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LIVE<br />


Games<br />

Trading Cards<br />

Cosplay<br />

Product Catalogue<br />

+ more!<br />


WIN tickets!<br />

Interview with Director<br />

Denis Villeneuve<br />

SCI-FI<br />


Welcome to <strong>October</strong>’s special edition - special because we have an interview with Denis Villeneuve, the<br />

director of Blade Runner 2049, the much anticipated new sci-fi film which is the follow up to the classic,<br />

Blade Runner featuring Harrison Ford. And thanks to Sony Pictures - we’ve got tickets to give away - so<br />

check out the competition on Page 10.<br />

We’ve also gotten our hands on tickets to the new Jigsaw film thanks to the team at Picture This, after<br />

all it is Halloween and we just love horror here at <strong>Live</strong>!<br />

Speaking of horror we caught up with our special guest photographer, Mike Rollerson who is the king of<br />

horror photography with some brilliant horror themed cosplay, and Cosplay editor Tiffany Dean talks to<br />

us about her latest Wonder Woman project. We also take a long look at Instagram which seems to be<br />

the choice of cosplayers and cosplay photographers to promote themselves and gain a following - but<br />

is it? Take a look.<br />

We’ve also got our Trading Card feature with an interview with a local MTG player and our popular War<br />

Gaming section thanks to Ben!<br />

Finally the team at <strong>Live</strong> would like to thank everyone involved in the magazine, our writers, our readers<br />

and our stores. We do our best to give you a fun magazine for free each month, we’d love you to<br />

share it with friends and help us grow our community and our reach. It’s thanks to you that we have<br />

these brilliant interviews with people like Denis Villeneuve, and the many people our retro editor Paul<br />

Monopoli has caught up with over the years. We’re now getting more readers each issue then many big<br />

name online magazines and we hope to grow our audience and get you even more great content, free<br />

tickets and more!<br />

Have a great month

INSIDE<br />

6<br />

Blade<br />

50<br />

Video<br />

90<br />

Product<br />

134<br />

Cosplay<br />

Runner Special<br />

Games<br />

Catalogue<br />

THE LIVE<br />

TEAM<br />

Publisher: Rob Jenkins<br />

Art Director: Giselle Capobianco<br />

Game Contributors:<br />

VGChartz<br />

Sticky Trigger Entertainment<br />

Retro Editor: Paul Monopoli<br />

Entertainment Editor:<br />

Scott Sowter<br />

Cosplay Editors:<br />

Tiffany Dean<br />

Anny Simms<br />

Wargaming Contributor:<br />

Ben Makepeace







Get it all at Gametraders! Order in-store.



DENIS<br />


Why is the original Blade Runner a<br />

film that fans, directors and designers<br />

love?<br />

Well I think that the first Blade Runner,<br />

when it came out on the screen,<br />

it sent a shockwave into the world.<br />

It was a collective shock. For some<br />

people it was a positive one, they<br />

were amazed, others were terrified.<br />

I feel that Ridley Scott and Hampton<br />

Fancher had a strong vision of<br />

what could be our future. It striked<br />

everybody.<br />

I think that the dream was so powerful<br />

and so seductive and frightening<br />

at the same time, that you had to<br />

choose your camp. Do you dream<br />

about this world? Do you want to be<br />

part of it? Or are you afraid of it and<br />

trying to avoid it?<br />

People had to choose between two<br />

camps.<br />

I think that we all felt when we saw<br />

the movie, that the filmmakers had<br />

created something that could be<br />

possible. That was fascinating,<br />

from a design point of view, but very<br />

frightening at the same time. And

that we will have to be careful what<br />

we wish for.<br />

And it was the first time that I was<br />

seeing a vision of what could be the<br />

future for real. The movie was aesthetically<br />

an extension of what was<br />

going on in the 80s. And it was the<br />

first time that someone was showing<br />

me the future, and it was fascinating<br />

and quite frightening at the<br />

same time.<br />

Ridley Scott is a specialist of hybridization.<br />

He had successfully<br />

merge science-fiction with horror<br />

with Alien... With Blade Runner he<br />

was blending SciFi and Film Noir.<br />

The film has been influential in<br />

terms of its visuals and aesthetic<br />

sense and ideas it raises. Would<br />

you agree with that?<br />

Yes. From a visual point of view, it’s<br />

a movie that took as its root, and<br />

was deeply influenced by the punk<br />

movement that was a very radical<br />

aesthetic movement at the end<br />

of the 60s and in the 70s. And we<br />

see that radical point of view in the<br />

movie.<br />

I will say it’s like a movie that revisits<br />

the Frankenstein mythology about a<br />

man that will want to play God. And<br />

for me the main idea of the movie<br />

is how angry we are towards God,<br />

towards our creator. How angry we<br />

are towards the fact that we have<br />

to deal with the human condition.<br />

And that anger is something that is<br />

very alive inside us.<br />

Ridley Scott just put his finger on<br />

it. I think that’s why the movie is so<br />

visceral, so powerful. It’s not a very<br />

intellectual movie, it’s a very visceral<br />

movie.<br />

You have a great story about when<br />

you came into contact with Blade<br />

Runner. What was the impact on<br />

you at that time?<br />

I vividly remember seeing the first<br />

images coming out on the fanzine,<br />

of Deckard flying above Los Angeles.<br />

And it was something that was<br />

so far away from anything we had<br />

seen before. This was so different.<br />

I remember seeing the first movie<br />

and being shocked by what I think is<br />

one of the most powerful openings<br />

of any movie in cinema history.<br />

Los Angeles, <strong>November</strong>, 2019.<br />

Then you see that field, that landscape<br />

of oil factories. It was so<br />

nightmarish and powerful at the<br />

same time. A very powerful dream.<br />

Aesthetically it’s a movie that influenced<br />

me. I didn’t know at the time<br />

I would become a filmmaker, but I<br />

know that it has had a deep influence<br />

on my work since then.<br />

Why did you want to direct the continuation?<br />

How did you come about<br />

doing that?<br />

I would have never dared, honestly,<br />

to propose myself for such a task. I<br />

vividly remember the moment when<br />

I was meeting with Andrew Kosove<br />

and Broderick Johnson about Prisoners.<br />

They stopped the meeting,<br />

and they said, “We have to stop because<br />

Ridley Scott will come in. He’s<br />

in the other room right now and we<br />

have to meet with him because we<br />

are planning to do a sequel to Blade<br />

Runner.”<br />

At that precise moment, I thought it<br />

was the most insane and beautiful<br />

idea at the same time. Because it’s<br />

such a challenge. It’s such a difficult

thing to go on with the story, to try<br />

to reproduce what had been a landmark<br />

in film history. It’s not a small<br />

thing.<br />

I remember saying, good luck guys.<br />

But knowing that Ridley was there,<br />

knowing that he was behind the<br />

project, I said to myself, wow, I can’t<br />

wait to see that. I remember being<br />

in their office and peeking in the<br />

boxes to see artwork that Ridley<br />

was doing. Such powerful visions<br />

and images.<br />

So, to answer to your question, it<br />

came out of the blue. One day Andrew<br />

said to me, I need to see you.<br />

I was in New Mexico at the time.<br />

We sat together in a small coffee<br />

shop. He said, this is the screenplay<br />

for the next Blade Runner. I was sincerely<br />

moved.. [LAUGHS] Because<br />

just to have the chance to read that,<br />

I was so moved that he would trust<br />

me to read the screenplay and give<br />

my opinion about it. For me it was<br />

the biggest compliment I’ve ever<br />

received because of that amount<br />

of trust that Alcon had, to put this in<br />

my hands.<br />

Once I read the screenplay, the first<br />

thing that I thought is, Will I be able<br />

to do this? I dreamed a lot before<br />

saying yes. It took a lot of time. One<br />

of the conditions was that I needed<br />

Ridley Scott’s blessing. Meaning<br />

that I needed to sit in front of him,<br />

looking at him in the eyes and saying,<br />

“You agree that I will take part in<br />

this dream with you.” And that was<br />

my only condition. I needed Ridley’s<br />

blessing.<br />

Asking for Ridley Scott’s blessing,<br />

how did that meeting go?<br />

Ridley Scott is one of my heroes,<br />

he’s one of the best directors in film<br />

history. So to meet him was intimidating,<br />

at first.<br />

He told me the genesis of Blade<br />

Runner for him, how he came up<br />

with those ideas. Where it came<br />

form, what was his goal. He said to<br />

me exactly what I needed to hear,<br />

which is that he would give me total<br />

freedom. But if ever I needed him I<br />

could call him any time to ask him<br />

questions about design, about concept<br />

art, about style, about actors<br />

– he was open to any kind of question.<br />

In fact he was there every time I<br />

needed him. At the end he said,<br />

looking at me in the eyes, shaking<br />

my hand, “Listen, it’s very simple. If<br />

you do your homework correctly, it<br />

can be fantastic. If you fuck it up,<br />

it’s going to be a disaster.” So that<br />

was the last thing he said to me.<br />

[LAUGHS] And I said, yeah, that’s<br />

honest. [LAUGHS] That’s exactly<br />

what he had to say.<br />

What about collaborating with Ridley<br />

and Hampton Fancher on the<br />

story. What was important to keep

from the original movie? Was that<br />

discussed?<br />

The thing I felt that was the most<br />

important thing for Ridley, is not<br />

what is shown in the movie. It’s<br />

what he didn’t show that was important<br />

for him. Off-world. The mythology<br />

behind how the replicants<br />

are designed and built, etc. When<br />

you think about it, Blade Runner is<br />

a very intimate story with a lot of<br />

scope.<br />

You have that fantastic world<br />

around you, but you are always on<br />

the human point, at the human level,<br />

and you are always just behind<br />

Rick Deckard. It was one of the<br />

strengths and the genius of Ridley<br />

to approach the movie in this way.<br />

So it means that they found ways to<br />

make us feel how big is this world<br />

without showing it.<br />

I think that is still one of the big<br />

strengths of that film. I think what<br />

Ridley wanted was to keep the mythology<br />

alive by not showing it. I<br />

needed to be very careful where I<br />

will put my camera. The first problem<br />

that I had to deal with was: I’m<br />

going to be in 2049, and what is in<br />

a Blade Runner universe? Because<br />

as we know, the first movie was set<br />

in 2019.<br />

We all know that it was prophetic in<br />

some ways, that there are a lot of<br />

things we saw in the first movie that<br />

are alive today. But, at the same<br />

time, it’s a different world. There was<br />

no Steve Jobs in the Blade Runner<br />

of 2019. So it meant that, for me,<br />

that I had to build an alternative universe.<br />

2049 is the extension of the<br />

original Blade Runner. It’s not an extension<br />

of reality like the first Blade<br />

Runner was. The first Blade Runner<br />

was inspired by the end of the 70s.<br />

I inspired myself from Blade Runner.<br />

That is a choice that made sense<br />

to me, and made sense to Hampton<br />

Fancher as well. He said, “Listen,<br />

stop putting pressure on your shoulders.<br />

The first movie was a dream.<br />

We just dreamt a lot, and you have<br />

to do the same thing. Don’t try to<br />

think about the logic of it, just dream<br />

about it.” That was the best advice I<br />

ever received to make my guideline<br />

to make this movie.<br />

I will say also that I was moved, because<br />

from time to time I received<br />

poems from Hampton that I kept,<br />

as a source of inspiration.<br />

At that point, what were your biggest<br />

hopes or fears as you entered<br />

that mission?<br />

This movie is totally different from<br />

any other project I’ve done in my<br />

life. I was used to creating worlds<br />

that were coming out of myself. I<br />

did an adaptation of a play. But still<br />

I had to create the images. Now<br />

the world was already designed by<br />

someone else, I was taking someone<br />

else’s dream. And that was a<br />

totally different experience.<br />

There’s such a responsibility. I never<br />

felt an artist take responsibility like<br />

that pushing on my shoulders. And<br />

it took me a lot of meditation to find<br />

freedom, to allow myself to do it. To<br />

let it go and just have fun with it. But<br />

it was a journey at the beginning to<br />

find my way. And I’m still grateful to<br />

Ridley for giving me that freedom,<br />

giving me the space to do it.<br />

The movie is the same kind of color<br />

palette but made by another painter.<br />

I don’t know how the world will<br />

react to that.<br />

What is the story of Blade Runner<br />

2049 to you?<br />

For me it’s a story about the dangerous<br />

power of desires over reason.<br />

It’s also an exploration of what<br />

defines a human being. More specifically<br />

about memories. Are we<br />

humans without memories?<br />

Why was Ryan Gosling the best actor<br />

to play K? How did you develop<br />

the creative relationship with him<br />

on set?<br />

One thing that was suggested when<br />

I read the screenplay, was that K<br />

could be played by Ryan Gosling. I<br />

think it was Ridley’s idea. As soon<br />

as I read the screenplay, I said yes,<br />

immediately.<br />

There is nobody else. He’s someone

that can express everything just<br />

by moving an eyebrow, you know?<br />

I needed an actor that had an extreme<br />

intelligence and that sensibility<br />

to go through the story, making<br />

the character not a victim, but<br />

someone that wants to go through<br />

the wall of his own condition.<br />

When did you find out Harrison Ford<br />

was onboard?<br />

Right at the beginning when I read<br />

the screenplay.<br />

Harrison was a part of the project<br />

before I was. In fact he’s one of the<br />

reasons why I am here. Ridley was<br />

not available to direct the film because<br />

he was busy on another project<br />

and they needed a director, and<br />

that’s when I came in.<br />

Harrison was part of the project<br />

from day one. It would not be possible<br />

to make a Blade Runner without<br />

Harrison Ford, of course.<br />

What was it like working with him<br />

and bringing back that iconic character?<br />

For me, it was very special journey<br />

to work with Harrison because he’s<br />

someone that is linked with the<br />

birth of my love of cinema right at<br />

the beginning. I was raised on Star<br />

Wars and Blade Runner and all of<br />

those movies. Harrison in the past<br />

40 years is one of the biggest stars,<br />

someone that was part of all of our<br />

dreams when we were young. To<br />

meet him and to be in contact with<br />

him was really a huge privilege but<br />

also I got to meet one of my childhood<br />

heroes.<br />

He broke the ice very quickly by<br />

being the most warm and charming,<br />

thoughtful, generous, humble<br />

artist I’ve ever met. And working<br />

with him was like going back to<br />

film school. He’s someone that has<br />

so much experience and gives so<br />

much thought to the acting process<br />

in a way that I very rarely encounter.<br />

For me it was a really beautiful<br />

and unique experience working with<br />

Harrison Ford.<br />

Tell us all the wonderful things you<br />

think of Ryan Gosling.<br />

Well, I would have never been able<br />

to do Blade Runner without Ryan.

Ryan was a real creative partner,<br />

and was my muse. He became a<br />

very good friend as we were going<br />

through this experience, because<br />

he brought me so much energy.<br />

As a director I always try to find a<br />

muse on a project. You don’t have<br />

always one, but when you find one,<br />

it’s very powerful.<br />

That’s the dream, to find an actress<br />

or an actor that will become your<br />

main color, the soul that you are<br />

trying to capture with your camera.<br />

And Ryan became that muse very<br />

quickly.<br />

His passion, his relentless effort in<br />

making sure that we will nail it, always<br />

deeply moved me, because I<br />

felt it was important that we try to<br />

make a great movie together.<br />

The chances of failure were huge.<br />

And we both, at the beginning,<br />

agreed that what we were doing<br />

was insane, was deeply exciting,<br />

that it was a privilege. But that we<br />

would do it as a pure artistic gesture.<br />

Because we had no idea how<br />

the world will react to it, and we<br />

agreed that it made sense to both<br />

of us, and we had the same view<br />

about it. Very intimate approach to<br />

this project.<br />

Talk about the female characters<br />

and actresses that played Luv and<br />

Joi.<br />

I’m grateful to the producers for allowing<br />

me to find the cast that I did.<br />

We went everywhere on the planet<br />

to try to find the best cast possible<br />

for the characters. I found in<br />

Europe, in the United States and in<br />

Cuba, actresses that are amongst<br />

the best artists I’ve ever worked<br />

with, and that are new voices that<br />

we will hear more and more from in<br />

the future.<br />

It’s rare as a director to feel you<br />

are witnessing the birth of the star<br />

they’re becoming. They are powerful<br />

women. I’m thinking about Ana<br />

de Armas, who plays Joi. She’s a<br />

Cuban actress that has all the qualities,<br />

the energy, the sensibility and<br />

the skills to play that very difficult<br />

character.<br />

Sylvia Hoeks plays Luv. Honestly<br />

one of the best artists I ever worked<br />

with in my life, and I can’t wait to see<br />

what she is going to do in the future,<br />

because I think she’s going to blow<br />

us all away... big time. She’s an actress<br />

with a lot of profoundness, a<br />

lot of strength and she is not afraid<br />

to go and do wild things.<br />

I had the privilege to work with Mackenzie<br />

Davis as well. When I decided<br />

to make Blade Runner, she was<br />

one of the first ones I approached.<br />

Because for me, Mackenzie is one<br />

of the best actresses coming out of<br />

her generation. She was the most<br />

obvious choice for me and she was<br />

the first that I proposed to the producers,<br />

once we had Ryan and Harrison<br />

of course.<br />

And then there was Carla Juri, an<br />

actress from Switzerland, who has<br />

skills like you rarely see in actors<br />

today. Very impressive. Again, she<br />

had done movies before in Europe,<br />

but I think that Blade Runner will be<br />

a good breakthrough for her.

