Archive: August, 2012

Zelda: Wind waker tech and texture analysis

I originally discovered this on Kotaku. It’s a screenshot heavy look at why Wind Waker, a game released almost a decade ago, still holds up fairly well from a graphics standpoint.

Microsoft’s new logo: Top brand designers weigh in

Peter Pachal for Mashable:

Sagi Haviv, who designed logos for the Library of Congress and Armani Exchange, thinks the logo simply isn’t distinctive enough. By opting for a simple array of four colored squares, Haviv says Microsoft missed a big opportunity…

…As Haviv explains, logo designers constantly struggle to create imagery that’s both simple and distinctive. Too much of one often means not enough of the other. In Microsoft’s case, he says it veers that while the new logo is definitely simple, it fails the distinctiveness test.

I agree. Microsoft had the opportunity to really try something bold here but instead they went the ultra conservative route. You can see a similar designer debate over at this Dribbble discussion.

Separate mobile website vs. responsive website

Smashing Magazine contrasts the mobile strategy by both candidates in this year’s presidential election. Mitt Romney’s camp goes with a separate optimized mobile only site, while Obama leans on responsive design. Which is better, and why? I liked the level of detail author Brad Frost brings to this piece, a regular highlight of Smashing Mag articles.

‘There Will Be Blood’ and symmetry

Paul Thomas Anderson’s most mature work so far, There Will Be Blood stands as one of the most critically acclaimed films of the 2000s. This Press Play video has seven minutes of very solid critical analysis.

Drafts 2.0

Quick writing iPhone app Drafts is one of my favorite apps of the year so far. It’s fast, customizable, and has great Dropbox syncing. As of late last week, dev shop Agile Tortoise released Drafts 2.0: extra polish, FF Tisa as a font option (hell yes) and auto sync with a new iPad Drafts app.

If you’re a writer, blogger, habitual Twitter user, or just want to get down your thoughts fast, give this app a try.

Nintendo versus Apple for the future of handheld gaming

Writer/designer Craig Grannell:

I’m not of the opinion Nintendo should throw in its lot with Apple and other third parties, effectively becoming another Sega—yet. This is because Nintendo still has the potential to out-Apple Apple in the gaming space, through making games and hardware. This, note, is what Apple proponents rightly say sets Apple apart from much of the competition—it makes devices and operating systems, and so can mesh those things together far better than other companies. But Apple doesn’t do this in gaming.

An excellent point. More recently I had the opinion Nintendo should go the Sega route but I’m starting to move in Craig’s direction.

(Small logistical note: This is my last post before I head off to vacation through September 3rd. I’ll try to drop in with a few minor link posts, but expect content to slow during this period.)

Towards a retina web

A great read over at Smashing Magazine; designer Reda Lemeden has a comprehensive overview of the tools available for front end designers and developers to account for responsive, “retina friendly” imagery on their web sites. From device-pixel-ratio to SVG and Javascript, it’s all here.

Film Freak Central reviews the Lethal Weapon Blu-ray Collection

I’ve got something of a soft spot for the Lethal Weapon series, but man, author Walter Chaw just rips into it, and the results make for a pretty hilarious read (also sadly, true.) Chaw really hammers the buddy cop series undercurrent of sexism, racism and misogyny, such as in Lethal Weapon 4:

Murtaugh “adopts” an entire Chinese family he finds on a cargo boat, telling Riggs he did it because he wishes someone had done the same for his family back when they were slaves. There’s so much wrong with that, I can’t begin to tell you. Consider, too, that the way Murtaugh treats this family, how he knows they’ve been kidnapped by the sudden absence of Chinese-food smell in the house, is as dismissive and perfunctory as the evil Celestial villains who use them as hostages in some obscure plot.

Or consider Rika, Mel Gibson’s love interest in Lethal Weapon 2:

She’s a male fantasy, in other words–one of the ugly ones; I was reminded more than once of that scene from the same year’s Great Balls of Fire where Jerry Lee tells his child bride that she don’t move like a virgin. Dragged along and pushed around, Rika squeaks stupidly, flutters attractively, and perishes so that our hero can manufacture outrage at blonde Betty Boop’s passing, thus justifying all the sadistic bloodshed to come.

Chaw later summarizes a lot of the commentary tracks from director Richard Donnor. It’s not pretty:

The track is indicated by extended periods of silence, with Donner occasionally apologizing, “SORRY, I’M WATCHING THE MOVIE AND I’M REALLY ENJOYING IT!” You can imagine him at the early buffet, yelling at the soup. He’ll also take pains to trainspot the bumper stickers littered throughout: “WHAT’S THAT ONE? DOLPHINS? HAHA!” He misses no opportunity to praise the genius of Glover and Gibson, and, yes, he will sometimes stop and ask Hoffman what a character has said. If you can suffer through all of it, that will make two of us.

Read the whole article. It’s long, but well worth it.

Don’t use IDs in CSS selectors?

I’ve seen a recent tide of front end developers who are leaning against IDs in their CSS selectors. Based on the work I’ve seen recently on sites from Apple to Amazon and Smashing Magazine, ID selectors are not going away any time soon. Yet designer Oli Studholme makes a pretty compelling argument why they should.

On the QT # 1: ‘Reservoir Dogs’

Wonderful Press Play video essay that breaks down the brilliance of Quintin Tarantino’s first feature, Reservoir Dogs. We’re now twenty years past that influential release, but having revisited the film fairly recently, it’s still as shocking and strong a film as a I remember first watching it back in the late 90s.