Walking Sims Roundup!

So there is a new genre of game out there. They are called Walking Simulators. Why? Because that’s what the majority of the game play involves. Walking…and story…and some interaction and minor game play…but mostly walking!

I’ve become a sucker for these games. I mean, I love a puzzler or shooter or candy crusher as much as the next person but sometimes I only have a couple of hours of free time and just feel like getting involved in a good story. Read the rest of this entry

How to Survive a Murder Mystery

Admit it, you all at one point or another wanted to be in an Agatha Christie murder mystery, complete with intrigue, quirkly/tortured characters and a denoument in a drawing room of some sort. ADMIT IT!

…Okay, maybe that’s only a desire of mine. I may have been binging a lot of Miss Marple, Midsommer Murders and Shetland lately and I have yet to stop jonesing for more.

And yet watching these murder mysteries, I can’t help but notice…many, many patterns. So I feel compelled to write down some basic rules should you find yourself in a murder mystery situation. But I am not talking about the murderer or detectives. I am talking about the poor innocent suspects who often find themselves dead halfway through. And so I present:

The Top 10 Rules to Surviving a Murdery Mystery (feel free to add more!)

  1. Never utter the words “Oh it’s you” upon turning around and seeing someone you recognize. Death always follows.
  2. If you get information about a dangerous murderer, do not make a vague phone call to the the police detective and say “Listen, I need to talk to you! It’s incredibly important! But I can’t explain here!”. Death is assured. Instead, rush straight to the police station the first moment you get and announce it out loud to all who can hear.
  3. Never sleep secretly with anyone. Death will be almost instantaneous.
  4. Be an obvious suspect. It almost always means you are never the actual killer and guarantees you getting arrested halfway through the murder investigation and safe away from the actual murderer. At the same time…
  5. Be an obvious suspect, but not TOO obvious. Remember, the more obviously evil you are, the more likely you are to be murdered halfway through, causing the detective to have to rethink his strategy.
  6. Don’t be too well loved. Being a well known and beloved figure in the community almost guarantees that you are either harbouring a deep dark secret, that someone has it in for you or both.
  7. Don’t hold any important local events. It doesn’t matter how many years Beet Fest has been going on. These things tend to be murder magnets.
  8. Dinner parties. Enough said.
  9. Never utter the words “You’ll have to kill me if you want (blank)”. It does not matter if the thing in question is the last slice of pie, stating this type of foreshadowing will doom you as the next victim.
  10. Finally, do not rely on the detectives. They may seem like they are making progress, but they are actually just putting in time before a second or even third murder occurs. Instead, invest in a good security system. Secretly.

    Sidekicks Episode 6

    Welp, it’s finally here. The sixth and final episode of Sidekicks.

    It feels a bit odd to see it all out here. Three and a half years ago I thought of an idea and then Errol and I wrote a script. Two years ago we filmed that script. And now it’s all edited and out to the public. Read the rest of this entry

    Sidekicks: Episode 5

    Episode 5 of Sidekicks is here! This week we have a change of location and people talk about feelings more. Lots of feelings actually.

    This was about the point in the writing where I realized I was very much writing this for A Reason. Did it come across? I have no idea. But it was good for me to keep going at it and to see it through.

    This was also my favourite to film because it was indoors and I felt far more free to act the way I wanted rather than being scared of the neighbours complaining about the loud noises coming from the backyard next door.

    Also, that is my apartment. It is in Errol’s basement😀. I had just moved in two months before. It looks much the same now.

    Sidekicks Episode 4

    Episode 4 is here! And we finally start to get conversations that are not entirely antagonistic.

    We’ve been getting great feedback so far! You guys have been awesome! Continue to share and like if you can😀.

    Sidekicks: Episode 3

    Episode 3 is here! Complete with one terrible vacuum/buzz saw. Seriously, that thing was awful. It pretty much took over and there was no cheap way to cover our tracks😀.

    What IS impressive is the tracking shot we got. Fun fact: the moving camera is achieved by putting the camera in the back of DOP’s car while he pushes the ENTIRE CAR down the street. It was awesome.



    Sidekicks Episode 2!

    Sidekicks Episode 2 is out! See if you can spot the continuity errors😀. Fun fact: Errol’s monologue is completely improvised. But that’s pretty darned obvious.

    First Impressions: Stranger Things Episode 1

    So in a bit of a different move, I’ve decided to experiment with my show First Impressions as a podcast rather than a vlog. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that two talking heads are not always the most interesting to look at but are always okay to listen to. The second is that it’s easier on me editing wise. I hate looking up pictures. Hate it.

    So this time around I dragged Errol to watch Stranger Things. For the second time now I am watching a show that goes against the premise for First Impressions (watching a show that has a terrible first season but which became beloved by all) buuut I figure this is a good way to experiment with the podcast format. So here it is! Enjoy!

    Sidekicks is Released!

    Two years ago I wrote and filmed a webseries about superhero sidekicks called…well, Sidekicks. It was a project funded mostly by love and muffins and we ended up filming it in Errol’s backyard.

    I’m pretty sure I wrote about it here in this blog. I didn’t even check that link. I hope it’s the right one!

    The original plan was to have it ready to go a few months after filming wrapped up. Then our DOP/editor Clayton got a paying gig touring the world filming a documentary which of course he took because travelling around the world to exotic locales would be a really stupid thing to turn down.

    But then he came back! Life finally settled down enough for all of us that we could turn our attention back to our little webseries that could. And now…our first episode is OUT to the public! And you can watch it here!

    I will admit to being more than a little nervous releasing it. Watching my own work is always the most difficult thing to do and I can’t help but notice all of the areas I could have done better.

    Basically, I feel like it’s opening night and I am having my classic Manda “It’s not too late to bail” nervousness. But we’ve come this far and I’ve been told that apologizing for your art is not the way to go. And I AM proud of our work. I wanted to write something about friendship and we did so.

    So here it is! Episode 1! We will be releasing weekly! If anything, watch it for Errol’s performance. He continues to crack me up and is awesome to work with. I’ll probably have something more poignant to say the last episode. For now, HOLY CRAP OUR WEBSERIES IS DONE! ENJOY!

    Game Distractions: Kathy Rain

    I love the wonderful experimentation that’s been going on in video game narratives in the last few years. But every once in a while I crave a good nostalgic classic adventure game of ages past. Kathy Rain turned out to be the perfect way to spend my downtime.

    Taking place in my beloved 1990’s, Kathy is a hardened, sarcastic and witty journalism student who visits her hometown after finding out that her grandfather whom she lost touch with has passed away. Naturally, not all is as it seems and Kathy soon finds herself elbow deep in government cover-ups, cults and good old fashioned super natural entities. Read the rest of this entry