Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reactivated from the cruise!

How did my cruise go?

I have three hours of digital video footage.  However, I am not going to bore you with that, like some eccentric relative with home movies.  Instead, I will show one high point of my cruise in a simple digital image:

Yep, that's a dolphin.  Her name is Frida, she outweighed me 2 to 1, and I swear, out of all of us in the group, she liked to glide by me especially...she reminded me of Cortana (my cat).  I'll tell you, this was better than what they offered at Sea World of California:

Don't get me wrong, Penny was a delight.  However, there's a difference between the programs (the trainers will be there to ensure the well-being of the dolphins and the safety of the visitors, mind...the dolphins are trained but...if they don't want to interact, they will not interact!).  In all my observation, the dolphins in both facilities were well-treated, healthy, and enriched...however at the Cabo center, these dolphins could expect random stimuli from random visitors (and the trainers watched the visitors like hawks, and the rules they gave...well, given my research and behavioral psych courses in college, I agreed with what they said)...

There are those that are strongly against captive dolphins.  Me, I think the ideal would be like those dolphins at the facilities in florida where they are let loose into the open ocean, free, they get R&R, and come back when they want.

I'm back to work on my third (and hopefully final) rewrite of my Sci-Fi novel.  As far as Kane's Mind goes, I'm getting back with Jared O'Brien, but I have to wait until he's done with finals.  The voice work is ongoing and successful so far.

And IF I manage to finish and finally publish my novel (after more than ten years and three rewrites), look for this title:

And yes, I rendered that.  That was back in high school, using Strata StudioPro.  (And dammit, I will finish this book, it's the first of four in my plans...)

Kane's Mind will be done to completion.  I started in, people like it, I should finish it.  I cannot guarantee timing but...hell, I put my foot in it, I might as well finish what I started.

Oh yes.  Also, I'm working on trying to go Windowless...I can't yet afford to go Mac/Windows transparent (I can't afford the uber-core minitower and if I'm going mac, I'm going Mac pro uber processor architecture), but I have set up a partition with Kubuntu...that is, Ubuntu with KDE.  I've worked with KDE from Xandros, and I like the familliar environment and the interface.  It's a little quirky, but at least it doesn't pretend to be perfect and ignore the user (like any Linux distro, you work with it and people try to improve it).

'Course I still have to boot back into Windows to use Vegas and Soundforge (I need all of the processor cycles and I don't know how to configure Wine to maximize performance, I am ten years out of date with these techniques).  But, at least I have a fallback.

Addendum: I learned, on November 22, Anne McCaffrey, author of the Dragonriders of Pern series, and for a brief time when I was in high school, my mentor over E-mail (I kid you not, I had some correspondence with her for a time, she even let me interview her for a school project...a really nice lady, and she gave me some simple advice, but hearing it from a pro really cemented it home) passed away.

I wish I could have finally finished and published my book so I could thank her in person.

Consumite Furore.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hooyeah, Monetized.

Well, those few of you who followed my blog...they've found I've put ads on there.  It's the least intrusive means I can think of to raise revenue.  Just visit the site and see the ad.  I'm not going to prostitute myself to put adware or spyware on people's site (in fact I think that's probably against the rules of the ad agencies so if they violate that through my site, tell me, and tell Google, because someone's breaking the rules and I hate the douches who screw with the software on other people's computers).

That said, I'm not going to just go out and prostitute myself.  I believe in hits for content. most, I may use YouTube as a hosting service and run hits through my blog in order to observe intellectual property rights...if I get money I'd rather have it be through my editing and voice work...and hopefully I can give a boost to ID Software...who made some good stuff through trust and sharing...I mean Doom 1 and Quake 1 started the same way, you got a whole ep for free...if you liked the game, you paid for the rest, but only if you liked it.  And I like Quake.  And I like to do Kane's Mind.  In fact, when I was in grad school, when I wanted to put myself full onto studying but had a yen for gaming, I set up a quake 3 server.  Smalltime (only through a DSL, didn't get many takers...and I had some good third party maps...), but I wanted to promo some awesomeness.  (And ID made Q3A hybrid, so I ran it on my Mac G4 dual back in that day...hoo man that thing was hot).

