• "Earlier this week, 1.5 million people filled the streets of Berlin, Germany to watch a several-day performance by France's Royal de Luxe street theatre company titled "The Berlin Reunion". Part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Reunion show featured two massive marionettes, the Big Giant, a deep-sea diver, and his niece, the Little Giantess. The storyline of the performance has the two separated by a wall, thrown up by "land and sea monsters". The Big Giant has just returned from a long and difficult – but successful – expedition to destroy the wall, and now the two are walking the streets of Berlin, seeking each other after many years apart. I'll let the photos below tell the rest of the story." Royal de Luxe are the same group who did "The Sultan's Elephant". Thought: it's all a bit Bioshock, isn't it?
  • The future of image processing and 3D graphics is awesome, bonkers, sort-of relevant and full of bunnies. Worth a watch.

Dot Game Heroes

15 September 2009

From Software’s forthcoming 3D Dot Game Heroes. Isn’t that just beautiful?

  • "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.
  • "We are a loose collection of mostly London-based comic-artists, illustrators and writers, who have grown up listening to the Magnetic Fields and got together over a mutual love of the songs. One day, on Twitter, a couple of us decided that illustrating – or writing a comic – or a short story – inspired by all 69 songs was a worthwhile and exciting pursuit, so here we are!" Let's see how this will turn out.
  • "Players need to understand all the inputs and all the outputs to make interesting, informed decisions. These are the mechanisms through which we express our will in the game. This is the machinery that transforms our medium from passive to interactive… This is a multifaceted (and as far as I'm aware, relatively unexplored) issue, but we can begin making inroads. Making games more readable begins with two things- empathy and data." Nels on Don Norman and readability, amongst other things.
  • Blimey. Video from the 4k demo competition. Yes, that's terrain generation, that looks *that* good, in 4k. Eek.
  • "The Whale Hunt is an experiment in human storytelling." 3000+ photographs, with what seems like a confusing-and-shiny interface to explore them – but hides a detailed metadata manipulation layer underneath. Beautiful pictures, too. Something really quite special; the "interface" pages should explain more.
  • "Still, overall, Left 4 Dead's opening cinematic is a shockingly complete primer to the rest of the game. With only a few exceptions, almost any player going into Left 4 Dead for the first time will know exactly how to play the game: they already know the gameplay, the weapons, the enemies, the win scenario and the strategies they need to get through the game alive… the only thing not covered in the opening movie is the specifics of the interface." Yes – had this exact same conversation a few days ago. Although John is awfully down on Louis, which seems a tad unfair…
  • "The obstacles that exist are mere impediments to my motion, puzzles placed only to slow me down or stop my free-flow kinetic improvisation. No time to think or overanylize, only time enough to move. This is what the essence of gaming should feel like: a sincere, wholehearted attachment to the action (or actions) that one sets into play. It is a moment where the motivation at hand is intention only, whose aim is exploration and discovery, refined. It is the escape, distilled and realized." GWJ on Mirror's Edge, and never rewinding, never looking back.
  • "Metro Rules of Conduct is a game about the awkward situation of commuting in my hometown, Stockholm. Look at mobile phones, MP3 players and breast for score, but whatever you do – avoid eye contact!" Wonderful; the art-style works really well, as does the head-bob.
  • "Melville was torn between writing a ripping nautical yarn and a metaphysical odyssey, and it shows. Rockstar was torn between constructing a sandbox and a stage, and it shows. The result was a tenuously fused work of genuine Americana: a disorderly paean to the American city, a bit of ultraviolence, a stonkingly beautiful soundtrack, a fable, a simulation, a gonzo critique of capitalism. It's a game we deserve. " Pliskin on what GTA4 meant. Perhaps hyperbolic, but it's an important signifier of this year. The Redding quotation about Far Cry 2 is also a stonker.
  • All 226 entrants for the 2009 IGF. Heard of – and played – some of these, but many are unknown. Exciting to see the list, though, if only to be reminded that there's this many games being made and funded independently, at the large and small scale.
  • "aphex twin + vassily kandinsky + doom 2" – now that's a tagline.