Under-Appreciated Coolness
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    Under-Appreciated Coolness

    In response to this thread: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=140372

    I was wondering if we can brain storm some "cool" things that haven't been completely done to death yet. There is, I'm sure, a ton of under appreciated coolness just waiting for everyone to recognize it.

    A few of mine:

    - Nature. Look beyond the animals, plants, and minerals everyone is familiar with. There is so muh stuff on this planet that will blow your mind. Check out those rare bugs and animals, especially the ones that live in little strange pockets like in caves, volcanic vents in the ocean, deep jungles, etc.

    - No more big weapons, check out the finesse weapons. I remember playing the original Unreal Tournament game. I used to play it exclusively with guys from from the store I was managing. One day I discovered that the most powerful weapon in the game could be the teleporter- one hit kills every time if you can pull it off by firing the destination device at the other player, and then "exploding' them by teleporting into them. I love when characters take unusual weapons and make them deadly by using them differently than you'd expect, or when skill trumps raw power.

    - Taking technology into new areas by realizing that nature is already doing it better. Scientists do this all the time. I think as technology advances it could and maybe should start looking more like they are borrowing ideas from nature.

    - We all tend to agree that rescue workers are heros, but why is it we gravitate towards soldiers as protagonists? Why not a medic? I'm sure a futuristic field medic could look very kick ass, and could probably even make for compelling gameplay (by comparison the futuristic bimbo-nurse in sexy "uniform" is pretty cliche). Futuristic fire fighter? or more probably a rescue worker of something even worse depending on the future. Imagine having to cut and explore your way through a spaceship that has been mostly destroyed looking for survivors, dealing with radiation, decompression, fires, debris blocked passages, etc.

    - I wouldn't mind seeing sexuality handled in mature and responsible ways. It doesn't have to be an all or none kind of thing. We're tired of "sexy" stereotypes, but the alternative doesn't have to be the other extreme. There is sensual without being hit you over the head obvious. Can you portray a lesbian character without making her look like a nympho? How about a sexy woman that looks "hot" without putting the goods on display? Have any two characters relate sexually without having them climbing over each other?

    What do you guys find cool, and how would you use it to give us somethign new?

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    i hate the fact that the second someone designs a sleek well-fitting costume someone throws the "omg skimpy bikini armor" argument into the air.

    i'm sick to death of bulky armor that would limit mobility. the argument, in a science-fiction realm, of "that sort of slender costume wouldn't protect the wearer" is complete shit. oh, i'm sorry are you a fucking professor of fabric technology in science-fiction, no? then shut up about needing bulky hideous garbage piled on a person to suffice as adequate protection. Fuck.

    to me the most underused aspect is design. people gravitate towards gimmicks, and whatever boner-inducing filler is the flavor of the week, instead of taking the time to grasp a more timeless quality and treatment of concepts.

    no superpowers.
    yeah i said it, screw superpowers. it's oh-so lame to expected to identify with some badass carrying a train in one arm and beating up aliens with the other hand, and then straddling a woman like it aint no thang simultaneously. i want more weakness in my characters, something where when i see it i think 'oh shit, i know exactly what thats like' and thus my interest and concern are fixated in seeing how someone deals with a situation i can actually believe. while boner inducing megapowers can be fun, its insulting to think tha tit should suffice to cater to the more subtle and uniquely human traits we all experience. i'll go so far as to say even having superpowers as a backdrop for attempting to deal with nuances in humanity is still too great of a distraction to invest myself into.

    keep the drama away from superheroes. and if for some reason you feel the burning need to depict some unearthly ability and super power, do something that hasn't been milked to death. a muscled up guy with super strength? who would ever have imagined? you're blowing my mind! read some small press comics kids.

    creativity and originality. so cool, so under-used.

    as far as plot devices, i've been really excited over the revelations caused by personal reasoning versus active action of events. do we always need to have our protagonist do some wild act? why can't he grow as a person merely by coming to understand something. hell, every time i learn something i don't have to battle some mud golem or have some wizard cast shit on me to expand my power and courage. how awesome is it when you read between the lines, where the story is so engaging that the silence speaks more than the dialog?

    do not cater to the lowest denominator.
    expect your readers are just as smart as you, do not talk down to them. just because you created it doesn't make you smarter than the person looking or reading the work.

    normal wardrobes. not everyone is a gothic steampunk renaissance space pirate, so stop squeezing them into shit which visually detracts from the message.

    do not name your characters anything worth a lot of points in Scrabble.
    My warlord is called Adrophyx Dektarian. he drives a Guishe model sandzidar hydro-quad. his sword is named Phianxucut formed by the monks of Di Morlankth on the mountain of Vagga Vyxerifk

    shut the fuck up and draw someone named Steve from Canton. chances are if you're busting out multi syllable inpronounceable words you haven't studied language enough to realize why we don't see words like that anymore.

    in the critique center we like to say "learn normal anatomy before you distort it" the same goes with storytelling and creative design. learn what works in reality then carry those concepts over into a fantastical realm. if you just start busting out swords and guns and go for the bigass scrabble score, youre not going to get too far with it past the surface level of rediculous aesthetics.

