Friday, February 24, 2017

WORLD TOURNAMENT - A March Madness-style Simulated Competition with a Fandom Twist

Over my other blog, I've always wanted to create my own March Madness-styled tournament, involving characters from television series and movies, and some other stuffs. I pitched a couple of ideas along the way, triggering my necessity to make March Madness brackets on Excel just to waste time, to the point that I even made one for last year's SpoilerTV's Favorite TV Series competition (and will be used for future competitions on the site) like this one. Eventually, I stumbled into this World Cup simulation on Excel that uses VBA Macro functions and an idea flowed to my mind: How about making a March Madness competition with characters from TV, movie, and all other stuffs, but with a twist of World Cup-esque qualifiers? There will be eight categories in my tournament, and these will act as "confederations" just as World Cup Qualifiers do (and by the way, we're in the middle of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers too!).

So many TV series and movie titles exist, with a handful of them win awards for quality, another handful for its loyal fandom, but sometimes it's hard to determine which one is the best of all. Because of this a tournament was conceived to determine the best of the best: the "World Tournament." It's not a good name to boot actually, but I believe this is the best name chosen in order to clear up the confusion whenever I either name this "insert a word here March Madness" or "insert a word here World Cup," which are oft-used I believe.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Mega-Crossover Fighting Project

MUGEN, a game that enables you to create your own fighting games, in action (Image: Uptodown)
So it's been on my mind that I wanted to make a mega crossover fighting game involving TV and movie characters recently...

At a time where I reconciled with soccer, I had downloaded some Winning Eleven games on PSX, with an initial intention to rip the soundtracks (which eventually made their way here), but got into further: gameplay mechanics, to the point that I ended up playing them. I take another PSX soccer title I played in the past called Super Shot Soccer (Bakuretsu Soccer in Japan), a.k.a. Shaolin Soccer's World Cup-centric son (the roster is based on 2002 World Cup participants, albeit all unlicensed in terms of player names obviously) and Inazuma Eleven's grandson, then googled another title with the same premise as the previous game but on PS2 called Red Card, featuring even animals playing soccer, among other things. Then a question came out of my mind: What if I make a fighting game whose gameplay mechanics loosely borrow the last mentioned two games and had an older Winning Eleven title vibe on it? Would be possible, in a million years, but hey, "Fighting Game" is the keyword here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

High Speed Grounds - My First 4K in TS is Indianapolis!

Welcome to 2017! Well, it's my first post of the year, usually I'd post something about not believing in New Year Resolutions like last, last year, but with that in mind, it means that it's all about jumping into the action, and this is the said action.

Out of countless 4K WIPs I have, one apparently has finally finished. NO! Not any of the existing WIPs that I've shown here on my blog throughout a series of all Turbo Sliders posts from the first time the ability to make 4000x4000 tracks became officially possible (in 2.0.0, you would use a mod to do so), until now where my first ever 4K track is finally released to public! This marks another release after Park Avenue and Autumn Peak which I released last year in May.

That's right! Indianapolis Motor Speedway is alive in top-down style!
Enter Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of USA's legendary High Speed Grounds and home to the legendary Indy 500 race! After a long battle against demotivation, I have managed to finish this track out, which apparently also includes some interior work which required me to spin my heads the moment I revisited this WIP. Being a track promised to replace the previous Indianapolis in SCARTS (with an addition of road course configurations suitable enough for additional SCARTS races) and promised myself that I could finish it by January this year, there's absolutely no other way than finishing this one ASAP. Plus, the track will also be confirmed to be included in a SCARTS race mid-season (as Burnout told me on Skype), so pretty much is there a reason why I had to finish this one quick, in addition to another reason I will reveal within the next set of paragraphs.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How You End 2016?

2-2-2-2-2016!!! The final days!
To be honest, 2016 has been a crazy year from the start. We had low-poly flying Lamborghinis and alien invasions (shout out to GKRacer @ Trackmania Carpark for this one!), to some WTF-inducing censors, some bigotry here and there, Donald Trump, and too much political drama crippling the year. But even with all that stuff, there are also tons of good things, like Leonardo DiCaprio winning Oscars.

On a personal standpoint, I managed to try out some new things and reconciled with a fraction of my past. And even I am about to start my final paper project, which means this will be my last months of college! Waiting on the horizon are a bunch of job applications ready to be seized, and the road ahead will be more challenging as I go forward.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reconciling with Soccer

Lately, I've been catching up with some stuffs that had to be finished ASAP. Again, the word "stuffs" is used because it contains two different things: my college assignment (so I can write my final paper project ASAP) and my Turbo Sliders track for use with SCARTS. Skinning projects are also in the works, but as a side job, and meanwhile I am getting my hands dirty at making money off of online projects (well, I have to earn some cash now, although the "Work Bitch" ethos is not in use yet).

Interesting enough, I have reconciled with one particular sport as of late due to a combination of reasons: soccer (or football), now that AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 is already on a roll and I recently got my hands on Pro Evolution Soccer 6, one of my sixth grade games I played. I felt like maybe I should reconcile with soccer, but that doesn't mean I had to stay up late to watch Manchester United and whatnot playing. More like as a fan and a true believer of the Indonesian national team. Who doesn't like seeing an Indonesian represent in the world stage?

