More Blog Posts34

  • 83w, 1d
    4 and 50th

    I just came out of a viewing, in a movie theater, of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. Which makes for quite the weekend with the premier of Season 4.

    Just to put thing in context, I've often been told that I critic thing too much. However, it's who I am; I'm harsh. However, I'm even harsher against myself, if it means anything. I don't critic to put something down, I do it because I want it to be better. I also never critic anything unless I got ideas on how to improve it. It's part of my professional job; I fix problem, and where there is no known problem, I discover some nobody thought existed and fix them. I just have to improve the way I bring those critics. :)

    Also, I would like to express an opinion I have; writing and story-telling skills are totally different, but are related to each other when building a story. A good writer may be a terrible story-teller and vise versa.

    Writing is the ability to build coherent sentences and use proper words. Bad writing skill - like mine - will give imprecise ideas, and will make the reader wonder what the author really meant. It may even convey the totally wrong concept; the author think something and every reader understand something else.

    Story-telling is the ability to build characters, world and events that are interesting and compelling. A bad story-teller will have plot holes, deus ex machina and all kind of errors or incoherency in his story flow. His characters won't be interesting, be impossible to relate to, and will take action that doesn't make sense. Lot of questions would be left unanswered because the author simply doesn't know himself. Most importantly, a good teller will be consistent in his world building and will plan ahead everything.

    About the Doctor Who 50th special, it's the first time in a really long time that I came out from watching a movie or a TV show without having anything in mind about what I would remove, add or change to improve it.

    About the Season 4 premiere... I believe MLP's writers are may be great writers... but horrible story-teller. The list of thing I would have modified in the premier is long! The same way writing and story-telling, for me, is two different thing, this episode was, again for me, good, but the story was bad. I'm not a good writer, I know that much, but is it such really egoistical to think I could do a better world-building job than them? I know very well I would be terrible at making slice-of-life episodes. I know myself enough for that. However, their world-building is lacking the coherence, flow and answers that I enjoy in universe like Doctor Who.

    And that's the whole issue here. It feels like the MLP writers want to push the series to the next step - and that very commendable - and make something bigger, but it also feels like they don't have the structure or the experience at making that kind of stories. Do they have a bible that answers question like;

    - Who wrote the 1000 years prophecy?

    - Why Celestia believed so much in Twilight in Season 1? Blind faith doesn't suit such an experienced ruler.

    - How did she know Twilight would make five friends with exactly the proper attributes to active the Elements?

    - Why Celestia left the Elements in the old castle when she built new Canterlot?

    - Why Celestia/Luna didn't bring the Elements back to the tree after sealing Discord?

    - Why Celestia was unable to "cleanse" Luna like the Mane 6 did?

    - Why Princess Cadance foalsit a common unicorn with no cutie mark?

    - If Celestia was able to use the Elements alone, why they needed to be six ponies in the present?

    - Was the changelings really that dumb? How could they feed love off frightened ponies?

    ...

    and many more questions. If they cannot answer them right now, for me, it's a huge flaw in their story coherence. I never start writing a story without knowing everything about it, otherwise it becomes very hard later to fix the holes left behind.

    If I didn't like my job so much, I would maybe try to find how to become a professional story writer for TV shows or movies. I would probably fail, mind you... heh.

    8 comments · 153 views
  • 84w, 4d
    Correction of previous stories...

    Nobody will probably noticed it, but the first chapter of Never Judge A Book By Its Cover passed from 1400 words to over 2000. On top, it should now be relatively error free.

    Huge thanks to Web of Hope, Shutaro and Dusk Watch for doing a blitz of correction in that old story.

    3 comments · 104 views
  • 89w, 2d
    Purity's sequel

    I don't think there's any good way to tell people who favorite a story that a sequel have been released.

    Would be nice to have a way to link stories, chain them if you will. I almost missed sequel to story I favorited, and I'm sure I probably missed some too!

    Anyway, here's the story following Purity; Fighting Destiny.

    1 comments · 149 views
  • 89w, 6d
    Fighting Destiny's cover

    1 comments · 112 views
  • 90w, 2d
    Hasbrony, Mother of all Drama!

    6 comments · 139 views
  • 95w, 5d
    Cover

    Once more unto the breach... once more.

    The amazing job of finding a good artist to draw a story cover.

    Step 1: Find a good artist which art style pleases me. (Very hard step)

    Step 2: Find if the artist is taking commission. (Almost impossible step, for some reason lot of artists don't like money, go figure)

    Step 3: Contact the artist and express your wish for a commission. (And wait... wait... wait...)

    Sometimes, you get an answer in the lines of "Oh! I forgot to update my profile, commissions are close!" or "I have a little waiting list... Is it a problem if you wait 2-3 years?".

    I know it's a bit stupid and I shouldn't worry about the image as long as the story is good, right? Well, I'm guilty as charged for reading stories that have a nice cover.

    On a side note of happiness, two people proposed their services to help correct the mess that I sometimes dare to call "English". In other words, Purity's sequel might be, hopefully, more readable.

    1 comments · 105 views
  • 96w, 2d
    Irony Punctuation

    Today I learned a punctuation mark to denote irony or sarcasm actually exist.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony_punctuation

    It's so usefulŲŸ

    1 comments · 109 views
  • 100w, 4d
    Science and Religion

    This blog post is not about ponies, is rather long and talks about adult stuff like "religion"... Read at your own risk. Or just skip it, I won't be mad if you don't read it.

