Welcome to christianboutin.com, the personal site of Christian Boutin. Here you will find everything you need to know about the man, from his early days as the game designer of "Construction Bob in the Bouncing Factory" to his more recent projects like "Terror in Malden". If you're a user interested in the classic '90s shareware days, check out the "OSP Complete Archive", if you're a Triple-A gaming company looking for an experienced game designer/programmer then check out my Résumé and Projects sections. If you're interested in participating in my latest independent game, Exequor, check out exequor.com.

NOTE : I am aware of the accent problems on the main page (accents showing up as weird characters). This bug only affects the main page. I'm blaming php's "include" command and I'll work to fix that

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2009/11/02 : 3 years later, Linux still a no-go
About three years ago I made a rant about Linux, how it wasn't ready from prime time and may never be. In three years, things have changed, but that truth remains.

I got very excited by Ubuntu Karmic Koala, especially the netbook remix (UNR) which I thought was not only a good option for my own netbook, but probably a great option for my parents, who are struggling with the tiny icons and the cluttered, badly disorganized Vista/XP start menu. The desktop paradigm shift, turning it into a pertinently categorized giant menu instead of the typical waste of space, is I think a stroke of genius for non-tech people.

I decided to push forward and refurbish one of my old-but-not-so-old desktop with Ubuntu UNR and try to migrate my parents, mainly my dad, over to it. They have the most basic needs computer users can have. Browse the web, email, IM and crunch numbers in OpenOffice Calc.

So I brought the computer over for a full day of training and migration. Taught my dad about the cloud, set him up with a gmail account so he could now use IMAP instead of POP with both his current Vista laptop and new UNR desktop. Installed dropbox so he could work on his OpenOffice documents on both PCs as well. The idea was to keep his options opened.

Most of this may sound rather mundane and basic for the tech-savvy, but teaching those rather new concepts to people in that age group is a serious and somewhat debilitating experience. Nevertheless I was rather pleased with the results.

On a sidenote, I found out to my dismay that for some reason half of his spreadsheet weren't made with OpenOffice (which I had installed on his Vista machine a while back) but with Works (Ugh!) so I had a conversion job to do (openoffice doesn't open works spreadsheets). That added about an hour to the whole process.

Near the end of the day I noticed he was comparing his on-screen spreadsheets with the printed copies, to see if I had done my conversion job properly. That reminded me that we hadn't plugged in the printer yet. I told him we should take care of that now.

He started to look for his drivers CD and I just said "No need for that, just plug it in". He didn't believe me "You need a CD to install a printer" he retorted. At that point I was showing a sort of arrogant smirk, because I knew that when he would plug in the printer and it would work right away, he would be so impressed.

The printer was a kind of mid-inkjet-era standard, default, run of the mill Lexmark z816. The kind that's on sale every other week. I couldn't possibly imagine that such a printer wouldn't be supported by default. And yet printing on this device was absolutely above and beyond what Canonical's new operation system could deliver.

Googling this problem revealed dozens and dozens of forum posts of people with the same printer and problem, and little solutions outside getting a new printer. A few people mentioned a long and horrible series of command-line operations, package download, conversions and so forth. These posts were followed by a rather high percentage of people saying it didn't work, or it worked with one version of Ubuntu but not another. That was the end of that.

Conclusions : "Congratulations Dad, after a day of hard work you now have, cluttering your apartment, this giant useless brick thing that can't do shit for you. I know you hate Vista, but guess what? VISTA PRINTS".

Few words could describe the rage and disappointment I felt after basically throwing away a vacation day down the garbage. Linux being a free and volunteer-type rig, it's hard to be mad at them for failing to support this printer. I think the printer industry may very well be guilty here. Guilty of requiring so many specific drivers for such a basic task.

I am disappointed that once again, the little OS that could, didn't.

2009/07/13 : Fantasia 2009 : Love Exposure
It's hard to summarize Love Exposure in a few words. Yu, the son of an uptight catholic priest (who became a priest after the untimely death of Yu's mother) slowly and painfully rebels against his father (and his own good nature) by committing increasingly sinful acts. Being rather good-natured but motivated to commit sin, he stops at the highest level of perversion he can reach : Stealthily taking pictures of women's panties. This leads him to meet Yoko, with whom he falls in love. In his quest to fulfil a promise to his departed mother, he becomes caught in a whirlwind of characters, from his father, to his father's new fling Saori, the mean-spirited gang leader chick Koike, the mysterious cult members of Church Zero, and Yoko, which despite being the woman of his dream, has a passionate hatred of all men.

