Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Something Special: Everfree Radio


So... yes. At long last, after months of different inquiries and my kicking the idea around (and despite some misgivings on my part after some recent posts here on the blog), I have finally agreed to do an online interview, with none other than the Cutie Art Crusaders of Everfree Radio! It's going to be airing this evening, November 6th at 9pm EST and 6pm PST, streamed live on Everfree.net I believe, and afterwards should be available to watch/listen to on YouTube, at which point I will probably edit this post with further information for anyone who might be interested. Primarily, we will be discussing some existing artworks of mine in-depth, and it's also an opportunity for all you to hear that I do not at all sound British, or like Rarity, or however else people have guessed, remarked, and/or asked about in the past (despite the fact I have done my best to assure people that these things have never been the case!). Hopefully you all will enjoy it if you decide to listen in, and I will apologize in advance for the fact that I was still on the very tail end of my cold at the time it was recorded, just in case some of you manage to pick up on that!

If anyone is interested, you can stay updated with the Cutie Art Crusader's news and schedules and so on on their Twitter, here at http://twitter.com/cutieartcrusade. I shall see you all on the other side then, and until then do stay fabulous, my friends! ^_~


WD

148 comments:

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Oooh, exciting! I'll have to give that a listen sometime this weekend, just after I get another three exams out of the way. And huzzah, new art(?)! Rarity and giant hats go pretty well considering the Melbourne Cup carnival was so recent, an event she would not hesitate to shop up to.

One hour to the Maths exam!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Well, honestly, it is rather exciting for me as well, and only ever-so-slightly nerve-wracking (at least the entire thing was prerecorded though, which gives me one less thing to worry about!). Hopefully you'll enjoy it when you do get around to it. As for the Rarity artwork it is indeed something "new", or something I haven't posted anywhere prior to now at least, since I actually sketched it two or three weeks ago I think (at work on a slow day, for shame on me ^_^;).

Good luck to you on your math exam, dear!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Rarity in a hat is always a treat! And this time she's announcing an recorded interview? Quite the surprise, and an exciting one too! I'm really looking forward to hearing you discuss your artistic process and such in an actual interview, and really there aren't any artists I would rather hear about, so I think it's quite the catch for them.

As for Rarity in the sketch, she really has no need to seem nervous or to hide under her fabulous hat... You're going to come of as delightful without a doubt. It's an adorable image loaded with character, and the same can be said of your personality. I have no doubt that you'll win many new fans once they hear your charming voice and intelligent discussion!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Oh, you with my "charming voice" and whatnot; if I've said it once I've said it a thousand times before, you are FAR too kind to me dear! Don't forget about the fact that I was still slightly sick as well (though certainly, I sounded better at this point than the last time you and I spoke), but nevertheless I hope it comes out alright, and that people will enjoy listening to it. Even if you and I have probably had far more in-depth discussions about art and other random things already!

As for Rarity, thank you very much for the kind words as always. I didn't draw this picture with the intent of using it for such a purpose, but it seemed to work well for it regardless. But no matter what, I don't think I could ever thank you enough for always being so incredibly encouraging and supportive to me... you truly are the best! <3

Kein said... Reply to comment

Yeah, I will wait for the recording. Can't watch online.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

While I'm naturally tempted to leave you thinking of me as some overly supportive friend which you should treasure for all time, I'm afraid the jig will be up once everyone gets to hear you tonight. By tomorrow everyone will know just how captivating and vivacious you are when speaking. You really do have a lovely voice, and such a cultured, warm and friendly way about you that comes across when you talk, and I'll be shocked if you don't have a stream of people telling you that same thing once they get a listen. It's almost impossible to listen to you and not imagine the best of dinner parties happening around you as you speak.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Kein

Hello dear! And well, whenever you do get around to listening I hope you will enjoy it... I appreciate the interest no matter what!

@Harwick

And okay, well now I really am blushing. Intensely, in fact. <3

Anon said... Reply to comment

I haven't finished writing my response comment for the last thread, but I want to make sure I mention that this is quite exciting news, and I will be sure to attend the livestream. To have a more realistic conversation with you would be a dream. I am glad we, your loyal followers, did not make you feel too self-conscious to accept this opportunity and share yourself with thousands more. Having experienced your words' charm in text form, I can hardly imagine the effect you have in person. I'm really looking forward to it!

(And I will add more here when I'm a bit more caught up.)

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

I got the news via deviantART before finding it here, and I have already expressed my anticipation there...but I really do look forward to hearing you at last, and I suppose an assignment or two could wait for a few minutes. And just to top it all off, Rarity with an enormous hat, which I think everyone else here has already elaborated on. XD

As a side note, I'd like to say hi to everyone here again...assignments are FINALLY letting up and I think I can get back to my regular commenting soon. I've missed everyone terribly as well (maybe exact Zhoomcar, as I've constantly been in close proximity to him on Twitter =P)~!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

Allo again, Scrolls. If you do happen to attend the livestream, I will be in the chat as "Anon". I probably won't say much if I'm the only familiar name around at the moment, but it will at least be fun to sit in and listen to the recording all at once. That's what I like about livestreams. They give a feeling of involvement.

Only one minute left! Isn't this exciting? Are you excited? 'Cause I'm excited I've never been so excited well, except for that time...

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Well, that was an entertaining hour! Naturally, I thought it was far too short, but then I'm not one for brief discussions with you as you know. Personally, I didn't much notice the cold... You did sound a bit deeper than usual, but I don't know if that was from you being stuffed up or if it was just the method of recording you. Regardless, you were naturally charming and a very entertaining guest!

Oh, and you were far too kind to use some of your airtime to send a shoutout to my own work... I horn in on your well-deserved attention far too much as it is, you can't go giving away valuable White Diamonds airtime like that. Still, it was extraordinarily flattering, and yet another example of what a warm and generous friend you are.

Oh, and thank god they snuck in some discussion on your often-vectored Surprised Rarity image! I was sitting there mentally prodding them to bring it up as they were searching your works for final comments, and low and behold they did! I obviously have retroactive psychic powers that can affect pre-recorded interviews. I'll try to use those powers responsibly.

Regardless, wonderful job! Witty, insightful, and all-around fun, it's no wonder they gushed over you my dear. You deserved every moment of it!

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Ahhh... gosh, I'm still trying to find the time to sit down and respond to everything that's been said in the previous post, and have been for about two weeks now... but somehow I magically caught wind of the interview tonight and put aside an hour to listen to it. I'm very happy to have done so, too. And Harwick must be pleased to have been given mention multiple times, hehe :P

Overall, the hour was very cute and fun. I always feel like I'm saying something embarrassing for the other person when I make a comment like this, but while I knew in my heart that a voice neither British nor Rarity was to be expected... I didn't expect your voice to sound so youthful and energetic :o I mean, I apologize for this, but of course most peoples' own headcanon is Rarity's voice to a tee. Instead, though, you sound really... well, cute xD Endearing and very fun. You must be someone very fun to talk to, really. I'm sorry if I'm saying embarrassing stuff but it's totally the truth.

More on the interview itself, I think the Cutie Art Crusaders (whom I've never heard of until now) sound like a fun bunch of people, too, and they probably make really nice conversation partners. If they're ever interviewing any other artists I know, I'll certainly listen to them in the future. And I also learned tonight about that face! I've been hearing about a face meme you started and I never knew what it was until now D: I was always in the dark about exactly what face it was. But now I know, hehe. I wonder if it would make a good pixel icon...

That all said, thank you for giving me an excuse to get off my lazy tired behind and come post on this blog again. I miss you all, and as I've said, I've been trying to find it in myself for a few weeks now to get back to the other post, but... well, things. I'll explain over there (eventually) and not muddle up this new, shiny untainted post <.<;

@Anon

Oh darn, if I'd have known that, I wouldn't have snuck in with a Pony name instead, but I used that name to see if anyone else more familiar with that screen name would recognize me in the chat... or vice versa. Still, it's neat to think we were there together! (Points if you know which random usename was me!)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon
@RenaTurnip

Now see, I didn't even realize there was a chat. Ah well... I hope there was some fun stuff discussed during it all!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Hello dearest! I'm glad you were able to catch this post before the livestream happened, apparently! And I sincerely hope you enjoyed it (and yes, I was very excited before it started, and rather nervous as well). Concerning my feeling self-conscious, only a small amount of that had anything to do with any previous posts on the subject (and yes, that ominous warning of yours comes to mind!), but mostly I would have only hated to disappoint anyone that might have had any elevated expectations of me, which might have easily happened the way my darling Harwick tends to talk me up all the time. ;p I really hope it met your expectations then!

@CaineScroll

And hello again, dear! I have expressed my happiness in hearing from you again on deviantART already, of course, but allow me to reiterate that it is a very pleasant surprise. I hope school has been going alright for you, and that you enjoyed the livestream if you listened, as well! And certainly, if it turns out that you will have more time for commenting and such again, I'm sure I will not be alone in welcoming you back!

Thank you for the mention about Rarity, by the way. The sketch isn't much I know, but still one can never have enough of giant hats in any way, shape or form I feel!

@Harwick

Aha, you... I always tell you that you are the best, just as you always say such wonderful things about me, but that doesn't make it any less true... even moreso actually, I think! It's funny you say that because the hour passed far too quickly for me as well when we were recording (or more like, I simply couldn't believe it was up at the time they started saying we needed to wrap things up), but I know that I at least had a lot of fun and I hope that everyone else did, as well! And yes, the deeper-sounding voice is exactly what I was referring to, since you know I had just gotten over that laryngitis, but there were a few points where I was a bit nasally as well. Also, during the interview I coughed several times (and excused myself accordingly), which they seemed to have edited out... one of the benefits of prerecording an interview I suppose.

Anyhow though! Yes I did plug you a bit, but it was something that was entirely relevant to the conversation, and in my own opinion was entirely well-deserved at that. Because you are a wonderfully talented artist and a fabulous friend of course. I know after the interview we all talked about the possibility of you maybe being on the show in the future (and don't worry, I told them all you don't have Skype either!), and at one point when discussing my maybe reappearing in the future we talked about both of us maybe being interviewed together! I'm sure it's not very practical considering you probably wouldn't be interested in doing an interview, but still I thought it was funny, and in the off-chance that it is ever possible I know I would be all for it. ^_~

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

Hahaha, don't worry, I don't find those comments to be embarrassing or anything of the sort at all... honestly, it's rather nice to hear that you feel that way! "Energetic" is probably a nice way of saying that I talk very quickly and ramble a great deal (which, I really cannot argue), but I don't mind, and whatever the case may be I'm happy that you seemingly enjoyed the whole show. Thank you very much! <3

As for the Cutie Art Crusaders themselves, they are indeed very nice people. Flutterguy317 is very kind and sweet, Bernd01 and RainbowPlasma are very helpful and informative, and PinkieDash is a character to sum it up nicely. They were very pleasant to talk to, as we were on for an hour both before and after the interview I think (they needed to help me get everything set up as well, because I am so incredibly challenged by most technology), so yes, it was definitely an enjoyable experience.

Lastly, regarding that meme and the Rarity artwork of mine, I could have sworn that we all discussed the matter at one point before... leastwise, I remember your asking about it but I suppose I must never have responded! I'm sorry about that, but at least you know now, and as I said on the show I genuinely to find that whole situation to be incredibly amusing.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Teehee, when I saw the interview was only an hour, I couldn't help myself. Hearing your voice did clear up a lot of things (and others) - You don't sound British, or similar to Rarity, but also for someone of your age you sound quite young. A fascinating insight into your creative process!

Enough squeee from me, back to studying. The math exam went pretty well, in my opinion anyway, another one is scheduled tomorrow T_T

@CaineScroll
wat, wat r u doin, get out, stahp

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

Darnit, my school's WiFi was just too bad for me too maintain a good connection, so I had to make do with the YouTube broadcast instead. Though I can already see you and Anon pulling a comedy duo act...thing. =P

@WhiteDiamonds

Like I mentioned to our beloved Turnips above (giggle),I caught the entire thing on YouTube after the initial livestream was over. It was really great to hear you speak, though you honestly do sound like a typical Californian girl ("YOU DON'T SAY?") who sounds, as Anon said, a little young for her age. In a good way, of course. ^^ As for the show itself, I seem to recall them commenting on Harwick's dA page at one point in the past...though I don't really know the details. (@Harwick: I'm perking up my ears for your voice next, big guy~! =P)

As for school, it's going pretty smoothly so far; I'm hitting the last assignment for every subject! That gives me a fair amount of time to finally work on something (which I've already uploaded on dA)...and as an added bonus, if something from my portfolio looks presentable enough I might consider uploading it here as well, just to share with y'all. =)

@zhoomcar
YOU KANNOT EVADE ME FOREVAH MAH BOY. AYAM ALWAYS WATCHING YOU. =)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Well, naturally I'd agree to being co-interviewed with you, as that would mostly be just another Harwick/White Diamonds discussion and those guys listening in, and I'm always down for another rambling conversation with you. I suppose I could answer a few of their questions as well, but I'd be curious as to how well they'd be able to wrangle us down to a specific topic, and certainly keeping it all within a single hour would be difficult.

That's why we need to do the whole convention thing, so that we can end a panel and just take the discussion over to a comfortable bar/lounge. Did you ever see the show "Dinner for Five", I think it was? Actor/Director Jon Favreau basically would invite 4 celebrities on and they'd have dinner and film the discussions they all had around the table. You definitely need to host the Brony version of that show... I'm betting the discussion will get progressively more interesting the longer the wine is served. I'm telling you, that's an internet ratings smash waiting to happen.

I'm a bit amused that people here and on DA think you sound young... It makes me wonder what mental image each of us have for each other. I can't recall having that reaction myself, but then considering our relative ages I'm not really in a position to be shocked by it, am I?

In any event, it truly was a lot of fun to listen to it, so thank you for agreeing to give such a gracious interview and for alerting us all to the opportunity to listen in. :-)

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

I was so excited to see on dA that you had decided to share your wonderful self with the world, and had consented to an interview! It took me a little longer than a few others to actually sit down and listen to the entire interview, but I finally did so, and each and every second was of course completely and utterly worth my while.

I'll start with everyone's favorite topic of conversation, your voice. You were very, very well-spoken, with a strong and clear voice, and you came across as an absolutely natural and comfortable speaker. I certainly hope you weren't worried about it at any point! I cannot even believe your assertion that you were on the mend from a head cold at the time! Truly, you sound as charming and pleasant as you type. :)

You were from beginning to end articulate, confident, and prepared, and I cannot overstate what a joy it was to hear you talk about your art and your process. It was so fun to get a behind-the-scenes look - I have to admit that I'm curious as to what a malfunctioning auto-umbrella might look like!

As Harwick noted, it's absolutely no surprise that you were so warmly received, and that the interviews were slightly in awe of you - we all are, you know! (And, as one of the interviewers said, addicted!) Even though they were excited just to have the chance to talk to you, they were able to suss out quite a bit about how you work (it really is incredible that you have had relatively little formal training), and how you concept out pieces. The greatest pleasure of all for me, I think, was just having the opportunity to reexperience some of the highlights of your pony portfolio in a new, more analytical way. I'm finding myself obsessing over your talent all over again.

The Harwick part was fun - really, how DOES he draw water like that? It's still mystifying to me. For the record, I can scarcely think of anything more lovely than the idea of you and he doing a co-interview to discuss your art and mutual admiration.

Thank you so much for doing this interview and for sharing a bit more of yourself with the world. As gracious as you were throughout the talk, there can be no doubt that you truly are the Element of Loveliness! I know I say it all the time, but once again I feel absolutely privileged to know you.

Anon said... Reply to comment

(Obligatory note that I was quoting Pinkie from the first episode of the first season earlier, because it was the first thing that came to mind.)

@WhiteDiamonds

I am aware that you have been a victim of art theft before, but I have terrible news. I have just watched an online interview wherein some American girl was posing as you. (She really should have read some of your comments. I don't think she even tried to imitate the Canterlotian tongue.)

Expectations? You have already far surpassed my expectations for any human being, ever since I met you here at the blog. I would already be more than content to know that the interviewee speaking from the other side is the one and only WhiteDiamonds. Harwick does speak highly of you, and he gave a suitable warning for the unbridled charm that you exude in your words and your manner of speaking them in any form of conversation. I personally thought that you had conducted yourself with utmost grace, of which I was not at all surprised. I know you well enough to be sure you would be so charismatic. As someone who administers a community blog based around a mutual admiration for your artwork and yourself, how could anyone expect anything less?

Most the subjects of the interview have already been discussed here, so much of the focus really was on your voice, as it was the only thing that was unfamiliar to me. The first thing that struck me, like most of us apparently, was how young you sound. Your actual voice is closer to what I imagined for Kateasaurus, though perhaps more professional. I didn't notice any indication of a cold, and in fact I had quickly forgotten about it for the majority of the video. I did notice that you sound distinctly Californian, and actually, you sound quite like a younger Lauren Faust. When you laughed and spoke more casually, you started to sound more like what I had imagined. Since I have based my "imaginary voices" largely on age, I guess everybody really sounds a lot younger than I had originally imagined. Maybe the age gap isn't so prevalent as I was expecting?

Anyway, it did end far too quickly, though if it were me, I would have continued that call for hours on end. I can't imagine the pain that Harwick must endure to hang up on you so many times. I'm sure it would be a joy to talk to you, even if I would have nothing of interest to say. Maybe this is another business opportunity...

Since I probably don't have much to say in the last thread anyway, I will mention that livestreams had much to do with my general absence, as they have taken up my spare time, and the rest of my hours are spent working. The two days that I posted those in-progress lineart drawings were the only days that I spent (or could spend) any time drawing. (I would have left a comment here earlier today, but I spent the morning without electricity and I haven't had the time to spare until now. I had planned on writing all this last night, but I could have sworn something was going on at the time.)

I don't think I will go to effort of tampering with the audio recording after all, but to be fair, you didn't even make your entrance with a dramatic utterance of "Gentlemen." I need something to work with, after all. Oh, and the sketch is amusing as always, though it seems to suggest you actually were quite nervous... I hope you are satisfied with your presentation and are not at all embarrassed in the end. It was a fun hour, and you certainly did a great job. My favorite part may have been when you mentioned that your blog was for "chatting with your friends"... It is still a high compliment to me, for you to call me a friend. Thank you for thinking of us, and for putting aside some of your time to brighten the days of your many fans, myself included.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

"who sounds, as Anon said, a little young for her age."

BREAKING NEWS: Members of the WhiteDiamonds art blog are spontaneously acquiring oddly specific psychic powers. Screenwriter Joss Whedon is excited to have "an exciting opportunity to tell an engaging new story", also to make millions of dollars. News at eleven.)

@Harwick

I have always imagined you as sounding like my none-too-serious uncle, but I realize he is 55, so I probably have to adjust that a bit now.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Anon
brb going back to past blog posts and commenting about the future

Harwick said... Reply to comment




I thought I'd offer a review of the "My Little Pony" mobile game that was released yesterday for the iphone/ipad (with others yet to come, it seems).

It's a pretty standard, free-to-play, social network "farming" type of game. As some of you know, I end up designing quite a few assets for these kinds of social networking games in my freelance work. This isn't to say that I think these kinds of games are particularly fun to play, but then that isn't really the point. These games are all about collecting new assets (in this case, gradually building Ponyville and getting the population to show up there.) To do that, you have to put in work or (as the developer hopes) get impatient and just decided to buy the "optional" bags of resources (bits and gemstones) directly from them for a charge. From what I saw, the options include a bag of bits for $1.99, all the way up to a huge stash of gemstones for $99. That's in real money. I think I'll keep to the free play, but then I'll likely never afford to bring Princess Celestia to my Ponyville, as I need something like 950 gems to do it and I have, as yet, earned less than 20.

It has a storyline, complete with voice acting from the cast of the show. Basically, it's the Nightmare Moon story, only this time all of Ponyville is trapped in her night world, and you have to bring the buildings and ponies back to the daytime by adding the buildings to the map (you can place them anywhere you've cleared the space,) and occasionally completing tasks in a certain order. (I had to build a variety of things from banners to pie stands, and bring in Mrs. Cake by building SugarCube Corner so that we could throw a party and entice Pinkie to arrive.)

The graphics are cute and well done. Ponies happily trot around your little town as they are added, and interact slightly with each other, gathering in little groups. Various snippets of recognizable music from the show play to keep things lively, from the theme song to bits from "Find a Pet" or some background music from "Winter Wrap-up". Birds chirp as they fly, bunnies run around, fireflies and butterflies hover over undeveloped land. Oh, and Derpy (called something like "everyone's favorite", forever the pony that must not be named) likes to hide in a box with eyeholes cut in it, waiting for you to find her, after which she happily flies and trots around town for a while. All in all, it's pretty charming.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

The gameplay is standard farming fare. You need to earn bits to buy new buildings and ponies. You do this by putting ponies to work. Build an apple cart, put a pony to work there, and in 26 minutes of real time you can collect the 150 bits they will have earned. You start with the windmill (which makes grain and bread, taking 1 minute to earn 30 bits.) The trick is that until you collect the money earned, the business won't start the clock on earning the next bit. Hence you need to constantly be "harvesting" what you earn in order to earn more.

Likewise you have to level up your ponies so that they can handle more complex jobs. There are 3 minigames for doing this, all very simple and repetitive. One is playing with a pony, bouncing a ball back and forth. The other is catching apples as they fall out of the trees. Once you've earned enough to level up, you have to collect a star by playing a flying game (non-pegasi get magic butterfly wings) where you collect coins and buck white clouds while avoiding storm clouds and Shadowbolts.

There seems to be a goal of restoring all of the elements of
harmony and banishing Nightmare Moon as well. (Tabitha St. Germain reprises Nightmare Moon to taunt you now and again.) Each element has it's own temple-ish structure on the map, and you need to reach them and collect enough shards of the elements to reactivate them. (Various tasks and jobs spit out bits, gems and element shards as rewards for completing them.) Of course, to get there you have to dispel the night surrounding each tile of the map... and that costs you bits. And if there's rocks or something on that tile that don't allow you build there, then you can remove them... by paying bits. And sometimes there are Parasprites infesting a bit of land, although to get rid of those you just have to expend some element shards instead of bits. Alternatively, you can spend a few gems and skip most anything that costs bits or excessive amounts of time... but gems are hard to come by for free, and some ponies can only be bought with gems. (Lyra costs 15 gems. Celestia costs 950. I don't think I'm going to be adding Celestia to my Ponyville.)

You're supposed to link up to other people on social media and trade things back and forth, but I'm pretty antisocial so I likely won't be doing that.

There are other fine points to the game, but that's pretty much it in broad strokes. It's much like owning a fish tank, but filled with ponies and having just as much or more maintenance. On the plus side, there's no evidence that anything dies from neglect, so you don't seem to have to worry that Cheerilee or BonBon will meet a bad end if you don't rush to check up on them. And the game is obviously made with Bronies in mind, filled with fan favorites... Octavia, Lyra, Fancypants, Flim and Flam, Soarin Fleetfoot and Spitfire, Cherry Jubilee, Daring Do, Filthy Rich, The Big Lebowski ponies, Rarity's Dad (named Magnum in here), Blueblood, Luna's Nightguard, Shining Armor and Cadance... Plenty so far, and if this is anything like the games I end up working on, they'll likely keep adding new ponies and buildings to keep people interested.) I can't add Rarity until I reach level 19, unfortunately. I'm currently at level 12, and working to entice Applejack to come back. Big Mac is working the carrot farm for now.

So all in all, it's pretty nice for what it is... but what it is is a farming game. It's a decent enough time waster, but you do quickly reach the point where you just set them at their chores and figure you'll check in on them later, collect your money, set them going again, and repeat until you earn enough for that special pony you have your eye on. Or until you break down and pay to skip straight to owning them.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

That's because I AM young! Honestly, I sincerely hope that we will all still be in contact with each other in at least some capacity by the time you younger kids get to be my age, so that I will be able to hear you say that it's not really all that old or far along after all. Of course, I suppose if that was the case I would also be that much older than you at that point, so I probably wouldn't have much to feel smug about after all... alas~

In any case though, and all joking aside I hope you enjoyed the whole thing anyway, dear, and I'm glad you found my rambling interesting! I also hope that second math test went well, too. =)

@CaineScroll

Pshh, see my comment about age to zhoomcar above! I can only imagine what all of you were realistically expecting from me, since of course you could not genuinely have been imagining Rarity after all. But as with everyone else I am very happy you had a chance to listen in and that you seemingly enjoyed the whole thing, and as for Harwick and the show he and I both had artwork featured on the weather episode as was mentioned during the program (that was when the CAC posted on his page a month or so ago, and also on mine), and I learned during recording that they also had his "Swim Coach" piece on an even earlier episode focusing on water. I assume that's what you're referring to!

Regardless though, it's very nice to hear that school has been going alright and that you should have some more free time for yourself soon (hopefully), and I will make an effort to check out your latest offering as soon as I get on deviantART then. It's nice to have you around again!

@Harwick

Seriously, reading all of these reactions really makes me wonder what people were expecting from me as I said, or how old they were actually imagining me to sound (and probably look!) at that! Thirty-one is not at all old, after all~ **sniffle** As for our expectations of each other, you, Ponydora and I have all recently discussed the topic of course, but I'll reiterate that I seemingly have/had you both pegged in my own mind, so that's a nice thing at least.