    I've been asked more than once what I believe in. Which religion I follow and if none, why?

    I answer that question with "I believe in something different than anyone else", in which science and religion, in my opinion, aren't too far from each other.

    How can I believe in something nobody else - I have met one who think the same yet - believe in?

    No, it's not about how scientist believe in some theory and some times build other theory on top of each other.

    And it's not about how the universe was created, because frankly, I doubt anybody know for sure and I'm not sure it really matters. To me, it's an interesting research topic, but nothing else.

    You should read about Fermi's Paradox: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox

    In short, scientists, while looking up there at the stars, are able to do some figure on how many stars there is, how many planets orbit them, and how many should be able to support life. From that, they found out that there should be billions of living planets and even if a small fraction of them had intelligent life, it would still means hundred of thousands of civilization. Considering our own sun is rather young compared to other, some of those civilization must be millions years older than our. Fermi's Paradox can be sum up to "Where's everybody?"

    I answer the paradox with two points;

    - We don't hear them because we are not advanced enough. We listen for radio waves and it's seriously a bad way to communicate, compared to quantum entanglement... or even thing we don't know! Who know on what the internet will run in a thousand years!

    - They are here and always have been. They haven't directly contacted us because we aren't ready. They are waiting and watching.

    To explain how I came to that conclusion, I will ask you - if someone is really reading this - to put yourself in the skin - if they have some - of a member of a space-faring civilization that is millions years ahead of us. Not Star Trek or Star Wars "pew pew pew" style space-war, but a civilization where corporal form and even death is a thing of the past. Where everybody communicate instantly and thing like racism, sexism, patriotism are simply non-existent.

    What you do, as a member of that species - or many species - is travel galaxies in search for other civilization to join your intergalactic group, to enrich your knowledge and cultural creation. You find our planet - hundred thousand years ago - and found a species that show potential for intellect and social evolution. You want to help this species achieve greatness and you have all the time needed to do it, hundred of thousand or even millions of years if needed. Your goal is for this species to create a civilization and one day stand as one, welcoming and able to be integrated to a much bigger society. Right now, the best they managed is to paint their hands on some cave's walls. They kill each other, eat raw meat, there's an alpha male mating multiple female, and so on. The only communication is some random sounds that has no real meaning. Civilization? None, but they have shown that spark of potential. You want to help them become more.

    What do you do?

    Right now, they don't even have a conscience. They need the foundation of a civilization, and the first step for that is to give them... a carrot on a stick to force them to do things. This is where religion comes in. You cannot talk about complex concept to them, they don't even know what fire is. How do you force them to do something? Death is a notion they understand. One moment, you're alive, the next you are not. What happen to you after?

    "You can continue to live after death if you do..."

    What's surprising is how the "sacred" texts of religious book give very specific orders to people who had no idea why they would need to follow them. For a man that fight every day to survive, why should he not eat pork? Why should he cook his meat? Why should he not kill another alpha male? Why should he do his "business" outside the cave/village? And why should he sacrifice part of his food reserve if he "sinned"? He already have a hard time to survive! He can't afford to lose part of his food! But there's that thing... That reward he doesn't really understand, but it sounds great. It sounds better than what he lives daily.

    Of course, today we know diseases are killed when we cook meat, that pork it's one of the animal with the most parasites and it requires long and high cooking temperature. Or that killing one another is counter-productive to our civilization, or that a city need to carry its waste outside the living zones. Today, it sounds obvious to us. But back dozen of thousands years ago, those notion were completely alien and nobody had the knowledge to implement them or understand them. They didn't make sense!

    As time passed, some of those notion became anchored in our self, in our society. Some religious rules became mundane and people followed them without really thinking about it. Laws and rights have been based on those - on religion - even if today we now started to create laws and rights based on things beyond religion. At that point, a new "prophet" would show up to guide the population's evolution towards new goals and new rules. I love how the last "order" we got is "love each other" and we are yet to properly do it.

    In other words, I believe most religions were created by aliens that wanted to give us a social evolution kick-start and a couple of push to guide us in the right direction. Crazy, right? And yet, it would explain lot of very strange writings in most of the sacred text. Notions that were far beyond their understanding back then. Things that today sound easy and just plain obvious. I see religious writings as historical proof that something - or someone - came here to guide our evolution. Not to save our soul, but to make us into a proper civilization.

    What are they waiting for? It should be quite obvious. We can't realistically join an intergalactic civilization in our current state. I believe in thousands years from now, we won't have countries anymore. War will be a thing of the past. How can you do war if the whole world watch you in real time? Races will disappear as people of different color continue to mix. Even today, it's becoming rather hard to say if someone is black or white as there's so many shades in between. Immigration and globalization will only push us towards that faster.

    Religions are slowly - but surely - phasing out as people for the first time in history really starts to think by themselves. They gave us the sociological evolutionary push we needed to come where we are now. Global communication offers an exchange and mixing of ideas unlike anything we had before. We can't even predict what the next generation will be like. The carrot is now becoming pointless as we are now looking beyond it.

    What is interesting, for me, is to analyze why the carrot was placed there in the first place. Was there other ways to push a species towards building a civilization? I haven't found any that would work as well as religion would - or did.