The length of that movie almost led me to skip it, and what a mistake it would have been. Love Exposure touches pretty much every kind of love you can imagine : Parental love, religious love, romantic love, friendship, sibling love and so on. But instead of dealing with it in the usual western aseptic way, it takes the exact opposite path. With deception, rape, incest and abuse of many forms taking centre stage, Love Exposure plunges its hand in the vilest forms of them all. But from perfect ugliness, can perfect beauty emerge?

The treatment, as is often the case with Japanese cinema, goes from deadly serious to slapstick comedy to moments of pure spiritual awakening, this truly is a four hour roller-coaster ride of emotions. The execution is fantastic, the cast is perfect, the music is generally excellent (the use of Ravel's Bolero in the first act is rather appropriate for a movie that will go on for another three hours). I was either laughing, fighting tears, wincing, or sitting there with my jaw dropped practially the whole time.

As an indication of the power of this movie, one of the more beautifully erotic moment was met with a theater that was awe and silence-stricken rather than ready to scream "Yeah" or "Alright!" as is often the case with the Fantasia crowd (even in serious movies, unfortunately). Something worth noting, Love Exposure is completely nudity-free. A strange contrast from the subject matter.

The movie, however, isn't perfect. Although the first two hours just zoom by like an arrow, the remaining two have a few pacing issues, minutes here and there where points that were already made, clearly, are remade. Perhaps an iron fist with a perfect sense of timing could've trimmed this to a somewhat better 3 hours experience.

Still, you shouldn't let the length, or anything else really, stand between you and this movie. Through this four hour path of destruction, and reconstruction, at least a thing or two you hold sacred will be damaged.

For the subtitled trailer : Click here!



2009/04/06 : Resurrecting the archive... again
There's been a few sales of the OSP Complete Archive CD-ROM on cafepress. But this is the information age, and the CD-ROM may not be the optimal way of distribution anymore. The OSP Complete Archive just went digital! visit http://christianboutin.com/osparchive and click on "BUY NOW", you'll have a choice to get all those older games for 5.99$ instead of 14.95$ for the CD-ROM. Also, the first 100 customers to type in the coupon code WALL-32RF-BRTK will get 1$ off, how cool is that?

2008/07/23 : Fantasia : Repo : The Genetic Opera, Sasori, Hunting Grounds and Going by the Book
This year's final movie block averages the lowest of all the movie blocks I've seen this year. In fact, before sitting through one of these films, I could have proclaimed "Best Fantasia Ever", in the sense that I had seen absolutely no dud. Oh well, here's the rundown.

Repo is very interesting film, with an awesome rock/opera soundtrack. Although musically strong, the writing was only average. The universe is very imaginative and interesting, the visuals are artsy and sharp. The cast is great. Overall a good film.

I have no doubt that porting a manga series to the big screen is a very difficult task. Some succeed, and then there's Sasori. Disconnected, trying desperately to fit too much material in the time it has, suffering from intense pacing problems, Sasori is an unfortunate example of how not to adapt a manga to the big screen. It's unfortunate though, because many of the fight scenes are spectacular and very well done. Many characters are interesting, and I would have liked to see their story better told. Sometimes '70s sexploitation, sometimes intense action flick, Sasori keeps looking for itself and just doesn't succeed.

After enduring through last year's Recon 2022, I was apprehensive of Hunting Grounds, the DIY Quebec-Science-Fiction-Post-Apocalyptic-Zombie movie. But it was just too hard to resist. Hunting Grounds is one of those DIY movie that you can be proud of for many reasons. First : the special effects including green screen effects are well executed. Second : This is a movie that doesn't pretend to be American or doesn't take the "so generic a setting that it could be american" like many indie films try to do (to maximize profits, no doubt). This one openly takes place in Quebec city and the Saguenay region, the characters are part french, part english (with reverse subtitles, a nice touch). So that's a pretty good approach. Unfortunately, it suffers from two of the greatest plagues that often strike DIY movies : Bad sound and less-than-adequate acting. Despite those flaws, the movie is still competent in direction and editing to warrant kudos.

Going by the Book, this year's last movie (for me) is one of those gems that just makes you laugh all the way through, although it has a few creepy moments. It has stylish direction, excellent casting and acting throughout. With enough clever shots to have you wonder if it will remain a comedy throughout, or if you will face a darker ending. Going by the Book has a couple of inconsistencies, but is overall hilrarious and an excellent movie. I highly recommend.