Morning Discussion

What is an "indie" developer anyway, how can you remain indie while paying the bills and what does it mean when big publishers wade boldly into the pool? Those fine folks from AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity developer Dejobaan Games have rounded up some respectable indie names--Flixel creator and Canabalt designer Adam Saltsman, Andy Schatz from the IGF Grand Prize-winning Monaco and busy indie bee Chris DeLeon--for a chat about these topics and more. Their chat's more than a mere interesting read, it's edutaining.

And now for something completely different--Inside a Dead Skyscraper is a curious and quite delightful video game/music video thing you should play/listen to/enjoy.

From The Chatty
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      July 28, 2010 5:10 AM

      ^ ^ ^ Obviously don't view if you haven't seen the movie

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        July 28, 2010 5:19 AM

        if you didn't see the movie i don't think viewing that jpg would spoil TOO much (you would be more confused than anything)... but you're right it IS a spoiler!

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          July 28, 2010 6:44 AM

          I have not seen the movie and I understood shit :)

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          July 28, 2010 7:12 AM

          i'm confused and i saw the movie

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        July 28, 2010 5:22 AM

        i haven't seen it, I didn't know what I was clicking, and I really still have no idea. I think I'm safe

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        July 28, 2010 6:23 AM

        [deleted]

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      July 28, 2010 5:15 AM

      how can anyone see this and think the movie was not very original

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        July 28, 2010 6:12 AM

        WHO SAID THAT *grabs his sword*

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        July 28, 2010 6:19 AM

        Well, it's not very far at all from Dark City / Matrix / Plato's Cave.

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          July 28, 2010 6:23 AM

          you're comparing it to the matrix and plato's cave? did you even see the movie? the most you could say is that they share a "is this reality or illusion?" which is a retardedly superficial summary and not at all worthy as a basis of comparison.

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            July 28, 2010 6:37 AM

            haha, that's all you can glean eh?

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              July 28, 2010 6:42 AM

              are you going to explain, or just leave me to my stupidity?

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            July 28, 2010 7:09 AM

            That's quite unfair, it's not just the illusion-real thing, its' also the contemporary urban setting, a lot of the costuming, very low-key "naturalistic" direction for how to deliver the dialogue (that seriousness in action cinema is a thing that the matrix popularised actually) the exploitation of the central narrative conceit as to create interesting action sequences (we're in a dream so we can just have a snow base out of nowhere, we're in a dream so we can just have slo mo anti gravity that recalls bullet time more than a bit) - there's a lot of common ground there.

            It was a great movie, but considering how often that theme is played on in lets say more "cerebral" Hollywood action pictures, no, it's not stunningly original.

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              July 28, 2010 7:16 AM

              matrix comparison is fine, I want to hear him explain the comparison to plato's cave.

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                July 28, 2010 8:08 AM

                Okay, yeah that shit makes me roll my eyes as well. Everyone loves comparing Plato's thing to these movies like it meant some deep shit, the chatter about it was insufferable when the Matrix sequels came out.

                It's understandable on one level. The Allegory of the Cave is where the idea of "waking up" - and seeing the world for what it is to attain some higher wisdom - comes from in the first place, so I suppose all these films are somehow connected to that. But the concept is so embedded and widespread culturally that just because someone wrote a story about unplugging themselves form the Matrix and waking up in the real world, that doesn't mean they actually read Plato.

                And I see no attainment of wisdom in Inception at all, as far as I can see the dreams are a device to drive the action and the emotional drama about loss, not any kind of philosophy.

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                July 28, 2010 8:14 AM

                Look at how Mal acted in the various levels and tell me that doesn't scream of Cave and concealed perceptions.

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                  July 28, 2010 9:18 AM

                  unless my brain is damaged, concealed perception is an oxymoron and you're just name dropping to appear smarter. you've done nothing to explain your position other than say it's obvious, and that I'm dumb for not picking up on this phantasmal connection of yours.

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          July 28, 2010 7:08 AM

          [deleted]

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            July 28, 2010 7:22 AM

            the concept of sleeping and manipulating people's perception of their surroundings during sleep. but yea, dark city is a stretch. matrix i can see, although some of the visual stuff in matrix is influenced by dark city. never heard of plato's cave

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              July 28, 2010 7:26 AM

              [deleted]

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              July 28, 2010 7:29 AM

              Plato's Cave, or Allegory of the Cave, is a philosophical story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato's_cave

              However, I don't see the connection between that and Inception/Matrix.

