Thursday, 28 October 2010

Industry Talk – Aaron Allport & Jolyon Webb

The talk on Wednesday was a great but there was one excepting... the Q&A part went on a little long and I think everyone was dying inside from the heat. But I thank and applause them for answering all the questions and to take time out to come and visit us. Just because the Q&A was long doesn't mean I found it boring, they gave good advice and I am ashamed at myself for not knowing any of the artists they mentioned. There is one thing I want to do on this course is to know more artists from all periods of time, this will help me so much later on in life. For example if an employer asks who is your favourite artist, I would most likely go ummm....can I have another question please. So I need to broaden my understanding of the art world and so I will research the artists that were mentioned in the talk.

The talk was interesting, funny and showed real industry examples along with enthusiastic words to make us know we have chosen the correct career path. Aaron said about the key strengths in blitz are; quality, diverse skills and style, interesting character development and training and support for staff. Blitz does seem like it has the whole package, I think it just needs a good original IP to make me want to go to them. For me I need a games company that is interesting, ever changing and odd. I am not slating blitz I'm just saying I don't think it's where I want to be at the end of this course. This all sounds very pompous and up my own ass, but they really did a good job speaking to us and I loved the rigging in Maya it was so awesome. I still set my sights for lionhead studios.

Some things I will take from the talk is how important 1st hand photography is and how handy speed painting is to get you use to the tools of PS and quicken your sketches ( I am very slow at sketching at the minute *sad face*). I also noticed that Jolyon does a lot of his digital sketches in monochrome first then converts them into colour. This is interesting as if you can get across the point in black, white and grey then you're in the right direction. I suppose that's why this course focus' on pencil drawing for a lot of the year. Jolyon also mentioned moodboards for idea generation, I did loads of moodboard during my college course but I dint think it would apply here. It makes perfect sense to gather a moodboard of thoughts if you are stuck it just never occurred that it would be acceptable. So later if I have to design something I will make moodboards to show my research and thought process. One other think he said was make a basic model of a scene on 3Ds Max then work from that adding details, this is such a good idea. Being an artist you always get brain malfunction and you can't think of what to add into your picture to make it better. I will definitely use Jolyon's techniques, especially for environmental scenes.

I am going to look at some of the artists Jolyon spoke of, some I like others aren't my cup of tea. For example FX Messerschimidt is...what's the word...disturbed is probably the best way to describe him. I find his sculptured very weird. Don't get me wrong I love weird and wonderful things especially sculpture, it's just I think I'll have nightmares just looking at it. They are wonderfully sculpted are show amass amount of emotion, aesthetically they are amazing but I hate them.

Ernst Haeckel on the other hand I find fasanating, as well as being an artist he was a professor, biologist, physician, and as well as this he just looks plain awesome. He also met Charles Darwin and by reading his book on the Origin of Species he dropped his job straight away to launch a new career path. His art was about species, below is one two of my favourite pieces of his. The frog on just has so much character but only has shades of green and yellow. The other one almost the opposite with lots of vibrate colours and he incorporates motion through the birds stances. For me he is just a fascinating man, he followed his dream even when it meant he had to lose everything he gained in the process, but in doing so he became a revolutionary figure in a number of professions.

Albrecht Durer, another german artist. For me his greatest art is his studies, whether is be cloth, items or people his studies are so cute and he has a great eye for detail. Below are some examples of his work. I think he was undertaking the first Game art course ever lol

< Design a Goblet sketches?

Design a Goblet final piece? >

 Interesting Character Design?            Life Drawing?                          Still-Life?

                                          Self Portrait in the style of Jesus?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

A History of Computer Games Part two: 1980's – 90's

Ahhhh I just realised the way I was undertaking the history was that I would talk about games in the 50's to the 70's, but I thought that meant 1950 – 1970 then this blog is 80's to 90' mistake so I will fill in those 10 years I missed as well all new access to mike's favourite period. This blog will be sooooooooooooooo long so apologies Mike. And all apologies to my English, I have been told I word sentences so weirdly so sorry, if you don't understand best just reread the sentence as if it was written by a child. The history of computer games is something I covered in college so this is pretty easy but ever so boring, I will try and make this as short as possible. Get a coffee, sit back and ready your eyedrops, could be a long 39 years.

