Ton Of Links!

tigged!

That worked.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(posted with vodpod)

I take up about the first 7 1/2 minutes. Thanks to the folks at TIGRadio for playing the essay! More talk about games as a storytelling medium in last week’s post. You can also download an MP3 of this TIGRadio here. It’s episode 20.

links

Now that I’m done with AmeriCorps (and missing my teammates to the extent that Toy Story 3 made my cry like a little bitch), One-Eyed Monsters is now my main focus. This will likely mean more frequent blog posts of a less essayist/more braindump variety. First in the new direction: links to stuff!

Flash Game Dojo.
In going through the IndieGames Weblog to remind myself what was worth posting, I came across the Flash Game Dojo. Somehow I missed it when it was first posted. It’s a Flash Game development site, put together Adam Saltsman (creator of Flixel) and Chevy Ray Johnston (creator of FlashPunk). These two, plus Alec Holowka, make up my 3 Indie Gaming Mancrushes, and can all three be seen lovingly rendered by the Indie Game: The Movie crew over here.

We’re actually using FlashPunk for One-Eyed Monsters. Fareed’s been in touch with Chevy Ray about some things he’s added to FlashPunk to make it work better for our purposes, and Chevy Ray is actually saying he’ll include these features in later builds. I’m just starting to puncture the supple membrane surrounding the indie community, and I’m finding its innards sweet and inviting. Now that I have a lot more free time, it’s time to learn ActionScript and take an active role in the coding, even if it’s just for tuning, and Flash Game Dojo seems an excellent place to learn.

PegJam
After watching the Indie Game: The Movie footage, I was interested in checking out the games from PegJam (though, haha, I don’t think the good people of Winnipeg know what pegging is). I have played a couple of the games, but here’s the livestream from the TIGRadio broadcast. Haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but in general this stresses to me the growing importance of getting a TigJam New England going; I tried to secure AS220 (where I live) for the event but they can’t spare a weekend in the performance space; they make too much of their money on booking bands for the weekends, but I don’t think a TigJam would quite work on weekdays. Gonna look into getting some space at Brown maybe.

Another Castle Interview With Adam Saltsman
I scraped together enough dough for a used iPod a while ago and have been listening to podcasts on long walks lately, or under a tree in Cathedral Square. Mostly TIGRadio and Radiolab, but this interview with Señor Saltsman was pretty interesting. Rather than plug him yet again in another link, I’ll just through in this link to his crash course in drawing backgrounds.

it hurt: Let’s Play Yahtzee’s Chzo Mythos
I’ma be a total hipster for a moment: I was into Yahtzee Crowshaw before it was cool. When I first considered MAKKING GAM I figured I’d use Adventure Game Studio, so I delved into the games made in that engine. Most of it is utter crap, but the most famous ones are the Chzo Mythos, a 4 game cycle by Yahtzee before he started Zero Punctuation (and yes, I watch the original YouTube videos before ZP got started, because I am so indier than thou!). Here, a Something Awful Goon called Quovak picks the entire series apart in the expecting LP/Goon snarktongue, but what makes it interesting is Yahtzee himself keeps chiming in to say “yeah, that was pretty bad design I did!” He usually comes in and silences the people defending the game in the comments, but what’s insightful is the propositions he makes for how the games could have been better. Quovak is, in my opinion, completely wrong about which puzzles are good; the final puzzle in Trilby’s Notes may be clever and unexpected, but it’s damn near unsolvable because no other puzzle in the entire series is remotely similar in logic so you’re somehow supposed to imagine that this is a far more interesting adventure game in the last two minutes. But I’ve always respected Yahtzee’s intentions and he honestly does have a ton of good ideas. Seeing where he went wrong and what he thinks could be fixed is an invaluable crash-course in design, like getting to see the iterative process in retrospect.

What’s Your Story?

The One-Eyed Monsters weblog received its first intra-webisphere link from another blog! This was immediately following my brief appearance on TIGRadio, so I guess web presence isn’t a myth after all. My post count spiked all the way to 23! Figure I should return the favor, though this blog seems to just amass links to other blogs. Doesn’t appear to be spam though. Tell me if you make head or tail of it.

Wolfire’s Game Dev Books
Finally, I’ve found a copy of Rules Of Play by Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman at the Providence Public Library. It’s 670 big pages so I wonder if I’ll be renewing it for the next 4 months, but it’s fascinating reading so far. Hat tip to the boys at Wolfire, they recommended it as a conceptual framework for thinking about game development. It’s nice to sit under a tree and read and watch the squirrels try to rape and/or beat the shit out of each other. Ah, Spring!

moving forwards

If anyone reading is unaware, I’ve spent the last year fulfilling a commitment of 1700 hours for AmeriCorps, working with the Providence Children’s Museum. We brought free afterschool programming to the parts of Providence that had limited access to the museum itself. It became a lot more than that in many ways. After Wednesday’s graduation ceremony, we spent Thursday on an hours-long bar crawl (I teetotaled by way through three juices and a basket of chips) and my team and I all cried into each others’ beers. I’m going to miss my teammates immensely, not to mention my club kids.

I will in all likelihood be working at one of the Boys & Girls Clubs as a part-timer this summer. I can get by on about 15 hours a week for what they pay me, so I’m thinking Monday-Wednesday-Friday afternoons. We’ll see what they offer me when I have a sit-down with them next week. Point is, that’ll be the thing that pays the bills. One-Eyed Monsters is now my main gig.

I’m taking the weekend off to enjoy having zero obligations for a bit. Of course, so far “taking the weekend off” has included this blog, reading Rules Of Play, and taking design notes during Pixar movies. Starting Monday I begin learning ActionScript.

This blog may see a few changes, and may get mirrored to a few places should I feel like it. We’ll be amassing more art to show you, more animations, and more engine build tests. This being an adventure game, there’s a lot we can’t tell you about the game; it’s not the sort of thing you can release in alphas. But we’ll be getting other folks involved as well. Keep your eye(s) peeled for guest posts from other people involved.

Stay groovy. Expect the next spate of links to be less longwinded, but then again, when is that ever true?

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