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selectparks: Geek

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hello: Gary Gygax moves on

Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, rolled his last d20 on Tuesday.

I'm sure a great many of you will agree (A)D&D was/is one of the richest interfaces to the engines of imagination. It certainly had my mind exploding for several years, leading to merry geekery such as Call of Cthulhu and a healthy dose of Paranoia.

Cheers to you Gary.

Posted by julian on Friday, March 07 @ 12:41:37 CET ( )
permalink... hello

archive: Old school game commercial

Check out this antique Atari Pong commercial. Via Kotaku.

Posted by christo on Monday, July 23 @ 03:52:29 CEST ( )
permalink... archive

archive: Tetris From Russia With Love Doco

Tetris - From Russia With Love is a one-hour doco from the BBC. Tracing the history of Tetris' rise from computer lab to international fame and filled with pithy comments from Alexey Pajitnov, this is a must see for those of us interested in what makes a good game. Cross-cultural concepts of ownership and IP are explored, as are the nuances of addictive play.

Posted by christo on Tuesday, November 21 @ 03:12:48 CET ( )
permalink... archive

tech: Boot any Linux Distro on your PS3

Admittedly this is a bit premature, given anyone outside of Japan won't be seeing PS3's for a few months, but..

As the geeks amongst you are probably aware, YellowDog Linux is the (reportedly) official homebrew OS of the PlayStation3. However, as this guide shows, it should be fairly trivial to boot (cough) more interesting OS's, like Ubuntu, or it's Zen parent Debian. The site has patches, a bootloader and documentation to get you on your merry way. When the PS3 is cheaper than a full-body transplant, I'll be buying one myself and will certainly be giving Ubuntu or Debian on the PS3 a crack, now that I know this is possible.

I think I speak for alot of us in saying that Sony only needs to make the development and distribution of content for their platform freely available in order to compete against the Xbox360 and the Wii in the coming years. If the rumours are true, perhaps the PS3 will be as much of a cultural revolution as its predecessor; a console that admits the present-day gamer is often one that has his/her own ideas and is in search of tools to freely produce them. We saw this happen in the modding and mapping scene - let's see if the same can happen in the console universe..

Besos to the all-seeing LaPetiteClaudine for this story.

Posted by julian on Tuesday, November 14 @ 01:19:43 CET ( )
permalink... tech

archive: Orginal DOOM embedded into DOOM3

Playing embedded games inside Second Life has become commonplace, but playing the original DOOM inside DOOM3 takes the uber geek title.

Posted by christo on Thursday, July 27 @ 00:53:57 CEST ( )
permalink... archive

theory: MMO surveillance questionnaire


I'm conducting an investigation into surveillance within massively multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft and SecondLife. The questionnaire will take between 2 and 20 minutes to complete depending on how much information you're willing to supply. I'm interested in stories and observations so feel free to ramble.

Read more on my research below, or jump right to the questionnaire.

Posted by christo on Tuesday, June 06 @ 07:34:22 CEST ( )
permalink... read more | theory

theory: MMOG Subscription Chart


For those of us interested in MMOG statistics, Bruce Sterling Woodcock's outstanding MMOGCHART.COM has been updated to include data from January 1997 to July 2006. It's downloadable as a Excel file too. Sweet data...

Posted by christo on Tuesday, May 30 @ 09:23:52 CEST ( )
permalink... theory

tech: Games on Vinyl

Last night while taking a hiatus from the stomp at Club Transmediale, Derek Holzer handed out a flyer with an interesting offer: take any music of yours on file to a given location and they will burn you a single, one-off vinyl record all for yourself. Here's their project page.

While chatting with friends about this I suggested the possibility of writing code for a videogame onto the vinyl so that it could later be parsed, compiled and played. This was my waking thought of the morning. I prayed to The Knowledge Architect and design was delivered. While I was well aware of multiplexed radio transmissions being used to deliver game content in the mid 80's (like that for the Atari 2600), I had no idea that bands like the Thompson Twins were featuring bonus tracks that could be copied to cassette and run on the Zx Spectrum. Lovely!

Read all about it here. FYI yes, I'm working on one of my own now.

Posted by julian on Sunday, February 05 @ 18:04:02 CET ( )
permalink... tech

tech: Custom code on your PSP.
From the forges of SXT comes a much anticipated firmware downgrade that will enable you to run custom code on newer models of the handheld, or just PSP's that have had their firmware upgraded to v2.0.

Announcement and HOWTO here.

This one's for you Frasca!

Posted by julian on Wednesday, September 28 @ 13:22:51 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

tech: Bring out your dead
Ars has an interesting article about a digital "plague" that is spreading through the cities of world of warcraft.

