Showing posts with label indie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indie. Show all posts

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Gamestart Asia 2017: Strictly Reserved for the Hardcore Gamers and E-sports Enthusiasts


Gamestart Asia, South-East Asia's largest gaming convention, kicks off today at Suntec Convention Centre.

At 8:45AM, there was already a small group of gamers lining up to be amongst the first to enter the hall. After all, the first 300 people get a random loot bag filled with goodies.


Red Dot Diva and Ed, her good friend from the Glam Blogger Alliance got to enter the hall for a quick media preview, just before the VIPs were allowed in.


Upon entering the show hall, one cannot miss the trippily lighted main stage looming in front of you. It looks pretty grand, and was a very nice Instagram moment right there.


A post shared by Red Dot Diva (@reddotdiva) on


Generally, there was a lot of space, with most of the booths hugging towards the side of the hall. There were wide walking paths all round, which was reminiscent of this year's STGCC, but with more intuitive pedestrian routes, and nary a badly planned constructed wall panel in sight.

However, Red Dot Diva found that since the last time she attended the show in 2015, Gamestart Asia has become less experiential and less visually exciting. E-sports is the in-thing, and the focus is all on the tournaments. This does not bring much excitement to a non-gamer like Red Dot Diva. It is strictly for the hardcore gamer boys (and some girls).



The PC & mobile game booths have been downplayed this year as well. Playstation, a main sponsor, secured only a small corner section, and had practical, basic-looking booths.




OK, granted that their Gran Turismo section looks pretty Tron-like and cool.



They showcased some VR games, and other titles like, FIFA 18 and Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT.



Other than e-sports, Tabletop Gaming is in the forefront in this year's Gamestart Asia. The entire area was set for players who love well-known titles like "Warhammer", "Dungeons & Dragons" as well as "Sushi Go" and "Exploding Kittens".



Of course, there is also Magic the Gathering, with volunteers all ready to help newbies get started with the game.




The first game Red Dot Diva tried at Gamestart was digital card game, "Shadowverse". She was mainly attempting it to help Ed get more freebie cards, and even with the booth attendee trying to explain to her how the game works, she still really has no clue. Mostly, she was not in a mood to think or use her brain to strategize, so she just dragged and pressed buttons. (As you can probably guess, RDD has low IQ and always loses at checkers. Let's not even mention chess.)




There were two games at Gamestart Asia that Red Dot Diva found most interesting though.

FIGHT OF GODS
The first was the now-infamous "Fight of Gods" by Taiwanese company Digital Crafter. As the name suggests, the fight game pits religious deities and gods with each other. Seriously, there's even a very ripped Jesus Christ, fighting using slabs of his broken cross.

Here's Ed playing as Jesus, pitching a fight against Buddha! The Buddha was auto-played but he was pretty vicious. Not so namaste.






Red Dot Diva decided to join in and she choose Athena because she looked like Wonder Woman! YEAH! Ed went with Anubis this time round and the battle was ON!


After three rounds of battle, she still did not manage to figure out what kind of special Divine Powers Athena had. All she knew were there were buttons to press (YAYY!), and there were low, medium and high power moves for each character. So, she just hit them when it matters. Or tried to.

She pierced Anubis to death with her sword by the way. :D


Was the game irreverent? Yes.

Was it fun? HELL (or is it heaven?) YEAH!

The quick and dirty game play was a wonderful workout for Diva's repressed anger issues, and she could not help being amused by the tongue-in-cheek idea of the entire game, as well as the characterization and vocalization of the gods when they are in battle mode.


CAT QUEST
Indie studio The Gentlebros are back again with a new game called Cat Quest. These are the guys who designed the award-winning action game Slashy Heros.


Cat Quest is an RPG game of Meowfully Cat-tastic proportions. The cutest catventurer goes on quests, either beating baddies, slaying dragons or saving fellow kitties in the Catpital. He even needs his precious cat nap from time to time so that he can heal from his wounds!


The purrfectly charming game has a hilarious script, cute visuals and was rather addictive. So, if you love cats and RPGs, this one is for you!


Red Dot Diva always found that the indie game booths were the more interesting parts of Gamestart. She wishes there were more of such fun titles to play with!

People playing the HADO AR Techno Sports game are one of the strangest things to look at. Is this how the future of playing games will look like? Red Dot Diva seems to feel that what's missing are some fancy futuristic fashion gear to go with the techno sport.


For those who prefer shopping, the Doujin Market is filled with little booths for their fandom needs. There were also other stalls like Basheer Bookstore and Kinetiquettes. Red Dot Diva did not stay long enough to meet the cosplayer guests or attend the panel featuring the producers of "NieR: Automata".


