Zelda original game map

Take a look behind-the-scenes with design documents from The Legend of Zelda!

Nintendo: It’s The Legend of Zelda’s 30th anniversary this year, and so we thought you might appreciate a look at some illustrations created during the development of the first The Legend of Zelda game, originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System!

These design docs include a video of the hand drawn overworld map and show how some of the original dungeon sketches translated into the game.

(via Gamasutra)

See the video showcasing the Zelda overworld map →

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Nintendo’s design documents from The Legend of Zelda

Some of the hand-drawn maps Takashi Tezuka and Shigeru Miyamoto used when designing the original Legend of Zelda. A fascinating glimpse at Nintendo’s game design process from days gone by.

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Pedro Medeiros (aka @saint11) creates pixel art and other game dev stuff on Patreon.

See also: The best Logos from the Commodore Amiga Scene

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Animated GIF pixel art tutorials by Pedro Medeiros

Pedro Medeiros: “My focus with this Patreon is to fund pixel art and other game development tutorials. I post a new 256×256 gif tutorial every Monday [on Patreon], and on my twitter.”

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Enderal logo

Enderal: The Shards of Order

Enderal is a total conversion for TES V: Skyrim: a game modification that is set in its own world with its own landscape, lore and story. It offers an immersive open world, all for the player to explore, overhauled skill systems and gameplay mechanics and a dark, psychological storyline with believable characters.

In Enderal, we have attempted to combine open world gaming with a complex and profound storyline. While the game world of Enderal is smaller than Skyrim´s and the quests are fewer, we believe that the depth of our story and the complexity of our characters both surpass those in recent Elder Scrolls games. Enderal also differs in its game mechanics: While some have been taken over from Skyrim unchanged, others have been refined (for example, some armor sets in Enderal give set bonuses when several pieces are worn), and yet others (such as leveling up and the raising of skills) have been overhauled so greatly that they hardly resemble Skyrim mechanics any more (most noticeably, Skyrim´s “learning by doing” skill-ups have been replaced by experience points and skill books). Finally, a few (such as levelscaling and randomly spawning enemies) have been completely removed. As far as level design is concerned, Enderal spans several climate zones and regions, only some of which share Skyrim´s distinctive Nordic atmosphere and color palette.

Enderal is a free download for anyone who owns Skyrim on Windows.

Continue reading

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Enderal: A ‘mod’ that turns Skyrim into a whole new game

Enderal is a total conversion mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. A total conversion is a game mod that does not add an island or quest, but instead creates its own world with its own landmass, questlines and characters.

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M.A.M.O.N. (Monitor Against Mexicans Over Nationwide)

M.A.M.O.N. (Monitor Against Mexicans Over Nationwide) is a satirical fantasy sci-fi short film that explores with black humor and lots of VFX the outrageous consequences of Donald Trump’s plan of banning immigration and building an enormous wall on the Mexico – US border.

Birth Movies Death: Incidentally, the title – M.A.M.O.N. (Monitor Against Mexicans Over Nationwide) – is a play on the Mexican slang term “mamón” – literally “sucker,” but more commonly used as an equivalent to “cocksucker,” “douchebag,” “fuck-knuckle,” “clown-shoes,” or “Donald Trump.” It can also refer to a baby’s pacifier, which conveniently also applies to the Dictator-Elect.

What is Shutter Speed, Shutter Angle and How to get the Film Look

Wolfcrow: In this video and article we’ll cover what shutter speeds and shutter angles are, how the shutter speed or shutter angle can be used to control motion and exposure, and which settings to use to get the “film look”.

This is how we’ve been programmed after more than a century of watching film.

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Pre-CGI Footage From MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

I’ve posted quite a lot of Mad Max: Fury Road stuff on this blog (for which I make no apologies).

  • Marketing: Mad Max Fury Road: a trailer retrospective — If there were ever that managed to deliver on the intensity and sustained visual interest of its trailers…
  • Editing: Mad Max: Center FramedBy using “Eye Trace” and “Crosshair Framing” techniques during the shooting, the editor could keep the important visual information vital in one spot… the Center of the Frame.
  • Sound design: Hearing Mad Max: Fury RoadThis film uses sound to enhance and add texture to the story in order to create an auditory post-apocalyptic world full of chaos, adrenaline, and suspense.
  • Visual effects: VFX breakdown for Mad Max: Fury Road — The incredible work of Brave New World VFX.

