Design & Development
Ever been interested in how modern euro-board games get made? Watch the video below.
I remember when I was a kid I watched a video about how toys are made. It had a narrative where a toy rewound time in order to find out how it was made. Basically showed off an entire Japanese toy manufacturing company. This video reminds me of that, without the silly narrative. The inside of a factory has always been neat and interesting to me.
For those aspiring game designers out there. Here are two articles written by Mark Rosewater. He is the lead/head/senior designer for one of the biggest and longest running card games ever, Magic the Gathering. He wrote two articles summing up the 10 rules, or guidelines if you prefer, for designing any kind of game.
I am particularly a fan of rules 1, 2, and 8.
So it has been awhile since I’ve written an article for this blog. Something I am hoping to fix in the coming months with the updates that I’ll be announcing soon but to sweep off some of the dust, here is a topic I’d like to discuss with the internet, and hopefully the internet will have an answer for me.
I have a problem with Twitter. I like Twitter. I want to use Twitter. I dislike its transient state. I am not the kind of person who can or wants to be on twitter 95% of my life. Unfortunately there are twitter feeds which I do want to regularly keep track of in case they say something important. Particularly friends, family, perhaps some organizations, etc. Twitter is not particularly well designed to delve into the past and I understand that is how Twitter wants it to function.
I know this because Twitter has been systematically destroying RSS support for their twitter feeds, which up until now has been my primary means of at least coping with this in some way. I suspect they’re doing this in order to better control how people access Twitter. Okay. I can understand that. If you don’t want to me to use RSS, then let me spell out what I am looking for in a twitter client that, as far as I can tell, is problematically possible without twitter really having to do a thing.
- Keep track of what I’ve read and give me some indication of what I haven’t read.
- Don’t get me wrong. I like the “chat” like nature of Twitter and trends are neat. Even if this were only on a “per user” or “per list” basis, I’d like to be able to keep track of what tweets someone has made since I last logged in. Preferably with an explicit mechanism for me saying “Okay I’ve read all of these”.
- Some phone twitter apps do this, but only for your primary feed, not individual feeds or lists.
- This is primarily because I am a daily, if weekly, Twitter user and I’d like to know what I missed.
- Hey remember that tweet your buddy made yesterday to that hilarious YouTube video? You want to show your friends? Hmm… wait that was over a week ago? With no hash tag? Screw it I’ll never find it.
- In this day and age, Google has spoiled most of us in terms of needing to remember to organize things. Why organize when we can just search?
- So Marla is having an extended conversation with Stacy about how Terri is a no good cheating whore, while also tweet randomly about funny kitten pictures. I don’t particularly want to see every tweet to Stacy Marla has to say, even though she is my friend, but her non @ based tweets I wouldn’t mind reading right now even though she’s forgotten to hash tag. Filtering would make this easy to do!
- Most apps do this somewhat already. I don’t always necessarily see what my friends are saying to others if I don’t have the other person on my follow list. The RSS feeds were sadly bad about giving you everything unfiltered and most apps don’t let you control any of the filtering, if they have any.
To put it simply, I wish Twitter would allow me to treat it like an RSS feed or, if you’re old enough to know what this is, a news group. I don’t want this all the time, just some of the time. Since I have not looked into Twitter app development, I am not sure how reasonable these requests are but they seem reasonable to me.
So does anybody know if there are any twitter apps or applications that have some or all of these features?
The following are scanned images of a letter written by Austin Madison, an animator at Pixar. He wrote it for the Animator Letters Project, a website that encourages professional animators to write letters to those who need the encouragement. While I have no dream to become an animator, I am working at becoming a novel writer and some of these letters, the one below in particular, has a message that all should know, when pursing your own creative endeavours.
(Page 1 of 2) (continue reading…)
I don’t actually agree with all of these points but, for the most part, this video has it right. If you want to be creative, to be a producer, you need to do these things.
The list according to the video:
02. CARRY A NOTEBOOK EVERYWHERE
03. TRY FREE WRITING
04. GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER
05. QUIT BEATING YOURSELF UP
06. TAKE BREAKS
07. SING IN THE SHOWER
08. DRINK COFFEE
09. LISTEN TO NEW MUSIC
10. BE OPEN
11. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH CREATIVE PEOPLE
12. GET FEEDBACK
14. DON’T GIVE UP
15. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
16. ALLOW YOURSELF TO MAKE MISTAKES
17. GO SOMEWHERE NEW
18. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
19. GET LOTS OF THE REST
20. TAKE RISKS
21. BREAK THE RULES
22. DON’T FORCE IT
23. READ A PAGE OF THE DICTIONARY
24. CREATE A FRAMEWORK
25. STOP TRYING TO BE SOMEONE ELSE’S PERFECT
26. GOT AN IDEA ? WRITE IT DOWN
27. CLEAN YOUR WORKSPACE
28. HAVE FUN
29. FINISH SOMETHING[/spoiler]
I particularly liked the system created explained the existence of a demon similar to Cthulhu versus the existence of imps.
This is an article on the Magic the Gathering website. Their theme of the week when this article was posted was “Undead Week” celebrating the horror theme of the latest Magic expansion. I’m sharing this article because of how Mark managed to turn an article about various mechanics that were “killed off” and then “brought back” into a narrative in the style of a horror story, and an entertaining one at that.
So I’ve verified the writer as Steve Yegge. He posted this on Google+ publicly by accident and of course it got copied. I feel the article makes a lot of interesting points about large-scale IT services and products in general which is why I want to share it. Therefor I’ll post Steve’s disclaimer from his follow-up blog post ahead of the article so you understand the context that it is written in.
Part of the reason is that for internal posts, it’s obvious to everyone that you’re posting your own opinion and not representing the company in any way, whereas external posts need lots of disclaimers so people don’t misunderstand. And I can assure you, in case it was not obvious, that the whole post was my own opinions and not Google’s. I mean, I was kind of taking them to task for not sharing my opinions.
So without further adieu: Steve Yegge’s internal rant on Google Platforms
(Warning: Long rant!)
This is a great example of what I’ve been talking about regarding where books are headed. Wolfram is releasing a document format that will contain not only text and images, or maybe even the occasional embedded video, but actual interactive information. Geared primarily towards business documents, text books, and research documents, the idea could still hold true for any type of written work. Embedded within the text are apps that display information visually that the user can then manipulate to show how things can change. Graphics that actually allow a modification of variables, math equations where you can quickly and easily plug-in values to see how the equations change, and more.
The document standard is designed to make it easy enough for any person to create a document. No need to be a programmer to create the interactive features of the CDF. This is the real novelty of the idea, since webpages and flash have granted capabilities similar to this for years but their methods of creation have a steep learning curve.
If you’re interested in learning more, the below video goes over the various features of the CDF.
While it doesn’t seem to be official that Apple is enforcing the policy iFlowReader is talking about, it is most certainly on the books and the creators of iFlowReader have succinctly connected all the pieces of this amazingly anti-competitive move by Apple. I talked about this in detail back in February and honestly it is making me nervous about owning an iPad or the eBook industry in general. The iFlowReader is a great example of ingenuity in the eBook area and that has now been squashed.
This isn’t a perfect blow against eBooks. There are other mediums out there for reading, such as the Kindle and your cell phone and Android based tablets. However the iPad is one of the best tables out there, making it a prime example for others to follow, and I do enjoy using it for reading. This restriction of my ability to read eBooks on it to basically just Apple sold eBooks and stuff I can get off the web is as disturbing to me as DRM.