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Ugh, stop twitching
march 2012 microblog digest
minutiae Posted 2012-04-06 00:20:45 by Jim Crawford
Mar 01
  • Virt's FX4 disk debuting at 10 tonight on Arecibo Radio.
  • RT @konjak If you had to write "queue" being yelled, which vowel would you extend? #hypotheticalquandries
  • You know you're doing interactive storytelling right when players ask "is this actually a video game?"
  • The sooner we can distinguish between "games" and "interactive storytelling" as two independently viable media, the better off we'll be.
  • The ubiquitous hybrid form that tries to do both has produced some awesome stuff, but more often than not one half drags the other way down.
  • RT @TNG_S8 Q's back: he's wearing scuba gear and needs Picard's help dumping his girlfriend. Barclay accidentally locks himself outside the ship.
  • Man near me says "hey baby" to his phone. Woman in front of me looks back in my direction, mildly alarmed. We make eye contact. God damn it.
  • Oh, er, FX4 is just out already anyway. Downloadable as NSF!
  • @polpo @textfiles All's well that ends well!

Mar 02

  • Paypal cracking down on the BDSM fiction market. Buh?
  • Had I read this short story about Adsense-based surveillance in 2007, when it was written, I'd've called it ridiculous.
  • "Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill." The Saul Alinsky anecdote here is awesome, if irrelevant.
  • RT @checker The difficulty ramp from teaching a computer to blow up a spaceship to teaching it to pick up a book is absurd. It's sitting right there!
  • I get that the point of a social site is the community, and the community is on Pinterest. I get that. *Why* is the community on Pinterest?
  • RT @badmachinery Recent TNG commission produced in collaboration with @TNG_S8
  • @MammonMachine Maybe if developers gussied up rock-paper-scissors *even more*, it would become a fun single player game?
  • For a week or so I've had unexplained stinging pain alternating with limb-waking-up tingling in my left shoulderblade. So that's worrisome.
  • @benprunty Had no idea he still existed!
  • "North Korea halts nuclear programme in return for US food aid."
  • @MammonMachine Yeah, and arguably Starcraft *is* RPS further gussied-up. But fighting games are *so* inherently RPS, that if you e.g. took
  • @MammonMachine their control scheme and put it in a brawler, it would become something else entirely.
  • "YouTube's Content ID Disputes Are Judged by the Accuser"

Mar 03

  • Finally, someone's addressing the insidious cat-router problem.
  • RT @FakeLorax I'm Fake Lorax. I speak for companies...companies say to me: Make kids think recycled ink makes up for this Right @HP?
  • Pulp Fiction performed as a work of Shakespeare: Script wiki: pulpbard.wikispac...
  • I *love* how they wrote in an analogous word-stumble to the one Vincent made in the hallway when explaining the dangers of foot massages.
  • @Eliot_L Every 8-fingered cartoon character is bad sci-fi now. Thanks a lot.
  • South Bay Game Jam soon! Hoping to get the less-spoilery half of Frog Fractions complete enough to play through today.
  • @mrasmus @Satchamobob What if they spelled it "Krush Kode"?
  • RT @Vectorpark Protip: If you know a movie character's "555" phone number, you can call and interrupt him in the middle of a scene.
  • @Satchamobob @mrasmus ... or a Loading Ready Run cover band.
  • Added to Frog Fractions bug tracker: "refruiters going crazy in space"
  • Overheard: "Learn to spell real words while getting rained on by bullets."
  • Overheard: "May contain traces of grandma."

Mar 04

  • So much progress on Frog Fractions today. It is totally in a demoable state, if I seemed reluctant to show it to you before.
  • @benprunty Figured out where the arrows were coming from in the second loop! Those were the arrows you hadn't hit the first time around.
  • Had a great discussion with Francisco Cerda earlier today. He pointed out that Jamestown's music has a big advantage over most game scores:
  • With fixed length levels, each level's score can be an actual song, with dramatic structure, rather than an indefinitely-repeating loop.
  • (I also witnessed Francisco Cerda sign what he said was his first fan autograph today. A surprisingly emotional moment for all involved.)

Mar 05

  • Holy shit, that one woke me up. Looks like it was centered in El Cerrito? earthquake.usgs.g...
  • RT @MarthaPlimpton Here's this:
  • RT @ibogost Find me to get your "Don't Clone My Indie Game Bro" #GDC badge ribbon.
  • "Money: once you spend it all, you don't feel rich any more. Someone should write an essay about that."
  • The principle runs deeper than Gawker takes it, of course. If the homeless had blogs, we could read those essays too.
  • Check out John Romero bust out the Apple 2 memory map, straight off the dome, twenty-five years later.
  • Can't-fail startup idea of the day: dating site for people who really like ladders. is totally available!
  • Asshole Game of the Day: "What color grapes are those, anyway?" twinbeardstudios....
  • How to cite a tweet in your academic paper.