Virtual plague spreading like wildfire in World of Warcraft

Posted by admin on Saturday, September 24 @ 08:56:27 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

theory: Video Game Controllers

1up.com has a great article on the history of video game controllers.
From spacewar to the dreamcast, with a detour past the horrors of the atari 5200.

Controller's History Dynamite

Let the RSI ensue..

Posted by admin on Thursday, September 15 @ 11:31:54 CEST ( )
permalink... theory

theory: Music in Games
An interesting look at the history of music in video games. Examines both the hardware and its effects on the creative process of writing.
A romp through the subtractive synthesis of the 70's and 80's arcades to the 48 PCM channels of the PS2.

The History Of Game Music

Posted by admin on Saturday, September 10 @ 13:38:39 CEST ( )
permalink... theory

tech: Let the time wasting ensue
Sick of using using a scientific calculator for a real purpose. Now the greatest port to come to the Texas Instruments 83/84+ is Wolfenstein83.

The guards may look like lego figures, but it comes with its own on-calc map editor.
The best 130kb you will download all week


Posted by admin on Friday, September 09 @ 14:09:37 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

tech: GPX2

Ever wanted to ssh -X into your console?

Lately I've been grepping for three things: an ultra portable ARM or PPC Linux box to hack on, a console to develop for and a portable video/ogg vorbis player.

A while ago I wrote about the Gamepark32, that little handheld with a gigantic emulator/user/developer community and while hovering over the buy-me button I came across it's younger fitter brother, the GPX2. What a scorcher, the only thing really lacking is wifi, but it does have TV out. Perhaps I'll post a review with some real information once it's actually in my hands.

Posted by julian on Thursday, August 18 @ 13:12:20 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

Space War - the best thing since psychedelics
Geek Space War - the best thing since psychedelics

I'm only really posting this link for the opening para "Ready or not, computers are coming to the people. That's good news, maybe the best since psychedelics". Its a 1972 article from Rolling Stone commenting on how obsessed the new programmer geek class is with playing Space War - the first recognised computer game. Others reckon this 1958 version of Pong takes the crown.

Posted by christo on Monday, July 25 @ 00:43:11 CEST ( )

tech: PS3Linux
Sony President Ken Kutaragi puts a few words to exactly what part Linux and what part Cell will comprise the PS3..

With Apple now thinking a little less differently (say "MacIntel") than they were before, it looks like IBM and Sony plan to do a bit on their behalf.

Posted by julian on Friday, June 10 @ 19:47:42 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

tech: Sock Master's Game Console Controller Family Tree
I don't know who the Sock Master is, but their detailed geneaology of game controllers is worth a look.

Posted by julian on Tuesday, May 31 @ 17:56:39 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

tech: Hype(R)Threading Nintendo
A little clip called 'NintendoON' has stirred up quite a bit of speculation as to the authenticity of the content; mostly due to the fact it appears to be too well put together to be a home production. While some are talking about it as a leak on Nintendo's new product, others just want to believe.

Word is it was made by a 'Pablo Belmonte' as a complaint about a lack of innovation in the game industry.

Here is IGN's response (with a mirror for the video), and here is the video archived locally just in case it disappears, for I don't know, legal reasons.

Tusen takk Chad.

Posted by julian on Sunday, May 15 @ 15:29:14 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

tech: Game development on Linux: A Primer.
I'm regularly asked about game development on the Linux platform, so here I'm taking the time to give both a light outline and a starting point for those interested. This isn't geared toward hardened developers already working on the Linux platform, but more for new users of Linux - or even those just curious. Some may find this article to be biased, and they'd be right.

The last few years have seen Linux grow exponentially as a complete desktop replacement for proprietary platforms like those sold by Microsoft and Apple. Once a platform for hackers and computer scientists, servers and mainframes, Linux is now widely adopted as a powerful multimedia workstation and consumer desktop; considered to be the fastest growing desktop operating system in circulation today.

While the benefits of running Linux are usually along the lines of portability (it runs on just about anything), security and performance, little is said about it's unique offerings as a game development platform.

Here's an inexhaustive, laymans outline of the things that will matter to a game developer..

Posted by julian on Friday, March 25 @ 00:30:00 CET ( )
permalink... read more | tech

tech: OT: The Browser Wars

Yes, it's offtopic, but since 1999 I've always taken interest in the webstats for visitors here at selectparks. In the last 6 months more and more people have been dropping Internet Exploiter in favour of Firefox (or Mozilla itself). Also interesting are stats that we sneakily pry from you every time you check the page: about 23% of you have been using a Microsoft OS, 7% Linux and a whopping 38% are Mac machines. Another 30% are 'Unknown' which statistically speaking usually comprise Linux/UNIX users. Without putting on a Che Guevara t-shirt, it's clear somethings on the boil..

