Cracking episode of EmbeddedFM, speaking to Amanda Wozniak. Although the topic is nominally embedded electronics, it turns into a wonderfully shrewd discussion of self-care and career-care: how to acknowledge and recognise your desires but also the things that will lead you to burnout (be it too much work, or too _intense_ work. I found so much to think on in this, highly recommended even if it's not your usual jam.
"The two points I want to focus on here are about Ricky’s initial attitude about this warehouse idea and about the fact that he made this prototype ‘to surprise me’
Earlier I said that Ricky and Nate were sick of hearing about this idea. That was an understatement. In reality they openly mocked it. They had a running joke that I should call it ‘Clown Warehouse’ and make all the things in it clown paraphernalia. I wasn’t particularly hurt by this. It was good banter. It’s kind of how we talk about game ideas a lot of the time.
But then Ricky made a prototype to surprise me. (Not to mention spending months taking it from a prototype to a finished game.) And my point is that this is how friendships work. These expressions of good natured antagonism and affection, Winding someone up one day and giving them a nice surprise another, are the hallmarks of real friendship.
If you make games and your game development process isn’t like this you are doing it wrong. In my opinion."
This whole article from Dick Hogg, on making Wilmot's Warehouse, is a delight. On making parts and working out what a game is later; on friendship; on playtesting; on games with endings. Just great.
I always have time for people writing about ZZT. (Anna Anthropy's book on it is cracking). I have fond memories, both of Sweeney's own 'worlds' as well as the awful things I made.
"…in my personal life: to do things without making them a project in themselves. To have some rubbery-ness, greater fluidity, create space for criticism that isn’t going to kill whatever it is I am trying to do. To have more ‘unoptimisable’ time. To be physically engaged and not wrapped and/or rapt in my own head. To be shit at some things. To be present." This is good, from Greg; I ache for some of those feelings.
This is handy: notably, the way to wire up 14/16-pin USB-C parts as USB 2.0 devices, which is, let's face it, what I want 99% of the time.
07 October 2019
Last night I came across a Lime e-bike, dead on its side in a disabled car-parking space. I set about rescuing it, thinking that its conventional home, annoyingly littering the pavement, would be less bad.
As soon as I picked it up it started beeping, loudly. Then a computery woman’s voice began saying, “Please unlock me to ride me or I’ll call the police!”
I set the bike upright on its stand but the beeping and the verbal warning repeatedly alternated. I continued walking home, quickly, while the once quiet street was filled with the alarming noise, which slowly faded as I turned a corner. Maybe it’s still going.
Somewhere deep at the intersection of “everything is tech” (tech, the all-consuming industry, rather than technology), “everything is a service” (and thus somebody else’s property you pay to rent), and “everything is increasingly awful in order to service a minority” (in this case: the owners of the bike, frankly, who are interested in preserving their property whilst acquiring new customers).
We joked that the future was rubbish because we still don’t have a jetpack; it is, in fact, more rubbish (and made up of more rubbish) than we perhaps could have imagined. We are all Joe Chip.
Using Vickrey auctions to price products (where demand outweighs supply) according to market demands.