As for the "cyberpunk" The Drinkery presented by Samsung? Forget it. It was a pathetic after-thought draped with pale LED lights. It did not even look remotely cyberpunk to Red Dot Diva, so she did not even bother to see what drinks and food they were offering.

On the other hand, Red Dot Diva has to give props to Monster Energy Drinks for muscling in on their presence.



Perhaps, this is where Gamestart Asia intends to head toward in future years. More e-sports, more tabletop gaming, more doujin market. Gamestart falls under the shadow of the far bigger and very popular Tokyo Game Show in September, which caused many game companies deciding not to showcase their wares again in Red Dot Island.

Despite of this, Red Dot Diva learnt that there was a huge crowd who attended the show on Day 1. Whether this actually translates to more sales for game companies, or if it helps to elevate the status of gaming in the region, remains a real question.

To check out Gamestart Asia for yourself and to form your own opinions about the show, Day 2 of the convention begins in about 10 hours. Don't miss saying hi to Alyse, the Gamestart mascot, if you see her!




Thursday, November 3, 2016

Diva Popped Into The Illustrations Arts Fest Marketplace at LaSalle (29 October 2016)


Over 70 artists took over LaSalle College of the Arts' Campus Green last weekend (29 to 30 October 2016) promoting and selling their creative works during the inaugural Illustrations Arts Fest run by Organisation of Illustrators Council (OIC) and the Puttam School Of Film & Animation at LaSalle. According to OIC, there were about 35 alumni and current students of LaSalle who set up booths at the marketplace, and the rest were indie creators and professional artists.

When Red Dot Diva and her friends arrived at the venue at about 2 PM on the first day of the fair, it already felt like a jostle at some of the narrower walkways.


Nobrow Press' booth, which was located at the front end, saw its fair share of interested buyers. Their colourful books carried a distinctively European style, and she overheard from the lady manning the booth that many titles were selling out fast.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Diva Visited GnB Comic's Spanking New Place for Halloween Comics Fest!

Yesterday (29 October 2016), Red Dot Diva visited GnB Comic's spankin' brand new shop at Kitchener Complex for Halloween Comics Fest!

Halloween Comics Fest is an annual worldwide event when free horror comic books are given out to fans of all ages at participating stores. This was also Red Dot Diva's first time attending the celebration.

One of the few comics bookstores existing in Red Dot Island, GnB Comics has been operating at Rochor Centre for several years. Unfortunately, the blocks of old but colourful apartments and shops were marked for demolition, and as that time drew nearer, fans and members of GnB were getting twitchy wondering if the shop will carry on at another site or close its shutters for good.

Then, in late September, a surprise announcement was made on GnB Comics' mobile app. The comic book store has found a new home at Kitchener Complex, which is just a hop and a skip away from Lavender MRT Station! Woohoo!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Inaugural Illustration Arts Fest Held on 28 to 30 October and 4 to 6 November, 2016


Red Dot Diva has covered local creative events for a few years now. In the last couple of years, she noticed that the indie art scene in Red Dot Island has become even more vibrant. Generally speaking, there is now a bolder level of confidence emanating from artists and creators, as a newer generation seeks to consume a wider range of topics and forms of expression that resonate with their sense of being.

So, it is a great time for the Illustration Arts Fest (IAF) to make its debut this year. Organized by the Organisation of Illustrators Council (OIC Singapore) in celebration of its 10th anniversary, the festival will be held in two locations (LASALLE and at SWF/ The Arts House) over two weekends - 28 to 30 October, and 4 to 6 November.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Alternative Animation Festival Cartoons Underground Returns on 22 October 2016

Poster art by Jia Lee
Looking for animated films that are more edgy and more adult? Then, head to Cartoons Underground, a festival consisting of alternative animation films which will be held at Kult Kafe on Mt Emily, on 22 October, from 6 PM.

Many movie and art fans might not be aware that the festival has actually been around for the past few years, and this year's show will be their fifth edition.

Cartoons Underground is also the jump-off point for many new animators in Asia as selected projects get to be screened during the event. The festival organizers receive film submissions with 487 applications from around the world, three times more than last year's! As a result, the festival director Tan Wei Keong has curated a total of 20 films listed in two programs called "Time Loop" and "Time Warp". Red Dot Diva imagines it must been be really tough for him to narrow the slew of interesting shorts to just 20!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Gamestart Asia 2016: The Gaming Scene Got Even Bigger and Louder!

The Microsoft X-Box booth (Pic Credit: Gamestart Asia)

The third edition of Gamestart Asia, the region's premiere gaming convention, wrapped up last Sunday after a rousing 3-day run.