As for your idea darling, while I've been aware for some time that you're quite brilliant, of course, I think you just may have outdone yourself with this one. That is an absolutely fantastic notion, and the way I am imagining it now is that you and I are going to kickstart this show, it's going to become a huge success, we shall both become incredibly rich and I'll be able to buy my European castle to convert into the bed-and-breakfast as we have discussed so many times in the past, and you can afford to buy our Urban Oasis condo and/or the Blog Cabin even if you don't win them, so that we can have some nice vacation spots for a little change of pace when life at court becomes a bit too hectic. It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant I tell you!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

**blushie** Oh, honestly, all of you are far too amazing and generous and kind, and you especially seem to make a habit of being all of the above on a regular basis, my friend. Thank you so very much for all the kind words! I wouldn't say I was really worried about the interview at all at the time I recorded it, or especially nervous, since the CAC team and myself had already been speaking for a good hour with one another before the thing actually started and they really are a very lovely supportive group as I said. I was quite comfortable, and it wasn't until the show was actually set to air that I felt any nerves of any kind, as I have already expressed to some of you here and on deviantART!

And as for my cold, as I said I was mostly over that at the time, but the fact that I had just gotten over my accompanying laryngitis was what affected my voice more than anything I think. My father managed to listen to the interview the other day, or some of it at least (my family doesn't really follow much of anything I do in the fandom but many of them are aware I draw ponies at least, and those that heard about it were interested enough in the idea of my participating in an interview) and he himself said more than once that I didn't really sound like myself throughout the whole thing. So maybe you all haven't had a chance to really hear my voice after all, or at least what it normally sounds like, I'm not sure (since I can't usually hear myself as others do, of course).

Anyhow though, thank you very much as well for that incredibly generous praise about myself and whatever it is I might have said over the course of the program... honestly, listening back on it myself I can't help but laugh and think about how entirely un-helpful I was when responding to so many of the questions directed at me. There were a couple different times listening that I thought, 'wait, why am I going off rambling about this now? That wasn't what they asked me originally!' But whatever the case may be they all seemed to feel the show went well enough, and I know I had a very good time. If I ever am given the invitation to appear again I'm sure it will be my pleasure to accept, and again I thank you all for the lovely feedback and never-ending support, it means so much to me! <3

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Hello again dear. ^.^ First off, allow me to restate once again (but no less truthfully) that I'm so happy you all seemed to enjoy that interview, as I myself very much enjoyed recording it as well as the idea of being able to share a little bit more of myself with all of you. Talking about artwork with the CAC team was a great deal of fun, but more than anything it was the idea that I was involving myself more with the pony community, or making an effort to I suppose, that I found especially enticing and rewarding, and for that very reason I'd be very happy to accept such a generous invitation again in the future (and provided such a thing comes up). I do sincerely appreciate all of your very kind words, thank you!

I have addressed the matter of my age to zhoomcar and CaineScroll already of course, but again I can only wonder what all of you must have been expecting, and allow me to say that *I* at least have never considered the gap to be a significant defining factor in any of our relationships here! We're all here because of ponies after all, so I can only imagine that all of us are young enough at heart at least that such things as actual chronological age shouldn't have to divide us up too much. Perhaps more interesting to me in your comment (and I suppose CaineScroll's as well) is the mention of my sounding distinctly Californian... I have been told the same by other online friends and acquaintances in the past which is why I myself made mention of it on deviantART, but at the same time I can't say that I personally have ever noticed it. I'm not sure what a California accent is even supposed to sound like though, and since I've never heard Lauren Faust speak before I guess I can't really reference that as a good example, either.

Anyhow, though! I can only say I'm extremely happy that I didn't end up disappointing anyone by not living up to whatever expectations they may have had of me, and also that you have decided not to make any sort of strange audio edits of my recording after all, much appreciated (^_~). It's a shame in a way that I really can't speak to all of you one on one at least once, or likely not anyway, because I'm sure I would very much enjoy that as well. And lastly regarding the sketch, as I said to Harwick (I believe) I didn't actually draw that picture for the purpose of serving as a header for this interview post, or even with such a thing in mind... it was drawn several weeks ago you see, and long before I had ever committed myself to doing this. Whatever the case may be though I'm happy that you like it, and thank you very much for that and for all of the other wonderful feedback about myself and interview as well! **digital hugs**

@Harwick (again)

Oh yes, and I almost forgot, but thank you for sharing your impressions of the pony game as well. I don't have an iPhone or an iPad myself, and had actually forgotten that the game was being made or existed to begin with if I'm being honest, but nevertheless it made for an interesting read. I'm sure that if I did own the appropriate goods I would be more than happy to spend my slower nights at the studio leveling up ponies and collecting gems!

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Season Three just over the horizon... what do now? For the Season two finale I legitimately wanted to suit up and watch the finale in formal attire (at 3am!) but sadly I just had to break out in hives, so that plan was out the window. At least this time Season Three premieres at the slightly friendlier (relatively) time of 2am, Australian EST. Le sigh.

@Harwick
I've been playing through the game since it came out, it's surprisingly not bad (but not amazing either). Saddens me that after Applejack the next Mane 6 to unlock is Rarity... which looks like will either require a LOT of patience or alternatively, shell out some cash for. Sadface.

@WhiteDiamonds
Way to get get our hopes up. Really! The interview sort of left my thinking that thirty one wasn't that old, seeing as I am a bit over half your age... Or you know, you can sound comparatively old to a one year old baby (thirty one times older? gasp!) The second math exam however was probably the stuff of nightmares 3: I'm just hoping the rest of the state did just as badly, it was probably the hardest exam of the past couple of years :( As for the rest of the exams, I had Literature on Friday, which went a bit better than I thought it would, and as of now I have a week until my final exam, Software Development. Which leaves me with a week to study, and plenty of time for pony!

Also, WhiteDiamonds reunions would be kind of funny. Bloggers of 2011/2012 meet in 2025!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

"Wasn't that old", hah! No indeed, and thank you very much for saying so dear, I appreciate it. ^_~ As for your math test I am dreadfully sorry to hear that it was so awful, but I'm sure you did alright and certainly better than I would have, even back when I was still in school.


But yes, anyhow~! **massively excited** So how about that new episode everyone! Meeheehee, I very much enjoyed that, and it had some fabulous moments which absolutely made my morning I must say~ <3 And not to mention THIS, hnnnnnnnghhh!! <3 Whatever else could possibly be said, this is a most fabulous day to be whiteDiamonds! <3 <3

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Here be spoilers!

@WhiteDiamonds
Well that was a good episode. Can't say it was better than last season finale, but it was good nonetheless. However I found the villain this time round to be awfully lacking. He just laughed most of the time, and looked like a bad OC. Also, there was plenty of Rarijack to go round.

In addition to ponies I decided to stick around for the premier of the new Littlest Pet Shop, and I must say, it's actually quite good! Looks like I have even more to look forward to on Sunday mornings (and will wake up feeling worse than ever). Anywho, it's 4am, I really need some sleep.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Ah, how nice it is to be back to reviewing new episodes! I’ve only seen this one once, so I’ll likely forget a lot of little things, but I thought it was a fun way to kick off a new season while offering a nice balance between the epic story side of things and the sweet, supportive antics of the Mane Six. I do believe the many charming little moments outshone the bigger narrative for me, but a part of that may just be the treat of finally getting to spend time with these characters again after so long.

These episodes also offered a slight change in format, as time was taken to set up a larger narrative for the season/show in general, it seemed, as talk was made of Twilight’s destiny in the throne room (and in the commercials for future episodes.) Luna finally gets to claim her spot in the show, and is given a very mysterious attitude and role (which suits her well.) Why is she so stern in expression when looking on Twilight? What was with that book she pulls out at the end? Celestia obviously has plans for her student, and I look forward to seeing what the next phase of her studies happens to be.

The songs were already well-known to anyone who cared to check them out since they premiered over the summer, but how delightful was that reprise begun by Rarity and carried on by the rest? Lots of warm fuzzies were spread, and clearly Twilight is lucky to have the friends she does, who will drop everything to run to the arctic north and confront everything they find there. I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the friendshipping on display between Twilight and Spike... he really is the best little squire any protector of Equestria could hope to have. And he got his own stained-glass window out of the deal! Nicely done.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

As mentioned, there were so many great moments with the others in supporting roles. AJ proved why she’s the most dependable of ponies again and again, and had some great friendshipping moments with Rarity. Rarity, as usual, provided great lines (“I made it work”) and reactions throughout. Fluttershy’s timidness fit in well with establishing the looming threat, especially in her panicked line readings out on the tundra. Dash’s bravado may have caused trouble, but her heart was clearly in the right place which makes it endearing rather than self-serving. And Pinkie threw in just the right amount of craziness to keep things lively. (That gal sure does like the Flugelhorn.)

I know people feared that Shining Armor and Cadance would be taking over the episode, but I thought they were well used and I appreciated it. They earned their position as apparent rules of the Empire after working so hard to protect the Crystal Ponies, but they weren’t the interesting part of the story and so it was natural to still focus on the Mane Six instead. It was fun to see the newlyweds again, and they were cleverly given a place that won’t leave audiences constantly asking where they are whenever Twilight visits Canterlot. (The writers have learned their lesson since Luna, apparently.)

The most discontent I see over the episode is about the villain, who was more of a plot device than a character. Personally, I’m okay with that, as he served his purpose... While I certainly enjoy the big personalities of Discord or Chrysalis, my heart wasn’t set on Sombra being more than he was. If The Lord of the Rings can use a whispering eyeball as their ultimate evil over their epic length story, then My Little Pony can certainly prop up 44 minutes of adventure with a cackling cloud-monster of a unicorn king. While he didn’t amount to much personally, I liked the truly dark bits of the show with his enslaved subjects and the various examples of dark magic (wielded by both Celestia and Twilight!). Plus, I have to admit... that endless staircase would have probably thwarted me. Luckily Twilight had that clever reversed-gravity trick up her sleeve.

So all in all, it was a quite fun end to the new episode draught! Only 11 new episodes left this season... I guess we’re all meant to take Applejack’s advice to heart: Good things are even better when they’re a rarity. :-)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Ah, if only we could edit comments for all those damn typos...


@zhoomcar

I know... I'm hoping you can earn Rarity by fulfilling tasks given, because I'm likely to never have 90 gems to spend. (Although it does look like if you play the game every day, you start to earn +1 gem each day. (1, then 2, then 3, etc. So once that kicks in, you can earn 91 gems in 13 days if my Math is correct. I'm not sure I can dedicate 2 weeks to earning her, even if it's nothing more than logging in once.)

In any event, I think my gamer ID is "Harwicks_art" ("Harwick" is always taken, dammit), so add me as a friend and we can actually complete some of those networking tasks. Same goes for anyone else who might play the game.

I'm going to try and ignore that "31 isn't that old" (sort of) remark.


@WhiteDiamonds

Wasn't that fun? I knew you'd adore the little RariJack-ish moments, especially that compliment at the end! And Rarity starting the song reprise for Twilight was so sweet... Plus all of the fabulous straw hats!

So many teasers for future episodes were shown as well! Judging from the statues behind the adorable fillies in that screen-cap, it appears that's from the episode we were discussing last night. That one is going to be much bigger than I imagined, apparently.

@zhoomcar

I already mentioned being okay with Sombra's lack of personality, but I can understand how others were disappointed. I do wonder if we'll ever see him again... I recall a lot of focus being on his horn flying away at the end. I suspect that's a pretty powerful artifact if nothing else... it'll surely feature in some fanfics if not the show itself.

I'm not terribly surprised that the Pet Shop was good, though I didn't catch it. I do recall the song they posted on EQD (done by the MLP team) was pretty catchy.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

One more note, as EQD has published the synopsis for the Dec 8th episode, entitled "Sleepless in Ponyville".

A bit of a surprise there, but a long time coming I suppose.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

*tumbles in from the land of avoiding spoilers*

I have successfully managed to expose myself to absolutely nothing about season three, period, until today... except for the knowledge that it started today, which I only learned five days ago. I feel accomplished :D

I am a bit late to the analysis party, but I will simply say that I was probably not nearly as drawn into the episode as most people were :< Aside from the villain, that is, because I don't think many people were especially into him. As soon as I realized he wasn't going to have any honest dialogue, I kind of got a little bored with the whole ordeal... but my one friend chalks that up to having high expectations in the first place and I admit I really did have them. I was very hopeful that this episode was going to blow my socks off, more or less, and that is my own fault :P As such, I was more than a little let down when the villain was... well, himself!

On a similar note (and I feel like I'm being a jerk here), I'm a little disappointed that Twilight still doesn't understand a thing about Princess Celestia... she should really understand her mentor's antics by this point, but somehow she's always too caught up in her own amusing tunnel vision D: It was very brave of her to send Spike to finish the job. That poor mare may always be a bit of a fool, at this rate. I do hope one day she gets a clue... but probably not~

Otherwise! I really liked some of the aspects of the Crystal Ponies... primarily some of their eyes. I don't know what it was, but hexagonal eye shine was just... it was really neat. It was a super neat design decision and I wish I could somehow put that to good use, because it really intrigued me. If only I wasn't a pixel artist, of course xD

Either way, looking ahead with continued high hopes for the rest of season three! (And not one, but two uses of "there are no words!" made me giggle pretty madly, I'll confess~)

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh, you know darn well I didn't mean such things using "energetic" to explain! Why are you so silly? Even if I did mean being so ramble-prone, that is not a bad thing either. And everyone else here clearly had similar feelings to my own, so obviously we are all right and you are silly and should totally listen to us when we say so.

Uhm, you know... if that's okay with you, I mean...

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Oh, I meant to comment on this too, darn it. Edit function, please grace us with your existence in the future.

Shortly put, I've been hearing about this game from at least one other friend, and from his explanation, my interest very quickly escalated from "oh :o" to "... aaaaaaa this sounds really fun" and I almost wish I could play it now D: Unfortunately I possess no iPhone and iPad and no iDevice of any kind of which to speak... so I will probably have to make due with just the thoughts that it is probably a very enjoyable little game, hehe~ I'm the kind of person who doesn't play those things but knows I'd enjoy the heck out of them, so. Your explanation has done nothing except make me wish for it more :P

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

I suppose Twilight's greatest fear isn't a rational one, but then many fears aren't. The best excuse I can see for it comes from the events of the first season... We we first meet her, Twilight is actually pretty smug about how important she is to the Princess and how her mentor will believe her warnings about Nightmare Moon without question, leaving her pretty confused when she has her concerns blown off.

I think it's a given that, following Luna's return, Twilight worked out that Celestia knew about the prophecy all along... and more, knew what Twilight's role in it was. I don't think it's entirely unreasonable that this knowledge could undermine Twilight's confidence by introducing the question of whether her entire relationship with the Princess was a means to an end. Did the Princess essentially train and raise Twilight specifically to bring her lost sister back to her? Regardless of the extent of this in reality, there was at least a secret ulterior motive behind all of their interactions from the beginning.

So now that Twilight has accomplished restoring her mentor's beloved sister, what does she really mean to Celestia going forward? Gratitude is great, but is she done with her student? Has Twilight completed her life's goal already? Since she's been in Ponyville, it seems like she's had a compulsive need to prove herself to Celestia over and over. I think it was telling that Twilight's greatest fear wasn't just that she'd no longer be Celestia's student, but that it was clear that the Celestia in the vision didn't really care for her beyond her ability to get results.

I thought it was a touching echo that Spike's greatest fear was one of abandonment by a pseudo-mother figure as well. (His fears make a great deal of sense, especially after the events of "Dragon Quest".) So it was kind of mean to make the climax one where Twilight had to fail the Princess, and Spike had to be the instrument through which Twilight failed.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

The game remains cute and worth the snippets of time I give it now and then to move my little Ponyville along. I broke down and traded in some bits for Applejack after getting stalled out in my efforts to have her show up via completing tasks. I may have to do the same for Spitfire... she's not an unreasonable amount of bits, and aside from Derpy who I can't actually assign any jobs to, I don't have any pegasi in town yet. Plus she comes with a cool Cloudsdale house.

Currently, I have Twilight, Cheerilee and Applejack working the flower market. They're making a killing at it, so apparently Rose, Lily and Daisy must be rolling in the dough in the show itself.

Admittedly, if everyone had the opportunity to poke around the game for an afternoon you'd all probably see how you can easily live without it. But yes... for pony fans who have the opportunity to try it, it's definitely worth the free download.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
Right now my town is starting to shape up somewhat, although it's just mostly cramming everything into the limited available space until uncovering the darkness is absolutely necessary. As you would, for maximum profits just drop some pones into the 1-3m jobs and watching as your bits slowly increases. oh yeah, Gameloft Live account is "zhoomcar".

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Hello everyone! I'm late to the party as usual, but c'est la vie! I sliced my left pinkie to the bone this weekend in a fairly gruesome broken glass accident, and the net result is that I'm typing one-handed at the moment, while I keep my injured digit from touching anything. I've been a little relunctant to commit to writing anything substantive, as a result.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let everyone know how much I loved the Crystal Empire opening episodes. Of course, there are a limited number of storylines that make sense in the MLP world, and magical gemstones is one of them. I'm still amused at the similarities between the Crystal Empire and my story, even down to the Crystal Fair idea: Chapter Ten: "In ancient times, twin festivals were held ... where unicorns would gather to lend their magic to empower the stone."

But anyway, I loved the episode, because it was a great Lord of the Rings homage, and had a solid mix of world-building and character development. As much as Twilight (deservedly) led the action, the others all got their great moments, especially AJ and my girl Rarity. Good heavens, Di - the air was absolutely thick with Rarijack in this one! All those knowing glances and then finally the kicker, "Good things are better when they're a rarity!" Oh, you writers! You're going to give my dear friend here shipping fits!

There were so many good moments where it was clear that the writers and animators were striving to be true to the show and the characters. I liked seeing AJ take on the mantle of the "voice of reason" even more than usual, and I liked seeing everyone's personality come through with the little asides, like RD and AJ teasing Rarity, and RD's bit with Pinkie and the flugelhorn. I especially liked it when Twilight tried to teleport out of her crystal cage and was sucked back in, eliminating the "Twilight, why you no teleport?" flaw in "Feeling Pinkie Keen. It was just a very well-put-together couple of episodes, even if Sombra didn't have any dialogue or backstory.

Certainly, it is interesting that a unicorn came to power over the apparent fourth race of "crystal ponies," who are presumably not earth ponies (and clearly not unicorns or pegasi).

I'm also excited to see where this new series arc goes, and find out what Luna's book was all about. I noticed it had a swirl and some stars - Starswirl?

And who were those fashionable horse-type creatures from the preview? Why are there Pinkie clones? The filly AJ and Rarity scene seemed to be from the Trixie episode, so I suppose that came about as part of the so-called "Magic Duel." We'll see! I can't wait!

tags: Epic, Crystals, drinking straw fashions, Yay Rarijack!

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

P.S., I'm "Prancypants" in the pony game, if anyone wants to be my friend. It didn't permit enough characters to let me use my full name.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Gah! That sounds like a horrifying injury, and can't have been (or still isn't) any fun to suffer. I don't suppose you can just avoid using the letter "a" or hitting the left shift when you type your stories for a while? Seriously, ouch... hope you recover as swiftly as possible from that.

Yes, I caught that whole "population works together to empower magic stone" bit from the premiere, although I hadn't recalled that you specified doing it at a festival as well. As you say, it makes one wonder how Sombra took over in the first place... especially as the Crystal Ponies didn't seem to have any unicorns or pegasi of their own, meaning he wasn't native. (Although with his curved horn and shadow mane, it's not like he matched up with common unicorns all that well either.) I wonder if this new tribe of ponies are okay with a Unicorn Prince and and Alicorn Princess now... you'd think they'd kind of want a Crystal Pony on the throne sometime.)

I really enjoyed having everyone cooperate for the greater good again, something that was missing vs. Discord and Chrysalis, and it did lead to some obvious ship fuel, didn't it?

I picked up the possible nod to Starswirl with Luna's book as well. I'm really curious to see what Luna's role is this season, as it seems she has one in store. Twilight's new instructor? It might explain the stern looks she kept casting at the unicorn who is supposed to be her friend. I wonder if the next, apparently Pinkie-centric episode will mention the next phase of Twilight's studies, or if that's the kind of thing we have to wait for a dedicated episode to learn about. You would think that it would come about by "Magic Duel", surely, especially with only 11 episodes left this season.

Loved all of the preview stuff, from the prior-generation Pony joke to those fancy horse-types (I have to wonder if they're actual carousel horses brought to life, as that's what they most remind me of) and of course the filly RariJack in Trixieville. Looks like it's going to be a fun season!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

@PonydoraPrancypants

You're both on my gameloft friends list, but I'm not sure how well that list actually translates into the game itself. zhoomcar at least shows up as a friend option in game, but I have accepted a bunch of others and put out requests for more, and only one other person actually shows up with a town I can visit and bestow gifts upon. I also have no idea if any gifts I've given actually get through... I know I haven't received any from anyone else yet.

obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

Heh. In my head your voice wasn't "British Rarity"; it was more Audrey Hepburn from My Fair Lady. (Which is basically British Rarity, now that I think of it...) It's nice to have a voice to go with your characteristic patter, though. And don't fret about age, as a decrepit old geezer of pony fandom (well into my thirties) I can tell you one of the delights of this fandom is that for the most part age is unimportant (though I seem to be too old to get the preoccupation with Gak?).

Color me surprised you haven't done the formal art school thing, but at least that means there may be hope for me yet.

I adore the pencil sketch.
And Rarity said, "Let there be hats." And there were hats. And it was fabulous.

obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

Heh. In my head your voice wasn't "British Rarity"; it was more Audrey Hepburn from My Fair Lady. (Which is basically British Rarity, now that I think of it...) It's nice to have a voice to go with your characteristic patter, though. And don't fret about age, as a decrepit old geezer of pony fandom (well into my thirties) I can tell you one of the delights of this fandom is that for the most part age is unimportant (though I seem to be too old to get the preoccupation with Gak?).

Color me surprised you haven't done the formal art school thing, but at least that means there may be hope for me yet.

I adore the pencil sketch.
And Rarity said, "Let there be hats." And there were hats. And it was fabulous.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

The voice that I had imagined was close to yours, but it was a bit deeper, and it may have had more dramatic enunciation. Your real voice is much friendlier, and I actually like it more for that reason (among many others), so I will most likely read your posts with that voice from now on. My guess is that your vocabulary tends to give many the impression that you are much older than them, but in truth, you are just considerably better spoken than most of us. I tend to think of the California accent as sounding clear, young and energetic, but I'm not sure how to describe it beyond those points. This is Lauren Faust's panel at EQLA, if you're interested at all in hearing an example.

Well, you do have Skype now, so I guess we technically could do that if we wanted to... Sadly, my family only goes out of the house about once a week, and admittedly I'm too self-conscious and uninteresting to support a verbal conversation anyway. It's a shame, because I'm sure I would cherish your company just as I do here. The interview was only a quick look at your personality, and I speak for all of your fans when I say it would be entirely welcome and anticipated if you ever decided to appear on such a program again. You were a responsive and cordial guest, and there was no question that the voice on the other side was the lovably kind artist whose conversation I have enjoyed for so long. I will the savor this time before you logically move on to host dinner parties with assorted celebrities. It wouldn't make much use of your art capabilities, but clearly your talents exceed them anyway. Here's to another season to enjoy together at the blog, and another season of speculation, overthinking and analysis!

@Harwick

A Farmville clone? Egads, it has all the grind of an MMORPG, without the online interaction? It's like an RTS, but with less sci-fi warfare and more constructing additional pylons.

Maybe I overestimate free mobile gaming. As a developer, I tend to prioritize on creativity and originality of a game, though a positive theme doesn't hurt. The game has recently been released for Android, and of course I have plenty of Android phones at my disposal, but I'm not sure what my father would think if he found me "testing" that application instead. I do find it a bit suspect that the Princess expects to be paid in return for visiting your village. Do cities in Equestria develop through celebrity endorsements? Surely those valuable minerals may be better spent improving the place. I can only imagine the Mayor suddenly realizing what really happened to the economy. And after all our troubles, we still haven't had Celestia arrive on Earth, so I'm feeling gypped.

I predict that Fighting is Magic will be the official game of the blog. That's a bit concerning, considering my lack of experience with fighting games, but that just makes it all the more exciting.

You know, at this rate, I might just comment on the new episode this year.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar

Yes indeed, as all sorts of people on deviantART have seemingly decided (as they have all come to celebrate the gratuitous "Rarijack" content with me) that episode was rather amazing for my beloved ship. I don't care if it makes it canon or not; they were both incredibly entertaining throughout, and if nothing else the episode made it perfectly clear that they are very close friends and have wonderful chemistry together. And that means more to me than anything, given how I personally have always felt about relationships (platonic and otherwise).

As for Littlest Pet Shop, I didn't watch it myself, but read several comments mentioning it was rather good if I remember right..

