And yet: this just explains how, and shirks any understanding of what the presentation of that information might signify, and instead, essentially, says "there was information, so I made an app, and everybody likes a league table, so I added league tables". It's data visualisation as technical endeavour, when, of course, it is far more than that; the moment you start presenting any information, you're making a statement about it, and nowhere does Gilfelt talk about what he feels the app signifies, or whether its editorial stance is appropriate, which makes me a bit sad.
"Holga D is a digital camera inspired from the extremely popular cult of Holga and other toy cameras of its kind. Even though it's a digital camera, it retains the qualities and simplicity of the original Holga camera and brings back the joy and delayed gratification associated with good old analog photography." I like this not because it's a digital version of a Holga, but what a digital camera might be like if it took the same approach as a Holga. I also really like the reversible top panel.
"Hybrids are smooth and neat. Interdisciplinary thinking is diplomatic; it thrives in a bucolic university setting. Chimeras, though? Man, chimeras are weird. They’re just a bunch of different things bolted together. They’re abrupt. They’re discontinuous. They’re impolitic. They’re not plausible; you look at a chimera and you go, “yeah right.” And I like that! Chimeras are on the very edge of the recombinatory possible. Actually — they’re over the edge."
Just in case you needed instructions.
Composite keys for Rails/ActiveRecord. Really does appear to work, too, which is nice.
"This guidebook is a practical “how-to” manual on the conduct of effective nation-building. It is organized around the constituent elements that make up any nation-building mission: military, police, rule of law, humanitarian relief, governance, economic stabilization, democratization, and development. The chapters describe how each of these components should be organized and employed, how much of each is likely to be needed, and the likely cost." Not your average "for dummies" book, then.
"In collaboration with Bungie and Microsoft we are bringing the artistry and almost infinite content of the Halo 3 world into your world. For the first time ever, custom screenshot images created on the Xbox 360 console during Halo 3 gameplay are available as remastered fine art products, and delivered ready to hang on your wall." Single-click from the Bungie.net screenshot viewer to buying prints (or canvases) of your screengrabs. Superb.
…That Periodically Go Bad. Somewhat useful, surprisingly.
09 April 2009
This is Rose Ball:
To explain what’s going on:
this is Street Fighter IV, in
practice mode versus mode. Both players are handicapped so they have a pixel of health, and both have selected Rose as their character. They are playing best of 9. At the beginning of each round, one of them “serves” by performing Rose’s “Soul Spark” move – a half-circle towards on the joystick, and a punch button. Then, they take it in turns to perform her “Soul Reflect”, which can reverse projectiles; this is a quarter-cirlce away on the stick, with a punch button. Whoever fails to time the parry correctly will get hit by the “ball”, and the other player will win the round.
So: they’re playing Pong, inside Street Fighter IV.
This is clearly awesome.
What I like most is that it’s consensual – there’s nothing to stop one of them just walking over and pounding the other player, bar good conduct. The game of Rose Ball only works if you both play fair. Later in the game, you’ll see one player move closer to the other, upping the difficultly of the game, as there’s less time to parry the ball.
It’s always interesting to see consensual games like Rose Ball emerge from other games. An obvious corollary is Cat and Mouse in the Project Gotham series; whilst it was a player-derived, consensual mode in PGR2, by the third and fourth games in the series, it turned into a fully fledged game mode.
See also some of the new consensual gameplay modes that people have made for Halo 3 – the four-team, eight-player racing game that is Rocket Race, or Grifball, the two-team ballgame that’s hugely popular online.
Consensual play – breaking the “official” rules in an agreed manner – is something that always emerges when you give players rule-based systems such as videogames. Few systems are robust enough to make it worthwhile, though. Cat and Mouse is quite fragile if someone doesn’t understand the rules; by contrast, the Halo 3-derived games are much more robust, as there’s more customisation of the rule-system available to players. These kind of games are important, though, because they require no modification or custom code, no downloads or installation; they’re just new layers of player-generated rules on top of pre-existing, developer-designed rules.
And: they usually turn out to be lots of fun, because anything that can survive the mill of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Xbox Live players playing – and refining – it is probably pretty good.
Hence the survival of Cat and Mouse into a canon game mode; hence the popularity of Griffball. And Rose Ball? I think that’s going to stay a novelty for relatively skilled players, but it’s still nice to know that such a thing is possible within systems like SF4.
"One [memory] always stuck with me was him showing a moody, uplit black-and-white press portrait of Richard Meier in the cliché black-turtleneck and severe glasses in front of venetian blinds – eyes directed up and away in search of the future – very fountainhead. Kaplicky rumbled: “This is not design”. He pointed at me to click the slide carousel forward. An image of a carpark full of Boeing employees, from design engineers to HR to office cleaners in 777 project t-shirts waving at the camera. Kaplicky, now beaming, crookedly: “This. This is design.”" Sounds about right to me.
"Multiplayer Design Lead Tyson Green checked a week ago in with a lengthy explanation of the melee system in Halo 3, how it’s different from Halo 2’s what worked about both versions, what didn’t work and how it’s being addressed by the auto update. here's a reminder of what he explained." Via Offworld, this frankly excellent explanation of a Halo 3 patch from early 2008, explaining the problems latency brough to melee combat, and why Bungie implemented their solutions as they did. Clear, educational, and it feels like the right answer. More writing like this, please, games industry!
Playground for Google's Ajax APIs. Well implemented, and very useful.
"Isla Lyddle End lies on the far east of the British Archipelago. It is the largest of the eastern islands in what was once the continuous land mass known as Hornbyshire. Isla Lyddle End celebrates the Golden Jubilee of The Grand Iman of Britain HH Patel bin Windsor with a minaret clock tower, constructed of hard-pack, molded synthetic carbon nodules in full compliance with the Rock and Soil Conservation Act of 2038." Julian's Lyddle End 2050 entry is excellent.