Did a bit of cleaning out my backlog of browser games. Some highlights: No-One Has to Die is a cute browser-based puzzle game by Stuart Madafiglio; its shallow branching story is neatly integrated into the puzzle. Ending is an abstracted puzzly roguelike by st33d; there’s intentionally no wait action, which might be the only way to keep it a puzzle? To me it just feels like arbitrary...
When I miss my stop
embassytown: whenonbart: … but why use a DC Metro train for a BART graphic … surely there are plenty of BART gifs in the world XD; Because DC’s Metro is the best!
sanitize and canonize: more definitional bullshit →
charmian: You know, I definitely did play Candyland as a child, but I don’t remember anything about the gameplay! All I remember was that it was candyland, and nothing about whether I won or was good or bad at the game. So maybe that is your point, ha. So your argument, perhaps, is a descriptive (not sure that is the correct term…) one? These things are games because the people who play them...
sanitize and canonize: more definitional bullshit →
charmian: mirrorful: Raph Koster brings up the mechanics thing and makes Robert Yang really angry; he sees the whole “what is a game?” question as an move, perhaps unintentional, to keep people marginalized and step on their political message. Andy Schatz, creator of Monaco, points out that indie games are all… Ah, I recall Tadhg Kelly was talking about this too. I think zine is a...
more definitional bullshit
Raph Koster brings up the mechanics thing and makes Robert Yang really angry; he sees the whole “what is a game?” question as an move, perhaps unintentional, to keep people marginalized and step on their political message. Andy Schatz, creator of Monaco, points out that indie games are all growed up: “It’s not so much that indie culture has changed, but the industry has moved in the direction...
You Lookin’ at Me? Reflections on Google Glass →
Jan Chipchase talks about some of the research he and his firm have done about Glass-related issues, in particular around how people react to other people wearing them. It’s interesting, though there was a (slightly tangential) bullet point that surprised me: In-ear or close-to-ear (inductive) audio changes the wearer’s enjoyment of food and drink — a problem for an otherwise prime use...
As unbelievable as [White Dude Super Detective (WDSD)] characters are, they...– Tamara Winfrey Harris | Privilege And The White Dude Super-Detective (via herocountry) This is something I thought about in Sherlock fandom a whooooooole lot. People were drawing genderswap fanart, as they do and as I love, but I didn’t think a female Sherlock was feasible (though a female John...
fool me twice, won't get fooled 'til next year
I am pro-April Fools! At least in its modern incarnation as a web holiday about making up stupid shit. Practical jokes aim for funny but fail into cruelty, which kind of sucks; the worst a web page can do is bore you. And, yeah, there are some cliches to grind down the world-weary. But in general: it’s a festival of publishing untruths, and it’s actually somewhat observed. ...
Apparently they’re using this tech in the new Metal Gear engine: you build clothes out of patterns (like real clothes!) then hang them on your characters. Their cloth sim is really convincing, too. “Oh my god I need this,” says Bradley, who’s already sculpted a lifetime’s worth of skate clothing. “But I will miss painting on wrinkles :(“
What would you do: Part 2, the Island of Surpyc →
Dsquared’s at it again, choosing his own adventure in Cyprus’s bank disaster. He’s got a new mechanic this time: In this game you will need two dice. At various points in the game, chance will govern the outcome. When instructed to roll the dice, you should follow the accepted methodology: Check both outcome to see which is the good one Decide whether you really...
vexed nymphs go for quick waltz job →
I’m going to stick with the quick brown fox, but every so often font browsers try to get clever with a quartz sphinx. Microsoft’s jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz, while Adobe demands: “Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow!” I judge it among the shortest of ‘em that actually reads like a sentence, if that’s any help. There’s not a lot to work with...
Powering Down Google Reader →
charmian: mirrorful: google reader ;_; Huh, I use it too. Anyone have any suggestions? I know there are others for Android, but I want something that I can pop up in Firefox. The popular contenders seem to be feedly and the old reader; I’m leaning towards the old reader right now because it’s actually loading (though it’s taking hours to import my feeds) and because...
Powering Down Google Reader →
google reader ;_;
I’m watching Borgen. “It’s the Danish West Wing!” they said, and really, what else do you have to say? (I’ve been reluctant to watch the American West Wing again; Bartlett’s America was refreshing when viewed from Bush’s America—or, really, from the wreckage of Clinton’s America—but from here in Obama’s America I fear that it...
Using Fountain to write comics (and games?) →
antonyjohnston: I’ve been fascinated by the possibilities of Fountain since it launched. Here’s a long post where I talk about using it to write comics , complete with samples and a template. Enjoy. Fountain’s essentially Markdown for scriptwriters, which sounds great. I’ve never written a script in my life, but I like Markdown! I use it here, even though Tumblr overzealously...
For much of the 1990s, Pretty Hate Machine was that type of album: One that...– From Tom Breihan’s review of the Pretty Hate Machine reissue, in honor of the ridiculous mashup that’s been going around. (The Downward Spiral soundtracked too much of my teenaged broody sulking for me to be at all objective where NIN is concerned.)
Also, I am totally sick. I’d stayed healthy while my coworkers were knocked on their ass for a few weeks now and thought I’d dodged a bullet, but nope! Fever and mucus and general dumbness and inability to focus.
The Inside Story of How the White House Let... →
Vali Nasr, senior advisor to Richard Holbrooke when he was heading the State Department’s efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, talks about how the White House hosed them: The night before Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who in June 2009 was installed as the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan, was to release the report outlining what he needed to fight the war, Holbrooke gathered his team in his...
