This week is the ‘scrambling for ideas week.’ What hasn’t been done for the tablet already? We’re talking about a device where a new app is being created every 5 minutes*. Granted, not everything being made is going to want to push the possibilities of interaction; but there is an argument for the fatigue that guests feel whenever review blogs and twitter exclaim the next Monument Valley or Device 6. Not that I have anything against those games. I love those games. I’m sitting at a ski lodge right now, basking by the simple pleasure of a warm fire that I started myself. I should be getting back to my vacation, but here I am neuroticising about developing something interesting and novel on the tablet. I am probably nuts. Earlier this week, two developers whose work I love released new educational toy-like apps, both labours of love that they worked […]
So this wasn’t a prototype that ended up being as ‘socially connective’ as I thought. All of this was meant to be an exercise in eking out connections between people, and I guess in some sense this might achieve that. It was a struggle just figuring out the usability issues present already in the Leap, as you might have figured out from my previous post. In fact, I was quite sure that I was going to move on to my next platform after whirling about in a mess of creative angst and self-pity. On Friday, Lisa and I went to watch The New Pornographers and in the lengthy wait between the opening band and TNP to actually Actually start, we discussed all manners of morbid subjects, like death and cancer. And people we knew dying from cancer. And people we knew who have died from cancer. Thinking back, this might have been because […]
I think I’ve nestled into a rhythm for tackling my independent study with Heather. All these little experiments and toys are scheduled around two week sprints of alternating between a week of research and inspiration, and then another week of actual prototype building. So far I haven’t pushed myself as hard as I’d have liked (work beckons every other weekday!) so the sprints have been somewhat leisurely. That needs to change soon, though, as the platforms get increasingly more challenging. The fourth week ended yesterday with me having explored the Leap Motion API. a few sample apps, and checking out the submissions from the recent Leap Motion 3D Jam. Developers took the jam quite seriously and there were many entries, thank goodness; several of the featured admissions were beautiful and visually stunning, which is something that works well when you have an Oculus headset. I can’t help but feel that the jam wasn’t […]
A friend of a friend got in touch asking for help on an assignment he’s doing on game developers. Thought I’d pitch in. Here were my answers to his questions. Q: Describe a typical workday? A: My work usually begins with a lot of coffee! Not because of my work, but because I love coffee so much. That aside, we usually begin with a stand up meeting where the team gets together to go through work that we did yesterday, the work we have planned out today, and whether or not our work is being blocked. Q: Do you normally work by yourself or with a team? A: Definitely a team! Game development is highly team-based, despite us working for hours in small clusters at times. I can’t stress how important being a good collaborator is. Games are huge, interdisciplinary beasts that demands the best out of artists, programmers, […]
The weekend was a whirlwind of games being prototyped – as it should well be. The global game jam happened, and the world was abound making amazing playable things. Case in point, friends Casey, Anthony and Tim made an excellent Simon Says-esque typing game which had the beautiful conceit of being something you must discover yourself. I might have said too much already. What did I do now? I was still in the gutters of fixating my mind around ideas I thought would or would not make sense. I had created several little toys in an effort to get started, and none of them really got as far as I expected. (Since the first assignment was all about subverting the keyboard and mouse somehow, I didn’t actually expect to come up with as many ideas as I’d thought. The problem wasn’t the lack of an idea. The problem was narrowing it […]
Since this independent study project with Heather ought be attempts at pushing boundaries, I was cognizant of approaching game design from a perspective away from just games. I tried looking elsewhere, from the world generally, eavesdropping slyly on people on the street, starting at trees, that sort of thing. That also meant trawling the rest of my inspirations and finding other ways dialogues have been made in a meaningful way and finding a way to transcribe that into an experience. The beauty of game design is also that it already borrows so much from the experiences of other mediums. Surely one can only benefit to look beyond games and see how other interactions between human beings and an ‘interface’ or a corresponding ‘output’ would yield interesting results. And yet, I sit here perplexed. The past five hours were me scrambling my brains for a series of ideas that I am already starting […]
It finally happened. My last semester at the ETC. I’m several months from a Master’s degree. I’ve a portfolio chock full of some things, many of which I’m extremely proud of; but not necessarily the things I expected to be leaving with. Where are, for instance, the weird and cool fringe forms of entertainment that I’d thought would be populating my website by now? My mantra coming into the ETC was to explore what this medium was capable of. Alas I keep getting distracted by other pursuits – I was always far too busy making other cool, exciting, bigger things. Now it’s my final semester, and I’ve got to make it worthwhile. I’ve signed up for an independent study to make small, weird things with new faculty member and thus-far awesome person Heather Kelley. If all goes well, she’ll help supervise as I cobble together some small, weird things that can […]
I guess I finally got back to painting, this time with actual oil on canvas. Here is a collection of most of the paintings I painted this semester for an elective I’m taking at CMU College of Fine Arts. No prizes for guessing which ones I’m proudest of, and which ones I’m less so.
There was a time when I used to paint. I uploaded all those prints to my old posterous blog, but when posterous closed down, all those paintings went down too. Or so I thought. Thankfully posterous posted everything to flickr too. While doing some housekeeping, I rediscovered all these paintings and decided to upload them onto this new blog for posterity. Heh, for posterity. Posterous. The irony. I want to get back to painting someday. One day. Boy did I used to paint a lot of cups.
Friends and family know that the DAM team has been busy preparing for the second phase of ‘Not Everything is Flammable’ (NEIF), our #GGJ14 game which is humbly getting mentions from blogs cooler than this, and being made into more video playthroughs than I can keep count. (A note, by the way, that we are all infinitely thankful and encouraged.) Since the game jam, we’ve been mostly delirious with the fact that people actually liked our game enough to write and make videos about it. NEIF wasn’t Flappy Bird by any means (hyuk), but we were vindicated that a few ideas we had about design worked. Here’s the big one: we focused on experiences, not on mechanics. I will list some of these ideas, but note that this list is incomplete, and will be completed when I finally feel like procrastinating from another assignment to complete this list. An aside before we […]