This week’s Roundup features a variety of subjects, from legal trouble to our love affair with “retro”, from movie visual effects to the latest in the scientific, collected here to give you some new reading material throughout your day. Enjoy!
The Fan Film, Fraught With Peril
- X-Men: Danger Room Protocols shut down after one episode (Robot 6)
- Nintendo Shut Down a Star Fox Fan Animation Project, so the Creator Just Changed its Name (Gamnesia)
- Star Trek: Axanar Project Enlists Legal Defense Against CBS
The world of fan films is a difficult one — the movies, inevitably made as a labor of love for one imagination-capturing fandom or another, constantly live on a razor’s edge of sudden acceptance (Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist), neutral distance (Zordon of Eltar), or, like the above examples, inspiring a larger studio’s ire. The promising X-Men: Danger Room Protocols released a single, fun, retro episode before catching Marvel’s attention, while one creative creator decided to simply strip A Fox in Space of any resemblance to its source material. The ongoing Axanar saga, on the other hand, has inspired the pro bono aid of an experienced IP lawyer, and hopes to turn a very different direction.
- Watch Mars Come to Life in This Gorgeous VFX Reel for The Martian (io9)
- A Star Destroyer Just Falls Into Place in These New Force Awakens VFX Breakdowns (io9)
- The Voices of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Star Wars)
- Making Japanese Superhero Shows Looks Exhausting (Kotaku)
- Colin Trevorrow Wants to Shoot (Some of) STAR WARS: EPISODE IX In Space (The Nerdist)
The visual effects required for today’s blockbuster movies seems to constantly up the ante, from a majestically downed Star Destroyer in The Force Awakens to the sweeping landscape of Mars in The Martian, so have a look at some of their VFX reels — and compare that with the making of live Japanese tokusatsu, action shows in the tradition of Power Rangers or Ultraman. Also in the Star Wars category, Episode IX’s director wants to film part of the trilogy’s last movie on location in space, but here on the ground, Lucasfilm has provided a breakdown of many of the additional voices featured in The Force Awakens, and you may recognize many names on the list!
Game Building: Trials and Triumphs
- The Link between Game and Story – Breaking the Fourth Wall (The Escapist)
- The Concept Art Behind Life Is Strange (Kotaku)
- Great work on Starward Rogue, team! Now you’re all laid off…? (Arcen Games)
- Architecture in Video Games: Designing for Impact (Gamasutra)
Setting up a game with a well-developed, fleshed out story relies on a certain fourth wall and conceit, as The Escapist explores; it requires a certain attention to detail and environment to get right, and so the staff of The Witness hired an architect to help them build their multi-layered, gorgeous island. The character design is crucial, as we see in some of the concept art for the brilliant Life is Strange — but the path of game development in the modern era isn’t an easy one by any means, as we hear in this story from Arcen Games, the developers of Starward Rogue and The Last Federation, among others.
The Retro Resurgence
- Odin Sphere is now playable in your browser (Polygon)
- Two Classic JRPGs Are Coming Back On Modern Platforms (Kotaku)
- Enter the clicky keyboard (Six Colors)
- This Video of Vin Diesel Selling STREET SHARK Toys in 1994 Will Make Your Day (Geek Tyrant)
- Hanna-Barbera Beyond: Flintstones, Scooby and More Are Getting Comic Book Reimaginings (DC Comics)
Blasts from the past always seem to find their way back into fashion; from the return of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance to this unearthed commercial of Vin Diesel in 1994, we love new ways to access some of the content we loved in years past. In some cases, we do so by finding a purpose there, as Jason Snell of Six Colors finds utility in a big, clicky computer keyboard, and in some we make our way back, as in the “de-mastered”, eight-bit remake of Odin Sphere now available to play for free. In some, we change them altogether, as in these upcoming DC reboots of classic Hanna-Barbera properties, to see if we can share what we loved years ago with the audience of today.
- Watch Adam Savage Ecstatically Unbox A Martian Space Suit (io9)
- This Babylonian Astronomy Text Changes History (Gizmodo)
- The Beautiful Rocket Ballet that is the “Korolev Cross” (The Nerdist)
- Physicists Fires a Rifle at Himself Under Water in the Name of Science (The Nerdist)
- Watch Paul Rudd Take on Stephen Hawking in a Game of Quantum Chess (No, Really) (The Nerdist)
From the irreverently overdone Rudd vs. Hawking to the excitement of Adam Savage receiving one of the Martian suits he’s publicly admired, the ways in which we try to raise science’s profile are often silly, energetic, and accessible. Sometimes, as with a physicist shooting a rifle underwater — at himself — they are breathtaking and surprising, and sometimes, like the Korolev Cross, their utility is also beautiful. But surprises in science always abound — like this Babylonian text that suggests a method of calculus invented in medieval Europe may have first been discovered more than a thousand years beforehand.
Elsewhere on the Internet:
Morrowind, As Told By Facebook Posts (Kotaku)
Was Sam Wilson: Captain America Ever “Snap” Wilson, Street Hustler? (Comic Book Resources)
Netflix Confirms Gilmore Girls Revival Series (Spinoff Online)
Marvel Teams with Wounded Warrior Project for Venom: Space Knight Arc (Comic Book Resources)
Hasbro’s Stretch Armstrong Heads to Netflix (Spinoff Online)
*Outlander: Brianna Is FINALLY Cast!* (Aggressive Comix)
The Flash Finds Its First Female Speedster in Allison Paige’s Trajectory (Comic Book Resources)
The Geekly Roundup is a weekly Ace of Geeks feature that brings together all the interesting things we’ve encountered across the Internet this week. Contributions for this week’s Roundup were submitted by MalKontent, Ben, Mark, Mary Anne, and Joe.