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1  Creation / From the ridiculous to the sublime / Conan O'Brian doing Halo 4 voiceover on: November 11, 2012, 06:57:01 PM
One eye will laugh and the other will cry.

"Let's make some aRTT", dear Notgamers.
2  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Instructions? on: August 31, 2011, 01:50:21 PM
I think that in the instructions must be written only technical information.

Sooner or later you need to have at least one sentence about the content or core of the work you do. Or someone else does. Problem is, what will this sentence be.

You walk with her to the bench, in front of the chapel. You turn her around and let her sit down. She looks backwards to the bench when she is ready to sit. She sits.
When you are done, you walk with her back to the gate. And you both leave the graveyard to quit the game.

This also works because it's simply well written. The tone is direct, calm, modest yet precise and leaves space for me as a reader. It doesn't tell me what to think, it just tells me what happens. It isn't afraid of false understanding. Maybe the old lady wrote it. It tastes like the game.

I think that's the ideal. The Lake tries a similar description, but is it enough? People just don't expect something of this kind on an iPhone, let alone in an interactive medium ("but it's not changing!") and what follows is that I start interpreting my own work to make it easier to understand.

That's what the original question was about right? That a description for something new might need instruction, a how-to-read-correctly. Which turns the whole thing into education. But then I would destroy the joy of self-discovery, the user's own interpretation of it, it would become a mere illustration of what I'd write, it would die.
3  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Instructions? on: August 22, 2011, 08:10:31 PM
Make seduction, not instruction!

No seriously this is a great question. I'm still struggling with the description of The Lake on my website. After possibly one hundred versions I settled with an instruction but one that sounds more like a personal message.

In the beginning it sounded more poetic, in the sense of trying to hint at thoughts behind the whole thing, it was actually better. But I found I had to calm down people, give them some ground to stand on first. But I'm still not happy with it.
4  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Random thoughts on a new language on: March 16, 2011, 07:35:37 PM
No problem! I totally understand  Grin

Knee-jerking is good from time to time, keeps you sharp and your heart pumping! Now that I know, I might use the guy with you again though, haha.
5  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Random thoughts on a new language on: March 16, 2011, 07:13:37 PM
Haha, well you might have a point on Sterling himself, I give you that Cheesy (Although he meant the sentence in the complete opposite way that you insinuate, he actually took the standpoint against designers with their fancy ideas. Then again, he does change his mind now and then.)

But how in the hell is the quote bullshit? All interaction design is geared towards making me as a user think less, making my life easier. The ideal interactive device knows of my wishes without me telling it. That's the ideal train ticket machine, the user is living in a world of cotton and everything is running smoothly even the web forms get better and better at telling me what I want. Don't you have the same moments when filling out a form and you just came across one that is even better, smarter, smoother? Will those form developers ever stop?! Do they sleep?! Is this always same guy?! Cheesy

If you have one interactive device A that makes the user think one second more than B, which one do you think will be more successful these days? And that's where the problem starts with us people trying to invent something new: People will have to think. Which is good and I'm all for it. But the people's conditioning to easy fluffy interactive stuff can't be ignored. Maybe we have to exploit it, subvert it, attack it openly, I don't know.

As with the toys vs games, I probably wasn't specific enough: I think you can benefit a lot from thinking about games in terms of activity, which is playing. Playing with rules of course but last time I checked this is a place where we debate the exact definition of "rules". I'm interested in the range between "no rules" and rules. That's why I'm here at Notgames. And the toy-thing is very interesting as well... I think it's perfectly reasonable to think of a game that consists of nothing but a toy. But the more you play around with it, rules start to form. Isn't that a beautiful thought?

It certainly is something I would like to see. And it's not so unimaginable to do.
6  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Random thoughts on a new language on: March 16, 2011, 01:53:55 PM
He talked about how some people simply play with the interface on iOS and Android devices - scrolling, zooming - sliding their way around, just for the joy of doing so. He was pointing out that good UI design can inspire playfulness

This is something I tried to exploit for The Lake. When you don't have headphones plugged in, you can just spin the card around, "mindlessly". People really lose themselves for a while in activities like that and I think it's a very interesting entry point for creating a new breed of games.

That's also why I prefer the verb "to play" to the noun "the game". It describes an activity in which a game is just a specific form of play. It   also contains the playing we did as children, aimlessly or finding your own goals, just watching a toy car from very very close and BROOOM there it goes. Or playing around with a stick. Scrolling up and and down forever on an iPhone is the equivalent to playing with a stick. And I'm very interested in that particular moment because this moment isn't really only filled with fun… people lose themselves in a daydream. For a short while time has stopped while doing something that doesn't make any sense in itself.

Mainstream interaction design has one goal: "Don't make me think". Bruce Sterling once pointed that one out quite nicely: "Reduce my cognitive load while giving me more opportunities at less cost". And in this vein also game design can be called addiction design.

