Episode Two Hundred Seventy Five: Mechanic.
In which we model.

1 comment:

  1. Game mechanics, structural mechanics, the rules underlying how things work. Coincidentally, I ended up with a debilitating recurrent neck injury the day after I drew this. I wasn't consciously aware of that brewing when I came up with the outline.

    I had been thinking of these inexpensive, indie war strategy games that were sold in comic book shops in the 80's. They were kind of cottage-industry, homespun cheaply printed folded hex maps with perforated hex pieces that you manually punched out on first playing. These maps dictated landscape details, restricting movement - the third panel is a representation of one of those maps. The hex markers were troop or tank movements, and they were deployed, destroyed, captured during gameplay. These games were sold in plastic bags, and usually came with dice. This was at the time that D&D was sold in a similar manner.

    The weird thing is, I can't find Internet evidence of these games, but I know they were really popular among us nerds until first Computers and then the Internet rendered them obsolete.

    The image of these hex maps looms in my mind. There's something about the coding inherent in this weird map with its implied six-sided direction movement that hinted at alternate worlds of understanding. I got that same buzzy sensation learning Calculus and Trigonometry, but my brain manages to sharply limit my ability to ever achieve those alternate worlds in any sustained manner.

    The second frame is a representation of an electronic board game I had as a teen in the 80's called "Codename Sector", one of the earliest computer games sold. It was a sub-plotting strategy game, and had a large table on which you tracked a sub's movement using crayons. The computer moved the sub, and you allowed it to keep track of your four hunting ships by inputting their movements via a now-arcane interface. (There's an open source replica online that I'd discovered and had been playing.)

    The first frame from the classic GO, which I had been playing (poorly) with my son (who beat me easily). I was taken with the graphed lines of the board against the (badly rendered) circular pieces & shadows.

    Happy with how this turned out, and also happy with the artifacting that occured when I upped the color saturation.



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