I Am the Media

Strings - Fantastic movie. See it. Thanks, Tall Guy!

9 - Not to be confused with District 9, which I did for a long time, much to the bewilderment of those to whom I was speaking. It's an interesting contrast to Strings, because while Strings let me have the (to me) supremely satisfying experience of saying "I wonder why that's... oh... oh right, of course things would be that way!", 9 did the opposite. The more I thought about it, the more I was going "Wait a minute, how is that even... why would..." There's also the whole CGI versus "real" thing, and I'm glad people are still experimenting with the real. At the risk of sounding like those audiophile snobs who only ever listen to vinyl on tube amps... I like the real stuff better.

Scribblenauts - Really quite fun. I can't believe I didn't think of this. For the record, it doesn't work (you get the Starite but it's inert. Though if you throw it at a muskox you will anger the beast and it will trample you).

STOnline - Got a good response at PAX. I was very pleased to hear that the space UI isn't as impenetrable as I'd thought.* Friends and Family is going gratifyingly well for what is basically an alpha test... it's good to see that we try and improve on the past. Champions learned a lot from CoX, STO is learning a lot from Champions. Onwards and upwards!

Art You Can Eat
- Just cool. I think the last one's my favourite. Again, setting up the real thing and taking pictures of it is (to me) more viscerally satisfying than if the whole thing were Photoshopped.

* I'm having to adjust my design principles slightly; having someone say "it was hard at first, but I figured it out eventually" usually triggers a redesign in "grownup" UIs. In games, having someone say this can be a good thing. Which is sort of ironic; people usually have to learn to use a UI for work, yet those UIs tend to be underdesigned (to say the least) exactly because the user doesn't usually have a choice. People will adapt to just about anything. Games, which are entirely discretionary, have to have UI that carefully steers between hand-holding (insulting) and impossible (why bother?) and tries to hit the sweet spot of overcoming-an-achievable-challenge and giving a sense of accomplishment. It's a challenge.


  1. alce said...

    My son is an inveterate videogame player, and his attitude toward UI difficulty have evolved as he's got older. When he was younger, he really wished for the magic code that would make everything turn into bags of gold, but now that he's old enough to appreciate it, it's the actual task of seeking out the magic code and hacking the game that appeals, more than the pile of gold itself.  


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