If I get really desperate for income, I am going to put up a full announcement.  YouTube will be hosting my vids, but the access will be through my site.  At least that will be the case until I can run some independent hosting much like Ross Scott does with Accursed Farms.  (I think.  I don't know what he uses outside of  YouTube gave me some wider permissions, so I can experiment a bit more.

On Kane's Mind...when people started liking my work, I decided to commit to completing the game.  I had ideas to do a "point five" season (ID did hint at the end of Quake IV that Kane had additional orders).  But here is what I will tell you.  I started this.  People liked it.  So I will see this season through to the end.

Can I guarantee another season or another series?  I don't know.  Honestly.  Like the Bungie reps were with me when I was at the Halo: Reach launch, they gave me an honest answer at the time.  "We don't know."  (343 industries, BTW, was formed of trusted Bungie people.  The spirit, we all hope, is still there.)

Possibilities for a future series?  Well assuming I don't get medical residency and it eats up all my time (which would be a big issue unless I can rig something to let technology help me...and if I do surgery as a specialty, I guarantee nothing...)...

Kane's Mind Legacy...Kane's grandfather, from Doom 3.
Clarke's Mind...Dead Space 1.  Not WolfgamerX, I am not going to be Ben Stein on valium.
BJ's Mind...Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
Jet's Mind...Tron 2.0.  And at least in this one, where the fourth wall breaks down, there are reasons for it...awareness of being in a video game?  The character is in a damn computer!!!

Kick me back some comments!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Let's Brony up this Shizzle!

Oookay.  When it came to the whole My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic phenomenon and the resultant "Brony" trend, I was largely in the dark until, thanks to my account on I can has cheezburger, I ran into a video on the front page:

I thought it was great.

I'd since worked with the Master Minds, working on two Out Of Our Minds videos with them.  When I found out that a couple of the Master Minds were Bronies (figure it out yourself which ones, they're self-admitted), I had to investigate.  What, in a cartoon based on a toy series geared towards seven year old girls, gets heterosexual men so interested?

So, I watched season one beginning to end.

You know what? It IS fun to watch. Lauren Faust created something that was not a little girl's tea party or slumber party. Frankly if I had a daughter I'd love if she watched this. It's not preachy, it's fun to watch, well animated, well-voiced, and ponies go batshit insane and cause mayhem. It inspired a physics presentation, for crying out loud. It's fun.

So frankly, yeah.  I'm not going to go so uber-brony as to preach it, but yeah, I like what Faust has done.  And in fact, the material has given me some stuff that I have used to create some Team Fortress 2 dubs.  Yes, TF2 dubs.  I actually found those amusing with some "America's Funniest Home Videos" clips, and even with "Saving Private Ryan."  Like with a Minds series, when done well, it's awesome.  I tried my hand at TF2 dubs using My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.  The first attempt went like this:

When I moved back to CA, I had only limited time to record for Kane's Mind.  In the meantime, I found some material to create another MLP:FIM TF2 dub:

When season 2 came out, and the first two episodes ran along the same lines as the first, I had to admit...first, Demospike didn't have enough lines.  Second, I had more material in terms of sound clips.  End result:

Now...I am not abandoning Kane's mind.  If anyone is still actually following my blog (granted I'm so not well known that I'm lucky if anyone is), then I have to let people know...I started this project, people like it, I want to see it to the conclusion of the game.  I don't know whether there's going to be a follow-up project.  As I said, I'm working on entering the medical profession.  Time will be sparse on that score.  However, I have found that I wouldn't be the first doctor with a machinima.  And yeah, it helps that I have a life outside of med school.

So, on my blog, I must post what people have already seen through my YouTube account:

I must apologize for not providing even a heads-up sooner.  Life happens.  Enjoy.  I'm already working on the next two episodes.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Mind Making, my humble opinion, #1

I have this to say about the Master Minds...they know what they are doing.  When it comes to the minds genre of machinima, it is easy to do, but very difficult to do well.  This is no joke.  There are people like me who just have a knack for certain kinds of improv work, shaping the scenario until it just plays out right.  I don't know how I do it, sometimes I just make it work.  I bet some of my harsher critics would say...sometimes I don't.  Hey, I'd appreciate some constructive criticism, as I mention in each description for each YouTube post.

