Friday, 29 October 2010

Lego 3D Printer

Another video of some awesomeness that someone's put together.

This is a Lego 3D printer. Given a Lego CAD design, it can build your lego model for you :)

Even more than being something that automatically builds lego from a design, it's made from Lego!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Studio Ghibli Computer Game

I'd heard a while ago that Studio Ghibli was making a computer game, but I hadn't yet seen any footage of it.

Someone just sent me a link to this footage though:

It looks like a playable Ghibli movie . . . it's the pure stuff of dreams. I can't wait.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Achievements and Compulsiveness

In game design people have come to realise that putting achievements in game (basically non existent rewards for often boring and repetitive behaviour) ties in very closely with some kind of psychological compulsiveness that makes us need to play games well beyond their entertainment value just for completeness.

I always thought that it was a gamer thing . . . it just makes sense that people will want to see everything in a game, and especially in the case of games like MMOs (World of Warcraft's achievement system is a good example) you've got a heinously compulsive audience to begin with, so they're quite ready to go out there and grind the same action over and over in order to complete their list of achievements.

What I never thought I'd see is a community of audio book listeners being hooked by exactly the same thing:

I only noticed when I received a message on my iPhone's audio book player that I'd received a badge for listening to a certain time length of audio books at a certain time of the day. Of course, I went online to find out how to earn the rest of the badges and found a whole community of people sharing methods to earn the badges . . . but really . . . how does that make any difference to what books you were listening to? Especially when some of the badges are earnt by listening to the same book over and over again . . .

It's a marketer's dream, but a user's nightmare . . .

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

A nerd dilemma

It's a hard life when the decisions you're making are between buying awesome Star Wars Lego kits:

and a new 25 inch monitor . . .

A little evil voice in the back of my head tells me I'm going to buy them all anyway . . .

Thursday, 14 October 2010

An appreciation for Art

I should have posted this ages ago, because it's something I discovered in New York while I was over there.

Having heard the name Van Gogh a lot over the years, I'd never really cared for his art. Pastoral landscapes etc never held any charm for me.

That was until I visited The Met in New York. I saw his actual art and I was mesmerised. There's something beautiful about someone using thick paint in really strong brush strokes . . . so that years later, someone like me can come past and see it and in a way, see the painting being painted.

I'm sure this won't work for just any artist . . . it was the fact that I was seeing the brush strokes of a true visionary that helped a lot. There was just something about the imagination and creativity that went into the shape of the wind moving through the wheat field and the clouds in the sky that captured me for a while there. I nearly bought a print, but you know . . . not being able to see the thick oil on the canvas, it just wouldn't be the same.