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1  General / Check this out! / Tautology by Lana Polansky on: December 03, 2013, 10:03:55 am
So I just found this game today.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/66747632/Tautology.html#

From the developer on her site :
Quote
I guess I made this because even though I love videogames, I also deeply, deeply hate them.

I'm curious to know what this forum thinks of it.
2  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Motion control & the simulation of touch on: December 07, 2010, 08:44:28 am
The point is we've been fiddling around with vibrators for far too long, people are tired of them and are looking for the next big thing. Researchers, inventors, venture capitalists, all people really, are aware of the interest-hindering effect that full haptic suits and tacta vests have in their preparatory use. People don't want to take time to put it on so people don't want to buy it. The first company that figures out how to get people who are interested in more immersion what they want in the way they want it will be very, very rich, and that's making a lot of people flock to the area.

Haptic feedback is a bit of a research interest of mine, especially in the perception of textured surfaces. Take a look at what the Japanese are doing:
http://www.diginfo.tv/2010/05/21/10-0073-r-en.php
Actual texture differentiation. And this isn't technology that's ten years away, people are predicting this on the next iPhone and built into mousepads. There's a potential patent conflict with an American company, though, so we might not see it over here very soon.

What we'll be getting next is the 3D equivalent of a mouse, maybe just some finger clips.
The closest you can get to force feedback at the moment is the Novint. Oh look, it has a pistol attachment!
3  General / Check this out! / Re: fragments - neverending interactive ambience on: October 14, 2010, 07:36:04 pm
Really buggy controls, but after a few reloads and refocuses to the window I managed to recreate the behavior in the trailer (which I assume is the suggested behavior).
That being done, I'd say you can easily lose yourself in the visuals (though the patterns/textures do repeat pretty obviously) and in pursuing the glimmering blue "goal". There is eventually an overwhelming sensation of motion sickness. Pretty fun.

(Controls (SOMETIMES): Mouse looks around. Left-click moves forward in the direction of the camera. Right-click jumps. )
4  General / Check this out! / The Graveyard Graveyard Revolution on: October 12, 2010, 02:27:59 am
Just found this today. An intertesting response to the original game, I think.
http://distractionware.com/games/flash/kotm/ggr/
5  Creation / From the ridiculous to the sublime / Titanic Game on: September 20, 2010, 12:36:58 am
Play as the titanic! Avoid the Icebergs! Save the lives of thousands!
http://www.redgiraffe.org/titanic/
6  General / Check this out! / Online Procedurally Generated Images on: August 20, 2010, 12:47:45 am
http://www.random-art.org/

Uses simple HTML5 and javascript and generates an abstract image based on a word given by you, the visitor. They use the word as a seed, so the image is the same every time.
Sort of a synesthesia for computers, I guess. 
7  General / Check this out! / Re: Coma on: August 19, 2010, 08:54:25 pm
Reminded me almost instantly of Closure.
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/480006

Though the incredible art does tend to cover some programming glitches. 
8  General / Check this out! / Real-Time Fractal Rendering on: August 19, 2010, 08:23:24 pm
From the immutably brilliant Shawn Hargreaves. For anyone with an xBox usb controller I highly recommend trying this out. Even without programming experience you could probably get a fractal on the screen in about five minutes.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/shawnhar/archive/2006/12/11/sixty-fractals-per-second.aspx
9  General / Check this out! / Re: The Deaths Of Game Narrative on: August 06, 2010, 05:39:13 am
This is sort of embarrassing, but this article reminds me of an idea I had back in high school for a video game version of Macbeth. Shakespeare spoilers, but after the part when Duncan remarks "It will rain tonight." upon which one of his assassins replies "Let it come down." I then imagined an epic battle; huge weapons drawn, magical attacks, people dying everywhere, after which Duncan is slain in a cutscene and his son escapes. This was many years ago and much, I hope, has changed.

I agree with McDevitt, though. The current video game duality between story and gameplay is tailored perfectly for lovers of action movies. Anything more narratively complex and I'm afraid you're out of luck.
10  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Are most gamedevelopers hardcore gamers? on: July 31, 2010, 06:04:24 pm
Will Wright spoke in the mid-00s about how the famous and recognized game developers of the future won't be "classically trained" game developers or people who only play games, they will be people who have backgrounds in architecture or history, even a dentist could be a great potential reservoir for game ideas. They would still need some access to the creative process and a desire to make them.

I share the sentiment that people who come from more diverse backgrounds will create more diverse gameplay experiences, and thus will satisfy gamers seeking diversity (which I feel are most of the people here).

And as for people who hate videogames making videogames, well we've all felt letdown by videogames at some point. Get letdown by enough videogames and the shape of what is there and unwanted (or what is lacking and wanted) becomes more defined. Eventually that definition can become ideas for games, and you then work towards realizing those ideas with better and better execution. At least that's how it works for me.
11  Creation / Technology / Re: Ideas for procedural growth? on: July 16, 2010, 09:19:22 am
Fractals provide not only the illusion of detail, but the ability to explore that detail into infinity at very little storage and process cost. It would be additionally appropriate with simulating gardens, since fractals occur everywhere in nature.

As for storing thousands and thousands of randomly generated objects, look into seeding. Sometimes the right algorithm can boil down an entire universe into a single integer.
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3377/algorithms_for_an_infinite_universe.php

Regenerating the universe each play time might get costly eventually, but load times are always a problem.