Making a mind series isn't as easy as filming a game and running commentary.  Also, there's a lot of confusion between the "minds" genre and the "let's play" genre.  Let me lay it out simply:

  • Put the player/narrator in the shoes of the character.  This requires acting and a role, as well as knowing the setting in which the character exists.
  • Have a fourth wall.  Either there's some explanation for the game interface (in Kane's case, it's the implanted HUD system which every SMC Marine gets, with some cannibalized yet usable software), or it's ignored, or you have a hack to remove the extraneous items.  Glitches are, to cite Jared O'Brien in Out Of Our Minds 11, ignored or explored.
 The best example is taken from the best, so I show not my own work, but the first episode of Freeman's Mind, by Ross Scott.

 Let's Play:
Can have the player/narrator in and out of the shoes of the character.  Acting is intermittent, not essential, but not unwelcome.  You can figure out or re-write where the character is, and change up things on the fly.
No fourth wall.  You can act in a game or talk about the game.

A good example of this is rather tongue in cheek, taken from Little Kuriboh.

A big problem is when the two get confused.

Now, further, there are some fundamentals to doing this in Machinima and producing a good work.  I may have said this before, but...some people don't listen.
  1. Have the voice for it.  If you want to do this as a prepubescent kid (and I'm not being insulting, we all grow up, voices change) keep it private and use it as a practice stage.  Putting it up online will usually net you a lot of bad comments no matter how talented you are.
  2. Tribute vs. spinoff.  Tributes work very well (providing you have the voice and the skill for it).  Mark it as such, and know...that this ain't a road to fame.  It may give you some constructive criticism.
  3. Constructive criticism is not insult.  If they give you a reasonable idea or suggestion, it may behoove you to listen.  People who bother to give constructive criticism may think you have what it takes, and everyone can improve.  Even the best of the best.
  4. Appropriate tools.  Now you don't need to spend a earliest Kane's Mind were done with a $30 headset, an evaluation copy of a sound editing program, and windows media player.  You can make the best of what you got.  George Lucas and James Cameron made masterworks before CGI, and Cameron even did it with a minimum of work.  Even his prototypes were garbage bags and sticks before he okayed the money for the final work (I'm talking about Aliens, not T2 or Avatar here...).
  5. The first take is not often the best.  Yes, I improv.  But at times, I do repeated takes owing to mic thump, or thinking I could say that line better.  We do this for fun, not on a timeline.  Take a few more seconds to do it better.
  6. Mic skills.  This is important.  Don't just think that all that noise will be ignored.  There are a lot more critical people out there, and YouTube is full of crap.  Make your work more refined.  You need to watch out for clipping ("mic overload," or when your voice recording is too loud for the mic, or when your mixing is too loud that it distorts) or thump (when certain syllables like 'p' or 't' create a drumbeat sound through the microphone).  Now this is easy to correct, it took me some time to figure it out (I've been messing with this stuff since high school, don't feel bad about it, it took me a lot of time to work it out).  First, when you have your mic, have it set so you can keep a consistent position of your mic relative to your mouth.  That's why I like my headset, the mic stays put.  The mic should be near enough for adequate pickup, but not in your mouth...I find the best position for my mic is a little ahead and a little above my mouth.   Anatomically speaking, the upper jaw is fixed, the lower jaw moves.  You will have to find the best position for your mic.  Also, check your gain controls...gain is how much the mic "hears..." the higher the gain, the more sensitive the mic.  Try to keep the gain low enough to keep noise out.  If you find the right gain, you will have a clean signal.  Clean signals can be boosted later to eliminate distortion.  Signals with noise retain noise.  There is a promising abridger doing "Disgaea Abridged" that has vocal and scripting talent, but the mic noise is screwing things up.  Also, find a place where you can record and emote appropriately.
  7. Ripoffs are bad, but homages are okay.  A tip of the hat to other mindmakers here and there can be flattering and even lend a little depth if appropriately employed.  Be careful, though.  At least, it opens you up to snarky (and sometimes trollish) critics.  At worst, if you really screw up, it will be a ripoff.  Some homages have even become traditional for the minds series.  Do your homework.  And if in doubt, make sure you cite your inspiration in the credits.
  8. Time.  I found out the hard way that even if your YouTube account allows you to upload more than fifteen minutes, exceeding that limit too far will be aggravating to you in production and to your fans in watching.  I made the mistake in one episode.  Find that one and you'll find out what happened.
  9. New territory.  Even in old games.  There are plenty of games out there, if you are clever enough in hacking or editing.  I even found a mindmaker who made a minds game out of Halo that was actually fairly good, and I think he could turn it into a good series.  If you think you could do better with a game (like I did), using a previously unused game will let you put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.
  10. Have fun with the challenge!  This isn't something we do for money.  I do it because I have fun with it!  I am a big fan of "Whose Line is it Anyway" and "Mystery Science Theater 3000," and this just works out for me!
I'll see what I can do in the future about other tips and tricks.  I'm trying to see whether new mind makers are really up and coming out there.  I'd like to encourage good creativity.  There are cases, though, where it comes up on "Out Of Our Minds" and yeah, I participate.  And I can understand why...the ones that get ripped on in OOOM get ripped up because they really deserve it...that and what got produced can be made funny.  (So if you got featured on OOOM, I think you deserve thanks for feeding us some material for our comedy...but you should also take the lesson home and read between the could be possible for you to improve.  Everyone can.  I keep trying to improve myself.)

