Otakon 2008: Friday

8 08 2008

Mixed highs and lows.

Music games panel was interesting enough — a rundown of various non-mainstream games. Technical difficulties and a missing panelist marred it a bit, but it filled an hour nicely.

Caught some of the overflow AMV tape. OMGhorrible. Like, “guy doing poser machinima of a badly lipsynced R&B artist in a vaguely martial arts setting, but with motorcycles” bad. Didn’t stay long.

Had BCC food. Wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.

Visual Novels class wasn’t actually anything I couldn’t have gotten out of the ren’py tutorials, but it was being led by the CREATOR of ren’py, which was pretty awesome. I got some good notes about the VN community and its various expectations… I dunno if I’ll really be in their COMMUNITY. We’re talking a largely toss-ripped-or-donated-media-into-a-bucket approach here, which is not what I want, since I’m a believer in 100% original works. I’ll formulate more plans later.

Dealer’s room was a disappointment. Every dealer had the same swag. The same naruto and bleach plushies, the same squaresoft figurines, the same everything. The few semi-unique items I found I bought… a nice leatherbound Death Note (actual notebook, but with the Rules printed in the front). A Yotsuba figurine and some books. A Ryuk plushie (!). Some nice chibi figs of the Haruhi girls. Etc. But now… I’m done, see. That’s the problem. Everything else is everything else, everything everybody has at nearly identical price points. Why go back?

AMVs were okay; a few standouts, some standards, some dulls. The Still Alive video was surprisingly tame, just a bunch of wacky cutouts and internet memes. I think the hand-animated video right before it took the cake. You’ll no doubt be seeing these on them thar youtubes.

Biggest disappointment? ROCK BAND. They had ONE station for it. One station with NO defined lines, just a mass of 25+ people at any given time, who sort of think they’re in various lines. And when the game can only process 4 people every 4 minutes, well… it took me ONE HOUR AND TEN MINUTES just to get up there, sing Blondie’s “Call Me” to nobody’s amusement, and leave. Whee. Even worse, I’m an hour in, and someone tells me “Oh, you wanted vocals? You should’ve been in the line over there.” Sorry, pardonmyfrenchbutBITCH, I am NOT abandoning an hour of waiting to wait ANOTHER hour. Especially when I’m frickin’ disabled and I have to move from CHAIR TO CHAIR because that’s how you assembled your supposed ‘line’.

…needless to say, my plans to hang around RB most of Saturday are out the window. I’m not putting up with that shit again. I’ll find some other event to go to.

Okay, signing off for the night. Overall I’m glad to be at Otakon but it’s a shame some of the things I was looking forward to are a flat out bust.

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7 responses

9 08 2008
chiave_trust

That’s why I tend not to go into the Dealer’s Room, in any of the years I’ve been at Otakon – besides, much of that stuff I can get online. Maybe I exchange sales tax for shipping, but otherwise, it’s the same sort of stuff.
(Hence why I’m usually around Artists’ Alley.)

9 08 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I stick to Amazon for actual anime DVDs. The dealer’s room I use for the items you can’t get online without massive shipping costs or markup, like figurines and UFO catcher dolls. I got some choice ones, but they were as far as I can tell the ONLY choice ones… all the other stock people have is same-old, same-old mainstream popular items. Boring.

9 08 2008
chiave_trust

Yeah, those can get expensive.
But when I went (very last-minute) last year, the Dealer’s Room just seemed… rather boring to me. I got two doujinshi and a wa-loli skirt and that was it in terms of swag. (And someone refunded me for the skirt, so, yeah.) Nothing else seemed worth it.

9 08 2008
lirazel

Yotsuba! Damn, I love that child. I’d kill her if she was mine, most likely, but.. yeah.
I, too, am finding dealer’s rooms to be less and less interesting. Last time I went to a con, it was all–and I mean ALL–Naruto and Inu-Yasha SD plushies. The only slightly nift thing I found was a Japanese family with brush-stroke kanji T-shirts and baseball hats… my little nevvy looked very kawaii in his Ninja T-shirt.
But otherwise… with all the CG around, even the books of cels for sale are old.
And maybe you’ll wake up the VN world…

9 08 2008
omahdon

So. Like. When you get around to doing a Visual Novel-like project and. Like. Need a voiceover guy. Thing. Give me a call. Yup. Still here – waiting for the next opportunity to voice a Stefan Gagne project. Yessiree. Not stalking, just. Here. Yes.
I still have fond memories of the wonderful silliness that was Fist of Discomfort.

10 08 2008
Anonymous

2f here, on mobile and cant log in.
I hadn’t considered voice but that may be fun. I do regret not being able to do fod justice: I did an sl game based on it but it had no voice. An fod vn MIGHT work. Well see.

13 08 2008
Anonymous

Hey, Tom here, the guy who led the panel and created Ren’Py. Some comments on your comments:

Visual Novels class wasn’t actually anything I couldn’t have gotten out of the ren’py tutorials, but it was being led by the CREATOR of ren’py, which was pretty awesome.

While it’s true that the class mostly mimiced the quickstart manual, I’m not sure what else I could do. I can’t really start with anything but the basics, and there’s only so fast I can go and so much I can get to before people’s eyes start glazing over.

I got some good notes about the VN community and its various expectations… I dunno if I’ll really be in their COMMUNITY. We’re talking a largely toss-ripped-or-donated-media-into-a-bucket approach here, which is not what I want, since I’m a believer in 100% original works. I’ll formulate more plans later.

I apologize if you got a false impression of the community from my talk. We prefer original games. The only reason I wanted people to start with canned art at the tutorial was that we had a limited amount of time, and I wanted people to spend that time using Ren’Py rather than creating their own art and such.

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