    Of course, at that point it's normal to wonder how many events were our own doing and which were helped in some way. For a species which goal is to nurture a whole civilization over hundred of thousand of years, death of a few millions is acceptable if it helps them take a step in the right direction. It's in our darkest moments that we are pushed towards the light.

    What pissed me off greatly is that I will most likely not live long enough to see them contacting us once we are ready.

    If you really read that whole thing, let me know what you think.

    12 comments · 230 views
  • 105w, 4d
    Bridge is Go!

    The funding campaign is now live!

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bridge--2/x/1923982

    If you find any grammar error, let me know. ;)

    0 comments · 139 views
  • 107w, 4d
    Bridge Device

    22 comments · 181 views
  • 112w, 5d
    Plushie!

    5 comments · 137 views
  • 121w, 4d
    Resignation

    I had a good reason to write Resignation. And I'm not talking about Twilicorn, although I'm not found of how Hasbro handled that situation.

    No, the story was in part about real life stuff.

    I gave my resignation to the studio I've been working for the last eight years.

    That's kinda crazy when I think about it. On all account, I should have been happy; good job, good place, good pay. But I wasn't. I know lot of people would give a lot to be in my place. Not that I don't like my job; I love it. Not that I didn't like my colleagues or the studio; they were all awesome.

    The problem was the projects. I want to work on a game I can believe in, one that will challenge my abilities and push me to my limits. I want to be creative and bring totally new solutions, designs, pipelines, workflows, tools and ideas. Projects that will make me want to get out of bed in the morning.

    I'm not saying Assassin's Creed isn't a good game, it's a great one. It wouldn't sell as much as it does if it wasn't. AC is a huge game that requires the work of multiple studio and it means some studios don't have as much power or ownership. Not that there is anything wrong with that, you need a centralized ownership over such huge license. The problem is, it's like getting in a house that is already built, painted and decorated at someone's else tastes. And if you try to change things, fix a leaky pipe or move a furniture, it's simply not your role, it's not your house; you are not allowed to do that. You have to make someone else, that sometime is hundred miles away, understand that it's important to fix that leak or that the sofa would be better in the other corner. Lot of people have no problem with this kind of structure and it works fine; otherwise AC wouldn't be where it is now. It's a personal problem, I want a part of the ownership; I want to help choose the color of the carpets.

    I'm not gonna lie, I'm someone of very strong opinions who love to challenge others and love when other challenge mines. I've been on many productions and I never get tired of getting up and going to see someone to fix a problem. It gives a feeling that things are moving, that even if my idea was wrong, things are now better than they were. Ideas clashed and the best one won. It's a bit hard when that person is hundred miles away and you only speak with him by email. Spoken words are much more powerful to convey some meaning compared to written text.

    So... Where am I going from here? I have not a single clue. It's kinda crazy taking a leap of faith like that; not knowing where I'm going. I hope things are going to turn alright, hoping I didn't just do the worst mistake of my life.

    7 comments · 188 views
  • 126w, 1d
    Hasbro

    14 comments · 115 views
  • 128w, 9h
    GDC

    GDC 2013: Assassin's Creed III Homestead: Code, Data and Tools.

    GDC stands for Game Developers Conference.

    I just got accepted this week as a speaker. So yeah, the guy who doesn't speak English will have to do a presentation for a full hour in front of specialists of the industry about ways to reduce the workload coming from new generation of hardware. More specifically, the balance between code and data driven approaches and the concept of disposable tools.

    ...

    No stress.

    9 comments · 143 views
  • 130w, 5d
    Improvements

    Another long babbling of nonsense about my story telling weakness. You're not missing anything if you skip that blog post.

    I've submitted my latest story to EQD.

    Of course, I assumed from the start it would be rejected and I don't really have any plan of re-submitting it. My English is simply not at that level even with the precious help of pre-readers. However, it's always an interesting take on my current level and how much work is needed for me to get there. No doubt a truck-load of it, but less than the last time. But it's always useful to put yourself in question once in a while.

    The first time I sent something to EQD, I received a simple "No." in 2 minutes flat with no explanation whatsoever. Must have been a record of the academy or something. This time it took three weeks, but considering they have like 60ish stories in queue, that's understandable. But the reply was far less "drastic".

    This time, the reviewers actually sent back a list of grammar errors; which is pretty great to learn.

    He also listed what he felt was my overall problems:

    - Comma splices.

    I will be frank; I had no idea about this one. I had to search the internet to understand what he meant exactly and how to fix it. Since now I know about it, I have no doubt I will be more careful with it. (Was the last sentence a comma splice!? hmm... Not going to be easy.)

    - Comma problems with compound verbs.

    I'm still unsure about that. I will need to research it more to understand what he meant. No doubt more particularity of English language I'm unaware of.

    - Unnatural dialogue.

    I have no idea how to answer to that. I always write dialogs as I would see them happening. I take the place of the character and ask myself if I would actually say something like that. If they are or sound unnatural, how am I supposed to fix that? I can't really rewire my brain to make dialog simulation more natural. That's a doozy.

    - Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, or unnecessarily referring to characters with descriptors such as "the orange mare" instead of names and pronouns.

    Seriously, I was told to diversify instead of always using names and pronouns. The worst is I actually replaced names and pronouns because it sounded extremely repetitive. There's not that many characteristics of a pony you can use to replace its name while staying away from it's gender, races or color. *shrug*

    What often came back was that I was "telly":

    >a scream of pain and distress//

    Telly. Don't tell me how she feels. Give me that context that an observer would notice to infer her emotions. What does she do? What does she look like? Body language, facial expression, speech, etc.