The first interactive game playing device was the arcade machine, these consisted of a wooden panelled box often with colour artwork to advertise the game with joystick controls. Arcade machines are coin-operated so we can waste our money into the metal vaginas of machines.

Arcade Machines

1972 – Pong
Made by Atari and based on a game of table tennis, it first came out as a coin operated arcade machine, and then later in 1975 the first home console was released and started a new gaming generation. The only HCI component was the spinner knobs (I laugh everytime I write knobs) which moved clockwise and anti-clockwise (knobs that go clockwise and anticlockwise, must be my luck day) which represented up and down, although on some later versions a joystick was used instead. Limitations would be the graphics, sound. The amount of graphics is not much, the pixel raster lines, the only sound at this time was the feedback that the ball collided with the player's “bat”. Although as the first game it started the gaming generation.

1976 – Breakout
Another Atari arcade game, breakout consisted of using your paddle to bounce the ball into the blocks above. It had one knob and a button to set your ball off, games back then didn't have much creativity did they.

1978 – Football game
The first true sport arcade game, it’s a table top arcade machine, integrated fast action simulation and the first track ball and scrolling display. Why did they invent football games, worst most boring games ever.

1978 – Space Invaders
Made by Taito this arcade game became popular very quick. The object of the game is to shoot down all the aliens before they get to earth, in other words the you're a space ship, whoop whoop, the aliens move from left to right gradually increasing in speed and getting nearer the player. Raster display, black and white & colour overlay, single player, left and right buttons, fire button, blah blah blah blah.

1979 – Asteroids
The aim of the game is to shoot and destroy the asteroids and alien saucers. 1-channel sound, 3 buttons (left, right and thrust(lol)), two player, vector display.

1980 – Pac-Man
One of the most well know arcade titles, the player was a yellow dot with a triangle took out, the objective was to eat all the dots avoiding the ghosts and collect bonus items, also had 4 special dots within the maze that when eating, allowed the player to eat the ghost for a short period of time. Everyone knows the story of fuck-man these days so I won't bore you even more.

1980 – Defender
The player’s objective is to shoot down the aliens before they reach the “humanoids”, included multiple levels with boss mother ship battles. Maximum of two players, colour raster display,

1981 – Donkey Kong
Created by Nintendo it introduced characters Donkey Kong and Mario that would become gaming history. Colour raster display, Amp mono sound, four directional joystick and player 1 and player 2 buttons, jump button, player had to get to the top of the tilted frame by climbing ladders and jumping barrels to save the princess. As the difficulty increased fire enemies lay in your path, but also Mario got upgrades to help him. Single player setting or alternating two players. One of my favourite games even though I suck at it.

1981 – Frogger
1982 – Tron
1985 - Super Mario Brothers
1989 – Tail Gunner 2
1989 – S.T.U.N. Runner
1992 – Mortal Combat
The first beat ‘em up game, the side view perspective and Raster screen, consisted of multiple playable characters.
1992 – Virtual Racing

All sooo boring hence I stopped. Well basically arcade games were awesome and were widely more popular than the crap consoles, more social as well.


1972 – Magavox Odessey
1976 – Fairchild/Channel F
1982 – ColecoVision

1983 – Video Game Crash, well basically games were being produced left right and centre in mass amounts because they thought they would sell. But these games were just replicated after every title, there was no originality or anything and so people grew bored of consoles and computers rose into fashion. The industry took a step back and re-evaluated, actually trying to think of new games to produce for the public. There was a couple of years of dryness then games where back on track. Although today's games are reaching the same level as back in 1983, everyone is the same basic shite and so uninteresting and unoriginal, it's all just crap. But unlike back then our technology is growing and 3D TV is now introduced, it won't be long until robots are using our butts as input devices.

1985 – Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Nintendo made it's first introduction in the market, and with a brand new design for the HCI, it included a D-pad for movement instead of the joystick, and was made for both hands, it's design ran with the “box” style theme of the console itself, this new more thought out controller would make Nintendo a house hold name. Even though it's an early console it's large and there was a lot of flickering mainly cause a lot of things were hard to program.

1986 – Atari 7800
This console introduced inbuilt backwards compatibility. Also with added feature not shown in the 2600 and 5200 of pause, this including, power, reset and select button as well as a new high score feature.