@Harwick

I know, isn't it fun to have new episodes to discuss again! I was so terribly excited that day (forget typos, as I don't think I managed to form proper sentences or even capitalize my own name properly in my hasty comment), and still am, honestly. I personally loved the episode, and for plenty of reasons besides just the wonderful Applejack/Rarity content. In fact, as per usual I pretty much agree with your own comments one hundred percent, and the fact that I always try to go into these things with no expectations whatsoever probably has a great deal to do with that. Sombra was a weak villain in terms of characterization when compared to what we have grown accustomed to from the FiM team definitely, however for what he was I don't really think less of him (or the writers) for that fact, and as you said I think he served his purpose well as a shadowy figure made just to terrorize ponies. And, as so many are speculating, I have to wonder if they didn't set it up so that he can return at a later point... it's certainly looking like we might be seeing a lot of continuity this season.

As for myself, I also absolutely loved all of the Spike/Twilight interaction throughout the episode, and personally feel it was a real treat to see him save the day for once. The added bonus of his feeling so hesitant and guilty during and after the fact was wonderful as well, because it just went to show how much he really cares about Twilight that he didn't want to take that away from her... there were a lot of sweet and touching moments there. The animation was wonderful and I loved so many of the little things throughout: Pinkie's flugelhorn tantrum, Spike spouting flames at the dark crystals as was trying to get the heart down to the square (that was really cute somehow), Applejack trying to keep that first crystal pony away from the fake heart until she was able to distract her with refreshments, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy jousting and for some strange reason, pretty much the entire scene at the library. I just really liked the music in that scene I guess and the animations of all of the ponies as they searched... Applejack especially was just adorable as she nosed through a pile of books.

So anyway yes, wonderful episode and I am absolutely looking forward to the next one if that even needs to be said. So much excitement, it amazes me how much I missed new ponies without even realizing it!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the episode as much as I did, or even to any mentionable degree by the sound of things... that really is too bad. As I said I always make an effort not to go into any new episodes with elevated expectations, or any expectations if I can help it (and whether or not I've indulged in any spoilers beforehand) which I imagine must make a positive difference in how I tend to feel about things. I'm afraid I may be breaking my own rules this time though, considering how excited I am about the upcoming Trixie episode, but as long as I get to see the exact same filly-scene I have already linked to a picture of I can't imagine that I will possibly be disappointed at all. Which means there is no chance~ ^.^

And as for myself, well, you are certainly not the first person who's ever accused me of being silly! But I didn't mind the remark at all, because you would also not be the first person to imply that I talk quickly, etc. if that had been the case. It really was the truth this time though, because of the fact that I was quite excited about the whole interview when it was going on, so no worries. Thank you for the nice words whatever the case may be!

@Harwick (again)

You know, as a random aside reading your comments to Rena regarding Twilight's fear, and her likely wondering what she meant to Celestia following the whole return of Nightmare Moon situation, reminded me of the fact that the show has made me think of the Harry Potter series more than once when it comes to Twilight's relationship with Celestia. Because I think the similarities to Harry's relationship with Dumbledore in the stories are difficult not to make for anyone familiar with both series. As I recall though, you haven't read those books yet have you? You really should sometime you know, and if I have to send them to you myself so that you can I am going to do so!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh, hyaaaaa!! Why did you have to tell me about such a terrible injury darling, you know how I feel about such things! TT_TT That is absolutely horrifying and I am so sorry to hear it, but certainly I hope that you are doing alright now and the the whole matter has been dealt with properly, so that you will be on the mend. Ugh ugh and ugh... just horrible.

But anyhow, yes, that season premiere... it really was something wasn't it? And suffice to say that I have certainly been having shipping fits over the past several days, between the episodes and the massive influx of Rarijack artwork that has been showing up in my inbox. It wasn't even that infamous line itself as much as it was the way Applejack delivered it, either (and how Rarity reacted), or at least in my own opinion... whatever the case may be though I'm very happy that people won't be able to claim that they're not close and don't care for each other anymore, because you'd be surprised how often I have heard those sentiments voiced about the two in the past. In fact, the show has consistently shown them to be growing closer for a while I think, if you look at all of their moments together in chronological order following "Look Before You Sleep".

But at any rate yes, like you I really enjoyed all of the characters in this episode, including the Princesses Luna and Celestia and Cadance and Shining Armor, and I have to agree that Applejack in particular was in her element the entire time, or at least in my own opinion. It was so wonderful to see her getting some great lines and screentime at last. And yes, like you I am of course massively curious and excited about the upcoming episodes shown in the commercials, and especially the Trixie episode! Yay Rarijack, crystals and drinking straw fashions indeed! ^_~

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@obsequiosity

Oh! My Fair Lady! I *love* that movie, and especially the whole horse racing scene (speaking of fabulous hats). Why don't people routinely dress that way anymore, I have to know?!

But in any case, thank you so much dear... I appreciate the kind words about the interview and my voice and even if the reality could not live up to such lofty expectations! Perhaps it's time I undergo some accent training myself and take a leaf out of our lovely Rarity's book (I am mostly kidding here, you all realize). And also, thank you so much for the compliments on the little sketch, I'm so happy you like it!

@Anon

Awwww, you're so very sweet! Well thank you very much, and though I would encourage you to "read" my voice however you like, if you prefer the real thing to whatever you may have imagined previously then by all means imagine that. I do appreciate it, and would hope I would never sound unfriendly even if I am fond of more elaborate verbiage a lot of the time (I've always been that way though, and believe me people my own age who I have gone to school with and worked with in the past have always given me a hard time about it =P).

Your appraisal is also interesting to me because, as I said, my recorded interview voice was actually even deeper than the real thing normally sounds, according to what people who know me have remarked at least. But anyhow thank you again and for the Lauren Faust panel link as well (I'm afraid I don't have time to sit through the whole thing right now, but did give it a listen at least). Lastly as for Skype, I'll confess I actually haven't been on it since the day after my interview (when I checked the status of my recording with RainbowPlasma), but certainly I would not be adverse to talking with you if it could ever be managed, though I can't imagine ever making a habit of using it regularly. Too much going on the vast majority of the time for that, I'm afraid!

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh gosh, that injury sounds... let's just say it's cringeworthy, to say the absolute least @_@ I really hope you're surviving it okay. I've certainly had an accident or two of similar nature, but nowhere near like that. Seriously, seriously hope it'll heal well D:

@WhiteDiamonds

Oh, I'm sorry if I sounded like such a downer there :c I admit freely that I certainly wasn't into it as much as everyone else, but I didn't mean to sound so dim! It's just pretty true that I often go into things with high expectations, and most of the time things don't meet them, so that's really my own fault (and really, I've come to learn that I enjoy the hype of upcoming things more than the actual things themselves, which is really kind of strange of me). Of course the episode was great and of course I enjoyed all the good parts, of which there were many many of them.

Perhaps I should learn to be a little more mellow and patient about upcoming new things, although whenever I get that way I tend to feel like I'm very boring, as if in place of excitement is disinterest instead, and I really dislike feeling disinterested, especially when all my friends around me are anticipating something so much. In that way, it's almost more worth it to expect the most and be let down later, because at least I got to enjoy the wait period with others, and that counts for a lot to me.

Either way, I promise to be more positive about the next one :P Cross my heart and hope to fly~

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Oh yeah, spoilers, though not much here.

So, Season 3, Episode 3! I can say that it was definitely a whole lot of fun! (fun! fun! fun!) Plenty of continuity, especially random Fancypants, and Tom! That episode was plenty of things at once... but I think I'll stop talking now... Littlest Pet Shop has left me kinda sleepy.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

My "Too Many Pinkie Pies" thoughts, complete with spoilers so be warned.

I thought it was a solid, cute episode, although as with many Pinkie episodes it's not near the top of my favorites list. As with "Baby Cakes" and "A Friend In Deed", there was something that felt kind of slight about it... It set up a straightforward premise and mined it for gags, and that was it. Nothing wrong with that, certainly, but "Party of One" was a Pinkie story that seemed to add the extra depth that makes for the better episodes, in my opinion, and I didn't really find that here.

Part of it was due to the somewhat odd storytelling... I was surprised that they made the audience take repeated notice of the fact that the Pinkie copies couldn't get names right or remember things the real Pinkie did, and yet that fact just gets dropped and plays no role in the resolution.

The "secret book" bit was doubly odd with no set-up and no comment from any character in-story... if it was just a joke about deus ex machina then it didn't quite reach me. I suppose it could be foreshadowing a secret to the library yet to be revealed or something, but I doubt it... and dropped there on its own it was just a oddity that I mostly shrugged off as a convenient book of Ponyville lore.

Perhaps the biggest thing I felt was missing from the episode was a some stronger emotional nods to the resolution. I would have liked a little heartfelt speech to the gathered Pinkies from her friends or something, telling her how important it was that she pass the test so they could have the real her back. I know that the information was included, especially through the original Pinkie suggesting the test in the first place, but the actual testing seemed to be so casually done that I didn't feel the emotional pay-off that could have been there.

All that said, the episode was peppered with truly funny bits, from the orange frog (I'll be curious to see if it makes cameos in any other episodes... although technically I think those spells are supposed to be temporary from what's been said in other episodes) to the various gags the bored Pinkies pulled when locked in Town Hall. (I was a bit disappointed that the mob of Pinkies mostly just bounced around saying "fun" for the majority of the episode, but they were apparently saving all of their good material for that end test scene.) I really liked the legend and appearance of the underground Mirror Pool (which, when said fast by Pinkie, really does sound like "Miracle"... a neat bit, whether intentional or not.) We saw a surprise cameo by Fancy Pants, Rarity had a new outfit sure to grace some Drawfriends, and for me the biggest laugh-getter and best scene was the Apple Family round-up. "Give it a rest..." indeed. Grumpy Applejack wins the episode.

So fun was definitely had with this one... Pinkie can rest easy until next week.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

My Little Destiny: Friendship Is Random

Apparently, I'm "Prince Fritter, the pink Earth Pony destined to discover mares". Not all that unusual of a destiny for a pony prince, I'll grant you, but probably a fun cutie mark to earn.

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

Just watched the new episode this morning, and I thought it was pretty good...I could find a whole bunch of references in there (one of them being the G3 pony face!). AS Harwick said, there weren't any major plot points to be aware of, and it was just plain on-the-go slapstick humor, along with the occasional breach of the 4th wall ("WALLS CLOSING IN!"). I do think, however, that the Pinkie swarm could've made a whole variety of noises other than repeating the word "FUN" again and again, but I suppose with the whole point of the episode being Pinkie's yearning of fun, I guess that makes sense in a way. I also think the secret compartment for the book on the Mirror Pool was pretty much a one-time thing, otherwise there would've been multiple secret compartments for every book related to dangerous pony myths.

Overall, the episode was pretty enjoyable, but it lacks a little bit of soul from the previous two seasons. I think the studio should take caution not to fulfil the fans' expectations too much i.e. putting in a fan favourite background pony or more Derpy skits, and keep the original picture in mind.

On an unrelated note, I finished another assignment after another sleepless night and I have to admit this one turned out pretty spiffy...I'm going to to have to share part of it with y'all sometime soon. =)

Special shout-out to @PonydoraPrancypants

I have to agree with everyone that your injury sounds pretty gruesome...I hope it gets well soon! In the meantime, doing everything one-handed can be a pretty nifty survival skill at times...=P

Now that you mention it, I'm really looking forward to the Trixie episode! It's fun to see the crew bringing back a pony who was originally planned to be a one-hit wonder. ^^

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Ahh, that episode was... I really hate to start a streak for seeming not to have good things to say, but it felt lacking :c It was also hilarious and I was giggling my way through it, especially at the G3 Pinkie face. May I warn you all never to eat breakfast cereal when Pinkie Pie is on the screen. (Or during surprise Fancypants.)

To echo what Harwick has said, the resolution was... it was odd, to say the least :< Once Pinkie Pie started becoming sad about her situation and the realization of what might happen, it felt like the episode was really asking for a strong pickup at the end where everypony is so relieved to have her "back" and where she's just so relieved to have made it out okay. But I didn't really feel like it had a very strong pull, there. It was just... well, anyone who saw knows what it was :P (Also, I thought Pinkie was saying "miracle" that entire time until a friend typed out "Mirror Pool" and I was like, oh, that makes a lot of sense.)

And to agree with Scrolls (and really, frankly, most people), I think that the spirit of this episode wasn't quite up to that of the first seasons. I had a conversation with my friend last night who "doesn't see" what everybody else is talking about with all the fan nods and too many references or such in each episode this season so far, and I actually kind of envy him because we determined that he's still able to see the episodes at face value without thoughts of the fandom tarnishing it, and I think that I'm just the opposite. Every time a little fan nod makes it in, I'm going to think about it pretty hard... it's something that didn't happen in season one and was endearing in season two, but here it just doesn't sit right with me. I really hope that the whole season isn't like that.

To reiterate what I said at the beginning, though, I really did laugh at a lot of the things in this episode. They did pull out a lot of good humour and some things like the orange frog just made me feel so amused. Fluttershy, for some reason, also made me pretty happy. She just felt like a fun character this time, no reference to the topic of the episode intended. Twilight and grumpy Applejack too!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I was catching up with Equestria Daily lately, and I came across this interesting coincidence. I think pony comic artists are accidentally referencing you at this point.

Also, I have to link this rarijack-o'-lantern, and since I believe you proposed a challenge in the last thread, I made this for you.

@Harwick

I got the impression that Cadence is at least part crystal. Her mane is styled similarly, and her cutie mark is the Crystal Heart.

The deus ex machina book at the end confused me as well. Why would the Ponyville library have a secret compartment for only that book, which is accessed by pressing a horseshoe-shaped button? It's also convenient that Twilight always seems to find the right page immediately. I think these episodes centered on Pinkie are intended to be light and fun (as the Pinklones will assure you), so the actual story-relevant scenes are given little time to drive the story forward. This is especially evident now, since it came just after a the season premiere. I wouldn't worry too much about how it might reflect the season as a whole.

I was expecting the test at the end to be about recalling old memories, which would have made a great opportunity to reference a past episode. The scene where the real Pinkie teaches the fake Pinkies each of the other ponies' names must have been done to keep viewers from asking how the other ponies were ever fooled by the fake ones. But then, they never really did interact with only one of the copies after that. I was surprised by how merciless Twilight's solution was, as well. Not only were the Pinkies sent away by being cast into a stream of magic and dropped back into the pool (It's a bit worrying that Twilight has the power to do that to any pony at her will), but it happened even to the Pinkies who simply reacted to the antics of another. Considering some of the things that those ponies were doing for a laugh, it's hard to fault them for having any sort of reaction whatsoever. The episode played out quite closely to "Swarm of the Century", and I expected it to have a similar ending, with the fake Pinkies being gathered and transported to different towns that could use a pony to bring laughter to their inhabitants' lives. They could all share an impromptu goodbye song together, like the real Pinkie's welcoming song. After all, they seemed to be normal ponies apart from their lacking memory and their tendency to say the word "fun". (If it were my decision, I would have had Andrea speak some fast-paced rambling and loop the lines with various giggling noises.)

And what business does "Grandma Pinkie" have with mythological plot devices? I think I preferred Granny Pie's musical life lessons.

I agree with all of yours thoughts, and overall, it was a simple episode, but it served its purpose. There was a lot that could have been done to make it more meaningful, but at least it manages to be thought-inspiring. I don't expect many aspects of its story (like the pool, the book and the slightly disturbing spell) to be brought back into canon after this, but it gives us something to talk about before another, more serious episode arrives.

Oh, and about our mental images of eachother, actually, I have no idea what anyone here looks like (aside from the few that I have seen in a picture or two already). I tend to think of our avatars as our "faces", albeit very still faces. Now that I think about it, they are sort of like paintings which have clear voices emanating from their 35 by 35 pixel images. My subconscious mind disturbs my conscious mind sometimes.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Hmm, this seems interesting...

"You are Commander Sombra, the friendly griffon destined to overthrow bunnies."

I'm not sure the griffin part works, but this is otherwise a surprisingly well-formed and interesting concept for a character.

"You are Sweetie Bloom, the hungry unicorn destined to shove cider."

As they say on Tumblr: I can't

These concepts are surprising fitting. It sort of makes me want to make a "smart" one that bases the possible outcomes on the previously established details. I would rather they didn't include such things as "manchild", but in any case, I could generate these forever--

"the baby brony destined to pose for neckbeards"

Okay, that's enough.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@EVERYONE

Thanks for the well-wishes. I had surgery to repair the tendon in my finger, and should make a good recovery in time. It's hard to type with a cast on my left hand though! (I do have my thumb and two fingers free)

@Harwick

I wasn't very impressed with the episode, I have to admit. While there were some funny bits, it seemed to me that everyone is a bit out of character, with Twilight appearing far too nonchalant about the ramifications of her banishment spell, and the others reduced to bare sketches of themselves (literally at one point, though those crude drawings of Applejack and Fluttershy were actually my favorite part of the episode).

I have no idea what was going on with Spike suddenly finding that book out of nowhere, and I thought the "test" for determining the true Pinkie could have been something so much more meaningful for the friendship the characters share, instead of just an excuse for gags. (Though my wife thought that the previous-generation Pinkie face was so funny that I suppose that had to make it in the episode somehow). At any rate, I did like Rarity's dress, and her hooded cloak as well.

By the way, I tried the destiny doodad and got Princess Jack the Showy Fashionista Destined to Discover Fabric. I'm okay with this!(Although my second attempt turned up Sweetie Shy the Fabulous Griffon Destined to Compete with the Wonderbolts. That might be even better!)

@Anon

Your dancing Rarity is absolutely the best! Thanks for sharing. It filled me with joy to see it. :)

Anon said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Ah, well, the animation was actually made from this video, which was linked in the previous thread of this blog, so I'm not sure if it really is mine per se. In any case, I try not to intrude on your personal business but I am glad to hear that you should make a full recovery from that gruesome injury, and that you enjoyed the video by whatever means. I really should make something like it someday.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Oh, found a moment to try that Friendship is Random thingy because... because I had a moment, obviously! I...

I am Cloud Sombra, the Loveable Magician destined to Overthrow Clouds.

Frankly, I can't tell if I've found my dream job or if I'm destined to never be satisfied with my own identity. This may prove to be a troublesome change in my life indeed, oh dear... Rerolling my creation, I have been reincarnated as...

Cloud Fritter, the Striped Farmer destined to Defeat Clouds

... Well that settles it. I have a serious identity crisis, everybody :C

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

So I decided to try out that My Little Destiny doohickey, and now I'm...uh...Cranky Luna the Lovable Zebra destined to Eat Cider? Hang on, I'll give it another go...

Okay, now I'm Rainbow Dash the Lovable Librarian destined to Sing To Potions.

That's sooooo much better. =P

CaineScroll said... Reply to comment

As a side note, it's almost Thanksgiving...and that means my one-year anniversary of being here on the blog! Yaaaaay~ ^^

And oh yeah, Thanksgiving. That too. *meep*

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@CaineScroll

For various reasons, the Trixie episode might be among my most anticipated in the time I've been watching the show (or at least the time I've been forced to wait for new episodes to air.) As a result, I'm trying to keep my expectations low and not expect anything to grand or involved. Already, I'm kind of sad that the whole Rarity and AJ as fillies thing is a part of that episode, as that bit could have easily supported an entire story by itself in my opinion.

And Happy almost-anniversary! Maybe those potions from your random destiny will sing to you for a change.

@RenaTurnip

I'm sorry to hear that you hate the new season with a white hot passion! Or, you know, that you're mildly unsatisfied with the few episodes so far. Either way. ;-) I actually enjoyed the episode more on a second viewing, and I did find it at least fun on the first run-through.

I wasn't sure how Pinkie fans would take it, but it seems they mostly really liked seeing morose, thoughtful Pinkie who missed her friends, as a contrast to the scatterbrained, zany Pinkie we often get otherwise. Of course, I thought that her friends were maybe a little callous in their eagerness to thin down the herd of Pinkies, but still...

In truth, I guess I'm with your one friend, as I have trouble seeing a overabundance of fan nods in this season. I know some people feel that Trixie's return is the ultimate in fan service, but I would have laid 50/50 odds on her coming back eventually even had I never been exposed to the fandom... it doesn't strike me as somehow out of bounds for what the show always was. What are the biggest nods so far this season? (I suppose the "crazy face" Pinkie made from this last episode would certainly count, but considering how often they dropped the classic "My Little Pony" theme into the background music of season 1, it also doesn't seem like the people making the show would have been above doing such a gag just to amuse themselves.)

Oh, and your destiny is pretty cloud obsessed. You need to vacation somewhere sunny, apparently.


Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon

The non-crystally Crystal Ponies certainly do share Cadance's mane shading and curly styles, and they did make her cutie mark a literal one with that opening, so clearly there's some intended relationship there... Although again, she's not 1000 years old judging by her youth in Twilight's flashbacks, so I'm curious as to what that relation truly is. Many seem to think that we'll definitely be seeing her and Armor again this season, but I'm not as sure... I feel like they've been placed nicely out-of-the-way until they're actually needed again. We'll see. (For all I know they'll turn up again this weekend.)

I like to think that Twilight's such a speed-reader that she can indeed skim a book to at least see if it's relevant at such speeds, rather than just relying on luck to land on the right page. But as for the horseshoe-button secret compartment... I still have nothing. I know that Celestia seals her scrolls with a horseshoe/Omega symbol... If it related to her I could almost write it off as a bit of her helpful manipulation... but it really was kind of weird regardless.

I hadn't really considered the implication of Twilight being able to zap any pony back to that pool... be they the real version or a mirror copy. Maybe the rule is that you have to have come out of the pool before in order for it to work? Even the real Pinkie climbed out of the pool after first submerging herself, after all.

And yes, the casual nature in which they were eliminating Pinkies was the whole reason I would have liked a bit more stress put on the importance of passing the test beforehand. Make it clear that any Pinkie that looks away from the wall knows that she's choosing fun over getting back to her friends.

You know, I would not be surprised to get to meet Granny Pie in the show someday, be it in the flesh or in flashback.

And good luck in your efforts to overthrow those bunnies. They have it coming.

@PonydoraPrancypants

Keep practicing that eight fingered typing! I'm looking forward to all of those new stories you teased.

Rarity's dress was pretty fabulous, wasn't it? And I did like the drama of her walking around looking like a Sith lord all so she could throw off the cloak and reveal her new ensemble in the grandest way possible.

I actually didn't mind the characterization of the mane six for the most part, but it may have been my willingness to go along with the broad, slapstick nature of the proceedings.

Oh, and Sweetie Shy the Griffon should totally be in your next story.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

I should probably mention at this point that I finished all my exams last week... and now nothing. Games and ponies, probably.

@Harwick
PRINCE SHY the LOVABLE MANTICORE destined to HATCH DISCORD.
uhh

Anon said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

Mother of Celestia... You are the self-destructive raincloud from Friendship is Witchcraft (R.I.P.).

@Harwick

My guess is that either she is a direct descendant from the Crystal Emperor/Empress, and her family was evacuated by the Princesses one thousand years ago, or she is a descendant of the Crystal Ponies and lives in the Canterlot kingdom because she has mixed heritage with the royal family (thus granting her whatever title she held in her youth). If that's the case, then the Empire just accepted her as its leader on the basis that she is a princess who is somewhat crystalline. The former may be more likely, since her cutie mark suggests that she was born to rule. Or maybe Hasbro wanted to sell pink alicorn toys to young children. We may never know.

I thought it was strange that Pinkie used a different name to refer to her grandmother in this episode from "Granny Pie" in the first episode. I have to assume the production team didn't just forget what they had originally named her. This means that either Pinkie has two different influential grandmothers who she was named after, or her grandmother's full name is "Pinkie Pie". Or maybe Pinkie's grandmother is really Pinkie from the future? I wouldn't put it past her. Pinkie logic is like a reverse Occam's razor.

Also, I couldn't help but notice that the Empire is surrounded by tundra. The place where the Crystal Heart is meant to be placed is accentuated by a snowflake design. Coincidence? I think not. If I am a commander with power over the Crystal Empire, then clearly my first course of action must be to drive those cottontailed varmints out of Saskatchewan like St. Patrick on crystals. Fly, you fools!

I'm not the first to notice this, but isn't it a bit odd that on the same year that Sombra was banished to Baffin Island, Luna was banished to the moon? We see that Luna was there to help Celestia in the flashback, so she must have rebelled shortly thereafter, and the events of the season 3 premiere must have happened a bit longer than exactly 1000 years later. I don't think we know when Discord was turned to stone, but it was the time when the Princesses gained control of the Elements of Harmony. I'm beginning to think that all of these events were caused by the same force of evil, which returns every thousand years to mark the day that the Elements will be passed down to new rulers.

obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants
Just got caught up on reading other folks' comments and: Ow. Just...ow. Get well soon.

As for the latest ep, I think I agree with the general crowd. Fun, but not a lot of meat on the one this time. Great ep for little details, though. I wanted a screencap of the bear at the tea party extending his pinky finger, and wound up Zapprudering the whole thing just to catch all the little bits. My favorite has to be the fact that Twilight's horn starts glowing red from overheating and she blows a puff of air up toward her forehead to cool it off...

obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants
Just got caught up on reading other folks' comments and: Ow. Just...ow. Get well soon.