The organizers reported that over 20,000 gaming enthusiasts and fans made their way to the show, where they could immerse themselves in the gaming world by trying out new titles, watching e-sports and participate in quirky events, like SecretLab's chair race!


Secret Lab's chair race, with mascot Alyse 3.0 (Pic Credit: Gamestart Asia)
Adding colour to the event were the several cosplayers who wandered around the hall in their skillfully crafted costumes, of course.

Cosplay competition (Pic Credit: Gamestart Asia)

It was unfortunate that Red Dot Diva was not able to take in the Gamestart action because she was overseas at the time. However, Andre aka Million Dollar Smile and the rest of the Glam Bloggers Alliance was at at the event to check out the various games and booths.

Here's Andre's photo blog of the event (with some additional boosters from Toys-etc's Ed!)


After 2 very successful events, Gamestart Asia was back for its third year. Some of the highlights for this year’s events were the first appearance of the Microsoft’s Xbox booth where recent and upcoming releases like Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 and Final Fantasy XV were showcased, and the South East Asia Major (“SEAM”), the Southeast Asia's first and largest console tournament, which will pit Asia’s very best against one another.

So what else happened at Gamestart Asia 2016?

Check out the quick photo post of what went down on the day I was there.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Gamestart Asia 2016: Esports and Indie Games Are in the Forefront


At Gamestart Asia's press conference held on 28 September 2016, Red Dot Diva was glad to see that the organizer Eliphant, continues to have its heart in the right place regarding this annual event.

Other than the usual gaming competitions, game launches and cosplay, they have included more variety into the show with madcap events, pop-culture related geekery, like a Grand Prix chair race held by Secretlab. Imagine getting decked out in helmets or goggles, zooming down an isle and propelling mad levels of speed with while sitting on a Secretlab chair! (Click here for more information about this crazy race held during the convention.)

For its third year, there is a marked increase in the show's focus toward local and regional gaming talent, especially in the area of esports, with multiple tournaments being carried out during the weekend, like the Overwatch Champions Singapore Tournament, which will grant the top-voted indie a trip to exhibit at the Taipei Game Show 2017.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

STGCC 2016: More Guests Announced, Including Emma Rios, Jacob Chabot and Stephanie Hans


The announcement for the second wave of Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC) guests was released when Red Dot Diva was having her holiday in the UK.

Unlike in previous years, Red Dot Diva is glad to see that there are a few more noteworthy women creators in the guest list. She hopes that their presence at the convention will help boost the profile and confidence of other female creators locally in the region.


One of the female creator guests is Spanish artist Emma Rios, who has her very own graphic novel called "I.D." published with Image Comics. She is also part of the creative team for "Pretty Deadly" with popular writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and the scifi-fantasy series "Mirror" with artist Hwei Lim. Prior to these published works, Emma has also illustrated for Boom! Studios ("Hexed") and Marvel ("Doctor Strange", "Amazing Spider-man").

Monday, September 1, 2014

STGCC 2014: Bicepstuous Booths #5 - Writer Kelly Bender Is All Set To Give You Some "Starburn"


Oof. Ouch. Ow-Ow-Owwww. *sizzle*

Is that some serious "Starburn" happening this close to STGCC?

Red Dot Diva blames Kelly Bender for this. She is sure he'll be very amiable about the ruckus she is putting him through right now though. 'Coz..... He's Canadian. They so nice. *g*

But hey... if one is a scifi-nerd who likes cosmic Starburns like Valley girls like tanning machines then... do head right to Bicepstuous Booth #AA96 at the show floor this weekend. Kelly Bender will also be appearing on stage as a guest panelists in the Comics Artist Panel together with Humberto Ramos, Cameron Stewart and David Mack on Sunday, 2-3PM. Although, Kelly is not an artist, and the panel is pitched more as one about creator-owned works.

Even as Kelly is currently having a holiday with his family in Vietnam, the Glam Bloggers' Alliance managed to zero in on him, and gleefully ensnared him in a web of questions:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

STGCC 2014: Bicepstuous Booths #3 - Jai'Ho!! Kini Merch Spices Up Artist Alley with Goodies, Mumbai-style!


Pssst...

Has anyone noticed that this year's Artist Alley is getting more diversified with regards to the origins of the creators? There are artists not only from Red Dot Island itself, there are those from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Japan and South Korea. And this year, there's even a husband and wife team coming all the way from Mumbai, India!

