Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Game dev as child's play

I recently read an article where creating a Future Pinball table was used by a troupe of girl scouts as part of a merit badge activity.
After lunch my students led them in a guided design exercise to make virtual pinball machines based on several of the other Girl Scout badge requirements using Future Pinball. During part of this Tobi, Tory, Jessica and I led a Q and A session for the leaders and parents about all things game from careers to college degrees and everything in-between.
Back in high school, when I was taking computer classes (BASIC and COBOL), I asked the teacher how I could learn more about computer animation. He vaguely suggested local colleges, but in truth, he had no idea where to go for that. Today, I'd have a wealth of resources to explore, and I think that's great.

They also mentioned Kodu in this article, and randomly, I just came across a video about Microsoft's Kodu Game Creator. It's a game programming interface designed for kids.

If the embed isn't loading, check it out here.

Very interesting trend, and very neat! Watching the Kodu demo, I couldn't help but be reminded of Spore. Is this the next stage of evolution for that sort of user-generated content concept? I'm thinking it looks like something adults and kids would have fun with.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

So say we all

My new desk toy

My favorite new desk toy this week is the Water Ball from Maui toys. I got it at Wal-mart, and it's more therapeutic than a stress ball. It's just a water ball with glitter inside, but there's something endlessly mesmerizing about staring into it, rolling it around, and staring into it some more.

Check the video below to see both it and Maui's "Sky Ball" which, now that I see them...I think I need several of.

Especially if they come in glow-in-the-dark. I'm planning a UFO sighting over New Hampshire, and this would really help...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Now that's good viral

T-Mobile Dance from Jef Eckart on Vimeo.

I'm not sure this makes me any more likely to buy from T-Mobile, but it was Ferris Bueller-grade awesome, and I wish I'd been there!

Thanks, Casey, for the find! Wait, what, another? The intarweb force appears to be strong with you, today...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Goodbye SciFi

Been crazy busy at work with this St. Patrick's Day stuff we're doing. Among other things, we've got a VERY IMPORTANT LIST of St. Paddy's Day survival phrases in Irish:

Note, it's St. Paddy's Day, not St. Patty's Day, who knew, right?

Second, I need to point out a fine bit of exposure journalism by the illustrious Pseudodigm. It seems that the SciFi channel in a spontaneous moment of brilliance has decided to rename itself SyFy:

“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks…

You really need to go read Pseudodigm's thoughts on the matter, because it'll save me having to type out the EXACT same thoughts. In a nutshell: WTF?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Drag me to HELL YEAH!!

Sam Raimi's back in the horror biz with Drag me to Hell. :)

Now, I don't know that it's entirely fair to call this an "original tale" when so many of the preview scenes were reminiscent of The Ring, Thinner, Unborn, etc. I call that more of a re-visiting of existing horror themes, but what's wrong with that? When done well, nothing! And props for the gross-out fly scene. GROSS!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


How freaking beautiful.../droool...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Unity Games XV montage

This is a cross-post, from my board game doc blog, but since it represents the fruits of an entire weekends' work, I wanted to share it here too!

We had an awesome time filming at Unity Games XV, and ever since then I've had this burning desire to put together a tribute video of the event, a little souvenir for attendees, something for potential attendees to look at and say, "Wow, I've got to go to this next time!"

We shot a decent amount of B-roll/outtake footage there, but half the day we were cloistered away in a lobby side room doing the individual interviews. If I'd had this montage in mind to begin with, I would have taken more footage of specific games being played, more genre-representative games like Catan and Agricola, and replaced those choppy pan shots with that. Still, I am quite happy with what I was able to throw together:

Stereo MCs said they were cool with letting me include their song, and that's just another reason I can't recommend them highly enough.

To all who organized this convention and provided the essential services to make it run smoothly, thanks and KUDOS! Every last minute was a great experience and it was obvious everyone was having a wonderful time.

Can't wait for the next one!