Monday, June 12, 2006

Football fever

Football craze is upon us, for the next month (or earlier, depending on results), England flags will be the hottest item for sale at pound shops all over the country. I went to the supermarket two days ago and it felt like I was the only person not flying the colours - I vaguely worried that I may be confronted and beaten up in the car park, because my old car has a Roma sticker with the Italian flag colours in the background.
Anyway, the next episode, #191, has a World Cup theme.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Virtual fashion

I've been browsing for screenshots from old UO days (Found them! Please don't send any) because I want to draw a large group scene in #189 - a fight night - with a retro look and the 3rd person view angle from above that UO had.
I've found a bunch of screenshots of assorted pwnage on a guild website of some pk guys who probably had their site designed by Dakilla (minus rotating skull gifs, I'm sorry to say), and a bunch of screenshots from some online wedding found googling with the usual orderly crowd of people in cloaks and feathered caps spamming *cheers* and *claps*.
I realised while I was looking at these two very different groups of people that in UO - since it didn't matter really what you were wearing and you were just as likely to see guys in full plate or guys in loincloth and skull helmet running around - people could come up with all kinds of different combinations of clothing, crossdressing and weirdness - and ended up making fashion statements about themselves just in the same way people do in real life.
I don't mean by having "unique characters" like you can do in many games now, where you can spend 4 hours choosing the nose shape and the angle of the eyebrows and all kinds of minute details of your character's face, when anyway you'll never see much more than its butt while it runs around the game and no one else will ever give a second look (or a first) at its facial features.
I mean instead in the same way that a goth, say, or a smartly dressed businessman, make a fashion statement about themselves, so as soon as you see one you label them in your mind. I could have cut off and mixed all the guys on those screenshots and guessed who was one of the pks and who was a roleplayer just by looking at their clothes.
I think that it's cooler than games where everyone looks like cookiecutter character #1843475. WoW has great graphics, but people of approximately the same level and gear quality are going to look very much like variations of each other, whoever they are and whatever their game style.
Now, I'm not being nostalgic - after all there are games like City of Heroes where it doesn't matter what you're wearing so you have great freedom to customise your looks, but I think that it'd be nice if gear-based games like WoW allowed players to display any kind of clothing, hats etc. on their characters, if they wanted. Right now, everyone looks like a clone.