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  Battle Hogs Electronically 11:24 PM -- Mon October 31, 2011  

I attempted to make a really special BHE game this year. I failed. But it's still here in very-partial working order, and I'm not done working. You can't try it, though, because I never implemented the lobby that lets you join the game. It currently plays with a group of people who are all Jamul, instead (and only on my local PC).

So as you can guess from what I said, it's an online game! It's kind of the next step up for the Great Pumpkin's Field. More accurately, it's a top-down rendition (using your website avatars) of a WoW dungeon run. Up to five people can team up to head into a dungeon and slay monsters. Each one has a few special abilities, and you need to employ them to keep everybody alive and make the monsters dead. You click to move (that's what the green circle is, I've clicked there), and there are keys for your different abilities (the numeric keypad, or the QWEASDZXC if you prefer that side of the keyboard).

What you see in the screenshot is of course a bunch of temp art. I drew the pigs especially for it, and they're even animated, but I have no idea why I made pigs. I just didn't know what kind of monsters I wanted.

What's the future of The Hamumu Dungeon Game Adventure Experience? I really intend to make it, but I had major major issues getting it working. Not so much technical problems as motivational ones. Dealing with all-new code problems in an all-new language, with massive painful restrictions (no global variables allowed!), and making gameplay that is an entirely new style, and having to spend several hours a day on B.H.E. events... it was all more than a little overwhelming. So I stopped working on that a couple weeks ago, and moved on to something more appropriate. But I intend to come back to this project, in small bits. I don't want to commit to getting anything particularly done on it, but it's a project I've long wanted to do, and so I want to keep giving it a shot until it's either a miserable failure, or it gets its hooks in me and drives me to finish it up. I think I'll fire it up for a couple weeks in December and see if I get anywhere. In the meantime, I have other things to do...

What else did I work on? Well, that's not done either, but tune in later today to hear all about it.
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  Beaten, Horses Escape. 11:09 PM -- Mon October 31, 2011  

The Great Pumpkin's Field was exciting as always (you can still enjoy it for the next twelve hours or so!). But this year, there was a prize! Every pony defeated earned a raffle ticket for everybody who helped destroy it. The top ticket-holder was Redbone, with 55 victories under his belt (10% of all the tickets!). SpaceManiac was a close second with 50. Most people had just one or two tickets. Yet, in the end I ran a raffle, and they didn't win it... the winning Ponyslayer this year was...


Yahoo! He had 20 tickets, so not a major upset there. Darkguyhades, send me an email with shipping information and enjoy your new Loonyland CD!
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu 06:31 PM -- Mon October 31, 2011  

This is a movie review... I will not outright spoil things, but if you want to really experience a movie fresh and clean, there is information below that will dirty you up! So beware of mild semi-spoilers.

Synopsis: A dangerous relic of Cthulhu is uncovered by the Cult of Cthulhu, so the Council of Cthulhu (no relation) has to send their other half of the relic into hiding, by giving it to the last remaining descendant of H.P. Lovecraft, so that the two halves won't be put together. He is of course a slacker guy, and thus, as he is hunted by Deep Ones and Starspawn, hijinks theoretically ensue.

Scariness Type: It's a comedy, with no hints at horror. There is some gore.

Rating: 2/5 Comic Books.

Awarded: Least Painful Broken Arms Ever. You just gonna let those swing around? Maybe a sling at least?

Good Stuff: There are funny bits here and there. It's also sort of interesting how heavily this movie, despite being silly, relies on the actual Lovecraft mythos. There's a cameo by Martin Starr which is really funny and nicely demonstrates how badly the rest of the movie misses the mark. It's like a ray of sunshine that illuminates the garbage heap. Oh, there are also moments early on that feel like an episode of Buffy, especially the monster costumes, so that's pretty good.

Bad Stuff: It's got some really big exposition (including one rather enjoyable animated sequence in which Cthulhu uses a severed triceratops head to stab shoggoths). There's a problem that happens when comedy tries to tell a fairly involved story, or even just make sense, rather than be silly. It drags it down and kills the fun. It can definitely be done, but it takes a very deft hand. Which is not present here. They manage to stay light-hearted all the way through, but that's not the same as entertaining.

