gods save us

While they are not anywhere near as big as some of the other examples on the page. In The Witcher, Geralt has two large swords (one is silver designed for taking out monsters). NPCs will often comment on this, such as one random NPC suggesting one could double as an oar, and a prostitute asking if he is compensating for anything. Geralt is a Witcher however, meaning he is inhumanly strong, making such a weapon more practical, and swords not made for Witchers are small enough to be hung on the waist.
It’s not his strength that’s superhuman, it’s his reflexes. He doesn’t have any problem wielding a huge sword because being made of meteorite iron it’s lighter than any regular blade.

Source:TV Tropes

I don’t even know where to start laughing I’m so busy weeping.

It’s the same situation as in the TES fandom, with all those people saying that the games are 275% canon so there cannot be 7000 steps towards High Hrothgar because the game has fewer so the lore is a legend… but this time the lore actually predates the games by at least a decade – I keep forgetting which novel exactly the sihill appears in, but it was written in the 90s, and the dimensions are very specific. It’s a meter long, handle included. It’s a dwarven sword, y’know. And Geralt is clearly used to the dimensions. In 2013 pan Sapkowski confirms this in Sezon Burz, giving basically the same params for actual witcher swords.

And meteorite iron, lighter than “any regular blade”… omg.

PS A witcher is four times as strong and ten times as fast as a non-mutated human. Straight from the books, again. Heck, against humans Geralt doesn’t need much more than a stick.

Some things are just wrong. Period.

Like cashing in on someone else’s ideas. Not because you made a deal with them, no, but behind their backs.

You’d think celebrity likenesses for sale were bad enough – there are many reasons why these are a problem (for one, supposing you have no idea this is a celebrity and wind up inadvertently cosplaying a fan by using the character in your renders…).

But copying game assets, now that is beyond cheeky.

Poor CDPR – their Wiedźmin designs have long been ripped off by Poser/DS content providers. 

The latest DAZ newsletter shows the main render off this promo of a recent V7 character – and I didn’t even need to load the full store page to say, “Damn, this gotta be Ciri”. 
That telltale say-hello-to-Eskel scar. 

And yeah, here she goes, TW3!blonde hair, bastardized “Celtic” an’all.
// The book!Ciri’s specific hair colour has actually long been a subject of debate – we Russians, for instance, think that “ash” has the colour of actual ash, y’know; and even Poles can’t seem to agree what pan Sapkowski truly had in mind //

The vendor is French, IIRC; they have no qualms about releasing a clone of TW3!Geralt, same as leaving their promo text proofreading to DAZ, who have never been historically good about it. 

But there is something I find even more offensive than design ripoffs.

It’s promoting ignorance re:linguistic heritage of Europe.

There is no “Celtic translation” or anything! Celtic is not a single language, it’s a group of languages!

And I hate it when people with ordinary linguistic skills try messing with spelling. It just turns out ugly. Yes pan Sapkowski himself did mess with Gaelic and the like to create his “Elder speech”, but pan Sapek is a consummate pro with languages.

 

Kettu haz a new hero…

http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-witcher-3-is-amazingly-written-and.html

…and his name is Jeff Vogel.

Not only because Avadon: The Black Fortress is a game – THE game – I didn’t know I had been looking for. Not only because I love birds and “Vogel” means “bird” in German. Not only because he has published all those thoughtful blog posts.

Not only. But because of it all. And especially this… something I never expected to see. I’ll quote it: it’s from the analysis of TW3 I’m linking to above:

There was some vigorous critical debate about The Witcher 3 when it came out, but it primarily centered around whether this Polish game, made by Poles and set in a fantasy Poland based on Polish books, had too many white people.

(Side note: Did you know that many Eastern Europeans, who occupy a large, diverse region with a long and rich history, severe poverty, and recent history of vicious oppression, find it intensely irritating to be thoughtlessly lumped into the huge, vague category of “white people”?)

The question of whether the Polish people deserve the right to make their own representations of themselves without getting permission from affluent North American academics is one I plan to leave entirely alone.

There are no words to describe how grateful I am for this.