Fury Road VFX breakdown

The Marvel Symphonic Universe

Every Frame a Painting is back with a new video about the use of ‘temp music’ in modern moviemaking, particularly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tony Zhou: Off the top of your head, could you sing the theme from Star Wars? How about James Bond? Or Harry Potter? But here’s the kicker: can you sing any theme from a Marvel film? Despite 13 films and 10 billion dollars at the box office, the Marvel Cinematic Universe lacks a distinctive musical identity or approach. So let’s try to answer the question: what is missing from Marvel music?

Hollywood Scores & Soundtracks: What Do They Sound Like? Do They Sound Like Things?? Let’s Find Out! →

SLO: 3D Printed Camera

SLO: 3D Printed Camera

Amos Dudley made made his own 3D printed camera, with lens.
He has even made the design files available for download so you can print your own.

SLO is a single lens objective. SLO is the mechanical shutter. SLO is the speed of good design, and the feeling of capturing life with a camera you made yourself.

A 3D printed camera body could look like anything, but I decided to optimize the design for printing speed and material usage. Most of the larger parts are designed without overhangs in one orientation, so they can be printed without supports, straight off the build platform. Separating the body into modules let me prototype each component individually. The shutter and lens are modules, and can be swapped out for different designs without reprinting the entire camera.

Creating a lens with a 3D printer is a challenge – your typical FDM printer won’t cut it here. […] The result was mixed- the lenses looked transparent, but weren’t optically sharp. Surface reflections were still blurry, which is a sign that a surface still has microscopic grooves that scatter light.

There’s no adjustment for shutter speed, except for the speed the button is pressed by your finger.

Photo taken with the SLO 3D printed camera

Photo taken with the SLO 3D printed camera

See more photos taken with the SLO on Flickr, shot on Fujicolor Superia 400.

35mm is the most common film standard, and the natural choice for the SLO. It’s also the only film size that’s still relatively easy to get developed at a reasonable price. The choice of a film size informs many aspects of a camera’s design and function.

(via HN)

See also

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SLO: 3D Printed Camera

“The design of the camera body evolved from a simplified massing of functional elements to refinements based on ergonomics and scale, as I learned more about the strength of the material.” — Amos Dudley

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Durlag's Tower
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How game designers make dungeons: Durlag’s Tower

Dungeon Master’s Guide to Durlag’s Tower

Extra Credits analyses dungeon design in its Design Club series:

Learn how game designers make dungeons by looking at one of the greatest teaching examples in gaming history: Durlag’s Tower from Baldur’s Gate.

Combat, narrative, puzzle, reward

“You can break each room down into four components: Its combat component, its narrative component, its puzzle component and its reward component.”

Watch Parts 2-5 →

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The Best Science Fiction Cinema of the 21st Century (So Far)

Plot Point Productions: Science fiction has the freedom to ponder the big questions in a variety of dramatic contexts, both in our world or a different one. The power of the genre has always been in its capacity for escapism, but also in its promotion of a conversation about who we are and what we want from ourselves and each other.

The first fifteen years of the 21st century have seen that conversation grow and splinter in many fascinating directions. A.I., cloning, conservation and the stewardship of our planet, societal alienation, space travel, love; the best sci-fi films of this century have tackled these themes and ideas while also telling stories that are rousing, unsettling, heartbreaking…and above all, human.

Shovel Knight and Nailing Nostalgia

Mark Brown: Some games are all about nostalgia – a reminder of how games used to be. No game nails this sensation quite like Shovel Knight, which expertly picks and chooses the right bits to emulate from old games. Here’s how Yacht Club Games pulled it off.

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Why Jump Scares Suck

Now You See It: Are jump scares cheap? Should we get rid of them? Short answer: No. They suck, but they have more potential than you may think.

See also

David Lean’s Scene Transitions

Despite whatever presets there are in Premiere, scene transitions are not limited to wipes, fades, or dissolves. Let’s examine the work of David Lean and see what unique ways we can find of cutting picture and sound together to make transitions really shine.

The Royal Ocean Film Society is a video essay series by Andrew Saladino devoted to the style, craft, and analysis of everything film.

David Braben
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David Braben on the science behind Elite Dangerous

David Braben is one of the most influential computer game programmers of all time thanks to his groundbreaking work with the Elite series in the 80’s. While I haven’t played the new Elite Dangerous yet, I really appreciate the thought that has gone into the designs and the respect for science that is evident.

David Braben interview, part 1 & part 2

See also: Audio design in Elite Dangerous

More parts to the David Braben interview →

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Overwatch Animated Short: “The Last Bastion”

Explore the origin story of Overwatch’s inquisitive transforming robot in our fifth animated short: The Last Bastion!

