handcircus

Games and Interaction design

Monday, January 31, 2005

i have no willpower

my willpower being so weak, ive ordered (and finally taken delivery) of a sony psp, now that lik-sang have it under the 200 mark. it is simply stunning. pictures dont do it justice. ive picked up ridge racers and lumines and so far im dead happy with it. ridge racers is perfect for showing it off, and you forget while playing that its a hand-held youre using. pretty much same old ridge racer when it comes down to it but boy does it look slick. lumines is the complete opposite. nothing that impressive visually but feels so fresh. although part of the shifting and arranging block family (its closest relative is probably puyo puyo), the concept of a clearing bar makes timing far more important in your moves and helps it tie in nicely with tempo and the music it uses. not tried music, photos or video yet (need a compatible usb cable), but so far its a very satisfying piece of kit.

thats a nice photo album

check this international photo album for a lush interface for browsing photos based on location. very nice.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Learning OpenGL

Having mucked about with shockwave 3d and a bunch of other 3d engines, i thought it was time to see how it compares to c++ and opengl, so i've been going through the excellent nehe tutorials.
Its been going pretty well, I've got the basic engine for Voodoo Ray into it now, and i think it should fit it a lot better, allowing for some fancy light effects. god the difference in speed is quite unbelievable. flash lets you move about 20 things around before complaining. director maybe 100. with c++ and opengl its a huge amount.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Stunning Soulful animation short

"Over time" by Oury and Thomas. This is what happens when you mix together the muppets, tim burton and weekend and bernies. absolutely beautiful.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Haruki Murakami's got a new book out

Called "Kafka by the Shore". So check out this old interview on Salon to celebrate. If you have not read anything by him before, please do. He is extraordinary.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Social Circles

From the people that created newsmap, Social Circles maps communication relationships between people on a selection of mailing lists.

N : Cute Flash "Puzzle platformer"

Nicely done. Click here to play.

Nine predictions for 2005

From the guardian gamesblog. The idea of ordering a pizza in-game in GTA and have it delivered to your door? amazing. reminds me a little of that 10-year old kid who ordered 10 grands worth of chocolate on some random mexicans credit card by accident.
While there, also check out a discussion about Grown up gaming. Is it the underlying concept, the mechanic, the contents or the theme that determine if a game is "adult"?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Skeletal systems of cartoon characters

This is plain creepy, this guy has done anatomical studies of a number of popular cartoon characters to determine what their skeletons would look like

Thursday, January 06, 2005

A few good books

First up, I've been reading "Game Character Development with Maya", a good overall look at all the stages of low-mid poly character creation, from sketching, modelling, rigging, texturing and animation. Got to admit, some of the tutorials are not that clear in places but its got a lot of information thats hard to come by. Check out some sample chapters here.
Secondly, theres raising the bar, a behind the scenes of the creation of Half Life 2. I've got a copy on order, so can't vouch for its quality, but a lot of people have recommended it.
Lastly theres The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants, a coffee table book taking a look at the art direction of the oddworld universe. bit of a pain in the arse to order (cant see any UK distributors) but looks pretty comprehensive.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Peter Molyneux awarded an OBE

This is great news for the progression of videogames in terms of cultural significance, the first time that an OBE has been awarded to a games developer.