    Why would I describe every body twitches or facial expressions? Sounds like two totally different way of writing; you explain the emotion and let the reader imagine the physical reaction or you describe the physic and let the reader imagine the feelings. Is one more interesting than the other? I prefer the first, but is it bad story telling? For example, I don't like first and second person stories. Some people love them, but I don't appreciate reading those types of stories. Does it make them inferior? Most likely not. Is my way of telling a story inferior to another? Maybe. I guess I'm just not sure about that.

    And I guess I have a hard time to distinguish between those:

    >shiver in disgust//

    This is telly. The shiver already gives us a mental image that implies an emotional state. Then you ruin it by informing us of the emotional state. Showing makes us think about the story and identify with the character. Telling just presents us with cold facts.

    vs

    >Her consciousness drifted away.//

    Why? From the pain? From exhaustion? Don't just throw this out there. Make it reasonable.

    Saying that she shivers without saying the source would let the readers try to understand why on its own. Cold? Rain? Emotions?

    On the other hand, I don't explicitly say why she pass out, but I should have explained why? Wouldn't that be "telly" or I'm missing something again? Of course, I assume the reader remember the last two paragraphs where I explained how she was wounded and drained of heat and energy by the cold rain. But what am I missing?

    If I don't explicitly want the readers to identify to the character but I want them to experience of a slice of their lives; is it bad story telling? Why am I under the impression that the hundreds of novels I've read was more about telling a story over manipulating the reader's emotions or making them identity to the characters? I guess I should start to read again. It has been a few years since I really devoured dozens of novels per week. Of course, I never really read romance novels before so I guess it doesn't help. No doubt the scifi novel collection I have wouldn't translate well to that type of story.

    *sigh*

    21 comments · 165 views
  • 131w, 4d
    On Matter of Historical Continuity

    It's not the first time I had this discussion and I doubt it would be the last. Someone challenged me on this in Purity's comments and many people asked the same questions on Reddit. So I decided to write down in a more structured way what I think about the topic, that I won't have to rewrite it all the time.

    If you don't like a huge bunch of rhetorical questioning or over analyze of a kid show, just skip this post.

    What's the order of the historical events in the show?

    The only real truth is: we don't know.

    Until something becomes canon by being aired in an episode or a comic, it remains conjunctures. Laurent Faust or the writers may had ideas or plans, the show's bible may had texts about that, but until those are turned into a real show, they remain undisclosed information that cannot be validated or taken for granted. So don't take any of what I'm going to say for granted and keep asking yourself questions. This blog is only to explain why I choose a specific chain of events over another. It is my guess that the writers of the show remained vague on purpose to keep a sense of mystery over the Equestrian history and may not know themselves how the events should be connected to one another.

    I have nothing against script writers, but by experience I know they often keep chains of events loose on purpose to allow them exit doors or rooms for expansions and modifications. The two best examples I have of this is the TV series Lost and the series of video games Assassin's Creed. The overall chain of events of those two series might not make much sense anymore as often the writers are focused on delivering the next episodes, not planning twenty ahead or taking into account hundred of previous events that might not have been established on solid grounds beside a foot note in the show's bible. Lot of mysteries on them will forever remain unsolved because the solution to it was never planned in the first place. It's easy to create a mystery, much harder to resolve it on a matter that doesn't collide with hundred of other mysteries sharing the same small universe.

    What we do know:

    - Luna was sealed on the moon exactly a thousand solstices from the events in the first episode. (Friendship Is Magic)

    - Sombra was banished about a millennium ago. Give or take 10% considering we have no hard numbers... Knowing Luna helped, it was over a thousand years ago. Most likely a bit more to give time to Luna to turn into Nightmare Moon. (The Crystal Empire)

    - Clover the Clever was part of the founding members of Equestria. (Hearth's Warming Eve)

    - Starswirl the Bearded was Clover's mentor, so he lived before Equestria's foundation and may have been alive when it happened, we don't know. (Hearth's Warming Eve)

    - Luna may have personally known Starswirl. (Luna Eclipsed)

    - Before Celestia and Luna assumed the role of controlling the Sun and the Moon, unicorns were doing the job. (Hearth's Warming Eve)

    And... That's it. That's not a lot to build a solid timeline.

    What bugs a lot of people is in which order the following events took place:

    - Celestia/Luna control over the Sun and the Moon

    - Celestia/Luna ascension to the throne of Equestria.

    - Discord.

    - Equestria's Foundation.

    I decided to go with a specific chain because geopolitical events never occur randomly. One event always happens because of other previous events. For example, the World Trade Center event in 2001 occurred because Germany's economical status was unstable following World War One. I could probably go further in the past and say that it happened because the Roman Empire felt. Following WW1, economical sanction was applied to the countries who lost the war. The instability allowed Hitler's party to take control as he rebuilt the country economy. His presence made WW2 possible. WW2 allowed Germany to be split into two and made the USA and the Soviet clashed over that in the cold war. The wars between forces supported by capitalists and communists reached Afghanistan. Ben Laden's forces were trained by the USA to fight off the Soviet in a third party conflict. The USA tried to keep control over Ben and to exploit him and his country, which with time led to WTC. Had WW1 not happened, I have some very big doubt that the WTC would had happened as we know it.

