Not much Help….
November 20th, 2008

Not much Help….

Yeah so I got my first taste of the new XBL experience yesterday and I have to admit…. I kinda like it. Don’t get me wrong… I’m stillnot too happy about having some little jerkoff wave at me from my dashboard…. far from it. I hate the little bastard…. but everything else is pretty nice. The new party system is FANTASTIC!!! No longer do I have to endure the inane rantings of twelve year olds or have inacurate racial slurs hurled at me….. Ah the glory of silence…. Also the notification that friends are playing the game that you just booted up is a nice touch. That along with the more detailed “XXXX wants to play” message are great additions…. I even tried installing a game to my hard drive. I know that there are a lot of people out there who have been complaining that the loading times haven’t changed much, but one thing that has is the noise level…. It’s SO much quieter when running from the HDD, no more disc noise!!!!

I am gonna take a minute to give Microsoft shit for something tho…. These “AVATARS”… so you guys have been working on these for HOW long? and thats ALL the options we get? Half of the clothing looks like ass and there isn’t even enough of it… there are all of 3 baseball caps…. and seriously…. you guys have crap all for imagination… there isn’t even a cowboy hat! The facial hair looks like crap to, and what is your fetish with stupid looking moustaches?! Avatars = EPIC FAILURE! Sorry guys these things SUCK!

Wow I feel better for getting that off my chest…. now I can go back to killing Locust.


  1. Lou Manglass

    I KNOW! I tried to get a feel for the dashboard yesterday before work, and got locked into making a Mii…sorry, Avatar. What was I thinking…Anyway, couldn’t even get to the dashboard without futzing with the cursed thing.

    The choices are nowhere near enough, though I’m sure they’re ready to sell you plenty of outfits and maybe even face/hair mods. I too was disappointed with the lack of hats, and I’m not a big shoe person myself (comfort over style) but what is up? Did you see they’re going to be appearing in games, too, like Scene It? Guh…

    I do like the save to HD option. The only thing I’ve noticed is that it’s quieter (not faster), but man, it is QUIETER. The Netflix integration is a neat idea, but I don’t have Netflix. I do like the new layout, as it makes the descriptions totally accessible (no more waiting for the auto-scroll feature). Overall, I think it’s an improvement, though I could do without the Miis…er, Avatars.

  2. Lou Manglass

    Oh, yeah, comic’s good too, I guess…

    Seriously, great angles on the vehicle. I really like how the panel composition came out. How did you get the blur effect in the background?

  3. Rob Lundy

    Hey Lou, yeah that blur is just a filter in photoshop “Motion Blur”

  4. Lou Manglass

    Ask a stupid question, get a simple answer. Figures it’s really easy and right in front of my face. Thanks.

  5. Allison Sellers

    Great website, the information is good, and the content will keep me coming back, thanks again.

) Your Reply...


    The Process: Writing

    So week after week I find myself doing something that I never thought I’d spend so much time and effort to improve…. Writing.

    Maybe it comes from my art and programming backgrounds, but I am constantly trying to find some kind of formula or exercise that will make the construction of a storyline an easier process.  Now that may feel like a kind of clinical and antiseptic way of approaching what is very much an art form.  But to be perfectly honest, that’s how I approach my artwork.  Now granted, that isn’t how I always thought of art, but in college I learned that a well drawn character begins with a solid construction from basic shapes, so why should writing be any different?

    I tend to start my writing sessions by recapping what is happening to the characters, what they might be feeling, thinking, what they want to do… just something to get the writing juices flowing.  A little like a warmup sketch.

    The next step is for me to write out a series of Plot Points I want to hit.  I don’t try to fill up every slot in a month of comics or anything, adding in more points between them to achieve a proper pace for the story can come later.  I just throw in anything I can think of that I’d like to have included in the storyline.  These Plot Points can be as detailed as fully fleshed out comic scripts or as vague as a single sentence that gives a loose idea of what will eventually become a script.

    At this point I look over what I’ve got and I just kinda guess at where I need to add another strip or two between the existing plot points to correct the pacing.  This is one part of the process that I don’t fully understand myself.  Pacing is just one of those things that I can just tell is off by looking at it.  I know it’s not particularly helpful, but it’s true.  Sometimes I can just tell that I need to add a strip before a change in location or subject matter, like it needs a transition… I dunno, it’s hard to explain.

    This is the point when I’ll often have a hard time coming up with ideas for those filler strips.  Luckily I recently discovered a writing trick that helps me come up with some new ideas.  It’s a variation of brainstorming I think of it as “the what if game.”  I just make a big old list of what ifs that relate to whats currently happening in the strip.

    What if the car breaks down on the way to the hospital?
    What if Brody discovers he’s allergic to the gel in disposable diapers?
    What if Abbey goes into false labor?
    What if Max breaks his arm and they all end up in the hospital together?

    You get the idea…

    So this list will generally generate enough options that SOMETHING in there will spark my imagination that will eventually become a joke.  You know it’s been said that ideas are cheap, that the execution of those ideas are what matter. This is true for writing comic strips.  I have learned that ANY situation can become a joke, you just need to find the right angle to approach it from.  Humor comes from the unexpected.  Present a problem or situation and then resolve it in a way your audience wont expect and you illicit a humor response.

    The last thing I do when writing a strip is simplify it.  Again with the writing as a formula….  This is the point where I take the joke I have and I optimize the script.  I try to take the most basic essence of the comic and I try to reduce it down to as few words as possible.  Editing down your scripts is important, but there is such a thing as doing it to aggressively.  You still need to maintain the tension in the strip.  By tension I mean you need to build up the tension in your first two or three panels and then release it on the final panel.  That tension can be lost if you edit the script down too far.  But that’s what I mean by optimizing…

    Anyway, that’s my writing process… Hope you guys find it interesting.

    I’d love to hear from you guys regarding your own writing tricks and tendencies.


    Where there’s a whip, there’s a way…

    Sorry about the lack of updates lately guys… I picked up a neat little contract to work on in my spare time and it has completely dominated my time over the last couple of weeks and will continue to do so for a little while longer.  I’m not sure how much I can share about the project at the moment, I’ll have to defer to my collaborators on divulging information on it.  But I will say that it is very much the kind of thing you all might be interested in.

    I’ll be back with some more information as soon as I can.


    Making of… #1

    Cartography for Dummies…

    Hey guys!  Been working a little bit on a map for my next D&D session… thought I’d post some in progress pics.

    Wee Wittle Bawbawian…

    Hey guys… I did this sketch at lunch today and thought I’d share!