

Big Foot is lurking.

Do large, hairy creatures really lurk in the woods of North America?  Numerous sightings says yes, for sure!  There are, in fact, way too many eyewitnesses for this phenomenon to be purely imaginary, as skeptics assert. With such an abundance of eyewitnesses, who are so dispersed across a continent, and dispersed across the decades, the alternate skeptical explanation that the sightings are the result of hoaxers becomes much less likely.

This cheeky primate is reportedly bigger than a man, with huge feet, shaggy hair and a repulsive smell.  A Big Foot was sighted recently on a Ronald McDonalds bench in the North American woods.

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Figure 5:  Is this proof of a Big Foot trying to assimilate into modern society?  You decide.

 

You are welcome to leave your favourite conspiracy theories in the comments below!

 

The making of Baby Demon Daycare. A retrospective study

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This game came into existence when Jorden Marshall first thought up the idea as a pitching exercise for Trimester 5 students.  Each student thought up three game ideas that we could create and shared them with the class. We then had a few days to discuss the game ideas and form teams.  My thought process was that we had to do something interesting and achievable. Our class was a creative bunch because I thought they all came up with at least one interesting idea, so the main issue was – what is achievable?

The Game Design course at JMC was heavily weighted towards artwork/animation/filmmaking up to that point and we had just started to learn C#.  Another drawback is that we didn’t have anyone from a programming background. We only had the skills artists with a trimesters training in Playmaker to get our prototypes up and running.

Baby Demon Daycare particularly appealed to me because of the potential of horror/comedy.  After checking out this game – http://www.girlsgogames.com/game/daycare-nurse.  I thought if we used this as a template for gameplay elements we could make a prototype. We made up a team of four with Jorden Marshall, Iainn Rettie and David Chapman.  I had worked on a project with Jorden and Iainn previously and knew that Jorden was a great 2D artist and Iainn was a passionate 3D artist and good writer.

Because of our skill set we decided to go with 3D animated models that Jorden would come up with the concept art work for.   David made the border to the room and set the camera and I set to work on the game loop.  We came up with a workable prototype in twelve weeks and then moved onto working on the polished final product the next few months.  I wouldn’t say I it was an easy task, but we brought our skills together to make a funny little game that I am proud of.

I most enjoyed coming up with ways to add “juice” to the game through transitions, integrating artwork into UI, movements, sounds and the use of particle effects.  Choosing the music was trickier.  After listening to some sample tracks from a fellow JMC music student I found a track I thought would suit his style and support our gameplay which he made for our game.

The most heartening/disheartening part of the process for me was the play testing period.  Watching someone play your game and pointing out bugs that you had yet to figure out how to fix was frustrating but it did put the pressure on me to come up with a solution.  By the last few playtests we had people seeming to enjoy the game loop, which was probably the most satisfying part.

I learnt that working collaboratively can give much more polished results.  Meeting up face to face regularly helped me most with figuring out where everyone was at with the game concept and how we could bring new ideas into the game.

Check out our game on Kongreagte  – http://www.kongregate.com/games/RPicton/b-d-d-c-baby-demon-daycare

5 tips on the creative process

Since I have started studying again I have learnt a lot about the creative process.  This is the best advice I could think of that I have learnt through experience and advice that has been imparted to me from my peers and teachers.

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Your first idea may not be your best one.  This is something I struggled with for a while.  I would go “eureka!” when I had one idea that fit the bill and just go from there.  Now I know to do blue sky thinking, which means that anything goes.  Write down as many ideas that you can think of, even if they seem ridiculous because this part of the process expands your possibilities and frees up your mind.  That initial idea may still be the best one, but at least you explored other possibilities so you know it.

Think about what you are going to do before diving in.  Before you start the practical application of your idea, have a long hard think about how you are going to go about it.  Often when I dive into a project without thinking about it, I find down the track that there was a much easier way to do it and I had wasted so much of my time.  Now I consider the time I am thinking about a project equates to the time working on project.

Take a break and get some perspective.  When your work is getting to be a grind and you can’t see it clearly anymore, it’s time to take a break.  A ten minute break will suffice to clear your head and think about something else.  When you return you will be able to look at your work critically and notice more about the general feel of it.  My drawing teacher once said to turn your drawing upside-down, take a break and look at it with fresh eyes when your return.  You will see it from a different angle and perhaps see what is wrong or missing from your composition.

Get feedback from others.  Creating something that is your own idea and style is an incredibly personal thing.  Having others critique your creation is one of the hardest things you will probably have to do, but it needs to be done.  I guess this is also about getting perspective, but this time it is somebody else’s.  Whether it is positive or negative feedback, you really have to evaluate it and also think about the person critiquing you.  Try and get feedback from someone that can be honest with you and from people in your target audience.

Write you ideas down.  Ideas can come to you any time and you will often forget them if you don’t write it down.  Most of the time you won’t be able to act on your idea until maybe years later and there is little chance that you will remember that brilliant moment when you got the idea.  Right now I have about six ideas for games and have written them all down in a notebook so when I am ready to actually start creating games I will have those little gems up my sleeve.