Mar 06

  • Bioware heard you bitch about mining, and instead you have to play online multiplayer and buy DLC to get a good ending.
  • @thealawson Yeah, everyone would probably just assume it's a porn site anyway.
  • RT @rstanek This is your occasional reminder that the autism-vaccine link was faked, and that vaccines save lives:
  • "Neuroscientists are novices at deception. Magicians have done controlled tests on perception for thousands of years."
  • A low-current electrical pulse to the brain to quiet the voices, and you're suddenly a better person. lastwordonnothing...
  • P.S. build your own and let me know how it goes.
  • A year and a half later, I finally figured out the "statement" I was trying to make with Futility Pong:
  • Even if your interaction has no impact on the outcome, the mere fact of interactivity can still be crucial for the game's emotional effect.
  • (If someone figures out what I meant with Futilitris please let me know.)
  • Rich Vreeland performing music from the Fez soundtrack at PAX east.
  • "$1B of TSA Body Scanners Made Worthless By Blog Post" tsaoutofourpants....
  • Shook Notch's hand in the line outside the POW show at the DNA Lounge. So that's cool.

Mar 07

  • "John Nash?s Letter to the NSA"
  • How to make a living playing a new MMO. mediumdifficulty....
  • @KayinNasaki Man, who doesn't? As satisfying as a hearty meal or a good night's sleep.

Mar 08

  • Doing audio work for Frog Fractions tonight. Looking for a certain command line audio tool that might not exist. Good thing I can code.

Mar 09

  • Sleep still basically doesn't make sense to me.
  • RT @SorenJohnson Irrelevant tutorial messages cost us the player's trust. Future messages might be ignored. #gdc
  • RT @westquote Hey everybody! My GDC talk is at 2:30 today in North Hall 130. It's about continuous prototyping - join me! :)
  • If your robot manufacturing process necessitates the occasional murder, the R&D guys fucked up real bad.
  • P.S. If your robot R&D necessitates the occasional murder, your PhD program fucked up. Shit needs to be provably nonsentient at every step.
  • RT @ForneusLex I wish that Ruby would allow is_an?() as an alias to is_a?(), just to slake my OCD. You guys have no idea how much this bothers me.
  • @ForneusLex Just slap a C preprocessor build step in there and you can #define it yourself!
  • @_peterdn I don't know! Hopefully the grad students making mathematical models of problem-solving general intelligence will, though.
  • @_peterdn It's going to be a lot easier to think objectively about the human mind once we've got a working model of it :)
  • MOBA players say the community is getting friendlier. My theory: you're getting better at MOBA games, so the community is nicer *to you*.
  • Half an hour into Asura's Wrath. Pretty goddamn amazing. Between the barely-interactive machinima scenes they have manga-style interludes.
  • "Epic Rap Battles of History" These are surprisingly well-made, for an idea so bald-facedly pandering and on-the-nose.

Mar 10

  • Teenagers have no money, but somehow they become loyal lifelong game, film and music consumers. How does that happen? PIRACY AND USED SALES.
  • Actually successfully stopping piracy and used game sales will absolutely kill games as we know them -- fifteen years from now.
  • Goddamn, but I would love to see a game that tries to do mechanically what Asura's Wrath does with scripted fight sequences.
  • Just added two major features to Frog Fractions in under 3 hours. Have I mentioned how impressed I am with Flash/AS3 as a dev platform?
  • @xobs My experience with it pre-AS3 was pretty miserable. So it's only been good for a few years at most.
  • RT @KayinNasaki Dys4ia makes me realize my issue with most art games is that they never have anything to be honest and sincere about... but Auntie does!

Mar 11

  • "The 25 Most Awkward Cat Sleeping Positions"
  • Anna Anthropy makes you feel it. (It being gender dysphoria.)
  • @_peterdn It seems to me more and more programming these days is done by people who aren't intimately familiar with the tools they're using.
  • @_peterdn Even by people like me, who've been coding for half their lives, it feels like a luxury when a new project uses familiar tools.
  • @_peterdn And so I think there's an argument to be made that maybe "dangerous if abused" isn't safe enough. Most abuse comes from ignorance.