Diksha & Abhijeet Kini's Mumbai-based store Kini Merch, will be setting up their goods at Booth #AA8. Animator and indie comics publisher/ artist Abhijeet Kini, has worked in the field of illustration since 1999. He has worked with several publications like Random Timeout Mumbai and Hindustan Times, and he is also recognized for his work in popular Indian cult titles "Tinkle", "Milk and Quickies" and "Angry Maushi Vol 1 and 2". Mumbai-centric "Angry Maushi" is actually Abhjeet’s first self-published comic book. Diksha his wife, is the queen of merchandising in their enterprise.

Red Dot Diva finds it terribly exciting to that will be extra spicy Indian-flavoured biceps at this year's convention. Here's Abhijeet Kini telling us more about himself, his experiences and his various works as well as the origins of Kini Merch:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Interview with Gilamon Studio's Lefty - Different Recipes of Horror in "Jimi Germ" and "Zero Hero"


3/4 of Gilamon Studio with Sonny Liew (far left)
One of the nicest things that could happen in the geek world is getting acquainted with the guys from Gilamon Studio.

If you are not familiar with Gilamon Studio already, it is an inspiring Malaysian creative outfit consisting of four talented and very affable creators - Julian "Lefty" Kam, Tan Eng Huat, Michael Chuah and Chin Sau Lim.

Marvel comic readers would be most familiar with artist Tan Eng Huat, whose works have graced titles like "X-Men: Legacy", "The Punisher" and "Thor: First Thunder". But, let it be known, that the other three creators are just as talented in their own right.

While Red Dot Diva has not personally met Michael Chuah yet, she has bumped into the rest of the team on several different occasions. In fact, she spent some time with Lefty and Eng Huat at their little space at the "Heavy Metal" booth during Comic-Con earlier this year. The guys were promoting their latest releases - a charming little gem called "Jimi Germ" that also has its own iTunes app, and a preview edition of "Zero Hero". It was definitely a comforting slice of home exchanging the familiar Singaporean-Malaysian accents and lingo with the two while in a far away land.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Interview In The Dark With Comic Artist Mark Torres

There's always a first time for everything.

This was the Red Dot Diva's first face-to-face interview with indie comic book artist Mark Torres. Young and energetic Mark, who seldom sleeps and slurps bottles of Jim Beam Coke, owns the biceps behind the artwork of IDW's "Infestation 1 and 2: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "Zombies vs Robots".

(For more background information of Mark Torres, check out a previous Red Dot Diva interview post right here!)

The forces seem to sense that this is an unconventional interview held with an edgy personality. For in the midst of Red Dot Diva's interview with Mark at Invasion! Toys & Collectibles store, the lights decided to just go =POOF=.

Blackout.

Interview in the Dark.

Another Red Dot Diva first.

Please be alarmed assured. Nothing pervy happened. :(

Here's Red Dot Diva's nosy Q&A with Mark Torres. Conducted in the romantic (or is it horror-creepy?) glow of an iPhone flashlight app.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

FCBD 2012: More Comic Book Geekery In Local Stores!

Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is approaching and more details have surfaced from this year's participating stores.

After a successful FCBD debut last year, Kinokuniya returns as one of the stores involved in this Saturday's events. And they have made a couple of cool announcements.

Firstly, privilege card members will be able to get their stack of free comics when they produce their membership card at the Kinokuniya's Orchard Road flagship store! (Don't be greedy, Red Dot Diva warns. One set for each member only!) Also, specially for members, there is a 20% discount going on for all comics purchased!

In addition, Kinokuniya has added a more family-friendly theme by inviting the local Star Wars 501st Legion for a store appearance. What better way to kickstart your children's geek cred than by getting them to meet Star Wars characters??

New to the FCBD fray this year is Paradigm Infinitum (PI) - the #1 Board & Tabletop Games store in Singapore! The shop is located at #03-01 of Midpoint Orchard, just a hop away from Kinokuniya. Head to PI to help them celebrate the soft launch of their new graphic novels section. They will be giving all store visitors 10 free comics! The freebies may not be the official FCBD comic releases but why would anyone turn down some cool comics for free?!?

Monday, September 19, 2011

SIFF 2011 - Charming And Quirky "Griff The Invisible"

Red Dot Diva has to admit, that being a major "True Blood" fan, it was Ryan Kwanten's name that first drew her to watch the indie film "Griff The Invisible" at the Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) 2011.

She hasn't even heard of the movie before but the synopsis and trailer of the Aussie-made movie (directed by Leon Ford) seemed charming enough.

Partially anticipating an underdog turned superhero story like how most American superheroes tend to begin their gigs, Red Dot Diva was pleasantly surprised to find that "Griff The Invisible" was more of a gentle but twisted love story that thrives in the bubble of childlike imagination.

