Nox is an action role-playing game developed by Westwood Pacific and published by Electronic Arts in 2000 for Microsoft Windows. It details the story of Jack, a young man from Earth who is pulled into a high fantasy parallel universe and has to defeat the evil sorceress Hecubah and her army of Necromancers to return home. Depending on the player’s choice of character class at the beginning of the game (warrior, conjurer, or wizard), the game follows three largely different linear storylines, each leading to its unique ending. In the multiplayer, players can compete against each other in various game modes such as deathmatch and capture the flag, while the freely downloadable expansion pack NoxQuest added a cooperative multiplayer mode. (wiki)
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)
timespace coordinates: 1990’s New Hampshire
“reality isn’t what it used to be…”
In the Mouth of Madness is a 1994 American horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter and written by Michael De Luca. It stars Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow, David Warner and Charlton Heston. Informally, the film is the third installment in Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy, preceded by The Thing and Prince of Darkness.
The film pays tribute to the work of seminal horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, with many references to his stories and themes. Its title is a play on Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness, and insanity plays as great a role in the film as it does in Lovecraft’s fiction. The opening scene depicts Trent’s confinement to an asylum, with the bulk of the story told in flashback, a common technique of Lovecraft. Reference is made to Lovecraftian settings and details (such as a character that shares the name of Lovecraft’s Pickman family). Sutter Cane’s novels have similar titles to H.P. Lovecraft stories : The Whisperer of the Dark (The Whisperer in Darkness), The Thing in the Basement (The Thing on the Doorstep), Haunter out of Time (The Haunter of the Dark/The Shadow Out of Time), and The Hobbs End Horror (The Dunwich Horror), the latter also referencing Hobbs End underground station from Nigel Kneale‘s Quatermass and the Pit.
timespace coordinates: East Berlin, from October 1989 to just after German reunification a year later (Most scenes were shot at the Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin and around Plattenbauten near Alexanderplatz.)
Good Bye Lenin! is a 2003 German tragicomedy film, directed by Wolfgang Becker. The cast includes Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova, and Maria Simon. The story follows a family in East Germany; the mother (Saß) is dedicated to the socialist cause and falls into a coma in October 1989, shortly before the November revolution. When she awakens eight months later in June 1990, her son (Brühl) attempts to protect her from a fatal shock by concealing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism.
Ostalgie is a neologism for the nostalgia for a communist past which is a common theme in Good Bye, Lenin! (read more)
timespace coordinates: 2010’s Shibuya (Tokyo, Japan)
The Boy and the Beast (Japanese: バケモノの子 Hepburn: Bakemono no Ko, literally “The bakemono‘s child”) is a 2015 Japanese animated action-adventure fantasy film written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda. It won Animation of the Year at the 37th Japan Academy Prizes. (wiki)
timespace coordinates: It’s 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana, and summer’s heating up. School’s out, there’s a brand new mall in town, and the Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood.. (premise)
The third season of the American science fiction-horror web television series Stranger Things, titled onscreen as Stranger Things 3, premiered on Netflix‘s web streaming service starting on July 4, 2019. The series was created by the Duffer Brothers, who are also executive producers along with Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and Iain Paterson
timespace coordinates: 2092 > 1983, 1989, 2008, England / Canada
Mr. Nobody is a 2009 science fiction drama film written and directed by Jaco Van Dormael and starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham, Rhys Ifans, Natasha Little, Toby Regbo and Juno Temple. The film tells the life story of Nemo Nobody, a 118-year-old man who is the last mortal on Earth after the human race has achieved quasi-immortality. Nemo, memory fading, refers to his three main loves and to his parents’ divorce and subsequent hardships endured at three critical junctions in his life: at age nine, fifteen, and thirty-four. Alternate life paths branching out from each of those critical junctions are examined. The speculative narrative often changes course with the flick of a different possible decision at each of those ages. The film uses nonlinear narrative and the multiverse hypothesis style.
The film was mostly funded through European financiers and was released in Belgium on 13 January 2010. Since its original release, Mr. Nobody has become a cult film, noted for its philosophy and cinematography, personal characters and Pierre Van Dormael‘s soundtrack. (wiki)