• "At Southern Impact in Laredo, TX, we met a talented SSF4 Chun-Li player named Mike Begum (aka "Broly" or "Legs") who has a condition called arthrogryposis. Despite his circumstances, he became one of the top Chun-Li players in Texas after playing the game for just 6 months, and is also one of the best Super Smash Bros. players in the state. In this interview with Gootecks, Broly talks about how he plays without using his hands, why and how he uses Chun-Li, and his advice for others in similar situations." I cannot play Chun-Li, or to be frank, my mains, nearly as well as this. You go, dude.
  • "I wonder if the use of the calibration pose will fade to the point where it becomes retro, included only by nostalgic programmers who that want to create that old 11-bit flavor of early depth cameras in their apps. Will we eventually learn to accommodate ourselves to a world where we’re invisibly tracked and take it for granted. Will the pose fall away in favor of new metaphors and protocols that are native to the new interface world slowly coming into existence?"
  • "…as soon as consumers become used to things acting this way, they’ll start actually expecting things to act this way. And when that happens, beware any software company that doesn’t deliver the same experience. In the new world Apple will create, to ask a user to manually sync files between different devices will be the equivalent, back in the ‘80s, of asking a bunch of home computer users used to interacting with GUI’s, to use command lines instead." Yep.

Possible Futures: The BirdsPad

07 June 2011

How long before Rovio enter the hardware market?

I’m serious. This is what Android was surely designed for: cheap, off-the-shelf, no-brand tablets, spruced up with a canny rebrand.

And what could be better than the inevitable $100-200 tablet, running Android 3.0 out of the box, and – even more crucially for the target audience – pre-installed with Angry Birds. One step further, maybe: Angry Birds Universe, the eternally updating, subscription-driven, physics-based puzzler.

The cherry on the top: by default, the device just boots into Angry Birds. What else were you going to use your tablet for? The whole Android universe is there, of course – it’s the extra-added-value – but it’s really just a footnote on throwing birds at pigs.

I’m not even sure that it wouldn’t fly off the shelves.

Take a deep breath; it might not happen. But given everywhere else Rovio are, it doesn’t feel like an extravagant extrapolation to move them into consumer electronics.

  • "I’m excited to announce that I’ve been contracted by O’Reilly to write a book about the Microsoft Kinect. The book is tentatively titled Making Things See: Computer Vision with the Microsoft Kinect, Processing, and Arduino. My goal is to introduce users to working with the Kinect’s depth camera and skeleton tracking abilities in their own projects and also to put those abilities in the wider context of the fields of gestural interfaces, 3D scanning, computer animation, and robotics." Nice. Joining this stuff together is *hard*, and getting it into the hands of designers, rather than programmers, is very important.
  • "Certainly as delivered through mobile devices, contemporary AR imposes significant limits on your ability to derive information from the flow of streetlife. It’s not just the “I must look like a dork” implications of walking down the street with a mobile held visor-like before you, though those are surely present and significant. It’s that the city is already trying to tell you things, most of which are likely to be highly, even existentially salient to your experience of place. I can’t help but think that what you’re being offered through the tunnel vision of AR is starkly impoverished by comparison — and that’s even before we entertain the very high likelihood of that information’s being inaccurate, outdated, or commercial or otherwise exploitative in nature."
  • GameMaker-like tool for OSX and Windows – that outputs Flash games, built out of Flixel and Box2D. Niiice.
  • "Cole Phelps has no health bar, no ammo count, and no inventory. He doesn't write journal entries, and has no safe house or property. He doesn't eat, doesn't sleep, doesn't smoke or drink or sleep around or go out with his friends. I have seen nothing of his wife and children, his passions, his hates or his desires. He walks into a crime scene and barks his introductions like a dog, rude and abrasive; petulant and bullying. He carries himself like a child playing dress-up, weak-chinned, pale, and aimlessly angry. Cole Phelps is kind of a prick.

    But when I look at what's going on around him, I can't really blame him. What to make of this Truman Show-esque existence, this vast, toothless city? If I were trapped in such a purgatorial nightmare, I'd probably behave badly, too." This is good, and expresses in poetic and critical terms one of the many reasons I just don't care about LA Noire.

  • "The One Page Dungeon Contest is level design contest for creating a scripted RPG adventure that fits on one 8.5×11 page. All information, the map, story, encounters and more have to fit in one page. Sort of writing a haiku, short and sweet.

    The dungeons are RPG-system neutral and vary greatly in style. Several are classic hack-and-slash dungeon-crawls, while others involve mysteries, horror, solitaire play and lots more." Sounds great.

Links & notes for this month