What about Jared Leto joining the<br />

cast?<br />

When I read the screenplay, Francine<br />

Maisler, the casting director<br />

and I, had an epiphany. Wallace<br />

should be played by David Bowie.<br />

And we said to ourselves, that’s it.<br />

It’s him, it’s going to be a long shot<br />

to get him, but let’s try it. Davie<br />

Bowie is like an icon that could had<br />

inspired Blade Runner.<br />

It made total sense for us to try<br />

to bring him back in this world. As<br />

deeply painful as it was for all of us<br />

in the world to lose such a fantastic<br />

artist, I felt in an intimate way also<br />

that it was like we had a muse, an<br />

ideal. I had to find someone that<br />

would have the same qualities as<br />

David Bowie.<br />

Which is not easy to find, you know.<br />

That kind of striking magnetism,<br />

that madness behind the eyes,<br />

that wish to transform yourself and<br />

to create a character bigger than<br />

life. And then Jared Leto came onboard.<br />

I heard stories that one of<br />

the first things he did when he won<br />

his Academy Award was he went to<br />

Alcon and said, I want to be part of<br />

Blade Runner.”<br />

Jared was very interested to play<br />

that part. To play Neander Wallace<br />

is a very tough part, because it’s a<br />

character that will deal with an insane<br />

amount of dialogues. Very difficult<br />

to say. And I needed an actor<br />

that has a kind of strength to embrace<br />

those speeches and to bring<br />

them to life with poetry.<br />

And what can I say? I chose a rock<br />

star, and he just blew us away. It was<br />

very impressive to see him working.<br />

You chose Dave Bautista for Sapper<br />

Morton and made some movie<br />

magic happen.<br />

Dave was one of the first names<br />

that came up, because he’s such a<br />

charismatic and strong presence.<br />

I needed someone that would be<br />

like a giant, but a gentle giant that<br />

can be also a scary giant. I needed<br />

someone that, when you see him at<br />

first, you have empathy for him.<br />

How does the new film relate to the<br />

original in terms of visual style? The<br />

original had an iconic look. How important<br />

was it for you to tie the two<br />

films together visually?<br />

That was one of the big challenges,<br />

to tie both movies visually, and<br />

at the same time create something<br />

that has its own identity. We all felt<br />

the same pressure and the same<br />

responsibility to honor the first movie,<br />

Ridley’s work, but at the same<br />

time to make our own movie coming<br />

out of this universe.<br />

So the good news is that the<br />

screenplay was allowing me to get<br />

out of Los Angeles. And that gave<br />

me the opportunity to think about<br />

what the world will look alike around<br />

the vicinity of the city. The areas<br />

around California, to dream about<br />

this place and to make sure that<br />

it will be logical from an aesthetic<br />

point of view. But at the same time<br />

it will bring a different look to the<br />

movie.<br />

There was one element that, for me,<br />

was deeply inspiring, and that was<br />

the fact that the climate will have<br />

totally changed between both movies.<br />

First movie was more inspired<br />

by bad days in London where Ridley<br />

is coming from. Me, I’m coming from<br />

Montreal. So, the movie is more inspired<br />

by bad days in Montreal,<br />

where it’s all snow and sludge and<br />

cold. And that necessarily brought<br />

visually a difference in the atmosphere<br />

and in the color palette.<br />

And you bring us to Las Vegas, what<br />

can you say about that?<br />

One of the big challenges of the<br />

movie was to recreate another city.<br />

What would Las Vegas look like in<br />

2049? And for that there was only<br />

one man that could give me the<br />

answer. I went back to the original<br />

creator of Blade Runner, the main<br />

dreamer, the architect of Blade<br />

Runner. I went back to Syd Mead.<br />

I felt that he was the only one who<br />

could bring Las Vegas into the Blade<br />

Runner universe. I met the master<br />

I explained my challenge and<br />

he agreed to help me. He brought<br />

back those insanely beautiful views<br />

of Las Vegas that I’m very proud of.<br />

And that I know that honestly, no<br />

matter what people think about the<br />

movie, I know that Las Vegas, the<br />

Las Vegas we created, is a Blade<br />

Runner Las Vegas. I’m very happy<br />

about that. [LAUGHS]<br />

Let’s talk about the sets. Whose<br />

idea was it to have these practical<br />

sets?<br />

It’s a decision that came early in the<br />

film process, that we would use as<br />

little green screen as possible. That<br />

we would use as many practical<br />

sets as possible, and real vehicles

as much as possible. Basically it<br />

was for my own mental sanity. I hate<br />

green screens. I’m not comfortable<br />

with that color, I’m not comfortable<br />

with what it means to work in a virtual<br />

world.<br />

I need tangible things. I need real<br />

objects, I need real props, I need<br />

real environments, because those<br />

environments will trigger ideas, will<br />

trigger shots, will inspire cinema. At<br />

the end of the day, my movies are<br />

inspired by actors. And those actors<br />

need to be fueled by a world.<br />

My movies are dreamed by actors<br />

first. And for me I need to give them<br />

all they could need to be inspired.<br />

So that’s why it’s the first thing<br />

that I decided with Roger Deakins,<br />

my cinematographer, to construct<br />

everything.<br />

We used very little green screen on<br />

the movie. Of course there will be<br />

CG in extension, because obviously<br />

you were creating a whole world.<br />

But, everything you are seeing in the<br />

movie is, at first glance, at the beginning,<br />

in the foreground, it’s real.<br />

That is a big victory and I’m grateful<br />

that we went in that direction.<br />

How was the work with Roger<br />

Deakins, on set and prior to shooting?<br />

Roger came onboard very early in<br />

the process because I was doing<br />

another movie and I felt I needed<br />

a lot of prep. And I wanted to have<br />

time to dream about the movie, to<br />

design the movie with a very, very<br />

small unit before I starting the official<br />

prep. I spent weeks in a little<br />

hotel room with Roger Deakins and<br />

my storyboard artist Sam, to storyboard<br />

the movie, to design and create<br />

the world that we will be in.<br />

So Roger was part of the birth of<br />

the cinematic language of Blade<br />

Runner 2049 from the start. So I felt<br />

that, at one point, in a great way for<br />

me, it was as much Roger’s movie<br />

as mine. And he cares about the<br />

movie as much as I do.<br />

I said to him, from the start, “For<br />

once, you could go an impressionistic<br />

way, you could let it go. You’re<br />

totally free. You can do whatever<br />

you want.”<br />

So I think that people will be blown<br />

away by what Roger Deakins did in<br />

Blade Runner 2049 because I think<br />

it’s among his best work. And we’re<br />

talking about the best work of one<br />

of the best cinematographers of<br />

all time. So honestly, people won’t<br />

be disappointed. Visually it’s very<br />

strong.<br />

How do you make advertising<br />

evolve in this new movie?<br />

Los Angeles in 2049 will look like<br />

the worst days of Beijing. Multiplied<br />

by ten. So it means that the<br />

atmosphere is so thick that you<br />

can project things and the world is<br />

in 3D. So the ads are not just huge<br />

billboards in 3D dimension, they are<br />

among us.<br />

We tried as we were designing the<br />

movie to do what they did in the first<br />

movie, which is to try to feel what<br />

it’s like in the world, what will happen<br />

in 30 years. And we met scientists,<br />

doctors, architects, computer<br />

designers. People that told us what<br />

they thought could be the future.<br />

And that inspired a lot of the design<br />

of the movie.<br />

Talk about using miniatures in this<br />

movie. Talk about the process, and<br />

where did you use those?<br />

The dream was to do as much as<br />

possible in the practical way. To<br />

use as little CG as possible, that<br />

was my dream. It was a success<br />

sometimes, but sometimes less of<br />

a success. There’s always a link

with reality in every shot. But one<br />

thing that was difficult was finding<br />

out that the architecture I wanted to<br />

shoot doesn’t exist.<br />

To my great happiness, WETA in<br />

New Zealand agreed to build Los<br />

Angeles and to build some elements<br />

that will be seen in the movie<br />

as real miniatures. Those miniatures<br />

were gigantic. It’s very moving<br />

to see them building this world. But<br />

it’s striking, when you shoot real<br />

things, you feel it.<br />

How do you imagine the world in<br />

2049?<br />

A big problem today is that it is very<br />

difficult to dream about the future.<br />

All the sci-fi movies are dystopian.<br />

There is no more utopia, meaning<br />

a beautiful dream. It’s something<br />

that I’m asking myself, I should think<br />

about that, try to find a way just for<br />

myself or for other people to dream<br />

a bit in a positive way about the future.<br />

Because right now it’s like the<br />

future is pretty frightening from a<br />

political view, and from an environmental<br />

climate view.<br />

Let’s say that we didn’t make things<br />

more bright, going from 2019 to<br />

2049. It’s like the world just became<br />

more nightmarish. But there’s<br />

some good news: In 2049 we are<br />

still alive. [LAUGHS] So we are still<br />

there. That’s the only thing I can say.<br />

But I think we need more positive<br />

dreamers right now.


win<br />


Thanks to Sony Pictures and Gametraders, you could win a double<br />

pass to see Blade Runner 2049 - in cinemas 5 <strong>October</strong>.<br />

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJMDvbyNtJ0<br />

and tell us what Ryan Gosling replies to Harrison Ford when he asks<br />

“what do you want?” while pointing the gun at him.<br />

Email your answer along with your name, age and address to<br />

gtlivemagazine@gmail.com.<br />

©2017 CTMG, Alcon and WBEI. All Rights Reserved.

THE<br />

TRUTH<br />

DID YO<br />


This month some sci-fi trivia...<br />

One of the highest rated sci-fi movies<br />

on Rotten Tomatoes is E.T The<br />

Extra-Terrestrial released in 1982.<br />

Directed by Steven Spielberg in<br />

made $792 million at the box office!<br />

The club scene in The Matrix was a<br />

real S&M club with real patrons who<br />

were asked to come in costume for<br />

the scene...<br />

According to IMDb the most profitable<br />

science fiction film is Star Wars:<br />

The Force Awakens that grossed<br />

$939M and was the first of the new<br />

films directed by J.J. Abrams.<br />

Avatar comes in at number 2 and<br />

made $760M

U KNOW...<br />


Every issue I search the globe<br />

for game and pop culture trivia,<br />

I get sent out across the globe,<br />

(first class) to scout the world of<br />

video games to bring you some<br />

fun facts.<br />

Johnny Depp auditioned for the role<br />

of Marty McFly in Back to the<br />

Future.<br />

(Um... no. We gave you a crappy<br />

old laptop and told you to search<br />

the web... Ed.)<br />

Some bloopers in sci-fi include the<br />

classic scene in Star Wars from<br />

1977 where the Storm Trooper<br />

bangs his head on the door frame...<br />

https://youtu.be/dBQaLuqwtl8<br />

Images from Wikipedia.


To Boldly Go!<br />


1982<br />

Dir: Ridley Scott<br />

Blade Runner, the neo-noir masterpiece.<br />

Blade Runner is just stunning<br />

from beginning to end. A great,<br />

thought provoking plot, awesome<br />

cast and some of the best visuals<br />

ever on screen. It cements Blade<br />

Runner at the top of my list. The<br />

detective story of Harrison Ford’s<br />

Deckard trying to track down rogue<br />

robots, who only want to know who<br />

they and why they are. It sets up the<br />

villains as truly sympathetic, and it<br />

makes them the most interesting<br />

part about the film. The final moments<br />

of Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty<br />

is one of my favourite scenes in all<br />

of cinema. His speech about life and<br />

death is just incredible and amazing<br />

testament to the script and to Hauer’s<br />

outstanding performance.<br />



1997<br />

Dir: Luc Besson<br />

The Fifth Element is possibly the<br />

most fun and entertaining film on<br />

this list. Honestly its just so damn<br />

fun to watch! I love it in films where<br />

little explanation is offered and you<br />

just kind of have to roll with the<br />

punches. The Fifth element is one<br />

of those films. It just throws you<br />

head first into the utterly bizarre future<br />

and you have no choice or time<br />

to think about it. Ok, sure, they have<br />

flying cars, and there are weird aliens,<br />

and the church hides an alien<br />

prophecy, and a giant space monster...<br />

thing is coming for us. You<br />

just have to accept this vision, you<br />

have no choice or explanation. It’s<br />

just a joy. I love the show don’t tell<br />

approach. Its one of the few films<br />

you can tell Bruce Willis is actually<br />

having a good time.<br />


THE APES<br />

1968<br />

Dir: Franklin J Schaffner<br />

The Planet of the Apes, a film that<br />

launched a massive sci/fi franchise<br />

that is still going today. The original<br />

film though is just a masterpiece of<br />

science fiction. Astronauts arrive on<br />

a strange planet to find humans enslaved<br />

to a race of intelligent apes.<br />

only to discover at the end of the<br />

film, (spoiler alert...) they have actually<br />

arrived in the future, where<br />

apes have taken over the planet. It<br />

is this twist that shocked the world<br />

and launched this series into the<br />

stratosphere. Before that point in<br />

the film it is just a seemingly run of<br />

the mill since fiction film. Then out<br />

of nowhere BOOM, it is the future. It<br />

adds so much to the overall drama<br />

of the plot and makes it all the more<br />

impactful and thought provoking. of<br />

the plot and makes it all the more<br />

impactful and thought provoking.

Science fiction is a one of a kind genre. It can take us to places that can only exist in our<br />

imaginations. It can show us the future be it bright and optimistic, or dark and frightening.<br />

It is a genre built for the screen. I’m going to take a look at my top five favourite sci/fi films<br />

and my five favourite sci/fi Tv shows.<br />

DISTRICT 9<br />

2009<br />

Dir: Neill Blomkamp<br />

This is one of those films I knew I<br />

was going to like but I didn’t expect<br />

to love it as much as I did. It is just<br />

an incredible film. District 9 tells the<br />

story of a group of alien refugees<br />

that get stranded on earth and seek<br />

asylum in South Africa. We see the<br />

intense persecution these aliens<br />

suffer at the hands of human beings.<br />

They are filed into slum and<br />

basically left to rot. The film has an<br />

interesting take on the whole alien<br />

genre. The aliens are seen as persecuted<br />

and innocent, just wanting<br />

to survive. It is inspired by the true<br />

life horror of District 6 during the<br />

apartheid period in south African<br />

history. It stands as a fascinating<br />

social study using aliens as a metaphor.<br />

CLOSE<br />



KIND<br />

1997<br />

Dir: Steven Spielberg<br />

Close Encounters still stands as<br />

one of my favourite films of all time.<br />

Spielberg knows who to draw us in.<br />

The story of seemingly regular people<br />

all connected through an experience<br />

they can’t understand, just trying<br />

to work out what is happening.<br />

Its simple and effective. The film<br />

presents us with a very optimistic<br />

view of aliens. Most sci/fi films see<br />

Aliens coming to kill us all. Close<br />

Encounters just shows us two species,<br />

wanting to communicate. It is<br />

an amazing film that is utterly captivating<br />

from beginning to end.


2015-Present<br />

The Expanse, or as I like to call it,<br />

‘Game of Thrones in Space.’ The<br />

Expanse is the best science fiction<br />

show you haven’t watched yet. We<br />

are presented with a dark, political<br />

and intense vision of the future. We<br />

see The Earth and Mars locked in<br />

an intense cold war, with Earth being<br />

a capitalist superpower, and<br />

Mars a military dictatorship. Both<br />

superpowers are ready to strike<br />

each other at any moment, and in<br />

the middle we have the belters. The<br />

poor people who work in asteroid<br />

fields to mine frozen water. It’s a<br />

power keg ready to explode at any<br />

moment... And it sure does. The first<br />

season is half detective story, half<br />

military/spy tale. Both stories come<br />

together with shocking results as a<br />

sinister organisation has unleashed<br />

a terrifying new experimental weapon<br />

on the universe. Its damn good<br />

television.<br />


1966-Present<br />

Ok, so Star Trek... So I just kind of<br />

mean ALL of Star Trek. The movies<br />

the many different TV versions.<br />

Just all of it. It’s fantastic. Star Trek<br />

presents us with one of the most<br />

optimistic versions of the future.<br />

Somehow we all just get along, well<br />

humans anyway. We as a society<br />

banded together with some of our<br />

space neighbours and are setting<br />

out to explore the universe. There<br />

is something so remarkably fun and<br />

joyous about that. Star Trek never<br />

fails to bring a smile to my face. It is<br />

just a joy to behold. It also gave us<br />

probably the greatest character in<br />

pop culture, Spock. Spock is possibly<br />

the most recognisable character<br />

in all of fiction. People who don’t<br />

know Star Trek know “live long and<br />

prosper”.<br />


2002<br />

Ahh Firefly... The greatest heartbreak<br />

in television history. This show<br />

is good... DAMN GOOD! It takes us<br />

to a future that feels almost real.<br />

Dirty, hard work, the problems facing<br />

the characters isn’t aliens, or<br />

some greater than the human race<br />

issue, it’s literally, “I need a job”.<br />

Joss Whedon introduces us to the<br />

world of Firefly with great effect.<br />

Space cowboys just trying to make<br />

a living. The cast is brilliant and all<br />

become characters you fall in love<br />

with. Not to mention an amazing<br />

ship that just steals your heart. The<br />

show was unjustly canceled only<br />

one season in. Although we did get<br />

the feature film Serenity to more or<br />

less give us closure, we were all left<br />

wanting more... You can’t take the<br />

sky from us!



2005-2009<br />

The Battlestar Galactica reboot<br />

could have easily failed, instead it<br />

soared. This show is the pinnacle of<br />

what good science fiction can be.<br />

It deals heavily with the idea of religion,<br />

artificial intelligence, politics,<br />

the military industrial complex, well<br />

the list goes on and on really. The<br />

show starts off swinging and just<br />

gets better and better. An amazing<br />

cast, great special effects and<br />

killer twists, the show just keeps<br />

you on the hook all the way to the<br />

conclusion. Ultimately the show is a<br />

religious parable, and a cautionary<br />

tale. The human beings believe in<br />

many gods while their robot enemies<br />

worship one true god. As a robot<br />

really can only worship its creator.<br />

This religious conflict explodes<br />

onto the TV screen and is simply a<br />

must watch.<br />


THINGS<br />

2016-Present<br />

Stranger Things was a wonderful<br />

surprise. Encapsulating everything<br />

about the 80’s that we loved and<br />

polishing it into one smooth sci/fi<br />

package. The show became an instant<br />

phenomenon. The quality of<br />

the show comes down to the clever<br />

writing of The Duffer Brothers as<br />

well as the performances of one<br />

outstanding cast. The elements<br />

come together in one insanely addictive<br />

TV show. I just needed to<br />

know what was going to happen<br />

next. Coming from the Twilight Zone<br />

school of sci/fi we see a group of<br />

children squaring off against a sinister<br />

government agency while<br />

searching for their missing friend<br />

trapped in a nightmarish alternate<br />

dimension. The big foe of course,<br />

one of the denizens of the nightmare<br />

world, trying to break through<br />

into ours. Great science fiction fun.<br />


YOUR MOVIES SAY & Tv : obituaries<br />

The Saw Is Family<br />

Remembering Tobe Hooper<br />

Yet again sadly we lost another<br />

master of the horror genre. Tobe<br />

Hooper was an astonishing director<br />

who created possibly the most terrifying<br />

film in the genre. With a title<br />

like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,<br />

how could you go wrong. It evokes<br />

such incredible imagery, matched<br />

only by the sheer ferocity of the film<br />

itself.<br />

Tobe created a true American<br />

nightmare. Texas Chainsaw presents<br />

us with the degradation of<br />

the American dream. The film is<br />

a product of its time and it’s environment.<br />

Vietnam was in full swing.<br />

The summer of love had ended with<br />

the Manson Family and the flower<br />

generation were left shell shocked.<br />

Along comes Tobe Hooper with his<br />

nightmare take on America. A group<br />

of teenagers torn apart and literally<br />

eaten by a family of cannibalistic<br />

serial killers.<br />

He gave us Leatherface a real<br />

nightmare come alive. A serial killer<br />

that literally wears his victims.<br />

He is also seemingly suffering from<br />

some form of mental disability. He is<br />

almost as much a victim of his family<br />

as the teenagers are. The film is<br />

just layered and subtle. It is harsh<br />

and feels icky to watch. The dinner<br />

scene is still one of the most frightening<br />

scenes ever put to film.<br />

He also directed Texas Chainsaw 2<br />

which is a wickedly funny film that<br />

is very under rated. He showed that<br />

he had a sense of humour and was<br />

more than happy to make fun of his<br />

own monsters.<br />

Tobe knew how to create tension<br />

“I don’t believe in using too much graphic<br />

violence, although I’ve done it. It’s better to be<br />

suggestive and to allow the viewer to<br />

fill in the blanks in their minds.”<br />


and fill the audience with dread.<br />

Sadly he never really got the credit<br />

he deserved. He directed Poltergeist<br />

which is an incredible film yet<br />

he had his credit seemingly stripped<br />

with rumours that Spielberg had actually<br />

directed the film, and his career<br />

never really seemed to reach<br />

the heights a man of his talent deserved.<br />

His other really notable film<br />

work was the adaptation of Salems<br />

Lot, one of Stephen King’s best<br />

tales. He brought vampires into the<br />

home and made them scary again.<br />

Ultimately Tobe will always be remembered<br />

as the man who created<br />

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.<br />

Which is a legacy that will live on for<br />

years to come. He manifested our<br />

nightmares.<br />

RIP Tobe Hooper.

