Archive for category Weasel Musings

A View from the Office

Since looking at the sky will never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever get boring to me, I went ahead and did three more timelapse runs. one of which included a highly stormy day that had the clouds zipping by at high speed. Music once again by Mr. Ian Dorsch.

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A Berlin Minute

I hadn’t dabbled with timelapse videos in quite a while. Seeing how the Airborn Studios office provides a nice view, I thought I might try a shot or two again. And after three of boringly grey weather, the sun showed up for once. The result is fine – not great though. Turns out that even cameras 2014 flagship smartphone are utterly prone to image banding. Not to mention the obligatory noise in low-light situations.

Slapped together the video above and added a bit of music Ian Dorsch, Senior Vice President of Audio Wizardry, had composed a while ago – with his permission, of course.

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November Musings

0557

Well, well, well. Let’s imagine that I, for some weird reason, got to travel 15 years back in time to have a chat with one of the chaps I’ve studied with. I could picture the following conversation.


 

Me: “In November 2016 Microsoft will become a Platinum Member of the the Linux Foundation!”

Person: “Dude, Ballmer just recently called Linux a cancer. That’s gotta be one of the most mindboggling developments of the decade, eh?”

Me: “Well… it’s actually not even the most mindboggling thing of that year…”

Person: “Wait…”

Me: “… or that month.”

Person: ” … what.”

Me: “I’ll give you a headline to chew on: ‘China Tells Trump That Climate Change Is No Hoax It Invented’.”

Person: “Aw man. I’m a bit bummed that we’ll still be debating mankind’s contribution to climate change in 2016, however,…”

Me: “But, but, but…”

Person: “… I’m not really as shocked as you thought I would be.”

Me: “But, but, but…”

Person: “Pretty weird though that the People’s Republic of China will feel compelled to make a statement to some celebrity!”

Me: “Yeah, about that…”

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gamescom 2016 Photo Impressions

Ah yes, the annual trip to Cologne. And once I kicked off gamescom week by attending the Respawn conference to deliver a talk – this time on characteristics of modern work structure, task design, and why autonomy and self-regulation are a thing. And it went well. Or so I’m hearing.

When I wasn’t busy doing work for Experimental Game, I spent some time at the Indie Arena Booth. Its fourth instalment has grown to an amaaaazing 620m² of showfloor space with 60 (!) indie devs presenting their projects to the public. Prior the show I had supported the organizers by working on press releases and also editing the Indie Arena Booklet again. And surely enough it–and I’m like, totally unbiased here–was the most interesting booth on what otherwise was a bit of an underwhelming gamescom due to lack of big announcements and premieres this year.

I also visited the IGJam 2016 regularly over the course of three days at which 170+ devs had gathered to develop games within 48 hours. Lots of photo output.

Indie Arena Booth 2016 (1/2)

Indie Arena Booth 2016 (2/2)

IGJam @ gamescom 2016

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The Sound of Berlin at Midnight

The other weekend I was weaseling around to shoot some nightime photos. Some of which may pop up here at some point. Didn’t actually have to point you that way though because you knew that already. Right? … ? Ah well.

It was at around midnight that I stopped by at the Victory Column because I had heard a bit of music from a distance. Turns out a street musican was practicing in the ditch of unlit tunnel. Given that no one else was around to listen, it was a bit of a mystical moment. Obviously, the camera battery had to crap out right then, so I only got this one take.

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The A Maze Berlin 2015 (!) Aftermath Post

Greetings, mortals! So yeah, about that plan to post more often on this very blog… it didn’t work out quite that well. It began as an ambitious endeavour, but like a withered leaf in an Autumn breeze it became a metaphor for something that doesn’t make sense like the latter part of this sentence. Wait.

A lot has changed in the past year, and yours truly is now part of a company working on a rather exciting approach to technology and content development. Also, photography went from casual to slightly more serious hobby, and some of the images I made last year apparently were convincing enough for the A Maze to ask me to come aboard for this year’s festival to do some close-ups. Phew! Asking people to pose or, well, just do nothing was a bit weird for someone who usually has a stealthy approach to shooting with the cam, and I hope the results were acceptable.

The A Maze Berlin 2015 itself was a blast just like the previous three events. The pull the festival has developed within such a short time is impressive. Four years ago around 50-ish people gathered to celebrate the indie scene; this year it’s been several hundred attendees plus even way more visitors of the exhibition. The general mood and spirit of the festival just keeps on being open and embracing, and the photos clearly do convey the atmosphere of the A Maze. Enjoy!

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Don’t worry, people!

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
GameJournos
Semprafi

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+1’ed

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?!

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And Not A Single Flag Was Given

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.)

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Hey. HEY! Look at me!

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!

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