    So, how to put Equestrian's events in an order that make them linked in a logical chain of causality?

    I decided to put Discord first, because we have no previous event that could be link to his reign of chaos that would make any sense or without the need to create a massive story to explains it. Someone could say that he just happened, but that's not really interesting and make for a very weak chain. Also, if Equestria's foundation happened before him, I have a hard time to believe that the country could have survived and kept its historical root in generations of pure chaos. So, two choices:

    - Discord happened before Equestria.

    - Discord's reign was very short and last less than a generation, leaving the country stable enough to survive his chaos.

    The way Celestia talked about Discord in "The Return of Harmony", I tend to believe the first option. With that in mind, we get Discord > Equestria > Celestia/Luna ascension.

    We explicitly know that unicorns were in charge of the day cycles the moment the country was founded. Also, Celestia and Luna were not royalty or in charge when the country was founded, so it happened later. But what happened first? Did they took control of the day cycle before being princesses or after?

    To me, it sounds quite logical that something made them take control of the Sun/Moon and that event led to their control over the country's politic. Or that a need to take control of the country forced them to do the same with the Sun/Moon. Otherwise, their control over the astral bodies would have no causality link towards previous events, which would make such a crucial information... A random event of no significance! I think the control over the Sun/Moon and Equestria are two events that are very very close to each other and may happened at the same time or with very little time between them.

    So we get:

    - Discord

    - Celestia/Luna seal Discord

    - Equestria's Foundation

    - Celestia/Luna take control of the Sun/Moon

    - Celestia/Luna take control of Equestria

    - Luna turns into Nightmare Moon

    - Nightmare Moon is sealed

    - Today, TV show events

    It's easy to see that some of those events, while having a logical order, have very weak links or none at all. How is Discord's defeat allows, or push the creation of a country? Why would Equestria's foundation leads to Celestia and Luna taking control? How being in power bring Luna to corruption? Obviously, some events are missing to create a solid chains.

    - Discord

    - Celestia/Luna seal Discord

    - ???

    - Equestria's Foundation

    - ???

    - Celestia/Luna take control of the Sun/Moon

    - Celestia/Luna take control of Equestria

    - ???

    - Luna turns into Nightmare Moon

    - Nightmare Moon is sealed

    - Today, TV show events

    I like to think that Starswirl actually helped in the fight against Discord and may have been one of the original bearer of the Elements. It would be interesting if Sombra had something to do with Luna's corruption, although in Planet, it's indirectly Twilight's fault. Or that even Sombra's reign was a result of something Celestia or Luna did. Taking control of the country may have destabilized the nearby Crystal Empire, leaving the door open for Sombra.

    Purity deals with the first two missing links. Of course, anybody could come up with a better story to fill those voids, it's just my personal take of them. That's what fan fiction is all about, after all.

    - My very long two cents.

    8 comments · 168 views
  • 131w, 4d
    This Barn... [light spoiler]

    Racist barn... Racist barn... one, two, three, four... Racist barn...

    :ajbemused:

    Bad song is bad.

    (Cannot unhear it)

    2 comments · 117 views
  • 132w, 5d
    Woah...

    3 comments · 174 views
  • 133w, 6d
    Shipping

    Sorry, not my habit of posting so much blog in such a short time.

    I'm looking for a pre-reader (not for grammar) but for content, to give me some feedback on a short story I just wrote. (9-10k words)

    Basically, I never wrote shipping story before, and I kinda took that as a challenge.

    But I'm not good with emotions in general, so I would like feedback and ideas from someone that has some affinity with shipping stories.

    The story is far from done and would no doubt go under some reconstruction from feedback received until I think it's good enough to be published.

    3 comments · 94 views
  • 133w, 6d
    200+

    Well, woke up this morning to find 200 thumbs up on both Azure's stories.

    You don't know what it means for someone with such a broken English, that maybe behind the shitty sentences the story might not be too awful. :)

    By the way... You will all be able to laugh your ass off at my English, as I will maybe be doing a 60 mins speech at the GDC 2013. (Game Dev Conference)

    The conferences are recorded and posted on their website. *yikes*

    4 comments · 51 views
Feb
18th
2013

Finale... · 1:11am

Yeah...

If you don't want to read anything negative, or any spoilers about the season 3 finale, you can skip this blog. You can also skip it if you don't want to read it too. Just fine.

Let's start by saying... Great episode. A really good one, if not rushed. The animation was amazing, the songs (plenty of them) were top notch. The story was cool, but could have been put over two episodes.

And then... and then it happened. They wrapped the most tasteless ponypoo in the most sweet wrapping. For lot of people, that's enough. If the sugarcoating is thick enough, they can accept anything. It was so obvious they were pushing a marketing agenda that at some point it became awkward. "Everything is fine"? Seven songs in a 22 mins package? The most twisted display of "feeling" filled scenes? At some point I was wondering if I was not watching some ads or something.

"They managed to do it!" and "Thanks M.A. Larson!" was shouted on the stream just as the episode ended. They managed to do what? To make you eat it and like it? So, beside that it was an obvious marketing plot to sell some more toys with complete disregard for this show integrity, there's also plenty of other things that make this just plain wrong.

Because Hasbro automatically assume they can feed their targeted audience any kind of horsecrap and they would accept it without a second thought.

Young girls can also be intelligent and can also expect their favorite show to be designed as such.

