Transformers: The Move Blu-Ray Case

Transformers Blu-Ray Case DVD

(Note: this was updated April 12, 2014). This was my first-ever Blu-Ray case design, and the idea was to incorporate a Soundwave cassette tray and cassette toy into the front of a standard jewel case. I thought it would be fun to combine a toy and a movie, something that I’m starting to see more of nowadays (like Lego and DVD combos).

When I originally posted this in 2010, I was hoping to see something cool for the film’s 25th anniversary in 2011, and that didn’t happen! Maybe in 2016? I asked Shout Factory why they didn’t do a cool reissue of the film, and apparently that’s because Paramount owns the rights to all the Transformers films, and that includes the 1986 classic.

Transformers Blu-Ray Case DVD

I’m very happy to revisit this post, and to also condense what was previously a few dozen images spread over several posts! I had no sense of brevity four years ago.

Fireworks For All

I live in Vancouver, and we are currently enjoying our annual ‘Festival of Light’, 4 nights of fireworks every July. These fireworks take place in English Bay, which is a picturesque location. However it is somewhat secluded in my opinion, and the festival could be better enjoyed by many more people.

I’ve often asked this growing up: why don’t they just set the fireworks off the tallest building or landmark in the city? That way, the entire surrounding city could enjoy it, instead of being crammed into one area.

In Vancouver, that would mean setting the fireworks off at the Shang-Ri-La Hotel downtown. In the GVRD, perhaps one of the buildings near Metrotown. Maybe Grousse Mountain on the north shore would benefit everyone?

I believe Paris does this appropriately – igniting fireworks off of the Eiffel Tower so all of Paris can enjoy the show.

Geeky Gadget Wish List #16: Autobot Matrix Light Switch

Autobot Matrix light switch by davesgeekyideas

A Transformers-themed switch to light your darkest room. It features an LED bulb when activated. To make it user-friendly, the Matrix is tilted 90 degrees. The LED could also function as a nightlight, something kids would appreciate.

 

Comic Book Titles Should Be Seasonal

If I was given the reigns of Marvel or DC Comics, my first act would be to make all titles seasonal, meaning they’d be active for a short run every year, like a TV show. Not only would this give the writers some breathing room, but would help with continuity and help give each issue a more ‘event-like’ feel.

I’d give Batman and Superman 10-issue runs every year – Batman in the Fall/Winter, Superman in the Spring/Summer. And that kind of interval would continue down the line, for Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc. Once in a while the crossover stuff can appear on it’s own – like Justice League or Teen Titans.

A big company like DC or Marvel have these large rosters of heroes and villains…why churn them all out every month? Fans can take this for granted, and stories just get more diluted and/or convoluted. This forces writers to churn out the same old stories, or resort to drastic measures like killing off the title character, albeit for a short time.

I’ve already admitted I don’t read comics anymore – it’s for this very reason. The market is over-saturated and titles are just being churned out. Looking at other mediums such as TV shows, you can see the importance of leaving your audience wanting more. Imagine if Lost appeared all year? Or in a daily format like a soap opera? It would get old pretty quick.

If you looked at the opposite end of the output spectrum, such as a Superhero franchise like Batman or Iron Man churning out a film every 2 or 3 years (even 4 for the next Batman), the appeal of the film is huge and hard to ignore. Though their film appearances are brief and stretched over a period of several years, it’s easy to regard these films as 100% canon. That is because the events that occur are finite and carry much more weight and consequence. People will digest a film for a few years, pondering those events much more distinctly than a run of several comics over any given time. Films are savored, comics have a throwaway quality.

Controversial Kinect Game Idea: Sobriety Test

I just sent the last few months working on a Kinect game (I can’t disclose what or for whom -yet), and I see one potential idea where Kinect may come in handy. It wouldn’t exactly be a game, more like an app. And I call it “Sobriety Test”.

It’s exactly as it sounds. You would get in front of the Kinect camera and try to do a series of tests that would evaluate your motor skills. You’d walk a straight line, stand on one foot, and many other drills. It would operate like Simon Says, but with stern police officers watching.You would then be scored on how you perform. Fail, and the game will sound the alarm, and ask that your keys are revoked.

Yes it would be used as a drinking game. Yes there are legal implications to this app. Yes it may give people the impression that they have the ability to drive when they shouldn’t.

The truth is, video games are now a staple of many drinking parties, so why not have a game that might offer some entertainment, and possibly be used as a means to determine if someone shouldn’t drive? It would be a rare game that you’d win if you lost.