As for the latest ep, I think I agree with the general crowd. Fun, but not a lot of meat on the one this time. Great ep for little details, though. I wanted a screencap of the bear at the tea party extending his pinky finger, and wound up Zapprudering the whole thing just to catch all the little bits. My favorite has to be the fact that Twilight's horn starts glowing red from overheating and she blows a puff of air up toward her forehead to cool it off...

obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

Why does it always double post?

Also: According to my destiny I am "Custard Chaser, the Manly Alicorn destined to defeat stallions".

*cough* *cough*

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I made my traditional last-minute run to the grocery store this morning, even though we're really not doing a huge dinner spread here. (In fact, I think I'm going to grill a beef loin for dinner, myself...) Still going to have stuffing and pumpkin pie because I do love those.

In any event, I wanted to thank everyone here for the fun and friendship they've shared over the last year. I've enjoyed all of our interactions with you all and the gracious and delightful White Diamonds hosting, and am quite thankful I decided to post here and join in!


@obsequiosity

I too loved the over-heating horn gag. I enjoy all those unicorn-horn bits, from Sweetie flicking Rarity's in order to turn off her magic to Twilight's dysfunction due to poison joke.

And that's quite the destiny there. Yes indeed.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's nice to have new pony again; though I'm a bit late to the party, I hope it's ok to share my thoughts on what's been broadcast so far. I went into the new seasons largely spoiler-free (knowing that the first two episodes would be a two-parter introducing the Crystal Empire and King Sombra, and the title of "Too Many Pinkie Pies") and with fairly modest expectations, so overall I've enjoyed the new episodes, though not to the extent of ranking them in the top 25% of pony episodes.

"The Crystal Empire" was a fine season opener, setting up locations and characters (and possibly concepts) that will return later this season, I'm sure, while still being entertaining and exciting in its own right. The pacing was good, the humor mostly worked, and the songs were enjoyable (if somewhat superfluous). There were many small touches that I loved: Celestia putting away Twilight's books and scrolls more neatly than how Twilight had brought them in, Fluttershy's reaction to Pinkie's costume, Twilight's enraptured delight when she first enters and looks around the library (dang, sometimes she really reminds me of myself), "Mmm, funnel cake!", the crystal ponies' new mane styles when they perk up, Applejack and the curious crystal mare craning their heads from side to side as AJ tries to back her away from the fake Crystal Heart, Twilight's pose and "aw crap" expression when she triggers the trap protecting the Crystal Heart. Studio B has definitely cranked the animation up another notch for the new season. I'd have to say, though, that the best part of the season opener is its portrayal of Twilight and Spike's relationship.

As for King Sombra, I'm in the minority that thought he was an effective villain, despite his limited screen time. He was suitably ominous and threatening, and the crystal ponies' reactions to just the memory of his reign added to the effect. Most crucial to showing what he's like, though, is the magic door; its effect on Twilight and on Spike was borderline heartbreaking. Only Nightmare Moon can equal his evil so far, and I do expect him to return later in the season.

I did have a few problems with the episodes, though. First, the "cliffhanger" at the end of the first episode ended up being incredibly cheap; even the one thing that changed as a result, part of King Sombra's horn being chopped off and spreading dark crystals into the kingdom, ended up not having any real effect. Rainbow Dash struck me as being overly aggressive, culminating in her coming off as a borderline bully when convincing Fluttershy to continue jousting. Worst, though, was Celestia insisting to Twilight that she had to complete the test "alone" when really she didn't need to. Given that Twilight would have failed if she had tried to accomplish her task alone, Celestia's emphasis on doing so comes off as ignorant at best; and it was completely unnecessary, since Twilight would have viewed a test as something she needed to finish on her own. If they had left out that part of Celestia's speech where she talks about Twilight finishing the test alone, then their conversation at the end of the second episode would have involved clearing up a misunderstanding, rather than Celestia flatly contradicting what she said earlier. Even with these flaws, though, I really enjoyed the season opener; I just can't rank it in the top half of episodes so far.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

"Too Many Pinkie Pies" was, as expected, lots of fun. There was loads of classic Pinkie Pie antics; I particularly liked the "alarm clock Pinkie" as well as the dancing Pinkie in the "Steamboat Bill Jr." reference at the barn raising, and the "Tell me what" line was great. Rainbow Dash's pool-lounger fort, Fancy Pants's unexpected cameo, and Spike's excitement at watching Pinkies watching paint dry also got a laugh from me, and the herding scene was both amusing and a welcome chance to see Winona again.

The climax, though, ended up stretching my suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. Up to the last act, it was fairly easy to tell the real Pinkie apart from the duplicates, as they were incapable of focusing on anything but fun, to the point of wreaking havoc on anyone and anything around them. Making them suddenly so indistinguishable from the real Pinkie, while setting up the fun antics of the watching-paint-dry competition, does raise the troubling prospect of just how alive and self-aware the doomed Pinkie copies were. I can accept that the copies ultimately were shadows of the real Pinkie with no life of their own, but it's enough of a stretch to dull my enjoyment of the episode a little. Also, the emotional heart of the episode, centering on Pinkie's desire to stay with her friends, wasn't as strong as most episodes. Even with these drawbacks, though, I'd still rank it an above-average episode, and one that I think will hold up well to repeat viewings.

Time to take a break for Thanksgiving dinner, but I hope to comment more later tonight. (I haven't had time to read everyone else's comments on the episodes yet, so I hope I haven't been too repeptitive.)

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Oh... I was wondering why I was somehow magically the first person to consider wishing a happy Thanksgiving and then I realized I hadn't refreshed the page in a while and you guys have all done it already. I'm such a turkey :D Happy American Thanksgiving, everybody~

Regrettably, due to silly Canadian Internet bandwidth limitations, I won't be able to partake in Ponies this weekend... which means I'll probably be dodging the blog for a week in order to avoid the spoilers. I promise I'll return next Friday when this is no longer an issue :c And hopefully have nice things to say, at that!

More randomly, a commission I bought made it onto the Drawfriend (Source 40) and it has me in an uncontrolled gigglefit, atop the gigglefit I was already having because of how well the art came out in the first place. It's been enough to make a very bad morning turn into a very bright and enthusiastic day for me and I guess I'm still riding the mood high a little bit. But don't mind me shamelessly promoting my own stuff~

@Anon

Is that bad? D: I don't wanna be a cloud anymore ;_;

@Harwick

I've had time to think about it and I've come to the conclusion that my vision of this season is somewhat tainted. Not on purpose, mind you. But for some reason it's very hard for me to watch it without the fandom nagging at the back of my mind, and I think it's making it too hard to see the episodes at face value. I wouldn't wish this kind of altered vision on anyone, but at very least, the first two seasons will always have a special place in my heart. Knowing this, I'm going to try to watch the rest of this season with a different mindset, and maybe that'll solve my problem... because you and my friend are probably right, and even though there are nods in places, I'm not sure it's as overwhelming as I seem to have first thought. We'll see how it goes next episode!

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Back from a delicious dinner with my family, and just in time to record Sitting Pretty. This night is going nicely...

I'm afraid I forgot about WhiteDiamonds's interview; I'll have to track it down on YouTube, so I too can praise our hostess enough to cause her to flush with embarrassment. Speaking of which, the sketch of a flustered Rarity heading this post is just delightful. Her expression, as I've come to expect from Di, is wonderfully alive, for lack of a better word, and her hat is quite charming as well. I could easily see this as being from a scene that was left out of "Sweet and Elite", with Rarity fretting about fitting in with Jet Set, Upper Crust, and their cronies.

@Harwick:

Thanks for the review of the Gameloft MLP game. I don't own a suitable platform for playing it, and it's not the type of game I get into, but it certainly looks like something I'd enjoy watching other play in bits and pieces.

@zhoomcar:

Since you and a couple of others have brought up "Littlest Pet Shop", I guess it's OK for me to toss in my two cents. While I've never liked the design of the toys, Studio B managed to tone down the exaggeration of the toy line enough to make the character designs for the show work nicely, and the writing and characterizations in the first two episodes was enjoyable. It's a fun show, with the potential to be quite good. (Also, I have to admit that I loved Pepper Clark, and was unsurprised to learn she's voiced by Tabitha St. Germain.)

@Harwick:

Despite the rampant verbosity of my previous posts, I knew there were details I wanted to touch on but forgot about. Luna's role in the season opener was... curious, I suppose. If as you suspect (and I agree with you) it's a foreshadowing of her later appearances this season, it's very nicely done; if she winds up with no larger role than what she had during "A Canterlot Wedding", then her foreboding manner in "The Crystal Empire" will just seem, well, odd. Though I have to say there's already been some pretty convincing speculation about that mysterious book and how it ties into Twilight Sparkle's destiny.

@RenaTurnip:

I rather liked the hexagonal eye highlights that the crystal ponies had as well, and was pleased that the crystal versions of the mane 6 (and, presumably, Cadance and Shining Armor) had them as well.

@PonydoraPrancypants:

Ah yes, "The Crystal Empire" had loads of shipping fuel for probably a half-dozen different pairings, going by what some of the shippers in this fandom consider to be evidence for their favored pairings. But the Rarijack moments in these episodes mark the first time that, if I were coming into the series cold with no outside influence, I might wonder if two characters had more than a platonic relationship going on. Not that I think the show's staff meant to imply a romance between Applejack and Rarity, but I'd be hard pressed to argue against someone who believed they were indeed trying to do so.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

@Anon:

Well, if Fighting is Magic does become the official game of Ravishing Diamonds, at least everyone else here will be able to take solace in the fact that they wouldn't be the worst player in the game. My ineptitude in fighting games, stretching back to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, is the stuff of legend.

@Harwick:

Having read your comments about "Too Many Pinkie Pies", I'm tempted to delete my own comment and just link to yours with the word "Ditto." In particular, you expressed the lack of emotional heft in this episode far better than I could.

@RenaTurnip:

I think, for me at least, the number of apparent fandom nods was less notable than the fact that they were in the foreground, so to speak. "Putting Your Hoof Down" had the return of Pipsqueak, Derpy with muffin clasps on her saddlebags, and BonBon with lyre clasps on her saddlebags as she meets with Lyra, all in one scene, but they were also all in the background. This episode, Rainbow Dash's acknowledgement of Pinkie Pie's physics-defying antics, the possible fourth-wall reference, the "fingers" gag, and the G3 reference were all part of the main action of the episode, where they could be somewhat distracting. Since Pinkie Pie was involved, though, I'm willing to give the staff a bit more leeway in putting in references like that.

@Anon:

You have, I take it, been following the merchandise posts on Equestria Daily and/or Derpy Hooves News? Going by the latest coloring/activity books, one could be forgiven for thinking Princess Cadance was the lead character of the show. Not that the merchandising emphasis on the pretty pink princess pony is affecting the show, but yeah, I think Hasbro really wants to push Cadance more.

@RenaTurnip:

Oh wow, that is a very nicely-drawn (and nicely-designed) pony; thanks for sharing your commission, and I'll have to be sure to thank the artist on dA as well!

Oh, and that reminds me: I've seen a lot of remarks from the fandom about King Sombra looking like a bad OC, but I was curious as to what the artists here thought of his design. Personally, I thought his design, while lacking when compared to past villains, fit his personality and his role quite well; does he really deserve to be compared to the likes of this?

And now, since everyone else is doing it, MAH DESTINAY! (Drumroll, please!)

"You are Twilight Sparkle..." (Wow, OK, if you say so.) "...the striped OC..." (Um, what?) "...destined to hatch stallions." (... Aaaand we go flying off the rails, full speed.)

This concludes jodyjm13's takeover of WhiteDiamonds's blog; it is now safe to resume normal reading habits.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

Tonight I appear to be Rainbow Jack, the Loveable Parasprite destined to Lie to Fabric. I... I feel like a crime against all things natural and proper D: (It is fun to spin this wheel once a night, really. I will probably keep doing it.)

(A different friend of mine tonight is apparently... Rainbow Sparkle, the Manly Furry destined to Bake the Princess. I'm not sure I have the slightest single word for this.)

@jodyjm13

Ahh, thank you for the comment on the commission :o If only I could take credit for the art itself being so wonderful, of course. I appreciate the words on her design as well~

I think what you've said about the nods makes a lot of sense, when I really think about it. I still think I'm looking at the episodes the wrong way, buuut the fact that these things are right in our face instead of out in the back is probably a very good reason for why I'm looking at them the way I am... and I will certainly bring that up with my friend as well, and see what he has to say. I wonder if Harwick has any thoughts on that too, since he was in the same boat as my friend that I mentioned before. Either way, I appreciate your thoughtfulness on the subject :o

On the subject of fighting games, at first I mistook what you'd said, as if you were saying you were adept at them, and then I realized it was the opposite. I think only one person here knows I even have any relation to fighting games, and the idea of... well the idea of playing Fighting is Magic with anyone on this blog makes me laugh a little, I guess xD Not for any bad reason, but just because it kind of feels like a surreal sort of thing. I cannot ever imagine telling someone in the Pony community, "oh, this one time I played Fighting is Magic against WhiteDiamonds" and having that person look at me in shock when he or she knows I'm referring to the one and only amazing artist that name could refer to. I hope that doesn't seem weird or rude, but I also hope you can see why I find the scenario so humorous D:

Also, still specifically to you, Jody, a weird sense of déjà vu is telling me I've done this before, but I cannot for the life of me find the moment where I did it if it happened, so I will say it again just in case. Even though we've passed by each other numerous times for months (and you wished me a happy birthday, which I appreciated~) this is probably my first time properly trading words with you, so I will say, it is nice to finally talk at length with you :o (If you remember the potentially non-existent point in time where I've already made this comment, feel free to tell me I'm awkward and forgetful. I won't mind D: )

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Hello everyone! I won't be able to respond to the entire list of comments here tonight I'm afraid, as it's now quite late where I am and I have only gotten home not that long ago, but I did want to say hello to everyone as well as wish all of you (to whom it may apply!) a very Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and as I thankfully have the next two days off of work I hope to get back to all of my replies here very soon!

I love you all! <3 ^_^

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Just came back from a friend's 18th debutante, had a blast, never thought I would don a suit again for a long while. As I don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia (for obvious reasons), I will simply ditto to what Diamonds said. Hope all of you enjoyed your holiday.

I guess I also forgot to mention that I finished my last exam a week ago, and now everything is just nothing was until results come back. In the meantime, vidja gaems and going to work. I am going to miss the routine of school and everything, and it may look like I will have to go make some new friends next year too at uni. (Again? This is starting to sound like school again, only for adults...)

@WhiteDiamonds
I think this calls for a group hug. We love you too.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@zhoomcar
Oh man, where has my head gone, it seems I already mentioned that. So I forgot that I mentioned that I forgot to mention that I finished my exams. Ugh. And typos, damn typos... out, damned spot! "nothing was"? I meant "nothingness"! Aaaaaah! -storms off to bed-

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

Oh man, triple post! This hasn't happened before, but the new episode was somewhat predictable, but still had plenty of cute moments.

Spoilers ahoy!

Babs was an alright character even though I've heard some fairly negative reception from others about her voice, the song was quite cute, the animation also happened to step up a notch, with a bit more pseudo 3D animation than usual, and Pinkie's lettuce float and her vegetable puns, the CMC's phenomenal ability to build floats, hovering Scootaloo... and let's not forget Sweetie Belle crying... etc etc etc. Now if you excuse me, I'll just disappear for a bit until someone else posts around here.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

Hi you guys! I just wanted to drop in and leave some thoughts on the new episode. I think I might end up in the minority on this one, but I don't care at all - I LOVED IT!

Babs was exactly what I expected from the preview clip - bullying the CMC due to her own insecurity, and a good pony at heart. The predictable main story wasn't what captivated me, though. This episode was just FILLED with great bits that I loved! Clockwork floats? Sweetie Belle's first magic (yes, it's green!)? Scootaloo hovering? A catchy song? They brought back the colt who won the staff photographer job at the Foal Free Press to take a photo of the mud-covered Crusaders. I loved seeing Rarity's parents' house, two stories, exactly as I had pictured it. The CMC initiation at the end of the episode was ADORABLE. "Bosom buddy, compadre, gal-pal, homegirl, etc." Also, I'm pretty sure I saw part of Derpy's leg, thrown in by the animators to skirt the apparent season three ban on DH).

This was one of those episodes where everything worked for me, and I was smiling practically from beginning to end.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Okay, so I'm back again! I ended up spending nearly all day yesterday out shopping, wining and dining and it was fabulous, even if I am sorry I neglected the blog an extra day as a result. And relevant on that note, since I just recently found it have a cute WhiteDiamonds-approved seasonal image (courtesy of the Ask Lying Applejack Tumblr) everyone.

Since I missed commenting on last week's Pinkie Pie episode, I can say now that I pretty much agree with the majority consensus here and I thought it was enjoyable enough, but certainly not very deep or profound or among my favorites. I wasn't really expecting as much from a Pinkie episode though so at least I wasn't disappointed, but still it was cute and I did like the whole scene in the beginning when Pinkie first finds the magic pool, and also as Harwick said grumpy Applejack throughout. I truly do adore that pony and all in all, it was an entertaining enough escape.

This week's episode was alright as well, even though I think I've said before that the Cutie Mark Crusader episodes aren't generally amongst my favorites. Still though, it's always nice to get a glimpse into our pony's family lives (and even if it's usually the Apple family) and Sweetie Belle in particular was very cute and entertaining throughout the episode I thought. It had some good moments, and now I can go on looking forward to next week's episode!

@RenaTurnip

Oh don't worry about it dear. I wasn't depressed over it or anything like that, but still for your sake I'm just sorry you didn't find it as enjoyable as I did. Hopefully, though, you'll find some of the upcoming new episodes to be very much to your liking. As for your commission, it is indeed lovely and SoulSpade is quite a capable artist so I can see why you would be very happy with it... congratulations on a lovely piece and thank you so much for sharing!

And haha well, I'm not sure how proficient I really am at fighting games either, but nevertheless I am excited to give "Fighting is Magic" a try and if we can both work it out, I would love to play a match against you sometime!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Hahaha! Well I know that that's a translated Japanese comic you shared so it may well just be a coincidence, but if it was actually intentional then I'm really quite flattered! Speaking of Japanese fanartists, I guess a whole group of them recently made a collective account on deviantART, which I'm happy about because I was following many of them on Pixiv but it's much easier for me to keep track of them here (and not to mention I can favorite things now which is wonderful!). Many of them are quite talented, and I'm glad that they're making an effort to share their wonderful works with the wider world now.

Otherwise, thank you so very much for sharing the Rarijack-o-lantern with me, haha (I love it, and it's on deviantART so I can add it to my Rarijack group which makes it even better! <3), and thank you SO so much for that little dancing Rarity gif! That's just adorable and I'm very grateful, and I will absolutely use it for my webcam now on my deviantART page. =)

@PonydoraPrancypants

We have talked via email at this point of course, but allow me to say once again, since it bears repeating, that I'm very happy your surgery (eek) went well and that you seem to be healing well enough now, and that you should make a complete recovery. And I also am looking forward to whatever stories you have in store for us as well, I'm sure!

As for the new episode, it's wonderful to hear that you got such a kick out of the latest. Perhaps I missed something but I didn't think it was really stated that was Rarity's fillyhood home at any point, but whatever the case may be it was still nice to see that brief little glimpse of her father... I was hoping we might get to see him without that hat sometime but alas, I guess I can't really complain too much!

@CaineScroll

Happy Blog Anniversary dear! And thank you for the happy holiday wishes... I know I at least had an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving this year and I hope the same was true for all of the rest of you who celebrated it!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I know what you mean, I also have been looking forward to those Trixie episodes so much since we first started getting glimpses shared with us! More than most anything else from the show thus far, probably, and again as long as I get to see my filly-Rarity and Applejack (which obviously, I know I will) I know there's no chance I will be disappointed. <3

And thank you once again for the kind Thanksgiving wishes. I know I myself am very grateful I've gotten to know all of you, and here is to another fabulous year on the blog, I sincerely hope!

@jodyjm13

Yay, it's Jody again! <3 Hello my friend, and as always it's such a wonderful pleasure to hear from you. It's good to hear that you at least enjoyed the new episodes, for the most part (and you mentioned a part that I also loved but forgot to make note of in the Crystal Empire, when Fluttershy reacts to Pinkie's discarded costume) and as for my interview the link is currently up on my deviantART in the journal on my front page, but for convenience sake it's also here if you like (I sincerely hope you won't be disappointed in it at all, and d'aww, all of those people on YouTube said such nice things about me! <3 <3).

Regarding shipping, it is funny what some people apparently consider to be "evidence" of their preferred ships being made canon, isn't it? Or even what they'll consider to be decent fuel for them in the less extreme cases. Even I, who would dearly love to believe such a thing seriously doubt that the writers meant any such implications with my beloved Rarijack, because at best it was likely an intentional shiptease, but as I've said repeatedly I was merely thrilled by the fact that the episodes made it crystal-clear they are indeed close and are very good friends, in addition to the fact that they have great chemistry together (or apparently the writers agree with me there, seeing as how they were given so much screentime together). That was just the best thing ever for me, and in fact given my attitude about relationships and such I honestly think I value that more than seeing overt romantic displays (as much as one would ever expect from a show like FiM that is).

Oh yes, and I almost forgot but thank you very much for the kind words about the little Rarity sketch as well! I truly appreciate it. =)

@zhoomcar

Awwwww!! <3 That is a great picture, and you all know that I very much meant what I said, thank you. ^_^ Also I have had those days myself so don't worry about it, and I'm happy to hear you enjoyed that new episode as well, by the sound of things.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

I'll have to come back to respond to various comments another time, but I thought I'd stop by as I'm finishing up work for today to share my thoughts on "One Bad Apple":

I thought it was a fun episode filled with some extremely cute bits here and there. I certainly wouldn't call it "slight", like Pinkie's episode, as I thought the pacing made it feel like a substantial amount happened within that 22 minutes, and yet never felt rushed or underdeveloped... I was really quite impressed with it in those regards, and would love for most episodes to feel similarly paced.

That said, the story being told wasn't all that intriguing to me, and certainly adult viewers could see where things were going to go in general. I did like the anti-retaliation message that was there, suggesting that tormenting your tormentor isn't a particularly productive path. And again, regardless of my interest the story itself was well and lively told. I do admit that I never can fully enjoy watching the main characters make the wrong decision and then have to spend an act waiting for it all to blow up in their faces. Sure it teaches by example, but it robs me of being able to root for them to overcome their problems and makes it all about them surviving their own bad choices instead.

Of course, there were loads of things to enjoy in the episode either way... I loved seeing Sweetie Belle spark a bit of magic, and seeing her house for the first time was a treat too! (So her dad likes to fish, eh? Are ponies catch-and-release sportsmen, or do fish join eggs as animal-based proteins on the pony menu?) In truth, this episode just proved that Rarity's folks really do raise the most entertaining of ponies, as Sweetie stole the show from the other fillies in my view. And her bobbing her head and drinking her milkshake may still be the cutest image I've seen from the show.

I did love many bits with Babs, especially the screaming beverage. The song was quite catchy (though not really charming enough to be among my favorites). I really didn't get Pinkie's screams of "Veggie Salad!" though... I feel I'm missing a pun. Of course, AB's "...Really?" reaction was a great line reading (it may join SB's "Oh, COME ON!" as a go-to reaction line.)

Probably a lot of other little things I'd love to mention... maybe tomorrow. I will say that the Derpy drought has me somewhat depressed. I really thought that she'd just go back to making otherwise unremarkable appearances in the backgrounds, but it seems that she's been excised from the show nearly completely (Some point to what appears to be her model viewed from behind (with no distinguishing features showing) in a couple of bits from this season's earlier episodes, but going through the "Bad Apple" crowd scenes Zapruder-film style didn't yield any confirmed Derpy sightings by me. I did find what looked to be her model with dark, uncrossed eyes instead of her delightful golden wonky ones... which essentially throws doubt on those pseudo-prior season 3 glimpses. I hope they haven't taken our Derpy away for good.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

This Thanksgiving was pretty disappointing; we didn't even share a feast with a tribe of Native Americans. I am thankful for NOTHING.

We don't really have any family where I live, so we don't really spend Thanksgiving (or any holiday, really) like most would. I don't know what such things as stuffing and pumpkin pie taste like, as I live on an endless supply of Raisin Bran, but maybe that's for the best.

The attaction of the art from WhiteDiamonds' blog is only surpassed by that of its inhabitants. Every regular has added their own touch to the blog's atmosphere, and they all have helped to make it what it is today. Meeting you personally has been the biggest surprise since I started following this blog. Thank you for giving this small community so much warmth and life. It may still exist without you, but it would not be nearly the same. Let's enjoy this time, while the television is still graced with new Pony and Diamonds has not yet grown sick of us.

@jodyjm13

...and you, too!

I just thought that Luna's expression was meant to show the seriousness of the situation. Celestia couldn't stand in place with a silent stare, because she was the one speaking. The Princesses' exchange at the beginning did suggest that Luna is at least actively informed on Twilight's progress and destiny as a student, whatever it may be. On the other hand, doesn't everyone act that way when they need to sort out their taxes? (Oh, and we did get to see a crystal Cadence and Shining Armor, as well as Spike at the end. They did have those clever hexagonal and diamond-shaped eye shines.)

