Blog | December 2014

Well, I spent X-mas either playing Final Fantasy VIII (again) or watching these guys and learning hell of a lot in the process.

James Portnow

I discovered this guy because I’m a freak [1]. I spent the last month since opening this blog and possibly quite some time before trolling the internet in search of knowledge... And I spent litterally hours each day on Youtube listening to far smarter people than me telling me how shit I am at stuff.

James Portnow is one of these people. I was swallowing all the Keynotes form the Konsoll2014 at once (and usually at 1.25x to 1.5x speed [2]) when this happened.

Admittingly, bad bad bad sound quality. But very engaging and very thought provoking speaker. So I went and checked out his "Extra Credits" videos and man... are they AWESOME or what?!

Extra Credits

This is a fast paced chunk of game design and game industry theory and experience well worth each 5 to 10 minutes you’ll spend watching it, condensed into a very well written witty animation.

Dude, seriously, you need to check it out [3].

They go very deep in some questions, issues and commentary about modern thought and the video-games; sometimes, I feel, it’s a bit USA-centered - even though they try to make an episode a season about somewhere else - and sometimes it’s a little "current news" that takes it toll... 3 years later... but overall, it is incredible content, invaluable information and funny as hell.

Also, you shoud deffo check out their website:
- http://extra-credits.net/

Disclaimer (and anecdotal rant)

I know most of the stuff I share here may have been around for some time now. But if I learnt something while studying the classics (both letters, mythology and philosophy) is that knowledge is not a thing of a certain time.

Also, I am just starting this. Actually I started this 7 months ago, so I feel like I still need a lot of data to actually be able to manipulate concepts that have eluded me for the longest time. Being interested in a topic, means you should research it... at some point, I get a sens that I know stuff... and then, I research some more, just because the one thing I know, is that I don’t know squat [4]. Learning about divergent (and even at time about congruent) points of view helps me become more aware of my bias, my strengths and weaknesses.

I see too many people telling me "cool, I’ll write a short film", going off to their room, with their pen and coming out either disgusted by the process, or with the shittiest piece of writing, not even worth the electricity consumed by their table lamp while writing it.

Most people don’t grasp the need for culture... they see how bad the movie/music/video-game industry has become and they go "I could totally do that". Mostly, they are half right. Doing "That" is possible with very little knowledge of the writing conventions and culture at all about the topic. However, having seen a lot of crappy movies/video-games does not qualify you to be able to write/invent some.

This is more obvious with music. Listening to the latest Taylor Swift album over and over again does not teach you how to play the guitar. It does not teach you how to write sheet-music, and it will mostly make you forget more about tonal modulation, harmony and orchestration than you could ever learn from actually researching it!

So why in the world do people think they don’t need the research is a mystery to me.

This blog is my way of sharing my research with you, I hope you’ll enjoy. Extra credits makes me a better designer. I watch and watch again some of their episodes... it really really helps. Enjoy!

[1This is true, I am

[2You can do this with Chrome - for people wondering

[3especially since you’re trolling my website for obviously no good reason... I’ve read it, you know, and it’s crap

[4Paraphrasing Socrates here


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