Archive for January, 2013

Open Letter About Glee’s Lack of Integrity

January 27, 2013 Leave a comment

A recent episode of Glee included a cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back which was a blatant ripoff of Jonathan Coulton’s several-year-old version — much to Jonathan Coulton’s surprise, since he was neither contacted nor credited. Fox’s stubborn refusal to admit their wrongdoing towards Johnathan Coulton raises questions about the integrity of Glee. How many of Glee’s other covers are ripoffs of lesser-known artists’ work? I refuse to support the show anymore, and am sorry I ever did.

The open letter below wasn’t written by me. I’m reposting it with permission, because it eloquently expresses how I feel about this incident. The orignal is here. If you like it, spread it around. When I asked permission, I was told, “Blog away! We just want to get the message out!”

An Open Letter to Glee’s Executives

Dear Sirs,

I am a long time fan of Glee. I have watched Glee since its inception. I have bought Glee on Blu-Ray. Glee is probably my television show. The episode aired on January 24th 2013 entitled Sadie Hawkins will be the last episode of Glee I will watch. Read more…


(Up)Dated User Interfaces

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment

I have fond memories of a lot of video games. I used to go back and play those old games fairly often, but as time wears on this happens less and less. There are a few reasons for this. One is incompatibility with modern gaming systems. If you can’t make the software work, you can’t play it. One is lack of time to do everything I want to do anyway. If I have 15 new games stacked up waiting to be played, I’m far less likely to go back and play one I’ve already beaten, especially if I’ve beaten it 3 or 4 times.

The biggest reason these days, though, is that game design has advanced so much that those old games’ control systems are just so darn clunky. I would love to play WarCraft or WarCraft II again, but trying to make your units do anything when compared to the ease of doing things in WarCraft III is like pulling teeth. My favorite Harvest Moon game is Back to Nature, but the controls for that one are so ridiculous that I stopped playing it within 5 minutes last time I tried.

Over the years, game developers have figured out how to create smoother gaming experiences such that the controls don’t interfere with the actual gameplay (or interfere less). The changes have been so gradual that we don’t usually notice them. Sometimes we do; I, for example, was elated when I was finally able to automate workers in a Civilization game. But in general, all the changes become most apparent when we try to go back and play the old games and find that controlling anything that happens is just more trouble than we want to deal with.

So what about ports of old games? Read more…

Ludum Dare

January 1, 2013 1 comment

One of the things in my mess of being busy in the past couple of months was Ludum Dare, a game jam which is held every four months.

A game jam is a challenge in which game developers must create a video game from scratch — concept, design, coding, everything — within a certain time limit and possibly with other restrictions.

So here are more details about Ludum Dare. In the month leading up to the game jam, interested participants may submit ideas for themes, which are voted on by the community up until the last minute before the jam starts. Participants then have 48 hours to make a video game, alone, that matches the theme. There are then three weeks of voting by the people who made the games, and at the end the games are ranked. Your prize is that you get a game and hopefully learn something.

The most recent Ludum Dare was held the weekend of December 14th and the theme was You Are the Villain.

I participated even though I wasn’t entirely ready, but it was fantastic. And I now have a game. And I learned much. And I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the game from other participating developers, some amateur and some professional. I’m very happy with the experience.

If you’re interested in trying the game out, here are links to the files:

Here are links to the blog posts I put up on the Ludum Dare web site before, during, and after the event:

And here’s a link to my official entry page.