link dump

Link Dumpage: Bird species new to science

Five more. Another month, and I'll be nearly caught up.

  • HTML Slidy: Slide Shows in XHTML: A very nice JavaScript slideshow/presentation engine by Dave Raggett with key commands, accessibility, and degradation when scripts are disabled. Even though I've never given a presentation that required a slideshow, I've grandiose (and humorous) ideas for one, though I'd probably end up making a visual novel instead. As if I had the time to start another project. Eh.
  • DutchPIPE: Still quite early in development, and not entirely amazing, DutchPIPE allows "web developers [to] make virtual multi-user environments. Each web page becomes an abstracted environment or location where visitors and other items on the page are visualized. This status is retained as visitors move around ... The result: Persistent Interactive Page Environments. DutchPIPE uses AJAX and the DOM for the browser - it works without Java, Flash, plug-in or firewall adjustments."
  • The Designer's Notebook: Introducing Ken Perlin's Law: "The essence of the Problem of Internal Consistency is this: how do we balance the player’s desire for freedom with the designer’s desire to tell a consistent, coherent story? What do we do when the player wants to do something that doesn’t work with the plot that we’ve laid out? Refuse him permission to do it, and take away his freedom? Or allow him to do it, and destroy our story? ... Ken Perlin’s Law: The cost of an event in an interactive story should be directly proportional to its improbability."
  • Thank Heaven for Little Girls: Why Rule of Rose May Be 2006's Most Controversial Game: The game "surrounds a group of young girls who exist on their own terms, living in a dilapidated orphanage called Rose Garden, which is dominated by a group of girls who call themselves the Aristocracy of the Red Crayon. A number of other sites have touched upon this forthcoming release, but none have asked such a delicious question as "What was the inspiration for using the sexuality of prepubescent girls as a theme in the game?"
  • Whitley Strieber: Communicating with the Grays: "It is said that they are emotionless automatons, heartlessly carrying out cruel scientific experiments on helpless victims, stealing their eggs and semen, raping them, and leaving them with suppressed memories and shattered lives. All of which accurately reflects one level of our experience of them." And much later (and perhaps heavily taken out of context): "It’s up to us to respond to these communications in appropriate ways, as the brilliant creatures that we are, with care, maturity and an open mind."


Link Dumpage: Bang Bang Orangutang

I'm woefully behind on my web reading. You've probably already seen these.

  • Techniques of Written Storytelling Applied to Game Design: "It's been said many times, and that's because it's obvious: game design must strive to become more emotionally involving, and the best way to achieve this is to create resonant characters. It's obvious, but it's only half the story. The characters whom we seek to fill with emotional depth are the non-player characters (NPCs). In games, we have another class of characters: player characters."
  • The Great Failure of Wikipedia: "... the function of this speech is not to criticise Wikipedia but to point out how Wikipedia represents the first wave of a coming information war and something where the Internet, as it becomes more important as a source of information, is going to be headed off by certain forces, by certain techniques, some of which are successful and some of which are not ... because Wikipedia has let itself be open to this we are seeing these techniques in use today, where in ten years they will actually affect lives directly."
  • Unlocking the secret sounds of language: Life without time or numbers: "More than 25 years ago, Professor Everett, then a missionary and now an ethnologist at the University of Manchester, decided to try to teach members of the obscure Pirahã tribe how to count. He would not succeed. Instead, he found a world without numbers, without time, one where people appeared to hum and whistle rather than speak."
  • Inform 7 and Chris Crawford's Storytron: I haven't had much of a chance to look at either of these, but my initial feelings are that Inform 7 loses a lot of glue flexibility by requiring its IDE (I had hopes of a wiki-based Ghyll interactive fiction story, downloaded and compiled daily) and that the Storytron will be too abstract (in an "idea", not programmatic, way) for anyone but the most devoted.
  • Seed: A new sci-fi MMORPG that I've yet to try either (gah, I've not played WoW for like three months either! Curse this lack of time!) but which purports to have "personalized stories, social/political gameplay, believable NPCs, and 3D comic book graphics". Peruse the features for more.



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