It appears you have some fierce competition for that title. Someday, we will meet on a mountaintop wearing black belts and straw hats, and we will be prepared to begin the least exciting round of Fighting is Magic in the land. Then, we shall turn our backs in silence and return with our honor.

I think Cadance just works well as a generic girl's toy character. She is like the pony form of Barbie. Most merchandise, like activity and coloring books, are marketed towards younger fans who don't necessarily need to recognise the character from the show. Also, it takes some pressure away from the parents and relatives who might worry about buying merchandise of the right character. Not every little girl will relate to the main character, but Cadance just doesn't have enough of a personality to disagree with her. This is only my speculation, of course. As a pink alicorn princess, Cadance is the "complete package".

I haven't watched Littlest Pet Shop, and honestly I don't expect it to gain the sort of following that Pony has enjoyed, but I was thoroughly amused by what the fans have apparently decided to call themselves.

I may not be an artist exactly, but a bad OC is what immediately sprung to mind when I first saw him. This is partly because most OCs are not technicolor, but red and black. That's not even touching on his original horn style, royal outfit and confident facial expression, which are very common among nine-year-old male fans who want to create a character to represent their "dark side". I felt better about him when he was revealed to be a regular unicorn. That is, a regular unicorn with a curled red and black horn and glowy red-green-purple eyes. At this point, I would take anything but an alicorn. I don't have much to complain about though, since bad OCs are one of my favorite sources of humor in the fandom.

"You are Twilight Sparkle..."

Well, it was fun while it lasted...

Anon said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

You have an OC? Wait-- just let me add this to the blog OC list... *pulls out whiteboard, bites off marker cap and scribbles* ...I think this brings us to five or six. That's almost an impressive achievement, considering they are all balanced and respectable ponies. Most of us still have little to no interest in them though, so the group picture will have to wait.

I hope you don't mind me joking about your country, by the way. With names like "Saskatchewan", it's sort of asking for it.


To those who may be interested: I actually did find the time to finish the lineart for that Rarity I was drawing. I made two versions, because I initially drew it with the marker, but I wanted to see what it look like with JohnJoseco's lineart brush. I don't want to spoil it too much, but if I do finish the whole picture, the next character I attempt to draw will have a far more interesting pose and expression than this one. In contrast, this is what I have dubbed "Rariscarecrow".

That's all the time I have for replying at the moment. I will be back at a later time for continued incoherent rambling.

obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

[Watch this double-post again:]

I enjoyed most of the new ep, but again it lacked a little meat on the bone.

The best pony eps (Fall Weather Friends, Look Before You Sleep) take two ponies' personality aspects and pit them against each other a bit. (Part of why AJ is one of my favorites is that where some see a background pony, I see a carefully crafted foil that makes the others even more vivid than they could be otherwise.)

The standard quality eps (Applebuck Season, Lesson Zero, Putting Your Hoof Down) explore a single pony's personality trait in depth. This is probably what draws in so much of the fandom: You have these well-balanced, strongly-defined characters and yet their core episode type is "X learns that they need to be more than the caricature of their identity description".

Winter Wrap Up is high on my list, probably because it was blend of both approaches.

There are exceptions to this rule (Family Appreciation Day fits neither formula and is probably my favorite because I am a sentimental hillbilly who misses my grandma), but deviating from the formula gets you close to Over A Barrel/Ticket Master territory.

This is a Cindy Morrow ep, and she's written my favorites by tweaking the formula; this particular one takes a risk by deviating and falls a bit short. But it had an A-Team montage/music homage, so all is forgiven. (Apple Bloom is Hannibal; Sweetie Belle is Murdock...)

I am also amused by the pony with the city accent, which sounds much more Jersey/Filly than Manehattan. It fascinates me that Scootaloo wrote the thesaurean CMC initiation pledge, as if the writer is going out of her way to correct a perception that she is RD-style egghead-averse. ("What are you, a dictionary?")

I'm hopeful for the rest of the season since--going by titles and synopses on 5, 6, and 7--we might see some more of the character exploration I enjoy from the show.

obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

[Watch this double-post again:]

I enjoyed most of the new ep, but again it lacked a little meat on the bone.

The best pony eps (Fall Weather Friends, Look Before You Sleep) take two ponies' personality aspects and pit them against each other a bit. (Part of why AJ is one of my favorites is that where some see a background pony, I see a carefully crafted foil that makes the others even more vivid than they could be otherwise.)

The standard quality eps (Applebuck Season, Lesson Zero, Putting Your Hoof Down) explore a single pony's personality trait in depth. This is probably what draws in so much of the fandom: You have these well-balanced, strongly-defined characters and yet their core episode type is "X learns that they need to be more than the caricature of their identity description".

Winter Wrap Up is high on my list, probably because it was blend of both approaches.

There are exceptions to this rule (Family Appreciation Day fits neither formula and is probably my favorite because I am a sentimental hillbilly who misses my grandma), but deviating from the formula gets you close to Over A Barrel/Ticket Master territory.

This is a Cindy Morrow ep, and she's written my favorites by tweaking the formula; this particular one takes a risk by deviating and falls a bit short. But it had an A-Team montage/music homage, so all is forgiven. (Apple Bloom is Hannibal; Sweetie Belle is Murdock...)

I am also amused by the pony with the city accent, which sounds much more Jersey/Filly than Manehattan. It fascinates me that Scootaloo wrote the thesaurean CMC initiation pledge, as if the writer is going out of her way to correct a perception that she is RD-style egghead-averse. ("What are you, a dictionary?")

I'm hopeful for the rest of the season since--going by titles and synopses on 5, 6, and 7--we might see some more of the character exploration I enjoy from the show.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I'm sure we all missed you dearly for that day you were absent, but I'm glad to hear you had a great time, and that you so enjoyed your Thanksgiving. Belated Thanksgiving is more anticipated to anyone who gets the leftovers anyway.

You are very welcome for the images as well. That's an interesting sort of coalition of Japanese MLP fanartists who have agreed to share a deviantART account for their creations. I have noticed that artists from foreign countries seem have similar styles. Polish artists like FoxInShadow tend to work in a dark, sketchy style, Russian artists like Holivi tend to imitate traditional paintings, and Japanese artists like OZE work in styles that are usually based on bright, vibrant colors with happy characters and generally positive themes. I see there are a few impressive cel-shaded drawings in that collective account's gallery. That looks like a fun style to try for a simpler scene that doesn't require many shades of the same color to distinguish between the objects in the picture.

@Harwick

It's pretty unfortunate that we have to lower our expectations of an episode based on who the protagonist is likely to be. As CMC episodes go, I think this one was the best so far. A lot of scenes were fit into the story thanks to its lack of repitition and time-consuming gags. It seems that most of them were sight gags, which helped to cut each scene down to its minimum. I liked that we got to hear Applejack's input in the beginning and the end. It was a nice touch that gave the show movie-like gravity.

Babs Seed was reminiscent of antagonists from children's shows, even the ones intended for a younger demographic than MLP. I was almost expecting the Crusaders to fail in their float chase, but I guess the writers have to put more emphasis on perfecting their protagonists than improving their minor villains. I'm sure they have to follow Hasbro's guidelines in order to air the show on television. That's one of the things we have to accept with MLP being an educational show, I suppose.

This episode was full of minute details, which must have helped in its pacing. I wonder if Sweetie's magical abilities will develop a little with each season or two. Scootaloo's wings are also showing some improvement, but I remain convinced that Lauren's plans for her design will stay true. I also enjoyed catching a glimpse of both Applebloom and Sweetie Belle's families, though it does bring Scootaloo back into question. My favorite part of the episode was of course the song, and the impressive animation that came with the montage. It looked like a band's music video, and the CMC's constant movements felt like they were dancing to the music. And yes, Sweetie Belle's milkshake-holding, head-bobbing cuteness has already gained a "Wet mane Rarity"-esque fandom. I'm not sure why she was turned gold for the float building scene, though. Maybe she just wanted all the attention for that part, too.

If I was disappointed by anything, it would be that the CMCs are still very similar to one another. I understand that they are meant to operate as a group, but they haven't shown much individual personality to reflect off eachother. I was expecting Scootaloo to suggest a more confrontational approach to the problem rather than leaving the decision to Applebloom as they usually do. This drawing effectively shows what I was expecting. It didn't affect the episode too much, but it would be a nice chance for their future episodes.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

I don't know if it's late enough in the season to draw a conclusion on Derpy yet. The staff has mentioned on numerous occasions that bronies will love some of the references they are throwing in (many of which were in this one), and I can't see them taking Derpy away from her "Where's Waldo" role. As the references have been so much more common lately, I wouldn't be surprised if the animators started throwing more easter eggs into the background for us. Of course, with only a season premier, a Pinkie episode and a CMC episode so far, it's early to say. She may not effect the story too much, but I hope she isn't gone for good either.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13
@RenaTurnip

There could certainly be something to the issue of whether fan nods take front and center place among the action or remain the kind of thing you have to study the background to get. However, with the episode being discussed being the Pinkie Pie one, it's really hard for me to say. Pinkie has always had nods to Warner Bros. cartoons and the like, so none of her antics really struck me as fan service so much as "Pinkie being Pinkie".

I do think that the larger fandom tends to lose sight of the "chicken or the egg" nature of some of this stuff though... Many/most fan concepts are inspired by things that were already in the show... Lyra was often paired with BonBon in backgrounds or bouncing, waving and generally calling attention to herself, Pinkie broke the 4th wall or did the impossible numerous times, etc. Now, when these things happen in season 3 many people leap to call it fan service when it may just be a continuation of the same kind of things the show's creators have been doing since before they knew they even had fans.

@zhoomcar

You know, speaking of the CMC's float-building capabilities, many people have long suspected that Apple Bloom's talents lie in that direction, which makes me wonder what the hold-up is in her getting her cutie mark when she puts things like that together. I guess it's not just the building of it, but she has to have the epiphany to go along with it. (The same goes with the multiple songs Sweetie has been a part of, I suppose.) Of course collectively they've proven themselves to be much improved at both building and singing than in previous episodes.

@PonydoraPrancypants

I don't think you're in the minority at all, from what I've seen... It was definitely a solid CMC episode, and that group has certainly grown on a lot of fans over the course of the series. Still, even I was surprised at how delighted many fans were by that latest outing.

@WhiteDiamonds

I have managed to stick to my Pinkie Promise not to view any spoilers for this weekend's episode if they can at all be avoided (I'm still wary every time I check my messages on DA for fear that someone I watch will have produced an image based on the video clip released earlier this week... but so far so good.) I've been *very* tempted however. But I shan't succumb to such fabulousness.

@Anon

I really don't know about Luna in the season opener. As Jody said, her stern look just seemed... odd. And yet, there was the odd book in the Pinkie episode, and stuff like "Veggie Salad!" which I still don't get, so it's not like such odd bits don't slip into the show and leave me scratching my head.

As for Derpy, I've stated my hopeful theory elsewhere that, at worst, we're currently viewing a batch of episodes that were in production at the height of the Derpy controversy, and that later ones (or next season's) will reflect a more relaxed stand on the character from seeing said controversy blow over and the character remain a popular seller.

I'm still curious as to whether there was anything behind both MLP comic creators saying that they had heard rumors of Derpy getting another bigger role in an episode (or an episode focus herself.) I suppose she might get her own "Hot Minute" promo over at Hot Topic, to follow Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash...

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@obsequiosity

Well, at least you called the double-post ahead of time!

It's an interesting analysis of episode styles you offer. I may differ some in that I really like a bit heavier emphasis on the plot while some of the more personality-based episodes are content to have a basic premise and then let the characters bounce off of each other for 22 minutes. This isn't to say I don't like the those ones... "Lesson Zero" is one of my favorites and plotwise it's very slight... it just made up for it running with its premise full-steam into hilarious results, and yet still managed to have some deeper undertones for as broad as it was on the surface.

My favorites are, as you say, ones like "Winter Wrap Up" where there is a well-done combination of the two styles: A distinct, progressive series of events making up the narrative that allows for examination of the characters while it unfolds. That's the kind that I really enjoy... "Best Night Ever", "Sweet and Elite" and such all did a good job of using narrative events to add a bit more "story" while still keeping it about the characters.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

One more from me... A quick review of the "Friendship is Magic" comic which hit iTunes yesterday. (I ordered a copy with Derpy on the cover as well for posterity's sake, but I'll likely be following the rest of the series digitally, so I figured I may as well have the first issue in that format too. Since I don't buy a lot of the toys, it's the least I can do to support the property.)

In general, non-spoilery terms the comic is a lot of fun... It is definitely geared toward the older readership and is crammed with visual jokes for internet savvy audiences. It leans heavily on the action/humor side of the show (likely not a bad choice for a medium whose audience favors heroics) and plows at a break-neck pace through events to give a resolution for the first issue while also setting up a larger challenge for the rest of this 4 issue long (I believe) adventure.

Art wise, it's actually pretty appealing although definitely a departure from the show. Everyone is very expressive, perhaps overly so... subtlety is out the window... and yet it works in a kind of "Mad Magazine" way. The writing gets the voices of the characters right in a very broad-stroke style, and it serves well as an introduction to the cast and the premise.

It's definitely hard to judge too much from this single issue though. If anything, the broad nature of it all could leave the whole thing fairly hollow if this is all there is to it. What's here is far more in the spirit of "Too Many Pinkie Pies" than any of the deeper episodes... and even then it's that episode minus the depressed Pinkie. There's not a hint of any real emotion in it so far, and some of the blame for that likely goes to the comical art style. Still, with 3 issues to go in the story and the premise already set up, there's definitely room for working some themes and deeper character study in now that everyone is caught up on who these ponies are and what kind of world they live in. Even if it doesn't manage that, the book would still be fun... but I certainly don't think people would fall in love with it as they have with the show.

On a side note, there's a little two-page comic included in the back of the issue, all in service of a simple punchline at the end (and a joke that perhaps only I and the author are old enough to remember) written and drawn by Katie Cook, who is otherwise just the writer of the comic series. I actually quite like her style, and hopefully she'll find the time to pencil a full issue somewhere down the line.

Dice Pony said... Reply to comment

Seeing as our lovely Lady in White has been able to post a bit more here, I thought I would drop in as well!

I haven't been able to post for a while due to severe laptop problems and generally being very busy with doing some work as an Extra in a big feature film.

But I just wanted to say, I love reading people's comments here. It's so nice to be among a very like-minded selection of fans who have very similar (and may I say mature) opinions about the show without the usual drama that I see on other pony websites.

I must admit that sometimes I worry people get far too serious about the show and it breaks my heart to see people commenting things like "This episode is terrible, get rid of the writer, bring back X" etc.

I love how you lovely folks express opinions so politely and with such open'ness. I just had to say!

I made a very jokey image post on my Pony Tumblr yesterday, it was making a joke about a clip from tomorrow's episode where we see a little more Rarity/Applejack interaction and how it could be seen as another ShipTease and my goodness! Some people took it so, so seriously, there was arguing and passive aggressiveness. Utterly shocking!

Also, I have to say, because I haven't seen anybody else comment on it yet, that I *loved* the A-Team reference in the previous episode! I laughed out loud when they started building the float in the wagon and when the music came on, I couldn't believe it!

I hope everybody is well and such!



jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

I finally had a chance to listen to the Cutie Art Crusaders' interview of our esteemed hostess, and it was very enjoyable and reasonably informative. Hearing about the thought processes behind some of the choices made for particular drawings, as well as comments about what objects and effects were harder or easier than usual, was very interesting. Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was the notion that the commissions where the client had very specific ideas about how everything should be done could be more fun than usual; I've avoided asking for commissions like that specifically because I was afraid it would be less fun for an artist to try to channel their efforts into recreating someone else's vision almost exactly. And echoing everyone else's comments, Di, I thought you were very well-spoken and an entertaining conversationalist (as well as being too generous in your comments about me, IMHO).

As for "One Bad Apple", I'll try to keep my comments brief as I think almost everything I'd want to say has been said before. Perhaps the most common complaint about this episode is that it was predictable; I'm usually quick to point out that most episodes are, in terms of how the story progresses, predictable, but this was the first episode that struck me as being predictable in the details as well as in the general plot. That's pretty much the only bad thing I have to say about it, though; it was still well-made and fun to watch, with lots of moments for the CMC to shine. The song was catchy and enjoyable, and supported by some great visuals; and while I was a bit uncertain of Babs Seed's voice at first, by the midpoint of my second viewing I realized that I really liked it. The resolution may have been a bit 'pat', but there's only so much that can be done in 21 minutes. I can't say that I liked it more than "Too Many Pinkie Pies", but I can't say I liked it any less, either.

@RenaTurnip:

Though you can't take credit for the art, you can still take credit for Grasswhistle's design, which is nicely done. And I don't recall you making a comment along those lines to me before, so at worst you're no more awkward and forgetful than I am. ;)

So, how's the cloud thing working out?

@zhoomcar:

Semi-apologizing for three consecutive, but brief, comments, so soon after I took up four out of five comments with honking big walls of text? A-heh...

@PonydoraPrancypants

I loved the initiation scene as well, even if, for some odd reason, I briefly thought of a rather more infamous initiation scene by the time it was over. (Original scene here, or if you dare you can watch the entire movie here.)

@WhiteDiamonds:

While it was never specifically stated that the CMC were meeting at Sweetie Belle's home, it seems a reasonable guess given that it wasn't Apple Bloom's home, and we saw Rarity and Sweetie Belle's dad outside. Of course, there could be other explanations, such as Sweetie Belle's family visiting with friends or relatives.

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Harwick:

I find the lack of Derpy disturbing, too; on the other hand, she's not been edited out of the title sequence, which would seem to be the first thing they'd do if they truly wanted to bury her. I still think there'll be an episode where she's not so hidden, but I'm beginning to wonder when.

Anon:

Oh, I like Princess Cadance well enough as a character; she hasn't been developed as fully as the regular cast, but what we've seen of her so far has been appealing. (Dancing with Pinkie Pie earned her a significant amount of brownie points.) I can't shake the nagging* feeling, though, that she's going to wind up being a much more central character in future seasons.

Given who came up with that name for Littlest Pet Shop fans, I'm guessing it's a joke. (Or really, really hoping it's a joke, at the least.) And while I see your points about King Sombra, I just think Studio B! reined* his design in enough to keep him just this side of the "bad OC" line. Except for the magic "flames" trailing from his eyes; that was a bit much, even though I understand the reason behind it.

* -- puns, as always, fully intentional.

obsequiosity:

I think you're onto something with your generalizations of the pony episode hierarchy; there's always going to be exceptions and personal preferences muddying the issue, but in a broad sense your theory does seem to be right. And the A-Team reference does seem to have been popular...

Harwick:

You're right to point out that frequently what the fandom sees as shout-outs is just the continuation of things that the animators were doing well before they were noticed by any fans. Even keeping that in mind, I still found it jarring when Dash pointed out Pinkie's physics-defying dive and when Pinkie "grew fingers", though I can understand how others are able to accept those scenes as Pinkie being Pinkie.

DicePony:

Ah yes, for quite a few fans shipping is srs bzns; that's one reason I stopped commenting in the Equestria Daily episode discussion threads, as it was getting harder for me to refrain from using rather bitter sarcasm in response to some of the wackier claims (such as those who argued that RD tackling AJ near the end of "The Last Roundup" was an AppleDash sign put in by the animators). Shipping fanart is fine and dandy, but why is it so hard for some fans to let the ponies be good friends in the show itself?

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

I have nothing to say here but... That episode. Holy cow. -flailicorns around on the ground-

Still trying to take everything in... but that episode most certainly met and exceeded my expectations. Except that the duel in question was slightly different to what I was expecting, but that changes nothing.

Oh man oh man oh man...

Harwick said... Reply to comment

And thus concludes this special presentation of MLP Continuity: The Episode!

Okay, that one was obviously tailored to the fans, with unexpected callbacks to everything from Winter Wrap-up to Swarm of the Century. We got to see Zecora do her originally-intended role as Twilight's second mentor, and even a pseudo Rule 63(?) Applejack. Pinkie broke the 4th wall again at the end, and Twilight even joined her. Oh, and Trixie came back. Okay, I admit it... it was loaded with fan service. The only way they could have fit more in would have been to have Derpy be the one repainted into Rainbow Dash (it would have worked so much better than Fluttershy). And I'll be honest... I loved all of it and the studio for doing it. I can't really grasp why it's a bad thing, as it certainly didn't bring down a solid story for me in any way.

Admittedly, this episode was just a straight-forward Pony adventure story. I don't think there were any real life lessons to take out of it, and rather than go for any emotional play with Twilight being banished, they dropped her straight into problem-solving mode and set to work righting Ponyville. Had they been able to inject a bit of emotion into it then it might have been among my absolute favorite episodes. Without it, I'm not sure how much staying power it will have, but I really admired and enjoyed the heck out of it as it unfolded.

It was a solid story with a clever resolution... and Twilight even fooled me. I had assumed that perhaps Twi was being fueled by her friendships and the power of Harmony (especially after the whole "use the 6" set up) in order to pull off her astounding spells in the second duel, but I really liked the reveal that it was all stage magic instead... That was just clever writing. This was a very solidly plotted episode, with the Alicorn (First canon use of the term as well! More fan service!) Amulet explaining Trixie's actions, allowing her to be a little bit of every fan version of her put together (even ending with apologetic Trixie), and excusing how she could take over a whole town and not care about the Princesses or the like... even if she couldn't handle them, she wasn't in her right mind enough to care. (Loved the mayor in the cage.)

I wasn't expecting Fluttershy to be as entertaining as she was in this episode, whether it was fretting over her little animal friends to her dangerous mission (the beaver escape was great, as was Spike comforting her in the end.)

I'm sure I'll keep coming back to many things about this episode worth commenting on. Really, as a sheer adventure story, this one was about perfect for me. I wouldn't want them all to be like this, but a few a season are a real treat!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Also, side note/speculation time! Is Celestia's apparent immortality explained? Age spells are for the "Highest levels" of unicorns. Obviously we don't know the rules, but taking them on face value one assumes that when you can cast them, you could keep yourself young indefinitely. So maybe her long lifetime doesn't have anything to do with being an alicorn, or connected to the sun, or what have you, but rather that she has achieved the highest level of spell casting and naturally wanted to be around for 1000 years to see her sister again.

It also allows that other unicorns who have achieved that level could still be kicking around... Is Starswirl out there somewhere still?

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

*2:44AM mode. Power levels: roughly 12%. Recommended solution: sleep. Current objective: catch up with the lovely folks at the blog instead.*

So to be last on the train of last week's episode, since I got to see it yesterday, I will simply say that it was pretty enjoyable, and that trying not to look at everything with the fandom on my mind helps a lot <_> It was, up until tonight, the episode I enjoyed the most thus far! And it was probably the only episode in the whole series that I actually predicted the outcome of (I am not very clever, you see) and I figure like most people, it was because it was blatantly obvious, but that's okay. It didn't take away from it any!

On today's episode (don't read if you haven't seen it!)... I had a lot of mixed feelings, and they started with "oh, Trixie's back, and she's being a huge... yeah" and ended with "oh, hum, I really enjoyed that!" it seems. I was honestly not very impressed at the start when Trixie was fully in "I'm back, 'cause everyone wanted me back, and I'm going to screw everything up now kthx" mode. It wasn't something I really felt drawn to in the least, and it felt to me like a sort of miniature villain episode... but as it went on, thankfully, it turned out alright in the end as far as how I felt about the turn of events, and I fully admit that Twilight's plan was super clever. I was really hoping that the solution wasn't just "oh okay Elements of Harmony turn your power levels to 9001" and I was pleasantly surprised once she explained what happened. I was also a little shocked at first, because the idea of her just calling her friends over to zap them into old age and other effects kind of frightened me! I was like, Twilight, girl, what are you doing D: But I was fooled, just like Trixie. I also have to say that, once again, not having the fandom on the mind all episode changed the experience for me entirely... I pretty much laughed at all sorts of things that popped up, from the first mention of "alicorn" (now I can't be the only stubborn person to use "pegasus unicorn" anymore :( ) to the random borrowing of a parasprite or two, and to Lyra and Bon Bon... being themselves xD That made me chuckle.

Ultimately I enjoyed the episode a lot more than I first felt I was going to when I started watching, and I'm happy to be able to say that because it breaks my streak of being a downer :1 The only thing I was truly unsure about was Trixie being apologetic after the fireworks began, and not "snapping back" right after the amulet was removed. It sort of said to me that she is still probably kind of a jerk, considering how she reacted to realizing she wasn't being given more power. But I guess if she was sincerely sorry, that does go a long way... And special shoutouts to how adorable Fluttershy was wearing Rainbow Dash's hair, and I don't know if it was her face or her eyes but I just felt she looked completely amazing during the segment where everyone was getting their disguises on... which reminds me, also special shoutouts to what essentially equates to filly Applejack and Rarity xP My immediate thoughts on the second that happened were divided equally between "BAWWW GIANT HAT <3" and "oh gosh I know one person who's going to be happy xD" and then by that time Twilight continued blasting spells on her friends and my mind was elsewhere again.