As for storing a players changes to a large world, well that depends on what s/he's changing. There's likely no other way of doing it than to just log the actions of the player and pushing it through when the game reloads.

And you might have to resort to 2D for large worlds, at least initially. Check out what this guy is up to if you want to look at performance of a large generated world:
http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=26
This especially:
http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=106&Itemid=27
12  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Interactive closure in games? on: April 29, 2010, 03:49:08 am
Man, it has been awhile since I heard anything about Scott McCloud. The last of his morning improv comics was a really good example of how interactive storytelling can end and branch in different places, and the rest are worth a look as well.
13  General / Check this out! / Re: Against Narrative - Cecile Alduy on: April 10, 2010, 03:17:18 pm
What stuck with me concerning this issue was something I heard Tom Waits say about what it took to make a good song. He said that they should be like Swiss Army knives, that they can be pulled out and used for multiple situations and contain multiple purposes depending on the person. He wasn't the first guy, of course, Marcel Duchamp had this idea earlier with his personal art coefficient.

Tying this over to interactive media is indeed a question of picking the right circumstances, but layering this over the complexity of guiding an interactive experience often causes an explosion of complexity in regards to getting your point across (independent of how abstract the idea or feeling is). Unless there little to no interest in conveying an exact idea, this is a problem. But then again, this has always been a problem.

I'm not discussing how to herd the minds of people who experience what you make, but selfish as it sounds I think we all have opinions and conclusions that we want people to also have. Or at least understand.
14  General / Check this out! / Re: "Make, then design" or 132 on: April 10, 2010, 01:52:18 pm
This rings the same chord in me as Ze Frank's phenomenon of "brain crack"

http://www.zefrank.com/theshow/archives/2006/07/071106.html

Quote from: Ze Frank

Each day I live in mortal fear that I've used up the last idea that'll ever come to me. If you don't wanna run out of ideas the best thing to do is not to execute them. You can tell yourself that you don't have the time or resources to do 'em right. Then they stay around in your head like brain crack. No matter how bad things get, at least you have those good ideas that you'll get to later.

Some people get addicted to that brain crack. And the longer they wait, the more they convince themselves of how perfectly that idea should be executed. And they imagine it on a beautiful platter with glitter and rose petals. And everyone's clapping for them. But the, but the, but the, but the bummer is most ideas kinda suck when you do 'em. And no matter how much you plan you still have to do something for the first time. And you're almost guaranteed the first time you do something it'll blow. But somebody who does something bad three times still has three times the experience of that other person who's still dreaming of all the applause. When I get an idea, even a bad one, I try to get it out into the world as fast as possible, 'cause I certainly don't want to be addicted to brain crack.
15  General / Check this out! / Re: Games as experiences on: April 10, 2010, 01:30:04 pm
What we're doing here is establishing an entirely new medium. It's unavoidable that we look at old media for reference. Since we look at cinema and games a lot, I propose we look at architecture and software as well.

It is also due to the fact that the medium is so new that a person approaching it will not expect any base level of sophistication. Not to mention the fact that it's an uphill battle socially to get any form of emotional recognition with interactive media, let alone with something that could be close to being called a game. </complaining>

It's getting better, though. The fact that games are now being targeted to practically every age range is a great indicator that many people are moving towards more interactive avenues and are aware that others are as well. This popularity will hopefully lead to a distribution of games as homogeneous as movies and books, and the over-saturation of current game norms will give way to people desiring more alternative modes of experience within the medium. (Though I still do not know what exactly you are talking about when you mention experience.)

I cannot think of any preexisting medium that interactive media cannot potentially incorporate and expand upon. It is for that reason that I pursue it.


I don't think we should gloss over designing for an experience as something that everyone does. My reaction to the article was not that we should add some concern about the player's experience to our game design. Rather to think about our work as designing the context for an experience directly, disregarding whether it is a game or not. Just think about the experience you want to give the player, and then design something that can give the player that experience. In that sense, the player's experience becomes the basis of the artistic process and not some additional design aspect that simply makes the game a bit better or worse.

I guess I might have a less specific definition of experience. The game itself and the act of playing it can be the experience that the designer considers to optimize. It can be a shallow experience, certainly, but it's still an experience that a person somewhere has to consider and care about and build for someone. How that design of the experience is approached and treated is still not properly established in my opinion, or is full of poor assumptions. I do know that a lot of people try to focus on the mechanics of a game, while some try to focus on plot or main message instead, but they both still seem to consider these two aspects of the same thing as opposing. All mediums consider the experience of the viewer/listener/reader/player to some varying degree of accuracy and success. The intent to create the experience, I believe, is always there.

Take books for instance, if a person tells an author that they didn't like their book, that author probably shouldn't consider that to improve the book the pages should be made easier to turn, or that typos are prevalent. There is likely a weak portion of the plot or a bad strip of dialogue that the reader has disagreed with. Of course more absurdly, if an author has an incredible story it probably shouldn't be written on pages that give you paper cuts with every page turn, as that can be distracting.


On the topic of sadness, in a recent review of our The Graveyard, the fact that it was sad was mentioned as a negative point.  Grin

That may very well be an indicator that the medium is not yet ripe in many people's minds, that it may be still too closely associated with the impulse gratification and subconscious ego manipulation of Peggle. The Graveyard was far from perfect from my definition of an experience, but the fact that it caused the emotions that it did was sort of the point of it, and was the aspect that I most enjoyed. 
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