Tengami and foldable geometry

Tengami and foldable geometry

Whenever I have free time and am looking for some inspiration, I love going over to the GDC Vault and watching the countless amazing presentations. Back in the day, one had to pay hundreds of dollars to see videos in the vault, but now they have their own free youtube channel.

In doing some research into visual styles, I ran the game Tengami from Nyamyam. I then found Jennifer Schneidereit’s GDC presentation describing how she created a engine that uses geometry to mimic the mechanical folding of pop-up books.

Rob Humble’s ‘The Marriage’ game

Rob Humble’s ‘The Marriage’ game

Rob Humble was fooling around with the idea of games as art – a continually argued topic in the game development community. In experimenting, he came up with the idea for this art piece/game called The Marriage.

It uses very simple controls and boxes to explore the ideas of relationship.

“The Marriage “came out of a long weekend I took with my wife down to Carmel. It was created that evening on my laptop as I listened to the waves of the pacific below. All the game mechanics were completed that evening although I spent weeks afterwards tuning and polishing. The game was also made “in process” as it were. I simply could not design this game on paper before hand. It had to be done by exploring, discarding and balancing game elements during creation.

You can play it in-browser here, or read more and download the original Windows version (as well as get instructions) here.

They should have sent a poet

They should have sent a poet

I saw this while watching a Japanese Twitch streamer. It’s pretty incredible this was invented in Japan and not the US, but someone could make a fortune selling them here. So far I haven’t seen any US distributors.

Witness the wonders of the Dulton Snack Tub with Tumbler! You can fill the bottom solo cup with your beverage, then put all your chips/snacks at the top and drink your drink through the straw that runs up through the snack holder.

A truly American item where you can drink the beverage poured into the tumbler while enjoying the food on the large-capacity tab.

The geometry of fair dice

The geometry of fair dice

It turns out that the geometry behind fair dice is more interesting and complex than you might first guess.

Professor Persi Diaconis discusses all kinds of interesting properties of fair dice as well as his interesting paper on the topic.

Getting fair dice for any number is very hard, if not impossible. But it turns out level-up dice have a unique ‘unicorn dice’ that you change the end cap and then roll in a circle. They’re pretty overpriced at $110 for a whole set – when a regular set will cost you $5, but a dice in this configuration can get you a fair roll for any value range.

Black Unicorn Horn Dice
Make a Netflix documentary on $70

Make a Netflix documentary on $70

Paul E.T. shows us how easy it is for anyone to make a Netflix quality documentary. How cheap and how easy? Using just a few basic photography tools, some stock footage, and basic editing skills on software available to almost everyone – Paul shows us how you can make your own documentary that rivals anything you’ll see out of Hollywood and Netflix.

With such a low bar of entry one should be very critical of documentaries as a information source – no matter how slick it looks.

I’ve sure notice more documentaries – is it because they’re becoming the reality shows of today? One of the biggest reasons reality shows caught on may be the same reasons you are seeing more and more documentaries. Namely, they’re now super cheap and super easy to make (orders of magnitude cheaper than a regular TV show).

Blurring the walls between games and film

Blurring the walls between games and film

PAX 2021 was an online event for me as COVID cases keep rising. One of the better streamed sessions was about the Blurring Lines between Games and Film. Definitely worth a watch as they cover a number of topics: difficulties in embracing the immersive nature of VR/AR, using VR/AR in advocacy work to immerse viewers into environments or as an alternative to zoos/animals in captivity, digital character design, virtual production with LED stages and Unreal engine, massively evolving digital production pipelines, and interactive VR environments. While these are some well known topics in the field, it’s still worth giving it a listen to hear how production folks are dealing with the massive upheaval of changing pipelines.

I still find LED stages instead of greenscreening with post-shoot CG one of the most amazing recent developments – something I’ve written about before with the Mandalorian.

Some panelist links:

On their topic of AR/VR environments, it was noted that COVID has decimated many in-person VR/AR experiences. One casualty was the VOID – and even their website is now gone. the VOID had interesting setups mixing VR, haptic feedback systems, and real-world props. Sadly, their setups in Las Vegas an other places are no more (like Venetian Las Vegas). Still, their legacy lives on in YouTube footage and some installations still hanging on through COVID.

Footage from the now defunct VOID:

Fight with some zombies in Zero Latency at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

As well as overseas, such as some of the interesting installations in Japan.