• "Michael Abrash's classic Graphics Programming Black Book is a compilation of Michael's previous writings on assembly language and graphics programming (including from his "Graphics Programming" column in Dr. Dobb's Journal). Much of the focus of this book is on profiling and code testing, as well as performance optimization. It also explores much of the technology behind the Doom and Quake 3-D games, and 3-D graphics problems such as texture mapping, hidden surface removal, and the like." My old URL for this no longer works, but fortunately, this one does.
  • "The commercial worked on Lucas but a few years later, the computer graphics group at ILM was sold by Lucas to Steve Jobs for $5 million and became Pixar. Loren Carpenter is still at Pixar today; he's the company's Chief Scientist." Marvellous.
  • "slideViewer (a jQuery image slider built on a single unordered list)". Which looks nifty.
  • "Flicking over to the old graphics — and I, for one, found it almost impossible not to do so on every screen — shows you the game as you originally experienced it, and it looks completely different. Suddenly you remember the old imagery too. Conceptual memory gives way to visual memory, in a clear illustration of how the mind functions on different levels. It’s an odd experience, first thinking you recognise something, then discovering that the original was in fact quite different, but that you now remember that too, as additional detail. In one way it’s a contradiction, and in another it’s sharper focus." Emmett on the Monkey Island remake, and the ability to dynamically swap between old and new interfaces.

What would a ghillie suit for designers look like?

29 July 2009

Like it was made out of post-it notes, of course.

  • "So to come full circle with the sense of dissatisfaction with open world games: I think the way we experience them, by comparison with linear games, says something about how our gaming imagination functions. We seem to understand that when linear games point us in a certain direction, that’s the way to go. When an open world game appears, its very structure suggests something about how we should behave, or want to behave, and predisposes us to judge on the basis of how it entices us to go somewhere that the game itself hasn’t suggested, and on how it then deals with that action." Jim on open-world gaming.
  • "While creepily capitalist in its language, the scholarship within it is sound – echoing theories that Jacobs, Alexander others presented decades ago. What’s more – it contains a lot of the same arguments for iterative design that you see in traditional game design tomes. (For a special treat – try replacing the phrases like “destination” and “retail” with “MMO” and “boxed-game”)"
  • "Appfrica Labs is an investment company and software development firm that facilitates and incubates technology entrepreneurs in East Africa. We do this by offering a physical space with a solid internet connection, servers, software and computers that allows entrepreneurs a place to develop their ideas in a constructive environment with industry professionals as mentors, outside of school. Entrepreneur projects are refined and prepped to help them secure funding and launch sustainable, profitable businesses." I met Jon who runs Appfrica at TEDGlobal last week; it's a great idea and, by the sounds of things, doing very well.
  • Initial trailer for Tron Legacy (previously, the horrendous TR2N); somewhat excited just to see the lightcycles back in action, and very beautiful to see a trailer with so little overblown music in it. Still, what's the potential for this to go horribly wrong?
  • "Is this interview just going to be you hawking your wares for the next 20 minutes?" No, it's going to be better than that. A frank – and hilarious – interview with Mark Rein from Ellie Gibson. He really is like this, you know.
  • "During the Develop conference earlier this week, Edge Online editor Alex Wiltshire chaired a panel discussion on the close relationship between architecture and videogames, and here we have a recording of the full session for you to download." I still have to write it up, but it was really, really good. Worth a listen.
  • "Still, if I told myself as a child that I’d have a pocket computer powerful enough that it could play games that knocked the Spectrum into the dirt, along with music at the same time, and then look up almost anything from an encyclopedia, almost anywhere in the world, and in only a quarter of a century, I’m not sure I’d have believed it." Strong truth; I marvel at some of the technology I own, and wonder how I could ever have explained it to my eight-year-old self. Not explained the possibility; explained that it was within reach.

Links & notes for this month