Mar 12

  • "How often does the US find millions of Americans pleading that they intervene militarily in a place rich in oil?"
  • "Japanese researchers build a gun capable of stopping speakers in mid-sentence." No, not that kind of gun! technologyreview....
  • Goddamn, Killer 7 is gorgeous. Too bad the good stuff is all hidden behind terrible play mechanics and level design.
  • I could say the same thing about No More Heroes. Or 99% of video games, really. Why is it we can't press a button to skip gameplay again?
  • @TiffanyTurrill I know, it's weird! Actionscript 3 is a decent language and the Flash 10 API is a decent API now! Where's the hidden camera?
  • Journey, Asura's Wrath, Dear Esther, Dys4ia: what a great month for "games" that shouldn't have to pretend to be games to reach an audience!
  • RT @Johnicholas @mogwai_poet Forced artificial scarcity works. By locking narrative in challenge-gates of dexterity, you find it better than it would be.
  • @Johnicholas Absolutely true. But notably, interactivity by itself *also* works. E.g. Dys4ia. I hold that it would be a terrible "movie."
  • I've come to the depressing conclusion that the dual beard is just not sustainable. Can anyone direct me to a qualified beard consultant?

Mar 13

  • Frog Fractions playtest session with @westquote basically changed my life.
  • @mrfb If only! That, I could cope with. Not sustainable as in: I can't make it look good and not also slowly kill it.
  • Doublefine starting a livestream at 3PM pacific, counting down the last hours of their adventure game Kickstarter.
  • @doubleanna Very interested, depending on where it ends up being located.
  • RT @doubleanna Gauging interest: are you a gamedev in the Bay Area interested in participating in Molydeux Game Jam March 31st - April 1st? Plz reply.
  • RT @chrisremo Do you like making games and live in or near the SF Bay Area? Sign up for the @petermolydeux Game Jam on Mar 31/Apr 1:
  • RT @pmolyneux Is it posible to make a green square feel alive, sounds crazy but that is what i am considering in my plans.
  • "Rick Santorum Relieved No One Has Asked Him About Interracial Marriage Yet"

Mar 14

  • Making clouds indoors, with Berndnaut Smilde.
  • After 244 years, Encyclopedia Britannica stops printing and goes entirely digital.
  • This is pretty much what we know about the Molydeux game jam so far.
  • @Satchamobob All the more reason to be here every weekend.
  • RT @grumpygamer Best job application ever, except, hasn't he heard that adventure game are dead?
  • "Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. The environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it."
  • "The Bessemer process was the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass-production of steel from pig iron."

Mar 15

  • Gamespot acquires Giant Bomb. So, um, that's kind of fucked up.
  • RT @MammonMachine Remember: It's the publishers forcing the unreasonable weight on metacritic, and then blaming journalists for ending jobs.
  • Morality isn't universal, like physics; it's the nebulous system of rules each community builds around its collective sense of what's right.
  • A culture can fairly be judged only by its own moral standard. With that out of the way, this culture is way fucked-up:
  • Less than 3 days left for the "other" indie game documentary Kickstarter, about Jason Rohrer, thatgamecompany, et alia.
  • "The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate."
  • "The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus."
  • "Revolver." Geddit? It revolves, it's a record...
  • Gearbox's Matt Armstrong & Stephanie Puri, on hearing what players say they want but giving them what they really want.
  • One pattern I've noticed talking to Google employees is that they tend to assume that everyone at least *knows* someone who works at Google.
  • (After all, everyone *they* know knows someone who works at Google.)

Mar 16

  • RT @dresdencodak American comics are bizarely mono-genre. Imagine if 95% of bookstores only sold pirate romance, with every other genre labelled as ?indie.?
  • RT @dresdencodak Novelists wanting to do historical fiction or other non-pirate romance books still could do so, but Pirate Romance is still paying the bills
  • RT @dresdencodak And of course, when you tell someone you write books, they always say ?That?s cool, but I?m really not into pirate romance.?
  • Kickstarter users gives another sequel to a beloved game the green light.
  • This American Life retracts the Foxconn / Mike Daisey story. thisamericanlife....
  • You know the trick where you use Comic Sans or Papyrus, to motivate the real designers to fix it with real design? Sometimes it backfires.
  • @KayinNasaki See, it does *usually* work!
  • Bret Victor demonstrates a mouth-wateringly-interactive new coding interface, and it only gets better from there.
  • Mouths.

Mar 17

  • RT @WstonesOxfordSt To find out your author name simply take your first and last names, write a book, get it published and read the name on the cover.
  • First thing you see booting up Journey is a EULA that takes 15 seconds to page through. Stay classy, PSN.
  • (My second and third observations about Journey were also complaints, but it's been pretty amazing since then.)

