- Ryan’s Scraps: Testing Rails Controllers with Nested Parameters — Because you’re passing in a mock representation of the real HTTP parameters, you don’t want to use the string versions of the parameters but actually set the parameter hash directly. Duh. So, when your controller is expecting a nested hash keyed off t
Tagged as: ruby rails rubyonrails functional testing controller
- Coding Horror: Dysfunctional Specifications — ‘Functional specifications document are "yes documents." They’re political. They’re all about getting to "yes" and we think the goal up front should be getting to "no."’ …which ties nicely into "make mistakes early and often".
Tagged as: programming development specification agile design functional software management
14 February 2007
All of it.
Seriously. I’m seven hours in, and it’s just magical. Not just the vellum-drawn graphics – which are sumptuous – but the whole thing. Charming, challenging, well-paced, epic-but-never-overfacing, it’s the best Zelda Nintendo never wrote.
It barely dented the charts, but it’s one of the finest games the PS2 will see. Hell, it’s better than most next-gen titles right now. Criminally, Clover Studios, who only release Okami, God Hand, and Killer7, have now been closed. In their memory, and in the sake of all that is good and true, shun Little Britain: the Game (number two in the charts last week, for goodness’ sake!), and buy this. It’s stunning.
There’s nothing else to say, really.
- ASCII by Jason Scott: You’ve Ruined Everything — Many times, the roles that are taken up in an online community that’s based around a "thing" are so structured and expectant that you could almost fashion carved wooden masks for them.
Tagged as: community society socialsoftware forums boards
- Comments on 13606 | MetaTalk — "The issue is, shall we now together proceed to create a universe of unbelievable facility and magnitude from the universe skeleton that lies before us, with the universe wrenches and universe screwdrivers that fall so easily into our hands?" Great line.
Tagged as: technology mefi history computing future
- Xbox Live + Mac = MacLive at 99 Lives — Not quite ready for release, but anyway: MacLive is a nice Cocoa front end to XBox Live, with Growl integration (hurrah). Hoping it’ll be ready soon!
Tagged as: xbox360 xbox mac live gaming online app
- Flickr Photo Download: dowconzki apple ad — Lovely Photoshop job on the Mitchell & Webb Apple ad.
Tagged as: apple microsoft mac pc mitchellandwebb peepshow funny
- Obie Fernandez : Weblog : SEO Optimization of Rails URLs — Neat trick from Obie on mixing Rails primary keys with readable URLs.
Tagged as: ruby rails rubyonrails routing urls seo
- SampleSwap.org – Download 4.6 GB of free audio samples (drum loops, vocals, synths, instruments, sound fx…) — When I have a bit more time (ie, the weekend) I should probably check this out.
Tagged as: free samples music audio production
- Tony Comstock’s Blog » Porn in HD, or Why When Porn Sucks the Media Sucks on it Harder. — Nice article (and blog, in fact) from a maker of porn, debunking the whole porn-looks-bad-in-HD argument. Reasonably worksafe, too.
Tagged as: film technology video hd porn
- SimpleLog. A simple (and free!) Ruby on Rails weblog application. — Simplelog hits 2.0 – nice going, Garrett. It’s looking really polished, but resolutely maintaining its attitude of doing the bare minimum for a blog. In this day and age of spam and similar, that still means quite a bit – but it’s a good philosophy.
Tagged as: rails ruby rubyonrails cms blog simple software free
- Freeverse : Think — Let’s limit our attention to one application–any application–at any time. Let’s make it easy to change focus when we have to. Let’s allow ourselves to bring other apps up quickly if we need them, but put them out of sight again just as quickly.
Tagged as: productivity software macosx free
06 February 2007
Crackdown seems so unremarkable to begin with. A large city; free-roaming run, gun, and drive action; roughly-stereotyped gangs that need taking down. That hint of cel-shading isn’t enough to lift it in your opinions.
