Yet Another Graphomaniacs Compendium
Monday, September 15, 2003

Toys I have been playing with.


Ratpoison and Boa Constructor. Both lethal to rodents, I'm pleased to say :)


All programmers ought to have a gui like RatPoison. It changes your entire GUI experience so that every window is maximised and managed like a text editor window ( ie you cycle between them, split them, etc, but never have to resize them or drag them ) which is incredibly fast if you happen to be one of the emacs or vi crowd who like split windows. There's also a prettier version with embedded Lua scripting called Ion


Boa - Constructor is kind of Dephi for Python. It's huge and its obviously very powerful, but I was never comfortable with this kind of RAD tool. I question it's use for something like Python where it's bilingingly easy to slap components together by hand with a text - editor anyway. It may be an example of the right tool for the wrong problem. If the Boa Constructor team targeted the C++ version of wxWindows instead of wxPython they might have a killer app on their hands. Of course, it may be possible to produce a front end that targets either.

posted by John Connors at
Monday, September 15, 2003

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What did I do to deserve this?


Over the last week I have been getting a large volume of bounced email apparent sent users that do not exist in the yagc.demon.co.uk domain. Some spammer is using my domain as a reply-to address. I wonder how I came to their notice. Someone obviously didn't like having their mails directed to spamtrap.


Now, how exactly do I stop the scum? I look up the originating ISP, and the bastard is in China. Mail to the abuse address bounces. I'm doomed. If this site goes off-line soon, you know who is to blame.


I guess I can move the games to sourceforge, the blog to blogspot..


posted by John Connors at
Monday, September 15, 2003

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Sunday, September 14, 2003

First and Third person in strategy games.


Elite is a first person - strategy game; the premise is that you are an individual trying to make your way in a hostile universe. Decisions are made at the level of individual action. What to buy, what to sell, where to flee. Civilization is a third-person strategy game. You make decisions at the level of an empire: where to build cities, where to farm, where to mine, which technology to research, which units to build, where.


The first form makes for a more compelling game than the second. Why? The descions are obvious life-and-death decisions that affect a single individual. The way they change the balance of the game, the options they allow and deny you are immediately obvious. Wheras with the second kind of game you are managing large collections of units, more like Chess or Go. This increases the level of abstraction of the game - which can be satisfying if you like the more strategic, fluid kind of game. However this is arrived at by making the fantasy that the game-player buys into less immeditae and credible. As with all mediums, fantasy, imagination and the suspension of disbelief are important. This is why there are lots of games about driving Formula One cars, and dammn few about driving trains...

posted by John Connors at
Sunday, September 14, 2003

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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.


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