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                July 28, 2010 8:05 AM

                You don't see the connection? Everyone in the dream / machine acts differently than those who see it for what it is? Those that are in it only see the situation they are in even though they might even know what's going on?

                Even prisoners released from the Cave had limited perception just like Mal / Cobb did depending where they were, it's a very old theme.

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          July 28, 2010 7:23 AM

          yeah because all those movies were about planting an idea in somebody's brain

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            July 28, 2010 8:14 AM

            Dark City wasn't? About slowly planting and building an idea in a person so that he'll execute on it later?

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              July 28, 2010 8:22 AM

              Also, imo Keifer planted the seed way more believably than the Inception crew did, at least to the mark. I liked Cobb's plant on Mal way, way better than the plant they did on the mark.

              I had very little impression the mark was going to execute the idea the way Saito envisioned, as opposed to what happened to Mal, that would be world shattering.


              I really wished Nolan had built a better narrative in the actual construction of the idea of shattering an empire than a few vague words between father and son that may or may not yield the desired result.

              What happened to Mal was definitely going to yield the right result.

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              July 28, 2010 11:12 AM

              Dark City and The Matrix: 2 movies that are better than Inception.

              By a little, at least.

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          July 28, 2010 9:23 AM

          I liked it better when it was called Thirteenth Floor

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          July 28, 2010 9:43 AM

          Eh, I can see Dark City and Matrix comparisons, but the allegory of the cave is kind of a cop-out answer. That idea of becoming aware of a layer of reality not previously seen is more or less a universal theme in the human experience, let alone movies. One could group The Truman Show alongside Inception by that line of logic.

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        July 28, 2010 6:24 AM

        spoilers for Primer: http://illsquad.com/files/primer_timeline.jpg

        ugh

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          July 28, 2010 8:27 AM

          Primer was the most awesomely confusing movie I have ever seen. I didn't enjoy the movie nearly as much as reading about what I had just watched, afterwards.

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          July 28, 2010 9:07 AM

          Fuck that.

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          July 28, 2010 9:45 AM

          Primer is such an amazing movie. Highly recommend it for anyone who hasn't seen it and enjoys this kind of Sci-fi, where a mind-blowing idea is presented and the rest of the time is spent exploring exactly what that means.

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      July 28, 2010 5:16 AM

      that illustration is more confusing than the movie

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      July 28, 2010 6:16 AM

      I think the most awesome thing about this is how it looks like that infinite staircase.... bravo

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      July 28, 2010 6:43 AM

      Except Fischer and Ariadne also go to limbo along with Cobb and Saito. The infographic is inconsistent.

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      July 28, 2010 6:58 AM

      That is very difficult to read

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      July 28, 2010 8:29 AM

      if you need an infographic to understand this movie in full, you're a fucking idiot.

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        July 28, 2010 8:31 AM

        I agree that it's not THAT complex, but you did have to be paying close attention during the movie to keep track of everything.

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        July 28, 2010 8:32 AM

        That's a bit harsh, it's a fairly complicated film, I've only seen it once and while I caught the premise and most major points there are still a few things that a second viewing may clarify.

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          July 28, 2010 8:35 AM

          acidnynex, my words are harsh with intention. this is not a fairly complex film, it's a minimally complex one. it makes you think harder than Speed, but it's not Memento, The Thirteenth Floor, or Primer. if you can't keep up with the movie's few linear plotlines while watching it in the theater, then you should maybe be reading more books.

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            July 28, 2010 8:47 AM

            I thought there was more to pay attention to in Inception than Memento.

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              July 28, 2010 8:47 AM

              read a 500-page novel. it'll blow your mind.

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                July 28, 2010 8:55 AM

                Done that. It's just a challenge to think about Inception's themes AND the structure of the movie while it's still running.

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          July 28, 2010 8:36 AM

          Inception isn't complex at all. It's extremely straight forward. And the characters exhaustively explain to you everything you need to know about the movie. The only question about the film is whether or not it was a dream within a dream or not. And THAT question is unanswerable.