Mar 18

  • Finally wrote the last check in my checkbook. I've had that checkbook since the last millenium.
  • Mike Daisey and the Apple Factory: the retraction episode. thisamericanlife....
  • I kept waiting for Journey to become more than it was. It's gorgeous and well-made, but it never actually *goes anywhere*.
  • Still processing, but one factor was that the apparently-intended meditative mood was destroyed every time some dude showed up in my game.
  • I stopped taking in the landscape and wondering what was behind the next hill, and started wondering whether that's AI or another player.
  • Then I wondered whether it was rude to hang back and explore. Then I wondered whether he's judging me for repeatedly failing that jump.
  • Even at the end, in the snow, I was thinking about the other player, specifically about how weird it was that we were so synchronized.

Mar 19

  • @Satchamobob I'm *pretty* sure that that's not what the developers were intending me to feel at that moment.
  • I guess what saying is that I wish Journey was on XBLA, where my silver-level Live account would've kept xXx_SNiPeRWoLF_xXx off my lawn.
  • @KayinNasaki Did it also make you wonder whether maybe you should look into anti-anxiety medication?
  • @BrianNumberOne Frickin' wifi!
  • @Satchamobob @KayinNasaki In that the multiplayer made me think thoughts I hadn't previously thought, it was a total success.
  • @Satchamobob @KayinNasaki P.S. You're such a cheater, taking the space to say what you actually mean.
  • Who knew ants could frolic?
  • "It?s engaging with a set of rules that defines a game, not having one?s time wasted."
  • Jeff Gerstmann and John Davison clear the air about Gerstmann's 2007 firing. Color me provisionally not disgusted.
  • @Satchamobob @KayinNasaki No, you're supposed to not be able to back up your points and hope the reader will fill in the blanks!
  • "The Chaos Monkey?s job is to randomly kill instances and services within our architecture."

Mar 20

  • @aerothopter Hm. It makes me feel like that was an explicit goal of the developer, to bring widely disparate people together emotionally.
  • I've never seen Connie Chung more excited.
  • RT @d6 Glad to see the hacker scene respond to casual sexism with orbital lasers.

Mar 21

  • This pair of years dedicated to the memory of beard number two: 2007-2012.
  • RT @chrisremo Hanging with @ja2ke @vanaman as @thegunrun hooks up amazing live stream shenanigans to celebrate end of our Kickstarter

Mar 22

  • RT @PeterMolydeux Game in which you can only progress during one minute silences. You need to find creative ways to keep the nation having 1 minute silences.
  • "From Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the US is the White Savior Industrial Complex."
  • "This industry is one of subtle sexism. I almost prefer outright sexism, because at least that you can point out."
  • Toejam and Earl on Steam. The original "alternative" roguelike. store.steampowere...
  • "The Dallas Fed Is Calling For The Immediate Breakup Of Large Banks ... 'Why We Must End Too Big to Fail?Now'" businessinsider.c...
  • RT @UtilityLimb #ThoughtsAtAHouseParty woah, bob saget is WAAY different IRL than on full house. i think. dunno. i don't have sensory perception. i'm a fern
  • Charles Stross offers a practical alternative to The Pirate Bay's UAV server idea.
  • Implementing Marching Cubes for Frog Fractions. No *current* plans for a Lava Lamp upgrade, but since I'd get it basically for free...

Mar 23

Mar 24

  • @benprunty -- See also: why fans of "The Wire" insist you watch an entire season before you're allowed to dislike it.
  • Can't-fail startup idea of the day: packet sugar that actually dissolves in iced tea rather than just sitting at the bottom like an asshole.

Mar 25

  • @benprunty Oh, I totally believe it, I was just directing you to the proper psychological fallacy :)
  • @benprunty Ooh, ooh, I've got another Wikipedia link for that sort of game!
  • Louis just released "Digits," his phase-distortion VSTi. Sounds awesome! Mac-only, for now.

Mar 26

  • Replaying Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. It's pretty amazing -- probably the only Telltale series I ever really loved.
  • RT @ja2ke Presumably because I like "Samuel L Jackson's Severed Arm" on Facebook, I am now blanketed in links to Samuel L Jackson reading audiobooks.
  • Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch: "A story about the empowerment of women, deeply ingrained with a startling misogyny."
  • "Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed"

Mar 27

  • RT @mathpunk @br The job of a programmer is to speak eloquently to stones and lightning.
  • I think every song on Tally Hall's "Good & Evil" might be my new favorite song ever.
  • "Turning down Zynga: Why I left after the $210M Omgpop buy"
  • RT @TriciaLockwood @bsdf Thanks, "Poetry Magazine," for having the goodness to publish my Armpit Fetish sext