1986 – Sega Master System (Sega Mark III)
This console brought Sega into the market, with a highly advanced clock speed for its time and good graphics, Sega set a name for itself. It adapted the design of the Nintendo game pad, which from here on in, would be the trend for controllers.

1989 – TurboGrafx-16 (TG16)
This console renews the cartridge to more sizeable “Turbochips” and introduced full motion videos into games and was hugely popular in Japan. This also seen the use of CD-ROM's as games, although still a separate part to add on to the console. An extra add on had to be bought for CD's to work and again size as well as poor graphic base.

1989 – SuperGrafx
The next edition after the TG16, but with no real technological advances. Just trying to make more money by dishing out the same crap again and again, sound like the games industry these days much?

1989 – Atari Lynx
Classified as the first true colour handheld console, a revolutionary idea and yet due to the lack of advertising it never overtook the games market. It had added features like brightness knob and volume knob and ran on 6 AA batteries. It's Auto-Off function was complained about as when the game was in pause it would go off and left the game unsaved, also it takes 6 AA batteries, making it large and with only a short lifespan or about 4 hours.

1990 – Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis)
I have this laying back at home but I love it, streets of rage and golden axe, my favourite games for this console but holy fuck I could never get past the last level in streets of rage, it's terrible. I was always the girl of course, I always pick the girl, not because of her pixel boobs but she was the best fighter in my opinion. BUT YOU COULDN'T SAVE YOUR DAMN GAME!!!!

1990 – Game Boy
Nintendo stole the market once again, even though unlike Atari Lynx, it had no colour, although a best selling handheld console, nothing is without its flaws, and with the large size and “grey” LCD screen it's obvious.

1991 – Atari Lynx II
Similar to it's predecessor but with a new look, Atari made sound and auto off adjustments to the lynx 2. This time Atari focused more on the marketing of the product, but even with this they weren't able to take over Nintendo's number one position. Limitations, due to its six AA battery capacity it was large and only lasted max of 5 hours, and was expensive, this caused its downfall.

1992 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
This console set the path for consoles, taking features from a lot of consoles of that time, it's graphics were some of the best. The system is based on simplicity make it easy to use for all ages. Contending highly with the Sega mega drive, it was the console to have at the time and Nintendo would rule the market until Sony's release of the Playstation. Limitations, often player had to insert game more than once to get it working, easily chipped games apart from that it was graphically very good.

1993 – Atari Jaguar
Just a blah.

1994 – Sega Mega Drive II (Sega Genesis II)
Known by two names as they were designed differently for different regions. Its production and sales lasted for a long time on the games market, and in America a Sega Genesis III was released.

1994 – Playstation (PSone)
One of the first consoles to use CD-ROMs, this meant that more information could be burned onto them. The introduction of analog movement wasn't at the start of the PSone's production, but later was added along with a vibration feature. I remember having tomb raider for PSOne but I got so scared at tigers chasing me, men running at me, firing my own gun...etc.
1994 – Sega Saturn
Basically playstation's rival at the time, it also used CD-ROM's but not nearly as successful.

1997 – Nintendo 64
1998 – Game Boy Colour
1999 - Sega Dreamcast
Had sound defects, easy broken, awkward HCI and just plain crap

Here is a couple of good websites for info on computers;
And if you want to buy some arcade consoles look below

Really what happened in the 80's to the 90's revolutionised the gaming history, it brought us legendary franchises such as Pac-Man, Mario, Donkey Kong...etc. When people look back they will think we are a bunch of retards actually using our thumbs for gaming, or it will all be like Wall-E.

I'll just leave you with a picture on how to live your life, enjoy;

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A History of Computer Games Part One: 1950's–70's

Games in the 50's teh f*@%, there is a lot of crap floating in the world wide web and it's hard to point at who was the inventor of games so I'll just pick one I think is right. It's hard to believe that only 60 years ago video games where almost non-existent, then again a lot has happened in them 60 years, the only thing close was board games like checkers and snakes & ladders. Even at that many families couldn't afford such luxuries. My dad still remembers have to brush his teeth with soot from the chimney and all he got at Christmas was an apple and a sock.

