This blog’s not dead. It’s just resting its eyes, not breathing, and smelling funny. Anyway, here’s a bunch of links for the people who attended my presentation at the most recent meeting of the IGDA Berlin chapter.
AGOF & Magaziniac
Jonathan Blow vs. CVG
Christian Schmidt über die deutsche Spielekritik (ungekürzte Fassung bei Gunnar Lott)
Schmidt-Repliken von Petra Fröhlich & Mick Schnelle
id Software interview on Rage at Gamasutra
Brandon Sheffield ‘explaining’ said interview
Chris Kohler on Famitsu ratings
By now you’ve probably heard that Google just recently has launched the latest way for mankind to share pictures of adorable cats and videos of people getting hit in the crotch , Google Plus. (Funnily enough, that was also the week MySpace got sold off for $35m after News Corp. had sunk an estimated $1.3b into this venture.) As of right now, it’s invite only, but I was able to try it for a few days now while everything is still in the second of the three phases all new things on the mighty intarwebs go through inevitably.
- Phase 1: Access is still highly limited. You’re not a part of it, but you seemingly don’t care enough. You don’t have enough time for all those superfluous shenanigans anyway. Which, at this point, probably is true since you’re busy begging people for an invite.
- Phase 2: You’re in! Make sure that the rest is reminded of this by constantly babbling about how they’re missing out because it’s the coolest thing ever. Also follow other general recommendations for what science has come to describe es ‘probably slightly being a dick about something’. (Bonus point: Write a blog post.)
- Phase 3: Everybody and their mom is in by now. You will reminisce about how it used to be much nicer and less bloated in the early days, i.e. some time last month. Before, you know, they sold out.
Now that we’ve established that for no real reason, let’s briefly talk about Google+. It’s actually somewhat snappy and useful the way Wave and Buzz never really were. People seem to be embracing it with a fair amount of goodwill which, I guess, is partially based on Facebook’s perceived disregard for user privacy, their inability to fix exploits, and their tendency to sneak in new ‘features’, enabling them by default while not informing anyone properly. (Obviously, it’s not like Google is a complete saint either.)
The Circles feature works nicely and feels more manageable than Facebook’s list – and it only took a few days until someone tried to
copy adapt the concept. The video chat (Hangout) was implemented rather well. Oh, and you can edit status messages in order to get rid of that one bloody typo that somehow made its way into the text. There also are other features you may or may not be aware of — see also here.
A few aspects need to get fixed/improved though:
- The interface needs to be more compact: Google surely does love their white/line-spacing, but combined with another Google+ design choice –pictures and videos not being minimized the way it’s being done in Facebook– this means you’ll be scrolling a lot. Let’s not even talk about what the Stream looks like on a netbook. This can be slightly compensated by decreasing the font size in your browser, but it’s not exactly an elegant look.
- Link edits: While you can edit status messages, the same cannot be said about content you’re linking to. Rather than being able to fix a broken or improper headline or pick the best excerpt of an article, you have to rely on whatever Google+ fetches automatically.
- Search functionality: Good luck finding that one website you or someone in your friend list on Facebook or Twitter neighborhood mentioned a few weeks ago. Neither of those services provides an adequate search option. If only Google knew how to search content… oh wait, you guys do! Google+ integration, anyone?
- Group hug: Another of those “but Facebook does it!” pieces: If several people in your Stream link to the same piece, it would be preferable if those links were grouped/clustered. As of right now, that’s not being done, and only increases the scroll factor (see first bullet point).
- No Google+ version of ‘poke’: How will Google+ users annoy each other efficiently or try to establish contact someone they fancy in an awkward way?!
Hey there! I know that the local media outlets are really trying hard to convince us of your existence. You’re here in some shape or form, they say. There aren’t as many artifacts or gatherings to honour your appearance ‘as usual’, but people are getting excited nevertheless, they claim. People are ready to fall for you, they note.
I’ve been following what you’re supposed to be since 1986. After biking through Berlin today and having not seen a single flag, jersey, or TV viewing announcement in pubs, I’m going to go out on a limb and state:
You, Sir, are no soccer world cup hype.
(P.S.: Quarterly blog post quota fulfilled! You may remain excited.)
My plan to post one article per quarter has turned out to be an utter and total success! I may have never talked about it before, but trust me: It’s always been in motion.
