Kingsglaive and Westernizing [Rant]

Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive looks brilliant, but the alteration in character models, being Westernized, photo-realistic, and lack any sort of diversity in appearance, which dare tread on the dangerous waters of remote physical femininity is disappointing at best.

The cast don’t look the part of being FF characters, and while many might argue it is irrelevant, if Western games’ characters, say Call of Duty, were to look like they were FF characters, it wouldn’t sit well with the majority.

Final Fantasy should remain in its own waters, looking the way it does, as there is a painfully dismal number of games that pull themselves out of technical replication of this reality, and rigid boring gender ‘rules’, mentalities, and so forth.

Final Fantasy should be able to be enjoyed as it is, not for how the perceived Western audience wants it to be. Substituting art to merely conform to the common game character appearance in the Western world of FPS is bland, insulting and unfortunate. If I want Western looking FPS characters I’ll load up Halo, Call of Duty or one of the other thousand identical looking FPS game characters on the current market. Fortunately, diverse appearances are allowed for female characters on occasion. A shame it’s present due to sexual appeal and not necessarily out of artistic and boundary exploration.

This is akin to making elves looking like men because something different is abhorrent. Final Fantasies have a diverse cast, some masculine some feminine. But stripping out the latter robs the interesting look, and nice contrast between Barret, Cloud, Vincent, Cid, Snow, Hope, Sazh, Kuja, Squall, ect. I focus on men in this list since women tend to get more artistic expression overall in the western world of gaming, which dip outside of gender regulation.

At least the architecture and graphics are stunning.

Kingsglaive and Westernizing [Rant]

Cover Designing Thoughts

So here’s a thing….

I often come to this weird uncertainty about the end-pictorial design for my books.

Now I understand that if done through trade-publishing there is a good chance one’s say in cover designs is minimal to zilch. Granted the ones doing the designing for your book are well…. designers. As writers are presumably versed in stories, the designers are versed in design/marketing/manipulating unsuspecting innocents. However, while I haven’t any problem with common styles of book-cover design–I do have interests in broader artistic spectra than purely literary art.

If you are playing a video game, there are numerous other things surrounding the game-mechanics.Such a music, environment, character designs, ambience, so on. Likewise, while yes, the main bit of novels is word-smithing, it also is about characters, plot, environment and so on. Fans may, perhaps, enjoy the world that you have constructed–and maybe, just maybe,might enjoy seeing such a world brought to live via other media.It is not a requirement of a writer to facilitate this end, but for myself, it is an interest. I realize the parallel might not come off as being a good example, but video-games have branched into other media, for both artistic exploration and for their fans. When I found a film adaptation of Odd Thomas, I watched it several times and wished I could have little trinkets and things centered around Odd, Stormy or maybe even Elvis (who was sans from the movie….).

I also have this weird fascination with alternate styles. Which something love to employ once and a while.

The right realism render of the main cast from the anime Cowboy Bebop. This lovely was made by Shilesque

I know,there are quite possibly a legion of writers who would wave their hand in essentially the mind of ‘I’m a writer’ or ‘My writing speaks for itself’ Which is fine, and I admire it. For me, I (perhaps do to my immaturity as a writer or just different interests) Enjoy employing a large range of  methods for expression. Hell, if I could work to develop video games I’d do it in a heartbeat. My focus would still be the story. But if I could work with people who could devise the characters and worlds, and are able to bring it to life via their perceptive and styles springboarding off of the thematic intent I hope is conveyed in my books I’d be enthralled.

This in no way condemns literature, nor boasts games. Neither medium is superior to the other. Writing novels has been to me a necessity. I loath the idea of not writing or reading. Nor are the other art forms to act as glue or duck-tape. The book/story should stand on it’s own. The other additions are just that–additions. Little bonuses. Pen-flashlights you get along with a Garden of Eden Creation Kit.

That joke will probably be lost on many…

Anyway, my interest in doing at least consultation about cover design. Such as style. Is important to me. Just as marketing it is. I think it’d be enjoyable to devise promotionals, and if somehow possible, my work becomes liked by enough, creating little things to give away at book signings to fans. .

 

Cover Designing Thoughts

Thoughts On ‘Claiming Concepts’

I adore film, video-games, and really any form of media able to tell a good story. Irrespective of it’s originality. In that, most things aren’t original anymore by perhaps the concept. However, the artistic fingerprint, content, perspective and a slew of other things make it unique and special. But I find a worrisome thing. It seems as though to me that there are many video games and films which  take an excellent premise and do a piss poor job at executing it. Resulting in a failure of a piece of art. Devolving into, gimmickry, and anyone who creates a latter work that contains such a premise runs into problems.

