While we love Christmas, we’re always big on celebrating holidays – especially after 2020 made jubilance so very trying. We recognised a few holidays and people this year, such as Earth Hour, Cinco de Mayo, gifted storytellers, a master animator, and, more importantly, our essential workers during this pandemic.
But as lockdowns amp up for some of us and others face the prospect of being separated from families during this holiday season, we wanted to put Christmas cheer in overdrive. Starting with our Christmas game – a sequel to our Help Save Santa Save Synapcity, an interactive game built in PowerPoint. We even made a trailer to build a little hype and practice what we preach in ‘going bigger on video and animation’.
“So… If you need a little bit of fun this Christmas
Put this silly game on your download wishlist
Fully interactive with surprises galore
Open it in PowerPoint to see what’s in store
Help Santa on his Christmas Eve adventure
While you use PowerPoint for more than it’s meant for
It’s got puzzles, elves, thrills, and spills
But we’ve kept it family friendly, so no one gets killed
There’s some customisation and a sweet narrative
After all – ‘tis the season for people to give
So check out Santa Saves Synapcity 2
A digital stocking stuffer for you.”
Some of our team also gave a behind-the-scenes look at our game’s development to a friend of Synapsis and fellow PowerPoint magician, Geetesh Bajaj. Check out our interview we did for Geetesh’s presentation design website, Indiezine.
Since end of year for a lot of content creators means lists and ‘best of’ compilations, we’ve decided to design our own ‘favourites’ collections. Great distractions for those missing family and friends during this season, or excellent nutrients for those running low on holiday cheer.
Both lists / infographics have a family section and ‘not for kids’ selection, because as fun and family friendly this holiday season can be – it’s about finding the Christmas spirit across all demographics. Besides, watching Home Alone 1 and 2 only accounts for 3-4 hours when there’s so much more enjoyment and variety to be found.
Firstly, Synapsis Creative’s Christmas Collection of films, television episodes, and specials. As the Christmas season continues, more content is getting created, commissioned, and enriching our lives. I recently enjoyed Fatman (2020) but kept it off the list since the ‘adults only’ section was getting immense, so while these lists will continue growing, the snapshot is still quite comprehensive.
There are a few here that aren’t in English (Joyeux Noel, Tokyo Godfathers, Krampus, and Rare Exports) but are all still wonderful films, which bring some very different perspectives and narratives to this holiday season.
I would also recommend the other iterations of the Grinch’s story: 1966’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and 2018’s The Grinch. Both were wonderful, but Jim Carrey’s performance as the titular character from the 2000 film is unbeatable.
In terms of Miracle on 34th Street, we recommend the 1947 version. Both are lovely movies, and I was raised on the 1994 version, but the original is more wonderful for several reasons – mostly the warm magic nostalgia of black-and-white cinema and those transatlantic accents from yesteryear.
Die Hard 1 and 2 are Christmas films to me – end of debate. However, I recognise that some of the other choices here are simply set during Christmas but entirely different genres. These are a wonderful reminder – especially for those that don’t celebrate Christmas – that 25th December is just another day, so no need to get all sing-song emotional about the holiday sentiments.
As for Synapsis Creative’s Christmas Tunes, you can see the first half is more traditional choices (including that annual Mariah song of holiday omnipresence). These are tune that could be played during Christmas lunch or dinner – however you and the family celebrate. That Bright Eyes cover is there because Elvis is gross.
The second half is more non-traditional – for the wilder holiday hours, when the kids go to bed and the Christmas punch turns flammable. Special shoutout to The OneUps for combining this holiday season with Nintendo in such a beautiful way.
From the crew here at Synapsis Creative – Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Whether you’re spending this holiday alone (by quarantine or choice) or with loved ones – stay safe, sane, and sanitised during this strange pandemic. And let’s all hope next year is a little less dramatic and/or traumatic than 2020.