Portal: A Day in the Life of a Turret (Machinima)

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May 242010
Portal: A Day in the Life of a Turret (Machinima)

PORTAL: by Smooth Few Films

“If a turret whines about his job, and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? You bet it does. “A Day in the Life of a Turret” looks at the lives of two turrets at the Aperture Science Enrichment Center- and the monoty within.”

Portal: A Day in the Life of a Turret

The Wafflepwn Saga

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May 212010

It all began on May 3, 2009, when Jack uploaded a video of his brother Stephen performing “The Greatest Freak Out Ever” on YouTube.com. Since then, the video topped over twenty million views.

Following the first video upload, Jack continues to record footage of his brother Stephen freaking out. Since May 3, 2009, nine more videos have been uploaded to wafflepwn’s channel on YouTube.com, accumulating millions more views, which brings the total amount of views to over 55 million.

It is often speculated that Stephen’s tantrums recorded by his brother Jack are fabricated. Viewers to this day still wonder if the videos are real or not. Jack proclaims that the videos are real, and that everything Stephen does in the videos are his real actions. – from wafflepwn.com, an unofficial fan site

You can check out the entire series on wafflepwn’s YouTube channel.

RPTools Open-Source Software For Tabletop RPG’s

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May 202010
screenshot from RPTools "MapTool"

RPTools is a brand of open-source programs designed to enhance traditional pen-and-paper role playing games. They can be used for face-to-face play, or Internet role-playing in real time even if your players are on the other side of the world.  MapTool (which is our free virtual tabletop application) in particular works great with voice-chat services!

These tools are not a role playing game by themselves, nor are they meant to replace everything at the RPG table. Rather, they are designed to be as flexible as we can make them, usable for a wide variety of gaming systems, from fantasy to sci-fi; from tabletop miniatures games to purely spoken-word games.

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D&D Engine for Microsoft’s “Surface” Tabletop Touch-Screen

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May 202010
D&D on MS Surface

D&D on MS Surface

This makes me want to weep.  But, you know, in a good way.

“These games tend to be the domain of geeks is that they require math, and lots of it. Line-of-sight for attacks; variables for cover and concealment; modifiers for things like how much weight can be carried and whether your character is currently on fire–all these can make the game a laborious process for those who don’t have a love of such things.Then I heard that some whiz kids with Carnegie Mellon’s SurfaceScapes team had been developing just what I wanted: D&D for the Surface. After a few e-mails, I got word that the team would be showing it off for the people at Microsoft and that Yours Truly, living in Seattle, would have a chance to try it out. You’d better believe I was excited.

And not just because of the novelty. The Surface did indeed live up to its potential as a gaming platform. There are no cumbersome character sheets with stats, abilities, and so forth; all that stuff is handled in the game’s brain so you’re free to shoot magic missiles at orcs.”

Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem

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May 202010
promo art of Duke Nukem

Gary referred me to this excellent article from Wired Magazine about the life and death of a game notorious for delays.  The eagerly-awaited sequel to the 1996 hit “Duke Nukem 3D” was delayed time after time as the lead designer repeatedly tossed the graphics engine and started anew, until the company finally ran out of money.  The resulting story is a cautionary tale that will no doubt be covered in project management courses for years to come.