C06P24 – Dancing in Dreams – MOKO Press presents: LeyLines, a Fantasy Adventure Comic by Robin Childs Skip to content
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C06P24 – Dancing in Dreams

C06P24 – Dancing in Dreams published on 17 Comments on C06P24 – Dancing in Dreams

I’m really proud of this page! I had so much fun with it. Also the image in the background may look familiar to you. What I enjoyed the most about this section is how drastically the visual mood changes from the dark, gloomy blues to this bright white — but the behavior of the characters is in reverse. Tama poking fun at Kali is out of place for the dark colors, and Mizha with her mother has a dour mood for a place so bright.

I’ve always been drawn to strong contrasts. I love Chiaroscuro artwork. I enjoy foods that have interesting combinations of seemingly opposing flavors. Or stories that take two things that mash together two things that wouldn’t seem to go together. I think that’s why I love modernized myths and fairy-tales. Mixing the present day with things from ancient days just yields so many interesting combinations.

Are you a fan of contrasts? What’s your favorite example of something you love made of two things that “shouldn’t” go together?

17 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

This is really a very interesting page…contrasts is right, her mother in a happy mood while she’s in a bad one.

Contrasts is probably why I like Star Wars so much. Lots of old-timey stuff like the Jedi mixed with low tech stone buildings mixed with high tech spaceships and blasters. Same goes for post-apocalyptic settings, with barren wastelands dotted with small settlements of life and/or technology. I find that deserts in general provide a huge opportunity for contrasts. But also forests/jungles, with some high tech construction poking out of the leaves.

Come to think of it, I feel like a lot of those contrasts were lost in the Prequels, and that really diminished them. I hadn’t ever thought about the impact the setting had on the story. Even though they were in “ancient” or “dirty” settings, the highly CGI renderings made everything too slick & smooth. It took the contrasts right out of the films.

I still think fondly of the contrast between Darth Maul’s black robe against the desert sand. They spent a lot of time on Tatooine in Episode One, and I still think all that sand and stone works great for contrasts. And the ‘organic’ style of the Gungan army vs the remote-controlled battledroids on a field of green grass was another contrast I greatly enjoyed.

And I wouldn’t blame any lack of contrasts on CGI. Even if everything was ‘dirty’ realism and real puppets, it’d still be up to the art direction to make some things stand out against other things. Take Hoth for instance: Everything is white or grey. Not a whole lot of visual contrast going there. Still got the ‘high tech stuff in wasteland’ thing going for it though.

It’s interesting to see Mizha interact with her mother like this. I wonder if Mizha’s going to say what she thinks or keep it down.

I like strong texture contrasts in my food–cookies with nuts and soup with chunks of potato. Stuff like that.

Just now, I’m enjoying Dwarf Fortress. It’s the most complex, multilayered game I’ve ever played, but has the (stops and counts) third-worst graphics I’ve ever seen, and that’s counting some MUCH older games. To be honest, though, the contrast has little to do with why I love it; I just want those crunchy, complex possibilities. They shall be MINE.

Sometimes a story or a challenge can be enough to overcome terrible looks or mechanics. I actually have not heard of Dwarf Fortress — what system is it on?

Windows or Linux, and it’s available free from the creator on the Bay 12 Games website.

Word of warning: This is one of those games where there is NO SHAME WHATSOEVER in reading the FAQ, and the quickstart guide, and approximately half of the wiki.

Oh, and for what it’s worth: This is a game with approximately zero graphics, a horrendous interface, and no real predetermined story. Putting up with all that is worth it, at least to me. It makes up for not having a proper story by giving you so much information that you can’t help but story-ize it yourself. Every dwarf in my fortress comes with a description not only of his/her appearance, but their personality as well, their likes and dislikes, even their nervous habits. The game keeps track of relationships between dwarves; if a friend dies, they become very upset and may begin acting out in a variety of ways, up to suicide attempts or murderous rages in extreme cases. It keeps track of their injuries, not in the “health bar” way that many games do, but injuries to individual parts of their bodies. A dwarf can lose a foot and will forever after be able to walk only with crutches and unable to perform any heavy manual labor, but will still be able to perform clerical work and small crafting. If an animal become famous enough, by, for instance, killing several dwarves or taking out an impressive attacker, the dwarves will give it a name. If you direct the dwarves to create artworks, you can read a description of each object they create, and many will reflect the artist’s likes and dislikes, or events from the history of the world at large, or events that happened during your own game – a victory over the goblin hordes may end up memorialized forever on the stone walls of your fortress.

That, plus the mechanics are wondrous. New layers are constantly unfolding. If you master the basics of self-sufficiency, you’ll have to learn to deal with thieves and vermin and dangerous animals. You’ll be besieged by goblin hordes, and maybe even kobolds, and if you make your otherwise friendly trading partners angry enough they may eventually come after you as well. You’ll learn how to create and manage a fighting force – very different from managing civilians – and run a hospital. You’ll develop a surprisingly interrelated set of industries to produce various useful products. Eventually, your success will attract nobles, who help a little on the management end of things, but often hinder you much more by their lazy, erratic, demanding behavior. Your cozy little commune will acquire an economy, and suddenly making sure there are enough rooms for everyone is not enough – you have to make sure there are affordable rooms for a broad range of incomes. It just keeps growing new dimensions whenever you master what you’ve been given.

In the game so far, I myself fended off an attack by the undead by trapping the offending creatures in cages. Unsure of how to properly dispose of something that likes to reanimate itself, I managed to swindle some merchants into taking a vicious undead donkey off my hands in exchange for miscellaneous useful gear. The same cage traps later yielded several badgers and a female bird. I put my dwarves to work taming them, and now have a lovely egg-laying songbird and a small pack of semi-tame badgers that help guard the fortress door. Death from the ankles down.

Hmm, maybe that won’t be an answer, but I like eclectics, but a well-done eclectics. Star Wars, mentioned above, with fantastic drought animals pulling antigrav carriages, is, or course, an example.

Yet, there are much to learn in the real world as well. Say, Phoenicians, being under a great influence of both Egypt and Mesopotamia for a while, created vessels with the images of the persons depicted in both styles standing just near each other or even attacking the same enemy. Or there was a famous treasure of Afghanistan, carrying the features of Greek, Iranian and Indian cultures with local flavor.

Such things make you imagine more and more. An Ellino-Chinise culture (there was a Chinise tomb with a Roman style column.) A Norse-Polynesian culture on an archipelago of “North America” (I dare imagine that the LeGuin’s Earthsea is something like that). Well, LeyLines – have you heard about this webcomic?

In a similar vein, there was an exhibit of Pompeii at the natural history museum recently — fascinating to see how that culture had appropriated (and sanitized) the gods of other cultures. From India to Egypt. They took the symbols that the culture liked, removed the bits of their myths that didn’t mesh, and then set up shrines. Fascinating how cultures evolve!

Still archive binging. “If you really loved me, you’d X” is one of hte most destructive phrases in the English language, and one of the most emotionally battering. It’s astonishing the level of pressure and damage a simple sentence, if it’s the right sentence, can put on/do to a human’s psyche.

Even the implication can be brutal. “I’m your ___, so you should _____” implies an obligation to act in a certain way due to a particular relationship, regardless of whether or not what’s being demanded has merit. Or is even healthy for the other person. We all deserve love, but that’s not the same thing as having the right to demand it from other people, or dictate their behavior through it.

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