handcircus

Games and Interaction design

Thursday, July 13, 2006

IMPORTANT - SITE URL MOVE

Well its time to move on from Blogger. I've deciced to merge my blog and portfolio site into one easy to use place - and so I've moved everything over to handcircus.com with a brand new wordpress front end.

So. Point your browsers and bookmarks to:

WWW.HANDCIRCUS.COM

And update your RSS feeds to point to

http://www.handcircus.com/feed/

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Bit-Generations

Keeping the GBA Micro well fed and watered, Nintendo are obviously serious about continuing to support it rather than force migration to the DS lite. As it gets to the end of its lifecycle, its interesting to see titles like Bit-Generations appear. A cousin of the "Touch Generations" range on the DS, the focus appears to be a "back-to-basics" approach to game design - very simple (one or two buttons) to encourage the lapsed or intimidated gamer to play. With a nice mixture of visual styles (perhaps edging towards the crude at times), many look like simple flash games in nature.

Read more at N-Sider.

Code as performance - Livecoding

Theres an article up on Wired about "Livecoding", the live writing of code to create performance - for both audio and video.

This is something I find really interesting - someone with a deep level of understanding of the algorithms and patterns involved in the generation of music or engaging visuals, combined with a good eye for aesthetic and/or music ability. The two should allow someone like this to create a genuinely new type of performance. The trouble I have with it though is that writing code seems to be the most inappropriate way to generate or manipulate these algorithms as its so inefficient.

Writing code is too general. Although I might be being presumptious, I'm assume that the kind of creation and manipulation that would go on in these kind of performances would be things such as the combination of existing modules and the tweaking of parameters, with some live input from more tactile devices (keyboards, mice, joypads?). This is something far more suited to schematic programming (ala virtools, max) than raw typing in of code. Unless you are planning on writing and debugging a brand new system from scratch, its much more efficient to be able to drag on a pre-built system, configure, tweak and link into your composition. Entering text, while potentially "glamorous" in that it appears that you are working at a low level, is simply not efficient for these kind of operations and performace in general. Do the low level stuff beforehand, creating your modules etc, but why type to make those connections?