It's been an inexcusable absence, but the dude is on the scene once again.

I've been pressed between finishing The Damned and YouTube. It's incredible that in a periodically short amount of time, YouTube now has videos on just about everything. I even discovered one containing out-takes from Vamp, one of my favourite childhood horror movies.

Progress with The Damned has been, er, damned slow. See, prior to the third level, most of the models I created were humanoid and as such could be made with a minimal amount of mesh adjustments and a few Photoshopped texture maps, but on the third level I have been faced with the task of creating the 'birdmen' monsters that I have conjured in my minds eye. Another issue has been focusing on the actualisation of a foggy landscape. I'm still working on creating the illusion of a believable, animated forest floor, but the ceaseless displays of moving, sometimes animated alpha-channelled images is persistingly costing a lot of processor power and getting around this has been tasking. It's times like this when you wish you had a senior coder with 10 years experience handy.

On the sunnier side of things, Lucifer is looking sweet coming out of the mists, and the 'birdmen' are coming along in a nice, creepy fashion.

A demo of the level 2 boss, EvilK, has replaced the previous link to the first level on your right side, enjoy. Seek out the weakspots!

p.s.

A bit of free code for those who want it. Mist in AS using the perlin BitmapData filter. Slow as shit, unfortunately.


import flash.display.BitmapData;

function makePerlin()
{


for (var a = 0; a < 10; ++a)
{
offsets[a].y = offsets[a].y + offsetSpeeds[a];

} // end of for



datab.perlinNoise(50, 50, 6, rnum, false, true, 1, true, offsets);



}


var offsetSpeeds = [4, 2];
var rnum:Number = Math.floor(Math.random() * 10);
var datab:BitmapData = new BitmapData(550, 400, false, 0x00CCCCCC);
var offsets = [new flash.geom.Point(0, 0), new flash.geom.Point(0, 0)];
var mc_1:MovieClip = this.createEmptyMovieClip("mc", this.getNextHighestDepth());
mc_1.attachBitmap(datab, this.getNextHighestDepth());


onEnterFrame = function ()
{
makePerlin();
};


Just a couple of horror flicks that've come out in recent years that are don't deserve the praise.

Hostel
Damn, well this started off pretty good, but the last 30 minutes killed it. And thinking about it, the only reason is was good in the beginning was not because of any horror element, but just enjoying the adventure that the 3 young guys were having getting laid in Slovakia and the Netherlands.
Like I said, the last 30 minutes were bloody ridiculous. Suddenly the mostly complacent hero turns into a whacko and does all sorts of comic-book anime shit involved cutting up bad guys. It's completely deters from any form of psychological reality. To top that, there's one part involving this crazy American businessman torturing a Japanese girl with a blowtorch. Moments later, the J-girl is up and running with a prosphetic eyeball hanging off her cheek.
The whole thing leaves you shaking your head muttering "weak". I can't believe Takeshi Miike lowered himself to do a cameo in one scene of this steaming poo-pile.

Saw 2
Ahhh, this was rubbish. Frankly, I think Saw was the equivalent of a one-hit wonder for the two main dudes involved in the producing of it, and so it came to me as no suprise that they disguise the lack of any solid professional talent in the making of the second one. The guys shouldn't have sold their souls to cash in on the franchise, because they could have remained respected members of the horror crowd otherwise. Sigh.

There are parts that are good, but Saw 2 has the feel of a college project with a big budget. Jigsaw is over-exposed and has some stupid lines. "Oh yes, there will be blood" sounds like it's ripped off from Waynes World, for Christs sake. There are major writing flaws in the human psychology of the characters, and the plot tries to be too clever for it's own good, ultimately leaving us with a weak ending that never really seems feasible.

Dead Birds
First off, don't let me convince you that this is a bad movie. It's not. But it is overrated. If anything I'd say watch it if there's nothing else at the video-store.
So what didn't I like about it?
Well, though the acting was good, I generally felt the pace was a little slow throughout, and I hated the grown-up kid from E.T. in the role of a cowboy tough guy.
Though the monsters in the movie were original and spine-chilling, they never reach their full potential as seat-jumpers. You don't see any good killings, and the movie almost seems like it's 90 minutes of people traipsing through beautifully rainy corn-fields or in and out of shadowy rooms, without any of it ever coming to a remarkable head.
Lke a delicious Caesar Salad that you never get to eat.
At least the ending has a good twist.



