THE SIMPSONS NEWS
Second week doing board revisions. I’m getting a little bit more used to it. I’ve been told that from this show until show 5 there’s just going to be a lot of rewriting of the shows after the story reel screenings. This means I’m going to have some pretty crazy couple of Months.
To make things worse, I’ve come down with a really bad cold. It’s a bad one but I came into work anyway since I really need to get the work done. There is way too much work and I don’t want to drop it all on my friend’s lap if I have to take the rest of the week off.
Last time I wrote about the basic setting my next project is going to take place in. This time, I’ll tell you the story I’m going to animate. If you don’t want to have it spoiled then don’t read on. Thing is, from now on when I write about the project and my progress, I’ll assume you know the story.
My goal with this story was to write the shortest story I could think of. Nothing epic at all. Very simple. Something I know I can finish and at the same time have fun doing. It was very hard to come up with something that met all those requirements. Especially the “fun for me to do” part. Guess I’m very picky.
So here’s the rough idea of the story I have in mind:
After not eating for a day and a half, Rob Howard has finally managed to scrounge up enough money to buy a hot dog. Not just any Hot Dog but a Super Deluxe All Beef Ultra Dog with everything on it. He and his Raven (which I haven’t yet named) are planning to share this hard earned feast. He takes the Hot Dog to the nearest bench to sit down and eat it. He’s been dreaming about eating this Hot Dog all day, and finally his dream is a reality. He’s starving.
As he’s about to take a bite a shadow comes across him. He stops and looks up to see three Sorcerers looming above him. He rolls his eyes and sighs. The Sorcerer inform Rob they’re there to kill him. That the prophesy will not be fulfilled. Rob is waaay to hungry to care. He just wants to eat his Hot Dog, so he asks the Sorcerers if they would just give him the courtesy of a few minutes so he could eat his Hot Dog in peace. They could try to kill him all they want after that. The Sorcerer refuse and look as if they are about to attack. Rob then pleads with them. He asks if there is anything he can do just to get a minute. The Sorcerers stop, look at each other, and maybe even converse. They tell Rob that if he hands over his anti Sorcery Weapon, they will give him a minute. Rob gladly accepts the terms telling them that he hates the thing and had no intention of using it anyway. But he also tells them that the weapon has an annoying habit of coming back to him somehow. He hands over his weapon that, currently, looks like small Medical Reflex Hammer. The Sorcerers take it, laugh at it and throw it away into the bushes.
Happily Rob grabs his Hot Dog for his first bite only to be stopped by an attack by the Sorcerers. The bastards went back on the deal. Uneaten Hot Dog and plate still in hand, Rob tries to run for safety. He’s blocked and attacked by a Flying Ape. He gets hurt but he’s still okay. He tries to escape through other directions only to come faced to face with something similar. Flying Apes, Giant Serpents, Stone Elemental, all prevent him from leaving and hurt him as he manages to dodge and evade them while always keeping his precious Hot Dog safe. Meanwhile the Raven fights to protect Rob, attacking the creatures and the Sorcerers. At one point, the Raven gets hit hard and gets thrown into the bushes.
Rob realizes there is no escape for him, so he decides to do what he should have done from the start, eat his Hot Dog in the middle of all the chaos. But even this is difficult as he’s attacked left and right, almost dropping the Hot Dog and losing the Hot Dog quite a few times. Finally there is a small lull in the fighting. Rob has managed to lose the Hot Dog (still on the plate), only a few feet out of reach. He crawls to it and reaches out to it. Time to finally eat, only to have the Hot Dog SMASHED by the boot of the lead Sorcerer.
The Hot Dog is no more. The only thing Rob wanted. The only symbol of peace Rob had, was destroyed. The Raven flies out of the bushes, something gleaming in it’s talons. Rob looks at the ruins of the his Hot Dog and asks the Sorcerers why they didn’t just let him eat in peace for only a few minutes. Only a few minutes, that’s all he had asked for. Now they had crossed the line.
Rob gets on one knee, his shirt in taters, his pants burned and full of holes, his face scratched, his hair a mess. Sweat glistening off his battered bloody body. He reaches out his hand and the Raven drops the little hammer into his outstretched palm. Rob looks fiercely at the Sorcerers with a savagery that they’ve never seen in anyone’s eyes before. The Hammer magically grows enormous. Almost bigger than Rob and yet he hold it as if it’s as lite as feather. The Sorcerers gulp. Beads of worried sweat on their foreheads.
Rob attacks. The Flying Ape, The Giant Serpent, and the Stone Elemental go to protect their masters, only to get dispatched with ease by the enormous swingings of the hammer. The Sorcerers throw out all the magick they can in order to get away from the berserker coming at them. Nothing stops him. Bam! goes one. Downed by the massive hit of the hammer to the chest. The demon that gave the Sorcerer his magick is knocked out of it’s body leaving him powerless. A second or two later, the same happens to another. He’s out for the count. Finally the leader tries a last effort. It fails. The hammer knocks the demon out the Sorcerer’s body and the guy is now defenseless. Rob walks over and picks up the quivering man. He looks him straight in the eyes, “You owe me a Hot Dog”.
A trembling Hot Dog vendor standing in the midst of the chaos and rubble of the battle is asked politely for a Super Deluxe All Beef Ultra Dog by the now powerless leader of the trio of Sorcerers. The Raven lands on Rob’s shoulder. He looks at his bird friend, “Make that two.”
At this point the story is still malleable, but this is pretty much what it will be like.
What appeals to me about the story so far is the potential for really dramatic serious moments juxtaposed with lite comedic moments. After all, it’s about a Hot Dog.
What do you think?
The drawing above is another version of Rob I sketched out. I like the drawing but I’m not sure the design of the face is where I want to take the character.