The Dead Will<br />

Walk The Earth<br />

Remembering George A. Romero<br />

In July we lost one of the great gentlemen<br />

of horror. George A. Romero<br />

is the man who created the zombie<br />

film. His film Night of the Living<br />

Dead was a game changer in cinema.<br />

It presented us with a bleak vision<br />

of a world torn apart when the<br />

dead return to life to eat the living.<br />

He showed us a horror film where<br />

there were no good guys or bad<br />

guys, simply the living and the dead.<br />

He introduced us to the first African-American<br />

protagonist in a film.<br />

That’s right the hero of this horror<br />

was a black man. This had never<br />

been done before. George never<br />

thought he was making a statement,<br />

yet he did.<br />

George continued his work in the<br />

zombie genre with Dawn of the<br />

Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the<br />

Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival<br />

of the Dead. He was known as<br />

the king of the zombies. However<br />

some of his other films are well<br />

worth looking at.<br />

Creepshow is an amazing film,<br />

his partnership with Stephen King<br />

showed the dark sense of humour.<br />

Martin took a unique and incredibly<br />

intelligent look at the vampire genre.<br />

The Crazies set us up with the<br />

viral outbreak sub genre of zombie<br />

films.<br />

“My stories are about humans and how they react,<br />

or fail to react, or react stupidly. I’m pointing<br />

the finger at us, not at the zombies. I try to<br />

respect and sympathise with the<br />

zombies as much as possible.”<br />


More than just a director he was always<br />

described as a nice guy. Genuine.<br />

In interviews he was always insightful<br />

and funny. He always made<br />

appearances and worked hard to<br />

be there for his fans. He was a gentleman<br />

of horror. Dawn of the Dead<br />

may stand has his masterpiece. It is<br />

an exceptionally good film. His commentary<br />

on our flippant and consumer<br />

driven society was ahead of<br />

its time. It still stands as a powerful<br />

and thought provoking film.<br />

We have lost a master of horror.<br />

Without him we wouldn’t have<br />

things like The Walking Dead or 28<br />

Days Later or World War Z. He was<br />

a legend of horror and people will<br />

continue to find his work both insightful<br />

and terrifying.<br />

RIP George A. Romero<br />



The Gamer<br />


The time for my Brisbane trip was<br />

here and while I was excited to be<br />

travelling interstate and seeing<br />

family, I was mostly excited about<br />

heading to Blade Electronics.<br />

I packed my copy of SNK vs Capcom:<br />

Match of the Millennium, as<br />

well as my clothes, boarded the<br />

plane was met at the airport by my<br />

aunt. While there was a list of things<br />

that my family wanted me to do with<br />

them, they continued to work during<br />

the day, so my time was my own<br />

for the most part. On the first day I<br />

caught a bus to Stones Corner, the<br />

other side of the city to where I was<br />

staying, and found my way to Blade<br />

Electronics.<br />

I remember it being a small shop<br />

front with some imported consoles<br />

scattered around the place. A Virtual<br />

Boy was on display, and I spoke<br />

to the owner about my own Virtual<br />

Boy back home. He was surprised<br />

to learn that I was there for a Neo<br />

Geo Pocket. I mean, I could have<br />

just had him send me one via mail<br />

order, I didn’t have to travel to another<br />

state to get it. This is just a<br />

thing I have, where I put off buying a<br />

console because I want to buy it in<br />

person. I did the same thing with the<br />

PC Engine Duo RX that I purchased<br />

in Japan in 2016. I had plenty of opportunities<br />

to buy one online, but I<br />

wanted to do it in a Japanese video<br />

game store. Anyway, back to the<br />

year 2000...<br />

I purchased my camouflage blue<br />

Neo Geo Pocket and a copy of<br />

Gals’ Fighters. I wanted to buy King<br />

of Fighters R2, but they didn’t have<br />

it in stock. The shop owner assured<br />

me that I would enjoy Gals’ Fighters,<br />

so I thought ‘why not?’ I also<br />

purchased an AC adapter, as it’s<br />

always good to have something to<br />

use incase you run out of batteries.<br />

After I made my purchases I<br />

boarded the bus back, exploring the<br />

console during the long ride home.<br />

I had bought SNK vs Capcom with<br />

me, and plugged that into my new<br />

console first.<br />

I relished being able to use tag team<br />

ups like Terry Bogard and Ken Masters,<br />

or Chun Li and Mai Shiranui. I<br />

also still began the long process of<br />

unlocking characters like Akuma,<br />

Geese Howard, Violent Ken and<br />

Orochi Iori. The control stick on the<br />

console looks a little awkward, but<br />

your thumb sits on it nicely, and the<br />

clicky controls work very well. As a<br />

beat em up the game is very satisfying,<br />

and I still go back to every<br />

now and again. Though I have purchased<br />

other coloured Neo Geo<br />

Pockets and games over the years,<br />

that camouflage blue console is the<br />

one that currently sits in my bedside<br />

table and gets played when I feel<br />

like some handheld fighting.<br />

As for Gals’ Fighters, the store clerk<br />

wasn’t wrong about me enjoying it.<br />

The game play is identical to SNK vs<br />

Capcom, but it’s much faster! The


diaries:<br />

roster includes female characters<br />

from previous SNK titles, including<br />

Mai, Athena, Nakoruru and more.<br />

Also hidden away is the mysterious<br />

Miss X, who is actually Iori Yagami<br />

from The King of Fighters in drag.<br />

After playing this for a while, it was<br />

hard to play SNK vs Capcom again,<br />

being that it’s so much slower.<br />

In Brisbane I checked out some other<br />

gaming stores and found a copy<br />

of a Japanese World War 2 game<br />

for Super Famicom, and Star Wars<br />

Rogue Squadron for N64. Rogue<br />

Squadron offers an immersive Star<br />

Wars experience like no other at<br />

that time. It’s not a simulator like the<br />

X-Wing and TIE Fighter games, it’s<br />

more arcadey than that, but you still<br />

feel yourself getting sucked right<br />

into the Star Wars universe. The<br />

music and graphics are amazing,<br />

and the controls are very precise.<br />

Upon my return home I hit the internet<br />

hard, looking for more Neo Geo<br />

Pocket accessories and games. I<br />

managed to score a copy of King of<br />

Fighters R2, which uses the same<br />

game engine as the other 2 fighters<br />

I already owned. There are some<br />

hidden characters, and alternative<br />

versions of characters, but that’s<br />

pretty much all there is to it. It’s a<br />

common game, so if you have 2<br />

consoles and a link cable then you<br />

should be able to find 2 copies fairly<br />

easily and cheaply.<br />

2000 - 2001

I discovered one of the few RPGs<br />

for the system, Biomotor Unitron. In<br />

this game you use a robot to fight,<br />

and along the way you upgrade<br />

its parts to increase its stats. The<br />

game looks quite Pokemon-esque,<br />

though at the time I hadn’t experienced<br />

the Pokemon video games<br />

outside of a brief stint with a Gameboy<br />

emulator. My full Pokemon experience<br />

was to come in the following<br />

year, but for now Biomotor<br />

Unitron fulfilled my RPG cravings.<br />

Another game I purchased was<br />

Rockman Battle and Fighters. I purchased<br />

this game online, along with<br />

King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise<br />

from Burn Electronics. Similar name<br />

but different store. I believe they<br />

were both based in Brisbane too,<br />

but both are long since gone so I<br />

can’t check.<br />

Rockman Battle and Fighters is<br />

a port of the 2 Megaman arcade<br />

games that were released in the<br />

arcade on CPS2 hardware. Bright<br />

and colourful games, they were<br />

really only arcade versions of the<br />

Megaman boss battles. I had played<br />

them to death on my CPS2 emulator,<br />

but wanted to have a version<br />

I could take with me. Playing as<br />

Megaman, Bass or Protoman you<br />

fight the boss characters from a<br />

series of Megaman titles which you<br />

choose. It’a a fun game in short<br />

bursts, but not really something<br />

that’s going to take up hours of your<br />

time in one sitting. I would beat the<br />

game, then move on to something<br />

else, picking it up again when the<br />

mood took me.<br />

King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise<br />

is a Mario Party style board game<br />

featuring characters from the long<br />

running beat em up franchise. It<br />

looks like a lot of fun, and it’s nice

and colourful. The problem is that<br />

the game is in Japanese, so it’s unplayable<br />

to someone who doesn’t<br />

understand the language. I still own<br />

the game and would like the opportunity<br />

to play it at some point. It<br />

depends on whether I can learn the<br />

language or not I suppose.<br />

Not long after I returned from Brisbane<br />

James came to visit. I introduced<br />

him to Amy, and I met his girlfriend<br />

as well. We went out to lunch<br />

and caught up, though I can barely<br />

remember what we spoke about. To<br />

date it is the last time we have actually<br />

seen each other, though we<br />

keep in contact on Facebook today.<br />

That Christmas Amy’s parents surprised<br />

me with a copy of Star Wars<br />

Episode 1 Monopoly. I didn’t have<br />

many board games, and this was<br />

an expensive and kind gesture from<br />

my potential in laws. Unfortunately<br />

things were about to fall apart shortly<br />

afterwards. In January 2001 my<br />

life was turned upside down as Amy<br />

decided to end the relationship. Her<br />

reasoning was that I didn’t get along<br />

with her friends, and that she wanted<br />

to focus on her education. That<br />

last reason seemed like a cop out,<br />

but I was confused as I thought I got<br />

along with them. Anyway, that left<br />

me single again, though it wasn’t to<br />

be for long.<br />

I drowned my sorrows in more online<br />

purchases, and game hunting.<br />

I continued to venture out to Cash<br />

Converters stores, and I discovered<br />

a small video game shop on Port<br />

Road. It was closing down when I<br />

got there, but they had a bunch of<br />

games and an Acton Replay Mark 3.<br />

I didn’t own an Action Replay at this<br />

point, and I thought that the Mark 3<br />

would be the best unit to have. I took<br />

it home, plugged it in and it didn’t<br />

work! As the shop had closed there<br />

was no way I could get my money<br />

back. I still own the cartridge, so I<br />

might see if it can be fixed.<br />

Ending the relationship with Amy<br />

#2 was more amicable than Amy<br />

#1. I don’t mind admitting that I was<br />

devastated, but she said she wanted<br />

to remain friends and I took her<br />

at her word. Within 3 months I was<br />

with someone else who I will refer<br />

to as *Evie, though this isn’t her real<br />

name. I was at an emotional low<br />

point when Evie paid me the attention<br />

that I sought. We started seeing<br />

each other and within a week<br />

she had broken up with her current<br />

boyfriend and we were dating. She<br />

lived with her father, and asked me<br />

to move in with them too. It was all<br />

moving very quickly, but I wasn’t in<br />

the drivers seat at this stage and<br />

was allowing myself to be swept up<br />

the mayhem.<br />

Evie didn’t have a job and used to<br />

sleep all day and spend all night on<br />

the internet. Even though I had a<br />

job, it was a lifestyle that I quickly<br />

adapted to and I found myself often<br />

tired. Still, with the personal crisis<br />

ongoing the video game collecting<br />

continued.<br />

Evie had some retro games herself,<br />

some of which had been taken<br />

from her ex boyfriend. Among them<br />

were some Sega Master System titles.<br />

This wasn’t a system I was collecting<br />

for at that time, but I promptly<br />

ordered a Master System 1 on<br />

Ebay, along with Wonderboy 3. Both<br />

arrived and I spent a few weeks<br />

getting through the game, eventually<br />

giving up at the Lion Man stage.<br />

I would return to it later on, but on a<br />

different platform.<br />

2000 - 2001

For the first few weeks we were<br />

together, Evie and I played The Secret<br />

of Mana, a game that we both<br />

owned. I’m not sure why we stopped<br />

playing after such a short time, but<br />

we did. For the 12 1/2 years of our<br />

relationship we never ended getting<br />

that game back out and finishing it.<br />

Evie introduced me to the world of<br />

Pokemon, something that I had dismissed<br />

as childish at the time. We<br />

went to see the 3rd movie in cinemas,<br />

and immediately ordered it<br />

on DVD from the US (as it was already<br />

available there). I also started<br />

importing the anime series on<br />

DVD and catching up on the adventures<br />

of Ash and co. There were<br />

some interesting anime trailers on<br />

the DVDs, including one for a movie<br />

called Ranma 1/2: Big Trouble in<br />

Nekonron, China. The musical track<br />

in the trailer invoked a sense of excitement,<br />

and I was keen to find out<br />

more about this series.<br />

Evie had her copy of Pokemon<br />

Red, so I purchased a copy of Blue<br />

so that we could play together. I<br />

was always a fan of JRPGs and<br />

Pokemon is one of the finest on the<br />

market. While it is often criticised<br />

for its childish cutesiness, there is a<br />

solid game underneath it all. It’s also<br />

quite a mathematical game once<br />

you know the mechanics, though<br />

it would be a while before I learned<br />

the ins and outs of IV and EV training.<br />

On my copy of Pokemon Blue<br />

I was simply trying to ‘catch em<br />

all’, and that was almost exactly<br />

what I did. Of course, I was unable<br />

to catch Mew as he was a special<br />

event Pokemon, and the events<br />

had long since ended. Evie had one<br />

on her cartridge, and she had her<br />

ex boyfriend’s copy of Pokemon<br />

Silver. She suggested I try and copy<br />

his Mew over from that game, but I<br />

never ended up doing so.<br />

Evie also introduced me to the<br />

Dragon Ball franchise. Dragon Ball<br />

Z was currently showing on Cartoon<br />

Network, and they were up<br />

to the Namek arc and the battle<br />

with Freeza was about to begin. I<br />

remembered playing Dragon Ball<br />

Z video games in the past, though<br />

none of the golden haired warriors<br />

were present. Evie explained the<br />

Super Saiyan form to me, and found<br />

pictures showing Goku, Vegeta and<br />

the other Saiyans in Super Saiyan<br />

mode. Everything started to click<br />

into place, and I became absorbed<br />

in the show. Every night I would<br />

finish work and go to Evie’s house<br />

where she would be watching TV,<br />

and join her for Dragon Ball Z.<br />

That’s it for me this month. If you<br />

want to check out some of the other<br />

things I do I can be found on Twitter<br />

@Dizrythmia<br />

I am also part of the Retrospekt<br />

group who can be found at<br />

www.retrospekt.com.au<br />

*Evie = Evil

2000 - 2001<br />




Scenery and Terrain...<br />


From the outset we wanted to<br />

make sure our scenery was vibrant,<br />

colourful, and provided variety<br />

for our games. We already had<br />

a good collection of stone rubble,<br />

trees, and some older buildings<br />

from years gone by. We decided to<br />

update those old buildings, so they<br />

were cleaned up, had details added<br />

or replaced, and were repainted to<br />

be a little more colourful. We also<br />

planned to add a range of inspiring<br />

and detailed buildings to really enrich<br />

our gaming experience.<br />

This article is more of a gallery, with<br />

small explanations offered for each<br />

building. To see more of our collection<br />

of terrain head to:<br />

radheim.tumblr.com or<br />

www.instagram.com/rad_heim<br />

to check out nearly 300 photos (at<br />

the time of writing) of our activities.<br />


We have two platforms that we built;<br />

a simple low box about 3” high with<br />

“Mordheim” on it, and one with battlements<br />

and a sewer tunnel underneath.<br />

These provide vital vertical<br />

variation; height in this game helps<br />

to provide really interesting and dynamic<br />

in-game tactical options, and<br />

opportunities for great photos!



Sean built a number of commercial,<br />

or merchant buildings: Dwarven<br />

Forge, Moneylender’s House,<br />

a Pub, a purple Box Office, and the<br />

so-called ‘Forest Ruin’. These provided<br />

some identifiable elements<br />

to games, “I’m coming up through<br />

the Moneylender’s house to take<br />

out those warriors on the Box Office<br />

balcony.” is far more immersive<br />

than, “I’m moving through this building<br />

to take out those guys in that<br />

building over there”.<br />

TENTS<br />

Being a circus campaign, we had to<br />

build tents. They had to be bright,<br />

colourful, and game-friendly. Ben<br />

made up templates and then copied<br />

to make mass production easy.<br />

The template is available if you<br />

want to get in touch with us.




We updated and re-painted a number<br />

of Ben’s old buildings, giving<br />

them a brighter stone-and-terracotta<br />

look. These are based off<br />

of the original cardboard buildings<br />

from the Mordheim box set. I had<br />

also made a 3-story building, a large<br />

low building in the same style, and a<br />

large wealthy manor-house. These<br />

three buildings were also updated,<br />

but the wealthy manor house got<br />

an opulent teal and turquoise colour<br />

scheme, and the inside filled with<br />

fancy rugs!<br />


FOREST<br />

We are able to use the stones and<br />

rubble to represent destroyed buildings,<br />

or create a more ‘out of town’<br />

gaming environment. We use the<br />

Empire in Flames supplement for<br />

games which do not take place in<br />

the city itself. It’s also great to have<br />

lots of trees on hand as they fill in<br />

gaps on a table nicely.


Ben built this specifically to provide<br />

more height to our games, and flexibility.<br />

It’s about 10” tall, and comes<br />

in two halves allowing a bridge to<br />

be made, or each side used individually.<br />

We often place them further<br />

apart and put walkways between<br />

the two halves. Many windows, and<br />

flat roofs, make this very playable.<br />

“It’s about 10” tall, and comes<br />

in two halves allowing a bridge<br />

to be made, or each side used<br />




A must-have building, we wanted<br />

this to be off-the-wall strange, and<br />

very tall. It boasts 26” to the top,<br />

and because the stairs, and platforms<br />

are all accessible from the<br />

outside we can easily link multiple<br />

levels out to other buildings using<br />

walkways. This means it doesn’t<br />

create camping locations or bottlenecks.<br />

Building this was a collaboration,<br />

as there was a lot of work<br />

involved!<br />

Sean painted up the crowning<br />

element; a gold planetarium<br />

which really completes the idea<br />

of an eccentric wizard living in a<br />

physics-defying tower.

CANAL<br />

Sean decided a water feature was<br />

important, and it’s been really great<br />

to have in games. It breaks things<br />

up, creates an open space which<br />

presents very real tactical challenges<br />

for warbands.<br />


Another of Ben’s old pieces, finally<br />

completed and given a new lease<br />

on life. Old miniatures were plundered<br />

for statues, and hedges were<br />

cut from brillo pads. The final touch<br />

of bunting was just made from twine<br />

and painted paper glued on. A nice<br />

focal setting for particular scenarios<br />

requiring a nexus for the action,<br />

or a locational fulcrum for the story<br />

to pivot upon.



This piece was started by Sean,<br />

and finished by Ben. We let the silly<br />

run wild, and had a huge amount of<br />

fun building it. We never intended<br />

for a tree to be growing through it,<br />

but there it is! In our campaign, and<br />

on social media, this terrain pieces<br />

has become an undeniable crowd<br />

favourite. It is also great to play on<br />

with multiple levels, and good walkway<br />

access all around.

WORK IN<br />


We’re still building new terrain. We<br />

are currently painting a Vampire<br />

Manor, and building a hotel. We use<br />

a lot of foam-core and balsa wood,<br />

as well as raiding our bitz box for interesting<br />

details.<br />

If you have any questions on how we<br />

did any of this, please get in touch<br />

via Instagram or Tumblr. We’re happy<br />

to share the hobby-love!<br />

“We can’t<br />

stress how<br />

important<br />

having lots<br />

of walls and<br />

walkways is.<br />

We would<br />

have almost<br />

30 of each.”<br />





Each scenario we try to give the<br />

board a ‘real’ setting, something<br />

that makes sense with streets,<br />

town squares, even a sense of districts.<br />

This helps immerse you in the<br />

game, and provides a very photogenic<br />

setting. We put small details<br />

around on all our buildings such as<br />

posters, shrubs, rubble, stains, and<br />

skeletons. This just helps reinforce<br />

the ruined nature of a city that was<br />

a booming trade centre, but then<br />

got hit by a twin-tailed comet!<br />

It’s important to create all sorts<br />

of interesting angles around your<br />

board. Get down low and try to get<br />

a ‘model’s eye view’ when you’re<br />

setting it all up.<br />

We also have lots of walls, statues,<br />

and walkways to place around the<br />

battlefield to give tactical options,<br />

provide cover, prevent bottlenecks,<br />

and support vertical movement<br />

around the board. We can’t stress<br />

how important having lots of walls<br />

and walkways is. We would have<br />

almost 30 of each.<br />

ONLINE:<br />

www.instagram.com/rad_heim<br />



10 years later... Jigsaw<br />

One of the highest grossing horror franchises of all time is back, taking the Jigsaw killer’s signature<br />

brand of twisted scenarios to the next level.<br />

After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find<br />

themselves chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade and embroiled in a new game<br />

that’s only just begun. Is John Kramer back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful<br />

for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a killer with designs of their own?<br />

JIGSAW creeps into cinemas <strong>November</strong> 2, with Halloween advance screenings on <strong>October</strong> 31.<br />

win<br />


Thanks to Picture This and Gametraders, you could win a double<br />

pass to see Jigsaw - in cinemas 2 <strong>November</strong>.<br />

Watch the trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8y-nUo7vqc&feature=youtu.be<br />


and tell us what the sticker on the tape recorder says.<br />

Email your answer along with your name, age and address to<br />




player profile<br />

interview with ANJA<br />

Welcome to <strong>Live</strong> Anja! How long<br />

have you been playing and what<br />

got you started?<br />

I’ve been playing MTG for about<br />

2 years now. I played a different<br />

card game initially and a few of my<br />

friends got me to come along to a<br />

FNM session and try it out. I haven’t<br />

looked back since!<br />

Do you have a favourite card(s)?<br />

My favourite card would have to be<br />

Timesifter, it’s an artifact from the<br />

mirrodin set and I play it in EDH format.<br />

At the start of each upkeep,<br />

each player exiles the top card of<br />

their library and whoever has the<br />

highest converted mana cost takes<br />

an extra turn after this one. It’s a<br />

really fun card because you never<br />

know when your next turn will be, so<br />

you have to really think about your<br />

plays and what effects they’ll have<br />

in the long run because you might<br />

be waiting ages for your next turn.<br />

Any tips for new players?<br />

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! In<br />

my experience, the magic community<br />

are really nice and want to<br />

help new players rather than bring<br />

them down. Whether it be for help<br />

on deck construction, plays, drafting<br />

or just particular rules in certain<br />

cards, they’re always willing to lend<br />

you a hand. I know when I started<br />

out I was asking questions about<br />

every two seconds! It does take a<br />

while to get the hang of the game,<br />

but don’t let that discourage you, it’s<br />

more than worth it in the end!<br />

What’s coming up for you - any<br />

more tournaments planned?<br />

Well I’m hoping to have another<br />

crack at the Sydney GP in 2018.<br />

The last time I played there I didn’t<br />

fare so well, but it was still an amazing<br />


...Trading cards, tournaments, accessories<br />

& more. Get it all at Gametraders.