Socially inept dreamer Griff, is a shipping clerk by day, and bad-assed black-and-yellow latex-clad superhero by night. After work, Griff spends most of his lonely existence back at his small apartment scanning blinking monitors and cries for help with a heroic aim to "uphold justice and to defend the innocent".

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gilamon's Lefty Kam Says Zombies Can Save The World Too!

After stories relating to vampires and werewolves became more mainstream in novels and TV/ movies, it was only time that their not so pretty, undead cousins - the Zombies - would be enjoying their fair share of the limelight.

The 2009 "Zombieland" comedy movie about finding a family in the midst of a zombie apocalypse received critical reviews and soon after, cable channel AMC found a hit zombie TV series based on Image Comics' "The Walking Dead" graphic novels.

Red Dot Diva thinks zombies are wayyyyyy disgusting. She is sure they are fetid too, but it doesn't mean she is unable to relish slabs of entertaining stories. Even if the subject matter is putrefyingly hungry for brains.

With a rather smart twist to the usual zombie storyline, Gilamon Studio - a Malaysian-based independent comics production company - has churned out a series of graphic novels called "Major Zombie" that mashes up superhero into the mix of the undead.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Comic Art Show 2011 - Day 2 For Geeks

Sundays are definitely lazy days.

Red Dot Diva suspected that there were probably many tipsy geeks nursing a gaming hangover last Sunday. Or maybe they were pious geeks who went to religious services in search of their souls. Or it could just be that a bunch of them got haplessly sucked into The Wormhole of Family Commitments.

'Coz from what Red Dot Diva heard, it was pretty quiet on Day 2 of Comic Art Show 2011.

But the real reason could just very well be that Red Dot Diva and her glittery aura wasn't there to help entice unsuspecting folks. She was busy that morning too -- catching up on her beauty sleep.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Comic Art Show 2011 - Day 1 Was Buzzing!

Set in the arty part of the Bras Basah-Selegie area, Wilkie Edge was a nice quiet spot to host an indie-styled Comic Art Show.

Red Dot Diva strolled in about 2 pm and immediately spotted a couple of familiar faces. To her surprise, several art pieces were already sold, leaving empty spaces on the exhibition wall! And a few more which were still on the wall, were already tagged with orange "SOLD" stickers. Wow.

This was just 4 hours into the opening of the exhibition. A great start to a local show focused on comic art!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brea Grant In Indie Movie "Homecoming"

Red Dot Diva is sometimes terribly envious of those living in LA. For she loves most things indie and Lala-land is usually almost where "stuff happens".

She usually has to settle with living vicariously through various good friends who are able to experience these events first-hand.

Just this Monday 25 July, an indie movie entitled "Homecoming" was screened at the Downtown Independent in LA, as part of a monthly event by Film Courage.

The heartwarming movie, starring actress-comic creator, Brea Grant ("Heroes" and in the next season of "Dexter"), John Robinson, Tom Fox-Davies, Sean Hackett and Colleen Camp, has already won some awards in film festivals around the USA, including US/ International Best Narrative Film at the 2011 AMC Theatres Kansas City FilmFest. The tale about friendship and family was written and directed by Sean Hackett.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Introducing Rudy: Astroundingly Intricate Artwork

Just astounding. Simply astounding.

Red Dot Diva was shown a couple of Rudy Ao's sketches a couple of months back, and she could see that the details in Rudy's artwork are extremely intricate. It is obvious that he invests a great amount of time to his craft.

One way to check Rudy's pieces in real life is to come down to Wilkie Edge for the Comic Art Show 2011 on 30 - 31 July, and to see him do his drawings in person!

Like fellow artist Noval Hernawan, who will also be making an appearance in the same art show, Rudy is originally from Indonesia. And get this - Rudy graduated from university in architecture!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Space, MN" Gets Freaky And Ready

Lovers of non-superheroes tales and conspiracy theories, or simply creepy things, would enjoy an upcoming graphic novel called "Space, MN".

There is something very weird going on in Space lately. And its small town cops are trying their best to figure out what is the cause of all these. As expected, there are nosy journalists and wily politicians involved in the fray. And as the story progresses, it all begins to reek of something ominous and things get as mysterious as the Cheshire Cat.

Speaking about cats... Red Dot Diva thinks she has probably come across one of the creepiest in "Space, MN". *shudder*

If one could recall, Red Dot Diva had an interview with one of the creators Shawn DePasquale, in April earlier this year. At that time, the novel was in the process of being coloured. (Read the previous interview and some preview pages here.)

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