• "I have this colleague of mine who is an avid rock climber, and I’m trying to get him to play GIRP. He says that what I’m saying is like, “I’ve come up with this new formula of crack that’s ultra-addictive; why don’t you try this new crack I’ve cooked up?”" Wait, Bennett GIRP/QWOP Foddy was in *Cut Copy*?! Awesome.
  • "…another Monorail Society Exclusive!" The decision, you might have guessed, is turning down a monorail. Does sound great, though, and easy material for writing alternate-pasts.
  • "Unlike the movies that influence it, LA Noire takes place in a world where editing hasn't been invented yet." Really good writing from Tom Chick; this was perhaps my favourite quotation. I genuinely wonder how many people playing this game have never played a "proper" adventure game – be it an old Sierra point-and-click, or something from the Phoenix Wright/Hotel Dusk school. Chick's line about the matchbook is exactly the thing adventure gamers got fed up with in the *late nineteen-eighties*. We don't need the bad parts of Sierra coming back to haunt is.
  • "The CSM [player-run council] is a dirty election. It’s a third world election. Anything that’s allowed under the EULA in Eve is allowed in the election. You can buy votes, dead people can resubscribe and vote, you can scam people for votes, so it’s hardly an iconic democracy. So, this coming election, almost every major candidate you will see on the council will have been backed by a null sec plot. In advance, we’ve all met and spoken to one another to decide on the issues of the day. So I’m not going to be a voice in the wilderness. I’ll be speaking alongside people I’ve been fighting with or working with diplomatically for years."

    This interview is full of some great moments – nice to see the "1% problem" acknowledged by a player, but gosh, you can see the appeal of that 1%. This line was particularly acute.

  • "I’ve been doing some experiments using Processing to generate different patterns and sequences, a projector, and a camera pointing to the projection screen. Some of them are using a technique called procedural light painting, some other combining slit-scan with projected patterns. I’m also very interested in the low repeatability of some of these experiments, like the picture above, due to the noise introduced by the asynchrony of generation, communication and output means. Maybe we can call it Generative Photography." Really nice; interesting overlaps with some of the stuff from Shadow Catchers (in terms of structuring the capture, rather than the release, of light).
  • "It was May 1991. She was 89 years old. She often spoke of herself in the third person. She had a strapping male secretary named Horst." Jordan Mechner interviewed Leni Riefenstahl. Blimey.

Words appearing elsewhere

29 November 2010

Just a quick note to mention some words of mine that have appeared elsewhere.

Firstly, my Game Dev Story piece was republished over at Gamasutra. Thanks to Simon Carless for getting in touch about that; some nice comments, and a little more awareness around a bunch of things I’m ruminating quite hard on at the moment.

And secondly, I was interviewed – along with real games developers Nels Anderson and Manveer Heir – in this piece from Gamespot Australia’s Laura Parker. The articles starts by looking at Limbo (which I must admit, I am not as enamoured of as many) and going on to look at what “mainstream” games development can learn from what’s going on in the indie sector right now. My input mainly came around following some of my writing on games literacy. It’s a really strong article, and I’m sorry that it got buried on the staff blog, because it deserves a much wider audience, and I hope Laura continues to push this kind of feature writing.

That’s all for now. I’m currently writing up my talk from Interesting North which is, as usual, taking longer than expected. I mainly write longhand, but it’s amazing how long expanding on notes that say “now explain this” takes. I should have a transcript complete this week.

  • Bot that buys dirt-cheap goods on TradeMe and tells Twitter what it's buying/bidding on. Seems we need a Rule 38: if software is described in an XKCD comic, the chance of it being brought into reality approaches 1 as t approahces infinity.
  • "…the game of chess is much more than the set of instructions needed to move the pieces on the board: the players’ intellectual and emotional interaction during a game is also the system of chess. The media hubbub surrounding Kasparov’s loss to Deep Blue: that is chess. The southwest corner of Washington Square Park where New York City players wager, talk trash, and square off across stone tables: that is chess too." So much good stuff in this essay from Frank Lantz and Eric Zimmerman
  • In which Laura Parker looks at what "mainstream" games can learn from the type of success indie titles such as Limbo have had, with contributions from Nels Anderson, Manveer Heir, and – would you believe it – me. It's a really nice feature; I hope Laura can get more of this sort of stuff published on Gamespot, because it deserves a bigger audience than being buried on the staff blog.
  • "This is short film I worked on a while ago called "Avatar Days"… It follows 4 MMORPG players taking about their online persona's. As they tell their stories we see them go about their everyday lives against the mundane backdrop of city life…but as their Avatars." Lovely.