Another big problem lies in some combination of the editing and direction. It's something you'll notice in low-budget movies, where they don't cut between things fast enough, or at the right time, making something that's theoretically very exciting actually end up looking awkward. The thing that exemplifies this is when the sea captain throws a spear at Starspawn, and he grabs it and throws it back. If you watch the equivalent scene (with a throwing knife) in Big Trouble in Little China, it's just awesome - whip-zang-whap-POW. In this movie, it's laborious and slow. These actors weren't any less agile than the ones in the other movie, it's all down to the editing and direction. And of course, if they can't keep the action flowing nicely, they're not keeping the comedy popping either. It's all about timing.

Classic Rules of Film: If you show an ancient relic that can cause the world to end in Act 1, you can't just stop the relic before it does that. It has to at least get started on it in Act 3.

My Take: Pretty lame. But it's comedy, so that's even more subjective than it would be otherwise. It may tickle your funnybone just right, but for me, it fell pretty flat. It wasn't totally stupid, and there were jokes I laughed at, but overall, not a winner for me.

Artistic Nonsense: There's something I've seen in other movies (Paul comes to mind immediately, but I know of some others... Chasing Amy is one, I think?), where a character is a struggling writer/artist/filmmaker who is totally unknown, then they go on this wild adventure (or regular old relationship issues, in Chasing Amy), and they make a book/comic/movie about that adventure which makes them famous because of course it's so interesting that everybody is enthralled. There's a fundamental hole in this premise that goes completely ignored: we just watched that movie, and it was not that amazing. It's like the movie's writers are trying to say "The story we just told is so awesome that everybody will be flocking to see it! Look, here's what that will look like!" And it's inherently ridiculous because of course tons of stories are about aliens or Cthulhu or relationships. Just because in the context of the movie, the characters actually lived this incredible adventure (which, yes, would be absolutely mind-blowing if it really happened) doesn't mean that anybody reading about it would believe that or care. They would treat it like all other fiction of that sort. I just watched Last Lovecraft - it was not amazing, and since I never heard of it before searching through the Netflix archives, I can assume it wasn't terribly popular either.

This is it! Our final movie for Halloween is Halloween: H2O! That's the spirit! Join in!
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  Best Halloween Entries 03:17 PM -- Mon October 31, 2011  

First off, let me remind everybody that today is at last the Best Halloween Ever, so share your surprises!

But mainly this post is here to lay down results for the many assorted contests which end today!

Bite Here, Enjoy had three entries, so they all win! In first place, it's .Blue Dwarf. with his Pumpkin Goo! Second place is Happystikbeaver with Mallow-Mushrooms. Third place is Megadog's Marzipan Ghost. Congratulations + yum.

Behold Hamumians Enrobed is also over! The top costume of the year by far was The Red Baron by Happystikbeaver:

In second place was Megadog's Punk Bunny, and third place was Boneheads1999's Bouapha!

And now we know who the Best Hamumian Ever is (scores are at the bottom of that page, yeah kind of awkward and I should've added an anchor for them)! Wouldn't you know it, it's ME! But anyway, in terms of people who aren't me, first place goes to BryanSNK who just barely edged out Cheeselord in second, and third place is Megadog. Congratulations folks, and monster cards are coming your way today.

Now that's not all, because I still have to run the raffle for The Great Pumpkin's Field, so let me go get that set up, among many other things, and get back to you! From this moment on, the field no longer awards raffle tickets, so enjoy it in fun! The ponies are super scary for Halloween. You will need your friends, as well as the enormous amount of firepower the field is currently dishing out (you are welcome to idle on the page today, it gives out a weapon every 30 seconds).
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: The Nameless 05:08 PM -- Sun October 30, 2011  

This is a movie review... I will not outright spoil things, but if you want to really experience a movie fresh and clean, there is information below that will dirty you up! So beware of mild semi-spoilers.

Synopsis: A girl's body is found after she has been missing for a while. Her parents are sad. They split up, then years later, her mom gets a phone call from the supposedly dead daughter. She begins to investigate what that means. Weird jump cuts ensue.

