Friday, 30 November 2007

Day329 WoW and the Western

WoW
I have been pottering away with Ogroin again today, it is actually quite enjoyable moving onto a new quest and seeing how Blizzard have modelled up a new set of challenges for me. They really do a grand job of delivering an experience with very few polys. They make great use of animation, movement, audio, effects and some inspired design and texturing to give us just enough to make their world alive. The actual world quality is so far below Crysis for example that it is almost not fair to compare, yet it works so well as a game anyhow.
I havent touched EQ2 for ages, and it may now approximate the blending of these two ideas - then again maybe not.

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Western Influence, Star Wars and the Dark Tower

While playing today I watched (if a little distractedly) episodes 1, 2 and 3 of Star Wars. I dont really care that people like to put down these films, they seem to be easy targets for others. I love them and get a kick out of the whole experience every time!!
Plus the CG work is simply wonderful.

The main reason I am blogging about it here though is because I have been thinking more about the much like a really cool 'western' the Star Wars saga is. There are parallels to be drawn in several areas, one I like is the technology. Their galaxy is driven by laser blasters and droid armies, yet things are very low-tech despite this and particularly the further from the civilised systems you go things get very frontier like. Riding on beasts is a glaring example, but even the tech bits are wonky, unreliable and temperamental in a lovely way. Then there are the generic similarities in the plotwork and feel, the role driven characters and the gun-slinging duels of course.
A quick search on the net revealed that Star Wars has been looked at through this lens many times before. This idea is explored briefly but eloquently in the Star Wars Ep 4-6 Study Guide this is worth reading for other reasons as well. The Western Genre page on Wikipedia even takes the time to mention Star Wars derivative nature.

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I feel inspired to pick and start reading Stephen King's Dark Tower Series now :-) The idea of a nice merger of genres like this with some good reading time in the holidays coming seems fortuitous. The Official site for the Dark Tower is impressive for a book series.

[Some cover illustration images from the Dark Tower site - various artists]

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