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Kimono Colors and Ludic Data

Play the demo!

Kyle Li and I worked with Julia Wargaski to create an interaction prototype for ludic data display. The dataset is from a student of Julia's who cross referenced the colors in traditional kimonos with the ingredients used to make them.

The Coordinate Game

This is simple game we created as part of the SMALLab workshop here at Parsons. It's for teaching middle-school students how to figure out coordinates on a projected grid.

Each player takes their own origin as 0,0 and must reach the goal marker laid down by the teacher. The first player to correctly call out the coordinates of her or his goal marker wins.

Congrats to Christopher for his mad math dancing skills!

Ludum Dare 12

For a few years now, I've been following an open-source games competition called Ludum Dare. Artists work on their own for 48 hours to produce a game based on a theme--this round used "The Tower". This year, with a weekend to kill, more or less, I decided to throw my hat in the ring.

What I came up with is Choke Point, a game about air-traffic control. I skimped on the art and didn't get sound working in time, but I like something about the mechanic well enough to develop it more in the future, maybe.

Choke Point

Feel free to try it out and tell me what you think. Or get the Processing source code and improve it.

Choke Point

Choke Point

Notes on a Stakeholder Engine

I just finished reading Nicholas Lemann's article "Conflict of Interest" in the latest New Yorker. It crystallized a lot of the thinking I've done in the past few years about politics, all the way back to when I was an organizer for Democracy for America here in Hudson County.

I couldn't call my participation in the DFA effort as anything more than a failure, but it taught me a lot about the push and pull of real politics. As it turns out, I don't have a taste for that kind of work--I think I'm temperamentally unsuited for it. But it did drop the scales from my eyes. I stopping seeing the act of governing as a battle between good and evil, and, rather, saw it as the net result of conflicting and cooperating interests.

The Lemann article sums it up well, and I'd encourage anyone with an interest in the subject (or the engine) to read it. For me, it helped to gel a number of key components that ought to factor into games like this:

  • Players should either represent an interest and compete for the attention of policy makers and the general public (Bentley's organizational interests)
  • OR players should represent a policy maker who is beholden to interests--or, rather, requires the backing of a number of interests, none of which need be permanent or essential. A game of political survival rather than idealism.
  • The game will involve, at its core, the pushing and pulling of different levers on a system.
  • BUT this is NOT the game, no more than resetting a series of timers is Diner Dash
  • Therefore, a game mechanic is needed that creates a sense of expressiveness, in Bogost's terms.
  • And a narrative that explains the affordances of the "lever pushing" in the same way that waiting tables explains the timers in Nick's game.

That's what I have for now. More questions than answers at this point, but it makes sense for me to start taking apart some of the work from this spring's "iPod Game" and working out a mechanic for that kind system and logical interface.

Who Likes Pancakes?

I like pancakes. Hey, everyone likes pancakes! Check out Kyle's awesome mod of his Pancake Express game for the SMALLab installation. It's a really great test of the kind of work we can do with new Render Engines. And it's a ton of fun.

The Rules for "Guns"

When I was a kid growing up on army bases, the most popular game played by kids my age was called "Guns." We would come up to each others' houses, find our friends, and ask them, "Wanna play guns?" And they always would.

Here at the rules for "Guns", as they emerged over a couple of years in my section of barracks:

Players are divided into two teams. The teams are usually, though not always, designated as "US" and "Soviets."

Each player selects a toy gun from the collective neighborhood cache of plastic weapons. It is typically good form to select guns appropriate to one's side (e.g. plastic AK-47 goes to the Soviet side.) Also, the better looking weapons should tend to go to older players.

A Critical Review of "Call of Duty: Vanguard," King of the Hill Multiplayer Game Mode

"Call of Duty: Vanguard" is a first-person shooter for the Nintendo Wii set in World War II. The game offers several multiplayer options for play in split-screen mode. This review will evaluate one of these options, "King of the Hill."

Alpha Release Document

Today we see the release of phevo-0.0.33, the first alpha release of the game. It features a very basic AI opponent, more extended gameplay over previous versions, a brief set of instructions, and a number of bug fixes.

Phevo has also been set up for distribution at SourceForge.net, the largest open-source development site on the Web. It is through SourceForge that development of Phevo is likely to continue into the future.

Because of the difficulty in developing and testing a game on my own, I have decided to open-source Phevo under the GNU Public License and release it to the public for testing and development. It is my feeling that Phevo will be able to find an audience, attract developers, and improve in quality because of this.

Sim Art - New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer

Sim Art - New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer - [My del.icio.us]

Nice blurb about the Sims show and our project in particular on New York Magazine's site. Both Inti Einhorn and Becky Heritage have great quotes!

Copyright Mike Edwards 2006-2009. All content available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license, unless otherwise noted.

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