Yet Another Graphomaniacs Compendium
Sunday, June 30, 2002

Hiatus


Very little happens, as it happens, but it does happen agonisingly slowly. Brazil won the world cup, no great surprise. Germany failed to score against them, making Owen one of the only two strikers in the whole world who managed it last time round. Fortunately Brazil aren't in Europe, so England might have some Joy in the far - off future that is Portugal 2004. And I can forget about football again four four whole years. Something that will be good news to my girlfriend who is..exactly where is she? She flew into the UK on Friday, into the hole known as East Midlands Airport. Now she's staying with a friend I know nothing about in Derby and has vaguely promised to be here on Tuesday. SMS messages are incredibly slow for some reason, so we are effectively incommunicando. A brilliant way to start a life partnership. Not.


posted by John Connors at
Sunday, June 30, 2002

0 comments
Monday, June 24, 2002

No Underpants.


Sometimes you appreciate the little things in life, like fresh, clean underpants after a weekend of "Going Commando" because your washing machine has broken and you are out of clean ones. Luckily, Granny has a very good washing machine :) So now my balls rest in the clean and fluffy bliss of fresh clean fabric.

posted by John Connors at
Monday, June 24, 2002

0 comments
Friday, June 21, 2002

Your Game is in Trouble


The freaky thing about this page is that I have experienced nearly all of them at some point or another. What am I, the Ed Woods of game development?

posted by John Connors at
Friday, June 21, 2002

0 comments

They think it's all over...


..and it is. A big hand for the England squad and fans, Ladies and Gentlemen, who tried their best, although ultimately "God is Brazilian".
Sigh.

posted by John Connors at
Friday, June 21, 2002

0 comments
Thursday, June 20, 2002

QOTD


"The whole reason that I started a company was to build cool s--t that matters." -- Evan Williams.


posted by John Connors at
Thursday, June 20, 2002

0 comments

The Legacy of Siboot


I think this game is mentioned in the classic "The Art of Computer Game Design" by Chris Crawford and thought it sounded quite interesting and wanted to play it. When The Sims came out I was instantly reminded of the description of this game, it's very early precussor. And now, I finally have it, thanks to The Home of the Underdogs, a site dedicated to the preservation of old games that may be long past their commercial shelf-life, but still are design classics. Ignoring the fact that they are still copyright, of course. Alas. It's an interesting instance of a situation where violating copyright is assuredly illegal, but not immoral.

posted by John Connors at
Thursday, June 20, 2002

0 comments
Sunday, June 16, 2002

Language Morphing.


Another thought arriving from The Clockwork Orange and the Russisms liberally sprinkled therin is that it would probably be a good way of teaching languages. A novel that starts off in your native tounge, then gradually morphs to the new language, uisng new nouns and adjectives that you can pick up from the context.As the novel progresses, the elements of the language to learn become more and more frequent. Slowly changing the grammar would be much harder, though. So maybe not such a good idea as at first thought. Perhaps ordinary parallel texts are a better bet.

posted by John Connors at
Sunday, June 16, 2002

0 comments
Saturday, June 15, 2002

NALPKT


One really handy resource that a lot of people don't seem to know about is the Google Toolbar. Grab it while it's hot!

posted by John Connors at
Saturday, June 15, 2002

0 comments

That crucial sentence.


In four different languages.


  1. Czech: Jsem párek
  2. English: I am a sausage.
  3. French: C'est une saucisse
  4. German: Ich bin ein würst
  5. Python: self = 'sausage'


So, you see, programming isn't really that hard. You don't have to deal with cases, articles, irregular verbs, or other linguistic traps. The same goes for mathematics, too. However, you do have to worry about undecidable propositions, so maybe the humanities are easier, after all.


posted by John Connors at
Saturday, June 15, 2002

0 comments
Friday, June 14, 2002

QOTD


"There's no way we could handle having a board of directors asking all kinds of politically-correct questions like why we create violence. I say, screw it! We want more violence! I don't think we have enough violence! We don't want to worry about not upsetting someone in Peoria, we just want to create the best games in the world." - Jay Wilbur: ID CED


posted by John Connors at
Friday, June 14, 2002

0 comments

The Hackwork Haddock.