This has always been true for other media as well. Like movies for example. During the last century we learned a lot on how to overrun you with images in the most effective way. TV destroyed a lot of the patience people could have towards something new. If it doesn't make sense immediately they switch away.

But we can't go back. We should instead exploit that. Maybe we can start off at this slippery part everybody is falling in easily and then slowly ramp up the experience. Give it a twist. Break everything. Put them in a spot they never imagined.
7  General / Introductions / Re: Hi from Maybe It's The Lighting on: March 09, 2011, 08:20:16 PM
I disagree with relying on the user's imagination being easy, though. I think it's very difficult balance between being precise enough and yet leave the right room for the reader's/viewer's/user's imagination.

Do you mean when adding interactivity, it becomes even more difficult to leave the right amount of room open to the user?
8  General / Introductions / Re: Hi from Maybe It's The Lighting on: March 09, 2011, 07:51:06 PM
It does limit it indeed. Even people working in the same field won't understand it because I feel there is a very narrow expectation of what interactivity is supposed to be like. To me, most interactive things just always feel the same. They feel "interactive", that's all.

Don't get me wrong, interactivity and procedural concepts are some of the most interesting elements in this field. But I'd like to use their whole range and not pray to them. Doing things close to the border to not being interactive as an artistic statement.

But I also think that it is important to now just do the next thing. I think it's okay if somebody has a problem with The Lake because now it stands alone as a single project. The best thing I can do is to continue working. And through this body of work, later, I believe, it will be easier for others to understand what this is all about.

Patience! And onwards!

And yes, my next project looks like it's going to be more interactive  Grin  (I'm caving in, I'm caving in, oh noooo...)

I see what you mean with Vanitas. First I thought that adding interactivity to Vanitas would be nothing more than surface polish. But now I understand, it isn't that simple… if you create an object to play with, it's a good thing if the object accomodates a certain freedom of dealing, playing, toying around with it. That way the user can make it truly theirs. Did you mean that?

9  General / Introductions / Re: Hi from Maybe It's The Lighting on: March 09, 2011, 01:00:31 PM
Aw, snap! In my description I forgot the other important half!

Of course there is the actual soundscape, the journey you're travelling through. Each time you turn the card you delve deeper into this journey. And what exactly happens there is of course an important counterpart to the basic idea. But for that you'll have to actually try it out, it's difficult to describe.

Basically you travel through three spaces: Arriving in a car and approaching a forest, walking through a forest, arriving at a lake behind it. In total it's ten steps, you flip the card ten times to reach the lake. After that it restarts from a scene close to the beginning.

Also, you can only take part in this journey when plugging in your headphones. If you're headphones are unplugged, the card behaves and rotates differently.

Maybe I should make a video for you...
10  General / Introductions / Re: Hi from Maybe It's The Lighting on: March 09, 2011, 01:29:35 AM
Thanks Chainsawkitten! (How great the internet is where I can say something like this  Cheesy)

This is an important point I want to change for next time: Developing for the iPhone exclusively gives you an interesting market on one hand and a nice environment to develop for. On the other hand you exclude people who don't have one of these expensive things.

I hope I find another platform for next time.

But for The Lake it is a perfect fit. It has the size of the card and the device has some fetish quality to it which is interesting to exploit. Like ToT did with Vanitas.
11  General / Introductions / Hi from Maybe It's The Lighting on: March 08, 2011, 07:32:50 PM
Hi Notgamers,

I've been inspired by and Tale of Tales for quite a while and now I feel ready to introduce myself. I'm Patrick, I live in Berlin and and I just started running the site Maybe It's The Lighting. It's a site to explore and create new things to play.

I would like to introduce myself with the first project that will be a challenge to all of you Smiley It's called The Lake and not only is it not a game but it also never changes. Yes, Followers of the Procedural, take a deep breath Grin it's challenges like these that keep you sharp! Please have look here where you find text, image, movie:

Now  Cheesy  this is by no means a stand against procedural art forms, it's just a single experiment. Let me tell you how it came about: I was fascinated by the idea of turning a single playing card over and over again. I was actually doing this in real and what fascinated me was that when I saw the front side for the second time I didn't feel the same when I saw it the first time. The card was still the same but I changed. I expected the card to stay the same and so it came but I didn't feel like this when I saw the card the first time.

Then, I started working on ideas. You would have to solve some riddle, or the playing card would magically change and lots of other things. Procedural ideas, interactive ones!

But every time I had to admit, that the original idea was the most fascinating to me. That actually nothing changed at all with the playing card but within myself lots of changes happened. When turning this same card I first wonder what would happen, then I expect the same, then I'm getting impatient, angry maybe, then I give up, I drift away with my toughts and all of the sudden I catch myself still turning this playing card!

And that's what I tried to explore with The Lake: All you've got is a playing card and all you can do is turn it. Nothing changes. But somehow, you do along the way. (And then you die.)

I hope you like it! Thanks for this nice forum, I'll try to engage in some of your discussions although I have to admit that I often feel that a lot of the questions here on art can only be answered with a specific piece of work. I'll try though Smiley

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