Well apparently before Ralph Lauren and L'Oreal there was another guy called Ralph Baer who worked at Loral in 1951. Then another guy called Sam Slackoff...that makes me sound soooo lazy but honestly it's not me. I have strayed off the point like three times already, anywho, this Sam guy asked Ralphy boy to “Make an awesome TV like”. Ralphy thought that was as easy as forgetting to brush his teeth and then was all like “No way man, I is for building a games console”. Sam so didn't like the idea and so games stayed undiscovered. Personally I pity this Sam guy for having such a shit name, it would only be made worse if they named him Saliva Slackoff.
A year later A.S. Douglas, a student at the university of Cambridge created tic-tac-toe for his thesis on human – computer interaction, most likely the first game made with AI. Later in 1958 a guy called Willy Higginbotham (why don't we have names as epic as this anymore?) played around in his secret laboratory and came up with tennis for two using an oscilloscope as a monitor. But wait there's more, Ralphy was back with a vengeance in 1966 and had built a number of prototype games to show to TV manufactures. From these games there was a a pong type paddle game and a square chasing another delightfully droll. Finally all his hard work paid off and he was signed up to build more of these games consoles that would be released after the 1970's, hence I can't discuss in this blog... ARGH. In 1970 the father of Pong Nolan Bushnell made a game called Computer Space which was basically asteroids but it was too complicated and just awkward. The interesting thing about Bushnell is that at the age of fifteen his dad died and he inherited the family business which was...go on guess, you'll never get it, a theme park. So if you think we have it rough he was attending uni, also learning about computer graphics, playing the odd chess tournament and running a theme park. Bushnell would later found the renown Atari and create history.

                                                         My dad  (^_^)

My next blog will be longer it's just I don't want to write something that has been copied and pasted a million times already.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Gender debate with added features

I did a gender debate when I was in college and I loved it, so fun. I recently went back and looked at what I wrote and amended it with new conclusions, so I thought I'd post it. Sorry for the length, if there's one debate I love it's how men and women are portrayed in games.

Since the start of the games industry, it has been a male populated market. I'm going to basically talk about “male gaze” and stereotyping within gender, this mostly talks about the discrimination of females in games.

Only 40 percent of girls play computer games compared to 90 percent of boys.”

This is a quotation from the ESA website, it tell us that 90 percent of boys play games, and so it is a highly competitive market when it comes to creating games for the male audience. Since 40 percent of girls only play games it's often a risk for developers to focus on games just for the female audience. But these stats will change as technology is getting more of a lifestyle, but is the industry up for making games for girls?

The first revolutionary title to portray a female as a protagonist was Lara Croft. Her high action adventures and agility, along with an immersive storyline made her a household name. But who was it aimed for? At first look it would seem that it was aimed at the female audience, with a woman as the lead character and able to do all the things a man could do, with such abilities like agility and strength. But it was soon realised it was aimed for the young male demographic as it was given a “male gaze” perspective into the dream girl. Her proportions unreal, with an unnaturally small waist and robust chest. And even though Lara was a woman, something not seen in the games industry, she was only accepted because of her male characteristics and unrealistic qualities. The term used for this over exaggeration is called hypersexualised, where the female is depicted as sexually active. But since the first editions of Lara this has changed and in Lara Croft: Legends her appearance was made more realistic and less hypersexualised to try and appeal to a wider audience.

If we look at NOLF, you'll see the same happening here, even though it has a lead female character she is corrupted with a male dominated world, and the setting of the game is often extenuated by the interaction with NPC's in cut scenes.

hints of sexual discrimination from her own organisation. But she handles adversity and manages to throw in clever interactive comebacks to the put-downs from her boss”

(FYI, her boss is a *#%”, I so wanted to hit him many times in the head with a baseball bat)

Even though the extract above is correct, the “male gaze” is yet again introduced within her clothing and body image. Even on the front cover you see the extended revealing neckline and tight fitting cat suit. Another male fantasy character, in a 1960's setting, even though she is an intelligent character this is over-ruled by the representation of her appearance. This game does this because of it's time period of the woman's liberation act and it's suppose to give perspective that even though you play as a female assassin, you still have a vagina and so treated differently. But hey that's not the only stereotype in that game, you have Inge the fat German barmaid with braids, also the ginger bearded Scottish kilt wearing ugly villain and a bald eye patch wearing Russian spy.