Posted by julian on Tuesday, February 01 @ 15:17:45 CET ( )
permalink... tech

tech: Wired Frames
The classic 'teapot' 3D demo is carved deeply into the world of CG, a demo that tests realism across a variety of 3D engine features (from shading to smooth surfaces). At it's most basic, the teapot is presented as a wireframe model; revealing the mesh substructure onto which we plot textures and plays of light.

Over time many artists have proposed we should consider computer generated objects and processes as a valid source for representation (as opposed to the other way around). This we've seen with many paintings and sculptures, like Brody's representation of a John Carmack skin in QuakeIII.

From the makers of Pong Mechanik comes 'GrafikDemo' an interesting experiment that returns a 3D representation to the real world but doesn't break the computational dependency. Instead they include the corporeal world in the render-path, exploding the screen into local space.. see it here. TY nik!.

Posted by julian on Thursday, January 20 @ 17:28:42 CET ( )
permalink... tech

tech: New ATI proprietary Linux driver released
Ati released the new proprietary linux drivers last night, giving support for new boards and a whole bunch of fancy features like vertex and fragment shaders, support for X.org (the new X Window system for linux) and the x86_64 architecture. The release notes (read quasi-changelog) can be found here.

Posted by julian on Tuesday, January 18 @ 12:51:44 CET ( )
permalink... read more | tech

tech: The Cult of Gamepad

Looking at the spectrum of gamepad designs, alien anthropologists would assume the hands of humans were vastly varied and mutated; the surgical tools of Cronenberg's 'Dead Ringers' come to mind when looking across a selection of these creatures.

Taken each on their own however, a gamepad is the holy bridge between the worlds of life and game, a shape to which we wrap our will and augment our ability..

Posted by julian on Saturday, December 18 @ 18:12:08 CET ( )
permalink... read more | tech

tech: Forbidden Anatomies
Lik Sang have yet again raised the scalpel - this time it's the PSP under their blade.

Save yourself from curiosity, see the grisly pics here.

Posted by julian on Saturday, December 11 @ 20:35:29 CET ( )
permalink... tech

tech: Portable Holes: Izumi Kawanishi on the PSP
Monkey Magic? It's actually a thing..

Posted by julian on Saturday, October 23 @ 04:06:47 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

tech: Les Seules: Chicks On Game
Codename: AurorA.. so this is what they mean by 'Serious Games'..

un besito marta

Posted by julian on Friday, October 22 @ 03:05:17 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

tech: OSnews on Open Source Game Dev
OSnews has an article on open source game development by Adam Geitgey, developer of desktop utilities for the KDE project. I don't know how it is that he came to be writing about such a topic, but he raises a few valid points, and several bad ones..

Posted by julian on Wednesday, September 01 @ 18:42:23 CEST ( )
permalink... read more | tech

tech: Agreeable Worlds
This toy could be of interest to those wanting to dissent from the W,S,A,D and mouse interface. The 'TrackIR3 Pro' tracks head movement (or any other moving target) using Infra Red and accompaning relflective strips. The kit comes with sticky strips and the TrackHat.

The demo's look reasonably silly, but really because we expect the world to move for us, not us for the world. That said, I'd love to see it in a LAN Cafe, which always has it's own special culture of Minimal Twitch cool.

Posted by julian on Thursday, August 26 @ 13:35:33 CEST ( )
permalink... tech

tech: OpenGL2.0 Announced

Yep, there'll be baying in Redmond's DirectX Labs at the end of this month, with ARB's confirmed release of the spanking new OpenGL2.0 Specification. Graphics card maufacturers will also sleep less, working on their ant farms to integrate the new spec.

This will be another stalwart in Redmond's silly plan to monopolise the game market by encouraging developer dependency on their closed and competing win32 only library, DirectX.

Posted by julian on Thursday, August 12 @ 15:49:07 CEST ( )
permalink... read more | tech

tech: Don't take the Weather(TM) with you

A big change is set for the gaming industry this month with the giant Electronic Arts gobbling up Criterion Software, makers of the widely hailed Renderware brand of middleware.

While the change will juggle chairs at the not-so-round table of mass title game-development, it also heralds a tectonic shift in the look'n'feel of many games we'll be playing in future...

Posted by julian on Friday, July 30 @ 17:55:20 CEST ( )
permalink... read more | tech

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