Thursday, 27 August 2015

Dreaming of a richer world

Oh, Puddleglum. <3
'One word, Ma'am,' he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. 'One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things -- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.'

Friday, 24 July 2015

I wish we could all game in the mountains, at high altitude

Fringes are fascinating.

I tend to find that most of my better ideas occur in the grey margins between two areas of thought/endeavour. Take this realisation from last night, for example:

Developing an idea for a video game as if you were developing it for a board game means that (generally) you are placing yourself in a situation with: (A) more restrictions; and, (B) more concrete materials.
Which is a good thing.

Why? Well, these two points (which are actually tied together--they're both a direct result of the very physicality of the game board/cards/pieces you're using) create (at least, in my experience) a situation where: (A) the greater restrictions force you to be more novel/creative in your design and approach; and, (B) working with more tangible materials enables you to get down to highly basic/fundamental ways of solving seemingly complex problems.

I don't want to turn this into an essay but, as a (brief) example:

I've been wanting to design a "better" (read: more verisimilitude) lockpicking minigame than what you'll see in Oblivion/Fallout 3/Skyrim for years now. The trouble is, how do you simulate the feel of your lockpick touching & manipulating the pins or tumblers of a lock? I'll not bore you with all the ins and outs, but it's only in the last few weeks that I sat down to consider lockpicking as a board game mechanic that I finally worked out how to do it--and have now managed to reverse engineer it to work in a video game. ^_^


The rarefied environment of the board game (where I couldn't have sound, or even show visuals of the lockpicks at work!) enabled me to "simplify, simplify, simplify" (H.D. Thoreau) and thus crack a design chestnut I'd been gnawing on for years now.

tl;dr of tl;dr
Hurrah! It's Febuaray 3rd! \o/

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

the siege (part 7)

Done and done.

And now, amusing as this little gig has been (what with the posting every time the twitchiness grew too much; and the security guard who keeps poking his head in the door and shaking his head in wonder that I'm still here) I'm off.

Going to go beat a hasty retreat to the car for snooze-time.

Not that the car is particularly comfortable and/or warm; but it beats having the lab alarm system go off every hour.

(Seriously, who came up with that? Unless it's specifically intended to stop students napping in here? Grr).


the siege (part 6)

Almost, almost, so almost done.

Turns out the main reading is easier to write up. I'm closing in on 500 words to go and I've still a whole 7 hours before my next tute begins.



It's way too late to be doing this kind of bunk.

I need chocolate.