What is the language of universal meaning

Things that come to mind


NOTE: i couldn’t get the videos to show up. Read the proper version at my blog.

In the game “The Movies”, by Lionhead Studios, is a movie production simulator much like The Sims or Tycoon series; where the main goal is to keep everything in your created world in order (or not). But The Movies adds this whole “Movie Maker” mini game where you can actually make movies within.

Production of The Movies began in late 2002[2] in a Lionhead Studios brain-storming conference. The idea began when Peter Molyneux came up with a new idea for a simulation game. The idea was to create a more diverse and lifelike strategy aspect to the game giving players the option to create their very own movie. GameSpy

So they had to come up with a way to enable players to “make movies”, seperate than the studio management part. The implementation is simple: They created a catalog of “scenes”, which are Maniquins that have a set animation, for example a character shooting another character. Then you have a catalogue of skins to put on these character, much like Mixamo/Adobe Fuse (As of April 2018!). They also let you control the camera movement and the setting to an extent so you’ll end up with a fully formed scene. Now all you have to do is to put these scenes together, add sound/subtitle (or if you’re ambitious, voice over) and you’ll have a motion picture story.


The Movies Advance Movie Maker Tutorial

Here you can see how the Movie Maker system in “The Movies” works. Worth a watch.

Terminator 2 Animated Remake using ‘The Movies’ game by Lionhead

And example of what the Movie Maker is capable of, a remake of a familiar film.


This one’s an original production, although i’ve seen IMO better results, but it’s expression through the medium, so take it however you like.

Story telling doesn’t come naturally to us

Story Appreciation does come naturally, don’t get me wrong: We can’t help but to praise people who can tell stories in the medium of choice and appreciate the level of detail they go to make sure the end product contains all the relevant pieces to deliver that “totality”, that elusive “Gesamtkunstwerk”.

The truth is we don’t really need a lot of information to empathize and understand. There’s a lot of information out there that we are able to parse, but it wouldn’t be viable nor practical to do so. So we use abstraction and compartments stored that contain “just enough” detail to be operational in the world, and add to the detail when necessary. Interestingly we have no problems expressing using those symbolic abstractions as well, meaning we’re quite comfortable with a cartoonish representation of people, and are willing to empathize with literally a couple of lines and circles and humanize them.

So the problem of “Abstraction Level” is something to think about. If you give your random person ALL the details they need to build a full picture, like a real model to draw from, it’s unlikely for them to hit their desired level of detail.
Even a lot of times they think they did, but after reviewing the expression later they can see how it looks “wrong”. So the question is what level of abstraction should you give the creator for them to create with “enough” effort, but don’t get discouraged from their incompetence to utilize it? How high up should be the level of details they should be able to comprehend and articulate?

Grim Fandango: Land of the Living

In the game Grim Fandango, you live in the land of the dead (from Mexican mythology), and you go to the “land of the living” to bring back the newly deceased. The depiction of “the land of the dead” is the image that someone who’s not used to see living things would make. In our example, dead people who forgot how living was.

Adventure Time: BMO in the VR BRB

In the series Adventure Time: The Islands, Fin and Jake (boy and dog) enter the VR world that their sentient Gameboy (BMO) has made. BMO also tried to recreate his friends in a section called BRB (Be Right Back!), but they look horrific, and BMO knows it (well you KNOW you drew a bad car if you never drew a car!). Very dark and very though provoking (Like most of Adventure Time, don’t be fooled by the colors!)

Although, if you WANT your work to look like a collage, go ahead! Using the limitations imposed on you to your advantage is always a good strategy. Also, we never had “enough” juxtaposition, so go for it!

Enjoy this work by the Armenian artist, Sergei Parajanov.

Sergei Parajanov Collages

Variation on themes by Pinturicchio and Raphael