EVENTS<br />

& TCG<br />




Yu-Gi-Oh - Sunday 3pm & Wednesday 6:45pm<br />

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday 6:30pm<br />

Pokémon - Saturday 3pm<br />

Magic the Gathering - Tuesday & Friday 6:30pm<br />


Magic the Gathering Modern - Wednesday 7pm<br />

Magic the Gathering Standard - Friday 7pm<br />

Yu-Gi-Oh - Thursday 6pm & Sunday 2pm<br />

Pokémon - Saturday 12pm<br />

Magic the Gathering Learn to Play - Saturday 12pm<br />

LARP Tournaments - Saturday 6pm<br />



Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 10am<br />

Pokémon - Saturday 2pm



Dungeons & Dragons TCG - Saturday 10am<br />

Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 10:30am<br />

Magic the Gathering - Thursday 6:30pm<br />

Pokémon - Saturday 11am<br />


Magic the Gathering - Monday 5:30pm<br />

Final Fantasy & Super Smash Bros - Tuesday 5:30pm<br />

Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 5:30pm<br />

Dungeons & Dragons / Board Games / Pokkén Tournament - Friday 5:30pm<br />

Pokémon - Saturday 5:30pm<br />


Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 6pm<br />

Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm<br />

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday 6pm<br />


Cardfight!! Vanguard - Saturday 5pm<br />

Magic the Gathering - Friday 7pm<br />

Pokémon - Saturday 12pm<br />

X-Wing - Wednesday 7pm<br />

Dragon Ball Z - Thursday 6pm<br />

Force of Will - Friday 7:30pm<br />

Buddyfight - Saturday 12pm<br />

My Little Pony - Saturday 5pm<br />

Demo board games from Wednesday through to Saturday.<br />


Yu-Gi-Oh - Tuesday 4pm & Sunday 11am<br />

Pokémon - Sunday 2pm<br />

Magic the Gathering (Draft) - Wednesday 4pm & 7pm<br />

Hearthstone Fireside Gathering + Tournament - Wednesday 6pm<br />

Board Games - Thursday 7pm<br />

Magic the Gathering (FNM) - 6pm (Standard, Modern, Draft)<br />

Super Smash Bros - Saturday 1pm<br />

Magic the Gathering (Commander) - Saturday 2pm<br />

For more special events and tournaments please visit:<br />




No current tournaments.<br />

MARION<br />

Pokémon - Saturday 2pm<br />

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Tuesday 6pm<br />

Yu-Gi-Oh - Wednesday 6pm<br />

Final Fantasy - Wednesday 6pm<br />

Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm<br />

X-Wing - Every second Monday from 2pm. Check with staff for details.<br />


FREE Monday Night Magic and Vanguard - 6pm (5:30pm registration)<br />

Magic the Gathering Modern and Commander - Tuesday 6pm (5:30pm registration)<br />

Friday Night Magic - Friday 6pm (5:30pm registration)<br />

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday & Friday 6pm (5:30pm registration)<br />

Yu-Gi-Oh! - Thursday 6pm (5:30pm registration)<br />

Pokémon - Sunday 1pm (12:30 registration)<br />

Casual events on Saturdays! Check our Facebook page for details.<br />

MT. BARKER<br />

Yu-Gi-Oh - Sunday 2pm<br />

Magic the Gathering Commander - Wednesday 6pm<br />

Magic the Gathering Standard - Saturday 1pm<br />

Friday Night Magic Draft - Friday 6pm<br />

Casual X-Wing, Magic & Board Games - Thursdays from 6pm<br />


Final Fantasy - Tuesday 6pm (5:30pm registration)<br />

Magic the Gathering - Friday 6pm (5:30pm registration)<br />

Magic the Gathering (Casual) - Thursday 5:30pm<br />

Yu-Gi-Oh - Saturday 1pm (11:30am registration)<br />

Pokémon - Sunday 12pm (11:30am registration)<br />

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Wednesday 6pm<br />


Tournaments are subject to change. Please check with your local store on tournament times before attending.<br />

Visit www.gametraders.com.au/facebook to find your local stores Facebook page.

ameS<br />

HOW<br />



GAMES<br />













YOUR gaming SAY<br />


HOW<br />



GAMES<br />


You may have noticed over the<br />

last three decades that Nintendo<br />

makes some pretty decent video<br />

games from time to time. There’s<br />

a reason why the company has<br />

stayed relevant in the video game<br />

industry since the early 1980s,<br />

while countless other developers,<br />

publishers, and console manufacturers<br />

have come and gone, many<br />

leaving little to no lasting impact<br />

on the industry as a whole. Simply<br />

put, Nintendo is arguably the single<br />

most important company in the<br />

history of video games.<br />

While I do criticize Nintendo on occasion<br />

for some of its decisions<br />

and outdated practises, I will never<br />

take away from it the fact that no<br />

other entity in the world of video<br />

games has the same kind of exceptional<br />

track record as it does<br />

when it comes to making great video<br />

games. From both creative and<br />

financial standpoints, Nintendo has<br />

produced some of the best video<br />

games of all time ever since it first<br />

entered the industry, and has continued<br />

to do so for what is now its<br />

seventh home console generation<br />

in a row.<br />

Nintendo has always had a knack<br />

for making games that have a style<br />

and feel that is wholly unique, but<br />

have you ever considered what<br />

exactly it is that makes many of<br />

the company’s games so great to<br />

begin with? What is it in them that<br />

makes them stand out from the<br />

games of almost any other developer<br />

in the world? The answer is<br />

surprisingly simple, which is perhaps<br />

why a lot of people don’t really<br />

notice or think about it. Nintendo<br />

makes games by first ensuring the<br />

core fundamentals are rock solid,<br />

and then creates every aspect of<br />

the game around those fundamental<br />


Building<br />

a Game<br />

Around a<br />

Mechanic<br />

When you stop and think about<br />

many of Nintendo’s greatest<br />

games, you may begin to notice<br />

something interesting about them.<br />

A lot of them are built entirely<br />

around one strong core mechanic,<br />

which is then stretched out and<br />

given multiple layers to make it as<br />

diverse and interesting as possible.<br />

Compare this to a handful of<br />

other big video games and developers<br />

and you’ll spot that many of<br />

them introduce a new mechanic,<br />

use it, and then discard it within a<br />

single level.<br />

For many developers, game mechanics<br />

are no longer a thing to<br />

build something interesting and<br />

long-lasting around, but instead are<br />

a thing to advertise in trailers and<br />

on conference floors. They want to<br />

be able to say that their game has<br />

dozens of different types of gameplay,<br />

even though maybe only one<br />

or two of them are explored to any<br />

notable degree.<br />

As an example, just think of almost<br />

any Call of Duty, Assassin’s<br />

Creed or Battlefield game from<br />

the last five to ten years and count<br />

the number of different gameplay<br />

types and elements that are introduced<br />

and either completely discarded<br />

or made pointless after just<br />

one level. It no longer feels like the<br />

teams behind these titles are building<br />

an interesting and engaging<br />

gameplay experience, but instead<br />

are filling in the required number of<br />

different gimmicks for marketing<br />

purposes.<br />

Nintendo on the other hand has,<br />

from the very beginning up to the<br />

present day, created entire games<br />

based around one core idea that<br />

carries the whole game. Naturally,<br />

the most famous example is the<br />

entire Super Mario Bros. series.<br />

When you strip down Super Mario<br />

Bros. to its very core, every game<br />

is fundamentally about jumping<br />

and what can be done with that<br />

one simple mechanic.<br />

In Super Mario Bros. for the NES,<br />

every aspect of the gameplay revolves<br />

around this one mechanic.<br />

To break the blocks, Mario jumps.<br />

To defeat enemies, he jumps on<br />

them. To finish a level he has to<br />

jump and touch the flagpole at the

end. To defeat Bowser at the end<br />

of each world Mario usually has to<br />

jump on the axe to drop the bridge<br />

and make Bowser fall into lava.<br />

Even when the game introduces<br />

enemies that can’t be defeated in<br />

this manner, it still revolves around<br />

using the same mechanic, albeit in<br />

a different way (namely avoiding<br />

enemies by jumping over them).<br />

Mario is defined by that one basic<br />

ability which he uses for practically<br />

everything.<br />

While later games in the series<br />

have become increasingly more<br />

complex over time, they still mostly<br />

involve variations of that one core<br />

mechanic that was introduced<br />

over 30 years ago. Super Mario 64<br />

made the mechanic more complex<br />

by adding a new dimension to the<br />

gameplay, and Super Mario Galaxy<br />

added further layers to it thanks to<br />

gravity and planetoids, but all of<br />

them are still fundamentally games<br />

about jumping. On a somewhat related<br />

note, go and take a look at<br />

the box art for each of the mainline<br />

Super Mario games and you’ll<br />

notice one thing they all share in<br />

common; each features an image<br />

that focusses on the game’s central<br />

mechanic, immediately highlighting<br />

what players can expect<br />

from it.<br />

Mario is, of course, not the only<br />

Nintendo series that does this. Luigi’s<br />

Mansion for the GameCube is<br />

another good example of a game<br />

build almost entirely around a single<br />

mechanic, which in this case<br />

is vacuuming. Luigi uses this mechanic<br />

to do almost everything,<br />

from solving puzzles to fighting<br />

ghosts. In a 2013 interview with<br />

IGN, Ryuichi Nakada, one of the supervisors<br />

on Luigi’s Mansion: Dark<br />

Moon, said the following about the<br />

title:<br />

You use the vacuum to solve the<br />

puzzles all through the mansion.<br />

You can use it in all kinds of ways<br />

to navigate and interact with the<br />

ghosts. It’s really a game about using<br />

the vacuum.<br />

For a more recent example we can<br />

look at Splatoon, Nintendo’s rather<br />

unusual take on the online multiplayer<br />

shooter genre. Even though<br />

the gameplay allows the player to<br />

approach rounds in different ways,<br />

every single aspect of it once again<br />

comes back to one simple mechanic/feature.<br />

In this case ink. To<br />

win a match in Splatoon you need<br />

to cover the map with your team’s<br />

ink; in order to move faster around<br />

the map the players can swim<br />

around in their team’s ink, while<br />

the opposing team’s ink will slows<br />

them down; your weapons replenish<br />

by swimming in the ink, and so<br />

on. It’s a simple, basic premise that<br />

is used for practically every aspect<br />

of Splatoon’s gameplay.<br />

Of course, Nintendo isn’t the only<br />

company that has made games<br />

based on one, strong central mechanic.<br />

It’s just the most notable<br />

user of this design philosophy. Portal<br />

is an obvious example of this<br />

type of design philosophy in the<br />

AAA arena, and indie developers in<br />

the last five to ten years have also<br />

used it to great effect in a large<br />

number of games.<br />

HOW<br />




HOW<br />



GAMES<br />

Everything<br />

in the Service<br />

of Gameplay<br />

There are countless different ways<br />

to approach video game creation,<br />

and none are inherently better than<br />

the others. Some developers start<br />

with an idea for a story they want<br />

to tell, or maybe a theme they want<br />

to tackle. Others may come up<br />

with a cool visual style they want to<br />

use. Nintendo, however, generally<br />

starts by coming up with a fun and<br />

engaging way to play, and builds<br />

everything else to suit that specific<br />

type of gameplay.<br />

For example, in one installment of<br />

‘Iwata Asks’ the developers of The<br />

Legend of Zelda series discussed<br />

how the series’ story and gameplay<br />

are created. They stated that<br />

initially the director comes up with a<br />

very broad outline for a story, upon<br />

which they then develop interesting<br />

ways to play the game. Details<br />

of the story are then fleshed out<br />

to accommodate these gameplay<br />

elements, and not the other way<br />

around.<br />

Going back to the example of Splatoon,<br />

that game began life with the<br />

desire to create a title with a new<br />

type of structure and gameplay.<br />

The characters, aesthetic, and<br />

everything else about it came after<br />

the gameplay style had already<br />

been set in stone. The inklings<br />

themselves were created because<br />

they fit the game’s core concept<br />

of using colored ink to fight battles.<br />

Initially, the characters were just<br />

bland white blobs that lacked any<br />

other distinguishing characteristics.<br />

As Satoru Iwata stated in another<br />

one of his ‘Iwata Asks’ segments,<br />

the way Shigeru Miyamoto<br />

and Nintendo EAD create games is<br />

that function defines form, not the<br />

other way around, and Splatoo followed<br />

this same philosophy.<br />

Of course we must remember that<br />

not all Nintendo games are made<br />

the same way either. The company<br />

has numerous different studios<br />

and creators under its wings, each<br />

creating games in their own style.<br />

Mark Brown made a wonderful video<br />

on this topic, which I strongly<br />

recommend you check out below,<br />

where he breaks down the 4 step<br />

level design philosophy of Koichi<br />

Hayashida, the director of Super<br />

Mario 3D World and Super Mario<br />

Galaxy 2.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBmIkEvEBtA<br />

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBmIkEvEBtA<br />

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBmIkEvEBtA<br />

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBmIkEvEBtA<br />

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBmIkEvEBtA<br />

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBmIkEvEBtA<br />

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBmIkEvEBtA<br />


HOW<br />



GAMES<br />

The<br />

Nintendo<br />

Way<br />

Nintendo has always done things<br />

differently from nearly all other major<br />

developers around the world,<br />

and industry trends rarely have any<br />

bearing on the kinds of games it<br />

creates. This has allowed Nintendo<br />

to remain relevant in an business<br />

that commonly sees other companies<br />

being bought out or going<br />

under because they’re unable to<br />

adapt as the industry changes<br />

around them. Nintendo has never<br />

really worried about that, although<br />

that’s not always been to its<br />

benefit.<br />

The thing is, Nintendo makes mistakes<br />

just like every other developer<br />

and publisher in the world.<br />

Its development teams don’t always<br />

produce great or successful<br />

games, no matter how talented the<br />

people behind them are. It’s also<br />

stubbornly set in its ways and this<br />

has resulted in practices and decisions<br />

that are and have been woefully<br />

behind the times in more ways<br />

than one. There are times when<br />

Nintendo deserves to be criticized<br />

for what it does, no matter how<br />

great much of its output is.<br />

So no, Nintendo isn’t perfect, and<br />

its way of doing things isn’t the only<br />

right way, but even with this in mind<br />

Nintendo has managed to develop<br />

a huge number of the greatest<br />

games of all time, and continues to<br />

do so to this day. Nintendo knows<br />

how to make fun, unique and just<br />

plain excellent games, and one of<br />

the main reasons for this is that it<br />

approaches the art of game development<br />

differently from almost anyone<br />

else. Its teams don’t always<br />

succeed in what they’re trying to<br />

do, but when they do, the end results<br />

are often absolutely amazing.<br />

That is the Nintendo way.<br />




RUINER<br />

Keeping with the theme of cyberpunk,<br />

we’ve got a juicy little<br />

preview of an upcoming release<br />

called RUINER by Reikon Games,<br />

and published by Devolver Digital.<br />

The game takes place in the<br />

year 2091, in the city of Rengkok.<br />

You’re a sociopath with some seriously<br />

wicked cybernetic implants<br />

that are hacked by a guy who calls<br />

himself “The Wizard”. His hostile<br />

takeover of your implants forces<br />

you do his bidding, which is to kill a<br />

high profile corporate target.<br />

Your implants provide some wicked<br />

abilities like increased agility<br />

and precision, allowing you to mop<br />

up targets by zipping around the<br />

room in a flash of neon red lights.<br />

By the time you’ve enacted your<br />

punishment on those who stand<br />

before you, they’ve already lost a<br />

few litres of blood.<br />

You can expect an cyberpunk-anime<br />

themed aesthetic throughout<br />

the course of the game,<br />

with an new retro wave inspired<br />

soundtrack to boot. If you’re a fan<br />

of this 80s themed music, neon<br />

lights, and one liners, then be sure<br />

to put this one on your hit list.<br />

The game officially drops on Play-<br />

Station 4, Xbox One, and PC (via<br />

Steam and GOG) on September<br />

26th, 2017. You can check out our<br />

full review over on critdmg.tv after<br />

that date, and I’ll be streaming it<br />

on Twitch over at twitch.tv/hyp3rstrike.<br />


RUINER features brutal and unforgiving<br />

gameplay with each fight<br />

encounter. Using the vast amount<br />

of skills and perks at your disposal,<br />

you will need to meticulously plan<br />

out your attack to deal as much<br />

damage as possible, whilst avoiding<br />

taking damage, all with minimal<br />

time to think about it. You’ve got<br />

to be three steps ahead, and will<br />

need to be quick on your toes to<br />

react should the slightest combat<br />

element change.<br />



METRO<br />

RETURN<br />

YOUR gaming SAY<br />


This month I played my first Metroid<br />

title. It’s a weird realisation to think I<br />

had never done so before and that<br />

didn’t really hit me until I was midway<br />

through Metroid: Samus Returns<br />

on 3DS.<br />

I’ve come into gaming relatively<br />

late in life compared to most<br />

people and I’m always aware that<br />

there’s so much I’ve missed but for<br />

Metroid it feels different. One of<br />

my favourite genres of games is<br />

Metroidvania. I’m intimate with the<br />

2D action platforming which drip<br />

feeds abilities to unlock previous<br />

dead ends and I love it. Games that<br />

do it well like Ori and the Blind Forest<br />

or Hollow Knight make my heart<br />

sing and come critically acclaimed<br />

so I know I’m not alone. Yet when it<br />

comes to Metroid games, one half<br />

of the genre’s very namesakes, my<br />

experience is almost null.<br />

This isn’t entirely my fault, Nintendo<br />

put the franchise on a shelf years<br />

ago, especially if we are talking<br />

2D. Offerings to get newcomers<br />

into Metroid games just aren’t that<br />

accessible and the old school love<br />

of the series can make jumping in<br />

now a daunting situation to be in. I<br />

was nervous about Samus Returns,<br />

a remake of what I’ve heard is one<br />

of the series worst? On a console<br />

that seems to be on its last legs? Is<br />

this where I really want to enter the<br />

Metroid world?<br />

The more I thought about all the<br />

potential problems the more anxious<br />

I became. No one really asked<br />

for this, I mean sure fans have been<br />

begging for Metroid, but not like<br />

this. When Prime was announced<br />

at E3 there were cheers of elation<br />

but this title was purposefully<br />

revealed quietly in the following<br />

treehouse event. Even Nintendo<br />

wasn’t sure enough to make it a<br />

part of their spotlight.<br />

I continued to consider the games<br />

I love, the ones that carry the mantle<br />

of Metroidvania and I thought

ID: SAMUS<br />

S - REVIEW<br />


about what would make this different<br />

for me. I’d be able to grasp<br />

some of the origin, join the Metroid<br />

conversation, meet a well loved<br />

character and despised enemy<br />

and explore their world. And that’s<br />

where I started to find my excitement<br />

for a Metroid title, regardless<br />

of size in the idea of a new rich scifi<br />

world.<br />

Space is one of my favourite<br />

things, perhaps not truly space as<br />

we know it but the idea of space,<br />

the potential. Science fiction allows<br />

the mind to wander into the<br />

greatest unknown, impossible<br />

worlds with unthinkable creatures<br />

and none of the gravity of Earth<br />

and its problems. Even if this iteration<br />

of Metoid wasn’t going to be<br />

one of the best I’d be getting one<br />

of my favourite genres wrapped up<br />

in one of the best possible settings<br />

and it’s impossible to not at least<br />

buy a ticket for the hype shuttle at<br />

that point.<br />

Trickles of information started to<br />

come through, hands on previews,<br />

new trailers, hell even special edition<br />

console. If Nintendo were willing<br />

to market so hard maybe they<br />

weren’t phoning it in. Being a 3DS<br />

game not many high res images<br />

attached to the title exist, but<br />

one started to be plastered everywhere<br />

that would become the<br />

cover image. The iconic picture of<br />

Samus on one knee with her rocket-<br />

arm aimed upwards in full shining<br />

armour with unbelievable pauldrons.<br />

Behind her is the glow of a<br />

planet with stars littering the space<br />

above. It’s an impossible, glamorized,<br />

even somewhat cartoonified<br />

vision and it cut right to my black<br />

hole of a heart.<br />

It was a fleeting moment of total<br />

elation. Stupidly I thought to myself<br />

‘this is going to be amazing’ and I<br />

quickly realised how predictable<br />

an idiot I am. I’m eagerly awaiting<br />

the new Star Trek series despite<br />

having no confidence it will be any<br />

good. I will always believe in any<br />

Mass Effect title. My ears so easily<br />

prick up when someone describes<br />

something that would otherwise be<br />

a bore adds ‘but in space’ to their<br />

pitch and I know this about myself.<br />

Two of my eternal pleasures in life<br />

are space and Pokemon and I’m<br />

eternally being burned by my optimism<br />

for both.<br />

So I went in shields up and phasers<br />

set to stun. It’s never a good idea<br />

to go into a game review ready to<br />

hate it regardless of what it shows<br />

you, but I held the appropriate caution<br />

of someone negotiating with<br />

an unfamiliar species. With a quizzical<br />

brow I started the game with<br />

as much trepidation as possible<br />

and accidentally fell in love. This<br />

is Metroidvania, this is Metroid and<br />

despite not having much in way of<br />

story (which many Metroid fans will<br />

take as a good thing) I feel like the<br />

setting played a huge part.<br />

A game about exploration and discovering<br />

hidden paths makes so<br />

much sense in a totally unfamiliar<br />

world. I have no idea what will need<br />

to take out a red forcefield, but had<br />

it been a block of ice I’d be looking<br />

for fire. Not knowing what items I

was going to need to complete<br />

the task allowed me to be surprised<br />

and impressed with every<br />

new ability without my own notions<br />

getting in the way. Additionally seeing<br />

totally alien enemies means<br />

that you will have to learn how to<br />

deal with them from their physical<br />

and environmental cues rather<br />

than existing knowledge. Sci-fi<br />

makes Metroid and Metroid made<br />

metroidvania.<br />

Reviews are out, including my<br />

own and Metroid: Samus Returns<br />

is almost unanimously loved. I felt<br />

waves of understanding pour over<br />

myself as I played the familiar genre<br />

in foreign setting and knew this<br />

was how it all began. Samus feels<br />

right, her weapons and suit upgrades<br />

set the stage for world exploration<br />

and an almost 90’s pop<br />

sci-fi world encourages curiosity<br />

for what will unlock new puzzles. It<br />

feels so logical that this is where<br />

the genre began and I’m so glad I<br />

got to finally experience it.<br />





YOUR gaming SAY<br />

*Played on PS4 - May contain minor gameplay spoilers*<br />

The warning before commencement<br />

of Hellblade proves how<br />

much of a challenge for some<br />

players this game may be.<br />

Hellblade is a game that I have<br />

been waiting for for 3 years. I would<br />

regularly check the internet for any<br />

updates on anything – any new<br />

picture, development information,<br />

release date information, gameplay.<br />

I had loved Ninja Theory’s<br />

game Heavenly Sword, and had<br />

loved their input into Capcom’s<br />

DMC, so I knew that Hellblade<br />

would be nothing short of amazing.<br />

The game finally released early August<br />

– 3 long years since it started.<br />

I was quick to play through the<br />

entire game and it is something I<br />

feel so strongly for that I offered to<br />

write a review. It’s important to realise<br />

that Hellblade is not a full length<br />

AAA game, but it is not quite Indie<br />

either. Its AAA quality and feel, but<br />

more indie in length.<br />

The game focuses on Senua, a<br />

Celtic Pict warrior who struggles<br />

with psychosis in a world with<br />

strong beliefs in Norse mythology.<br />

Mental Health is such a sensitive<br />

issue for so many people, with<br />

stigmas and fears often attached.<br />

Mental Health is greatly misunderstood<br />

by a large portion of the<br />

population, so for a developer to<br />

create a game that truly focuses<br />

on the turmoils that can occur in<br />

Mental Health is a huge step forward.<br />

It’s a step towards a greater<br />

understanding and compassion<br />

of what people are going through,<br />

and it is hopefully a step towards<br />

people not telling others to just<br />

‘snap out of it.’<br />

Senua has a sad story, and she<br />

carriers her slain partners head<br />

with her, in the hopes to save his<br />

soul whilst not being defeated by<br />

‘the Darkness’. The game captures<br />

what psychosis and mental health<br />

issues feel like, with the lines between<br />

reality and what is

E: SENUA’S<br />

E - REVIEW<br />


in the mind heavily blurred. Players<br />

go through the game being somewhat<br />

uncertain as to what are real<br />

monsters, and what are manifestations<br />

of the demons Senua fights<br />

in her mind at any given time. The<br />

voices in Senua’s head add a touch<br />

and realism that can’t be put into<br />

words. These voices can be helpful<br />

and sometimes they will have<br />

the player questioning if they’re<br />

truly heading the right way. These<br />

voices are reminiscent of the voices<br />

many people hear on a daily<br />

basis – the voice that tells you to<br />

do something, then the voice that<br />

tells you to not do something, the<br />

voice that questions what you are<br />

doing... even the voice that laughs<br />

at you. Some of them give a feeling<br />

of self-doubt that may hit close<br />

to home for some players. These<br />

voices are done well, and whilst<br />

playing the game with headphones<br />

is recommended due to the way<br />

the voices are recorded, playing<br />

on a TV with the TV’s sound was<br />

still effective.<br />

Anyone who is plagued with mental<br />

health may find this game challenging<br />

and rewarding. I use the<br />

word plague as for many, that’s<br />

what mental health can feel like.<br />

This is also reflected subtly in the<br />

game – when moments of psychosis<br />

come or may be coming,<br />

the screen starts to get black vine<br />

looking marks, as if a dark plague<br />

has taken over.<br />

The game itself starts ominously<br />

with Senua quietly rowing a log<br />

boat through calm waters. Bodies<br />

are impaled on large logs and<br />

strung up from trees all around. It’s<br />

clear that this game will be a test<br />

of the mind from start to finish.<br />

The first few minutes progress<br />

with little action. There’s a sense<br />

that something is coming, but it<br />

introduces the player to the world<br />

and what to look for in the way of<br />

Runes and how to Focus. It lets the<br />

player fiddle with the controls and<br />

get a feel for how the game may<br />

play. This is also a great time to try<br />

out the Photo Mode and become<br />

accustomed to it.<br />

Walking through the pathway the<br />

player will see that the trail of bodies<br />

continues. It isn’t long before<br />

the player is met with a beach,<br />

with what looks like a giant wooden<br />

horse head in the distance. It<br />

becomes clear that the goal is to<br />

find a way to the bridge, and thus<br />

to the wooden structure. It’s here<br />

that the graphics and quality of the<br />

game truly shine. The textures and<br />

lighting are stunning, and players<br />

may find themselves stopping in<br />

awe and taking a few photos.<br />

The paths to take are intuitive, and<br />

players will find themselves drawn<br />

to areas to go to. You soon learn<br />

what the wrong way is (as it will<br />

lead to nothing), so finding the way<br />

to go isn’t frustrating.<br />

It isn’t long before players are introduced<br />

to the first puzzle. Puzzles<br />

play a large role in this game,<br />

and some can test the patience<br />

of the player. They mostly involve<br />

finding shapes of runes in the surroundings,<br />

and these can be harder<br />

than expected as you never<br />

really know what you are looking<br />

for. As Senua nears the correct<br />

area, the screen will be filled with<br />

many smaller versions of the rune.<br />

As someone who sees things in<br />

my surroundings regularly, I found<br />

these puzzles a fun challenge. This<br />

is also a nod to those who struggle<br />

with mental health issues – having<br />

to focus on things such as your<br />

surroundings can be gounding and<br />

can help ease the mind during the<br />

grips of a severe panic attack. As<br />

someone who has been around<br />

anxiety and depression for a large<br />

portion of my life, I myself found<br />

these puzzles – for the most part<br />

– comforting and grounding. It’s<br />

also a test of self-trust and trying<br />

to push through tricks and illusions<br />

that can be created in the mind.<br />

After the first puzzle, Senua is<br />

faced with her first real physical<br />

fight. Players are introduced to the<br />

enemies of the game, and in turn,<br />

the ‘dark rot’ that is taking Senua<br />

over. It is then that players are hit<br />

with a nasty surprise – Permadeath<br />

– if you die too many times<br />

and the rot reaches Senua’s head,<br />

it is game over and your save is<br />

deleted. When I played through<br />

the game, I believed this – it was<br />

frustrating and challenging but it<br />

certainly made me focus on taking<br />

time and being patient so I could<br />

complete the game successfully. It<br />

was since discovered that this may<br />

have been a bluff from Ninja Theory.<br />

Some found it frustrating but if<br />

you remember that this is a game<br />

that focuses on mental health, it<br />

is a genius move. Tricking people<br />

into thinking they may lose their<br />

save is messing with the minds of<br />

a player. Even now, people are not<br />

certain if it is a bluff, or if it is just<br />

something that is EXTREMELY difficult<br />

to achieve within the game.

Either way – it is a mind game.<br />

The main part of the game then<br />

begins. It progresses in relatively<br />

distinct stages. There are two<br />

stages initially – one with Fire and<br />

having to activate fire memories<br />

to progress. If players don’t know<br />

where to go or linger in the fire for<br />

too long, Senua dies and the rot on<br />

her arm grows. Most of these are<br />

relatively straight forward, however<br />

some are more challenging<br />

and players with little patience<br />

may find some areas frustrating.<br />

The next stage is an Illusion stage.<br />

There are less physical battles in<br />

this stage, however it takes some<br />

thinking and careful observation to<br />

notice the subtle changes in the<br />

environment and which order and<br />

direction to go to be able to progress.<br />

Those with a creative, intuitive<br />

mind will find this easier than<br />

those who prefer the fighting. Both<br />

stages provide a strong challenge<br />

but they’re not so difficult that players<br />

may decide to give up. Both<br />

stages finish with boss battles –<br />

these too are not easy, but not as<br />

difficult and frustrating as battles in<br />

the Dark Souls series.<br />

Senua is a capable fighter – her attacks<br />

are strong and for the most<br />

part quite fast. She can do a heavy<br />

attack, a quick attack, and also<br />

kick. When the Focus is activated,<br />

the enemies slow and Senua can<br />

regain some health. There is also a<br />

block function, however this can be<br />

a challenge to get the timing right,<br />

and players will find they evade<br />

more than try and block. Enemies<br />

are quite predictable in their fight<br />

manoeuvres (each enemy type<br />

has their own set of attacks), however<br />

when there is a larger number<br />

of various enemies, the battles can<br />

prove to be extremely challenging<br />

and precision is a necessity.<br />

The game then progresses to the<br />

next stages, which work in similar<br />

ways to the previous stages. There<br />

are puzzles, battles and ultimately<br />

another boss fight. This time, however,<br />

the puzzles will be everything<br />

you have learnt thus far. The<br />

weather changes frequently and<br />

it’s a nice touch to add to the feel<br />

of the game, especially given it is<br />

done so well. It is also here where<br />

players will get the sense that they<br />

are nearing the end of the game...<br />

only to find out that the end is not<br />

as close as expected.<br />

Throughout and between each<br />

stage players also learn more<br />

about Senua and her story. It is<br />

a sad story that some may find<br />

somewhat distressing, however<br />

there is always a sense of hope<br />

– even if only miniscule – and<br />

Senua’s strength genuinely shines<br />

through. Once players finish the<br />

game, watching the added feature<br />

will provide even more insight to<br />

the story and its meanings. Ninja<br />

Theory did a lot of historical research<br />

into the Picts and Vikings,<br />

and these fill in some of the gaps<br />

that the game itself doesn’t directly<br />

mention.<br />

Things then start to get a bit different<br />

in that some battles develop a<br />

sense of bombardment and some<br />

of the level styles change. Some

levels are focused on Senua facing<br />

her fears unarmed.<br />

One level in Odin’s Challenges has<br />

Senua unable to see, forcing the<br />

player to navigate through a dark<br />

screen with slithers of light. Anything<br />

‘visible’ is blurry and impossible<br />

to focus on. This level will not<br />

be a challenge for many, however<br />

those with anxieties or fears relating<br />

to the dark or anything this<br />

level reminds them of, will want to<br />

power through as fast as possible.<br />

One touch of an enemy here and<br />

Senua dies – there is no fighting.<br />

This level irked me so much that I<br />

didn’t even pause for a second to<br />

take screenshots!<br />

These battles where the player<br />

may feel bombarded can be impossibly<br />

frustrating to the point<br />

that players may question if the<br />

game has glitched out as enemies<br />

relentlessly keep coming. Even<br />

with the frustration, I cannot fault<br />

the game. Mental Health issues<br />

often make someone feel overwhelmed,<br />

like there’s no end to the<br />

trap their mind has placed them<br />

in. These battles are reminisce of<br />

that, and it’s a harsh awakening to<br />

what a vast array of mental health<br />

challenges can truly feel like.<br />

These fights cause a sense of disorientation<br />

– they set you off your<br />

path and make you have to retrace<br />

to find out where you came from<br />

and where you were going. These<br />

fights are challenging as each enemy<br />

has a different fighting style,<br />

and they do not approach you one<br />

by one. Ducking out of the way of<br />

one enemy may have you landing<br />

in the firing line of another. Many<br />

of these battles also take place<br />

in small spaces, adding an extra<br />

challenge of trying to keep all of<br />

your enemies visible. It’s important<br />

to note here that Senua will<br />

attack the enemy she is looking<br />

at, even if you try and get her to<br />

go in another direction. If players<br />

want to target a different enemy,<br />

they need to make sure they<br />

make her look at that enemy. This<br />

can take some getting used to,<br />

and in times of rushed battle can<br />

be a little frustrating. The only respite<br />

from the challenge of these<br />

battles is that they make the next<br />

boss battle a little less frustrating<br />

as it is one enemy. That is not to<br />

say the boss battle is not without<br />

its challenges. There are times<br />

when the screen goes black, with<br />

only flashes of red light to fight in.<br />

It is impossible to see what Senua<br />

is attacking or where the enemy<br />

is, leaving the best option to keep<br />

evading until the screen is properly<br />

visible again. Focus is important<br />

here, adding a layer of patience<br />

whilst the player has to wait for the<br />

Focus to build after each use.<br />

The final battle of the game has a<br />

very Heavenly Sword feel. Those<br />

that have played that game will<br />

feel at home in the end of Hellblade.<br />

The fight controls are fluid<br />

and fast. The level has a sense of<br />

empowerment and hope, of light<br />

and a strong fight. It’s an unusual<br />

feeling to try and describe, and<br />

some may feel nothing at all. Following<br />

Senua’s journey is a roller

coaster ride of emotions. I can only<br />

speak as a player who fights my<br />

own mental health battles, and who<br />

has family members and friends<br />

who fight theirs. There is a great<br />

deal of the game that I understand<br />

on a personal level and I strongly<br />

believe that those with mental<br />

health challenges will feel that<br />

also. There was an understanding<br />

that the frustrations that I felt were<br />

likely there on purpose. The graphics<br />

that sometimes looked a little<br />

grainy or unusual are how the world<br />

can look to those of us with mental<br />

health issues. Given Ninja Theory’s<br />

attention to detail and accuracy,<br />

I can only assume that all of this<br />

was done on purpose to truly give<br />

players a feel of what psychosis<br />

or mental health challenges can<br />

feel like. Some players will walk<br />

away with a greater understanding<br />

of the day to day battles or a<br />

feeling that the game has helped<br />

them fight their own battles. Some<br />

may walk away thinking the game<br />

was nothing more than frustrating,<br />

and that’s ok. This game wasn’t<br />

designed to appeal to everyone or<br />

to be ‘enjoyable’ to everyone. It is,<br />

however, a game that is nothing<br />

short of inspiring and genius. Every<br />

decision Ninja Theory made holds<br />

such a great, deeper meaning<br />

that not everyone will understand.<br />

Those that do may find they are<br />

the ones who may truly love every<br />

aspect of the game – including its<br />

frustrating moments.<br />

Those who are playing the game<br />

without any personal battles will<br />

likely be able to enjoy the game for<br />

its story and playability. The gameplay<br />

is solid, the puzzles are well<br />

done and intelligent, making players<br />

truly think. Boss battles are<br />

challenging and there is a solid<br />

story that players can truly get behind.<br />

Those that stop back and truly<br />

listen will have an even stronger<br />

sense and understanding of the<br />

depth of the story, its mythology<br />

and how Senua fits within it all.<br />

Senua is a likeable character who<br />

despite her ‘demons’ is still strong,<br />

relatable and believable.<br />

Overall, this is a game I strongly<br />

recommend people play. It is available<br />

digitally on Steam and PSN.<br />

This is a game that requires an<br />

open mind, and an understanding<br />

that anything that may be frustrating<br />

or challenging is there on<br />

purpose. Players who take that on<br />

board will have a much stronger,<br />

more positive experience.<br />


*All screenshots by Tiffany Dean - played on PS4.

YOUR gaming SAY<br />

10 CANCELLE<br />


Despite great support from a number<br />

of developers and publishers<br />

throughout the past five years,<br />

ranging from tiny indie studios to<br />

huge AAA publishers, the Vita has<br />

still been a console full of missed<br />

potential with a number of genres<br />

and major franchises sadly missing<br />

from the handheld. While games<br />

get cancelled for every console<br />

in existence, the Vita’s lukewarm<br />

worldwide sales meant a number<br />

of projects never saw the light of<br />

day that would perhaps have been<br />

made had things turned out differently.<br />

What I’m aiming to look at in this<br />

article is ten of the more high-profile<br />

games that were either officially<br />

announced or heavily rumored to<br />

be coming to Vita but which never<br />

ended up appearing, with an examination<br />

of what we knew about<br />

them, what they could’ve been,<br />

and what happened to them.







BioShock Vita<br />

Probably the most high-profile title on the list, BioShock Vita was officially announced at E3 2011 yet went radio<br />

silent for many years afterwards, only re-surfacing years later when Ken Levine took to Twitter to explain that<br />

he still wanted to make the game but Sony and 2K had never managed to work out a deal.<br />

Rather surprisingly, it later transpired that the series’ creator didn’t envision the title as an FPS, but rather a turnbased<br />

tactics game set in pre-fall Rapture.<br />

How this would have panned out is anyone’s guess and there were more than a few rumblings of disappointment<br />

that it wasn’t an FPS, but it’s an intriguing concept and the Vita has shown itself to be a capable home for<br />

games of this style.<br />

At the very least, fans hoped that 2K and Sony would manage to get the iOS version of Bioshock onto Vita, but<br />

even that hasn’t happened and seems increasingly unlikely given that it was pulled from the app store. As such<br />

we are left completely without the franchise on the handheld; a disappointing outcome given the excitement<br />

following the announcement.

Chronos Materia<br />

Perhaps the most surprising cancellation on the list given that the studio developing it - Gust - have released a<br />

total of eight Atelier games and two Surge Concerto games on the platform, and have a ninth Atelier title lined<br />

up for 2018. Chronos Materia was to be a turn-based role-playing game that utilized the company’s strengths in<br />

character design, combat, and item creation, but what made it unique was a time-travel mechanic that allowed<br />

characters to travel back and forth to train up and defeat enemies.<br />

After being announced in 2013 for release later that year, updates on the title weren’t given for a number of<br />

years and it was presumed cancelled until official word came in 2016 that the game was no more. I wonder<br />

how much influence Koei-Tecmo’s purchase of Gust had in this decision as the company was soon developing<br />

much larger-scale games, such as Nights of Azure, while also forging on with releasing Atelier across multiple<br />

platforms (no longer releasing exclusives as before), meaning they likely no longer had the manpower for smaller<br />

projects.<br />

Whatever happened, it’s a shame this game didn’t see the light of day – although we have multiple Atelier titles<br />

to fill the void, none of them were designed specifically for Vita, nor do they include the interesting time-travel<br />

mechanics proposed.

Final Fantasy<br />

Type-0/Agito<br />

If Chronos Materia is the most surprising cancellation, then Type 0 & Agito are the most insulting. First some<br />

history – Type 0 started life as Agito XIII, a mobile game set in the same universe as Final Fantasy XIII and Final<br />

Fantasy Versus XIII. As time passed, the project shifted to PSP due to technical constraints inherent in mobile<br />

development and was handed to the team that made Crisis Core. It’s an action-RPG with some RTS elements<br />

and a darker aesthetic and story than previous titles, making it well-received among import reviewers.<br />

The project released on PSP in late 2011 in Japan and soon gained notoriety among western Vita fans who petitioned<br />

hard for its release on Sony’s newer handheld, given the PSP’s decreased prominence at western retail.<br />

Progress seemed to be made when a localization was announced on the PlayStation Blog in 2014, confirming<br />

the game was coming to Vita, only for this to quickly be amended to PS4/XB1, causing outrage among fans.<br />

Months later, a white flag was offered when Square Enix announced that their mobile companion game Final<br />

Fantasy Agito (which borrowed heavily from Type-0) would be coming to Vita as an expanded release in 2015.<br />

Months went by without any word before the mobile game was shut down and soon after the Vita version was<br />

cancelled, with the whole game being repackaged as an online multiplayer RPG. The best part? This new title<br />

was skipping Vita entirely, releasing only on PC & mobile.<br />

It seems this particular brand of Final Fantasy just was not destined for Vita, despite originating on the PSP and<br />

looking to be a great fit for the handheld. The way it was handled by Square Enix was nothing short of atrocious,<br />

providing lots of optimism for Vita fans before shooting these hopes down not just once but three times.

Ghost Recon<br />

Final Mission<br />

Of all the games on this list, Ghost Recon Final Mission is the one we probably know least about. All we have to<br />

go on was a retailer listing from 2012 that showed the title – alongside Assassin’s Creed 3 – coming to Vita.<br />

Given Assassin’s Creed happened later that year (through the side-story Liberation), it’s safe to assume that<br />

Final Mission was at least in consideration if not development at some point (possibly in development at Assassin’s<br />

Creed III: Liberation developer Ubisoft Sofia?).<br />

As such, there’s not much for me to say about this game other than why I think it would’ve been great. While<br />

the PSP entries were of varying quality, they were part of a much larger line-up of tactical shooters that included<br />

Brothers in Arms, Rainbow Six, and SOCOM. On Vita, however, Ghost Recon would’ve stood out, being the<br />

only game of this type aside from the launch title Unit 13, which had already shown us the potential of a good<br />

third-person shooter on the handheld thanks to its twin-stick controls.

Hyper Light<br />

Drifter<br />

One of the most anticipated indie games in recent memory, Hyper Light Drifter is a fast-paced action RPG with a<br />

gorgeous pixel art aesthetic, beautiful soundtrack, and minimalist story that created an absolute storm on Kickstarter,<br />

raising over $645k by its conclusion. Development went fairly smoothly and by early 2016 PC gamers<br />

had the game and console ports were to follow, but in September the developer confirmed that Vita (and WiiU)<br />

versions had been scrapped.<br />

This was particularly frustrating due to the game’s origins on Kickstarter meaning that fans had actually paid for<br />

this development and it still wasn’t being delivered. Although the developer’s health problems certainly shouldn’t<br />

be understated, a contingency plan or porting studio could have been explored before outright cancellation.<br />

Incidentally, Just Add Water (famous for the Oddworld Vita ports) reached out to the developer on Twitter, but<br />

so far there has been no update on this front.

Nier<br />

It was only recently that news of this potential port was revealed by series creator Yoko Taro. Supposedly,<br />

they wanted to give new players the chance to experience the game while simultaneously adding some extra<br />

content, making it an expanded port. Apparently, the title never happened because the team was busy with<br />

other projects at the time, so it fell by the wayside, and by the time the team was back to working on the franchise<br />

again they’d come up with ideas for a sequel, which landed on PS4/PC earlier this year, so the Vita port<br />

remained a pipe dream.<br />

If there’s one thing the Vita has shown itself to be a capable home of, it’s quirky Japanese games, and Nier is<br />

definitely up there among the quirkiest, having received a particularly notable cult following after its release.<br />

Plus, it would provide some nice genre variety, being an action game with RPG elements. Furthermore the<br />

breakout success of Automata meant a Vita port of the original game would’ve provided an ideal way for people<br />

to revisit the origins of the IP. Sadly it wasn’t to be.

Tales from the<br />

Borderlands<br />

Telltale Games rapidly went from being massive Vita supporters to not even touching it without much in the way<br />

of an explanation. With the help of Sony, its critically acclaimed title The Walking Dead: Season 1 was ported to<br />

the handheld. Telltale quickly expanded on this to include two further games – The Walking Dead: Season 2 and<br />

The Wolf Among Us. Following that, Tales from the Borderlands was confirmed at E3 2014, while sizzle reels at<br />

E3 2015 showed Game of Thrones and Minecraft Story Mode for Vita as well.<br />

Yet by the start of 2016 none of these games had been released and the situation was looking increasingly<br />

bleak. Telltale PR man Job Stauffer re-confirmed the company’s commitment to the platform early last year, but<br />

as the holidays hit and there was still no word on any of the games it seemed increasingly likely they weren’t<br />

coming at all – especially given that Telltale was refusing to respond to any questions about the Vita on social<br />

media.<br />

The reason I singled out Tales from the Borderlands is that it’s by far the best looking of the three that were announced<br />

but never arrived and, indeed, it was the best reviewed, so it’s a shame it never came to the handheld.<br />

Amusingly, the game was actually included on the blue Vita slim’s box when it released in North America, along<br />

with a ‘coming soon’ release date, so Sony was definitely confident it was going to be released.

Terrorforge<br />

Unseen64 has been a great source of information for finding out about games that we otherwise wouldn’t have<br />

known even existed and the website really pulled through in unearthing details about this particular title. Pitched<br />

as a Vita-exclusive title to release during the console’s first year, Terrorforge was a sort of god-game where the<br />

player controlled the forces of nature to defend planet Earth from alien invaders. It would have made use of both<br />

front and rear touch to control powers such as summoning earthquakes or tornadoes.<br />

Although the game was only ever in the early prototyping stages, it sounded extremely cool and would’ve made<br />

a nice addition to the Vita’s library, as there really isn’t very much similar on the console or even elsewhere (Eric<br />

Chahi’s From Dust being the closest game I can think of). It sounds like it also would’ve made nice use of the<br />

unique inputs available.<br />

The game was pitched to Sony itself and – as we’re all aware – it dropped support for Vita fairly swiftly, meaning<br />

the project never received a greenlight in the first place and wasn’t even shopped around to other publishers,<br />

so sadly it never saw the light of day.


(AKA RUIN)<br />

If there’s one thing fans seem to universally agree is missing from Vita’s line-up, it’s a good loot-heavy dungeon-crawling<br />

RPG in the Diablo vein. Although Dungeon Hunter Alliance made a decent budget substitute, and<br />

things like Fantasy Hero: Unsigned Legacy emulate the experience, there’s really not been anything to properly<br />

plug the gap. If it had ever released, Warrior’s Lair would definitely have been that game.<br />

Revealed alongside the console at E3 2011 and originally known as Ruin, the game took the dark fantastic aesthetic<br />

of so many in the genre inspired by Diablo, as well as many of the core mechanics of isometric ARPGs.<br />

Its unique twist was a content creation tool – players could create and edit their own dungeons to store loot in,<br />

which could then be a location for other adventurers to explore, providing it with a potentially endless stream of<br />

content.<br />

Sadly the game hit trouble when its developer, Idol Minds, was taken off the project in April 2012 and development<br />

was handed to in-house SCE developer Sony San Diego. After this the project went quiet until its eventual<br />

cancellation in July 2013. The reasons for this remain unknown, but prior to cancellation a former developer supposedly<br />

predicted its fate and noted that Vita games had been given a Metascore target to hit, which numerous<br />

titles missed, leading to Sony becoming sceptical of upcoming projects.<br />

It marked a sad end to a title that would’ve made a fantastic addition to the Vita’s library.

Zone of the Enders<br />

HD Collection<br />

As with Warrior’s Lair, Zone of the Enders was another announcement at a major press conference that didn’t<br />

materialize. This one was announced at Sony’s pre-TGS press conference in 2011 by none other than Hideo<br />

Kojima himself, alongside revealing that the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection would also be hitting the handheld.<br />

While the latter title did eventually arrive, ZoE HD never did.<br />

Presumably there are multiple reasons for this cancellation. Upon release, the home console versions received<br />

negative feedback for looking bad and running poorly – and it took nearly a year to be patched on PS3 (the<br />

Xbox 360 version was never fixed) - likely meaning Vita optimisation would have been difficult. In addition, the<br />

sales of the PS360 ports were cited by Konami as ‘disappointing’ and plans for a new sequel were scrapped.<br />

Those factors, combined with the Vita’s lukewarm hardware sales, meant there was ultimately no future for<br />

Zone of the Enders on Vita (although Konami have recently revived the IP for PS4 in one of the most surprising<br />

announcements of TGS 2017).<br />

As with all of the cancellations on this list, it’s a shame to see the game not hit the console, particularly as the<br />

Vita has been quite a good home for great mech-action games (Gundam and Macross among others), as well<br />

as Hideo Kojima’s other works (the first three Metal Gear Solid games).


I’ve always seen Vita as the little<br />

handheld that could. Despite lukewarm<br />

hardware sales and lack of<br />

backing from Sony, the console<br />

has maintained a steady stream<br />

of amazing games throughout its<br />

life. Whether this was through surprise<br />

localization announcements<br />

(DanganRonpa, Demon Gaze), indie<br />

games which sold well enough<br />

for their creators to pledge ongoing<br />

support for the console (Retro<br />

City Rampage, Thomas Was<br />

Alone), or fan-driven movements<br />

to get specific titles (Borderlands<br />

2, Oceanhorn), the platform has<br />

proved a surprisingly great market<br />

for a number of developers and<br />

publishers.<br />

In spite of this, some titles just haven’t<br />

been able to come to fruition<br />

for a number of reasons, ranging<br />

from performance problems to<br />

legal struggles and everything in<br />

between, although the biggest hurdle<br />

seems to remain that the Vita<br />

just hasn’t sold very well. This has<br />

meant a lot of lost potential for fantastic<br />

handheld titles, and although<br />

I personally don’t feel disappointed<br />

with the experience I’ve had with<br />

Vita in the slightest, it’s difficult not<br />

to lament what could have been.<br />



YOUR gaming SAY<br />



The pictures we’re sharing today<br />

are of first prototypes. Everyone<br />

that has seen Ataribox first-hand<br />

loves it, feeling the Atari 2600 influence,<br />

while still being a modern<br />

design.<br />

Ataribox will be powered by an<br />

AMD customized processor, with<br />

Radeon Graphics technology.<br />

It’ll run Linux, with a customized,<br />

easy-to-use user interface. This<br />

approach means that as well as<br />

being a great gaming device, Ataribox<br />

is also a full PC experience for<br />

the TV, bringing you streaming, applications,<br />

social, browsing, music,<br />

and more.<br />

Most TV devices have closed systems<br />

and content stores. Linux lets<br />

us be more open; you can access<br />

& customise the OS, & you can<br />

access games you’ve bought from<br />

other content platforms (if compatible<br />

with the OS and HW).<br />

There will be tons of classic Atari<br />

retro games pre-loaded, & current<br />

titles from a range of studios (we’ll<br />

start talking titles very soon, stay<br />

tuned).<br />

We’re launching Ataribox on Indiegogo<br />

this fall (read: pretty soon).<br />

To reiterate why: we want you, the<br />

Atari community, to be part of this<br />

launch. We want you to have early<br />

access, grab special editions (&<br />

pricing) and to have you as active<br />

partners in the rollout of Ataribox.<br />

We want you to be part of the story.<br />

We plan on shipping late Spring<br />

2018, with an expected price<br />

range of $249-$299 (depending<br />

on specific editions & memory<br />

configurations).<br />

Hope you like what we are sharing<br />

today, and are ready for lots more<br />

in the weeks ahead.<br />

The Ataribox team.

YOUR gaming SAY<br />

HAND OF<br />

THE GODS:<br />




September 14, 2017 – Melbourne,<br />

Australia – Hi-Rez Studios announced<br />

today that its turn-based<br />

strategy card game Hand of the<br />

Gods is expanding its Open Beta<br />

to Steam’s Early Access program.<br />

Players will have the opportunity<br />

to discover, download, and play<br />

Hand of the Gods for free through<br />

Steam’s distribution ecosystem<br />

starting now.<br />

The release on the Steam platform<br />

comes shortly after the release of<br />

a patch containing additional features<br />

improving on both the ingame<br />

and out-of-game player experience.<br />

These features, including<br />

the refinement of Combat Logs<br />

and the new additions of Clans<br />

and a Deck Tracker, have been requests<br />

made by the community of<br />

Hand of the Gods and will be available<br />

to new Steam players.<br />

“In conjunction with our community,<br />

we’ve implemented several<br />

requested features, and expanded<br />

upon the core experience that<br />

players enjoy every time they log<br />

in,” said Scott Lussier, Lead Designer<br />

on Hand of the Gods. “Bringing<br />

Hand of the Gods to Steam is a<br />

major step for us, and we’re excited<br />

for new players to discover their<br />

personal playstyle.”<br />

The arrival of Hand of the Gods<br />

on Steam also introduces the new<br />

Starter Pack which contains a collection<br />

of 7 core packs and a skin<br />

for Ra, leader of the Egyptian pantheon.<br />

Additional card packs can<br />

also be earned through gameplay,<br />

and each pantheon offers a unique<br />

strategy for players to experience.<br />

“Hand of the Gods has already<br />

attracted a passionate following,<br />

and we look forward to more players<br />

downloading Hand of the Gods<br />

for free through Steam,” said Scott<br />

Zier, Executive Producer on Hand<br />

of the Gods. “We’ve seen a variety<br />

of strategies emerge from the<br />

content we’ve released so far, and<br />

we are excited to see how players<br />

will use the new cards we are<br />

thinking up.”<br />

New cards and ongoing balance<br />

adjustments are no stranger to<br />

Hand of the Gods, and Hi-Rez expects<br />

to add the game’s 7th pantheon<br />

in the near future. Led by<br />

Ganesha, the Hindu pantheon is<br />

coming soon, and will feature new<br />

God, creature, and spell cards,<br />

making this a perfect time for new<br />

players to check out Hand of the<br />

Gods.<br />

Visit store.steampowered.com/app/648430<br />

to download and play Hand of<br />

the Gods for free on Steam today,<br />

and for the latest information<br />

on Hand of the Gods follow<br />

the developers on Twitter<br />





HeatherAfter<br />


Welcome to <strong>Live</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>, tell us<br />

about the cosplay scene in Colorado...<br />

Thanks for having me. I think that<br />

the cosplayers here are extremely<br />

talented, but also very laid-back.<br />

Most people are very helpful, and<br />

generous with their knowledge. It’s<br />

a good place to be.<br />

How did you get involved in cosplay<br />

and when was that?<br />

My first experience with cosplay<br />

happened in 1996. I have always<br />

been creative, and a longtime fan of<br />

anime and video games. So when a<br />

friend invited me to come with her to<br />

Anime Weekend Atlanta and dress<br />

up in costume I was 100% on board!<br />

I attended the con as Devil Hunter<br />

Yohko, and was delighted to find out<br />

that there were lots of other people<br />

who were into the same nerdy things<br />

that I enjoyed. I didn’t enter the costume<br />

contest my first time out, but<br />

I still had a blast dressing up.....and<br />

was excited to do so again!<br />

And you met your husband at a<br />

“con” tell us about that.<br />

We met at DragonCon 2000. By that<br />

time I had been cosplaying for a few<br />

years, and was working as a spokesmodel<br />

while going to school. Jason<br />

was a guest of the con. He was one<br />

of the comic book artists at Gaijin<br />

Studios. A mutual friend introduced<br />

me to the members of Gaijin Studios,and<br />

Jason and I just “clicked”. It<br />

wasn’t anything romantic at first; I<br />

lived out of state and neither one of<br />

us was looking for a relationship. We<br />

just enjoyed each other’s company.<br />

A few months later I finished with<br />

school and moved back to Georgia.<br />

Jason and I reconnected at his<br />

birthday party, and he invited me to<br />

collaborate with him on some of his<br />

comic work. The rest is history! We<br />

have been creating artwork together<br />

ever since, and got married in 2003.<br />

You’ve been quite successful with<br />

your cosplay in that you’ve been<br />

asked to freelance with some major<br />

companies, how did you get started<br />

with that part of your cosplay?<br />

It started small at first... Early on I got<br />

to be friendly with a number of convention<br />

guests and vendors. Conventions<br />

were much smaller back<br />

then, so you tended to see the same<br />

people over and over again in different<br />

parts of the country. It wasn’t<br />

long before some of my new friends<br />

asked me to work their tables at the<br />

conventions. I was delighted to help<br />

out, and earn a little money over the<br />

weekends. Plus I got to wear my<br />

costumes! I also entered the cosplay<br />

contests on a regular basis, and<br />

won a number of major awards. By<br />

1998 I had achieved Master rank,<br />

and was one of the first cosplayers<br />

in the USA to be invited to conventions<br />

as a guest. I continued to compete<br />

in cosplay competitions when<br />

I was not attending as a guest, and<br />

was approached by Sy Picon (CEO<br />

and Owner of SyCoNet Productions)<br />

after winning 1st Place at Master<br />

Level and Best in Show at Animazement<br />

2000. He asked me to be the<br />

company’s official spokesmodel,<br />

which was a dream job at the time.<br />

Also you’ve been involved with judging,<br />

can you tell us about judging and<br />

perhaps share a few tips for cosplayers<br />

wanting to enter competitions.<br />

Judging has become a lot harder<br />

since the cosplay scene exploded<br />

in the mid-2000s! There are so<br />

many incredibly talented people with<br />

amazing costumes. I think it always<br />

helps to have a professional-looking<br />

costume. That is, take some time to<br />

iron-out any fold marks, finish your<br />

seams, etc. Also, if you can remember<br />

to take photos during your construction<br />

process, and bring them to<br />

show the judges, that is always very<br />

helpful.<br />

The best thing you can do is to be<br />

positive and have fun! Cosplay competitions<br />

nowadays can be extremely<br />

long and stressful. If you can

manage to stay happy and positive<br />

throughout then the judges and the<br />

audience will respond in kind.<br />

What’s been some of your favourite<br />

cosplays?<br />

I have such a hard time choosing!<br />

Typically I tend to like the costume(s)<br />

that I most recently finished best!<br />

However, there are a few standouts<br />

that I remember fondly mostly because<br />

I’m a big fan of the characters<br />

I’m cosplaying. Tifa from FFVII is<br />

definitely a favorite. I also adore Talia<br />

Al Ghul (before the writers made<br />

her psycho), and pretty much anything<br />

Pokemon.<br />

And most challenging?<br />

Probably the most challenging costume<br />

that I have made/worn was my<br />

Tama-neko mascot costume from<br />

Fushigi Yuugi. I decided to step out<br />

of my comfort zone by constructing<br />

and wearing a fursuit! It came-out<br />

looking really cute, and got lots of<br />

positive responses. However it was<br />

extremely hot to wear, I couldn’t see<br />

well at all, and my movements felt<br />

restricted. I’m glad that I made it,<br />

but I don’t feel any desire to make<br />

another mascot costume.<br />

What about memorable moments at<br />

cons - any you can share?<br />

So many! Darth Vader (David<br />

Prowse) and I devoured his birthday<br />

cake using only our hands. Bruce<br />

Campbell (who I’ve had a crush on<br />

forever) sought me out to talk cosplay,<br />

and hugged me during an autograph<br />

session. I was brought up on<br />

stage during opening ceremonies at<br />

Nan Desu Kan so that the entire convention<br />

could sing me ‘Happy Birthday’.<br />

Bengus and Akiman (Capcom<br />

artists and living legends) sought out<br />

Jason and I at San Diego Comic Con<br />

to compliment our artwork and exchange<br />

sketches. Starbuck (Katee<br />

Sackhoff) flipped-out over the cuteness<br />

of my 1 year old son, and wanted<br />

pictures with him. ....and I could<br />

go on for a while! I’ve met so many<br />

talented people that I admire over<br />

the years, and am incredibly grateful<br />

to have such fun memories.<br />

Your also a freelance artist, what<br />

sort of work are you doing there?<br />

I started-out working as an inking<br />

assistant and colorist in the comic<br />

book industry. Then my husband and<br />

I became known for our pinup work,<br />

which has been featured in numerous<br />

publications such as Playstation<br />

<strong>Magazine</strong>, PSM, Play’s Girls of Gaming,<br />

etc. More recently, I’ve done<br />

contract work for Sony Computer<br />

Entertainment America, Google, and<br />

several other companies. I am currently<br />

contracted to do design work<br />

for some of the medical professionals<br />

in my area.<br />

So, just to finish up - can you share<br />

maybe a five tips for new cosplayers?<br />

1. Always have safety-pins on-hand!<br />

Even if you don’t need them, someone<br />

else might.<br />

2. Get nice photos of your costumes.<br />

3. Don’t break the bank.<br />

4. Be yourself.<br />

5. Be kind and have fun!<br />

If you are interested in more tips<br />

then stop by my Facebook page for<br />

‘Tip Tuesday’. I share a new tip or<br />

tutorial every week.<br />

And where can our readers go to<br />

see more of your cosplay?<br />

Here’s my Facebook page:<br />

HeatherAfter Cosplay -<br />

www.facebook.com/heathercosplay<br />

I’m also on DeviantArt:<br />


Photographer: MartinArt Studio - www.facebook.com/MartinArt-Studio-897089090364888/<br />

ONLINE:<br />

www.facebook.com/<br />

heathercosplay<br />


Photographer: Adrian Cullen Photography - www.facebook.com/CuileannsPhotography

Photographer: Miss E Laney Arts - www.facebook.com/misselaneyarts<br />

Photographer: HearterAfter Cosplay - www.facebook.com/heathercosplay

Photographer: Nikki Lee Photography - www.facebook.com/chandlernikki.lee



It’s <strong>October</strong> and for many of us, that’s<br />

the start of our month long celebration<br />

of the creepy. Halloween, whilst<br />

massive in the U.S is growing here<br />

in the Southern Hemisphere but it’s<br />

still has a way to go. We decided to<br />

catch up with regular guest of <strong>Live</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong>, Mike Rollerson, and ask<br />

him a bit about Halloween in the U.S.<br />

Mike, is Halloween as big as we see<br />

in movies and TV?<br />

Halloween is huge in the states! It’s<br />

actually a lot of fun as it starts to<br />

creep into stores and movies a few<br />

months before <strong>October</strong> 31st and<br />

lots of little haunted houses begin<br />

to pop up around town. I always look<br />

forward to checking out the events<br />

around town - some of them will<br />

begin building sets in July for a September<br />

opening, so there’s definitely<br />

some time involved in creating these<br />

events!<br />

What’s your plans leading up to Halloween<br />

- got any shoots planned?<br />

The local haunted houses are just<br />

beginning to open their doors which<br />

will keep me busy through Halloween!<br />

We’re fortunate to have several<br />

nearby in the immediate area<br />

and each of them go all-out with the<br />

sets, FX makeup, lighting and scare<br />

actors. I’ll be shooting at each of<br />

these events throughout the month<br />

and trying to squeeze in a few horror-themed<br />

shoots inbetween! Since<br />

Halloween is such a busy time for<br />

me, I tend to work with many of these<br />

scare-actors off-season to keep<br />

Halloween going year round through<br />

photoshoots! I also started shooting<br />

some video last year and had a<br />

great time with that; with Halloween<br />

season here I’m hoping to shoot all<br />

new content this time around.<br />

You’ve been busy with your Instax<br />

project, how’s that going?<br />

The Instax project has been keeping<br />

me busy! I’ve been experimenting a<br />

lot more with it lately, syncing them<br />

up with studio lights, using non-traditional<br />

effects and trying to capture<br />

some really fun shots. I’ve made it<br />

up to about a dozen instant cameras<br />

now and each has it’s own unique<br />

look; some have a very clean, almost<br />

digital look while others have<br />

a very retro-looking distorted image.<br />

There’s just something about film<br />

and the look that it gives that you<br />

just don’t get with digital. I’m currently<br />

shooting about 200-300 shots per<br />

week and having a blast with it still!<br />

Where are you planning to go with<br />

it? Can we hope for a book?<br />

Lately I’ve started to mix the instax/<br />

film shots into my digital work to create<br />

some composites as a way to<br />

showcase them. I’ve always been<br />

a big fan of printed photos/art (my<br />

studio walls are covered with large<br />

prints from over the years) which is<br />

what got me into Instax as a neat<br />

“behind the scenes” snapshot. Over<br />

time I’ve really begun to make it<br />

an equal focus to the digital work,<br />

shooting about an even amount of<br />

digital and instant-film shots during<br />

shoots. I’ve started creating albums<br />

of these, but the ultimate goal is to<br />

go into print with them.<br />

Offering prints of digital work is common<br />

but with Instax being a one-ofa-kind,<br />

it’s harder to offer the same<br />

thing without selling the original.<br />

Creating a full book showcasing the<br />

different styles is definitely where I’d<br />

like to go with this. Stay tuned and<br />

we might see something coming out<br />

of that :)<br />

Is film easy to get and where do you<br />

go to stock up?<br />

Film itself is easy to get in America.<br />

Instax, in particular, is readily available<br />

at all of the online and local retailers<br />

and has even found it’s way<br />

into some grocery stores and chains<br />

you wouldn’t expect. I tend to order it<br />

online in bulk (40-50 boxes at a time)<br />

since it’s sometimes a little more affordable.<br />

For some of the specialty<br />

films I find myself ordering it from<br />

overseas a couple times per month

as it’s more readily available (and affordable)<br />

than buying from the local<br />

importers.<br />

You’re doing posters now, tell us<br />

about that.<br />

I’ve always been a big fan of posters<br />

and large-scale prints. There’s<br />

just something special about a large<br />

printed piece that you don’t see with<br />

a digital piece. With almost everyone<br />

shooting digital nowadays (either<br />

on their phone or with a DSLR), you<br />

don’t see many actual photos nowadays.<br />

I’ve started to offer some of my<br />

favorite shots from over the years in<br />

poster options. For me it isn’t even<br />

about finding a way to make a profit<br />

from them (there’s very little involved<br />

after all of the work of printing/<br />

packaging/shipping them), it’s more<br />

about seeing the artwork displayed<br />

by others and a way of sharing some<br />

of the content.<br />

You love horror so what’s your top 5<br />

horror movies?<br />

I love horror movies but tend to have<br />

a terrible taste in them! My love for<br />

them is more in the styling, sets and<br />

characters than the movies itself.<br />

Movies like the Saw series, Silent Hill<br />

and Resident Evil have always had<br />

some great looking design (but.. not<br />

so great of a movie!). Aside from the<br />

design, I just love the creative ideas<br />

behind horror movies; so many<br />

have very unique premises that they<br />

always feel fresh to watch. I don’t<br />

think I could narrow it down to just 5<br />

- there are so many great ones out<br />

there for different reasons!<br />

And the worst horror movie you’ve<br />

seen?<br />

This one was a lot easier: The Blair<br />

With Project.<br />

At the time there was hype for it<br />

everywhere. The idea was great<br />

and I couldn’t wait to see it. I remember<br />

sitting in the front of the<br />

theater watching it, waiting for it to<br />

“get good”.. I kept feeling that it was<br />

about to happen at any moment.<br />

At the very end it got to the point<br />

where you felt “This is what we’ve<br />

been waiting for” only for the credits<br />

to start rolling. This is the worst<br />

(or most disappointing) horror movie<br />

I’ve seen. There are bad movies but<br />

they tend to be labeled as such.<br />

Well, Happy Halloween Mike - where<br />

can our readers go to catch up with<br />

you?<br />

Happy Halloween everyone! I’m<br />

most active on Instagram ( Instagram.com/MikeRollerson<br />

) and tend<br />

to share any photos, videos and behind-the-scenes<br />

updates on there!<br />

ONLINE:<br />

www.instagram.com/MikeRollerson<br />

www.facebook.com/ MikeRollersonPhotography



WOMAN<br />


A brief cosplay guide from construction to photography by Tiffany Dean Cosplay<br />

Wonder Woman is a character<br />

that has been an icon and inspiration<br />

for decades. She has empowered<br />

vast amounts of people<br />

around the world, regardless of<br />

gender, ethnicity, religion or anything<br />

else that can create barriers<br />

between people. Despite all<br />

of this, she had yet to make the<br />

impact on the big screen that<br />

she deserved. Superhero movies<br />

could be hit and miss, and those<br />

that featured our female heroines<br />

often fell short in comparison to<br />

their male or group counterparts.<br />

That all changed when we caught<br />

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in<br />

Batman vs Superman. It wasn’t<br />

long before fans started crying<br />

out for Wonder Woman to have<br />

her own movie.<br />

The prayers were answered and<br />

the hype began.<br />

Wonder Woman is a character<br />

I have only cosplayed once before.<br />

It was before I actually cosplayed,<br />

and it was a cheap, awful<br />

eBay costume that is lost in the<br />

depths of recycled plastic. As<br />

soon as I tossed that awful costume<br />

(I admit I still LOVE the design<br />

of it though), I knew that one<br />

day, Wonder Woman was someone<br />

I needed to revisit. As I was<br />

always powering ahead with new<br />

costumes, I couldn’t find the time<br />

or drive to go back and make<br />

something I had already worn. I<br />

also wasn’t drawn to many of her<br />

other iconic outfits, so I sat in a<br />

conundrum of what to do.<br />

When the Wonder Woman movie<br />

images were slowly drizzling<br />

through prior to the release of<br />

the movie, I had had every intention<br />

to make her training outfit. I<br />

thought it would be something<br />

different and an outfit that may<br />

not get lost in a flood of amazing<br />

Wonder Woman cosplayers.<br />

When the movie finally hit our<br />

screens, my heart was leading

me to her main outfit. Throughout<br />

history, we have recognised<br />

Wonder Woman from the red and<br />

blues on her outfits. I knew I wanted<br />

to stay true to the history of<br />

Wonder Woman, but also knew<br />

that this outfit was more ‘me.’<br />

With this in mind, I began my task<br />

to construct my first real Wonder<br />

Woman cosplay. I wanted this to<br />

be a speed build between some<br />

larger costumes, and I wanted to<br />

pump it out fast whilst my mind<br />

was in Wonder Woman mindset.<br />

I began by creating templates of<br />

my arms (for the gauntlets) and<br />

body (for the corset). To do this,<br />

I simply wrapped myself in cling<br />

wrap and covered myself in duct<br />

tape. I would recommend having<br />

a helper with this as it can be a<br />

little dicey cutting yourself free,<br />

and if you tape yourself too tight<br />

it can cause panic attacks from<br />

restricted breathing ability... From<br />

there, I simply cut out my duct<br />

tape pattern and transferred it to<br />

my chosen material – in this case<br />

I used Foam. To shape the foam<br />

for a better fit, I blasted it with a<br />

heat gun and formed it against<br />

where it needed to go, holding<br />

it there until it cooled down so it<br />

would hold its shape.<br />

The next step was to add more<br />

details. For most of these, I would<br />

sketch the pattern on paper,<br />

transfer it to foam and then glue<br />

the layers on one by one. To fasten<br />

the armour, I used heavy duty<br />

velcro, hidden under layers and<br />

details and I finished by carving<br />

out some battle damage with a<br />

rotary tool.<br />

The leg armour was constructed<br />

in the same way – however I did<br />

not create a duct tape pattern<br />

here, I made a paper template.<br />

For gluing details and armour, I<br />

only ever use contact glue. Hot<br />

glue is not strong enough under<br />

load. Contact glue will generally<br />

not come apart – your foam<br />

would break before the glue bond!<br />

Be warned that when using contact<br />

glue, you must wear a mask<br />

as it has a very strong (and likely<br />

toxic!!) smell. For the gauntlet details,<br />

I carved lines with a Stanley<br />

Knife and hit it with heat to define<br />

them more.

Up next was creating the arm<br />

band, headdress, shield and<br />

sword. Paper templates / patterns<br />

were drawn up for the arm<br />

band and headdress, transferred<br />

to foam and then covered in Worbla<br />

and shaped. Heavy duty elastic<br />

was glued (with contact glue!)<br />

at the back so they could stay in<br />

place when wearing.<br />

As this was a costume I was making<br />

fast, I knew I wouldn’t have time<br />

to create a shield from scratch.<br />

My answer was to buy a cheap<br />

Captain America shield off eBay<br />

so I could modify it. I used craft<br />

foam to level the area around the<br />

star and used a Dremel (rotary<br />

tool) to create the indented line<br />

details. For the rest of the details,<br />

I used strips of Worbla.<br />

The sword I made in a few short<br />

hours, starting with a hobby foam<br />

base. I drew my sword on here<br />

freehand, carved it out, covered<br />

it in Worbla and then used Apoxie<br />

Sculpt to create the details on<br />

the hilt. This also added a nice<br />

amount of weight (I like a bit of<br />

weight to my props as it adds a<br />

sense of realism when holding<br />

them, just try and not make them<br />

insanely heavy!).<br />

The next step was to create the<br />

skirt and leather strapping / Lasso<br />

of Truth.<br />

Using my trusty paper template<br />

method, I created a template for<br />

the skirt. This took a bit of trial<br />

and error, but one important thing<br />

to not forget is the curve of your<br />

butt!! This means that the back<br />

piece you need to make longer<br />

so it sits where you need (Bazinga<br />

for scale).<br />

When I had all my skirt templates<br />

ready, I transferred them<br />

to leather and stitched them to<br />

an elastic waistband I created.<br />

For those that have more time,<br />

or are spending more time on a<br />

Wonder Woman build, make sure<br />

to take your time with placement<br />

here. That was something I didn’t<br />

do, and whilst it all fit ok, there are<br />

definitely changes I would make<br />

(and may yet fix up). I painted gold<br />

edging straight on to the leather<br />

as in some shots of the actual<br />

costume it looks flush, and in<br />

some it looks raised. Craft foam<br />

or soft leather could be used to<br />

create a layer if you opt for that<br />

option.<br />

Fabric choice is also important<br />

here – I tried vinyl initially as it<br />

held paint well, but with a bit of<br />

glue and paint, it became like stiff

cardboard. I then tried to paint<br />

nappa leather I had on hand as<br />

it was thick and strong but had<br />

the right amount of drape. Unfortunately<br />

paint did not hold as<br />

the leather was already coated.<br />

I then tried faux leathers but had<br />

the same issue with paint not<br />

grabbing. Getting the colour and<br />

texture was important to me, so<br />

I did some Googling and found<br />

an amazing shattered glass texture<br />

blue leather. For those aiming<br />

for total accuracy, the entire<br />

Wonder Woman costume is actually<br />

leather... You can wet certain<br />

leathers and form them to create<br />

armour. This was my initial plan,<br />

but as I was making this costume<br />

fast and being cost efficient and<br />

using what I had on hand, I decided<br />

learning leather sculpting was<br />

something I would save for another<br />

costume.<br />

For the leather strapping, I used<br />

some faux leather / vinyl I had on<br />

hand, cut out some strips, made<br />

some craft foam details and created<br />

a hidden Velcro opening. I<br />

bought some gold rope and that<br />

was my Lasso of Truth!<br />

The final stage was painting<br />

everything! I primed all of the<br />

pieces with FlexiBond, using a<br />

stiff bristled brush to brush on the<br />

texture of Wonder Woman’s armour.<br />

For the gauntlets, I watered<br />

down the FlexiBond to create a<br />

smoother finish.<br />

For the main armour pieces, I created<br />

a metallic red paint by mixing<br />

red, bronzes and a metallic<br />

medium. I used some of this and<br />

added black to create a dark colour<br />

for details. I then used a red<br />

metallic spray paint to brighten up<br />

and deepen the reds, as well as<br />

give it an even stronger metallic<br />

finish.<br />

The gold pieces were multiple<br />

layers of gold over a black base.<br />

I used different golds for different<br />

areas – some golds richer than<br />

others. I again mixed in black to<br />

create a deeper colour for details.<br />

I used a hint of silver for<br />

some areas to create a contrast,<br />

and a pale gold to create subtle<br />

highlights.<br />

The shield was primed with a<br />

spray primer and painted with<br />

various spray paints. I wanted the<br />

colour to be a metallic dark granite<br />

/ brownish grey colour with a<br />

mottled look. I sprayed a couple<br />

of coats of my spray paint and<br />

then painted the gold and silver<br />

in various shades. The gauntlets<br />

were sprayed with a chrome<br />

spray paint, and the gold painted<br />

over. The gold required a few layers<br />

as it doesn’t go over chrome<br />

paint very easily! The ‘leather’<br />

straps (really just foam!) were<br />

painted with brown paint.<br />

The sword blade was also primed<br />

and painted with chrome paint,<br />

and various golds used on the hilt.<br />

The final step in the Wonder<br />

Woman journey was a photoshoot.<br />

Rob Jenkins Photo was kind<br />

enough to let me come down<br />

to the Gametraders studio for<br />

some quick snaps. We opened<br />

up our Pinterest board (I highly<br />

recommend people use this as<br />

it’s great for inspiration and ide-

as, and gives both photographer<br />

and cosplayer something to work<br />

with).Rob, Cosmo and I looked<br />

at our inspiration photos so we<br />

could recreate poses we liked as<br />

accurately as we could.<br />

I unfortunately forgot to take my<br />

leather straps and Lasso of Truth<br />

(internal crying!!) but next time I<br />

won’t forget. Here are some of<br />

our photographic endeavours!<br />

And also be smarter than me –<br />

wear a nude coloured bra!! Or a<br />

strapless one...<br />

I hope this article has helped others<br />

in costume creating, whether<br />

it be Wonder Woman or someone<br />

else!<br />

Happy cosplaying and photographing!<br />

Rob Jenkins Photo:<br />

facebook.com/robjenkinsphotography<br />

Tiffany Dean Cosplay:<br />




Worbla and Foam – The Huntbury Armoury<br />

Craft Foam – Lincraft<br />

Foam – The Reject Shop<br />

Contact Glue / Hobby Foam / Spray Paint / Velcro – Bunnings<br />

FlexiBond / Apoxie Sculpt – Adelaide Moulding and Casting<br />

Top Coat / Paints – Riot Art<br />

Paint – Lincraft / Spotlight / Art Stores / Neds etc<br />

Captain America Shield – eBay<br />

Leather – East Coast Leather<br />

Faux Leather / Vinyl – Spotlight / Lincraft<br />

Elastic - Spotlight

THE $1 BILLION<br />

Instagram<br />




I was browsing Harper’s Bazaar<br />

online the other day (hey I do model<br />

photography!) and came across<br />

a very interesting statistic... apparently<br />

industry experts, in around<br />

2015, estimated that brands spend<br />

more then $1 billion per year on<br />

sponsored Instagram posts. That’s<br />

a lot of money that use to be spent<br />

on traditional media! Social media<br />

sponsorship is a whole new world<br />

of marketing and it’s opened the<br />

doors to just about anyone who’s<br />

willing to put in the hard work, has<br />

talent and drive to make either a<br />

part time or full time income from<br />

their passion. But first a short history<br />

lesson on advertising...<br />

If you were to jump back into some<br />

sort of time machine, and set the<br />

date for around 1970 through to<br />

the 80s or 90s, there wasn’t too<br />

many ways to get known locally,<br />

let alone be world famous. You<br />

had to be a star ( or rising star ) of<br />

stage, screen, music, art ... maybe<br />

politics, medicine, science, humanities...<br />

On the darker side of life,<br />

some have committed crimes for<br />

fame:<br />

John Hinckley Jr - He attempted<br />

to assassinate President Ronald<br />

Reagan so that he could use the<br />

‘fame’ to get the attention of actress<br />

Jodie Foster who he was in<br />

love with.<br />

Tonya Harding - The figure skater<br />

so badly wanted to be the most famous<br />

that she conspired to have<br />

her competitor, Nancy Kerrigan,<br />

attacked. The result was Kerrigan<br />

recovered and placed higher then<br />

Harding, who sunk to the lows of<br />

the celebrity world doing a sex<br />

tape and celebrity boxing.<br />

In contrast we have millions of talented<br />

people who made art, music<br />

films and other forms of entertainment<br />

or knowledge that gained<br />

fame as a by product of their endeavours.<br />

Albert Einstein for example<br />

is a Nobel laureate in physics,<br />

Nelson Mandela, Nobel laureate for<br />

peace suffered years of imprisonment<br />

for his beliefs. Musicians, artists,<br />

creators, scientists, doctors<br />

and leaders of nations have become<br />

famous as a result of their<br />

hard work and dedication.<br />

In video games we have people<br />

like Hideo Kojima who developed<br />

Metal Gear Solid, Sid Meier of Civilisation<br />

fame and Carol Shaw who<br />

is noted as the first woman game<br />

designer who, whilst working for<br />

Atari worked on 3-D Tic Tac Toe<br />

and world on Super Breakout.<br />

These people became famous,<br />

not because they sought fame but<br />

because of their talent. Today that<br />

line has blurred. Some people are<br />

famous for simply, being famous.<br />

Today, the whole game has<br />

changed dramatically.<br />

Traditional media doesn’t have the<br />

same power it once had. <strong>Magazine</strong>s<br />

and newspapers have been<br />

closing in the hundreds each year.<br />

The internet and particularly social<br />

media has fragmented how<br />

we consume entertainment. No<br />

longer do we sit down on Sunday<br />

night at 8.30 for the “Sunday<br />

Night Movie” we have Netflix, Stan,<br />

HBO, iTunes,YouTube and Amazon<br />

among others to watch what we<br />

want when we want. Social media<br />

sites like Instagram allow anyone<br />

with a talent to gather faithful followers<br />

and engage with them by<br />

sharing content. Then, if you’re<br />

good at creating interesting content<br />

and good at gaining followers,<br />

suddenly you’re the “media” ... you<br />

have the numbers to be a valuable<br />

commodity for advertisers to<br />

sponsor.<br />

With that in mind, let’s take a look<br />

at one option for gaining followers<br />

and maybe becoming ... famous.