Just don't think what you did the first time is the best.  Compare it to the quality of something similar...and know you can do better.  It is possible.

When people don't figure it out, or don't take the hint, however...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What about the glass?

Is a glass half-full or half-empty?

  • Pessimist: The glass is half-empty.
  • Optimist: The glass is half-full.
  • Engineer: The glass is twice as large as it needs to be.
  • Ecologist: The glass would be completely full if not for global warming.
  • Accountant: Do you really need all that water?
  • Quantum physicist: Within the glass there is a 50% chance of encountering water.
  • Capitalist: Supplies are limited, order your water now!
  • Communist: Water rations are halved this year, comrade.
  • Surrealist: The cow is half banana.
  • Nihilist: What glass?
  • Nuclear physicist: If we knew when the glass was completely full, or we wait for the glass to be a quarter full, we can measure the half-life of water.
  • Astrophysicist: Within half of the observable glass, there are billions and billions of water molecules affected by a gravitational incline.
  • Gamer: This is just enough to get me to the well just beyond blue base.  I'll refill there and get the flag on the way back.
  • Analytical chemist: There is a liquid-phase mixture of hydrogen and oxygen in a two-to-one molar ratio, covalently bonded; a gas mixture of 78% diatomic nitrogen, 21% diatomic oxygen, and 1% other gases; confined within an open mouthed container of an amorphous silicate solid.
  • Mythbuster: Water in the glass, FIRE IN THE HOLE!
  • Nutritionist: You need sixteen of these a day.
  • Physician: Only half of this should be given intravenously, and only after adding 5% glucose by mass.
  • Computer scientist: It has to be either full or empty, unless we're using a quantum computer!
  • Theoretical physicist: You fool!  You altered the quantity of water in the glass by observing it!
  • Plasma physicist: Whoops, the water just evaporated.
  • Survivalist: Come near what's left of my water and I'll blow your head off.
  • Pragmatist: Just let me drink the damn water already!

On another note, I got together with a couple of the Master Minds to do an episode of "Out Of Our Minds:"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Moving back to CA

Well, by the end of the month, I will be moving back to California, hopefully to start a job before residency.  I'm going to be studying my butt off in the meantime.  So, hopefully, this video will tide you over between now and when I can get started again with production.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Funny what Portal 2 can inspire...

Admittedly, Portal and Chell's Mind are CyhAnide's turf.  This is why I made this edit video as a tribute/mashup/spoof of Chell's Mind and Dr. Who.

She'll either love it or send me an activated turret in the mail.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Episode 21...and some beta testing

Episode 21 is the first episode with two new changes:

1) This ep is built with new software.
2) This ep is built without the limit on time imposed by YouTube in the past.

Now, as far as ep lengths go, I'm going to try to keep episode lengths to close to 15 minutes apiece.  The de-limit gives me some margin of error.

