Developing video games—hero’s journey or fool’s errand? The creative and technical logistics that go into building today’s hottest games can be more harrowing and complex than the games themselves, often seeming like an endless maze or a bottomless abyss. In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) takes readers on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a solitary geek genius. Exploring the artistic challenges, technical impossibilities, marketplace demands, and Donkey Kong-sized monkey wrenches thrown into the works by corporate, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels reveals how bringing any game to completion is more than Sisyphean—it’s nothing short of miraculous.Taking some of the most popular, bestselling recent games, Schreier immerses readers in the hellfire of the development process, whether it’s RPG studio Bioware‘s challenge to beat an impossible schedule and overcome countless technical nightmares to build Dragon Age: Inquisition; indie developer Eric Barone‘s single-handed efforts to grow country-life RPG Stardew Valley from one man’s vision into a multi-million-dollar franchise; or Bungie spinning out from their corporate overlords at Microsoft to create Destiny, a brand new universe that they hoped would become as iconic as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings—even as it nearly ripped their studio apart.
Documenting the round-the-clock crunches, buggy-eyed burnout, and last-minute saves, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is a journey through development hell—and ultimately a tribute to the dedicated diehards and unsung heroes who scale mountains of obstacles in their quests to create the best games imaginable. (goodreads)
Cuphead is a classic run and gun video game developed and published by StudioMDHR. Announced in 2013, the game was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One in September 2017, for macOS in October 2018, and for Nintendo Switch in April 2019. The game was inspired by the rubber hose style of animation used in cartoons of the 1930s, (created with the same techniques of the era, i.e. traditional hand drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings.) such as the work of studios Fleischer and Walt Disney Animation, and seeks to emulate their subversive and surrealist qualities.
Cuphead features one or two players taking control of animated characters Cuphead and his brother Mugman to fight through several levels that culminate in boss fights as to repay their debt to the devil.
The game was praised for its art style and noted for its challenging difficulty. It was both a critical and commercial success, winning several awards and selling over four million copies by July 2019. An animated series based on the game is in production by Netflix. (wiki)
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (MINIMUM): OS: Windows 7 / Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E8400, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+, 3.0GHz or higher / Memory: 3 GB RAM / Graphics: Geforce 9600 GT or AMD HD 3870 512MB or higher / DirectX: Version 11 / Storage: 4 GB available space
timespace coordinates: 1919 Joplin, Missouri / Dreamland in New York City
the first of five live-action or photo-realistically computer-generated remakes of prior traditionally-animated films that Disney has slated for release in 2019, along with Aladdin, The Lion King, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and Lady and the Tramp. (wiki)
imdb / rt
timespace coordinates: 1920s – 1940s London / East Sussex
Christopher Robin is a 2018 American fantasy film directed by Marc Forster. The film is inspired by A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard‘s Winnie-the-Pooh books and is a live-action/CGI follow-up of the Disney franchise of the same name. The film stars Ewan McGregor as the title character, alongside Hayley Atwell and the voices of Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Nick Mohammed, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Sara Sheen, and Toby Jones. The story follows an adult Christopher Robin as he loses his sense of imagination, only to be reunited with his old stuffed bear friend, Winnie-the-Pooh. (wiki)
“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
Coco is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on an original idea by Lee Unkrich, it is directed by him and co-directed by Adrian Molina. The concept for Coco is inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: 1964 Yokohama, Japan
From Up on Poppy Hill (Japanese: コクリコ坂から Hepburn: Kokuriko-zaka Kara, “From Coquelicot Hill”) is a 2011 Japanese animated drama film directed by Gorō Miyazaki, scripted by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, animated by Studio Ghibli for the Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Walt Disney Japan, Mitsubishi, and Toho, and distributed by the latter company. It is based on the 1980 serialized Japanese comic of the same name illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurō Sayama.
Set in 1964 Yokohama, Japan, the film tells the story of Umi Matsuzaki, a high school girl living in a boarding house, ‘Coquelicot Manor’. When Umi meets Shun Kazama, a member of the school’s newspaper club, they decide to clean up the school’s clubhouse, Quartier Latin. However, Tokumaru, the chairman of the local high school and a businessman, intends to demolish the building for redevelopment and Umi and Shun, along with Shirō Mizunuma, must persuade him to reconsider. (wiki)
historical basis / imdb