I finally read one of the modern classics, The Clockwork Orange. Why an Orange? Hmm.


The most interesting thing about the book is the Russisms: krovy, droog, itty, glazzies, viddy. It occurs to me that this is a method that I could use to describe the people I talked about in my earlier Gedankenexperiment, who percieve heat (near infra-read) as fals colour. These people will have words for things we don't experience, like the sudden change of body colours as you begin to exert yourself or become angry; the flaring of parts of the body as a fever works through the person's system; the dull colours that reaveal low evergy and listlessness. Perhaps the whole thing would be more interesting if they simply had an acute empathatic sense that they interpreted via colour vision. Of course, this would be a much less physically probable thing to evolve than near infrared sight. Something that is a higly possible next step in human evolution.

posted by John Connors at
Friday, June 14, 2002

0 comments
Thursday, June 13, 2002

The Prague Blues.


I am in Prague for my holidays, staying at my partners flat, a stones throw from the Castle. It could have been home, but it was not to be. All I want to do is to clear a space in my life for six months to a year where I can just create for my own pleasure, games, doodles, stories, anything. How hard can it be? Impossible.

posted by John Connors at
Thursday, June 13, 2002

0 comments
Wednesday, June 12, 2002

On Keeping a Private Journal


The impossibility of keeping a private journal in the present circumstances begins to worry me. It's strange. I haven't had anything resembling a sensible partner since I was 22 and Sharon Kill pronounced me beneath her over - healthy contempt. Now, after such a hiatus I am one of a pair again, but when the urge strikes me to write in my notebook, I cannot, because I know that Mish will read it, inevitably, and weigh the words and judge them. They will crumple in the glare of her critical intelligence, fragile things of paper, but I want a private space to improvise, even if only to produce unreadable lexical curlicules. Like this blog :) So, how do you hid your journal from your partner? Should you?

posted by John Connors at
Wednesday, June 12, 2002

0 comments
Friday, June 07, 2002

Evolving Digital Trees


The content problem: the potential size of a game has expanded beyond our ability to fill it with content. So how do we create content that's interesting without having to create it manually? Well, one suggestion is to grow it. Here's one example:Digital trees. It's worth noting that this is how the trees in Shadowman Two were generated

posted by John Connors at
Friday, June 07, 2002

0 comments
Thursday, June 06, 2002

Quote of the Day.



One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games. And it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive values.

- Carl Gustav Jung


posted by John Connors at
Thursday, June 06, 2002

0 comments

The Indie Game Jam


Pagger my Tonsils! I have discovered the Indie Game Jam. My heart is warmed to it's very cybernetic cockles. Interesting is the fact that they have decide to release the souce on sourceforge. I hope some open source developers jump on it and develop what has been started. As a method of seeding the Creative Commons, with usable and innovative ideas, it's made an excellent start. It's hard to see how they are going to top it. The other interesting point is that all the participants were programmers. It's a strong validation of the idea of the designer / programmer. I daresay there's hope for designer / artists. However, they should at least learn to script.

posted by John Connors at
Thursday, June 06, 2002

0 comments

Precognition


Football gets bloody everywhere.Even the subconcious. Prior to the England-Sweeden match I dreamed of a 1 - 1 draw. Yesterday I dreamed of Argentina 2 England 0. Fortunately the existence of precognition is a hypothesis that is easily falsifed.

posted by John Connors at
Thursday, June 06, 2002

0 comments

Word of the Day.


Infovore.
Something or someone that consumes information in order to live, as opposed to a herbivore or carnivore.

posted by John Connors at
Thursday, June 06, 2002

0 comments
Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Thinks.











I have been reading Thinks by David Lodge. A mildly interesting intellectual romp, let down by average characters. The main male character is monstrously unsympathetic, yet his intellectual positions (such as I have) are not a million miles from my own. Also his inability to sympathise with people well, or conceal his own opinons when they differ from those of others. His only excuse is that he is (mostly) right. Intellectually, at least. The body is something that the mind cannot exist without. Science is different from all other belief systems for the simple reason that it is the only one that asks people that who subscribe to it to falsify things, rather than unquesioningly accept them, or impose them via political power. Anyone who argues that all belief systems are equally valid and all is relative is talking nonsense.



