Like many of my friends in the UK, I’m a Pandora-mourner. The great thing about Pandora was the great range of music, the unobtrusiveness of the client, and the robustness of the stream - all issues that Last.fm significantly under-delivers on in comparison. Not only is Last.fm’s interface not as pleasant, any time I’d stress my machine (such as hitting all the cores at once with a major batch build), I’d get streaming hiccups.
DNS hosting is one of those awkward things - it’s absolutely essential to anyone who controls those little textual brands we call ‘domains’, but it’s an invisible service which you don’t appreciate much on a day-to-day basis. The chances are not good that any user of the internet, after a session of heavy web browsing, will say “Wow, DNS was awesome today”. I’ve used a few approaches to DNS over the years - in the early days when I was naïve, I used the built-in DNS of my web host; which I learned the hard way was a serious mistake, since switching away from a crappy web host is made more difficult when they hold the reigns for routing your domain too.
In the past, I’ve made no bones here about the fact that I consider proprietary console platforms to be a sub-optimal content delivery platform for games. I understand why they’ve got to this stage (desire to seed the market with advanced, standardised tech at less than cost price, requiring lock-in to recoup later), but that doesn’t make them a desirable end-game. Closed systems are by nature market distorting, and can hamper innovation, because when only a chosen group of ‘authorised’ developers have access to deploy on it, you’re not maximising the amount of content innovation available.
This is cool - last weekend OGRE was one of the technologies behind an interactive public event called Animation Decathlon, inspired by London 2012, which involved kids in London playing a kind of version of Track and Field via Arduino-controlled custom ‘thumping pads’ 😀The images were projected onto the side of Kensington and Chelsea town hall, and the BBC has a page about it. If you think the characters look like they were drawn by children, that’s because they were 😀The characters in the game were drawn by kids from the borough and animated by the creators, Quadratura.
Feel the rhythm with your hands (Steal the rhythm while you can) Spoonman Speak the rhythm on your own (Speak the rhythm all alone) Spoonman Argh. I love this song, but it’s been playing in my head for 48 hours now. Even playing it in Rock Band last night didn’t purge it, which sometimes works; the drum track is a lot of fun - not that difficult, but very satisfying to play; you gotta love drum solos.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I didn’t like GTA IV very much. I know, I’m about a year late with that verdict, but that’s because I was unsure about it for a while and other games took preference - I ended up getting it for XMas after having it sloshing around in my ‘maybe’ list for a while by a friend who really liked it.
As I just announced on the OGRE site, I was really pleased to find out today that we’ll be participating in Google Summer of Code 2009. This will be the 4th year running for us, and it wasn’t at all a given that we’d be accepted again this year - even though I think we’ve been a good mentoring organisation for the past 3 years, there are always new organisations wanting to get onboard and there are a finite number of places, so I wouldn’t have gotten my panties in a bunch if we’d been passed over in favour of letting someone else have a go this year.
Since I keep getting asked this question by friends, existing business partners and prospects, I figured I’d just confirm it here - I won’t be attending GDC this year. It’s a shame, because I’d love to meet up with all the people I know who are going, but the primary reason is the 5,000 miles between here and there. Given the issues I’ve had with my back over the last few months (the worst episode of which emerged just after I made it back from California last time), I decided to have a break from long-haul travel to allow it time to recover.
It seems that more and more these days I find articles cropping up in publications like the Economist or WSJ about open source projects, and it occurred to me how ‘normal’ it had now become for such business-oriented publications to recognise what a driver open source has become in the modern world. It’s expected now, but it made me think back to my personal journey with open source, and how much resistance I’ve encountered to it over the years.
You’ve got to hand it to Harmonix - not many music games put in the effort to represent the breadth of the (popular) music spectrum quite like they do; whether it’s metal, pop-rock, indie (alternative for our US cousins), punk, classic rock, glam - they try to cover it. Funk, jazz and soul have been a tiny bit underrepresented, mostly turning up in bands that are really rock setups who wove some of these elements into their music (such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine) but it looks like they’re trying to go someway to addressing the situation next week: