Geekery: The open source community received a few nice promises over the past few weeks. How on the heels of the Humble Indy Bundle experiment (pay-what-you-will MacHeist-style bundle of games from indepedent developers), the creators of the games in the bundle have said they’ll be open sourcing their games. The two that interest me are Gish and Aquaria. Aquaria has been very open to the modding community, allowing much of the game to be completely redone by enterprising fans. I hope the source for it gets released soon; I’m particularly interested in their editors.

The other good news was that the Lightworks NLE software package, promised to go open source after it’s parent company’s acquisition, will actually be released this fall. It sounds a little too good to be true, and is all about interoperability with other editing suites. I know people mention projects like Cinelerra when asked about open-source video editing, but having a real editor that’s been put through its paces on real films (Lightworks was apparently used on The Hurt Locker) will be great for the community.

Music: I’ve met a number of like-minded people lately who’ve turned me onto some new artists (or at least, new to me). Lykke Li’s debut has found a permanent place on my iPods. I knew it was a winner when a friend at work told me over messenger to listen to her song Little Bit, because she was listening to it right then and enjoying the heck out of it; my reply was that I was listening to it at the same moment.

I also picked up The Postal Service’s debut, Give Up. It’s an “oldie” but holds up well even now. The sound they created is very popular now, almost like they’ve managed to find a timelessness despite being an electronic band. I’m not one for Death Cab for Cutie, not usually, but side projects of lead singers often surprise. (See: Lotte Kestner, The Soft Skeleton.)

Work: I probably shouldn’t say anything but I’m too excited to stay quiet! The other night we rendered out poses for the characters on Yoko, Mo, and Me. We’ve recently hired on an experienced texture artist, and between him and the tireless efforts of the other talented folks at March, the look blew me away and the assets aren’t even final!

There are two times when I remember why I got into CG. One is when you get a face rig, even a temporary one, onto a character. Until that point the character is just a lifeless statue, but raise an eyebrow or put a mouth into a moue and suddenly they’re a person. The second time is when the flat lambert of OpenGL displays turn into the beautiful shades and hues of a final render. Last night’s images were good reminders of why I do what I do.

Life: Getting the Epic Flu a few weeks back made me re-evaluate how I spend my off time. That, and a Tarot reading warning me to stop putting all my energies into things for other people. Sunday, I rode my bike up to the local EB and picked up a copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Holy crap.

See, I only finished Galaxy a few months back, me being a late Wii-bloomer. (Still have yet to play Twilight Princess.) I thought it was brilliant both in terms of design and in how they used the Wiimote to interact with the world; for the most part you could trust your jumps and the cameras, which was totally unlike Super Mario Sunshine. Galaxy 2 seems to have fixed every complaint about Galaxy I didn’t know I had. For example, having to traipse through that space ship back to the galaxy entrance you wanted after collecting every star is gone. In it’s place is a New Super Mario Brothers-style world map, along which your ship snaps from level to level. So far there’s also a lot more variety– no levels have more than two visible stars to collect, so you finish them off quickly and move on. I don’t find myself getting bored while clearing stars out of a single map.

I think that’s enough for now… Good thing I can do drafts on my phone or I’d never have the time to blog any more!