3:01AM... rambling, probably not using any proper paragraphing whatsoever. Sounds good to me! Sorry if this is hard to read or focus on, everyone~

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@Anon

I have a small few! Grasswhistle there is actually not my "main" character, for lack of any more respecting term, but instead that position goes to my dear Chatterbox, who is the face anyone would recognize if they were looking for me in relation to Ponies (at least as long as said face is not buried in the newspaper). Even so, I admit I'm a teensy bit amused that you grouped her in with "balanced and respectable" when you've only seen her by appearance :P Maybe she only looks pretty and is secretly the most powerful unicorn evar!!1!1 ... but of course this isn't true. I'm just making a silly comment. Thank you for yours :o

Oh and yes, by all means, make fun of Canada. I barely remember how to spell "Saskatchewan", but in its defense I'm 99% certain it was named by the first nations people.

And that is an excellent little art of Rarity and I think I may possibly adopt that pose when I go back to doing icons for people, because I am just so, so uninspired lately D: And Rarity is such an appropriate source of inspiration, surely.

@Harwick

I've seemingly had the change of heart I was hoping for, if you see my post above. I admit I do still sort of see a lot of these things as intentional, but I think the "chicken and the egg" way of putting it was on the mark, and with that on the table, I can see why these things wouldn't be "bad" at all anymore. I dare say I'd probably be upset in the long run if such things didn't continue, even...

@jodyjm13

I suppose I can take credit for that, if you must insist. Although she was inspired in such a silly way... I was just whistling a song to myself while sweeping the floors in the house, and I was around the houseplants, and everything in my head just sort of clicked from there... And somehow this isn't the most interesting story of inspiration I've had for a design before. But I'll surely not go into a large shpeal about that here, methinks.

And the clouds. They are troublesome poofs, those clouds. *shakes her fist*

@Harwick again

I'm not sure how I neglected to mention Zecora at all in my other post... this is why I should not do this so late at night. Thank you for reminding me! Myself and my one friend were very happy to learn that Zecora was capable of either unique magicks or just simply being able to teach them. In either case, she has the knowledge, and for me that adds further depth to what is honestly already a very interesting character. The whole scene in her hut also made me giggle, what with Twilight knocking the drink over... and then Zecora solving the problem with but a wave of her hoof. Very interesting stuff to me.

On Twilight, I found myself rather respectful of her ability to go immediately into problem solving mode. I think the fact that she set straight to working on the problem and was determined the whole way, may probably have served the episode better than if she'd gotten teary-eyed and ran off with promises of saving everypony... not that that would have been bad, if it had been done well, but I'm quite happy with how it went this way instead :o It's hardly a surprise that I enjoyed Twilight being a (mostly) main focus in an episode, of course, but yes.

And now, because I roll these dice just once a night and never cease to laugh at it... I am going to sleep as Feather Dash, the Fabulous Unicorn destined to Hatch the Wonderbolts. I... I will sleep on this newfound knowledge and see where it gets me. Good night, Ravishing Diamonds~

Dice Pony said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

It was a really fun, entertaining episode and very much a "Brony" episode in my mind. Lots of fanservice and nods to the older episodes.

I think the Zecora/Yoda reference was my personal favourite!

I think the weakest element of Magic Duel was Trixie's apology at the end. It felt both rushed and a little force which I think made the episode a little flatter than it should have been.

I have no problem with Trixie apologising, and in fact think if he had been done a little better would have been a great moral/lesson in of itself. But it felt rushed for the Pinkie gag at the end and to quickly appease the Trixie fans.

But maybe that's just me. I felt like they missed a trick with that apology, it would have been nice to get a bit more out of Trixie and maybe Twilight encouraging her to practice/study/learn to improve her skills rather than relying on cheap tricks and cursed doohickys.

Anyway! Twilight had me fooled too, I genuinely thought she had somehow unlocked some crazy magic powers to do all those spells but loved that they hadn't gone down that obvious route and instead outwitted her.

(And I admit, I breathed a huge sigh of relief that Genderswap Spells weren't real. XD)

Oh yeah and RariBelle and Bloomjack were suppppper cute. XD

---

Is anybody here playing the Gameloft "Give me all your IRL Bits" MLP Game? ;)

If you are, feel free to add me. My GL Username is SherlockHulmes! I'm on a desperate hunt for hearts at the moment as I need to get Scootaloo. :(

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

I'm glad you enjoyed the latest one! If anything, I think it has likely grown on me with a little time for reflection... Or rather, since I was already pretty high in my opinion of it, it cemented its place a bit more firmly in my heart. Not at the very top of the list, mind you, but surely in my top 10.

I actually really enjoyed Trixie as a minor villain... frankly, I think the show could use more of those. Only the CMC have a cast of recurring antagonists, after all. I don't really object to her apologizing and leaving on a neutral note, however, even though I agree with Sethisto over on EQD that it essentially ends her story and leaves no strong reason for her to come back again after this one.

Not that they couldn't bring her back anyway, but still. I was actually thinking about that kind of thing in regards to the charges of overly catering to the fans... What's crossing the line? For instance, take the Junebug scene from "The Secret of My Excess", where Spike is out trying to get the citizens of Ponyville to cough up birthday presents to him. Aside from making fans squeal in delight, would it have changed anything had they slotted Lyra into Junebug's role in the script? As near as I can tell, they created her just to have flowers that Spike wanted, and she's never been seen again. About the only notable thing to her is that Spike and Twilight called her by name. Story-wise it obviously wouldn't change anything, but would the use of some character like Lyra be too big of a distraction and take people out of the narrative? (I have no doubt that many on EQD would cry that they forced that scene into the story just to squeeze Lyra in there.) In any event, I could see Trixie returning in some open role where the writers say "Why not use Trixie for this?", where I have less faith that she'll get another episode written around her specifically. Oh, and I'm glad that the fan-stuff didn't detract from your enjoyment of this episode, as well!

As for Trixie's slow return to normal, I didn't mind that the effects of the amulet's corruption took a bit of time to wear off. It felt fairly natural to me. And, to be fair, Trixie is kind of a jerk regardless... she's just not usually an insane, monstrous jerk.

I do hope Di wasn't disappointed that it wasn't truly a filly AJ and Rarity. Honestly, such an adorable development should be the focus of an entire episode in itself, so I look on the bright side of them not having wasted such a premise on a few seconds long scene.

I certainly didn't mind that Twilight went straight into problem solving mode, especially with the amount of story they were cramming into 22 minutes. Some have said that the episode should have been a two-parter, but I don't know that it really needed that much expanding. I could have seen a bit more emotion and doubt in Twilight after being bested by Trixie, but they did hint at both of them in her scene with Zecora after she was dunked in the pond. And the old-school pony fan in me wouldn't have minded a proper lesson to take out of all of it. But even without those things, it was a highly entertaining and well plotted episode.

Harwick said... Reply to comment


@Dice Pony

One of my favorite things about the episode was that it showcased Twilgiht's progression as a magic user and specifically reminded the viewer of incidents from season 1 to do so. The duel itself recalled individual episodes, with Twilight catching an entire cart full of apples invoking Applebuck Season for me, the parasprites obviously nodding to Swarm of the Century, and Twilight clearing away the snow bringing up Winter Wrap Up (the unicorn method is clearly much faster!).

The apology didn't really bother me, although it certainly could have been done better. I wish that there had clearly been a backstage area where it happened, because as it stands I'm not really sure what Trixie's status is supposed to be. She kind of slinked away while attention was off of her after she was defeated. The impression the apology scene gave me was that only Twilight was supposed to realize that she was there and that she might still be in significant trouble for taking over the town and all. But considering it happened in the open just away from the entire population of Ponyville in the bleachers (as well as the Princess), it's hard to see it that way. Regardless, the faceplant during her big exit was a delightful addition.

I note that plenty of people took the fact that Twilight faked the genderswap spell as proof that such a spell exists, even though she clearly said that "no pony can" do the spells she faked. I guess certain dreams will never die for those fans.

I'll try and add you to my friends list in the game next chance I get. (If you beat me to it, I'm Harwicks_art). I'll warn you though, I have tons of people on my Gameloft friends list and yet only a tiny fraction of them appear as friends within the pony game itself.

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

@Harwick
Blogger seems to hate my tech config. I use a Kindle Fire tablet for most of my leisure web browsing; that doesn't respond at all when I try to post from it. HP laptop and Chrome browser seems to always double-post on OpenID.

Which leaves my Google account, which has my real name on it. Now, I'm not that much of a closet brony; my smart phone has pony wallpaper. (Your Ponies Playing Poker, now that I think of it...)

However, I'd just assume that a cursory Googling of my name didn't lead to questions like, "So, what exactly is this 'RariJack' you seem to enjoy so much in your spare time?" at my next job interview.

@jodyjm13 I can live with Sweetie Belle as Face; panel nine in that comic is priceless.

I enjoyed the latest ep, it drives home Harwick's point about plot. Things happen, settings change, makes the episode feel fuller.

Not a lot of gripping melodrama, but there was Zebra Yoda, FlutterSpy, and Saddle Arabia (!)--my favorite pony location pun to date complete with Arabian style horses. Also, I love that small mammal juggling is a valid magical genre.

Food for thought:
At ending of the day
In a box and locked away
Is a trinket forged in fires infernal
That may grant certain zebras life enternal

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

It does seem that Luna will be playing a larger role in the storyline episodes from now on. She might be helpful for her experience with dark magic and night, though I would only expect her to send Twilight off on her next journey as Celestia did in the season 3 premiere. Whatever her future involvement will be, it's a promising detail of the show's direction.

The only way they could have fit more fan service in that episode would be to give Spike a role.

But yes, Magic Duel was full to the brim of brony fandom references. I noticed that they even made a show-accurate version of the "Pinkie Pie shrug". It's also worth noting that while the previous episode ended with a moral for the younger audience, this one had no such meaning. We were only just remarking on the lack of emotion in "Too Many Pinkie Pies", and same issue arises in "Magic Duel". Do you think maybe the drama and emotion of possibly losing a friend in one manner or another would get old, or feel forced eventually?

In the past two seasons, that situation has been invoked ten times (in "A Dog and Pony Show", "Owl's Well That Ends Well", "Party of One", "The Return of Harmony", "Lesson Zero", "May the Best Pet Win!", "The Last Roundup", "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", "Putting Your Hoof Down" and "Dragon Quest"), and that's not including Twilight's banishment in "A Canterlot Wedding". (I mean, that's like one whole episode of a soap opera.) You'd think Twilight would have gained confidence after all of that, especially since this is MLP Continuity: The Episode.

That's an an interesting thought about aging magic, and it may explain the youth of many minor characters who have far outlasted their time (How do the crystal ponies remember something that happened a thousand years ago?). Lauren did say that the sisters were the literal ponifications of the sun and moon, but it's possible that Jayson Thiesson might decide to change the original plans. Celestia did seem to age a bit since she first acquired the Elements of Harmony, as her hair color apparently changed. I'm not sure I want it to be true, since it would make for a pretty dismal retelling of her life story.

I never really understood the appeal of genderswapped ponies... It doesn't really change the character's personality, and it shouldn't make a difference on the story in any substantial way. I get the impression that male fans like the Rule 63 ponies because they are more relatable. I don't think there is anything wrong with it, and certainly I don't mean to offend any fans of that sort of fanfiction, but if a character needs to be the same gender as you in order to be relatable, you're probably watching the wrong show. (Unless some fans are also lavender unicorns, in which case I take back everything I've said.)

I figured the comic series would be a great opportunity for longer, more serious non-canon storylines rather than the cartoon gags of the show. It would be a bit disappointing if it never really does get there, but like you said, I guess it's just too early to say.

(And how did they change Sweetie Belle and Applebloom's eye colors? Do they have colored contacts in Equestria?)

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@Anon

I'm almost positive that Luna will have a larger role soon. Almost.

In truth, I'm a bit surprised that we had a Twilight episode and it didn't reference the "next stage of her studies" or whatever. Admittedly, the Hub was the one that teased that possibility the most by flat out stating something about Twilight's destiny while showing her juggling Fluttershy's little animal friends, but still I figured it would come up again before the end of the season. Now I'm wondering if it's all a kind of teaser for that still-never-confirmed-video that is supposedly coming. The more they can get people invested in it, the more it'll sell, right?

Personally, I don't think tugging at the emotions with the possibility of losing a friend is likely to be played out, but then I wouldn't say I felt it was an overwhelming theme of all of those episodes you listed. Even if you left off of that possibility, there were emotional/character angles that could have been explored had they the time and the inclination to use said time for it. This is the second time this season that Twilight has failed to come through when everything was on the line (and the third time in a row, if you count them failing to retrieve the Elements of Harmony in the season ender). Until she figured out how Trixie cheated, I'm sure her ego was smarting. There was the possibility of focusing on how to put losing behind you and not be like Trixie and become obsessed with getting even. Hell, for that matter they could have focused on Twilight being temporarily homeless and finding empathy in what it had been like for Trixie after she fled with her wagon smashed. Now, I'm not saying that I really wanted them to do any of these, but obviously when something this drastic happens there are plenty of angles one could explore for some added emotion. As I said before though, I thought the story as told was nicely paced and quite full and satisfying. I don't know how possible it would have even been to work something deeper into it, but if they had then I would have been completely blown away by this one.

As for Celestia and Luna, I've always held to the idea that they were the spirits of the sun and moon, but it was worth noting the possibility is out there in continuity now that immortality is just a high-level spell and not something that you need to be born with. As for Celestia's hair, I've floated the idea that the early flags of Equestria just portray the Pony Spirits of the Sun and Moon as they were pictured in mythology before they came to Equestria to end Discord's reign. It could very well be that she never actually had Pink hair, and that was just some artistic license by the ponies doing religious pictures at the time.

I don't mind the idea of color contacts for ponies, but I'm kind of sad they didn't give me the chance to catch the switcheroo through eye color as I was able to do in "Sisterhood Social". Still, better to not have that reveal ruined, I suppose.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Oh, and speaking of the comic... I think Rarity and Pinkie likely make this the cutest comic cover in published history.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13

I find it sort of flattering that you went through five responses before implementing the puns for mine. I should repay this obscure expression of kindness by using twice as many reaction images. Let's see...

I didn't check to see who made it, but some commenters seem to have accepted it. I wouldn't want to use the term, but at least it would make those fans more immune to trolling.

I think fans have come to accept King Sombrero's design after seeing the rest of what they were judging. (That is, he's not an alicorn.) What they really are complaining about after the episode is his apparent lack of personality or involvement. I think this parody of TheLivingTombstone's "Discord" puts it best, but that may be because I'm such a brony music geek.

(Those paragraphcs have a pleasant black and blue texture. Even the hyperlinks in the paragraphs of the comments on the articles of her blog are artistic!)

@RenaTurnip

The appearance of a character can actually say a lot about who and what they are. (That is, she's not an alicorn.) You've chosen a nice color scheme, and she seems decently modest, which goes a long way for an OC. I don't have one personally, but "Ask blogs" on Tumblr have taught me that if you use your characters well, they really can gain a loyal fandom.

I'm surprised you like the pose, considering it was copied from the walkcycle with no skeleton in mind (not to mention I kind of hate that right foreleg), but thank you, and I'm grateful for anything you may have gotten from it. I have already drawn another character that I think looks much better, partly because I thought to use a skeleton this time. I actually wanted to ask you about your pixel art. I hope this doesn't sound presumptuous, but is there a specific reason why you draw your ponies with only a few pixels? I see that pixel art is useful for deviantART avatars, but are they used for anything beyond that, or do you just prefer the look of graphics from the old video game consoles? I was also wondering, do you draw them in full size first and reference that when you're making a pixelated version, or is everything done at once by hand? I'm just curious, as pixel art seems pretty uncommon these days.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Junebug is a really good point, I realize. I never really considered her very much past her first appearance, where I do remember thinking "oh, neat, we've named another character, that's interesting!" But after that, I never considered the implications or, much more, what it could have meant if she had been Lyra, or Minuette, Berry Punch, or any number of characters. It was a big deal merely when Lyra spoke in the last episode of season two, after all, and many people jumped for joy at that. When you look at things in terms of what is and what could have been, it really... helps you see things properly, I think. I'm really glad I've gotten the chance to talk about it here, now.

On other things, the idea of an episode centered around filly versions of AJ and Rarity (or any of them, really) could be amazingly adorable. It's something that's been seen in other cartoons before, and I'd hope if such a thing came to be that it wouldn't follow the exact same trends as the others, but I do suppose part of me is forgetting that this is still a show meant for children. It's far too easy to lose sight of that, with how deep we the fans get into this stuff xD Regardless, I'd be ecstatic for an episode like that. Completely.

@Anon

Don't you know? Coloured contacts are the answer to Vinyl having both red and purple eyes! ... But I admit, that had me thinking too, when I realized what was up in that episode. Makes you wonder what was magic and what wasn't.

On Grasswhistle, I do appreciate the words :o Although ultimately your impression is probably thanks to SoulSpade's amazing work on her. I can take credit for a good design, as I said to Jody, but I had nothing to do with that art being so nice~ (Incidentally, these old arts (the latter of which could have used some serious revision) are the only two I've done of her, I think, and neither reflects her particularly well. Ah well!)

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@Anon

On pixel art (in no particular order)... this answer confuses a lot of people, but I actually don't like pixel art. It's an art form I rarely feel any draw to from any other artist, pretty much ever, as any friendly stalker might realize I have virtually no pixel art in my favourites anywhere. It's just not something I feel much for.

So why do I do it? Well two reasons, the second of which is because the rest of the world seems utterly enamoured by the art medium. Once I became a somebody on deviantART and other art sites, I was shocked at the kind of positive feedback and response I'd get from people. I had no idea up until then that people appreciated it so much at all... and that means I've got something special and unique that I can make people happy with, and that honestly goes far enough for me to keep doing it :c [/sillysappystory]

But if I had no audience before, and I don't like pixel art, why did I start, right? Because when I was a young turnip, it felt like a neat hobby at the time. Pick up a sprite, edit it, fwoosh, I've made something cool. Over the years I kept at it for fun and other things, and I eventually got to the point where I was legitimately able to create nice things with it... and that mattered/started because I can't draw. Simply put, I can't draw. Give me a pencil, a tablet pen, anything, and I can't draw. I stuck to pixel art because I was never able to make anything look good on paper (which frustrates me to this day). The reason why I appreciate other artists so much is because everybody can draw, and I'm stuck with this art format I don't like :P It's so ironic that I have a style other people feel so much for, and I just wish I could be like everybody else. It would almost be tragic if it wasn't seemingly a nice thing.

More specifically, on the Pony icons I do, I do them because they're icon-sized... and because they're comfy, I guess you could say. At 50x50 pixels people can use them for avatars on dA and that is a good enough reason to stick to them, but I also do larger arts if you snoop around my gallery or just my front page. I just do the icons in bulk because they're usually fun and they're useable by people. That's all!

And since we know I can't draw, no, I do not do anything fullsize and then scale it down :o Nor do I really do art big enough to warrant that method in the first place (not even this) Not usually, at least. I just draw them on a blank MS Paint canvas... and to further be an unusual case of an artist, I use the laptop touchpad for it. I use it for everything. I am very good at the touchpad. And here's a video about me making two of those icons. It's all just done there in Paint in that tiny space all zoomed in. Same with anything else you'll ever find in my gallery.

Although I don't use my own drawings for reference, I do often enough reference other arts for poses, limbs, shaping, whatnot, but that only simply comes from a lack of skills despite how many years (ten) I've been doing this. I think I actually used one of Miss Diamonds' arts as a reference for some half of a Pony at some point, although I can't remember which now xD But it's nothing like scaling anything down and tracing over or anything, like you'd have in professional development studios with dedicated artists who need to make sprites for all the concept art. That's something I do pretty rarely.

*looks up* Talking about myself so much makes me feel icky and like I'm trying to be the center of attention <_> I hope that was informative enough for you, though! And I apologize to everybody who took the time to read my nonsense~ You should all go back to talking about interesting things, like My Little Pony.

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Oh yes! (I ran out of characters anyhow, plus I managed to link the wrong comment again. Hooray!) I should have linked this as well (warning: tiny pixelated topless girl). I show this to people who ask and are curious as a sort of show of how things look step-by-step these days. How much tweaking and how much reshaping and how much I use filler colours and how many steps I honestly go through before an art is complete... and such :P Along with the video, this is generally enough to give people a proper idea of how things go for me.

*vanishes off to sleep mode*

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

You know, after "Equestria Girls" back in the day, I am actually surprised that the HUB hasn't comissioned a "Gangnam Style" parody commercial for season three. I mean, it's a horse-riding dance! I suppose they are too cheap to commission the extra animation they would need to do it right, but I refuse to believe they haven't considered it. I mean, look at this artwork! PSpYke! Anyway, if there are three things I like, they are in no particular order, cheesy dance music, ponies, and ponies dancing cheesily. I am going to buy the heck out of that cover.

And now - "MAGIC DUEL!" Or as I like to call it, "My Little Fanservice: Bronies Keep Us Employed." There's no way to even look at that episode as anything other than a mash note to the brony demographic - everything about it was designed to appeal to fans of a certain age and subtype, from the seedy underbelly of Canterlot, the alicorn amulet, to the many callbacks to continuity, to the Star Wars reference, to Lyra and Bon Bon, and more. Of course, perhaps the biggest nod to fanservice was the centerpiece of the episode itself, a "magic duel" between Twilight and The Pony Formerly Known as the Great and Powerful Trixie (actually two duels, as it turned out).

To begin with, I enjoyed the episode a lot, though I would not even go so far as to call it the best of Season Three so far, which in my mind easily goes to "One Bad Apple" on account of its excellent pacing, tight story, and great dialogue. A few things bothered me. First, I was sad that Trixie's third person schtick was essentially gone. I liked the idea that that was part of her kooky personality and not just part of her magician act. Another was the bizarrely cavalier attitude displayed by everyone to the plight of Snips and Snails throughout the episode (by the way, did Trixie give up the alicorn amulet before re-aging them?) and of course Pinkie Pie. The pacing throughout the episode was rushed, and left plot holes - there was no explanation for why Spike couldn't send a letter on his own initiative - they should have shown a scroll bounce off the inside of the dome; Twilight didn't think to go to Canterlot and find Luna, and again we got mysterious artifacts and new characters with no backstory or explanation. Finally, I share the same concerns as nearly everyone else about the ending and Trixie's redemption and reconciliation - it was forced, not very sensical, and it ends her character arc as a secondary antagonist. Oh well!

That said, many things about the episode were great, including all the fan shout-outs. "Summon parasprite" and "banish parasprite" are pretty useful spells - Twilight could have a great career in extorting small towns and farmers. I was amused when she gave Trixie a mustache, and also that it was the ridiculous mustache from "A Bird in the Hoof." What I liked best, though, was when she used Zecora's advice to "nix your magic, use the six," and beat Trixie by being a fraud. Like Harwick said, that's just extremely clever writing. It's a good thing Rarity has such an extensive supply of magical contact lenses.

Anyway, now that we've got Trixie out of the way, I'm looking forward to getting some backstory on Scootaloo and finding out whether Fluttershy and Rarity are getting episodes this season like everyone else.

Also, "HEEEEEEY SEXY LADY!"

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

You definitely do impressive work in a medium that you're not particularly drawn to yourself! It was definitely interesting to see and hear how you go about doing it, so thanks for that (and for Anon for prodding it from you.)

Harwick said... Reply to comment


@PonydoraPrancypants

To be fair to the fine folks making MLP, I was drawn to the show when I realized that the people making it obviously liked many of the same geek things that I did, from Star Wars to fantasy tropes and so on... So I like to think the Bronies mostly just let them justify running wild with such influences now and again. I truly loved the dark back-alleys of Canterlot from the moment the background art graced EQD a few weeks back, and the scene in "Magic Duel" utilizing them didn't disappoint.

Someone said that Lyra and BonBon were this season's Derpy, as every episode set in Ponyville has managed to put them together at least once. It may indeed be true... although I did manage to find Derpy in the crowd watching Twilight's animal flight routine at the end (she's repeated even, though only one eye is seen on camera and it's focused in the same direction as everyone else's, so there's nothing special or notable about her.)

I do think it's my favorite so far of season 3, but then it's the one most relevant to my interests, as they say. I did wonder if Snips and Snails even have any parents, as you'd really think they'd object more. Then again, those two were the actual source of Trixie's woes, so I kind of appreciated that she made life miserable for the little sycophants.

As for the plot holes you mention, they didn't bother me... In general, I can forgive cutting something like the letter-from-Spike explanation for time if I can immediately come up with the reason it wouldn't work (as you say, the dome simply not allowing a letter out. They established that nobody could leave without Trixie's consent, and even storm clouds were trapped inside the dome, so it's a natural extension of that. Still, a simple line of dialog during the scene of the bunch scouring the library would have closed that one up with a minimum of fuss.) Luna's the interesting one, and her daily status is something I keep wishing someone would ask the writers at one of these conventions. The impression that the Wedding episode gave is that she simply doesn't reside in Canterlot... She seems to come down from the moon through a hole opened in the shield when she takes her watch. As much as I like the fan notion of the Princesses sharing the Castle and interacting more, I have to admit the idea that she's simply not in the city at all is the most elegant explanation of why she so rarely gets involved in any of the episodes set there.