Plus having something like this present in a party will bring attention to the issue of drinking and driving. What do you think?

RTS Game Wrinkles

I’m a huge fan of StarCraft and Dawn of War: 40,000. Both franchises comprise the very best in RTS (Real-Time Strategy) games, and are nearly flawless in their design. A few things I would do to enhance those games, if given the opportunity:

EMERGENCY PURGING – In a scenario where your command base is under siege, and you are low on nearby infantry units/vehicles, you’d purge out unfinished units in the queue as a last-defense. What would happen is you’d have the entire queue pushed out of the armory in an incomplete state. This gives you some defensive firepower, but the troops or vehicles you purged are incomplete and not as diluted in firepower or defense. As a trade-off, your factory or armory would need time to recover from the purge.

INCIDENTAL TRAVEL – You select a group composed of ground troops and vehicles to reach a target destination, and what usually happens is the vehicles will get there first. What I would like to see are troops climb onto the sides of tanks and other vehicles that happen to be sharing the same destination. Not only could you keep your battalion better intact, but you’ll have increased firepower for ‘hitched’ vehicles, though the troops clinging aboard would have decreased accuracy. This should all be done automatically, as I’m not a fan of manually assigning troops to climb into a transport vehicle. Also, the tanks wouldn’t slow down and wait for hitchers – first come first serve.

BUILT-IN HUD – I’d like to see research progress and Unit build progress without actually having to select the building. I propose a smart HUD, where that information is built into the game buildings. For example, I’d design the armory to be made of 6 individual pistons that would be in a high position at the start of the build process, then sink as building progressed. Some color meters could also denote the progress.  Sure your opponents could tell which buildings are more active in building units, but these are priority targets regardless.

SMART COVER – The thing about RTS games is the troops fight like the British Red Coats – they stand around and just fire weapons, not really being evasive in their position. If it were up to me, I’d have them take cover behind pillars, armored vehicles (operational or destroyed remnants of), and whatever other section of the environment they deem safe. This would not only make the fights more dramatic, but would give way to using specialized Units, like Snipers and Anti-Tank personnel.

ESCAPE POD – The command base could have a backup escape pod that could be fired to another section of the map (much like the Terran buildings being able to relocate in StarCraft), that would include a builder and a few troops to start a new command base. The drawback: it would take a long time to fuel and ready, and would stop any other capabilities of the command base in the interim. So if defeat looks like a possibility, this last resort could be an option – but plan ahead.

LOOT THEIR POWER – I’d build a specialized Unit that could drain the enemy’s reserves. It would be a very costly and defenseless Unit, so you’d have to secure the enemy base to utilize it. This way you can add to your reserves while depleting your enemy’s supply. More incentive to capture the enemy base! More worthwhile in 3+ player games.

CONVERT THE NON-BELIEVERS – If you could steal your enemy’s power…why not their troops? There is a few ways you could do this: a mode where you could capture enemy units, a means to utilize abandoned or dead units (zombies?), or by dispatching your builder units to assimilate enemy structures to add them into your fold. Instead of wiping out your enemy, you’d claim their carcass for your own means. Only worthwhile in 3+ player games.

RISKIER RESOURCE COLLECTION – If you want more resources in quantity, or a faster rate of harvesting, you should be allowed to gamble with a more dangerous means of collection. Once this method/ machine of collection is built, your resource collection rates increase. But if taken out by the enemy, it could result in severe damage to your base. Pretty much like opting to harvest nuclear power – worthwhile output, but very dangerous.

BUY TIME – Every Unit you build in an RTS game has a set cost attributed to it, as well as a set build time. Well if you want to get your Units a bit sooner (without purging, see above), I’d allow the option to spend more to hurry the Unit’s production speed. The trade-off being you got your Unit sooner, but burned through more resources to do it. A costly short-term measure.

Tron Hockey Puck

Tron hockey puck by davesgeekyideas

I used to make fun of the absurd Fox Puck, but a part of me thinks it would look cool if the hockey puck had LED lights embedded within. It would look remarkably different for starters, the Fox Puck relied on graphics applied in the TV broadcast (much like the line of scrimmage in football); whereas the lights would emit from the actual puck and be cast onto the nearby ice surface, boards, skates, hockey sticks, etc.

The puck would be more apparent in scrums in the corner and in the crease. I don’t know if it would look like a blur of light from a slap-shot, but I’d like to think there would be some tracer effect.

UPDATE: since I posted this 4 years ago I’ve received many inquiries for such a puck. A few products have come and gone, and there might even be a new one now, but there’s nothing I can personally recommend.