The Avatar

Its who your are on youtube. What you do, how you do it, and it acts as part of your larger brand. My moniker is Muffins. So clearly I should be a derpy little muffin based character. 

But as with many things in design, the first iteration isnt always the best. As is the case with my first rough draft of what I’ll call “Classy Muffins”. Speaking with others I think we agree the head needs more pastry ruffles or bumps. With perhaps a smaller top hat, and more shading details. 


Hopi Prophecies:Black Race will have a violent revolution against america (Sound quality isnt great but the info is)At 5:30 he gets into the coming black revolution but i decided to put in a nice peice of the general Hopi theology also becuz its beautiful and its quite likely that the cartoon “Avatar” got its concepts of “elemental tribes” and more from the Hopi. Anyways in this vid a Hopi Native American explains the Hopi theology and says that centuries old Hopi prophecies say that Black people will have 2 major revolutions in amerika, one will be nonviolent(the one from the 60’s), but that wont set them free, he goes on to say that there will be another one, a violent revolution, and that, they say, shall set them free.


Groove Coaster (iOS)

Developed/Published by: Matrix Software / Taito Corporation
Released: July 28th, 2011
Completed: 2nd May, 2015
Completion: Finished all the tracks in normal, gave up partway through hard. I’d seen all the content though.
Trophies / Achievements: 34/62

Since early man carved the first iPhone out of limestone on the African savannah, tapping his finger on the screen in time to music has been something he has wanted to do. He started with things like Tap Tap Revenge, but by the time he’d evolved into hipsterlopithecus, he demanded that the things he tapped on have some kind of relation to things from culture he could at least pretend to vaguely remember, and so the Space Invaders-themed Groove Coaster was born!

That sounds like I’m being hard on Groove Coaster, but it’s a rhythm action game which starts with a very simple concept—your avatar (probably Space Invadersy) follows a track, points on the track appear, tap the screen when your avatar passes them. It slowly evolves so that sometimes you have to hold, some times you have to swipe, etc., but the main thing is you tap the screen in time when prompted. It’s about as simple—as digital—as rhythm action gets, which in itself is kind of interesting.

You see, I don’t think Groove Coaster is any good at all when it tries to be challenging, and it made me realise something about a lot of rhythm action games, certainly the most well remembered ones like the Guitar Hero franchise—that they’re not really about the skill of performance in the way video games generally are. They’re more like playing music than is obvious I suppose: as a musician it’s a rare talent indeed to be able to just pick up some sheet music you’ve never seen before and play it with a band that already knows the music. In a video game, generally you want to be able to react and recover; you want to be able to perform, or believe you can succeed, from the moment you know the rules. Music is—usually—about repetition more than innate skill, and so are rhythm games; you might fail that track several times because of a noodly bit in the middle, but once you get it, get that muscle memory down, you’re golden.

I think that’s a fairly obvious realisation, but I think this is one of those “personal realisations” where you feel out what it is you like about, and find interesting in, the medium you’re talking about. Here, with Groove Coaster, I was finding it this lovely, pleasant, spacey game to play shortly before I went to bed—tap in time to the music, while the visuals flashed in front of my sleepy eyes—but as soon as it became about the challenge, I stopped liking it.

And Groove Coaster has a bunch of quirks, anyway. Because the track your avatar keeps following often moves and changes direction, the amount you can see in the future is severely limited (and at times, the “beats” you’re supposed to hit dance on screen at the last minute, anyway.) The tapping you perform might at one point correspond to the melody, at another, the drums, and it switches between them with no warning or visual representation. And there are invisible “ad-libs” that I could never quite work out.

Basically, Groove Coaster sort of makes you believe it’s a casual tapper, but it’s actually just as serious about repetition and perfection as any Rock Band title was. It doesn’t mean it’s bad—though I’d argue that its quirks are flaws—but just that it’s not something I found interesting past the point where I’d heard all the songs a few times; the challenge wasn’t rewarding. That’s in stark contrast to the fantasy of a Rock Band game, where as you play on harder and harder levels, you feel more and more like you’re “really” playing the song. Here, you’re just… tapping on the screen, so it doesn’t have the leeway to forget what you’re doing is just trying and failing at challenge that requires repetition and learning more than skill.

Will I ever play it again? No, and I’m not particularly interested in the free-to-play version Groove Coaster Zero, but if I ever saw it’s wonderfully named arcade edition, Groove Coaster 2: Heavenly Festival I’d give it a shot in multiplayer mode which sounds like a lark.

Final Thought: Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for Space Invaders style, too. They really are perfectly designed little buggers and I use a fancy Taito Station tote with Space Invaders on it all the time. And I’d totally buy this rug in a heartbeat.


Series I want to start/finish before the summer ends besides SMC:

Pretear (own)

Revolutionary Girl Utena (own)

Princess Tutu (own)

Cardcaptor Sakura (own)

Tokyo Mew Mew

Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch

At least 1 Pretty Cure series :P

Love Live! (addicted to the phone game XD)

The Rose of Versailles (10 episodes in!)

Steven Universe (it seems like a cool concept!)

Avatar: The Last Airbender 


Daily Draw 5/22 -

I’m Amazed at how much i got done today once i sat down and looked at it. of course I started out the day with some 5 minute poses which were quite fun. the Chie is an avatar concept i’m going to use until i think of something better. i still need to work on a banner since i don’t like using stuff that’s not mine at the top of the page (i’ve left it in place for far far too long as it is).

i also did a landscape study from reference. i still feel like my colors are way too vivid but not sure how to mute it more. overall i got the feeling of the environment i as looking at so i find it quite successful and more fun than i thought. mapcrunch practice was more productive than i thought it was.

well I’m off to bed

there’s no getting around the fact that its strengths are not in its writing. Similarly, the characters and concepts in Avatar are borderline functional. They’re functional enough to support the weight of the massive spectacle as a spectacle, but unlike Jack and Rose, Jake and Neytiri don’t come close to providing nearly the same heart and believable chemistry, so their dialogue being just as wooden hurts tenfold. Pandora itself is as much a character in this story as the Titanic was, but it’s not one that people seem to have much affinity for nearly six years on.