So if “male gaze” is that bad then why have it? Well it's not bad, there's a saying “sex sells” and this is what the games industry is doing, playing a game of their own to increase sales. When games are made for the male demographic, “eye candy” is put in the game as it attracts them to play it. If we look at games like Lara Croft, Soulcalibur, Bullet Witch and DOA, all of them have “eye candy” for the male audience and they often exaggerate a females assets in order to sell the games.

In Fahrenheit you have three playable characters, all of them representing a different prototypical person, we have the white male protagonist, the white female, and a black male. In the game we see that the white male gets all action packed scenes and in-depth storyline, whereas with the female, even though her job within the game as detective is important, her gameplay sequences involve controlling her breathing, making her appear weak. This is a common stereotype that is demeaning to women. Even in promotional posters the white male is in the foreground while the female and black male are in the background.

As stated above women are often characterized as weak within games and a drag, this is literal in such games like Second Sight and ICO. In these games the female sidekick follows you around, and without your direction doesn't no where to go. In second sight, often the male protagonist must find a route that only he can take because of his physique and the female will wait until you open a path or gets killed by the enemy.

If we now look at games like Haunting Ground and Clock Tower 3, these scary type genres are aimed at a male audience. So it would be reasonable to assume the main character would be male. But this is not the case, in both these games the avatar is female, and the gameplay involves running away and hiding from your enemies, and very little gameplay is devoted to actually fighting them. The problem is that the biggest age group (16-23) of males is being targeted and they wouldn't buy a game that portrays a man as weak, as it's a countertype of the average male, so they would rather play as a lead character of the opposite sex rather than seeing a character of the same sex in the same predicament.

But are men any better portrayed than women? Well, yes, as they are mostly portrayed as the hero, with a large physical appearance and extraordinary abilities. But why can male's be portrayed with such exaggerated proportions and not offend the male audience. The answer could be a number of things, in terms of stereotyping men; most men want to look a certain way. That is muscled chest and abs with a square jaw; it could also be that men don't care as much as women. But as society changes so does the conventional man. This is something the games industry is having problems with, in keeping up with society and the changes in its audience. Look at me, I'm hardly the typical man now am I, in most games I don't like the way the men are portrayed. Look at Street Fighter (the old original one), it is a well known game that exhibits male exaggeration to the extreme, yet it has the male audience hooked on its “beat 'em up” style. If you look at the picture below, it shows a concept drawing of a male character within the game. His physique is distorted and overemphasised with large muscles throughout his body. All but one playable character is female, yet again emphasising that women are weak. This could be seen as racist as well as sexist as the female character is Chinese, does this imply that only Chinese women are strong? Yet in other games the Asian woman is a delicate character with flawless skin and is mainly just “For show”, so did street fighter countertype or stereotype? In my opinion I would stay they countertyped, as I frame the female Asian community as being housewives and fragile (not being sexist it's just what is always seen in films).

Staying on the male subject, there are many games out there that I hate because of the way they portray men, the biggest example being Gears of War...Ehhh, do I need say more? I know I know it's fantasy but since when did men start pumping their bodies of steroids by the truck load? Also the multitude of MMORPG's i.e. WOW and Age of Conan. Oh and God of War, who doesn't go outside and beat harpies with a loin cloth on? Granted men are far less sexualised in games than women and when it comes to realism there is no such thing, only moobs and bulges. Heavy Rain is an epic game that has realistic characters, a good storyline even though its stolen from the Saw franchise. But the game sold well and didn't need the whole big booby women and buff men.

In other games females are portrayed as sexual objects, and are visually hypersexualised. This includes games like Dead or Alive and the popular Grand Theft Auto series. This game stereotypes the African American race with violence and drugs, and also shows women treated like objects, as the player can even beat a prostitute after having sex with her. Should games like this be on the market? In my opinion no, as well as being demeaning to women there's an obvious risk to children because it's a well renown game it often attracts a younger audience than of which it is intended for.

One of the most controversial titles to be published was Duke Nukem 3D. This depicted women as objects and even promoted the killing of them. Even in training grounds, the player shot at female targets. There is also has scene were duke gives money to a pole dancer and she shows her breasts. Even though the graphics may be fuzzy the meaning is clear.

