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I made a game – Rocket Runner is live now!

May 22, 2017 Leave a comment

After months of Coursera classes in game design, I just finished the capstone project – an eight week course to build a game from scratch. I built the game Rocket Runner using Unity. You can play it now on Kongregate. I hope to put it in the iOS and Android app stores in the next few weeks.

 

I hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Link: graphics analysis of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

March 21, 2015 Leave a comment

Screenshot from the article showing normal map generation

http://www.adriancourreges.com/blog/2015/03/10/deus-ex-human-revolution-graphics-study/

This is one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen. Each step of the rendering pipeline is explained clearly, and the animated transitions between the screenshots are incredible. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

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Your update is not more important than my work

March 5, 2015 Leave a comment

I love TextMate, but I just saw the most user-hostile, infuriating thing. I’m doing work when all of a sudden I get the pop-up:

 

TextMate forced update

TextMate forced update

It closed my document (thankfully giving me a chance to save), and now the program refuses to launch until updated.

sigh

Link: At Chipotle, How Many Calories Do People Really Eat?

February 20, 2015 Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/17/upshot/what-do-people-actually-order-at-chipotle.html?abt=0002&abg=0&_r=0

This article makes good use of histograms to display distributions rather than just standard descriptive statistics like “average”. For those who haven’t taken much math or haven’t been exposed to these sorts of distributions, the author also picks out certain points along the cumulative frequency distribution chart to explain what they mean; for instance only 10 percent of meals have less than 625 calories.

For many data sets (especially non-normal ones that arise in social networks, arithmetic mean (sum and divide by the number of elements) is a gross approximation of the real central tendency. See Ed Chi’s great article about this subject.  (Full disclosure: I have worked with Ed at Google)

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Link: “A female computer science major at Stanford: “Floored” by the sexism”

February 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Fortune.com article

Choice quote:

When a boy – let’s call him Rush (like Rush Limbaugh) — heard my friend had interned at Facebook, his mouth dropped. “Wow! Facebook! You must be really smart!” He then turned to me and asked the exact same question: What did you do this summer?

Except when I responded the same — “Facebook” — I got a completely different response. “Oh… well then I should have applied for that internship.”

Terrible. Also terrible is the treatment she received during her internships:

My high-pitched voice also became an unexpected source of frustration as team meetings became small battlegrounds for respect. At another company (which I prefer not to name), I noticed that management listened more to what my male counterparts had to say even though I was offering insightful feedback. Managers asked my male coworkers about the status of projects, although I was touching all the same files. The guys were praised more on their progress although I was pushing the same amount of code.

We as an industry have to stop this nonsense.

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Link: why one Wikipedia editor obsessively corrects the phrase “comprised of”

February 6, 2015 Leave a comment

One Man’s Quest to Rid Wikipedia of Exactly One Grammatical Mistake

I had no idea “comprised of” is not grammatical.

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Building a Case for Lego Art

January 11, 2015 Leave a comment

A long but interesting read about LEGO as art. I see parallels with the arguments about whether or not video games are/can be art (see e.g. http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/video-games-can-never-be-art)

BUILDING DEBATES

In-Pieces-NYC-Nathan-Sawaya-and-Dean-West-Avant-Gallery-LEGO-yatzer-12 Natan Sawaya, IN PIECES Installation view at the Openhouse Gallery, photo © Dean West



Jonathan Jones writing in the Guardian[i] on Nathan Sawaya’s recent touring exhibition The Art of the Brick[ii]says that ‘Sawaya’s Lego statues are interesting, but the people calling them art are missing the point. Lego doesn’t need to be art.’ It’s a valid position, but one that begs the response, is Jones missing the point? Jones confuses the argument as to who chooses what is culturally validated as art, with the argument as to what constitutes something as art. In one sense he is right, Lego creations don’t need to emulate the works found in galleries, but in another wrong, in that just because Lego doesn’t often look like so-called gallery art, or even if it does by way of a disguise (Jones’ position on Sawaya), this doesn’t mean it isn’t art.

His concluding…

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