The other thing that struck me about it was the writing, there was the theme that when you decide to be a writer, you must keep writing, no matter what. This is another bow in my arrow of self-recrimination for giving up, but programming and creative writing just don't mix, cognitively or socially.

posted by John Connors at
Tuesday, June 04, 2002

0 comments

Layout


The layout of this thing could probably do with some more graphics, but my desktop is half a continent away. It's time to pursuade Mish to let me install The Gimp on her machine

posted by John Connors at
Tuesday, June 04, 2002

0 comments

Ectaban


"And strange at Ectaban the trees

Take leaf by leaf the evening strange

The flooding dark about their knees

The mountains over Persia change."


From You, Andrew Marvell by Archibald MacLeish.



posted by John Connors at
Tuesday, June 04, 2002

0 comments
Monday, June 03, 2002

Integrating Narrative and Simulation


The single most interesting aspect of game design is the tension between the tendency to narrate and the tendency to simulate. Even in the most narration oriented area of game design, Interactive fiction , simulationism exists. Most designers deal with this in one of two ways: firstly they concentrate on narrative and make the simulationist aspects subordinate to the narrative. Depending on the story they want to tell, they chose which aspects of the game world they want to simulate. For a driving game such as Stuntman, obviously vehicle physics is modelled in detail: for Shadowman, most important was the animation of the characters and their ability to engage in combat with the player. Other examples are the rougelike genere where combat and magic are lovingly modelled, but the goals of the player remain basically the same. The second approach is to eschew the idea of narrative and produce a game as toy rather than as a dynamic story. Examples of this genere are the Sim series of games, most flight simulators, and possibly sports simulations.


However, there is a third option, which seems to be the option of having narrative embedded within the simulation. When specific conditions occur within the game world, this triggers off events within the game world. A classic example would be within Civilization, when the player builds a city too close to the city of an existing opponent, or the missions within Elite. There's no reason that the event triggered has to be a single event : it could be a chain of events, each with several sub - events. Furthermore that kind of situation could be easily embedded in the game using an old knowldege representation scheme, which is ideal for dealing with modetately complex stereotyped events called scripts. These are an very convienent way of representing knolwdedge about the plans and goals of the actors in and outcomes of narratives, I'm surprised they haven't been discovered by the games community earlier. Although IF langauges like Inform are loosly based on similar structures.


posted by John Connors at
Monday, June 03, 2002

0 comments
The Journal



A miscellany of topics that intersest me: deaf culture, game design, politics as soap opera, the cyborg condition and the experience of learning to hear again. Other topics presented are speculative fiction and imaginary cities. There are appearences of snippets of work in progress, public rants, pointless posts and Mish the Mouse.




The Writer

A lower middle class cyborg living an innocous life in a suburban village near Newcastle On Tyne, in the United Kingdom. Mostly autobiographical and creative notes posts and musings on the topic du jour.


Archives

05/01/2001 - 06/01/2001
06/01/2001 - 07/01/2001
07/01/2001 - 08/01/2001
08/01/2001 - 09/01/2001
09/01/2001 - 10/01/2001
11/01/2001 - 12/01/2001
12/01/2001 - 01/01/2002
01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002
02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002
03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002
04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002
05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002
06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002
07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002
08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002
09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002
10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002
11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002
12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003
01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003
03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003
05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003
06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003
07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003
08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003
09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003
12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010
04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011
09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012
10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012


Links

Videogame Theory

Apolyton

Game Matters

Common Ground Sign Dance

Krazy Kat Theatre

Computing for Poets

The Langauge Construction Kit

Lemonodor: mostly Lisp

Twisted Matrix

Christopher Jam

Shrydars Blog

Linux Game Development Centre

Starlines

The Rise and Fall of My First Novel

Real Writers Bounce

Mela (designer of this blog)

CyberTarp

Mish The Mouse's Blog

Listed on BlogShares

News Feeds

atom feed

Technorati

Blogroll


Adverts



Powered by Blogger

Designed by mela | Image from stock.xchng | Image hosted by CyberTarp