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            July 28, 2010 8:40 AM

            i agree with trove. i think i'm gonna be sick. yes, the dialogue made it painstakingly clear exactly how each plot maneuver worked.

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              July 28, 2010 8:52 AM

              It was a good movie, don't get me wrong, but the people talking about it being the greatest SF movie EVAR!!! (like Cory Doctorow) are just way way too close to the viewing to make this judgment.

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                July 28, 2010 8:53 AM

                i agree with you. not on politics, religion, economics, or social justice. but on this flick we're cool.

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                July 28, 2010 9:04 AM

                I would still pick 2001 as the best sci-fi movie ever.

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            July 28, 2010 9:57 AM

            Yeah, Basil Exposition shows up a lot.

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            July 28, 2010 11:07 AM

            but didnt the spinning top stop at the part of cobb on the phone to his children in the apartment near the biginning? Surely that would mean that the level he was "at" at the end of the film is real life and not a dream? Or can he make it stop spinning in a dream?

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              July 28, 2010 11:11 AM

              That was made ambiguous, probably as a trick ending. I didn't like it personally. I felt it cheaply jerked around the viewer.

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                July 28, 2010 11:15 AM

                It was a blatant move to make people discuss it more, sure. But the fact remains it had to be reality, because the spinning top stopped once before at the same level of conciousness (i.e. reality)

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                  July 28, 2010 11:17 AM

                  You are assuming that if the totems worked as Cobb said, then you have to account for the fact that the top wasn't his totem to start with. So it could have worked in any manner he wanted it too.

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                  July 28, 2010 11:20 AM

                  i think the ambiguity is whether saito actually shoots himself and brings himself and cobb out of limbo (we never see this), or if something else happens and cobb remains in limbo and dreams everything from there to the end of the movie

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              July 28, 2010 6:07 PM

              That part is bullshit the spinner totem and makes no sense. I didn't catch 100% of how totems work, and if their behavior was completely controlled by their owners regardless of whose dreamspace they were in then I'll by it spinning forever in a dream, but if the point of the totem is to have something familiar that an architect can't easily replicate and you could identify as being fake then I don't understand why any architect would create a top that spins forever, that part makes 0 sense to me

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          July 28, 2010 11:01 AM

          The only complex bit is whether or not Cobb was dreaming the entire time. The rest is straightforward and there is no real mystery to it. It's not like Primer or Memento.

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            July 28, 2010 6:09 PM

            From what I've heard there a lot of things said throughout the movie that hint towards the fact that the entire thing may be a dream, if you picked all that up your first time through, from the initial dialogue of the film on, then bravo!

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      July 28, 2010 8:38 AM

      going to see it for 3rd time tonight i think, second time in IMAX

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      July 28, 2010 9:00 AM

      So wholly unnecessary.

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      July 28, 2010 9:15 AM

      I haven't seen the move, but that graphic is confusing as shit.

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      July 28, 2010 9:39 AM

      Seriously, for people who haven't seen the movie, stay away from these threads.

      It's not even for spoilers, since there aren't many to be had, it's just that the experience never benefits from huge amounts of hype and explanation before seeing it. Best case scenario is to maybe watch the trailers, then go in with no expectations. It is a good movie, and that is all you need to know, god dammit.

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      July 28, 2010 9:51 AM

      Spoiler-related questions below

      So does most of the plot discussion that happens in these threads center around the last shot and the question of whether or not it's a dream?

      Because it seemed pretty clear to me that it was reality. Other than the fact that his kids were playing in a similar position to how he remembered them, I don't see any other things that would indicate it not being reality.

      It really seemed to me like Nolan threw that in more to drive home the point that Cobb's wife kept bringing up, about questioning reality, not to actually suggest that he's in a dream. I would be very disappointed if Nolan was suggesting it wasn't real, as it's such a cheap "WHAT A TWIST" move.

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        July 28, 2010 10:01 AM

        I have two gripes with the idea that it was all a dream

        1. Cobb already knows that Limbo is past 3 levels. If the "reality" of the movie was level 1, then they'd have been in limbo at the snow fortress. And as it is said, the only thing that exists in Limbo is what has been created by people who were there, then who made the snow world? And how did they drop even another level from there?