That's something I said lately on Reddit. Some might say it sounds a lot like what Faust said in an interview while season 1 just started. While back then I dismissed it for some feminist rhetoric; I'm afraid I came to agree on this too. Two minutes to turn Twilight into an alicorn and two more to make her a princess and as little explanation as possible. Taking your audience for idiots with a capital "I".

Then someone else came around and said:

It's not so much that it is horsecrap but that younger children have tighter attachments than older children to the bodies of parents and family. Their emotional bonds are more based on body-touching relationships. Twilight's body changing shape is pretty dramatic for them in ways it isn't for older audiences. I think it might just be a mismatch of demographic, as this is kind of a 6-10 year old show mostly I am thinking, right?

I didn't think about it, but I have to agree on that too! I try to imagine myself when I was young... if one of my hero was to undergo such drastic changes in four minutes flat with no background story and no real explanation. How would I had felt? Terrible... disturbed. And back then I wouldn't have known how to express that weird uncertainty. We often take the younger audience for granted, for idiot that doesn't understand and can accept anything. But they aren't stupid, if something doesn't make sense or is lacking a logical structure, they can "feel" that even if they can't explain it.

We all came to like the show because it was good. Not just the animation, the song or the joke, but also the mythological aspect built in background and the characters attached to it. Now... We had Cadance that came from... No one knows. And now Twilight have been changed for... Again, no good reasons. And to me, it creates some terrible precedent. I'm afraid season 4 will end with Twilight wedding to an unknown prince. After all, every girls dreams of being a princess, right? The step after that, is every girls dream of their white knight, their strong prince by their sides. And after that, everything married girls dream of is having babies!

It's a huge mountain of stereotypical idiocy; something I was happy to not see in this show until the wedding. It makes no sense on so many levels. For me, it makes me slightly angry. For a kids who might not be able to word it properly, it would make them disturbed, conflicted.  But let's dig a bit deeper in the message passed in that episode. You might think that I'm seeking too far, but I wrote "Never Judge" for something as small as the name of Celestia's school.

"Twilight wrote her own magic." Does that mean that unicorn are once more "special"? That pegasi or earth ponies cannot ascend to alicorness? Another strange tiny bit of racism that tick me off.

"You're an alicorn, so you're now a princess." What is the link between the two elements there? Of course we never met a princess that is not an alicorn, but the link between the two is insane. The message passed is that a special physiological aspect of a pony is enough to grant political power. Terrible things happened on this planet when a group of people think they are genetically or physiologically superior. The link between the two, for me, makes no sense. Celestia and Luna are leader of the country because of their thousand years experience, not automatically because they are alicorn. All princesses are alicorns, but should all alicorns be princesses? What if by a freak accident Trixie grows some wings? Might make a good episode, but the link between the two is disturbing. What if a pony's special talent is political leadership? They are out of luck because you got to be a unicorn and grow some wings at some point?

"You're now a princess." The whole episode is about seeking your destiny, but name me one moment in the last three seasons where Twilight express the wish for political power or even to become one princess? Her goals never been that. It was terribly out of character, she's a book worm! A nerds that prefer the darkness and silence of a library over doing sport. Because she got friends didn't change that! Did Twilight even had the choice in the matter? Celestia sure didn't ask her opinion. When her friends bowed before her? Awkward is definitely not strong enough.

"You display great leadership." No, she did not. She was appointed the leader of the group da facto because she was the envoy of Celestia, not because of her leadership, which at some point was down right dangerous. She's a great manager. But great managing skills doesn't automatically means great leader. And even great leadership doesn't make you a great political figure. Most army's generals are great leader, but for most, I wouldn't put them in the president's seat.

"You accomplished a lot." True... but did she do much more than five other ponies? Favoritism much?

"Twilight will continue to live in Ponyville. - Tara Strong" Right! A princess who lives in a library. Unless this "princess" thing is just a title with no meaning and no political power. Then why do it in the first place?

The last four minutes of that episode were, for me, terrible.

Now I'm afraid of what kind of idiocy Hasbro's marketing department will manage to infuse in the next season finale and how much sugarcoating they will need to pass it to the "gullible" audience.

For the records, I'm not against Twilight alicornification. However, I am against that princess no-sense and the way they handled the whole thing. They could have had a whole season of buildup towards that; releasing information here and there. Building some kind of background story, maybe even some historical views on how Celestia/Luna and maybe even Cadance came to be. But it did not happen; we got two seconds view on a mysterious black book in the opener, and that's it.

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#1 · 123w, 2d ago · · ·

Well, according to the writer's, it's going to be a technical 3-parter, with S4E1/2 being the follow up. Whatever happens there, no idea. If this mess gets resolved by those, then I will be a very happy person.

Also, every time 'write own magic = become princess', I keep thinking of 'write own computer code = become CEO'. It honestly seems that stupid.

One more thing: I believe you meant 'Finale'.

