Archive: October, 2012

Night and the city

Eurogamer reporter Chris Donlan talks about the experience of playing L.A. Noire with his dad, a retired beat cop who worked the streets of L.A. when and where the game was set:

We drove about for another hour or two after that, and by this point dad was hooked. Not hooked on L.A. Noire’s narrative, perhaps, or caught up in the complex chains of missions, but hooked on the city, on the fascinating, insightful job that Rockstar had done in stitching the past together. Even though I can’t actually drive, and the car we were in wasn’t a real car anyway, I had a strong sense that I was in the front seat, turning the wheel beneath my hands, and he was riding low in the back, face pressed to the glass. Role reversal. It happens to all fathers and sons eventually, I guess. Why shouldn’t it happen because of games?

Really great writing here. As many quibbles as a had with L.A. Noire as a game, its detail in terms of its setting and place is unbelievable.

90 seconds on The Verge for 10.30.12

After a day and a half without power in lower Manhattan I’m finally back for at least a few hours. My hats off to tech site The Verge – their studio and much of their staff is without power and internet and yet they are still chugging away on all the big news from Apple and Google this week.

Unbelievably they still delivered a full 90 Seconds on The Verge video episode…under what appears to be the Manhattan bridge. Nuts.

Strange game

John Siracusa:

Microsoft’s mistake is subtle, but potentially fatal. It’s the seemingly reasonable assumption that defending its market position is the most important goal of any corporate strategy. Microsoft will fail by succeeding. Through its competent, intelligent, practiced execution of a well-honed plan to maintain its dominance, Microsoft will assure its eventual demise.

Put simply, to win in the long run, Microsoft must be willing to risk losing it all. It must be willing to put all its chips on the table, to throw away decades of hard-fought victories, proven technologies, and market-leading products. It must be willing to do what the long-extinct corporate giants of the past were not.

John wrote this over at Ars Technica…in 2005. Given Microsoft’s big bet on Surface, it’s a relevent piece that found itself trending high on Hacker News earlier this week.


Loren Brichter’s Atebits just released this fun word game in the App Store last night. As The Verge put it earlier today, it’s “an amorphous Words With Friends“. You’ve got a five by five grid where you pick letters, making it kinda like Scrabble, but also there’s a conquest Reversi-like strategy where you can surround and “lock down” letters, shutting their access away from your opponent.

It’s a free download, with a buck unlock to play multiple games and visual themes. Really slick UI and from what little I’ve played I hope it ends up being a huge hit.


The gaming news site Polygon just launched late last night. I’m pretty excited given the team’s editorial strength – Arthur Gies, Christopher Grant, Brian Crecente, Russ Pitts, among others.

Also if you’re at all involved with the web (even if you could care less about video games) the website design and development is very unique (I still have to make up my mind if that’s a good or bad thing.) Fully responsive design, web typography in Gotham and Mercury, minimal navigation and much more.


I’ve been a big fan of the “no distractions” Twitter entry app Wren for a while now but I’ve been increasingly worried regarding its lack of recent updates.

Enter Eggy. It’s a free, super simple Mac App where with a single keyboard shortcut you can leverage Mountain Lion’s built in Twitter, Facebook and Messages functionality on demand. Super simple, but it does the job so far.

Rogie’s resource buckets on Dribbble

Komodo Media designer Rogie is big into the Dribbble scene, and today he posted today his personal bucket list compiling some truly great free design resources. Psd/vector files for the iPhone 5 and 27″ Cinema Display, icons, backgrounds and much more.

Turning to the past to power Windows’ future

A comprehensive look at the evolution of Windows over the years, starting way back with Windows 1.0 back in 1985. Ars Technica already is my “go to” place for extremely in depth hardware and software features, but they’ve really outdone themselves here. Reporter Peter Bright deserves major props for his research and organization.

What Windows 8’s closed distribution means for developers

Casey Muratori writing for Gamasutra:

Experimentation on open platforms is one of the primary sources of innovation in the computer industry. There are no two ways about that. Open software ecosystems are what gave us most of what we use today, whether it’s business software like the spreadsheet, entertainment software like the first-person shooter, or world-changing revolutionary paradigms like the World Wide Web…

…With Windows 8, Microsoft is in a pivotal position to help make this future a reality…Or, Microsoft can ship Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows 8 Pro with their current policies in place, and be just another player in the touch device space, with their own set of ridiculous hurdles that severely constrain software possibilities and waste developer time with ill-conceived certification processes.

Many fair points made here, but I wonder if the author is confusing the far more restrictive Windows RT – which is very akin to the closed iOS model – with Windows 8 as a whole.

On the Q.T. chapter 2: ‘Pulp Fiction’

Matt Zoller Seitz for Press Play:

When we finally see Marsellus’ face 95 minutes into the movie, Tarantino instantly demystifies him as a burly man standing in a crosswalk holding a box of donuts—whereupon Butch runs him over. Marsellus’ first close-up represents Pulp Fiction’s storytelling strategy in microcosm: after all that advance press, he’s just a stranger bleeding on the street, his face framed upside-down as if to certify what we already suspected, that his mythology has been suddenly and violently flipped.

Check out the full seven minute video essay here or on Vimeo. Great work.