In conclusion I think games can be demeaning to woman, but as the industry progresses and time has moved on, women are no longer just housewives. To appeal more to the female audience the games industry must expand the market and we see this in such titles like Mirror Edge, a title that makes a non exaggerated female protagonist with agility and strength.

She is a normal person with normal proportions. This approach has meant that she resonates with both male and female audience.”

In saying that I just completed Bayonetta, to be honest I enjoyed the game, and before you roll your eyes and repeat “typical man” let me continue, the game to me was almost mocking the industry in the sense of over-hypersexualisation (now I'm just making up words) and with random pelvic thrusts and very cheesy lines it was fun...that was until my puny little brain actually registered why there was a super easy mode so that you could play it with one hand. For people who haven't caught on, it's so men can masturbate while watching her dance around and get naked. That ruined the game for me, it was just a piss take before I thought of that. Hey I might be wrong and they might have incorporated a one handed mode so Laura could write a letter of disgust at the same time (love you Laura), or so that underage gamers can enjoy the gameplay while building a fort from cardboard boxes and bedsheets.

I also think Final Fantasy incorporates the best of all worlds into the games, integrating female and males as well the diversity, and although some women may be exaggerated their given just an important role to play in the world than the men (although I am bias to FF as FFX was my first Playstation 2 game to keep me immersed, I know others feel differently, so please discuss). 

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Me, Myself and Irene...Who the hell's Irene?

                      My name is Sam, I was born and raised in Ireland, unfortunately I don't speak Irish because my dad is a big protestant and I never got the The only Irish I do know is how to say 1 – 10, hardly a large achievement in linguistic skills. I had a very simple childhood, so simple that I don't remember most of it. But basically I have a twin sister who I am very close to and about a bijillion other siblings. The question on everybody's mind is “Can you feel pain when your twin does?”, to be honest I have but it's only happened once or twice in my life. But yeah back to subject, I went through the usual childhood of being bullied, a loner and a geek (not one of the smart ones though, one of the non-smart geeks; if there is such a thing). After a while I grew more mature and didn't care about what people thought, hence the pink hair. Before the pink hair it was red and black, yellow and black, then back to red and black, then onto white, red and brown...anywho then eventually pink. Why pink? Well basically most men are too scared of what society thinks of them to dye their hair what is a stereotypical girl colour. I like to prove them wrong, so if you ever look at my dress sense and I'm wearing a frock, you now know why.

                    I chose this course because I want to be a concept artist, it's that simple. I am a mature student even though I look like an immature pubescent boy. After school I did my A levels but it wasn't what I expected it to be, it was harder, the only thing I did enjoy was art but even at that I only got a C. After that I did apply to a couple of universities my first choice being a game art course in Norwich. I tried to attend the interview but to get there it was such a pain so I gave up and decided to take a gap year, my dreams vanish another year in the future. During that gap year I worked in my old school as science technician and it's the main reason why I am on the course today. I found out that I didn't want to be in a job I hated. The pay was good and it wasn't that hard work, the hardest thing to do is to keep on schedule and to ignore the snide comments of the teachers behind your back. I had a lot of responsibility and if I didn't fulfil my job role then I would destroy a whole classes schedule. In actual fact the best time I had in the job was when I had to ring up a health and safely line to ask them what to do if I breathe hydrochloric acid, it was a fun conversation with a lovely Scottish lady by the name of Ann.
                      After my accidental suicide attempt I found out that their was a games development course in Northern Ireland...I repeat NORTHERN IRELAND, since when did we become so privileged to have a game course?. I pretty much applied straight away for the next year. My time in college was excellent, such an amazing experience to say the least. Even though there was a phenomenal amount of work I loved learning about nearly all areas of the games industry. I say nearly because I absolutely hated testing because I had too make the test flow diagram, all the tests cases to make a test case. There is one thing I have learned about myself when it comes to something I love is that I overcomplicate things. I will write a separate blog one day detailing what I did on the course and how it made me ready for university.
To be honest I could rant all day about things that are barely even interesting to me so I shall stop myself before I go into why climbing trees made me a creative person and just leave you with one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite books.

FIDELIAS: (Clubs his opponent to death)
ALDRICK: That's one way to do it. If you don't mind spattering blood everywhere.
FIDELIAS: You got blood everywhere.
ALDRICK: But mine's in a pattern. It's aesthetically pleasing.

Art jokes for the win