The Giant’s Dream →

CASEY NEISTAT: WHAT YOU DON’T SEE

The Nerdwriter on uber-vlogger Casey Neistat.

“Though there are plenty of imitators, I think it’s pretty much impossible to duplicate the style of Casey Neistat.”

If you’ve never watched a Neistat video before, I recommend this recent installment.

It’s a fairly typical episode with an unexpected turn and the subtitles made me laugh out loud.

See also

Title Design: The Making of Movie Titles

Academy Originals: Title designer Dan Perri explains how he designed movie titles for films such as “Star Wars,” “The Exorcist,” and “Raging Bull.”

(via Wired)

The Nerdwriter: Batman v Superman: The Fundamental Flaw

“The overused and unearned moment is DC’s greatest foe.”


And in this video The Auralnauts finally explain the Flash dream from Batman v Superman…

Batman v Superman: The Flash Dream Explained

Batman V Superman tried setting up the new Justice League movie with some dream sequences, but they were… confusing. We help make sense out of The Flash sequence.


See also: Comparing the soundtracks of ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Superman: The Movie’.

Inside

A short film by Mattis Dovier.

“After that, I always had the same strange dream. I could see myself lying on the floor, restless, with electronic cables springing out of my body.”

(via digg)

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Inside: surreal psychological cyberpunk nightmares as pixel art

Short film commissioned by Channel 4’s Random Acts in collaboration with It’s Nice That

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Game of Thrones: Anatomy of A Scene: The Battle of Winterfell

SPOILERS, obviously. Game of Thrones’ biggest pitched battle to date, the Battle of the Bastards is brutal and terrifying and this wasn’t even the only major conflict in episode nine!

Update: This VFB breakdown shows a lot more of the effects work from the episode.

Update: Another addition to this post on The Battle of the Bastards to include this interesting CineFix piece on 3 Brilliant Moments from the Battle of the Bastards.

CineFix: We hope we’re not too late to the party, but as it turns out, we just can’t get enough of this episode! So today we’re talking about 3 of the best, most brilliant little moments from this amazing on screen battle.

See also

The Secret World of Foley

Witness the magic of moviemaking and journey into the little known world of Foley Artists, who bring films to life with their perfectly-timed sound-effects.

See also

Movie written by algorithm turns out to be hilarious and intense: Ars is excited to be hosting this online debut of Sunspring, a short science fiction film that’s not entirely what it seems.

Sunspring screenplay sample

Benjamin is an LSTM recurrent neural network, a type of AI that is often used for text recognition. To train Benjamin, [researcher, Ross] Goodwin fed the AI with a corpus of dozens of sci-fi screenplays he found online—mostly movies from the 1980s and 90s.

As the cast gathered around a tiny printer, Benjamin spat out the screenplay, complete with almost impossible stage directions like “He is standing in the stars and sitting on the floor.” Then Sharp [the director] randomly assigned roles to the actors in the room. “As soon as we had a read-through, everyone around the table was laughing their heads off with delight,” Sharp told Ars.

Sunspring

For Sharp, the most interesting part of the Benjamin experiment has been learning about patterns in science fiction storytelling. Benjamin’s writing sounds original, even kooky, but it’s still based on patterns he’s discovered in what humans write. Sharp likes to call the results the “average version” of everything the AI looked at. Certain patterns kept coming up again and again. “There’s an interesting recurring pattern in Sunspring where characters say, ‘No I don’t know what that is. I’m not sure,'” said Goodwin. “They’re questioning the environment, questioning what’s in front of them. There’s a pattern in sci-fi movies of characters trying to understand the environment.”

See also

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Sunspring: a short film written by an algorithm

In the wake of Google’s AI Go victory, filmmaker Oscar Sharp turned to his technologist collaborator Ross Goodwin to build a machine that could write screenplays. They created “Jetson” and fueled him with hundreds of sci-fi TV and movie scripts. Building a team including Thomas Middleditch, star of HBO’s Silicon Valley, they gave themselves 48 hours to shoot and edit whatever Jetson decided to write.

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You find yourself deserted on an unknown planet, with little indication of how you arrived. Armed with your trusty plasma cutter and your ship’s sentient artificial intelligence computer, you must search for a way home. During your journey you will uncover secrets and challenges beyond your imagination, along with a hidden past that this strange planet holds. As you discover this hidden past, you will ultimately have to confront your own…

Backed!

