11 March 2011

Thursdays, Tekken, and Coincidental Languages...[]

Well, I've just finished One of Our Thursdays Is Missing. I can say confidently that fans of the series will be thoroughly pleased all the way through, except possibly at the end, for two reasons: (1) it means that the book is over and a new waiting cycle has begun, and (2) there is a slight feeling of being rushed, although given some of the plot concepts it does sort of work in the book's favour. Don't want to spoil anything, so I'll leave it at that. Series highly recommended, but best to start at the beginning with The Eyre Affair, and to beware of misleading titles (Thursday Next: First Among Sequels is not the second book, but the fifth).

So more on fighting games. I was speaking with a friend of mine who prefers 3D games and — to put it mildly — disprefers 2D games. Again, he makes some compelling arguments, and his personal preference is his own, but one of his points did strike me as interesting. I noted that while there are still more traditional 2D fighters with hand-drawn sprites being made, and as I mentioned in a recent post, Street Fighter 4 revitalized the subgenre of 2D fighting games with 3D models. His retort was that the same thing could be found in Tekken 2 and earlier (Tekken 3 was the iteration of the series that introduced the sidestep, and more realistic jumping height).

That's a good point. While Tekken 3 (1997)was not the first 3D fighter with a sidestep — Battle Arena Toshinden (1994), Soul Edge, Virtua Fighter 3, and even Tobal No. 1 (all 1996) preceded it — there was still a considerable span where the typical "3D" fighter still only allowed 2D movement. This, I think, makes one wonder what the definition of "3D" vs. "2D" is. It's not a trivial question; one can simply redefine "3D" as any game with the ability to sidestep or side-walk, but then you can no longer point to Virtua Fighter as the first 3D fighting game. Do we really want that honor to go to Battle Arena Toshinden? </sarcasm> The other option is to keep the definition the way it is, but then do we have to redefine the likes of Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3?

I'm just going to leave it as a puzzle for now, as I'm still sorting it out in my own head.

Anyway, I put "Coincidental Languages" up there in the title because I had an interesting idea creep into my mind during lunch. The best place to start would be a confession: I'm a conlanger. I like creating languages, and I make no apologies for it. My second major in college was Linguistics, largely for that reason (but also because linguistics is fascinating). Several of my favourite linguistics classes (primarily 76-457 Historical Linguistics, taught by Dr. Paul Hopper) focused on the development of languages over time, which has always struck me as the most intriguing part of the study of linguistics. I like to get into the workings of things and see how they fit together, how they came about ("How It's Made" marathons make me lose whole days).

So anyway, back to "Coincidental Languages." I had the vague notion of creating two parallel language family trees, completely unrelated to each other, that nonetheless produced two great-great-granddaughter languages who would be close enough in morphology and syntax to be mutually intelligible. Yes, inspired by a Simpsons episode (which oddly enough, I've only read about and never seen...but that's another story), but still...would like to try or see done sometime in the near future.

So, in other news, I have a black belt recertification test tomorrow at 4:00pm. Not too pleased that they moved it from the typical morning time to the afternoon/evening, but I'll survive.


No comments:

Post a Comment