    [/rant]

    Last edited by Grief; November 4th, 2008 at 08:47 PM.
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    history is pretty underrated. Kinda goes with the above post- there is no story longer or more intricate than human history and all of its cultures, people, technology, etc. People should use that as inspiration more often, rather than just looking at other people's work like Tolkien or Frank Herbert (both of whom clearly knew a lot about history)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clux Deluxe View Post
    history is pretty underrated. Kinda goes with the above post- there is no story longer or more intricate than human history and all of its cultures, people, technology, etc. People should use that as inspiration more often, rather than just looking at other people's work like Tolkien or Frank Herbert (both of whom clearly knew a lot about history)
    Yep. The most interesting part about sci-fi is the elements that it takes from history/reality. Historical relevance is not only easier to relate to, it also tends to be more outrageous than anything a writer/artist could make up. Instead of copying themes from the works of people like Tolkein, do what they did and do your own damn research.

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    ^that's the troof!

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    More normal folks! We all know that the confidant, skilled and possibly sadistic/masochistic character is going to make it at the end of the day. Big Deal. What about the little guys and gals?
    What about the mother of the young boy whose suddenly sprouted wings?
    or the Teddy Bear going on a cross country roadtrip to back to his owner?

    More magic! Not the kind that allows those special gifted to create bolts of fire and lightning from their hands. The kind of magic that transports you to another realm within our own. Lets make Earth cool again. Sure we know how knights in the crusades lived and did things but what about mice?

    And of course, with the birth of the artist came the inevitable afterbirth - the critic.
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    I'm on it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Synapse View Post
    More magic! Not the kind that allows those special gifted to create bolts of fire and lightning from their hands. The kind of magic that transports you to another realm within our own. Lets make Earth cool again. Sure we know how knights in the crusades lived and did things but what about mice?
    How about the magic of love! .. no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psypomp View Post
    How about the magic of love! .. no?
    as long as its not a rip off of Romeo and Juliet (or at least a blatant one) then that's fine

    And of course, with the birth of the artist came the inevitable afterbirth - the critic.
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    how about some scientific illustration that's COOL?

    It'd be awesome to see natural "scientific" processes drawn in a beautiful, artistic way. I wanna see photosynthesis illustrated from sun, to light, to dark. I wanna see some photophosphorylation that makes me go all weepy. Or maybe the splitting of water! or ATP.

    There's a whole molecular and theoretical world of angstroms and daltons and energy out there that would be awesome to see interpreted by more artists. Quantum mechanics and sheeze...

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    in the critique center we like to say "learn normal anatomy before you distort it" the same goes with storytelling and creative design. learn what works in reality then carry those concepts over into a fantastical realm. if you just start busting out swords and guns and go for the bigass scrabble score, youre not going to get too far with it past the surface level of rediculous aesthetics.
    this makes a lot of sense to me

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    That’s why I continue to read Asimov. It’s the reaction of humans to technology that makes the story. I don’t care how old the stories are, most of them still stand up and could be updated (not like that film) with little effort. We need to empathise with characters to believe in them, so more real people would be cool.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    Thatís why I continue to read Asimov. Itís the reaction of humans to technology that makes the story. I donít care how old the stories are, most of them still stand up and could be updated (not like that film) with little effort. We need to empathise with characters to believe in them, so more real people would be cool.

    I'm in the middle of his Foundation series.
    It seems his theme is somewhat that no matter how far in the future we go, and no matter what exactly a technology is, we will still act the same politically as we always have. The novel (at least so far) is dealing heavily in politics, and I can see the same plot line happening 1000 years ago instead of 50,000 years in the future. Of course, I suppose this in itself isn't unique- about all the major scifantasy franchises deal with politics and war in a similar fashion to our real world...

    But what an awesome concept, of the "psychohistory" and predicting the future of humanity with mathematics! Still thought-provoking.
    (Politicians need a Hari Seldon .)

    I also liked his city design in Caves of Steel. I've been meaning to illustrate it sometime...

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