Oh, and another call back to the first season that I was just lamenting we don't see much any more: Dash plowing into Twilight at high speed. Very Tigger-greets-Pooh, and I highly approve of its return in that last episode.

I too am curious as to where the Rarity episodes are! (Fluttershy a bit less so, but then she really was entertaining in this latest one.) I think there are 4 episodes yet to have a synopsis released, as the latest Spike-centered one just got posted on EQD today (and it's a Spike-Applejack one to boot, which should be interesting... I like when they pair up characters that haven't had that much to do with each other before.) Of course, it's sad to think that after this month, there will only be 4 episodes remaining of this season... but regardless, Rarity better get the focus of at least one of those!

I'm not getting my hopes up about Scootaloo... it'd be very easy to set the entire thing during the camping trip and not delve into her home life at all. I'd enjoy some backstory on her too, but I'm not sure how much we'll get. Of course, if I were in charge and Hasbro wasn't being so uptight about it, I'd reveal her big sister to be Derpy and blow the fandom's minds.

Also, after that comic cover I'm more than ready for one episode this season to be Rarity and Pinkie spending a night out on the town in Canterlot or Manehattan or something.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Mercy everyone. I've been spending so little time on the computer recently, and have had so little time to devote to deviantART and this place as of late that my messages have gotten to the point of being somewhat overwhelming, I'm afraid. As it is I doubt I can really reply to every little point here without staying up until three in the morning, so you'll all have to forgive me if I miss a few small topics.

That having been said though, how about that new episode, hm? I know that I at least was truly looking forward to this one, and overall was quite satisfied I have to say. As usual, many of you have been thorough enough in your reviews that I'd feel redundant doing so myself at this point, and not to mention that I'm going to have my hands full enough replying to all of the existing comments. So suffice to say I enjoyed it very much, and will make mention of any little specific points I find worthwhile as I think of them.

@Harwick

Hello darling! You and I discussed the recent Cutie Mark Crusaders episode at length, of course, and as usual I very much enjoyed reading what you had to say about the latest episode, too. I know how excited we both were about it, and especially since we pledged to each other to deny ourselves indulging in any spoilers as best we could! I thought of you several times watching the episode because of things we have discussed both recently and further along in the past (such as how you'd like to see Owlowiscious every now and again, among other things) and I was sincerely hoping that you weren't disappointed in it at all. As for me, I'd sadly had a feeling that I'd jinxed myself as soon as I'd said I couldn't possibly be disappointed in the episode as long as it had my filly Rarity and Applejack, which it 'obviously would', and honestly yes I was sincerely disappointed by the reality once the truth was revealed. However, the fact that my Diamond Deluxe Edition shipping goggles provided me with some ultra-adorable friendshippy fuel in the form of Applejack taking care of Rarity throughout the first half of the episode definitely helped to make up for that, so I really can't complain too much about anything... it was more than a fair trade to my benefit in the end I'd like to think.

I really must thank you for sharing your thoughts and appraisal of the recently released pony-comic. I haven't bought or ordered any copies myself, but after having seen several preview images and such ahead of time and feeling rather lukewarm about the whole thing, I figured I would wait until I'd had a chance to review some of the actual first issue before passing judgment and making a decision on whether or not it was worth purchasing for myself. And, having seen the majority of the first issue online at this point I think I'm okay with not getting into it. It seems to be pretty well-done, overall, but like you perhaps I tend to find the overly-exaggerated art style and expressions a little jarring, since they seem to be used almost constantly and probably to the point of excess most of the time (in my own opinion), and also I agree that I didn't feel much of an emotional response to any of it so far. The whole thing felt very rushed and more on the slapstick-y side and for my own personal tastes those have never been things that have made the cartoon series enjoyable for me, so yes. I'll keep an eye on future issues and see if my feelings change at all, but for now I suppose I'll stick to other, more interpersonal participation in the fandom, which hopefully will include releasing a new artwork or two in the VERY near future!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Oh, you are silly you know. Even though I may be busy, I still genuinely enjoy talking with all of you whenever I can manage it or I never would have started this place to begin with (and certainly would not have consistently put so much of my time and energy into it over this past year). But in any case you are absolutely right about Harwick. He seems to put just as much time and care into this blog and his replies to everyone as I do (if not more recently, actually) and believe me I love him for it... this blog most certainly would not be the same without him and I'm sure we all appreciate having him here very much. <3

I'm sorry to hear your Thanksgiving was seemingly nothing to shout about, or at least if your remarks about it are any indication. Large family gatherings or not, I've always found it's the sentiment behind the get-togethers that really defines the holiday and makes it enjoyable, though some of the credit has to go to the generally elaborate spreads of course. I can't even begin to express my deepest sympathy to you that you have never experienced stuffing or even pumpkin pie before in your life (and I'm sure candied yams are also out, one of my personal favorites), but for what it's worth I truly am so sorry. Life isn't or should never be defined by such things as delicious trifles of course but that doesn't mean they can't add to our enjoyment of it considerably, and I hope for your sake that you get to experience them someday... they really are absolutely fabulous! (And I did indeed enjoy my own Thanksgiving very much, thank you for asking)

I have to say, dear, that I really am so very impressed by your little Rarity drawing! I know our methods of approaching art couldn't possibly be more different, but even if this is the case you have still come a long way in a very short period of time, and I for one think your latest results look extremely good. There's a wonderful lightness and fluidity to the pictures, and a feeling of smooth confidence captured in the expression and body language, which I of course admire very much. The only one small thing that I think looks slightly off is her right rear leg, because I think one should see a little more of her hip (well, technically her knee) from that angle when she is stepping that way. It still works though and doesn't really look "wrong", so please do keep it up and I look forward to seeing your next efforts, thank you for sharing!

It's funny that you mention genderswapped ponies and the fact that you personally have never understood the appeal of them... Harwick and I had only recently been discussing the exact same topic ourselves and it seems that the three of us at least are in complete agreeance here. I don't hate art or fanfictions that utilize such characters I would say, but I don't really care for them at all, and especially in the instances that I find the Mane Six are all being shipping with male versions of themselves (no offense to anybody who might be into such a thing but honestly, I just can't help but find that extremely creepy and strangely shallow at the same time). It's ten times worse when such fanworks then go on to add fanchildren of said pairings into the mix... in my opinion that's just so wrong on so many different levels...

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Anon
@Harwick

Oh yes and lastly, regarding crystal ponies. It's been my own personal little headcanon since the episode aired that maybe all of the citizens of the Crystal Empire were in some sort of stasis or at least altered state of consciousness/reality for that thousand years mentioned, since Princess Celestia had stated the whole place had completely disappeared for that period of time and this could have involved something like an alternate type of dimension or magical realm where it had existed in the interim (or something like that... it's a bit of a random theory but you know what I mean). I suppose age spells open up the possibility for simple unnatural extended life to be the answer, but it's my own personal preference to think that such spells would not produce permanent effects that could be used to just extend life indefinitely... that hardly seems like something that could or should exist in the series and especially since it would potentially give unicorns a massive advantage over the other pony races, which would not at all be fair or seem right.

@obsequiosity

I wonder why does it always double-post? That's a strange thing, and if you like I would be happy to delete the duplicates (automatically so in the future as well if you give the word, assuming the trend continues).

I enjoyed reading your thoughts about various pony episodes, even if I'm not sure I agree completely on your own appraisal of them (Fall Weather Friends has never been one of my favorite episodes for example, but then again I obviously love Look Before You Sleep and many people seem to dislike it so at least there's that). I think my favorite episodes are those that tend to put characters in situations where they must deal with heavier emotional tolls and overcome problems, and where their friendships and bonds are ultimately made stronger as a result (you all know which episode is my most favorite, Suited For Success, and the season two Discord two-parters, Hurricane Fluttershy, and Sisterhooves Social are other examples of this that I'm quite fond of), but then again I also adored It's About Time and Bridle Gossip among others, so perhaps I just don't know what I'm really talking about. Regardless though, at least we can agree completely on Applejack in this regard, as the more time that goes on the more I find myself feeling entirely confident in saying that she is truly Best Pony, though Rarity must always remain my special favorite.

I also agree with you and Harwick about pacing; it's amazing to me to think that latest episode was the exact same length as so many others, since the plot and sheer amount of content made it feel twice as long as some of them. I really think the FiM team did an amazing job with the whole thing. And lastly as a small mention regarding Rarijack, you know that here at least you will never be judged for such a thing, and in fact just say the word if you are ever so inclined and I will see fit to arrange a proper initiation ceremony for you.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Dice Pony

Yay, dearest! <3 It's such a lovely surprise to see you posting on the blog, always, and is just fabulous to hear from you in general of course! I'm very sorry that I haven't been around anywhere much lately and that our correspondences have suffered as a result, but at least hearing that you have likewise been occupied I feel a little less guilty about all of that. I'm happy to hear that your computer problems have seemingly been resolved now, and also about what you have been up to in your spare time; getting to work on a movie set sounds so very exciting and if you would like I hope you will be willing to elaborate in the future!

Hahaha, that potential Rarijack shipping fuel in the last episode... it's a good thing I didn't read this comment of yours when you originally posted it, or I likely would have had to break my Pinkie Promise to Harwick and look that up right away! That was terribly cute though wasn't it, they've come such a long way as friends over the course of the series thus far and it just warms my heart. As for the pony fandom both here and away, it does amaze me how some people can react to things as I have witnessed in the past, but I can agree with you that we've always had a most excellent crowd here and I feel very lucky for the fact. Even when I don't always agree with everyone on opinions about episodes and characters and so on I can always respect where they're coming from with the way people present their opinions here, and in general I think we must have some of the most sensible and insightful fans of the series frequenting this place.

Also for what it's worth, like you I don't think I could have been any more relieved that genderswap spells aren't real, either! Even if I did enjoy Applejack's initial (staged) reaction to the notion very much. ^.^

@jodyjm13

Jody-darling! Well first off I really must thank you, most sincerely, for your kinds words about both myself and my Cutie Art Crusaders interview. I was sincerely hoping that you would enjoy it, seeing as how I've been corresponding with you the longest out of anyone here (and also because you are responsible for two of my most well-known commissions existing, both of which were discussed of course). So yes, thank you so much. <3 And on that note, I do not at all believe that I was too generous in my commentary about you... anything and everything I said was completely true, of course!

Lastly, in regards to the house shown in "One Bad Apple" being Rarity's family's home, I did indeed see where you and everyone else is coming from when I rewatched the episode for the first time this past Saturday morning. When I initially had watched it I had completely missed seeing the transition scene from the front of the house (where Rarity's father was shown fishing) to the Crusaders being shown in what must have been Sweetie Belle's bedroom, only seeing a screenshot of the former moment afterwards entirely out of sequence. I imagine you all must have thought I was quite silly, or was just being exceptionally nitpicky and overanalytical when I questioned the notion, but yes I did see it and do understand and agree at last!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

Well, now that it is 1 a.m. here and I had a long day at work (and a very long past week, in general) I think I can relate entirely to where you were coming from when you posted the comment I'm now responding to! I probably shouldn't do this to myself (or subject the rest of you to what probably become very strange and random comments the more time goes on and the later it gets) but these days I have to take these opportunities when they come to me, and no matter what it's always pleasant to read everything you have to share!

On the matter of pixel art, I have to say that I personally feel you are very good at what you do, whether or not it is your medium of choice (which as Harwick says, really does make it even more impressive). I know I have found so many of your little icons adorable, especially that one you are currently using on deviantART (or had been until recently if you've changed it, but you know which one I am referring to), and many of your larger-scaled artworks are quite impressive. I know the one you made for me, for example, was excellent in my own opinion and my personal bias completely excluded, and it's amazing to me that you can do such things if, according to you, you can't actually draw at all!


Anyhow, I am tired though, and have another full day tomorrow so doubt if I will be able to stop back over here or to deviantART for replying until perhaps the late evening (if at all, but I shall try). I am off Thursday and Friday this week though, and if possible I fully intend to try and get one new artwork, at least, finished and posted for you all! In the meantime however do have a different, absolutely adorable artwork that has just come to my attention... it is entirely too sweet and amusing and I seriously can't stop smiling when I look at it. <3

Dice Pony said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

It was great to see how far Twilight has come as a magic user. I mean, it looked like she came very close to doing that age spell regardless!

It's probably just me, it was the part of the episode that fell flat for me and it probably wasn't helped that it followed the fantastic deception by Twilight (and the writers). Looking back I can't believe I didn't pick up on Granny Smith's eye colour as a give-away!

The face plant was very cute though! Haha!

As for Genderswap spells, yeah some fans will never let "the dream die" but then I guess I would be no better if they put Rarity in an "official" relationship with a character that wasn't Applejack. XD

I just never found the appeal in it myself, and before I realised it was a trick felt really sorry for Applejack who didn't seem to thrilled at the idea!

And don't worry about the Gameloft thing, I was just putting it out there in case anybody else was playing. The social side does seem *very* buggy. I've never received even one chest despite people sitting next to me and sending them!

@Obsequiosity

Just wanted to say, I can *completely* sympathise on keeping Pony and Real Life separate. I created a new google account just for posting Pony/RariJack stuff because I didn't really want it being brought up professionally. XD

@PonydoraPrancypants

I really want to see a Gangnam style advert now. :P PSpYke is a stroke of genius by the way. ;)

@WhiteDiamonds

Darling! xx

I'm sorry I don't post here too often, as I mentioned I use a separate google account and whilst I lurk and read comments regularly I always forget to re-log back in to comment! >_>

As we have said countless times to each other, it's perfectly alright! As long as I can see the occasional message from you to hear that you're all right and such then it's enough until your plate clears a little! I've got my laptop sorted now and I'll have a fair bit of free time over the holidays due to work being very quiet around this period (too quiet one might say). I'm really hoping to work on my fiction and get a few readings uploaded at some point.

I've been reading a lot recently and with analysing Mr Prancypants very kind improvements to my first chapter, I really hope I can re-write and edit it to something of a high standard.

As for my film set nonsense, it really wasn't anything special. I did some Extra/Supporting Artiste work for a big movie next year, just one scene and all I had to do was walk around in a cold, London park in the middle of the night and pretend it was Moscow. XD

But back on topic, my goodness we have been spoilt a little this season haven't we? Such adorable moments between these two! The moment of Applejack holding the cloak/blanket over Rarity just melted my little heart. Hahaha! So adorable! They've come a long way as friends and I think it's such a wonderful thing to show these two characters, who are very different and disliked each other to start with, to be so close and for them both to *understand* each other a little better. Ahhh, even talking about it I feel all gooey inside. Hahaha, honestly, I can get quite silly over these two ponies.

And yes, the fandom... There is nothing wrong with being passionate about a series, or character, or even something fan-focused like a "ship" but I think some of these fans need to take it with a pinch of salt and ground themselves a little. They get so cross, or aggressive if you don't see the show/characters in the same way as them! So silly.

Haha, I was just saying to Harwick that I felt so sorry for poor Applejack's reaction to gender change spell! Poor thing!

So good to hear from you m'dear, I hope we get to chat more in the future as I've certainly missed it! :)

~Dice

Harwick said... Reply to comment

Fun note on the whole fan service part of the "Magic Duel" episode... According to tweets by head writer Megan McCarthy (shared on EQD), the episode was originally pitched to be a part of Season 2, saying the premise was submitted in January of 2011, only a few months after the show had hit the air (although she also confusingly gives a different, July date as well in an earlier tweet). I'm sure the fans desire had some effect on what we ultimately got, but apparently it really always was the intention to bring Trixie back for a showdown with Twilight.

Oh, and stores will indeed be getting a Rarity plushie in the near future. It seems they're going with the wet mane filly look.

@WhiteDiamonds

Ah, there you are! You know I've been itching to hear how you liked the new episode for days. Ultimately, I managed to avoid most of the spoilers... I did run across an animated gif of Rarity fainting onto AJ's back that I correctly assumed was from the new episode (part of one of the many sneak peaks that kept cropping up all week) and someone used a screenshot of Trixie's new look as a fanfic cover image long before the weekend came, but otherwise I was unspoiled! And thank you for bringing up Owlowicious! I loved his little cameo trying to care for the books. They did me one better that what I had suggested, in fact, as I had just wished a sleeping version of him was used as a background prop in the library from time to time. (I have to assume PeeWee was just bouncing off of the walls inside or something.) And that's makes "Owls Well that Ends Well" another season 1 episode referenced in this latest. I'm beginning to wonder if you couldn't make an argument for all of them at this point.

You know, speaking of the shippy moments with AJ I did find it humorous that she was so intent on comforting Rarity for being in an ugly dress when Dash had a deformed wing, Pinkie was sobbing without a mouth, and Spike was being bounced around while Snips and Snails ran back and forth in a panic. She had her priorities. ;-)

As for the comic, you may want to keep an eye out for the single-issue one-shots that each of the Mane Six are supposed to be getting. I gather they'll have a different art team on all or most of those, so they may be more to your liking, and you could snag just the Rarity and AJ focused stories.

Really looking forward to any new artwork you might have to share with us going into the holidays!

Harwick said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
@Anon

You two are way too complimentary about my involvement around these parts. I get far more out of it then I contribute, I assure you. Still, you're both very sweet.

Ah yes, I had intended to mention that I too assumed the Crystal Ponies were skipping time rather than living those full 1000 years somewhere else. Ever since the synopsis was released, I had been thinking of the Empire as a kind of Brigadoon, which was a town that only existed for 1 day every century.

As for the age spell giving unicorns a massive advantage over the other pony races, well... It's hard to say they don't have it already. Still, I was assuming that very few unicorns ever reach "the highest level" to be able to cast such a spell. After all, Twilight's about as powerful a unicorn as we've seen, and she can't manage it after devoting her whole (albeit young) life to studying magic with the best teacher one could likely hope for in the field. I have to think finding unicorns able to do it is in the "1 every few centuries" kind of thing.

Really though, if the spell is anything like other spells Twilight has cast, it likely only changes the age of something for as long as she can either hold the spell or for some other set amount of time. Nothing else she transforms or changes seems to be permanent, so an age-change is likely along the same lines.

@Dice Pony

Apparently there are people who have the game crash because they are given hundreds of chests every time they load the game. I can't really imagine that. Regardless, I'll do my best to get a chest to you, if at all possible!

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds
I think I have my setup housetrained now, but if you see anything from me that double posts, feel free to get rid of it. I am but a humble guest in your delightful parlor and I'm doing my best not to scuff the floors. I enjoy the crowd you attract--it's like the Algonquin Round Table meets SugarCube Corner--and merely wish to join in the fun without annoying the others too much.

@DicePony
Heh. Maintaining a professional veneer in a corporate environment is difficult. It's comforting to know others are trapped by a love of ponies that dare not speak its name.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Those are all very interesting concepts, and they may lead to new stories based on the last episode. I was only thinking of possible changes to facial expressions and tone of voice to add depth, because they would not have affected the pacing or taken up too much extra time. "Magic Duel" had a lot of opportunities to take the story in many different directions, but the finished product really is determined by the time they have left for the scene. Some of those elements could have been added if the scene with Snips and Snails was left out, which probably would have been more than fair. It makes me wonder how the episode might have went if it was a two-parter, or even if every episode was a 76-minute-long movie. "One Bad Apple" closed neatly without a need for more time spent on it, but Trixie could have made a great major villain. I don't know... I just feel like a movie about a powerless character who acquires ancient jewelery imbued with immense magic that corrupts the wearer would turn out well at the box office.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

Oh, not at all; I greatly enjoyed your overview of your process and history with pixel art. Your desciption and video were very informative for me. Your method looks similar to how I have been drawing ponies with skeletons. Honestly, I'm almost tempted to try it myself, though I'm not sure what I could use them for. Isometric pony sprites for the people in a Roller Coaster Tycoon style game, perhaps? (You shouldn't feel bad for telling us about yourself, by the way. Sometimes we run out of things to say about My Little Pony, so we can talk about other interesting things, like you.)

I can entirely relate to your motivation to keep drawing pixel art. At least half of my enjoyment of creative projects is derived from the possibility that someone else might like it. (Or it will be whenever I'm good enough at drawing for an audience to really enjoy whatever I make. Right now, I'm just focused on getting there.) But ten years is a long time to be doing something that you don't really enjoy that much. I think it's good that you care about making people happy with your art, and I'm glad that you have found something that allows you to do that, but I hope you really do enjoy it more than it sounds. It's not worth letting peer pressure control your life. I know I would miss the time I spent doing something other than what I truly enjoy.

I know you probably have no interest in normal drawing now, but in case you ever change your mind, my best advice (aside from buying a Wacom tablet, because the Undo button in invaluable for obvious reasons) would be to watch videos of artists sketching whatever you have an interest in drawing, and try to imitate their methods as closely as you can. When I realised how useful the recorded videos on various pony artists' Livestream pages were, I started a running list of artists who host them so I can reference their work at every step of the process when I decide to try out their style. It helps me study the the way an experienced artist thinks and acts for each part of their work. Whenever I found a drawing that I liked in a drawfriend, I would check the artist's deviantART profile to see if they have a YouTube or Livestream account and add anything I could find. That list is now eleven artists long, and it has been my most helpful reference by far. They have answered every tiny, nitpicking question I had on everything without saying a word. Anyway, your pixel projects are impressive, as everyone here has said, and I actually like your sprite-style avatars more than Pix3M's higher-resolution work. I don't have any OCs, but one of my favorite things about ponies is how adaptable they are. Your touchpad ponies may be small in size, but they capture that creative freedom better than any full-size artwork I have seen. You may not be especially attached to the medium, but you sure have gone a long way with it.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I see that many of our deepest conversations are directed to him since he tends to be the first to comment on new episodes, and that brings all of the other regulars at the blog to respond with their own thoughts. The third season has done much to stimulate the dicussion around here, which is always very welcome. I remember us both saying so on his birthday, but Harwick does deserve special consideration for being one of the most active contributors to our discussions. I kind of like how, in your absence, the blog devolves into a sort of Pony-centric talk show platform featuring Harwick as the host, as well as myself (usually) and a guest star. (Please welcome pixel artist Rena! At what point in your life did you decide to become a turnip?)

I'm not sure where I was going with that. This is why Harwick is a better host, and this blog would fall into anarchy if not for his watchful eye. Three cheers to Harwick: Without him, our times without WhiteDiamonds would be that much less bearable.

I hope I didn't sound like I was trying to gather your sympathies with that comment. (If it doesn't snow on Christmas, I will demand to speak to life's manager.) We don't really have any family where we live, and we never go out to resturaunts (there are none in my area anyway, especially when compared to a place like Southern California, which is famous for its entertainment and Hollywood talent), so it's not really surprising that I haven't tried many foods before. I anticipate the day that I will move out, go to a movie theater, drink a cup of coffee (rebelliously), stress over my student loan debts, and...

Nevermind, Raisen Bran is fine. You are very thoughtful in any case, and I'm happy to hear you liked that simple lineart. I only have time to draw when I have a break from work, and that's often a month or so at a time, so I always lose whatever experience I had previously and start again from square one. I think the reason why this drawing looks better than my previous ones is because it was the largest project I could finish. (It's not a circle, so that's a good start.) While I'd like to say that I'm getting somewhere with my efforts, and I do think I'm using the most efficient method to improve, I think my status will be easier to judge when I put the necessary time and effort into a substantial project. This small drawing is reassuring though, as I'm probably better at coloring and shading than lineart. My process might look something like this or this, and I can only assume that yours looks like this. I do intend to color and finish it once I've finished the rest the picture, though I maintain that improvement is made through thought and observation, not repetitive practice. I am grateful for your ongoing support, as always. It may be a bumpy road, but I would never be on it without you.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

There actually was a reason for that strange right leg, though it's a bit of an exuse. I initially started with a more show-accurate style, and this was my reference. When I decided to adapt it to a more Valcron-style pony, I never added the inner thigh (?) because it would mean pushing the whole leg off to the left, which would mean covering the hoof with the leg in front of it. I didn't really want to lose that hoof, since it was the most impressive part of the drawing at the time. I think I made all of the legs look like a spider's after my last attempt to fix it, so I'm a bit afraid to try it again. Longer legs just make everything more confusing.

Every alternate form of the main characters, like humanizations and genderswapped ponies have the same problem to me: If you have an interest in what it would look like, then it can be amusing to draw a picture of your design, but there just isn't enough substance to do anything more with it than that. An artist is free to create whatever they like, but when so many of JohnJoseco's pony drawings are humans, and Trotsworth gets to be known for his genderswapped characters, I start to wonder if it's still necessary to the purpose of the picture. There is also the issue that Harwick described with reference to TwiDash shipping, about how the relationship tends to turn one of the two action hero characters into a helpless victim for the plot to go on.

In various conventions, Lauren Faust said that she created MLP:FiM in response to the previous generations, to prove that a show with a female protagonist does not have to be dumb, and that not all girls have to "have tea parties and eat cupcakes". The personalities of the Mane 6 are similar to the distribution of their races; Applejack and Rainbow Dash are less feminine characters, Rarity and Fluttershy are more feminine, and Twilight is androgynous. (Pinkie Pie probably is as well, since she acts more like a child than anything else.) Ponies are so predominently female that I often forget that male ponies even exist at all. Rainbow Dash and Rarity act the way they do because of who they are, not because of their gender. It really doesn't play any part in the events of the show. When the Mane 6 meet genderswapped versions of themselves, it breaks that similarity which puts them all at equal standards. This puts emphasis on whatever femininity each of characters have already, pushing androgynous characters like Twilight into feminine roles and making naturally feminine characters like Rarity seem less original. Not only are the protagonists probably half male now, but the focused attention on each female character's gender echoes the notion that female characters must have tea parties and eat cupcakes.