Take for instance R.I.P.D., the concept was amazing and if executed well, would be exciting, thrilling, and perhaps even philosophical. However, it comes off as a fraction of what it could have been. Too big as well, instead of focusing on a smaller scale conflict and exploring the idea, they went to apocalyptic levels. This leads them to have no where to go afterward. The possibilities of future endeavors is dried up. But the problem I find is, there may be phenomenal stories surrounding this idea. However if other writers were to create works on such an idea (ignorant or not of the existing property)  many people will liken it to R.I.P.D. Either the new work (thought out or not) will be treated as being a rip off, gimmicky, or ‘we already saw that’. Eliminating potential good work. All because someone thought, ‘hey cool idea, rush it through, hollywoodify it’ and well, that idea is now ‘taken’ and will require x-amount of years before it’s gone from the collective movie-lover consciousness.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with making films on ideas like this. Obviously. That’d be counterproductive, uncreative and arrogant. But I worry that when these concepts are placed out there like such that consumers of any medium (film, book, game) will look at it like ‘yep, saw that, it was *insert intellectual property* and your just ripping them off. Wizards? Harry Potter. Zombies? Walking Dead. It’s not always the case. Certainly not. There are loads of zombies as a central point of stories. Though the undead concept I continue to notice among readers is ‘getting old’. Perhaps it is from a writer’s perspective that works I create might have broad similarities to works not yet produced, resulting in potentially unmarketable books because someone else thought ‘Hey quick let’s make something about mythical monsters! Toss in cardboard characters, weak plot line, explosions, one-liners, and cliche story archs. Now anyone who makes a work on Greek gods will be copying us.’ For a few years.

This really comes off as me being an ass, but I mean, it’s become a running joke now that vampire are sparkly teen romance generators. The trend has continued and made similar stories. Fine if you like them. Every, and I mean every story, has it’s audience and power. But, if I created a vampire book, made similar to the spirit of Interview with the Vampire, it’d be taken as being ‘another vampire book’ currently.

Again, I know I sound like a broken record, but, I know this is coming off as being : ‘don’t create what you want/your work sucks’ and I don’t mean it. 90% of writers can prolly write better than me. the other 10% are the ones who write gibberish on a keyboard and then set it on fire. I’m essentially part of that 10%. Or at least that’s how I see myself from time to time. Still, my works are certainly not necessarily good, but I feel I put time and energy into them, and with BETA readers and editors, my works may become consumable pieces of literature. However, if gimmicky works are are continued to be produced as cash-grabs, which service no honor toward film or literature, I fear eventually a broad idea of my work might get made, resulting in comparison and loss of potential readers. Not a loss of profit, but a loss of people who’d actually enjoy it. Perhaps even attracting those who’d read it for supernatural romance rather than a supernatural thriller, with fantasy and psychological implications.

This isn’t an entry on intent to convince others that there needs to be an end to this. This entry is more so a musing, thoughts about it. It comes off as being cynical, aggressive and childish, but it is a viable frettery in part of my mind. However there is a good chance it’s not that problematic. Thinking of Dr. Indiana Jones, you have both Lara Croft and Nathan Drake. Two iconic video-game explorers who hold their own and don’t feel close to Dr. Jones. There is a good chance no matter the pop-cultural awareness/recent takes on paranormal adventures, perhaps I will be alright not having such concepts as specters, out of body experiences and the like made so my work isn’t a mere comparative piece. Kudos to those who make comments that they’ll make a work on such and ensure to give it no personality or their artistic fingerprint in order to sound clever.

Anyway, this was more of a rant or sorts. Aimless, to get thoughts out, and perhaps to those who are interested, to get conversations to go. Again, there is no real point to this. Nothing should be done. Nothing could be done without becoming artistic dictators and completely annihilating the artistic endeavor. Of which, I’d be utterly ashamed.

Perhaps the point of this isn’t that if someone made a game about someone with two souls inside of them, then your work with a character who has two souls is now unusable because you’re ripping off another property. (Again, irrespective of your knowledge of the other property, or what have you.) But rather, your work stands out as being it’s own based on it’s quality. Or the other concepts and story archs that makes it a good story. So on and so forth.

It amazes me how divided I am on this issue. As I write this, I go back and forth.

Anyway, if interested what are your thoughts? Do you think it to be something not bothersome? Or does it annoy you? There is a good portion of me that thinks I overthink things too much. Probably right. Might not be in this instance. Maybe. Don’t know.

Thoughts On ‘Claiming Concepts’