Skin colour probably matters a lot over there in the huge portion of the English-speaking world. But here, in the Eastern Europe, waaaaaaaaaay subtler clues will feed our local Nazi leanings. Hutu vs Tutsi, “white” version.

It’s why I will never do a Ursula le Guin and consciously write “people of colour” into my stuff. It’s why I don’t have any “drow”- or “Dunmeri”-type of dark-skinned elves in my settings.

Because I am an outsider writing in English, and I don’t want to pretend this skin colour prejudice is as prevalent in the culture I come from as it is in the English-speaking one; I want my stuff to have real-world echoes, and the real world I know (but most of my readers do not know) cloaks its issues in different vestments.

Hell. Yes there do exist some Russians who will dislike “people of colour”.

But our biggest-known poet and writer, the person who single-handedly revolutionarised Russian literature – Alexander Pushkin – was of African descent.

And not only him, actually.

And BTW, this TW3 analysis would have been great even without that paragraph. It points out a lot of things generally overlooked. Comments are worth skimming, too.

Kaer Morhen 2.0

http://nautil.us/issue/39/sport/we-are-nowhere-close-to-the-limits-of-athletic-performance

It is now understood, for example, that great height is due to the combination of an unusually large number of positive variants, and possibly some very rare mutations that have a large effect on their own.

The genomics researcher George Church maintains a list of some of these single mutations. They include a variant of LRP5 that leads to extra-strong bones, a variant of MSTN that produces extra lean muscle, and a variant of SCN9A that is associated with pain insensitivity.4

Church has also been involved in one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of recent decades: the development of a highly efficient gene editing tool called CRISPR, which has been approved for clinical trials for medical applications. If CRISPR-related technologies develop as anticipated, designer humans are at most a few decades away. Editing is most easily done soon after conception, when the embryo consists of only a small number of cells, but it is also possible in adults.

I don’t even know now what I want for my first post-singularity birthday ;D

Anyone else here fervently hoping for the (technological) singularity to arrive ASAP, BTW?

that quote =)

About two witcher swords, both of which are for monsters.

There are two things that are annoying about this vid: a) the English voiceover, which is just as meh as those English translations of pan Sapek’s books; b) a total lack of any and all visual improvements – because the game can look so much better these days. Check out some of my screenshots from Chapter I, using texture mods, SweetFX via ReShade, and NVIDIA Profile Inspector for AO, AA an’stuff.

 

a Marvin quote goes here

So, lately more rumours have emerged as to the new Witcher movie slated for a 2017 release.

Rumours as to a movie and a hypothetical TV show, ‘based on themes’ (c) from the first short story collection.

And they kinda make me (and my good friend) go WTF.

In my case, it’s not even that much a question of cast – which I’m fairly sure I’m not going to be impressed with unless the creators pull a Tom Fontana and produce a handful of brilliant unknowns out of a magician’s hat. Come to think of it, I could do with Mark Ryder as Dandelion and Isolda Dychauk as Triss. But Geralt? I don’t see any big name capable of nailing the role. You need a Ray Park for the swordplay and a frellin’ Cumberbatch or at least a Balfour for the drama; and then there is the nagging question of ‘how do you even shoot a male lead who is supposed to be a ladies’ magnet all the while being basically as close to an albino as it gets’ – how will it read onscreen? That’s one tough technical issue to overcome.

image

I’m not even talking about the actual look – in the books and largely in-game as well, Geralt is all dramatic lines and sharp angles; while most male actors these days seem to have that rounded sort of look about their faces. And too much girth.

Oh yeah, and that hypothetical Perfect Possible Lead ™ should not pull a Keith Hamilton Cobb and flat out refuse to wear contacts (thus cheating the whole Andromeda show out of the Nietzscheans’ feline eyes): the fact that witchers have slit pupils is something you just can’t throw out of the window. It’s like the fact the elves have pointed ears. That’s how racists tell humans and non-humans apart.

And if you take racism out of the Witcher universe, you might just as well throw the whole of it out said window.

Which brings me to my biggest concern.