        2. I'd have to see the movie again to get a better sense of the timeline of "reality", but even considering the 10x time dilation, it get the sense that if it was all a dream then everybody involved would have to have been a sleep for a considerable amount of time, since as I recall the "reality" level of the movie spans several days, probably weeks. Sedatives and blah blah yah yah - I just don't buy it.

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          July 28, 2010 10:07 AM

          re 1, i think cobb and mal were going to limbo by some other technique

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            July 28, 2010 10:39 AM

            Even if you're right about that (which I can't remember) - does that matter? They are pretty straight forward about the fact that it's known that you go three levels deep and then limbo

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              July 28, 2010 10:40 AM

              iirc cobb and ariadne go from the snow fortress into limbo with a dream machine and saito and fischer go there by dying. i have no idea what the meaning of the difference is.

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                July 28, 2010 10:42 AM

                I guess that's where I'm getting the three levels then limbo thing from. I mean - they seemed pretty confident that it would take them there (limbo) and not just another level deeper.

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                  July 28, 2010 10:46 AM

                  oh wait. i think it's just because it's easy to go into an unconstructed dream if that's all you want to do. probably how cobb and mal did it in the first place.

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                    July 28, 2010 10:47 AM

                    ie, you can go to limbo from any level, or from reality. limbo is just a regular dream, with no architect, albeit a shared one

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          July 28, 2010 10:38 AM

          1 is incorrect. limbo has nothing to do with the number of levels, it's explained in the movie that you go to limbo when you die in a dream but your body is physically incapable of waking up (the normal thing that happens when you die in a dream). the snow fortress was just a third layer of dream

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            July 28, 2010 10:39 AM

            Then I just remember it incorrectly.

            Which is a great excuse to go see it again!

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              July 28, 2010 10:47 AM

              yeah the snow fortress was constructed by adrienne and eames was the dreamer (host) in that case and fischer was the subconscious populating it (though I believe his subconscious was populating all three layers). the trip to limbo was like the only thing they didn't really adequately explain in the film though. for example Mal took Fischer to what was apparently Cobb's limbo when Fischer died rather than Fischer going to his own limbo whereas Saito ended up in his own limbo when he died. they seemed to want limbo to be some kind of shared dreamspace that everyone goes to when they die and can't wake up which doesn't quite fit in. I guess you can explain it by saying that since Mal is Cobb's projection she was able to take Fischer into Cobb's dream (limbo can be considered to just be a dream, though a chaotic one) and Saito died independent of Mal or Cobb so he just went to his own limbo.

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                July 28, 2010 10:48 AM

                i think the idea is that everybody has their own limbo (their normal dreams), but when they're in a shared dream on top their limbos are shared too and can connect

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                  July 28, 2010 10:54 AM

                  Yeah, pretty sure this is it. When they're at the shed in the first level and the possibility of limbo first comes up, someone says something like "And you're left with nothing, or whatever is brought by someone who has been there before."

                  So I took that as meaning it would be the total chaos they first described unless someone in the shared dream had been there first, which Cobb had, so his "filled in" what would otherwise be blank. To be honest, it's a shaky explanation.

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                  July 28, 2010 10:56 AM

                  yeah limbo makes more sense if it's just a dream that has no architect or subconscious projections (since it appears completely unpopulated I assume that is correct) and Cobb was able to get to Saito's limbo because he was connected to him on multiple levels... it's still not entirely standard though because it has its own slowed down time properties regardless of what level you enter it from since Cobb and Mal had to enter it from the first level (since a host of a dream cannot go beyond that dream; Arthur stayed in the hotel, Yusuf stayed in the raining city)... so Cobb & Mal would be in one or the other's dream initially and then would have to go directly to limbo (assuming a host can enter limbo, which seems correct).... so even though they are only at the second layer in that case time still moved at limbo-speed

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                    July 28, 2010 10:58 AM

                    the problem with cobb & mal going "directly" to limbo is that the time dilation is only caused by layering, and they experienced severe time dilation. but whatever they were up to isn't clearly explained.

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                      July 28, 2010 11:05 AM

                      It explains in the movie they were trapped in limbo because they were trying to do dreams within dreams and got stuck.