#2 · 123w, 2d ago · · ·

>>841045 Oups! Yes, I did. Should have checked the spelling of that. :twilightoops:

#3 · 123w, 2d ago · · ·

If you don't want to read anything negative, or any spoilers about the season 3 final, you can skip this blog. You can also skip it if you don't want to read it too. Just fine.

cool

Let's start by saying... Great episode. A really good one, if not rushed. The animation was amazing, the songs (plenty of them) were top notch. The story was cool, but could have been put over two episodes.

no the episode had good moments but and there were a lot of good stuff, but wrapping ponypoo in the most sweet wrapping doesn't change the fact that is crap

"Everything is fine"? Seven songs in a 22 mins package?

this is fine with me because i took the entire episode as one big musical

They managed to do what? To make you eat it and like it? So, beside that it was an obvious marketing plot to sell some more toys with complete disregard for this show integrity, there's also plenty of other things that make this just plain wrong.

the problem with alicorn twilight is that we all should have expected this to happen the problem with this is that the execution it feels to much like real life some major life changing catastrophe coming out of left field and blindsiding us

I didn't think about it, but I have to agree on that too! I try to imagine myself when I was young... if one of my hero was to undergo such drastic changes in four minutes flat with no background story and no real explanation. How would I had felt? Terrible... disturbed. And back then I wouldn't have known how to express that weird uncertainty.

i was a stupid kid growing up and believed that spontaneous transformation was cool so yeah it will work

We all came to like the show because it was good. Not just the animation, the song or the joke, but also the mythological aspect built in background and the characters attached to it. Now... We had Cadance that came from... No one knows. And now Twilight have been changed for... Again, no good reasons.

this is technically blasphemy because they are going against Faust by having more alicorns

And to me, it creates some terrible precedent. I'm afraid season 4 will end with Twilight wedding to an unknown prince.

oh  damn he's figured it out:twilightoops:

After all, every girls dreams of being a princess, right? The step after that, is every girls dream of their white knight, their strong prince by their sides. And after that, everything married girls dream of is having babies!

It's a huge mountain of stereotypical idiocy; something I was happy to not see in this show until the wedding.

I've given up watching the two-parters because the do crap like this

  But let's dig a bit deeper in the message passed in that episode. You might think that I'm seeking too far, but I wrote "Never Judge" for something as small as the name of Celestia's school.

"Twilight wrote her own magic." Does that mean that unicorn are once more "special"? That pegasi or earth ponies cannot ascend to alicorness? Another strange tiny bit of racism that tick me off.

why couldn't that be what it takes to be appointed to archmage a title she could have earned with out any whining

"You're an alicorn, so you're now a princess." What is the link between the two elements there? Of course we never met a princess that is not an alicorn, but the link between the two is insane. The message passed is that a special physiological aspect of a pony is enough to grant political power. Terrible things happened on this planet when a group of people think they are genetically or physiologically superior. The link between the two, for me, makes no sense. Celestia and Luna are leader of the country because of their thousand years experience, not automatically because they are alicorn. All princesses are alicorns, but should all alicorns be princesses? What if by a freak accident Trixie grows some wings? Might make a good episode, but the link between the two is disturbing. What if a pony's special talent is political leadership? They are out of luck because you got to be a unicorn and grow some wings at some point?

the question here is why there is no need for twilight actually there is what if celestia is making twilight a princess so it improves the image of royalty im mean think about it with prince blueblood princess luna doing nothing but going into peoples dreams and celestia being defeated by chrysalis they need one good royal with a winning track record

"You display great leadership." No, she did not. She was appointed the leader of the group da facto because she was the envoy of Celestia, not because of her leadership, which at some point was down right dangerous. She's a great manager. But great managing skills doesn't automatically means great leader. And even great leadership doesn't make you a great political figure. Most army's generals are great leader, but for most, I wouldn't put them in the president's seat.

How dare you twilight sparkle is the world's greatest human resources manager in the history of equestria

"You accomplished a lot." True... but did she do much more than five other ponies? Favoritism much?

fluttershy did something the elements of harmony and you failed to do so what does that mean she gets to become a faustacorn

"Twilight will continue to live in Ponyville. - Tara Strong" Right! A princess who lives in a library. Unless this "princess" thing is just a title with no meaning and no political power. Then why do it in the first place?

The last four minutes of that episode were, for me, terrible.

the biggest question is what is she princess of it's the same problem we had with cadence and at least with her we made up that she was the princess of love

#4 · 123w, 2d ago · · ·

>>841274 the problem with alicorn twilight is that we all should have expected this to happen

I was expecting something like some kind of alicornification to happen at some point. But I also expected it to be properly handled, and I hoped it wouldn't be linked to some princess crap. I would have hoped for a multi-episodes epic story arc that lead to her transformation. Something she could have been aware of, and made some choices about it.

the question here is why there is no need for twilight actually there is what if celestia is making twilight a princess so it improves the image of royalty

She needs Twilight to handle the paperwork. The princess of budget balance.

How dare you twilight sparkle is the world's greatest human resources manager in the history of equestria

I'm sure you meant "pony resources manager", and I did say she is a great manager.

fluttershy did something the elements of harmony and you failed to do so what does that mean she gets to become a faustacorn

Something I failed to do? I think you are talking about Celestia?