Scariness Type: There is some nasty torture in this movie. Most of it is just people walking around and talking, but just a few times in the movie, very very horrible torture is performed on people.

Rating: 2/5 Leg Braces.

Good Stuff: This is one of those movies where the heroes are following a trail of clues, solving more and more of a puzzle. So that's interesting.

Bad Stuff: But in the end, you don't really know anything until the last 3 minutes (literally) of the movie, during which everything is revealed and it concludes, and does so in a way I don't really like, including one villain that looks like Jim Carrey doing his Maskiest mugging. It felt kind of like I just wasted two hours if that's how it's gonna turn out. It's sort of like when a movie ends with "it was all a dream!" That's not the case here, but it feels like the same kind of slap in your face, Nelson Ha-Ha, you wasted your time watching this. A lack of arc, perhaps? A lack of redemption? I don't know exactly. It's quite the horror trope to have a movie end in some variation of "failure", and usually that's okay with me, but here it didn't feel right.

To contradict what I said in an earlier review, this also shows the trouble with adapting from a more complex source (a novel). The movie sort of skips along to somewhat random events, just to squeeze in a lot of different stuff and subplots into a movie length. There are characters that just appear and start being a part of the story out of the blue. In the end, all these things tie together (and it's all pretty simple too, which isn't really a plus), but I felt really off-kilter along the way, always wondering why this or that new thing was happening.

One last bad thing: When transitioning between scenes, for no reason at all, it will flash in random shots of things to be creepy. Like there's a girl (presumably the daughter) stuttering back and forth like broken film. Or in one scene, it's less random - a badguy is talking about how they've caught somebody in their web of deception and it keeps cutting to quarter-second-long shots of a spider crawling on a web. Yeah, on the nose again. It doesn't add anything, and it's quite obnoxious.

Classic Rules of Film: If you say your husband has disappeared in Act 1, he's probably going to turn up sometime in Act 3.

My Take: Simply put, not worth watching. I thought it was going somewhere pretty interesting as it went along, and then it failed me at the end. Man, after all that build-up of the movie not being able to play all month, and this is what I end up with?

Artistic Nonsense: Guys, it's not artistic to insert random jump cuts between scenes. It's just stupid.

Our second to last movie is next! The Last Lovecraft: Relic Of Cthulhu is a comedy. Let's hope it's a funny one!

And just to get you in the Halloween mood and all prepped for Halloween night, I'm going to tell you what our Halloween movie is to watch on Halloween, so on Halloween you should put it in and watch Halloween: H2O with me for a Halloween treat, so we can have a Halloween discussion about it! How could I resist that option? I've actually never seen an entire Halloween movie, except for Season of the Witch (Halloween 3?), twice, which was hilarious and didn't include Michael Myers at all. Or any witches. I'm assuming this will be really stupid as well. I'd probably rather have watched an old one, like perhaps the original, but they only had this one and the sequel to it on Netflix. I'm sure I'll miss all the clever references to the old movies, but oh well. Streamers can't be choosers.
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  Braggarts Handled, Everybody! 03:50 PM -- Sun October 30, 2011  

Brag Here, Everybody is now over, and after a quick randomizing, the prize has been raffled off. The winner is Cheeselord, netting him the most amazing Monster Card of them all, the Microfish. Enjoy!
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  Barked, Howled, Etc.! 03:38 PM -- Sun October 30, 2011  

BryanSNK is the winner of the coolest Monster Card sound in our Bark, Howl, Etc. contest, with his Happy Stick Man sound!

He is now the proud (or not, I haven't checked) owner of a Bok Bok monster card! Happy Stick Man would've been a classier prize, but it was random.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Megapython Vs. Gatoroid 04:59 PM -- Sat October 29, 2011  

This is a movie review... I will not outright spoil things, but if you want to really experience a movie fresh and clean, there is information below that will dirty you up! So beware of mild semi-spoilers.

Synopsis: Debbie Gibson and Tiffany reignite the cold war of the 80's - the conflict between pop stars. Only this time, it's as an ecoterrorist and park ranger. Terrible CGI snakes and alligators, also appearing to be from the 80's, wander around in the background. Explosions ensue.

Scariness Type: Come on. Well, there's really cheesy gore.