VIDEO-GAMES
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Just posted a demo over at FlashKit. Here's a pic of the GUI.



The reason it's titled FEAR is because that was the name I changed it to before I discovered some cheeky bastards have called their game F.E.A.R.
Sons-of-bitches.
Mind you, it's hardly an original name, and THE DAMNED is started to grow on me more now.

More to come tomorrow.
I'm feeling more optimistic today. Just got 250 quid remitted to me as a wedding present, and I just watched the new "Hills Have Eyes" movie which was hachet-in-your-skull sweet.
Hell, let's skip video-games for a minute and let's talk about horror movies. If you're not into them, roll on down the page some.

Let me tell you, I am more than qualified to make a zombie-game due my Tarantino-esque obsessiveness for gore flicks. Here's a presentation of a few superb movies for you guys out there with *BitTorrent*...ahem....sorry I meant 'time to see'.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The new one. I loved this more than the original. Embedded in my brain is the memorable scene of one of the victims having his leg chainsawed from behind a washing sheet line, and Leatherface giving a hammer-sandwich to some guys head.
Most memorable scene: The prior mentioned hammer to the head. SMACK!

Dawn of the Dead
Both the old one and the new one are good flicks. The first one starts off at a fast pace, but wanes toward the end. It's actually in some ways more of a social commentary than a clear-cut horror movie. However, it is still superior to the second one, which is somewhat formulaic for the most part. Saying that, it's a great Friday night.
Most memorable scene:A zombie baby being born.

Hills Have Eyes
I haven't seen the first one so the only thing I know about it is that it starred the mongoloid guy from Weird Science.
This is a great movie. It's part of this new wave of gore-out, scare-packed horror movies that you just can't get enough of. This one goes that extra length to shock and has truly horrific and delicious moments.
Most memorable scene:Mum and daughter coming in to the trailer to save their daughter only to get blown away.

Jeepers Creepers 1 & 2
Whilst the second one is slightly better, the first one is still high viewing. The director has made good use of jarring imagery that sticks with you, such as;- two kids watching a body being dumped into a pipe, only to see the murderer/monster turn to notice them; the monster exposing his face to the kids on the bus as he 'scents' them (very nice moment), and the flying monster snatching a kid into the sky whilst being chased by the family. Excellent movies. Probably the ones responsible for this resurge in good-quality horror movies in recent years.
Most memorable scene:Ah..too many to mention

Imprint
Very rare 1 hour Takeshi Miike special, and one episode of an American show called 'Masters of Horror'. To be honest with ya, I thought the Ring and the Grudge were both shite. What's so scary about a teenage ghost-girl with hair issues? Nothing. I see she's even making her way into video-games, which sucks.
No, you could say I was skeptical about this offering, but how can you go wrong when a horror episode is taken-out of a horror series for being too grisly. I just had to have it. It wipes the floor with the other directors efforts (even f*&king Argento screwed his one up, twat). A stylish, unpredictable and ultimately sickening period piece, which I can do nothing but recommend. Though I have to admit I generally enjoy the simple Hollywood horrors more, Imprint is an hour of madness you will do well experiencing. One last thing to mention is the marvellous acting of the lead Billy Drago (Snow from that movie Vamp). This guy, with his gaunt features and demonic grin, was born to do horrors. So why isn't he in more? Come on directors, get him into some good flicks before he croaks!!
Most memorable scene:Kumomo getting tortured with pins to the fingernails. Yowch!

Silent Hill
Wow, a highly original paranormal horror. This doesn't aim to get you behind the couch as much as go for the long-term creep out. It does well in absorbing your attention for the entire runtime. People who have played the Silent Hill game will adore this. It is the best attempt of a faithful conversion of a game to the silver screen I have ever seen. It beautifully captures that mixture of mystery and the traces of ethereal sadness that the game expounded. Resident Evil was cack (how dare they fire Romero when they pawned his invention!!), House of The Dead was...ummm fuck House of the Dead. S.H. will probably remain the popular choice of the People-Who-Know-A-Good-Horror-From-Their-Arse crowd for a measure of time.
Most memorable scene:Without a doubt Pyramid-Head tearing a girls flesh off and chucking it at the door.