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                        July 28, 2010 11:07 AM

                        i don't remember him saying it quite this bluntly

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                          July 28, 2010 11:09 AM

                          When he's explaining to Ariadne why, during the mission, if they die they go to limbo, this comes up.

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                        July 28, 2010 11:08 AM

                        maybe it is possible for the host of a dream to go into the next layer but it becomes even more unstable than it does when they stay in their dream? they never really explain that either though so I can only speculate

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                          July 28, 2010 11:10 AM

                          also the entire team started the freak out when Cobb mentioned that they were going three layers deep, but Cobb also seemed to be more willing to push the limits of the whole thing than anyone else (plus it was alluded to in his conversation with his father and his talk with Saito early on that he was very good at extraction and architecting), so it seems weird that some pretty well accepted rules could just be broken that easily... breaking the rules happened a lot in the movie though I guess

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                July 28, 2010 10:50 AM

                I wonder what would happen if the dreamer was the one that died. Wouldn't the whole dream collapse at that point?

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                  July 28, 2010 10:53 AM

                  doesn't this happen in the beginning when arthur gets shot during the "audition"? it all collapses (but only to the level above)

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                    July 28, 2010 10:58 AM

                    Was that Arthur's dream or Cobbs? I can't remember.

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                      July 28, 2010 11:00 AM

                      It was Cobb's, I think. Mal says to him "I'm guessing this is your dream, based on the attire."

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                        July 28, 2010 11:00 AM

                        no she was talking to Arthur when she said that

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                          July 28, 2010 11:15 AM

                          Ah, alright. That makes more sense, considering the awesome suits he wears.

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                      July 28, 2010 11:01 AM

                      i think it's arthur's, mal says something about how the decor is his style and it falls apart when he gets shot.

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                    July 28, 2010 11:01 AM

                    yeah, if the host is killed then the dream collapses, though it's not entirely clear why Cobb can remain in Arthur's dream in the beginning even though Arthur has woken up as opposed to the world just disappearing instantly and everyone being pushed to the next level. it was obviously done for dramatic effect in the film but you can maybe explain it by saying that the other people in the dream at least on some level prop it up with Saito's consciousness populating it and Cobb being there as well

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          July 28, 2010 10:48 AM

          ellen page, the architect admitted to making the snow world and proved it a few times by discussing hidden shortcuts in the "maze" that Cobb didn't know about

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          July 28, 2010 11:09 AM

          The only thing that I've noticed while watching the movie is that Limbo isn't exactly "after" level 3. It's possible to slip into limbo at the first dream stage. Limbo occurs when you loose sense of what is reality and what isn't. For all the characters and audience know, there could be an infinite number of dream levels, The fact is it continues to be harder to maintain your sense of what is reality the deeper you go there for making it easier to fall into Limbo.

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            July 28, 2010 11:09 AM

            obviously I cannot spell bet you get the idea. Lose, not loose ha.

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        July 28, 2010 10:10 AM

        I saw the movie when I was very tired; I'm a little confused about the relation between the opening scene(s) and the closing scene(s).

        The first scene with him on the beach is similar to the last one because it's the same dreamscape but different dreams/at different times,* right? And Saito is older in the latter one because he's been stuck in that limbo much longer. In both cases Saito is sharing the dream with Cobb, hence similar architecture, etc... And that doesn't cause any conflict with levels right?

        What seemed, say, level 2 in one dream was level 3 or 4 or whatever -- limbo -- in another?


        *Otherwise it's some sort of weird paradoxical loop.

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          July 28, 2010 10:34 AM

          The very first scene and the scene close to the very end where Saito is old are from the same time and the same limbo. Cobb is there because he chose to stay and save him after leaving Mal, and Saito is still there because he died in the snow fortress. The few minutes difference in the snow fortress level has been decades for him.

          It doesn't present any conflict because there are no sub-levels past limbo. Saito was there for what seemed like forever, then Cobb and Ariadne came. Ariadne left, but Cobb stayed to "wake up" Saito. Then they both left.

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      July 28, 2010 11:00 AM

      Was just reading these sleep facts huffington post posted in relation to Inception. Pretty interesting!

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-edlund-md/dream-sharing-inception_b_652088.html

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