Rating: 2/5 Walkie-Talkies.

Good Stuff: I have a few favorite moments. The first and best is when a giant python is attacking Tiffany's deputy (do rangers have deputies? She does). They ran into this python because they heard a walkie-talkie scritching, so they thought they had found the person they were looking for. She stabs wildly at the python to save the deputy, and in the process, ends up cutting a hole in it, through which a walkie-talkie just pops right out. Awesome.

Secondly, best line in the movie: Tiffany and Debbie have been fighting in the swamp (of course) and suddenly realize they can no longer hear the high-society party of people with guns (of course), so Tiffany says "I think we're alone now... there doesn't seem to be anyone around." Which you younguns won't get. Well that's just a joke for me to get!! And that last sentence was actually a reference to the commentary for the Clerks animated series, if we want to get seriously into references for a limited audience. I like to entertain myself.

Oh, but as far as stuff actually being good, I'd say the cleverness of putting that line in there is about as good as it gets. And that isn't exactly sterling.

So Bad It's Good: The effects are amazing. I know these guys don't have access to top cutting-edge techniques and gear, but even with what they had, they must have done it badly on purpose. They'll cut from a practical rubber snake to a CGI snake that looks completely different, only vaguely the same color. The acting, similarly, is absolutely horrid, and I hope nobody was actually trying to do well. There's also some great 50's-B-Movie level science going on. And my favorite thing, also from 50's movies, is where the effects are so different from the live scenes, and not green-screened over them but just shot separately and cut between. So you end up with completely random threats, like an alligator looking like it's wandering in the swamp, then suddenly a guy is being eaten by it on a street, with no chance to run. You can never tell how close or far the danger is, or how big the creatures are. They really did a great job all around making a bad movie. Kudos.

Bad Stuff: Well, it's all absolutely terrible... horrific. The worst. But let's see... what is bad in a bad way? Well, without spoiling much of the brilliant writing, I will say that the two "heroes" get lauded as heroes at the end when in fact they were both directly the cause of the entire problem. That's really about the only thing that somebody could complain about.

Classic Rules Of Film: If you explain to people that snake's heads can live for up to an hour after being severed in Act 1, then somebody is going to get bit by a severed head in Act 3 (and chopped in half!).

My Take: If you want to watch a bad movie, there's a ton of these movies by The Asylum, and they all do a pretty awesome job. Plus, they're not as boring as the 50's movies they emulate - they have a much faster pace and don't sit there lingering on pointless exposition. In fact, they pretty much don't bother with exposition. Like the awesome scene where Tiffany goes to get steroids and magic super-steroids from... some guy who does steroid research, I guess? They don't even discuss it really, he just says sure, you can have it, but don't use this stuff, it's very dangerous! And uses one science word, once. Myostatin. It all makes perfect sense that this would create Godzilla-sized alligators. Perfectly reasonable.

Artistic Nonsense: I would suggest that there's an anti-steroid message in this movie, but there really isn't. In fact, the steroids seem like a mighty nice thing! The alligators thrived and grew to enormous size thanks to the wonders of steroids. Maybe we should all take them! I guess they did point out that they can cause aggression.

Up next, we have The Nameless, at last! Hooray! Unless it stops working again. Hope it was worth the wait.
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  Built Halloween Environments, Builders Handed Emblems! 03:58 PM -- Sat October 29, 2011  

Aaaand the results are in! The winners of Build Haunted Environments are...

Blackduck in first place,
Moltanem2000 in second place, and
Kerma in third place!

Congratulations to the top builders, and remember, tomorrow is the raffle for Brag Here, Everybody, as well as the results for Bark, Howl, Etc. so get your stories in for the former and your votes in for the latter! It's almost Halloween!
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  Brainy Humans ________ (Win!) 08:31 PM -- Fri October 28, 2011  

It is time for the winners of "Brainy Humans _______", the Dumbwords tournament! And without further ado, the aforementioned winners are:

BryanSNK in first,
Davedude in second,
and Trex one point behind him!

Congratulations to them, and to them and everyone else, keep on playing Dumbwords and the other games, because you want to win Best Hamumian Ever! Good luck!
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