The Descent
Oh yes. I've left the best for last. Do yourself a favour and watch the others first because this one is the chocolate at the bottom of the Cornetto. You will benefit from that lingering taste that should be maximised. In comparison to the others mentioned here, I can only sum it up by quoting Lance as he talks to Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction "These are all real, real good shit, but this one is the the f*ckin madman". The Descent is absolutely terrifying. Believe me, I haven't reacted to a horror this way since Aliens. Everything in this movie is perfect. The cast, the music, the lighting, the residual fear of the whole situation. And it continues to scare you, again, and again, then when you've already shat yourself, one last time. Then finally, the ending is poetic, and yet deeply disturbing and memorable. Watching this movie is like going down the gym for all the constant heart-rate fluctuations you go through. Horror movie of the decade.
Most memorable scene:Can't spoil it for you. I'm not that cruel.

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Back to Video-Games

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm forced to make my death-scenes with some simpler animations. Truth be told, Snakeman's one is done now and it's not half-bad.

I'll post a pic today or tomorrow.
Don't you just hate it when you spend a great deal of time on some element within a game, only to realise it'll never work?


I came to this conclusion the other night after irritatedly trying to piece together a decent animation.
After discovering that Flash could embed avi's and compress them into satisfyingly small files, I thought I might try to make some decent CGI for The Damned - some death-scenes for when you get killed by the bosses.
However, I got as far as a Snakeman animation with him pulling the main character out of the boat and down to the depths, when I suddenly realised something very important. It looked shit.

I don't have the skills in Max yet.

Bugger.

It was taking far too long, and for all the effort it still never looked anything better than what it was, a beginners effort to make something that looked pro.

Oh, it could have been great. Let your imaginations play on;

a) Snakeman biting the hero, and then dragging the paralysed meat down to the bottom of the lake.
b) A quiet EvilK scene where you see him tossing a blood-drenched burlock bag off a cliff, which opens to reveal all the hero's chainsawed body-parts inside.
c) Lucifer tearing out a chunk of hero neck. Then almost as soon as the hero has died he is raised to be undead, and follows Lucifer out of the scene.

It sucks, but what can you do?
For the time being I suppose I'll finish the death-scenes with simple animations alike to the one you can find in the game now. No wow factor with any of that crap.

So hey, if any 3d masters out there fancy getting their names on a game, (and maybe some cold hard cash IF it sells), how about you rustle up a few nice animations for me?

Pretty please????
BEAT-EM-UP TUTORIALS

It seems like the beat-em up tutorials I wrote on GotoAndPlay() are gaining in their popularity or something because recently I've had quite a few folks out there sending me their own home-grown examples of their own fla files complete with a million bugs and a beg to save their game. I'll likely make a FAQ, because it's always the same problems that pop-up. Basically, too many people out there are trying to make SF2 before they can even make DragonNinja. Doh!
Because of the amount of requests, the tutorials updated with new improvements and better code are being linked on the blog today. I also felt guilty for using code on movie clips so that has also been corrected.
I'm a little unhappy with GotoAndPlay.it because despite having sent them a couple of tutorials (of which the originals were wiped from my pc that exploded), they haven't done anything about publishing them. Oh well, you will find the tutorials on the sidebar, and future tutorials on here or FlashKit, if they'll take them..?


THE DAMNED



Shotgun now available for the third level of The Damned.
I was considering only having the handgun for the entire game, but I figure every good zombie game has got to have a couple of chainsaws and a shotgun, so I went ahead and rendered me up some 3d models and voila!
Actually the code to operate switching between weapons have been finished already. However, I'm thinking the shotgun will be more of a special weapon that only lasts 10 seconds or so but does immense damage to the enemy, to keep the balance in the game.

Something else I have to do is some more death-scenes. There's only one at present, when you get killed by the water-zombies. So today, I shall be working on something for Snakeman, perhaps a little embedded video of our hero getting dragged to the depths of the lake, like that scene in Friday 13th.

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