Sunday, April 25, 2010

Good Vibrations - Surf, Sci Fi and Sex On The Beach.

Typically when I go away on holiday I find myself away from computers with just a notepad in hand. In this situation I am usually inspired to write something new, either in the form of a script or a video game. This inspiration came about in a time when I hadn't released either.

Now that I have released a script or two and have software on the shelves I find myself on the other side and inspiration doesn't come the same way. Before it came from blind optimism and desperation, meaning I thought I could make a game / had to make a game (or movie) and a kind of frivalous form of imagination allowed me to design unimpeded by software engine min specs, language constraints and memory limitations - not to mention budget, team size and economy models of a particular platform I might develop for. Now I find myself looking (properly) at the market for both.

I have been playing a lot of iPhone games on my break, reading and watching lots of movies and have come up with the following.

For iPhone games, I haven't decided what to make, but I have decided that I can pretty much write any type of game I want and it will be well recieved if it has the eye candy on the appStore. Of course it's gotta be good, but that's to be expected. I will start working on a kind of grindy, post-apocalypse adventure game for the iPhone with lots of the assets I've accumulated over time.

For movies, I have thought seriously about it and in wanting to bring two of my favourite genres together I have come up with ... "teen slasher sci fi movie" - stupid hey? But I think it will work.

Oh by the way, I thought coming to Bali would mean endless days of surf and sun. Unfortunately there was only a bit of surf for the first couple of days - but plenty of sun, which is why I have time to reflect, rather than be out there being pounded by waves.

I have been reading "Salts and Suits"by Phil Jarrat, a book about the surf merchandise industry, mainly founded by Quiksilver, Billabong and Rip Curl (all Australian companies). At the moment I am reading about the history of surfing as a sport which was discovered as early as 1778 by James Cook when visiting Hawaii. Of course it must have been going on long before then, but of interest was the emergence of two "travel journos" Mark Twain and Jack London, who both had a go at surfing.

They got totally worked of course and developed an appreciation for the elegance and exhilaration of the sport. By the way, the locals were completely starkers when they surfed, which leads to sex on the beach - a particular pagan ritual the locals adopted after a day out in the surf, and a drink I could buy from the sunked pool bar ;-)

Said Twain, "In one place we came upon a large company of naked natives...amusing themselves with the national pasttime of surf-bathing. Each heathen would paddle...out...and wait for a particulary prodigious billow to come along; at the right moment he would fling his board upon it's foamy crest ... and here he would come whizzing by like a bombshell!"

Said London, "When a breaker curled over my head, for a swift instant I could see the light of day through it's emerald body; then down would go my head, and I would clutch the board with all my strength. Then would come the blow, and to the onlooker on shore I would be blotted out... I should not recommend those smashing blows to an invalid or delicate person".

Fortunately for London he was a boxer, swimmer, fencer and cyclist so he was strong enough to survive a wipeout.

I did find this archival footage from ASO on surfing in 1949. I found it in a attempt to find some ancient footage shot by Robert Bonine in 1906 of surfers in Hawaii, but youTube seems to keep taking it down.

Facinating stuff and if you have information of surf history especially in Australia, maybe your parents or their parents have some yarns, please email me.