• "[Mayo is] making a dummy RFID-reader surface for us to mount on a subway turnstile, as well as a companion piece for the MetroCard vending machine. The challenge here is to avoid imposing our own designerly tastes on these artifacts; if we want them to be convincing at that all-important subliminal level, we have to try and imagine them as an extension of the MTA’s existing graphic vocabulary.

    And that, in turn, means capturing a certain kind of municipal badness in the design of type and signage: inapposite font selection, clumsy kerning and so on. It’s an odd and demanding kind of discipline — especially for us, with our marked preference for the Vignelliesque."

    Realism channeled through suitably ropey implementation.

Rogue On The Sofa

01 April 2011

I’ve been playing a lot of Torchlight recently.

This is not the first time I’ve played a lot of Torchlight. I played a lot of it on Windows, at a desk. I bought it again and played a lot of it – mainly on trains – when it came out on the Mac. And now I’ve bought it a third time, on the Xbox, and am playing it from my sofa.

I know why I’m quite so engrossed. It’s not just that Torchlight is a fine iteration of the dungeon-crawler, walking the tightrope between light-hearted entertainment and dense inventory management just so. It’s something more personal, that takes me right back to the dawn of Tom-as-a-gamer, embedded in the core of my gamer DNA.

I’m playing a lot of Torchlight, because, when I play it, in my heart, I know I’m really playing Rogue.

My first post over at the Hide & Seek blog, in which I write about Roguelikes as casual games, why I love them so, the ways they’re casual (and the ways they aren’t), and what the current state of Roguelikes is.