Now on this post, once I put the movie up here, I wish for some info in the comments.  I need every shred of advice on pro-grade sound recording and editing so I can do what I can with the new software (Sony SoundForge).  My situation is largely: how do I record clear signals and amplify them appropriately (without mass distortion) and then mix them in?  Any user with experience in pro-grade software, please send me advice!  Now that I actually have legit purchased software, if there are bugs in the software, I can yell at the publisher...but the bugs I think are largely in my technique (the sound files from my previous sound editor were easier to work with, I'm trying to figure out how to get the same quality here).

Without further ado, the next ep of Kane's Mind!

And if you have to MST3K my least let me in on it.  I do have a sense of humor! If I can't laugh a myself, what business do I have making comedy?  (I just get ticked at BAD jokes.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

You know you've been playing too much minecraft when...

  1. You look up at the clouds to find north.
  2. You've fractured your knuckles trying to get wood.
  3. You read #2 above and completely missed the double entendre.
  4. You're distressed that everything can't be fit into neat 1-meter cubes.
  5. You keep throwing bones at the neighbor's husky to get it to follow you.
  6. You've almost been killed trying to ride a minecart on the train tracks.
  7. You've been under investigation by BATF for repeated purchases of black powder and sand.
  8. The hardware store has thrown you out because you repeatedly tried to demonstrate how to make a workbench with only four wooden planks.
  9. You've stopped going to the supermarket, instead going out to hunt random pigs.
  10. You built a coal-fired furnace and ruined pork chops in it.
  11. Contractors keep quitting on you after they see your plans for renovation...which include building a mob grinder in the backyard.
  12. You've been arrested by the rangers at Saguaro National Park for sniping cacti at long range, and they don't believe you when you claim "self-defense."
  13. You've been arrested by the rangers at Saguaro National Park for stealing cacti, and they don't think "chickens keep clogging up the works" is an extenuating circumstance.
  14. The homeowner's association has lodged complaints against you for booby-trapping your front yard, and they refuse to accept that it's to "keep the griefers out."
  15. You've tried to carry 64 cubic meters of sand at one time in a backpack.
  16. You've responded to Jehovah's Witnesses with: "Sure, I believe in a higher power, I just want to know if he'll include rideable dragons in the next patch."
  17. You've tried to ride a pig to work.
  18. You have a restraining order from the state of Hawaii from the time you depleted the state supply of buckets trying to get lava.
  19. You have a restraining order against you from the United States Geological Survey.
  20. You've tried to fill your bank account using INVEdit.
  21. You won't go out with your friends at night unless they can assure you they set preferences to "peaceful."
  22. You're confused when the goths won't burst into flames during daylight hours.
  23. You've tried to ask the CO at Fort Knox, Kentuky; and the DeBeers diamond mining firm what their seeds were.
  24. You've been cited by the zoning board for digging tunnels under neighboring properties.
  25. It wasn't the bow that got you tossed in jail, it was the 128 arrows in the trunk of your car.
--By the Master Minds, from last night's conversation.
    That's all for now...except for one thing.

    Freeman's Mind episode 32 is now on YouTube!

      Thursday, May 5, 2011

      Did I mention how much I hate the USMLE?

      They call it the United States Medical Licensing Examination, Step 2, Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills.

      They should have called it the Unbelievably Sadistic Monstrously Ludicrous Examination, Career Killer and Career Stopper.

      Let me lay it out for you...I've been praised for my performance in clinical rotations, core and elective.  I have been up to my eyeballs in studies and finished multiple shelf examinations.  I have aced all but one of my core rotations.  AND I AM STILL HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE PRACTICE TESTS!!!

      So I slug it out endlessly with the exams.

      This is, in a nutshell, what would keep me from otherwise producing episodes on a regular basis.

      But...I will not be the first doctor to have residency and a movie project.  So it is possible that I can see this all to completion.

      I will keep working.  And when I meet this test, I will rain down hell upon it and it shall be laid to burnination.

      In other news...

      It's official.  I have been accepted into the ranks of the Master Minds.  To be truthful, I'm honored and humbled.  These guys have been at the top of the Minds game for years longer than I have.  And then there's Ross Scott, who, IMHO, isn't so much a Master Mind as he is an Uber Mind, having spawned this whole genre with Freeman's Mind.  So that's now the high point of my day.