I guess if the bronies who enjoy voice acting would like to play their favorite characters, they are free to use artistic license for fun, but I think it's funnier to give male voices to the female characters in abridged series anyway. Besides, they don't even ultilize the greatest benefit of being manly.

Harwick said... Reply to comment

This is easily the greatest invention ever made.

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Oh! He did such an amazing job with this one! Oh how I wish it was for sale! On another note, though, the woman who commissioned it makes the best Rarity plush I've ever seen. There are so, so many insanely talented people in this community. Thanks for sharing - what a treat!

Anon said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Ahah, I can't help but notice the difference in message length between my comment and yours. I have always enjoyed Renegadecow's automations, and this one is definitely the best. The quaint winding noise it makes helps to set the scene quite well. It's very charming, even if I wish we could commission another for our resident seamstress. Thank you for the addition.

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Dice Pony

Dearest-darling!! Ohh, I'm SO incredibly happy that I have a true shipping-buddy at last, you have no idea my dear! <3 <3 Truly, it fills me with joy to know that you and I can always giggle and share stories and be sappy and silly with each other over our beloved adorable pony-ship, and that neither of us need feel too ridiculous for the fact since we both always seem to be of one mind about everything! As if you weren't such a lovely individual to begin with, that is just the fabulous fancy frosting on the cake and I'm very grateful that we've gotten to know one another and become friends... you're a true jewel you know. ^_^

Anyhow yes, of course I agree with you, as always, about both the shipping fuel scenes in the episode as well as how some of the fandom reacts to such things, even when presented with a sense of humor and/or meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Shipping or canon or whatever, the scenes were adorable because again and as you say, they show how far Applejack and Rarity have come as friends since they were first forced to spend some one-on-one time together, at a point when they still judged each other critically at face value and wanted little to do with each other as a result. It can be said that all of the characters have experienced growth over the course of the series thus far, and that many of their interpersonal relationships have evolved at least somewhat, but in the case of these two in particular I think the change is the most pronounced and seems to be treated with some of the strongest continuity (I don't believe my personal bias is clouding my judgment here). Personally I find that to be wonderful, inspiring, and absolutely charming to boot, which I suspect is why I love the ship as much as I do. <3

As for your personal life, I am very happy to hear that things have been going quite well, by the sound of things, and even if you don't think too much of your whole movie experience I think that's very interesting and exciting myself! You'll have to tell me which film it is when it comes out so that I can go see it and hope to catch a glimpse of you. ^.^ It's wonderful to hear that you have the time and motivation to get back into your writing again as well, and I absolutely intend to keep in better contact from now on as well; we still have our own little project we need to continue collaborating on after all!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Harwick

Yes, I am here! And very happy to be so, if I even need to make mention of that fact. I'm very sorry if I worried you or anyone at all in my absence, but as I mentioned in my recent email it's just been a great deal of work recently (this along with the summer is our busy season at the studio, as many people want custom ceramics and paint jobs for gifts), as well as family matters, a multitude of medical appointments and other assorted obligations and trials. I'm hoping that, at this point, the worst of it is behind me and that I can go back to wiling my free time away happily both here and on deviantART!

That's very interesting news that you bring to share with us all about the recent Trixie episode! Not that I was one of the people who would ever complain about fanservice in the series, but still that makes for a very good argument against those who seem to delight in doing so. I'm glad we seem to agree on the Crystal Empire's absence and pony age-spells for the most part, and regarding the Rarijack content I'll be perfectly honest in saying that as much as I adore my ship, I did find that rather odd myself (the fact that Applejack was seemingly perfectly alright with disregarding her other friends' more significant troubles just to comfort Rarity over being zapped into a hideous dress, that is!). It was something that seemed to add little to that scene (my personal bias aside) or make much sense for the writers to include unless they do indeed enjoy baiting and shipteasing people like myself, because though I imagine even the "old" Applejack would also have been willing to catch a swooning Rarity as opposed to just letting her hit the ground I would have expected her to grumble or roll her eyes a little bit more while doing so! Such a gentlemare, though.

Anyhow, considering the fact that I almost never manage to sneak onto Equestria Daily these days, I'm very happy that I have you in my life to keep me informed of all of the latest pony-news! Thank you for the information about the comics and I shall indeed keep a look out for those special issues then, and also for the merchandise updates, even though I'm not exactly sure that I'll be buying that official Rarity plush myself (if it was an Applejack I might consider it, but otherwise I'm hoping that we will indeed be seeing those potential Build-A-Bear plushes eventually and that they will be at least somewhat more on-model). And of course, the best for last, that absolutely fabulous little Rarity automaton! I've said it before but the level of talent in this fandom continually amazes me, and WhiteHeather is a very lucky individual to own such a one-of-a-kind little treasure... thank you so very much for sharing!

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@Obsequiosity

Oh you are so wonderfully polite and too kind, not at all my friend! It's my (our, I'm sure) pleasure to count you amongst our number after all, and as I said truthfully before you are always welcome to join in the conversation here... the more the merrier after all!

@Anon

Hahaha! Oh, as always you are too cute in your own way, my dear, and you really do crack me up so much of the time... despite what you often claim about not being a good conversationalist you honestly do have a terrifically entertaining sense of humor you know. Anyway yes indeed, as I said (and despite his modest protestations) Harwick is indeed one of the loveliest individuals I know, and primarily because he so genuinely seems to respect and value everyone, always making time for everyone equally and treating them with courtesy... that is something that has always meant a great deal to me and absolutely deserves to be recognized. But he's not the only one, and the truth of the matter is that all of us add something different and special to this place... it would not at all be the same without you for example and I hope you realize how much we all appreciate you in turn!

Your comment didn't all come across as an attempt to gather any sympathies so please don't worry about that, even though I do still hope you'll do your best to make up for lost opportunities and sample everything under the sun once you do come of age. Hopefully, once of these days we will be able to meet even if it's only briefly enough for me to treat you to some sort of fabulous lunch somewhere. =) As for your Rarity you are absolutely welcome; I meant everything I said and again, I'm really looking forward to whatever your next artistic sharing might encompass!

Lastly, on the whole topic of genderswapped ponies I have to say you have summed all of that up far better than I know I could have anyway, and Harwick can confirm that I probably rattled on about the topic for a good fifteen minutes at least. Drawing genderswapped characters or human versions of characters or whatever other sort of alternate universe incarnations is all well and good, but when it comes to the point that they are all some artists/authors/etc. focus on, I have to wonder if they even cared for the original characters at all to begin with or why/how they managed to become fans of the show in the first place.

@PonydoraPrancypants

Do you really think WhiteHeather's Rarity plush is the best you've ever seen? I mean granted she is quite a talented artisan and I would never mean to discount her work at all (or insinuate that I think little of it), but to my own personal tastes I actually thought the head looked a bit long on her most recent plush. But then again perhaps I'm just somewhat biased; my own personal favorite Rarity plushie has always been and likely always will be this fabulously unique creation, so that likely explains it!

And hello, by the way. =)

PonydoraPrancypants said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Hello! And oh my goodness, I'd never seen that particular plush before, but now there can be no doubt thay Piquipauparro's pony plush is the prettiest plushie in the pack! Thank you for correcting me! :)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

@PonydoraPrancypants

Oh no, it wasn't meant to be anything like that, like I said just for me personally I have always admired the incredible uniqueness and amazing design touches that particular little Rarity plush sports, from the pose down to the fact that she was crafted entirely be hand (and I don't know if you saw the deviation with multiple photos which I really should have linked to originally, but if not it's here--she even created an Opal to keep Rarity company!). Piquipauparro is multi-talented, and has an amazing gallery full of equally impressive treasures, both pony-related and otherwise... if you haven't checked it out yet I highly recommend it.

**long-distance, long-overdue hugs**

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

Well, I thought I'd have more free time this week, but all of a sudden I've got family visiting from out of town, a Christmas party to prepare for and attend, shopping to attend to, etc., etc. I honestly do love this time of year (even the music which, judging from my local friends' opinions, puts me in a vanishingly small minority), but I always forget just how busy I remain all month long...

Anyway, on to pony. Like seemingly most bronies, I have a new favorite episode of the season; this, despite not being too fond of the cold open or most of the first act of "Magic Duel". Though there certainly were some details of the opening minutes of the episode that I enjoyed (the Canterlot back alleys, Rarity and AJ, the reappearance of Pinkie's father and of Owlowiscious/Owloysius), for me the episode really started rolling with the first magic duel, and just kept getting better until the ending. The resolution surprised me (as seemingly most viewers were surprised), even though it was obvious in retrospect, and it was wonderfully fitting that Twilight would beat Trixie at her own game. I even loved Trixie's "apology", which seems to be the main complaint about the episode: though I can readily believe she actually was (a little?) sorry for treating Twilight's friends and other Ponyville residents so badly, I can't help but see her pleading expression as she ends her apology as being forced; and her follow-up question indicates to me that, perhaps, her apology was largely (or mostly) motivated by a selfish desire to be seen in a better light. Instead of seeing the end of the episode as showing Trixie's redemption, I see it as showing her first (tentative) step on that path.

Oh, and "The Great and Powerful Trixie does not trust wheels." immediately became one of my favorite lines of the entire series. :)

@Harwick:

It's funny that you mention how much fan service there was in this episode, as it didn't really strike me as such on my first viewing, as opposed to how a couple of gags in "Too Many Pinkie Pies" took me out of the story for just that reason. Even on my second viewing, after reading your comment and others about all the fandom nods in the episode, they worked so well in the episode that I was never distracted by them. As someone else (I forget who) commented, if only they could have shown Fluttershy drinking from a juice box while wearing that dangerous mission outfit... And while I agree that it would have been wonderful to see Derpy as the Dash double, it would have left Fluttershy without anything to do during the sequence that was supposed to show Twilight using "the six". Besides, short-mane blindbag Fluttershy is now canon. ;)

As for the possibility of Trixie returning, I think it could happen; as I said above, I don't think her story is any more finished than it was at the end of "Boast Busters". Even if the writers intend for her redemption to be complete, she could still return in a significant role as, say, Luna's apprentice (and wouldn't the fandom explode if that happened?).

@RenaTurnip:

Well, there's nothing to keep you from saying that the artifact was given the name "Alicorn Amulet" because of what it was made from... Personally, I have mixed feelings about calling the royal sisters "alicorns", but I've yet to see an alternative that I like better. ("pegacorn"? "ptericorn"? "unisus"??)

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

@Anon:

To be honest, I'll use puns whenever I can; it just so happened that those two popped into my head when I was writing in response to what you said. But I did greatly enjoy the barrage of reaction images that it inspired, and particularly appreciated that you saved the best for last. And I think you're right about the majority's attitude towards Sombra; the fact that he was less of a developed character and more of a looming threat didn't bother me, given how the episodes played out, but I can understand how others would be disappointed by his lack of characterization.

@RenaTurnip:

Thanks for the information and pictures about pixel art; it was quite interesting, and you are good at it, even if it's not something you're thrilled with.

@WhiteDiamonds:

Candied yams, you say? (Sorry for linking to the same cartoon twice within a month, but the reference is just too perfect for me to resist...)

I agree with you about thinking it better if age spells aren't permanent in effect; in addition to making highest-level unicorns crazily overpowered, it also raises ethical questions that I think wouldn't really belong in the series. (If it's possible for any pony to be immortal, why shouldn't they all be offered that chance? Why not resolve Granny Smith's bad hip and other age-related problems by making her younger?) Still, the idea of using such a spell to allow for an appearance by Starswirl the Bearded (or, better, Clover the Clever) does appeal greatly to me, I must admit. As for the crystal ponies, I remember one or two of them making remarks to the effect that they couldn't believe a thousand years had passed, so I'd say it's very likely that time did not pass by normally for them during their disappearance from Equestria.

@Dice Pony:

Everyone's pointing out Applejack's (faked) reaction to the supposed genderswap spell, but I have to say I was even more amused by Big Macintosh's. (Actually, that's when I caught on to what Twilight Sparkle and her friends were doing. "Boy, she does look a lot like Big Macintosh like that. Wouldn't it be funny if-- hey, wait a minute...")

@Harwick:

Actually, it was the premise of this weekend's "Sleepless in Ponyville" that was pitched in July 2011; "Magic Duel" was indeed pitched 27 January 2011. I agree that some of the details were added to please the fans, but apparently the show's writers also realized very early on that they had a good character in Trixie; that's one reason I wouldn't be surprised to see her return again.

So, regarding the Brigadoon reference: Which of the Mane 6 is Gene Kelly, and which Van Johnson?

jodyjm13 said... Reply to comment

(I have really got to learn how to be more concise...)

@Obsequiosity:

"Algonquin Round Table meets Sugarcube Corner" -- There aren't words to express how much I love that idea. I hereby propose that Harwick is our Harpo Marx, and Anon our Dorothy Parker; Di would probably be Robert Benchley, though that one I'm a bit less certain of.

@Anon:

Like Di, I feel as though you've put into words my vague unease about genderswapped ponies better than I could have. They can make for some fun fanart or fanfiction, if used cleverly or thoughtfully, but most of the time it seems that the primary purpose of these characters is just to exist for the sake of proving that they can exist. (Having said that, now I really want to see R63 Braeburn, Fancy Pants, Fleur de Lis, and Hayseed Turniptruck...)

@Harwick:

I've seen this artist's other clockwork ponies, but this Rarity really takes the cake. The attention to detail is just breathtaking.

@WhiteDiamonds:

It's certainly obvious by now that either the writers or the storyboarders (or both) are deliberately putting Applejack and Rarity together much more often than they used to be. I find myself wondering how much of it is due to their contrasting personalities working so well together, and how much of it is a subtle deepening of their friendship. Regardless, I'm enjoying those moments as well.

Obsequiosity said... Reply to comment

@jodyjm13 I'm glad someone else likes the thought. (I would call dibs on Benchley, but I'm really more of a James Thurber. Which isn't a bad thing per se, but he didn't get to sit at the cool kids table.)

Count me in with the crowd that admires that fellow's mahogany automatons. As someone who ruins the occasional board myself, I find myself as much in awe of the nice and clean dovetail joinery on the box as the carvings themselves. Not as easy as you'd think. (I have sketches for a Sonic-Rainbooming-Rainbow-Dash whirligig I desperately need to work up the courage to start on.)

Anon said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

Well, it would definitely be a lot shorter without me. In any case, you are far too generous as always, and any positive feelings are entirely mutual. I have thought to look back at some comment threads of the past, and honestly, I cannot bear to read my old comments. I like to think I've gotten better since then though, and I do my best to respectfully respond as much as possible, but it usually depends on how much I have to say in response. I do agree with everything you have to say about Harwick and our distinguished group, of course. We often remark on how this blog has brought some of the best pony fans on the internets together, but there is a good reason why they are so fond of this place, and it is not only your exceptional art. For being our beloved administrator, you deserve the most credit of all.

My past joking about college tuition aside, I truly am looking forward to that day, and I'm positive you would make it infinitely better. It won't be for many years, probably long after the show has ended, and I can see our happy little community falling out of activity after that... Maybe I will give you a call some seven or eight years in the future, and we can reminisce about this old cartoon and how life used to be. Who knows; I may have just joined deviantART by then.

@jodyjm13

You know, it's pretty unfortunate that you came late to episode, since everyone seems to have moved on to the next thread by now (and the next episode, for that matter)... To remedy this, I will leave this extra comment in the hopes that it stirs some viewers' attention. Consider it my "bump". Use it wisely. I wouldn't want its power to fall into the wrong hands.

With the power vested in me (google.com by any other name) I have found a few drawings of the characters you desire, and picked out my favorites.

JohnJoseco's raygunned Braeburn (slightly saucy)

Judge Fancy

Title says all (I'm very surprised I found one of these.)

There was a much better R63 Fleur, but it was also R34. As it is, I still have this one. If you think that looks effeminate, you should see the genderswapped Cadence.

They are all fairly obvious of course, and I bet the Pony Creator could do much of the work for you in this instance.

"(I have really got to learn how to be more concise...)"

:I

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@Everybody

Oh... thank you all so much for the kind comments :c See, this is why I keep doing art. Because everyone has such nice things to say D: I don't think I can pick apart everyone's praise individually, so I'll just leave it as a great big thank you.

@Anon

Pix3M seems to have delved into isometric Ponies already, which impresses me enough, although he seems to be on a quest to improve himself like crazy, so I'm not surprised. I'd totally be on board a Pony Roller Coaster Tycoon project, though. That sounds like hilarious cute fun and I can just imagine hearing little audio clips from the show in the background instead of the usual visitor ramblings you hear when playing the game. I'd love that. If you ever think you'd be up to trying such art, I'd love to see :P

And take my word for it when I say that I do the art for myself as much as I do anyone else :c Just because the process can be really taxing doesn't mean I only continue it because I feel pressured to or because I want to impress someone. I do what I do 'cause I want to for me. I just wish I had an easier time with it, that's all. I don't learn through trial and error very easily, nor by anything like tutorials or guidelines (which is why I'm so bad at drawing on paper), so when I need to approach something I've never done before, most of the time it comes out really terribly and that sours my mood toward the whole thing in general. And mood is pretty important in some things, so... *rambles*

As for trying to draw, you may very well have inspired me to try it again. I haven't, yet, but it might be a worthwhile pursuit if I can get my head into it, and more and more I look at my sketchpad and feel the urge to pick it up again... I'll let you know if anything ever comes of it. The last thing I drew lately was this, which is okay and has basic fundamentals, but is very rough and unpracticed and very rushed and very anime and all sorts of not-very-goodness! It's something I'd really like to change. I just need to find the drive to give it another go again.

Anon said... Reply to comment

@RenaTurnip

I had a good time attending your stream a few days ago, even if I didn't recognize the music. Of course, it's not until I mention the game that Glaze reblogs this. I'm surprised you recognize it (and remember it, too), but I'm getting a flood of game design ideas for how that sort of game could work. RCT is a pretty nostalgic game for me, so you will have to excuse my rambling:

I would more likely do the programming for such a project, as I am a game programmer first and foremost, though pixel art does look like it could be worthwhile to study. I recall that the third game included VIP characters who may appear at random, or it may be the point of a challenge scenario to look after them and make sure they enjoy their visit. Each VIP had their own tastes, and if you made a good impression on them by the time they exit, your park would grow in fame and receive a good reputation from the public. You can probably see why I mention it: Each of the Mane 6, as well as high-profile characters like Photo Finish, Hoity Toity and Fancypants could appear in-game and review your park (or whatever you're building in Equestria) according to their own varying standards. Pinkie Pie would try out all of the snack booths. She would definitely buy a balloon (or twelve). Rarity would be scrutinize the path decorations, lighting and cleanliness. Rainbow Dash would seek out the coolest, most radicalest roller coaster/water slide/whatever ponies are amused by, while Fluttershy would opt to try the filly rides. I can imagine her riding the bumper cars, driving at top speed in the opposite direction of any oncoming traffic. (Why has no one drawn this yet?) It wouldn't even be hard to let the player add their own VIP characters, so they can include their OCs. Regular visitors could be randomly generated along with the occasional background pony. What's more, that sort of game could probably be played on mobile devices. It would easily beat the Gameloft pony simulation game.

I need to stop thinking about this before I start actually making it. Anyway, I am glad at least to hear that you aren't being pressured into working with the art. I don't learn through trial and error either. It doesn't really teach you anything to do the same thing repeatedly without trying anything differently each time. I always try to do it right the first time, which is why I learn so much from watching digital artists go about their work as they do it. I am also fortunate, as I've never needed to draw on paper. For me, the difficulty of drawing on paper is uncomparable to that of a Wacom tablet. I'm sure I could never draw anything on paper like what I might make with my tablet, and you may well be far ahead of me already. I have no idea what I'm doing, and I still feel like an absolute beginner. I am a perfectionist however, and given enough time and effort, I may end up with something satisfactory. That's the reason why I didn't just give up the moment I saw that my pony's face looked like a crocodile's. I think if you want to learn something like art, you may as well pursue that interest. Because you can, it's free, and you aren't going to get another chance. (It's also free.)

WhiteDiamonds said... Reply to comment

Alright, so at long last I'm finally getting back to these comments here! I'm sorry it's taken me so long, but I hope nobody thought that I had forgotten or just had no intention of responding.

@jodyjm13

Well, obviously I can entirely relate to your recent circumstances, and totally understand what it's like to be so busy that you fall behind on certain things! Thankfully things have been getting a little easier recently for me though, and at last I've been able to relax a little and enjoy the season a little bit... hopefully the same has also been true for you.

And yes, I really have to agree completely with your thoughts about the episode. The only thing that bothered me in the slightest or felt like a let-down was the non-Applejack and Rarity fillies as I already mentioned; otherwise I had no issues whatsoever and indeed, there were many things that were a wonderful surprise to me. And yes, whatever the case may be and even if it's totally coincidence, there have been a lot of great moments between my two favorite ponies thus far this season and I'm just going to be grateful for the fact.

Hahaha, oh no apologies necessary about the video clip... it's cute and indeed, probably is entirely relevant in this instance (I'm probably as much like Daffy Duck in this case as is possible... I really do love Thanksgiving~ ^.^). I'm glad that I'm not alone in feeling that way about age spells, and you summed up perfectly about why I wouldn't want to imagine them as existing and being permanent in Equestria. As for Starswirl the Bearded I would enjoy seeing him myself, but I think would be quite fine with seeing him in flashbacks myself, since that would solve that problem for me.

@Obsequiosity

I realize that you weren't exactly speaking to me in that latest comment, but still I did want to voice my support of your proposed Rainbow Dash/Scootaloo project. I'm not sure how you would ever go about making such a thing, but still if you did I know I'd love to see it!

@Anon

Oh, like I often say you really are silly dear. Any praise is well-deserved in my own opinion, and of course we're all grateful to have you here.

That little theoretical project/concept of yours sounds very interesting, and whether or not you ever actually get around to it it goes to show that you're always full of good ideas... it will be interesting for me to see what career field you will end up going into someday if we're hopefully still in contact at that point. Also, I just learned about Rena's livestream last night and obviously, it's something that I unfortunately missed. I told her on deviantART that with any luck I might be able to attend in the future though... maybe it will be something that we all can plan.

@RenaTurnip

Oh aww, that little pencil-drawing of yours is actually very cute dear, I think you actually have a nice eye for art! Certainly there's not much to it and it's simple, but the fundamentals are there and I think that if you wanted to, you could easily become even better at drawing with practice. Please do keep it up, and you're more than welcome for any well-deserved praise of your pixel-works!

RenaTurnip said... Reply to comment

@WhiteDiamonds

I'll certainly try my best :P Thank you.

@Anon

I'm not sure if I necessarily expressed this at the time, but I was quite surprised when you poked your nose into the stream. A most welcomed surprise, I assure you, but a surprise nevertheless. (And honestly, I get surprised when anyone shows up, given how few people I used to get back in the day.) But I'm glad you enjoyed yourself! Your input actually helped me a lot, as miniscule as the last hour or so's edits really were to the whole thing in general. I'll try not to be so pixel-picky next time, whatever I end up doing.

I've never played any RCT game past the first, but I think that idea sounds really amazing... Having to impress each main character in a different way (which is to say, making every aspect of your park interesting), that could add such a fun level of dynamic to the game. That actually gives me other ideas too. Whenever I played the game, I'd "theme" my parks after something or other, even if it was purely aesthetic or in name. You know, my first park would be themed after plantlife (where everything is painted green and rides are named things as silly and childlike as "Rosey's Rose Roller Coaster"), and my second park might be themed after the Legend of Zelda series, or so on and so forth. I played this way purely for my own amusement's sake, but I can see it being turned into a sort of "challenge" where you must do these sorts of things to a park... like... perhaps you were given the challenge to make the best park in two years' time for Pinkie Pie to judge. When the time passes and she comes to see it, she'll refuse to ride any ride that isn't pink, and you get bonus points for every balloon stall she passes (to a point), and something has to make her laugh (so lots of entertainers or jumping fountains), et cetera. So on top of the normal goal, there's this special goal too... and it could be even more challenging for someone like Fluttershy where she only likes gentle rides (and you lose points for even having intense rides), and you have to accommodate this while attempting not to bore your customers to death (who, of course, get bored of the carousel after a while).

... I need to stop thinking about this before I start actually making it. [/soundsfamiliar]

Anyhow, if you ever did get into anything, be it programming or other types of art or anything, I'd certainly be curious enough to see. As for me, I can't promise that I'll eventually learn the pencil (or the tablet pen), but I do still have hopes that I can at least give it another honest try sometime.

zhoomcar said... Reply to comment

@Anon

Oh you know, just dropping by because people were still commenting on this thread,

oh my god Rollercoaster Tycoon
that game is amazing
so much nostalgia
that idea sounds so good it has to be done

Okay I think I'm done spewing text.
-bonk-