Mar 28

  • "Death of a data haven: cypherpunks, WikiLeaks, and the world's smallest nation"
  • "Good & Evil" already reminded me of Ween! Tally Hall must be their biggest fans or else truly sick of the comparison.
  • For reference: I'm going to the East Bay Molydeux Jam this weekend, at MADE.
  • RT @wonderella Rick Santorum just urged Americans to "try dry humping". This literally happened. Good day to you all.
  • @Triplefox Yeah, I suspect that'll be the bigger event anyway.
  • Man, if only there were any indication that Breaking Dawn itself is as brilliant as the final moments of this trailer.
  • RT @Polytron FEZ IS COMING OUT APRIL FRIDAY THE 13TH. polytroncorporati... #FEZ
  • Nine Inch Nails performing on Dance Party USA:
  • RT @trent_reznor Come to think of it, Skrillex may indeed owe me some publishing on that hairdo...
  • RT @JenovaChen The Japanese #JourneyPS3 fan art is too cute for me.!/search/...

Mar 29

  • My 3DS SpotPassed with Reggie Fils-Aime, so I took him into Find Mii. He was the least effective member of the party. Thanks a lot, Reggie!
  • The state of game history: Frank Cifaldi busts his ass to find the release date of Super Mario Bros.; fails utterly.
  • Prince of Persia source code, found in a cardboard box in Jordan Mechner's dad's closet.
  • What's the best depiction of a Chinese festival dragon you've seen in a 2D game? Think the Space Harrier boss, but less early-80s.
  • @benprunty It's certainly for *some* kind of Fractions.
  • Watching Space Harrier videos reminded me of this awesome performance of the Space Harrier theme.
  • Brainstorming Molydeux Jam ideas with Brian. Part of the fun of this is just revisiting @petermolydeux 's entire twitstream.

Mar 30

  • iOS app "Girls Around Me" takes the abstract Facebook privacy issue and makes it creepily concrete.
  • What is it with kids these days? They're just, like, playing a patterned sequence of pitches and calling it "music."
  • Like, this sequence of pitches is really pretty, and complements this other sequence of pitches when played at the same time, herp derp.
  • RT @ingmarbirdman space republicans decree: if alien lifeform implants a egg in ur face,u must carry it to term. perhaps wear a less enticing helmet next time
  • GoldenEye for N64 included a Sinclair Spectrum emulator and ten disk images of early Rare games.
  • Which just makes me wonder: what's in the ROM images of games that don't have communities obsessively analyzing them for 15 years?
  • Sad story: whenever I discover a cool new thing Google's done, I just wonder how they'll try to tie it into Plus.
  • RT @FakeAPStylebook The correct spelling is "Rocktober," not "Roctober," which is the month of giant birds.
  • So, um, Spriter is a subset of Flash, right? The animation tool that's already existed for over a decade?
  • Is the idea that it's cheaper? Or that since it does less, there's less of a learning curve? I could totally get behind both, if true.
  • @westquote John Nesky broke it down on Facebook. Short version: Flash doesn't expose skeletal animation data, and exporting is harder.
  • @jonbeilin Looking further into it, it seems like that's possible to do, but decidedly nontrivial, by writing an ActionScript exporter.
  • John Nesky broke down Spriter's advantages for me in a Facebook comment, which this margin is too narrow to contain. TL;DR: backed.
  • Surprise: another oxygen bear team at the Oakland #molyjam. Our bitter rivals! Hoperfully it's not a pandemic.

Mar 31

  • Here at the Oakland #molyjam. Come say hi! I'm the guy who used to have two beards.
  • Chris (@beekeepsta) just sent me a couple of music tracks for our #molyjam game. Fucking *nailed it*.
  • @chrisremo Oh no... tell me you're the only team at the SF jam working on the oxygen bear idea. We've got two here at the Oakland jam.
  • The guitar lead is a little bit flat. Chris and I are discussing whether fixing it would ruin the charm.
  • Just found out @hryx didn't know about #molyjam! They should make a database of who doesn't know what so I know who to tell about things.
  • @IcarusTyler The real value the second eye gives you isn't stereo vision, it's the freedom to not be afraid of losing an eye.
  • @LouisGorenfeld I'll email you a comparison.
  • @KayinNasaki Those people must hate the run button in Super Mario Bros. It cuts the value of the game in half!
  • Tomorrow is asshole day. To non-assholes: watch out for assholes on asshole day. To assholes: try to not be such assholes, I mean, Jesus.
  • [link to this] [See more on “minutiae”]

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