Only 50? Seems longer…

Google Doodle
Only 50 years ago today, a significant milestone in the space race was achieved, launching a man, the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin, beyond the atmosphere and into a single orbit of the Earth.

Lots of cool space and Gagarin related info found via Google today; they also provided the cool animation on their doodle — just float your pointer over the image on Google.com ūüôā

A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer

sw1.jpg

Three exciting games were released for iOS devices in the last week and a bit. One was from a well-established computer and console development juggernaut. One was from a (now) blockbuster company that made their name on the iPhone and iPod Touch. And the final one from a small but respected Canadian design house, is currently taking the iTunes App store by storm – becoming Game of the Week on launch day. And if you’re planning to pick up an iPad 2 tomorrow, you might want to make these your first downloads :smileyhappy:
Continue reading “A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer”

Oldschool Awesome – Sword and Sworcery brings it!

Night

With an allusion to a massive psychological experiment, the new Superbrothers Role Playing Game release, Sword & Sworcery, brings a new / old 8bit look to iPad gaming. Oh, and the game can integrate with your Twitter account, extending the gameplay into the Social Media world.

While I download the app and start playing (for an upcoming review, of course), why don’t you check out this video and then read this excellent interview with the game’s creator / artist / animator, Craig D. Adams.

Audience Calibration Procedure from Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery on Vimeo.

Oh, almost forgot — it’s a Made in Canada game ūüôā or Art Project. Something.

Update: Currently iPad only, though an iPhone version is in the works.

Emotionally gaming your Twitter stream?

I’ve been watching the development of Littlecosm, a new Twitter client with excitement as it’s one of a new breed that is applying sentiment analysis to derive a result — in this case your disposition in a game.

Emotion plays a huge part in Littlecosm. ¬†Littlecosm analyzes your tweets and figures out if you’re in a good or bad mood. ¬†If your tweets are mostly “bad”, your character will turn out “bad” (you can see some “bad” characters in the screens above) – and vice versa.

But wait, there’s more!

Littlecosm isn’t only about disposition or sentiment, it’s also about memories:

Every memory you collect in Littlecosm has nostalgic value. ¬†I think about how much fun I have talking to my friends about retro games, 80s music, tv shows from bygone eras, hypercolor tshirts… and the strange sense of discovery I feel when we talk about these things that we have already experienced. ¬†That is the exact feeling I want to get from players of Littlecosm.
“Good” characters will be able to find good memories more easily. ¬†“Bad” characters will be able to find bad memories more easily. ¬†Time of day also affects the type of memories you can collect. ¬†Players who want to get the full collection will need to trade with each other.
When?
Looks like the game is on track to launch in January, 2011.¬† But if you can’t wait, there’s an opportunity to get involved with the project:
Want a seat in the last spaceship leaving earth? Donate to Littlecosm on the fundraising page below and you’ll get game tester access AND be written into the earth ship’s manifest as Crew, Pilot or Admiral!

All About Littlecosm

Littlecosm is launching in January 2011.
I haven’t given much information about the game mechanics so far, so here goes.
What you need to know before reading this: the world of Littlecosm is shaped by your emotions.
Also, Littlecosm is played in real-time. ¬†When it’s day in your world, it’s day in Littlecosm. ¬†When it’s night, it’s night.
About the Twitter Client
On every screen is a Twitter client showing your latest tweets. ¬†One of my first goals was to create a Twitter client that I would actually use, so I experimented with various interfaces. ¬†I had the panel sliding out, I had the tweets in speech bubbles – none of it felt “right”. ¬†In the end, I wanted my tweets on display at all times. ¬†So I could leave Littlecosm in the background and come back to it at any time and see new tweets (it updates seamlessly without reloading the page). ¬†That’s what I’ve built and I think it works rather well ūüôā
Here’s a short (soundless) video of the game running – you can see the Twitter client at the bottom of the screen:
A lot of people have been asking me what type of “game” Littlecosm actually is…
About the Game
Emotion plays a huge part in Littlecosm. ¬†Littlecosm analyzes your tweets and figures out if you’re in a good or bad mood. ¬†If your tweets are mostly “bad”, your character will turn out “bad” (you can see some “bad” characters in the screens above) – and vice versa.
The first, most obvious game mechanic was to make a game where good players could fight bad players. ¬†This would have an undoubtedly viral effect (@player_x just killed you! fight back?) but I just wasn’t comfortable with the concept. ¬†I didn’t want to make a fighting game.
So I went back to the drawing board. ¬†The goal was to make a game that resonates with people like me – people who actually don’t play a lot of social games, because they are spammy or because they are based on themes that we don’t particularly get excited about (growing plants on a virtual farm, for example).
My conclusions can be summed up in this great scene from Season 1 of Mad Men.
Along with being a game powered by emotions, I wanted Littlecosm to be emotive.  I turned to nostalgia.  This is the intro story to the game:

A ship carrying a great treasure has crashed on a planet far away. The treasure: every object, thought and memory that mankind ever created during its short history. The little inhabitants of the planet curiously collect things from the crashed ship and try to learn as much as they can about this place called “earth” and what has happened to it.

Littlecosm is a game about collecting memories.
Below is the map screen.  You can see the crashed ship half on land and half in the sea.
Every memory you collect in Littlecosm has nostalgic value. ¬†I think about how much fun I have talking to my friends about retro games, 80s music, tv shows from bygone eras, hypercolor tshirts… and the strange sense of discovery I feel when we talk about these things that we have already experienced. ¬†That is the exact feeling I want to get from players of Littlecosm.
“Good” characters will be able to find good memories more easily. ¬†“Bad” characters will be able to find bad memories more easily. ¬†Time of day also affects the type of memories you can collect. ¬†Players who want to get the full collection will need to trade with each other.

Of course, there’s a video of the game in action — a silent movie — seems appropriate.

Add this to my Christmas List

If you’re a fan of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, then this book, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, had better be on your Christmas list this year. It’s on mine ūüôā

Watch the video and find out why…

Cool Desktop: Spectrum of a Tree

My wife has been using this image as a desktop background for about a year now, but recently I took a good look at it.

Initially I thought this was simply a photo of a tree in silhouette, sliced, colourized and laid out as you see it.

But on closer inspection, it seems that these are shots of the tree, at various times and seasons, with different coloured sky in the background. The website doesn’t really have detail on how the image was created.

The photographer also created Spectrum of the Sky — but I like the Tree better.

Some cool retro posters

The following post is a QuickHit(tm) — an article or post I found online and thought was important enough to share directly with you. Of course, you’ll see my thoughts or opinions prepended or appended to this post, otherwise I’m just scraping content, and that’s not the intent.

It seems today my online path was crossed with many cool posters – like Dug from Pixar’s UP.

via erictanart.blogspot.com

Or this Battlestar Galactica retro

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