BOARD GAMES/VIDEO GAMES
I’ve been playing a surprising amount of games lately…well…sorta. I’ve been playing some board games and some video games with my kids. I’ve been testing out the capacity of my kids to play board games by the rules. I’ve also been testing them to see how well they catch on to playing video games. Why? Well, for one thing, I’m DESPERATE to play games with SOMEONE. Also, I want to keep the kids entertained because we can’t always go out and play at the community playground.
I’ve discovered that Dante, my two year old, is a bit of a lazy video game player. Around his age, his sister used to at least press the buttons because she understood that she was somehow doing something on the screen. Dante doesn’t do that. I think he understand that he’s doing something but for some reason he’d rather just passively watch the screen. He refuses to press the buttons. I don’t know why. It almost seems like he’d rather have someone else to do it for him.
When it comes to board games, Dante is a little better. He know how to take his turn and depending on the game, he follows the rules to some extent. What he really enjoys is being on the table somehow participating in the activity. He especially likes it when I’m there on the table playing with them. I’ve left them with some board games by themselves to see how they would play it on their own but he loses interest very quickly.
Elizabeth, my 3 year old, is a different story. She loves to play video games and tries VERY hard to learn how to control the game. I remember when she was around Dante’s age, she tried hard to play video games with far less success. Now that she’s older, things are starting to make a little more sense to her. More often than not, when playing video games, the “game”, for her is moving something on the screen around. Although I brought out a Space Invaders Playstation 1 game that came out in 1999 and had her play it. She learned it pretty quickly and knew what to do. She actually managed to clear the first level of “Invaders”. Later we played it cooperatively and had a great time.
I’ve found that Elizabeth “gets” the idea of playing board games now too. She understand that there are rules and that they need to be followed in order to play a game. One time, I took out some Dominoes. I thought that they would probably just stack them and play around with them, making up their own games like they do sometimes. Instead after looking and playing with them for about a minute, Elizabeth turn to me and asked me what we where suppose to DO with them. She wanted some sort of rules that we could play a game with. I was very surprised. We played an open hand game of basic Dominoes and she caught on really quick. With her, I can play very simple games and she’ll play by the rules. I’ve also found that basic roll and move games bore her. Awesome.
It’s tricky to play games with both kids since they are each at different levels of comprehension. It’s great when I find a game that they each can understand how to play. It’s even better when I find a game that they each understand how to play and I also enjoy playing. Now, Dante comes up to me everyday and asks to play a game with me. His exact words are:
…in a very sing song way. He never fails to say “for” instead of “with”. It makes me smile every time. Even when I’m too tired to play.
In other board game news, on Saturday, Alesha asked me if I wanted to play a board game. What do you think I said?
Well, we played LOST CITIES. As always, I lost and Alesha laughed at me. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to beat her at that game. To see my review of that game CLICK HERE.
Then I played a game of BATTLELORE. I wanted to play this game mainly to use the magic and “Lore” mechanic in the game. Especially since I hadn’t yet. Unlike the last time I played BATTLELORE with Alesha, I managed to win this game, although it wasn’t a very satisfying win since we got a rule wrong and Alesha was confused about some rules at the beginning of the game so…it kinda doesn’t really “count”.
Also, this Tuesday one of my Alesha’s best friend Mariam came over in the evening with her husband Anthony and their baby daughter River (who’s a total cutie). Turns out Anthony likes gaming, and he brought over a MARIO BROTHERS Chess set. Seconds after saying hello we were sitting across from each other playing Chess. I have a chess clock I had only used once. Since I’m a really slow Chess player, I thought it would be fun to use it. Otherwise my 15 minute long turns would get old real quick. We played three games. I must say Anthony has some skills because he really had me running every game by at least the third move. It didn’t help that I was making really bad blunders too. My biggest flaw in playing Chess is my lack of full awareness of the board. I always tend to focus too much in one area and miss the potential of other pieces on the board. Needless to say, I lost every game. It was fun though.
Somewhere during that time we managed to eat our dinner. Which was reeaaallly good. I almost wish I hadn’t been playing a game so I could enjoy it more…almost. I’d rather game than eat.
While we were in a Chess mood, I brought out HIVE. Since HIVE uses the same type of mindset as Chess, Anthony not only picked it up right away, but thrived in it. He beat me two out of three games. Pretty cool. We had fun playing that too.
As we played HIVE, Anthony brought up LORD OF THE RING STRATEGO. I’d never played it, but I do own LORD OF THE RINGS: THE CONFRONTATION: DELUXE EDITION. So I brought it out and we played two games of that, switching sides after each game. We both lost using the Fellowship pieces and each game was intense and different. We had a good time with that. Meanwhile Elizabeth really wanted to play too. Poor kid, someday when she’s older we could play those games.
It’s funny but I think, by the types of games I brought out, I gave the impression that all I have to play are heavy Chess like strategy games. As I was thinking about it, I realized that I DO have some really heavy “thinky” games. But I do have some “lite” and/or “family” type games too, like: TICKET TO RIDE: EUROPE, TICKET TO RIDE: THE CARD GAME, CARCASSONE, BOHNANZA, DEAD MONEY, DOMINION, HOITY TOITY, TALES OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, INGENIOUS, MODERN ART, SETTLER OF CATAN, CRANIUM: ZIGITY, WITS AND WAGERS, QWIRKLE, CRANIUM HOOPLA, LIAR’S DICE, LOOT, UNCLE CHESTNUT’S TABLE GYPE, TRIPOLEY, and SORRY SLIDERS.
As they were leaving, we mentioned something about, perhaps next time, instead of just Anthony and I playing, we could all four play a game. They mentioned playing their game of CRANIUM. That wouldn’t be a bad way to start a game night. Hope we can soon.
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