      I've also ordered Sony Vegas 10 Platinum Suite, which should accomplish two things:
      1) It will render unnecessary three or four programs on my hard drive, which I can now uninstall.
      2) It's far more lag-free and not prone to frame drops like Windows Live Movie Maker (which I had been using because it was free and already installed...and now I can use something that works better).  So with that being easier, I can do the same work in less time...which is also what I have on hand...less time.  However I'm going to see what I can do about filming for the next episode...

      More good news.  YouTube has de-limited my time.  I'm no longer bound to a 15 minute limit.  However, I'm going to try to keep the eps to about 15 minutes apiece...having the limit gone means I have a margin for those extra few minutes on the tail end, and don't have to split episodes up so much.

      So, we'll see what happens.

      Tuesday, May 3, 2011

      Monday, May 2, 2011

      How To Stroggify a Marine

      The following information is conjecture and has not been backed or approved by Id Software.  As such, it is subject to change.

      Phase 1: Source acquisition
      This is the acquisition of the biological frame from which the new Strogg is created.  Some Strogg are gestated in vitro (refer to reconnaisance by Cpl. Bitterman, first wave, operation Overlord 2), but in combat, many are modified life forms, or "transfers."  Sometimes the process is a hybrid, in which enemy biologics are rendered for organic substrate for use in the gestation of new Strogg bioforms.

      Phase 2: Source preparation
      Transfers are first injected with the nanoprep agent in a physiologically compatible medium with appropriate stabilizing agents.  For humans, this is a normal saline base with corticosteroids.  The nanomachines are similar in partial function to those in health packs, but far more versatile and advanced.  Next, unnecessary biomass is removed from the transfer prior to first augmentation.  In most cases, this includes both legs and one arm.  All waste product is routed to processing and putrefaction for processing into either organic slurry for materials production or stroyent (a substrate which, when applied to the nanobots, induces rapid tissue growth and repair).

      Sometimes preparations are more radical, removing all limbs, all limbs plus the pelvis, or even removal of the brain, depending on the Strogg to be generated.  However, at this point the organism needs to at least be compatible with life.

      Phase 3: First Augmentation
      At this stage, the organism, still physically restrained, is fitted with cybernetic connection points which connect the organic parts to the cybernetic augments.  In some cases, these connection points include the augments already.  Some Strogg are generated to near-completion at this step.  Others are fitted prior to the next phase in order to attain completion at phase 5.

      Phase 4: Integration
      This is the implantation of the neuron-cybernetic integration system (neurocyte chip) into the central nervous system of the transfer.
      Phase 5: Activation
      This requires detailed mapping of the peripheral and central nervous system with information written to the neurocyte (also known as Neurocyte Registration).  This information allows the neurocyte to then sieze control of the central nervous system outside of the conscious control of the host.  This is the threshold, the effective "point of no return," as higher neural functions may atrophy as the host mind just "gives up."  However, if the transfer is removed from stroggification before mapping of the cortex is completed, the host retains control of their body.  It should be noted that it is theoretically possible to remove the neurocyte, but the estimates of risk are high.  Once activated, there is a limited amount of time within which it is theoretically possible to deactivate the neurocyte.  However, this must be done quickly.  It is unknown just how long it takes before a transfer becomes non-salvagable.

      Phase 6 (depending on design of strogg to be produced): Second augmentation
      Some strogg require more radical reconfiguration, and, once activated, are sent to undergo more radical alterations.  Sometimes these alterations remove all tissue down to the brain, placing the brain inside a host machine (seen in the "repair bots").  Tissue remains are either recycled whole, used intact in other bio-cybernetic support systems, or discarded.  If discarded, they are routed for use as feedstock in the production of organic substrate materials, including in vitro culture media for Strogg bio-bodies, various reagents, or the stroyent repair compound.


      Now that you've waded through my imaginary technical mind (interpret that phrase, I dare you), here's the good news.  The next episode of Kane's Mind is now complete.  As I write this, Windows Live Movie Maker (yeah, I still haven't found the spare cash for Sony Vegas) is publishing the episode to YouTube.  The process will take a couple of hours, including frame rendering, uploading, and YouTube server-side processing, and since it's late and I really need some sleep, you'll get to see it on YouTube before I even get to finalize the description or put the link on this site.