Instagram: becoming an<br />

“influencer”<br />

Instagram is one of the key online<br />

and social media choices for gaining<br />

popularity. Instagram’s research<br />

shows that it has 2.8x higher then<br />

average ad recall then other social<br />

media networks. It also found that<br />

consumers are a whopping 58x<br />

more likely to engage with branded<br />

content on Instagram then Facebook,<br />

and 120x more likely compared<br />

to Twitter.<br />

Instagram visitors stay on site<br />

for an average of 192 seconds<br />

longer then any other social media<br />

channel.<br />

So Instagram offers those who<br />

build an audience popularity, but<br />

it’s not just popularity that is the<br />

motivation. Income, career and an<br />

adventurous life itself can be the<br />

rewards when you work the system.<br />

You see advertisers pay for<br />

eyeballs - the eyes of people who<br />

are potential customers for their<br />

products. If you’re a photographer<br />

using say ... Nikon equipment and<br />

you have 30,000 followers that are<br />

actively engaged with you on Instagram,<br />

then you might be an attractive<br />

proposition for a brand like<br />

Nikon to work with you - I’m using<br />

Nikon as a hypothetical, but you<br />

get the point. That is ...<br />

1. You need a large following<br />

2. Your following needs to be engaged<br />

with your content<br />

Why engaged? Because anyone<br />

can go and buy followers, and<br />

while there’s nothing wrong with<br />

promoting and advertising your<br />

media (your page/site) ... that’s<br />

how marketing works, ideally you<br />

need followers to be involved with<br />

you, to want to see your posts. In<br />

the 80s if you were selling a product<br />

you made an ad and ran it on<br />

TV or radio or in print.<br />

Today you are the product - people<br />

are “buying” you so to speak. If you<br />

have created something of value,<br />

for example good photo content<br />

and story’s, then chances are you<br />

can build an audience. Back in the<br />

90s and prior, you first needed a<br />

product or service, then you needed<br />

to spend money with the media<br />

to promote or sell that product. Today<br />

you can bypass that expense,<br />

no longer do you need to book a TV<br />

campaign or an ad in a magazine<br />

to get people’s attention. Social<br />

media sites like Instagram gives<br />

everyone the same opportunity.<br />

The key factor though is you need<br />

your audience to be engaged, that<br />

is connected to your content, enjoying,<br />

likening and commenting on<br />

your content.<br />

It’s no good having 100,000 followers<br />

and getting 10 likes on a post.<br />

Advertisers want people to see<br />

and engage with their brand.<br />

If followers (fans) are the starting<br />

point for sponsorship, it’s the engaged<br />

fans that are the true currency<br />

in this new world of media.<br />

We did some quick calculations on<br />

some of the biggest Instagram accounts<br />

from celebrities and found<br />

engagement rates varied. Some<br />

were around 1% while others were<br />

2.5% and more. However when<br />

you have 100 million followers and<br />

1% of your followers are engaged<br />

that’s still a massive number! One<br />

percent of 100 million works out<br />

to 1 million fans engaged and if<br />

you’re a brand that is 1 million potential<br />

customers seeing someone<br />

like Kim Kardashian use a product.<br />

So a brand not only gets engaged<br />

fans seeing their product but the<br />

endorsement of a celebrity is the<br />

cream on the marketing cake.<br />

Engagement rates, getting<br />

paid and becoming an Instagram<br />

Influencer.<br />

The Huff Post reports that some<br />

brands pay between $5 and $10<br />

per thousand followers. Some pay<br />

more for bigger names, up to $100<br />

per thousand followers. When<br />

you’re getting started and you’ve<br />

got a reasonable following that’s<br />

growing, you may start out by<br />

getting free product. As we said<br />

though, it’s not just about the numbers,<br />

you need to build engagement...<br />

getting your followers engaged<br />

(enjoying, commenting and<br />

liking) your content. So how do you<br />

work out what your engagement<br />

rate is? Let’s take a look:

“1 million<br />

potential<br />

customers<br />

seeing<br />

someone<br />

like Kim<br />

Kardashian<br />

use a<br />

product.”<br />

Here’s how you work out engagement<br />

rates for your page:<br />

Engagement Rate on Instagram:<br />

(Number of likes & comments) /<br />

(Number of followers).<br />

Let’s say an account has 50,000<br />

followers and on average gets<br />

1500 comments/likes - that gives<br />

them an engagement rate of 3%.<br />

Is that any good? Well let’s do a<br />

quick comparison. But first ... a<br />

trip back in time. In the old days<br />

of 60s, 70s and 80s advertisers<br />

would measure the success by<br />

the number of sales an ad generated.<br />

Some smart marketers like<br />

Readers Digest would run coupon<br />

campaigns, constantly testing and<br />

refining the message to improve<br />

the response of the message. Today<br />

people don’t run coupon campaigns<br />

so much, at least not like<br />

they use to. But comparing Instagram<br />

to email marketing gives us a<br />

clearer picture.<br />

On average (according to Smart<br />

Insights) the open rate on an email<br />

in the area of Entertainment is<br />

21%, but the click through rate -<br />

the number of people who opened<br />

your email then clicked to see the<br />

content was around 2.3% ... so not<br />

too much different to Instagram.<br />

But there are key differences. With<br />

email you have a bit more time and<br />

space to tell your story (sell product)<br />

but on Instagram you have<br />

the benefit of endorsement. That<br />

means if you are a travel blogger<br />

and use Instagram and have a<br />

strong following - people are likely<br />

to trust you and that trust is gold in<br />

the bank. That is because your followers<br />

believe you, they trust you<br />

and if you say visiting a resort was<br />

great, then they believe you and<br />

might also put that resort on their<br />

list of places to visit.<br />

So Instagram gives a sponsor/advertiser<br />

both reach and credibility<br />

through endorsment.<br />

Engagement Rates<br />

We looked at the average engagement<br />

rates on social media and<br />

found Instagram to be top of the<br />

pile:<br />

Instagram 2.26%<br />

Pinterest 0.042%<br />

Facebook 0.216%<br />

Twitter 0.027%<br />

We’ll take a look at Facebook and<br />

Youtube in another issue, but for<br />

now let’s dig a bit deeper into Instagram.<br />

We’ve asked a few of our friends<br />

who’ve built solid followings for<br />

some Instagram tips.

“Instagram’s research shows that<br />

it has 2.8x higher then average<br />

ad recall then other social media<br />

networks. It also found that<br />

consumers are a whopping 58x<br />

more likely to engage with branded<br />

content on Instagram then<br />

Facebook, and 120x more likely<br />

compared to Twitter.”

The World Loves Melbourne<br />

theworldlovesmelbourne.com<br />

instagram.com/theworldlovesmelbourne<br />

Dave Hagger who started the blog<br />

has a great Instagram following of<br />

almost 38,000. His blog is for foodies<br />

who want the best Melbourne<br />

has to offer and also has a sister<br />

site, The World Loves Sydney.<br />

Dave is a Food blogger and I can<br />

vouch he knows the best places<br />

for a meal! Here’s Dave’s take on<br />

using Instagram<br />

Facebook is tough but if you pay to<br />

play Facebook can be great. Instagram<br />

is also moving towards more<br />

pay to play!<br />

5 tips for Instagram would be:<br />

3. Post regularly. Build a following<br />

by posting every day if possible.<br />

However avoid posting too many<br />

times a day because that diminishes<br />

your value!<br />

4. Effective use of hashtags. Use<br />

local as well as broadly appealing<br />

hashtags. Try to mix them up.<br />

Avoid being shadow banned for<br />

using spammy hashtags.<br />

5. Style and curate your images!<br />

Creative use of backgrounds. Use<br />

props like Italian tiles, diff textures<br />

like wooden boards, vintage props,<br />

linen etc. Flatlays are still king - fill<br />

the frame with interest. Short video<br />

clips have good engagement<br />

and are the way of the future!<br />

1. Make it visually excellent! Use a<br />

decent SLR camera and a decent<br />

smartphone - as well as apps like<br />

Snapseed (my favourite) to enhance<br />

your already great photos.<br />

Play around with effects and filters<br />

so that the photo sings!<br />

2. Make it bright and vibrant! The<br />

trend is away from dark to vibrant<br />

pics. Some filters help brighten,<br />

even use a whiteness feel for effect.

Tiffany Dean Cosplay<br />

instagram.com/tiffanydeancosplay<br />

Tiff is onoe of our cosplay editors<br />

and has worked hard building a following<br />

across multiple social media<br />

sites. Her Facebook sits at around<br />

10,000 and has been her main social<br />

media platform for some time,<br />

but with changes to the algorithm<br />

she’s now begun building her Instagram<br />

following with 2,500 so far.<br />

1. I place my IG in the same place<br />

as my FB re marketing. They’re unfortunately<br />

all I have and as IG is<br />

now owned by FB, neither are great<br />

for marketing. IG can be easier to<br />

gain a following, however followers<br />

are removed faster than you get<br />

them. I’m aiming to become active<br />

on YouTube and have IG as a secondary<br />

thing. IG however is a great<br />

booster during things like Conventions<br />

(for cosplayers) as people<br />

are generally looking for people<br />

they may have taken a photo of.<br />

2. The most effective ways to<br />

grow IG are to try and keep posts<br />

relevant to what your main focus<br />

is. For example, as a cosplayer I<br />

gain more followers if I post a cosplay<br />

of something that is current<br />

as it’s what is ‘trending.’ Hashtags<br />

are imperative to grow your IG as<br />

they are what people search for -<br />

it’s how people can find you. Also<br />

networking with others is helpful.<br />

Some Instagram pages focus on<br />

sharing others work - if you can<br />

be shared on a page with a good<br />

following it’s a great way for your<br />

follower number to increase.<br />

3. The first 500 I actually found<br />

easier than the rest, namely as at<br />

that time, Instagram didn’t go and<br />

boot followers. The first 500 tend<br />

to include a lot of friends and family<br />

too which helps you reach that<br />

number faster.<br />

4. Re hashtags I just realized that<br />

the best way to go is to make them<br />

relevant. For example if I post a<br />

photo of me in cosplay, I’m not going<br />

to go and hashtag something<br />

like gourmet meal (unless it’s relevant<br />

lol). I also try and do a few<br />

hashtags but not have 30 of them.<br />

It’s a fine line between too little and<br />

too many. It’s also random and IG<br />

works much like FB now in that you<br />

could hashtag the same things for<br />

different photos and get 300 likes<br />

on one photo and 30 on another.<br />

It’s important to just see hashtags<br />

as a way to tag relevant search<br />

words so people can find your<br />

photo.<br />

5. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve<br />

not had too many negatives on my<br />

own page. I’ve been called fat and<br />

all sorts of things on pages with<br />

so called ‘fans’ of certain things.<br />

In those cases I tend to ignore it,<br />

but in this case I kindly made them<br />

aware that people may have gone<br />

through a difficult time and that<br />

the focus should be on the costume,<br />

not a persons weight. I also<br />

thought it important to speak up<br />

for the sake of young people who<br />

might develop eating disorders if<br />

slim people are being called fat.<br />

In most cases I either ignore or<br />

just delete. I only respond if I can<br />

correct someone respectfully and<br />

kindly. If it all goes to pot I just delete<br />

or block lol.

Sara Moni Cosplay<br />

instagram.com/saramonicosplay<br />

We’ve been big fans of Sara’s over<br />

the years and she’s built huge following<br />

online.<br />

Facebook - 60,700<br />

Instagram - 29,800 plus followers<br />

We asked Sara for a few quick tips<br />

on how she got going on Instagram:<br />

It wasn’t really difficult to build my<br />

Instagram. It’s difficult to maintain<br />

and keep content flowing more<br />

than anything!<br />

1. Don’t be concerned with numbers,<br />

be concerned with engagement,<br />

the type of audience that<br />

you attract and if it’s the attention<br />

you really want.<br />

2. Don’t be afraid of taking weeks<br />

in planning and researching costume,<br />

never rush<br />

3. Never compare yourself to<br />

someone else in an unhealthy way.<br />

Fun competition can be motivating,<br />

but never get down on yourself<br />

Instagram marketing company, Dash Hudson, CEO Thomas Rankin suggests you need at least 5,000 followers although<br />

10,000 is the number that will more likely get the attention of brands... but they need to be real and engaged. Harper’s<br />

Bazaar magazine reported that fashion blogger, Daniella Bernstein of @weworewhat charges between $5000 and<br />

$15,000 for a single branded Instagram post.<br />


Charlotte Nicholson<br />

instagram.com/charliegirlnic<br />

Charlotte is an Adelaide based<br />

photographer.<br />

1. Know your demographic! Knowing<br />

your audience is vital to Instagram.<br />

Understanding your audience<br />

helps with how you post,<br />

when you post and what you post.<br />

2. Interact with other Instagram<br />

accounts that also post to a similar<br />

audience demographic. Getting<br />

your posts into their feeds can<br />

be a case of interacting with their<br />

posts. This can be done by liking<br />

posts, following, commenting or direct<br />

messaging them. Interact with<br />

your followers. Take the time to<br />

thank followers for comments. Interaction<br />

means that your content<br />

has a better chance of reaching<br />

their Instagram feed. Pay attention<br />

to accounts that regularly like your<br />

posts, they are still seeing your<br />

posts and it’s because the algorithm<br />

has noted they like your content.<br />

3. #... Learn how to hashtag. Research<br />

hashtags that are popular<br />

in your genre of content. For example:<br />

brands, location, style and<br />

content relevant.<br />

Instagram allows up to 30 #’s per<br />

post that need to be in your original<br />

post to count. Hashtags are<br />

a way to get your content to new<br />

accounts. Using the right hashtag<br />

can throw your content into the<br />

feed of new followers who may be<br />

interested in your content based<br />

on what they are interested in, who<br />

they follow, and what hashtags<br />

they have used recently.<br />

4. Use the stories feed to bring<br />

your content directly to the attention<br />

of your followers. When any of<br />

us open up Instagram the stories<br />

feed is the first content we see.<br />

This is an opportunity to direct your<br />

followers to your content.<br />

5. Post consistently. Post quality<br />

content at regular times over the<br />

week. Don’t be that person that<br />

posts 10 posts in one evening and<br />

then doesn’t post again for a few<br />

days. Insights information will help<br />

you determine what time of day<br />

and what content works for your<br />





“...feeding<br />

him a few<br />

Red Bulls<br />

and a donut<br />

calmed him<br />

down a bit.”<br />

We decided as part of this story<br />

to experiment on Instagram using<br />

sites that promise large “real”<br />

followers for payment. We didn’t<br />

want to damage the Gametraders<br />

account so we volunteered our editors<br />

photography account. After<br />

much persuasion (promise of a 6<br />

pack of Red Bull) we got started on<br />

our experiment.<br />

To begin he (foolishly) closed his<br />

old account and created a new<br />

one - you can see it here:<br />

https://www.instagram.com/rjp_<br />

adelaide/<br />

Next he started posting some photos<br />

as he is a photographer that<br />

does a lot of portrait and model<br />

photography sprinkled with occasional<br />

cosplay.<br />

Over a few weeks of terrible hash<br />

tagging skills he’d managed only<br />

130 followers. We reminded him<br />

how useless he was and that he<br />

wasn’t allowed to do anymore<br />

hash tagging. He didn’t take the<br />

criticism to well but feeding him a<br />

few Red Bulls and a donut calmed<br />

him down a bit.<br />

Now it was now time for the experiment.<br />

First up we researched a<br />

bunch of sites that offer to sell or<br />

gain you followers for around $20<br />

- $30 U.S. We bought 1000 followers<br />

that flooded in pretty quickly.<br />

The engagement, however stayed<br />

the same, in fact it went down! At<br />

this point the Editor started to really<br />

freak out, worrying about getting<br />

banned or something.<br />

Next we tried another seller and<br />

got another 1500 but engagement<br />

remained poor. As an example -<br />

see the Wonder Woman photo of<br />

cosplayer Tiffany Dean, sure the<br />

hashtags could have been better<br />

and we decided to work on that as<br />

we experimented.<br />

Next we got in contact with one<br />

of the mega follower sites with<br />

names like Portrait of the Day or<br />

similar - I won’t share which one,<br />

but this generated thousands of<br />

likes of the supplied photo (cost<br />

$20 US) but not many followers.<br />

We experimented by letting them<br />

choose the photos to share - we<br />

got two shares and we had thou-

sands of likes and lot’s of positive<br />

comments on the photo. So that<br />

worked in that we got awareness<br />

but not a lot of rub off with regards<br />

to followers. However, the followers<br />

it did generate were genuine<br />

fans of the photography style on<br />

his page plus we notice that even<br />

though followers were not growing<br />

and likes were still small comparatively,<br />

we noticed that some of the<br />

“likes” were coming from followers<br />

with large followings themselves.<br />

Doing some quick calculations, our<br />

editors’ page engagement rate is<br />

slowly creeping up to 1% (again)<br />

after being punished, now we use<br />

the word punished here loosely but<br />

maybe not. You see after we began<br />

the experiment and saw how<br />

bad the engagement level was we<br />

did some digging and and came<br />

across the term - Shadowban...<br />

there’s a very comprehensive article<br />

here on Shadowban -<br />

thepreviewapp.com/avoid-instagram-shadowban/<br />

simply paste in your Instagram<br />

name and press Get Tested...<br />

shadowban.azurewebsites.net<br />

When we tested, we were “safe”<br />

so that means either our content is<br />

not good, our hashtags are terrible<br />

(yeah we know) and not working<br />

or, and this is probably it, a combination<br />

of bought users that are not<br />

engaged plus poor hash tagging.<br />

So in conclusion to our experiment<br />

our editor now has thousands of<br />

followers, a low engagement rate<br />

but he’s seeing different types of<br />

“likes” and he hopes to build on<br />

that. He did threaten to delete this<br />

account too and start again, but<br />

after another bunch of Red Bulls, a<br />

few donuts and some advice from<br />

friends, he’s decided to keep it and<br />

work on getting the engagement<br />

rate up.<br />

It points out that there are 4 things<br />

you can do to avoid this Shadowban<br />

situation including avoiding<br />

using buying apps/sites like we<br />

used. Plus they mention banned<br />

hashtags! With regard to Shadowban<br />

we did some more digging<br />

and found the respected website<br />

- Petapixel has an article on Shadowbans<br />

and even has a link to this<br />

site that claims to test if you are<br />

“banned”<br />

You can see the site here and you

SEE MORE ON...<br />

facebook.com/Gametraders.Australia<br />

twitter.com/GametradersAus<br />

instagram.com/Gametraders<br />

WEBSITE: gametraders.com.au<br />

PUBLICATIONS: issuu.com/gametraders

DID YOU KNOW...<br />

Each Gametraders store have their own<br />

Facebook page! Want to ask your local store<br />

a question or keep up to date with their latest<br />

product releases? Check out their pages below!<br />


Ingle Farm: facebook.com/gtinglefarm<br />

Salisbury: facebook.com/gtsalisbury<br />

Marion: facebook.com/gtmarion<br />

Mt Barker: facebook.com/GametradersMtBarker<br />

Seaford: facebook.com/gtseaford<br />


Blacktown: facebook.com/gametradersblacktown<br />

Macarthur Square: facebook.com/gametradersmacarthur<br />

Hornsby <strong>Live</strong>: facebook.com/GametradersHornsby<br />

Penrith <strong>Live</strong>: facebook.com/Gametraders<strong>Live</strong>Penrith<br />

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Chermside: facebook.com/gtchermside<br />

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Hyperdome: facebook.com/GametradersHyperdome

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Conditions apply. Selected stores only. Ask staff for details.

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more. Get it all at Gametraders.


OUT 3<br />

NOV<br />

OUT 19<br />

OCT<br />

OUT 16<br />

NOV<br />



The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever…<br />

A Makoto Shinkai Film<br />

Limited Edition<br />

DVD<br />

Blu-Ray<br />

Available <strong>November</strong> 8<br />

©2016 TOHO CO., LTD. / CoMix Wave Films Inc. / KADOKAWA CORPORATION / East Japan Marketing<br />

& Communications, Inc. / AMUSE INC. / voque ting co.,ltd. / Lawson HMV Entertainment, Inc.

Power up with 15 classic uncut Dragon Ball Z Movies<br />


Available on DVD & Blu-Ray<br />

OCT 4<br />



POP! VINYLS!<br />


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All standard size pops. Ask staff for details.


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All standard size pops. Ask staff for details.


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All standard size pops. Ask staff for details.

NBA<br />

POP! VINYLS!<br />


All standard size pops. Ask staff for details.


POP! VINYLS!<br />


All standard size pops. Ask staff for details.


POP! VINYLS!<br />


All standard size pops. Ask staff for details.




Ask staff for details.



TRADE & SAVE on anything in-store!<br />

Bring in your unwanted games or consoles &<br />

we’ll give you store credit to use in-store!<br />

PLUS at Gametraders you can choose from our massive<br />

range of discounted pre-owned and retro gaming!


BOARD<br />

GAMES!<br />


DOOR MATS!<br />

Ask staff for details.



Ask staff for details.




Packed with Aussie Kulture.<br />

Straya made mate.<br />

It’s about beer, BBQs and bludgers.<br />

“A dead set cracker of a game”<br />

Play in your trackie daks!<br />

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Comes out Christmas<br />

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Reckon youse got what it takes CTC to sweet talk you way to some extra<br />

Centrelink payments? Can you outrun the cops in thongs?<br />

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Ask staff for details. Limited stock!

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discounted pre-owned and<br />

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Buying, selling & trading retro now!<br />

&<br />


Check our latest Cosplay <strong>Live</strong> Photo <strong>Live</strong>, <strong>Magazine</strong>, Retro<br />

<strong>Live</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> & past <strong>Live</strong> issues HERE: issuu.com/gametraders<br />


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South Australia<br />

Ingle Farm.................................. (08) 8265 7283<br />

Marion....................................... (08) 8296 1144<br />

Mt Barker................................... (08) 8391 6300<br />

Salisbury.................................... (08) 8281 0966<br />

Seaford...................................... (08) 8327 1966<br />

ACT<br />

Hyperdome................................ (02) 6293 3751<br />

New South Wales<br />

Gametraders LIVE Penrith.........(02) 4731 3894<br />

Blacktown................................. (02) 9676 1411<br />

Macarthur Square (Campbelltown) (02) 4620 0750<br />

Parramatta................................ (02) 9633 2833<br />

Gametraders LIVE Hornsby....... (02) 9477 6477<br />

For more info visit:<br />

www.gametraders.com.au<br />

Queensland<br />

Chermside................................. (07) 3861 5000<br />

Morayfield.................................. (07) 5495 7705<br />

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