Career Change

About this time last year I was seriously thinking of a career change.  I was (and still am part-time)  working as a Medical Scientist in a hospital laboratory as feeling unsatisfied with my career path and repetitive nature of my job.  Fellow scientists would say that “we are saving lives!!”, but because of the lab is behind the scenes, we would never really get any recognition, gratefulness or even any idea of outcomes for patients.  It is a button pushing kind of job, and I know it is a good career for most but it wasn’t enough for me.

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I started looking into courses that I thought I would be interesting in.  I really like watching films, old and new and went through a period for a couple of years where I caught up on watching the highest rated films of different genres.  I though I could get into film and television production and perhaps I could be a camera man.   I knew that this would again be another technical job, but thought if I was filming something creative it would be a better option for me.  The same university that I looked into doing film and television (JMC Academy) also offered games design and when I called to inquire they sent out information on both courses.  I almost rejected the idea of doing a games design course simply because of my gender, looks and how I am not addicted to playing games.  After checking the curriculum, I found that I would be willing to give it a go because of all the interesting and creative subjects.  I was scared but enrolled anyway into the course, thinking to myself “be brave, if you don’t do something out of your comfort zone, you won’t be able to grow”.  That’s how I have found myself studying games design.

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I have now completed two semesters, which I have found so enjoyable and has taught me so much about creative industry that I am kicking myself for not starting this earlier.   There have been ups and downs and I still don’t think I fit the mold for typical games designer or even a games enthusiast but I feel like it is right for me.  I encourage anyone who wants to do something but is scared of taking that leap to think – whats the worst that can happen?  You can try and fail or find it doesn’t work for you, but you will be closer to finding what you really want to do.

The Stanley Parable Review

**** Warning: This post contains a couple of spoilers. 

the stanley parable

I have recently played The Stanley Parable, the highly praised 2013 HD remake version bought through the Steam engine.

You start from a first person perspective, the narrator calls you Stanley.  Stanley works in an office building and he finds that all his co-workers have gone missing.  Your quest is to find out what happened to your co-workers and to explore the environment.  The player is able to alter the story line and will finish with one of the sixteen possible endings.  The story is told from a first person perspective yet you can’t see any of Stanley while playing the game, including his hands and feet, which is pointed out by narrator when Stanley questions his existence.  The player can interact with the environment by opening doors and pushing buttons.

Self-taught, first time, young game designer, Davey Wrenden came up with Stanleys parable using a source mod.  The narrator is played by English voice actor, Kevan Brighting, who delivers his lines with dry wit and style.  Wrenden attributes half the games popularity to Brightings narration.   When coming up with the idea of this game Wrenden wanted to explore how games can change the narrative depending on choices the player makes.  The third wall is often broken and the player is very aware that they are inside a game.  At one point the narrator directly addresses the player by pointing out that you aren’t Stanley, you just control him, giving this game a feeling of self-awareness.

After playing this game for a couple of hours I had finished most of the endings and was left unsatisfied, yet I still continue to think about it.  This game is all about player choice.  I played the first time through following the narrator’s instructions, which resulted in a good ending for Stanley.  I won’t spoil other endings but will talk about some parts of the game that I found brilliant.

During the game in the emotion control room, I was frantically pushing buttons trying to work out how to stop a terrible thing from happening.  I thought I had worked it out and played through again but found that the buttons didn’t seem to be responding.  Wrenden admits that this was actually a design fault as he wanted Stanley to be able to interact with the buttons but didn’t know bind keys inside the Source mod.  This design fault actually made the game even more interesting to players because of what is says about the gamer and their expectations of how games should work.

baby minigame

Another part I was amused by is the baby mini-game.  Stanley is in a room with a cardboard cut out of a baby and has to press a button to stop the baby from crawling into a fire.  The narrator describes the game as an art piece that represents the pressures of parenthood and the constant needs of children.  The sound design in this part of the game is really interesting because the player is told to do one thing – save the baby –  but is ‘rewarded’ with terrible repetitive sound of the loud buzzer and the baby wailing.

I found this game was too short and it left me a bit unsatisfied.  The player doesn’t actually have that much control over Stanley as you can’t even jump of pick up objects.  It did make me question my preconceptions of how a game has to be, which is ultimately with linear storytelling.  As a budding game designer it did make me think about how to incorporate more player freedom in game.  It is a difficult task because the game maker has to include new areas and story lines depending on player choices, resulting in a much bigger game that the audience will only experience a small percentage of.  Yet it does want me to make games with more unexpectedly adaptable story lines depending on player choices or actions throughout the game.

All in all I think it was a really interesting game but not for everyone.  If you are looking for a meaty game for recreation, The Stanley Parable may not be for you.  I would recommend this to non-gamers because there are no complicated actions or controls to master in this game, literary types and anyone who would be interested in game design.