      Wednesday, April 27, 2011

      Welcome to Ground Zero!

      This is the debut post of Insufficient Light and Madness, the home site of Kane's Mind.  Many of the Master Minds have established sites here, and I keep getting asked in comments "why aren't you a master mind?  Why aren't you a master mind?"  Well, I have expressed my interest, and at this point, I am being patient.  The Master Minds as they are are a close-knit group of friends, established years ahead of my own project.  This is not something I can just fill out a form for and expect to obtain membership.  I have corresponded with a few of them, and I find them some really nice people.  If they want me to join, then it would be tactless of me to ask more.

      Frankly, I get a great deal of support from the Master Minds...actually it was Ian Riley to whom I first proposed the idea of Kane's Mind.  He said he'd like to see a Minds series done using the Doom3 engine.  I hope I didn't disappoint him.  Then, CyhAnide referred many of her own viewers to me.  That, I thought, was incredibly thoughtful of her.  Curtis Trudeau-Brown and Jared O'Brien cited me in one of their works on how to make a Minds series.  These are some great people.

      The site is largely going to be in a rather "under construction" state of being, functional and unfinished.  I regret that med school has taken its toll on my programming skills (which I haven't exercised since I aced an accelerated CSE course in my freshman year), so I'm winging it.  I'm hoping to get some way to link my episodes from YouTube or establish a download account for my movies.  Bear with me.  This will take some time and I still have to finish step 2 of the USMLE.

      This site is also, hopefully, the core site at which I can post my "heads up's" as to what's going on.  I don't want to leave people in the dark.  However, med school eats time.  However well I have the process down for producing Kane's Mind, life on my end takes precedence.  This is probably the same reason why Little Kuriboh tells people "Never, ever ask 'where is the new episode?'"

      I decided to be a smartass and ask, "Okay, then, WHO is the new episode?"

      Coincidentally, within two weeks, he released the trailer on "the death of Tristan Taylor."  I had to laugh.

      Ah yes, on the title of this blog...
      "Insufficient Light and Madness" is a loose play on words, and the initials, ILM, are deliberate...a tip of the hat to Industrial Light and Magic, a company that made awesome special effects, and which employed a relative of mine (Michael Natkin) in two projects...Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park.  In both of them he headed up the CGI software development team.  Each project's effects required a brand new render system.  And no...I don't remember him...according to my parents the last time I actually saw him face to face was when I was two years old.  Anyway, the acronym hit me when I was producing a bumper for a video project for chemistry class in college.  I was doing the whole thing in audio-visual effects using MacroMind Director (the predecessor to Macromedia Flash).  "Insufficient Light" is another homage, to Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, one of the characters of which is "Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light."

      As for the madness...well, put it this way.  You can't get into med school unless you're insane.  (Not in the DSM-IV criteria of mental illness or threat to self or others, but in the more abstract and colloquial sense.)

      So, here we go.  I'll try to have links up to at least view my episodes.  If I can't make a download link or account, I permit downloads of HD versions of my eps from my YouTube site.

      Now, as my dad is an attorney (and frankly getting into deep legal crap could hurt my chances of getting into a good residency big time), and since Id games produced a seriously cool title (one of several, I might add) that I am using under (I hope) the fair use act, I must give the following disclaimer, which is more detailed than the one I use as standard on the YouTube site.

      Ahem: Quake 4 was produced by Id Software LLC, a ZeniMax Media company (In my credits I erroneously refer to Id as "IdGames," but that's what the company is to me...they make awesome games, and in the PC vs. Mac wars, they made hybrids which was uber awesome to me) with Raven Software (Jedi Knight 2 was kewl, BTW) and published by Activision.  All references used in the production are acknowledged as the intellectual property of their respective companies.  The only things which I claim for myself is the video editing and the voice work.  Any other extrinsic voice work for the purposes of production of this series belongs to the persons from which said voices eminated.  The audio/video data is not for sale or rent, and should be distributed freely.

      (Think Fansubs, guys...if you want to chance it, it's legit to collect money only up to (and no more than) the cost of the recording media and shipping.  That's legit under the hall convention, I think...look it up to be sure.  But come on, do you really want to screw over a company as cool as Id?)

      That goes.