As an Indonesian myself, who doesn't like seeing an Indonesian represent in the world stage? (Image: PSSI Official Site)
To be fairly honest, I was a soccer fan when I was in sixth grade, although not a fan of European-based competitions yet more of a national team supporter kind, even I reacted like crazy when Indonesia won AFF U19 Cup in 2013 against Vietnam after a decisive penalty kick showdown. After those numerous bitter endings to Indonesia in the international stages, this was something that Indonesia deserved, although the over-enthusiastic commentator in Indonesia might not a cup of tea for everyone.

However, at that same time, I also despise and hate how crazy our supporters are, even to the point where, if I can recall correctly, a soccer pundit states that our supporters are a reminiscent to the English soccer hooligans circa 1970-1980s, especially when it comes to club competitions here. I also learned this the hard way when I, with my friends, watched a match live in Stadion Gelora Bung Karno where they faced Malaysia, between 2011-2012 if I could recall. The gate we were in haven't opened yet and people were impatient that we had to push and shove our way until I was literally exhausted and almost ran out of breath, and didn't realize that, as soon as I managed to get in, the sharp edge of a fence scratched my left foot with excessive bleeding and I was just writhing at such a pain (luckily, the medic team was stood by inside). The only thing I brought home are my pain, my (almost) bad luck of not able to watch the game, some "colorful" chants to Malaysia (take note that they don't take this rivalry lightly for a variety of reasons), broken eyeglasses, the fact that I lost my N95 which was stuffed with some precious files and whatnot, stitches after leaving GBK past midnight, sleep deprivation, and three days of school absence. One of those darkest days of mine.

But as much as I hate that very moment, there's nothing more dark and hateful than this: internal politics. For numerous times, politics were at play, and there was also a dualism in 2013 (but it was way earlier before they won the AFF U19, and there was a dualism in league existence in 2012 too) although the problem was solved, but the climax was the fact that it was given a FIFA probation due to government meddling on May 2015, and was later lifted during the 66th FIFA Congress. The combination of these two things were one of the main reasons for my broken relationship to soccer.

Pro Evolution Soccer 6, one of the most recent PES entries I have played at the moment in my PS2 days before saying goodbye to soccer games until I reunited with its PC version. How can anyone forget how great its Master League system was? (Image:
Fast forward to a past Friday where I managed to get Pro Evolution Soccer 6, all with the intention of uncovering the preset teams on the Master League mode just for the reference on things I would make, which unfortunately I have no knowledge of figuring out which index within an AFS file all those Master League-exclusive team emblems is stored. I had to learn some modding know-how in order to do that, but apart from that, I remember I used to play this game on PS2, utilizing my own club edits, joining the Master League fray, and play a bunch of modded versions of this game.

What stood out for this game until now however is how Master League system works. Not pertaining to how a club can get promoted or relegated to the next/previous division, but how the negotiation system works, how the unique individual player growth system plays, and others that I can't mention one by one. It's as if this feature would be a perfect scheme for a career-based game of any game genre you can think of, where players can experience different growth each gameplay and a particular player can say either yes or no to your player contract. I'm pretty sure that succeeding entries for PES have a better system, but this very system is my stepping stone for a dynamic career approach where everyone develops.

Also unique to its original Japanese counterpart I also played once, Winning Eleven 10 (featuring a theme from Ukatrats FC, a collaboration of many Japanese musicians), is the mode where you play as a Japanese national team, progressing your way from the Asian qualifiers, to Kirin Challenge, to playoffs, and World Cup. Never got to play that far, but as a sixth grade gamer I found the progression tree in that mode interesting, especially knowing that there are unplayable national teams stirring up the contention, Indonesia was there too IIRC. Also worth noting that the game also allows players to listen to the BGMs from the past Winning Eleven games, by spending a specific WEN (an in-game currency to buy things off of WE Shop, called PES Points in the PES counterpart) to unlock the option.

The trigger of why I started to dig on PES/WE was first initiated by this PES 5 menu music composed by Nekomata Master (Naoyuki Sato), then the menu music of Winning Eleven 2000 (the U23 edition) which stuck on my mind forever even when I rediscovered it again, and the list goes on until the thought of getting PES 6 started to materialize. The second any of PES/WE soundtrack starts playing, thoughts about Master League also come into play. Currently, I am in search of working game controllers in order to play this game fully, as I haven't got used in using keyboard controls as opposed to the same behavior in racing games, but maybe I could see keyboard controls as a temporary solution. As an update, I did find the controller I'm looking for, but one button doesn't work, so I guess the controller I have will be the temporary solution instead until I can afford the one that's new / at least working.

By now fragments of myself as a soccer fan started to recollect by itself. Everything came full circle, and it seems that I could safely still believe in Indonesia, after all the politics we've been through. I always prefer being in the saner spectrum of the fandom for this, especially after looking back at my bitter past numerous times. The stitch was long gone, but the remnant is still there.

But apparently, one thing doesn't change: our national team's defense are still full of loopholes, at least for two previous matches, didn't watch the third one though. On a positive note, however, we just made it to the Semifinals! It's just that Vietnam won't be an easy opponent...