#5 · 123w, 2d ago · · ·

>>841808

I was expecting something like some kind of alicornification to happen at some point. But I also expected it to be properly handled,

wait  and this wasn`t act 1 twilight fucks everything up and give up in 8 minutes flat act2 twilight goes through 3 or four differenrt music numbers act 3 in four minutes twilight goes to heven and becomes an alicorn with no explanation

and I hoped it wouldn't be linked to some princess crap. I would have hoped for a multi-episodes epic story arc that lead to her transformation. Something she could have been aware of, and made some choices about it.

sucks to be you

She needs Twilight to handle the paperwork. The princess of budget balance.

on second thought sucks to be her

I'm sure you meant "pony resources manager", and I did say she is a great manager.

lyra agrees with me humans do exist

Something I failed to do? I think you are talking about Celestia?

no you, fluttershy got me to like twilight sparkle  

#7 · 123w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

Well, I personally think that this episode would be better if they would make it 44 minutes instead of 22, even if in season 4 there will be 2 parts what will continue this story, I see no reason why not make it 4 part episode instead of 3 part, it would give far more space to put more back-story and information to this episode, but considering 22 minutes time they had, they did quite well.

As for not giving us any backstory, information and stuff, lets be honest, it was always weak point of the show, Celestia and Luna backstory was poor from very first episode, we got not much info about Chrysalis and changelings, Crystal empire was not to well explained and Sombra had no talk scenes and backstory, so I must say considering what ship MLP is, they give us quite alot of info in season 3 finale, not much info, but still far more then we should expect.

I must agree that Twilight was not given much of a choice in this, transformation was very fast, but come on, we saw Celestia singing while a lot of pictures of Twilight adventures and accomplishment all over the place, this episode give Celestia more character development then all episodes in 3 seasons, and if Twilight would become unhappy with this change, she would protest to Celestia, or maybe she know that being princess does not mean as much change in her life as we think it will.

Transformation was rushed, sure, but it was totally a reward, Twilight transformation into Alicorn was reward for passing tests and trials, saving world, did Celestia made transformation or did she just watched just how Twilight transformed because of her own magic, did Twilight was destined to become Alicorn or did Celestia just found out recently, there are alot of questions and speculation, but this is what the show was doing all time, it not answer questions letting us make theories and speculations, most fanfics work around different interpretation of stuff in the show, all we can hope for is that many question will be answered in season 4, as this episode was meant to be big cliffhanger, thrown alot of stuff and question on us so that we want to see the answers.

As for "You're an alicorn, so you're now a princess."  I must agree with you, it is weird tradition that every Alicorn must be princess, Twilight is after all not a ruler material, she is field leader and skill manager, she can lead group of ponies like a good general or small squad as elite strike team, she can organize small town, but she is not a ruler material, politics and paperwork is not for her, it would be really nice if even with status of princess, Twilight would stay in Ponyvile and do what she do best: help friends, solve problems, lead strike team to solve crisis, read books and study magic or even create a new spells.

"You display great leadership." I think Celestia meant leadership of general or field officer, she is good at leading, but not in politics, if Celestia want her to rule, she will need to give Twilight alot time to study in that field, so I hope she will still be in Ponyvile doing what she did so far until she study this topic.

"Twilight will continue to live in Ponyville. - Tara Strong" - that is not really anything special, Cadance was babysit Twilight and had no political power until Crystal Empire has returned, so you can assume that Princess is more of a title, it mean that this pony is a ruler material and she/he can rule in future, but what he will rule is unknown, maybe Twilight will be princess of Magic and lead magic/science development, who knows, lets think positive.

"You accomplished a lot." True... but did she do much more than five other ponies? Favoritism much?

Well, sure, it looks like Favouritism, but you must consider that mane 5 was following Twilight, they would not accomplish they part without a good leader, and mane 5 are not a good Alicorn material, being Alicorn mean a lot of magic reserves and power, learning to control it, and it is what Twilight would do, she will be more then happy to train her new skills and learn more about magic, others from mane 6 would not take it as well as Twilight, and it was Twilight who had to pass all trials and tests, mane 6 accompanied her, and it will be up to Twilight to reward them as they leader.

So yea, in my opinion Alicorn Twilight is a good think, it give alot of chances for character and power development, it is a fair buff considering how powerful opponents mane 6 fight are and since princesses do not bother to help, and since Celestia is full powered Alicorn and failed so easy again Chrysalis, we can easy see that power is not everything but how you use it, so even if Twilight gain new abilities and will be able to develop her powers, it will be up to how she use it to decide between failure and victory.

The whole become princess is troublesome and confusing, but lets hope it wont get in the way, we do not know much about what princess title mean in Equestria, it can mean CO-rule or just a title, for example, BlueBlood, he is meant to be a prince, and I bet he hardly do anything else then waste time with nobles and talk garbage.

#8 · 123w, 2d ago · · ·

>>842743 They could have made a whole episode with only the transformation. The biggest character development yet, done and over in 2 mins.

#9 · 123w, 1d ago · · ·

>>843893

I guess, but MLP show do it quite often so we should be more forgiving.

#10 · 123w, 1d ago · · ·

>>844109 Really? When was the last major transformation that took place?

#11 · 123w, 1d ago · · ·

>>844331

I did not mean transformation, I mean that MLP show give very little time for character development and big scenes

" The biggest character development yet, done and over in 2 mins. "

For example, Discord, he got friendly with fluttershy in moment when it would be more believable if it took far longer, Celestia vs Chrysalis was a 15 second fight, Sombra hardly had any good screen time at all, on the Wedding all Twilight friends, Brother and Princesses left Twilight without any hesitation, Trixie turned good and asked for forgiveness far to fast in magic duel episode,  what I try to say is that writers of the story give to little time to many important scenes and character development, but it is something we should get used to.

#12 · 123w, 21h ago · · ·

>>847359 Used to... or ask to be fixed?

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