And then you start to level up, and the game unveils its true majesty. When that comes, it’s hard to say: perhaps it’s when you turn to face a carful of Los Muertos thugs and just pick the car up, with them in it, and hurl it off a bridge. Perhaps when you leap from one ten-storey building to another, raining death from above on casual gang members. Perhaps when you stop “playing” the game, and take the time to go for a run.
Like San Andreas before it, Crackdown allows your character to level up abilities; but unlike San Andreas, Crackdown takes the physical limits of your character well into superhero territory. And when that happens, the city that is the game’s playscape transforms.
From street-level, it seems perhaps bland, stereotyped; it doesn’t have the instantly familiar locations (as Dan Hill points out in a marvelous City of Sound post) that Rockstar is so capable at creating, and is perhaps harder to navigate as a result. But as your agility increases, the streets fade away as you spend more of your time on the rooftops. From above, everything makes so much sense; it’s a much higher-rise environment, full of windowledges and awnings, offering handholds to reach you to the skies. And then the traditional structure of the city falls apart. No longer is it delineated by roads and pavements, and obstructed by buildings; the buildings themselves become the fabric, as you leap from roof to roof, impervious to the regimented town planning below. In so many ways, it’s Grand Theft Parkour : like the traceur, your agent deconstructs the urban environment, remaking it in a shape he prefers.
I can’t help but call to mind this Frieze article about the Israeli Defence Force, describing the process by which they (literally) deconstruct the city in order to move through it, ignoring existing paths to create their own. Through that, the soldiers gain…
a conception of the city as not just the site but also the very medium of warfare – a flexible, almost liquid medium that is forever contingent and in flux.
And, of course, that’s exactly the sensation Crackdown generates – the feeling that you are no longer moving through the city, but that you are moving the city around you.
It’s then that the other subtleties of Crackdown rear their heads. The fact there’s no traditional meet-a-guy-and-get-a-mission-structure – it’s all radioed in to you, meaning you can ignore it from the get-go; whilst completing the missions will earn you experience on the way, the city is truly free-roaming from the start. The mini-map, initially perhaps too small, too clumsy, pales into insignificance as you become more agile; a far better perspective on your destination can be had from scaling the nearest tower block.
And, of course, there’s no better way of playing about in an unfamiliar city than with a friend. Crackdown supports a co-operative mode, and it’s a real treat: almost entirely lag-free, with the whole city to roam in, it captures the joy of playing with someone else perfectly. Alex and I spent a good hour of the demo charging around the city to absolutely no end, taking it in turns to set up piles of cars to perform ludicrous stunts, and charging about over the rooftops looking for fun “lines” and new challenges. Like I said: fun.
Crackdown will shift a lot of copies when it’s released later this month, because it includes a free invite to the Halo 3 beta. Hopefully, Halo fans will take the time to play the game they shelled out for, because it’s shaping up to be very fine in its own right. Whilst perhaps not as polished or slick a game as Rockstar’s classics, it refines the urban-sandbox genre – mixing in the athleticism and playfulness of Spiderman 2 and Hulk: Ultimate Destruction – and stands strong in its own right. Crackdown encourages – and, to be honest, demands – to be played. And isn’t that what games should be about?
- Billings 2: Time tracking and invoicing for Mac OS X — Rather nice-looking invoicing app for OSX; worth comparing to Billable, for sure.
Tagged as: billing software osx application apps timetracking
- sevennine | WP Audioscrobbler — One of the better looking WordPress plugins for dumping out Audioscrobbler data.
Tagged as: blogging wordpress plugin last.fm audioscrobbler music
- David Seah : The Printable CEO™ VI.1: Emergent Task Planning — Probably the most useful – for me – of David Seah’s Printable CEO series.
Tagged as: gtd productivity pdf printable form lifehack
- Unhappy Meals – Michael Pollan – New York Times — Eat food. Though in our current state of confusion, this is much easier said than done. So try this: Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
Tagged as: nutrition food cooking toread diet culture society