• "At last week’s Game Developers’ Conference I delivered a talk titled “AI-driven Dynamic Dialog”, describing the dialog system used in Left4Dead, Dota, and basically all of Valve’s games since The Orange Box." This is a brilliant talk – really worth going through the PDF for. In a nutshell, it's how the Left4Ddead conversation works – something I tried emulating with my Twitter bots a while back – but also sheds light on how I could have sped up some of the decision-making code on Hello Lamp Post. It's also good on what designing (andwriting) for this kind of work looks like. Might have to write something longer on this.
  • "Use PiP to show video from any webcam on your screen, nicely integrated as "Picture in Picture" which makes it ideal for live presentations, screencast recordings and in the educational sector." Or filming your hands…
  • "In this post, I want to pay tribute to my favorite “games” of 2012 – specific performances, instances, and events that really meant something to me. The list is admittedly idiosyncratic, subjective, and a little self-indulgent. And that’s the way it should be, I feel (um, unless you’re a journalist or something), because games, at their best, are deeply personal affairs. Games generate memories, and I want to share some of mine with you." Doug is smart.
  • "I think it’s valuable to have an understanding of assembly language. Assembly language is the lowest level of abstraction in computers – the point at which the code is still readable. Assembly language translates directly to the bytes that are executed by your computer’s processor. If you understand how it works, you’ve basically become a computer magician." I don't, and this looks like a lovely way to learn. Also: I think I finally get this. Nine-year-old me sure didn't.
  • "That’s why I like having these little printed books, or these little files of my notes, because I can literally pull up anything I want to remember from Moby Dick, and in repeating it, remember it. Annotating becomes a way to re-encounter things I’ve read for pleasure." Which is why I have a stack of eight books on my dining table, and more to come over the years – to be read, not just hoarded.
  • I swear, just go and read this right now; it might look like it's about games, but really, it's about space, and memory, and Memory Palaces, and wrapped around a retrospective of a marvellous game, and a little bit about how games make us who we are, in ways their creators might never have imagined.
  • "We already know the decapitated Statue of Liberty in Deus Ex can tell a story; perhaps I want to know if a building can tell me a poem.

    In that vein, "Butte, Montana. 1973" is a game where you dig around in a box of dirt."

    This is marvellous; thoughtful, interesting, perhaps not entirely successful, but the trick of the rain at the end is a very, very nice touch.

  • "At this moment of awards-giving and back-patting, however, we can all agree to love movies again, for a little while, because we're living within a mirage that exists for only about six or eight weeks around the end of each year. Right now, we can argue that any system that allows David Fincher to plumb the invention of Facebook and the Coen brothers to visit the old West, that lets us spend the holidays gorging on new work by Darren Aronofsky and David O. Russell, has got to mean that American filmmaking is in reasonably good health. But the truth is that we'll be back to summer—which seems to come sooner every year—in a heartbeat. And it's hard to hold out much hope when you hear the words that one studio executive, who could have been speaking for all her kin, is ready to chisel onto Hollywood's tombstone: "We don't tell stories anymore."" This is good, and sad.
  • "If you’re like us, your knowledge is spread across several places: Gmail, Google Docs, Basecamp, and more. Redwood makes it easy to search across these sources, right from your desktop." Clever.
  • "…your equivalent to a computer looking up data from a chip is remembering a fact from your own brain. Your equivalent to a computer looking up data from a disk is fetching that fact from Pluto. Computers live in a world of commonplace interactions not the size of a house, like us, but the Solar System. On their own terms, they are long, long lived, and vast."
  • "…kids are utterly, utterly obsessed with fairness. It's the most important element in any game. And human rule-enforcement is automatically deemed unfair. There is no referee, umpire or god-like grandparent that can escape being seen as unfair at some point, for some decision. But the commanding voice of Cosmic Catch escapes all that. The relentless, ineluctable judgement of the RFID machine brooks no argument, is prey to no human frailties and biases and is immediately seen as fair."
  • It's more cursor*10, and it's as fiendish and entertaining as ever. The impaled-cursor is particularly cute.