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Transmission: stylish SF action-adventure game on Kickstarter

Transmission is a hand painted action-adventure game that blends tactical combat, vast exploration, and intricate puzzle solving, along with a rich narrative in the realm of great science fiction cinema.

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CineFix: Top 10 Favorite Rule Breaking Films

What makes a cinema rule? And why do they exist? And what happens when you break them?

  1. Invisible Filmmaking – Dogville
    It’s not as much breaking the 4th wall as it is demolishing all of them, but the effect is exactly the same. It’s a constant reminder to the audience that what they’re looking at ISN’T REAL.
  2. Editing Rules – Breathless
    When everyone was trying to make you forget about editing and cuts and believe that movies were real, Godard was chopping up his film and throwing them right in your face, bringing the very artifice of editing right to the forefront with the jump cut.
  3. Shooting Rules – Tokyo Story
    The most important rule of all is called the “180 degree rule” and it’s a shooting guideline for establishing a dependable screen geography. Although this kind of screen continuity pervades almost every film you could have seen in theaters for the past CENTURY, Yasujiro Ozu tossed it out the window.
  4. Colors / Visual Style – Enter the Void
    Enter the Void used lighting and camera and visual effects in a way unlike anything ever before it. The story is an out of body POV experience in more ways than one, and an absolute visual revelation in terms of how to view the world.
  5. Genre – From Dusk til Dawn
    A quick-talking Tarantino-esque crime film STARRING Tarantino and a fresh-from-TV Clooney, From Dusk til Dawn makes it just about halfway through without a single undead, before quickly pivoting into the kind of balls-out actiony-vampire-shoot-em-up that’s pure Rodriguez.
  6. The Hero / Protagonist – Psycho
    Hitchcock purposefully set out to mislead his audience and then devastate them, like an old-timey George RR Martin. He used their expectations against them, carefully cueing them to invest in Marion Crane as the hero of the film, before stabbing them in the metaphorical heart.
  7. Story Structure – Last Year in Marienbad
    Truth, fiction, time, place, logic and cause all fold in on themselves, creating an escher-like narrative structure that refuses to be linearized in any kind of story map.
  8. Having a Story at All – Jeanne Dielman, vingt-trois quai du Commerce, mille-quatre-vingt Bruxelles
    The film is honest about life in a way most others are not. It does not select the fascinating. It does not focus on the important. It does not trim the fat.
  9. Coherence / Causality – The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
    It is a bizarre storyworld where anything can happen, asking us all to interrogate our own logical assumptions, and those of of the stories we consume daily.
  10. Linguistic vs Emotional Storytelling – The Mirror
    Images speak, but not in words or symbols. They do not attempt to convey to us logic or language or concrete plot. But instead thoughts, emotions, memories in the abstract. Before processing and verbalization.

(via)

5 Great Science Fiction Anime You (Probably) Haven’t Seen

Mother’s Basement: Looking for a new SciFi anime to watch? Here are five more obscure shows that you can really sink your teeth into.

  1. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0Middle school student Mirai Onozawa is dissatisfied with her family circumstances and, in a moment of frustration, wishes to tear everything apart. Unfortunately, these destructive thoughts seem to come true in the form of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake just a few moments later.
  2. KaibaIt is now possible to store memory data, so that the death of your body is not actually “death.” As memories are stored in databanks, they can be “transferred” to new bodies. Because so-called “memory trading” now occurs, it is now possible to steal memories and illegally alter them.
  3. The Irresponsible Captain TylorJusty Ueki Tylor had his life all planned out: join the military, get a cushy desk job, and then retire with a big fat pension check. The perfect plan… until he wandered into a hostage situation and somehow managed to save an admiral! Now Tylor – a man who wouldn’t know what discipline was if it bit him on the backside – has been made Captain of the space cruiser Soyokaze.
  4. Level EIn the present day, hundreds of extraterrestrial species walk the Earth. Some are pacifistic, others violent. Some are here for research purposes, others are career criminals. However, humans don’t know they are here.
  5. Dennou CoilEleven years after the introduction of internet-connected, augmented reality eyeglasses and visors, Yuuko Okonogi moves with her family to Daikoku City, the technological center of the emerging half-virtual world. Yuuko joins her grandmother’s “investigation agency” comprised of children equipped with virtual tools and powerful metatags. She quickly crosses paths with Yuuko Amasawa, an expert hacker of the virtual environment, as Amasawa relentlessly seeks to “unlock” the mystery of a computer virus that emerges from an inaccessible corrupted space.