Making it in Indie Games: Starter Guide
makegames: Every now and then someone will ask me for advice on making it as a professional indie game developer. First, it’s a huge honor to be asked that. So I want to say “Thank you!” Second… damn, if I really want to help out it’s a serious endeavor. Of course, I could always say “Give it your best! Work hard! Be true to yourself!” and it wouldn’t be a terrible reply… just not a terribly...
Patrick Wyatt’s saga of programming Warcraft and Starcraft continues; he’s in fixing bugs and shipping territory: Some bugs were related to the development process itself. The Protoss Carrier regularly lagged behind other units because it had its own way of doing … everything. At some point in time the code for the Carrier was branched from the main game code and had diverged...
Roko's Basilisk →
Singularitarian community LessWrong discovers Hell: The claim is that this ultimate intelligence may punish those who fail to help it (or help create it), with greater punishment accorded those who knew the importance of the task. That bit is simple enough, but the weird bit is that the AI and the person punished have no causal interaction: the punishment would be of a simulation of the person...
Latency Mitigation Strategies →
Carmack sums up his thinking on latency, particularly in a VR context: If large amounts of latency are present in the VR system, users may still be able to perform tasks, but it will be by the much less rewarding means of using their head as a controller, rather than accepting that their head is naturally moving around in a stable virtual world. All the parts conspire: LCD displays are slow...
Alice: Ubisoft's plan to change storytelling in... →
Activision, from time to time, had teams down in LA that they called Central Tech and Central Design; perhaps there were others. Their job was to research new technologies/design concepts for use by the various Activision studios. Every so often they’d send us powerpoints, or critique our stuff, but overall they didn’t really matter to our daily lives. Maybe it was a decent idea...
The Best Star Wars Games That Don’t Actually Exist... →
It must be Star Wars week over at Wired, because here’s Chris Kohler asking game designers “what Star Wars game would you make?” A wide variety of responses! I’m partial to Robin Hunicke’s “I think it would be interesting to make a game that modeled the Council, and the politics of the Council,” and Derek Yu’s Tie Fighter shout-out, but there are...
Introducing Versu →
Emily Short & Richard Evans’s interactive storytelling project Versu is released! It sounds really neat, and they’ve been working on it for quite a while; but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and my phone is the wrong variety of iPudding. :(
star politics by other means
Timothy Burke jumps on the Battle of Hoth train: The Empire’s racial preference for humans with pink skin and a selected set of other privileged subaltern cultures was simply a ratification of the tendencies towards speciescentric elitism in the Republic, and the tendency to rely upon technological violence and coercion to keep systems in line merely a variation on the use of highly trained...
However much one cursed at the time, one realized afterwards that one had been...– Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, p 104. I am reading this on my night in, and this paragraph is everything I love about Orwell. Marx might prove that capitalism is horrible and in need of replacement, and countless other thinkers have elaborated and analyzed and planned, but Orwell is the one who...
wolves in the hall
I do feel a bit cheated: 200 pages into Wolf Hall and we haven’t seen a single wolf. My memory is entirely made of teflon where the Kings and Queens of England are concerned, and even Sexy Tudors failed to make much of an impression. Ok, yes, I got the broad strokes from history class—Henry 8 murdered his wife & nationalized the church because the pope wouldn’t give him a...
syncategorem: i am determined to drag all my friends into justified join meeeeeeeee I’m about a season and a half in. Nobody told me how lolzy it was! To be fair, all I knew about it was it had Timothy Olyphant but not his moustache, which, I mean, what’s the point?
Civilized Discourse Construction Kit →
Jeff Atwood explains his new post-Stack Overflow project: [T]he next question they ask always strikes fear into my heart. You’re so right! We need a place for online community around our thing. What software should we use? This is the part where I start playing sad trombone in my head. Because all your software options for online community are, quite frankly, terrible....
ends of games
Sarah Wanenchak argues that the need to have a win state is restricting the narrative possibilities of games: In other words: Games, by definition, have winstates. And we expect them to. The instant we’re engaging with a game, we’re instinctively trying to discern what the winstate is and how we can reach it. […] So what we’re dealing with here is actually one of the limits...
The MineCraft problem: the PS4 and next Xbox need... →
Ben Kuchera frets about the console wars: This is something I call the MineCraft problem, and it’s going to be a much larger problem with consoles moving forward if nothing is done. MineCraft has sold over 9 million copies on PC as of January of 2013, and the game has sold over 4 million copies on the Xbox Live Arcade. All told, the game has sold 20 million copies over every platform, and that...
Interactive regex tester! If, like me, you use regular expressions about once every six months and can’t be bothered to develop the necessary habits.
Someone asked Dragon Age’s David Gaider whether, given infinite resources, he’d make all your party members romanceable. His answer was no, for several reasons, among them: I dislike the idea of every character being sexually available to the player. Not that it cheapens them, necessarily, but it would lend itself towards their objectification. Take the first Witcher game, for...
Ad-free social network App.net moves from Twitter... →
charmian: mirrorful: charmian: Interesting. App.net started out as a Twitter clone. The problem was that it was trying to be ad-free and charged $36 a year. So now it’s trying to solve the monetization issue by selling cloud space with an API, so that it can either be like Dropbox or a platform for creating social media services. Online, I think it’s nearly impossible to compete with...