Newsletter

Information Still Wants to be Free

Posted by on Sep 19, 2013 in Data, Featured, Featured Articles, Newsletter, Technology, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Information Still Wants to be Free

If you’ve never seen the Twilight Zone, I’m about to spoil a 50 year old episode of it for you. The name of the episode is called “To Serve Man” and you can watch it here. Ready for the spoiler? At the end we discover that the book the supposedly friendly aliens have given us is not a peace proposal called “To Serve Man”, but actually a cookbook by the same name. Words, it turns out, often do not mean what it is that they appear to mean at first glance. I first heard the phrase “Information wants to be free!” on the Well back in the late 80s....

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Playing With Emotions: It’s Never “Just” a Game

Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Active Design, Featured, Featured Articles, Newsletter, Video Games | 0 comments

Playing With Emotions: It’s Never “Just” a Game

It was only a few years after I’d started in the game industry that I made something that was almost entirely *not* a game. It was called Dogz, and it was something different: a virtual pet that lived on your desktop and that you could train. It grew a pixel a day, it ran away if you didn’t feed it, and it had an artificial brain that could learn some tricks (and forget others) if you gave it treats. It looked like a game: there were buttons, and toys, and things to do with it, but that wasn’t the *point*. It was about emotions and connection. That’s what turned...

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Clean & Simple: What Polishing Means

Posted by on Jul 21, 2013 in Featured, Newsletter | 0 comments

Clean & Simple: What Polishing Means

Lots of companies abuse words. “Producer” is one of them. I’ve seen that term used to describe everything from a micro-entrepreneur managing millions of dollars of assets to a glorified secretary. Another word that gets abused a lot inside of offices is “polish”. I have a simple description for that term that I’ve shared with many companies and clients over the years: Polish is the work that gets done after the product is complete. Why is that important? Because as far I can tell, the ability to create something that feels genuinely thought out and crafted...

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When the Future Was Hi-Rez

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 in Featured, Newsletter | 0 comments

When the Future Was Hi-Rez

What games are capable of today is a lot more than it used to be, and it’s more than just the gameplay that’s changed. Back in the earliest days of digital gaming, the brutally low-resolution black and white graphics were an interesting curiosity, but hardly a competitor for the lush color images you could find in movies and television. That didn’t stop people early game developers from trying… But in order to allow players to understand what was going on, the graphics needed to represent something easy to understand. It didn’t take a whole lot of imagination to understand what it was...

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Monstrous Humanity

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 in Featured, Newsletter | 0 comments

Monstrous Humanity

I’ve spent most of my life consuming video games, anime, comic books, and other assorted geeky stuff. As I’ve grown older I’ve not only mellowed my stance on everyone else secretly being a robot, I’ve come to realize that one of the greatest challenges to creating good sci-fi and fantasy *anything* is finding a human story inside all of the strange and weird and wonderful things that we make up. But when it works, it’s powerful stuff. From the 60s through the 80s Doctor Who told stories about  a being from another planet travelling across time and space. It worked...

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Expectations and Entertainment

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 in Featured, Newsletter | 0 comments

Expectations and Entertainment

Everything in software hasn’t changed over the last half decade, but a lot of things that matter have. Before the app came to dominate the world of software, a developers greatest challenge was convincing the gatekeepers that their product deserved to be in the marketplace. There were a series of people who decided what was going to be on the store shelf (and where it was going to be). If you couldn’t convince people that you fit into the business model, you never got your shot. The app, however, exists in a world where the shelves are infinite, and everyone has access. Now the developers...

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