F

When I put my iPhone into silent mode, it doesn’t make the click when I take it out of sleep mode. It doesn’t ding when I get an email. It doesn’t ring when I get a call.

Dear developers of Texas Hold ’em and Scrabble:

Why do your application still make noise when I’m in silent mode?

Signed,

Outed in Orlando

Linky

No posts. Haven’t been playing games. I’ve been a busy bee. We’re moving homes this week (!) and I’m starting on a new team internally at work. Blank pages are the scariest damn things in the world, don’t you think?

A few links:

Steve Chiang was interviewed on Newsweek’s game blog.

Gabe Newell makes great games / shitty slides.

How did this EA logo image not make it out to the snarky blogs?

I’ve always wanted to have fans (designer ego), but then I see videos like this and I change my mind.

Probably Lexcorp, I’d Imagine

Who designs the stuff at party stores?

I wonder because the bar seems pretty low. Thanks to my new phone, I have some examples.

Firstly, let it be known that I’ve worked with DC Comics before. They are sticklers. Superman’s cape is too red. It’s not red enough. Superman can’t be injured. Except by kryptonite. And you can’t have kryptonite. Because Superman always wins. And so on and so forth. So how does this happen:

Is that… a Superman pi├▒ata? You are telling me that someone at Warner Brothers or DC Comics said: “Yeah, bullets can bounce off him, but let’s license a product where kids can beat Superman with a small stick, break him open and feast on the candies inside.”

That’s just not right.

But this is worse:

You may not notice this right away, but what’s coming out of the clown’s hands? Is he being crucified? You get thirty-five points for ringing the stigmata, but you can get a whopping one-hundred for ringing the clown’s erect left nipple.

I’m not going into party stores anymore. They confuse and scare me.

Five+

It is amazing at how many people cheat at Top 5 lists. You don’t get to say Honorable Mentions. You don’t get to say: “I guess I’d add so-and-so if I could”. That’s cheating. You don’t get to say: “Oh, it changes so often!” Of course it does. That’s just another way to quell the fears of adhering to the constraint.

Five is a constraint. Top five lists are interesting. Top whatever lists are not. If I listed every album or book or game I thought was worth note it would be less interesting than if I could pick only three. The constraint makes it interesting.

Pecha Kucha is very interesting. Your company’s slide shows are not.

PS, my five?

  1. Dream Theater – Images and Words
  2. Radiohead – OK Computer
  3. Transatlantic – Bridge Across Forever
  4. Neal Morse – Testimony
  5. The Clarks – Let It Go

Update

No industry-related posts lately – I’ve been busy.

Firstly, GDD writing and estimate meetings for my current project are sucking my days dry.

Speaking of dry, we just had a hurricane come sorta close. The studio shut down early yesterday and we went home and played Madden and Rock Band. When given the choice between hurricane and no hurricane, I choose the latter. But if we are just going to be brushed by the outside arms leading to what amounts to just a windy and rainy day, I can live with that.

Sunday-Monday I took a trip out to Salt Lake City for the first time in my life to meet with some colleagues up there. That city is an absolute ghost town on Sunday nights. It is kind of creepy, honestly. I’m a little tired from nine hours of being strapped into a plane in a day and a half period, but I am recovering. It gave me the time to finish Made to Stick and Slide:ology, both of which were useful, informative books. Slide:ology was a bit of preaching to the choir for me, but if you’ve never read a book on presentation design, I’d recommend it highly.

I saw a Hummer logo sticker on a Prius yesterday. When artists talk about juxtaposition, that’s what they mean.

Brought To You By

The always eloquent and classy David Jaffe, ladies and gentlemen (via MTV Multiplayer, of course):

Alot of the net posters commenting on this story are assuming game devs who want this treatment are ego maniacs. They then go on to say that movie stars and movie directors are ok to ask for it because that’s just how it is, but game makers are assholes if they as for such treatment. To these folks I say: go fuck yourself.

Side note: I agree with him. Game creators should get the same props as movie creators. But how do we credit the right people? Movies rarely focus on the screenwriter front and center yet they have quite possibly the biggest impact on the production along with the director. Executive producers of films love to get their names on the trailers (Quentin Tarantino), but do they really matter to the creative responsibility of the project? Who do we put on the cover? The Executive Producer? The Studio General Manager? The Project Lead? The Lead Designer? The Writer? The Lead’s Voice-Over Guy? Or just the studio name? I don’t know. If the question had an easy correct answer, there would probably be people fighting for it.

There are games I’ve worked on that I’d rather have Alan Smitheed. I’d rather my recognition come from my peers than get any name recognition from the public. The public pretty much hates everything anyway.

Kyle Gray Shout on Joystiq

Henry Hatsworth is getting some love on the Multiplayer blog and so is it’s creator. I almost put “Kyle Gray’s Henry Hatsworth”, but while he’s the uberman on that project everyone knows it takes tons of people to realize a creative vision. But the attention is justly deserved. I haven’t played the game yet, but I am sure it is great.

Fun Fact: We were on a project team in a Game Design class in college together and pitched an awesome idea (we even had a trailer!) for a next-gen open-world crime syndicate game where people had superhuman strength because it was on the Moon. A couple years later, Microsoft releases Crackdown an open-world sci-fi game about crime fighting supercops with super-strength.

Hmph.