The writing.

Continue reading a Marvin quote goes here

feelin’ gamey tonite, ain’t we

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-11-06-seeing-red-the-story-of-cd-projekt

Basically, you could just swap “Poland” with “Russia” here, and get the whole story about the beginning of local game industry. But the problem is that we don’t really have anything as viable here as CDPR has always been. I think there are some gamedev studios in Russia, and some may even have had some sort of a success… in genres I never cared for… but CDPR is one of a kind.

You see, when years ago I stumbled across GOG.com, I had no freakin’ idea it was anyhow connected to any gamedev studio. I was simply happy to have found a website where to buy (digitally; cheap) those ancient games that I grew to love. Cuz I’m that weird person, I always want to express a kinda meaningful gratitude to those whose work I enjoy.
And what’s more meaningful than money?

Of a side note… It actually makes me damn sad that it’s not customary here to say nice things to a stranger. Because you know how much I hate the humankind in general, so whenever I see someone in the street who somehow brightens my day… I truly want that person to know it.
But of course I know that person won’t care (at best).
Some may even get offended if offered money, y’know.

an interesting article for game!Witcher fans…

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-06-16-the-witcher-game-that-never-was

…about a mid-nineties attempt to bring the character into the gaming world.

There’s one quote, though, that made me really scratch my head.

…in 1997 – 17 years ago – it wasn’t really obvious. These things like moral choices or hard choices or slightly darker storytelling – it wasn’t common.

I actually thought that the 90s were kinda ripe with “darker” stuff with hard choices. Or maybe I’m the sort who just never got that far in games without moral dilemmas or something…

random newsletter recap

GOG.com: a yet another huge sale of The Witcher franchise. 30% off the brand new TW3, 60% off the “Adventure” and a whopping 85% off the first two titles. No excuse not to try them out, I’d say.

Xurge3D: Labour Day sale, 50% off.

DAZ3D: tricky-math sales galore; the promo renders are getting better on average; the actual products are generally not what I’d ever use.

Rant under the cut. Big’un.

Continue reading random newsletter recap

and when I like stuff, I tend to like it a bit too much

I was going through the Wiedźmin saga again (fanart research), and I felt that the first two volumes are exactly the format of storytelling I prefer: a series of short stories tied together by a common thread. Short stories have a sense of closure about each; besides, they tend to be better vessels for showing off writing technique. Although I plain adore the way pan Sapek writes everything.

And that brings me to questioning whether the English-speaking readers are going to get an equally impressive experience out of the saga. The translated snippets I come across online, in the Witcher wiki and on the forums, they are rather … tame, for lack of a better word. Plain and featureless.

The Russian translations have their weak points. Sometimes there are errors even, ranging from omissions of important characterization bits to mixing hooks with buckles. But they have… vigour.

Polish and Russian are similar in many ways. So it’s to be expected that a good Russian translation would be easier to do than an equally good English one.

And yet.

It seems nobody even tried.

Actually, the way pan Sapek weaves voices and narrative techniques, it’s fairly rare in the English-speaking SF/F that I have read. Especially that last story in the Sword of Destiny (that story!! B’vec, what a story)… the way it’s written, it only brings to mind one ‘obscure text’ by the (infamous) Michael Kirkbride, an ex-dev of the Elder Scrolls series.

// ‘Obscure text’ in the TES lore fandom means material written by a developer or former developer, but not explicitly included into any official published source like a game, an art book, a licenced novel or what not; whether these are ‘canon’ has been a part of one too many ‘canon war’ //

Here it is – Lord Vivec’s Sword-Meeting with Cyrus the Restless , and while I am head over heels in love with this story, I have no idea if it’s actually readable unless you are well-versed in TES lore. It’s written from a mercilessly in-universe POV – which I actually find _the_ way to do SF/F (immersion!! sense of mystery!! the satisfaction of figuring it all out!!), but I may well be in the minority.

That’s how pan Sapek’s stuff should feel in English. IMO.

And hey, if you happen to be that non-TES fan who actually bothers to read the story, would you please let me know what it was like to you?