Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Signs that you're a good programmer

I thought this was very interesting. Your mileage may vary.
Signs that you're a good programmer

Monday, September 26, 2011

New article: Breaking into making games

An interesting article on Develop from the maker of Canabalt: Breaking into making games

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Creative Portal 2 level design

Presumably the man who commissioned this Portal 2 level and the woman to whom he wished to propose marriage are big Portal fans. Boing Boing wrote it up:

or you can go straight to the video:

or download the Portal 2 level:

It has custom narration by GLaDOS (Ellen McLain) authorized by VALVe.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Unlimited Detail 3D Graphics Technology

Imaginary Z directed me toward the Euclideon unlimited detail 3D graphics technology demo ( It looks very interesting. They have a new demo video up as of August 4. Are you ready to create "fictional" and "non-fictional" 3D models without polygon limits?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Katamari Damacy for the web

Paste the following code into the Chrome command line to turn any web page into Katamari Damacy:
javascript:var i,s,ss=['',''];for(i=0;i!=ss.length;i++){s=document.createElement('script');s.src=ss[i];document.body.appendChild(s);}void(0);

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Food for Thought

Chelsea and I had the privilege of going out to lunch with Dan Weatherman of Oklahoma City-based Manabomb Studios yesterday. We talked shop a little bit, got acquainted, and generally had a good time. He was a nice fellow, and even bought us lunch.

We covered most of the things that developers can, but the part of our conversation that appealed most to me (for obvious reasons) was the part where we talked about our desire to be paid while working on a game, instead of producing one in our free time and then praying that someone will want to buy it. Given that many of us who might be involved in a possible future game company in Oklahoma City are not in a situation wherein it would be totally sane to attempt a publisher-ready game, I thought it might be good to hear y'all's thoughts on the subject of securing investment capital.

Granted, we'd have to have something with our name on it completed in order to shop around for said financial support, but I think it's important also to be mindful of how pleasant it would be to have a centralized location, a guarantee that next week's paycheck is coming, and a culture in which to soak our media.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Movies will never be art

[Let’s imagine for a moment that I am a Pulitzer-prize winning art critic. I started looking at paintings when I was a kid and I was fascinated by them so I got a job looking at them. The New York Times or Chicago Sun-Times or some such has paid for me to go around to a bunch of museums and shows and review thousands of paintings. People know who I am and even respect my opinion about particular paintings I have seen. I have never been in a movie theater and I’ve never watched a movie all the way through, but I have seen movie trailers, movie review shows, and there have sometimes been movies on a friend’s TV when I was over playing poker with my buddies. I saw part of that movie Gigli one time.]

Movies will never be art

Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to enlarge upon it or defend it. That seemed to be a fool's errand, especially given the volume of messages I receive urging me to watch this movie or that and recant the error of my ways. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that in principle, movies cannot be art. Perhaps it is foolish of me to say "never," because never, as somebody named Gloria Swanson said, is a long, undependable time. Let me just say that no movie goer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form.

What stirs me to return to the subject? I happened across a blog post by some guy named Roger Ebert in which he seemed to claim that there was one movie or other which was art. I read it. He seems like a nice enough guy, and tells some interesting stories. But he is mistaken.

He went on and on about what art is and how some movie maker is now filming some art somewhere to make a 3-D movie.

One obvious difference between art and movies is that you can’t just watch or listen to a movie. It has cinematography, visual effects, action, lighting, dialogue, sound effects, and music. You have to watch the action, listen to the dialogue and music, and try to figure out what’s happening all at once. Ebert might cite a silent movie that has no action, but I would say then it ceases to be a movie and becomes a representation of a painting. You don’t have to follow or figure out a painting; you can only experience them.

Ebert then goes on and on about what is art and blah blah blah. Man, can that guy go on.

He also brought up an example of a movie that he thinks is art. None of the stills from this movie seemed of more than decorative interest on the level of a greeting card. Is the movie scored? He doesn't say. Do you have to follow action and dialogue and figure out what’s going on?

The movie he chooses as an example does not raise my hopes for a movie that will deserve my attention long enough to watch it. It is, I regret to say, pathetic.

Why are movie goers so intensely concerned, anyway, that movies be defined as art? Why aren't movie goers content to watch their movies and simply enjoy themselves? They have my blessing, not that they care.

Do they require validation? In defending their movies against parents, spouses, children, partners, co-workers or other critics, do they want to be able to come out of the theater and explain, "I'm studying a great form of art?" Then let them say it, if it makes them happy.

I allow movies the last word. At the end of some movie that was on that TV at the poker game there were like 15 minutes of credits: Director, Cast, Writers, Producers, Composers, Cinematographers, Editors, Casting, Production Design, Art Directors, Set Decorators, Costume Designers, Makeup Department, Production Department, Second Unit, “Art Department”, Sound Department, Special Effects, Visual Effects, Stunts, Electrical Department, Animation Department, Casting Department, Costume and Wardrobe Department, Editorial Department, Music Department, Transportation Department, Accounting Department. I rest my case.