Other than doing the usual work–something’s got to pay the rent, eh?–,I’ve been consuming lots of articles and papers on knowledge elicitation and transformation. Or rather: The circumstances that keep them from happening properly. Needs to be done for that one eternal project of mine, but chances are I’ll also incorporate some of the topics into my lecture material at some point. Until then, I choose to remain vague. Minds may or may not be blown.
I noticed that I’m getting some visitors from Sascha’s blog, who apparently follow the link to the What’s Wrong With Your Face? piece through his feed view. I assume that 95.6 percent of them are 2D/3D artists hoping to stumble across some words of advice on how to draw or model faces. Haha, suckers!
Once again I’m off to Cologne to attend GDC Europe. The train ride was remarkably uneventful. Well, except for that 80 minute delay thanks to an “accident” at some other place. I had the pleasure of sitting next to an older man who was creating one of those awful Powerpoint presentations with vacation photos. You know, the ones where the dullness of the pictures goes head to head with the insanity of the slide transition effects.
Anyway, yeah, GDC – I’m looking forward to find out the answer to the one question that ultimately matters: Is this year’s conference swag anything good? Seriously.
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Now that Inception finally got released over here, I instantly waddled off to the movie theatre. I enjoyed it a lot, appreciated the way they set up and unfolded the different layers, kept them connected, and concluded the narrative threads with a nice cascade of kicks. Christopher Nolan and his crew crafted a well-paced ride. The few elements that didn’t seem consistent with the concept or were left unexplained didn’t really hurt the experience.
The cast was superb. (Side note: I probably spent minutes trying to figure out what movies Tom Hardy had been involved earlier. The face, the voice – he seemed familiar. It wasn’t until I was back at home and dove into IMDB that I saw that he had played young Bizarro-Picard in Star Trek: Nemesis. I guess I’m just bringing that up to have an excuse to link to Red Letter Media’s excellent review of what could have been a carreer-ending turd.)
The biggest gripe I probably have: As always, many, many signature scenes were already included in the trailers. I guess I too am at fault though for never being able to resist the urge to watch trailers in general.
Inception leaves plenty of room for speculation and interpretation. If that happens to be your cup of tea, you might find the links after the jump interesting. Obviously, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should avoid this journey to the republic of SPOILERSTANIA.
Mankind has finally reached its peak now that BILD is covering people being angry at an octopus for predicting an undesirable outcome of a soccer match.
Dear angry people,
There are two options: 1) That squid isn’t psychic. Why would you care about its predictions then? You might as well yell at a sock or something. 2) That squid is psychic. Let me repeat: PSYCHIC SQUID. Rest assured that there are bigger things you should be worried about than your favourite team losing.
We had some sort of high school reunion last weekend. It was nice to chat again with some old classmates and teachers. I guess. I also ran into our former German teacher. Who was (and still is) an awesome teacher. Way back in school on her 40th birthday, I had congratulated her by noting that, statistically, she had reached the second half of her lifetime, and also innocently asked if she remembers what happened to the German Democratic Republic when she turned 40.
The funny thing is that I had kind of completely forgotten about that. She clearly hasn’t.
I pity March 31 and April 2 — if the calendar was a restaurant, they basically would be the two persons sitting next to the toilet.
I’m already groaning in anticipation of the crap that passes as April Fools’ Day joke these days. Especially German companies seem to have a habit of pooping out press releases and articles I’d love to ignore if they didn’t offend so much due to being horribly unimaginative. Hey, random developer, your next Horse Beauty Farm game is going to ship with an actual pony? And hello there, little gaming website that just acquired Electronic Arts!
The best part: Some of them actually send out emails or post updates to set the record straight on the next day. Hoping to reach that one two-year-old that did not instantly figure out the ‘prank’ and has yet to start loathing mankind.
Here’s the deal: Not everyone can be Blizzard when it comes to AFD content. If you don’t have any resources to spend, if you have authors that need to look up funny in the dictionary, or of you think it can be done without any effort at all, don’t bother creating jokes just for the sake of it. You’re not obliged. Regardless of how much your PR company bugs you because the 299 bucks they want to unleash some lazy press release will totally “increase your visibility!” (Rest assured: The uninspired and generic pieces they tend to come up with usually won’t!)
It’s not like one has to have 10+ people working on it for weeks. (Obligatory Schadenfreude Interactive link.) However, if it took you five minutes to come up with the prank idea or even its final form, you either got a shitty concept or some of the most creative and productive staffers ever. Gee, I wonder what the chances are.