Clickable Culture   Official Research Blog of Phantom Compass
  Entries tagged "" at ClickableCulture.com  
  Subscribe to this tag: RSS 2.0 ATOM 1.0  
     
  Onward and Upward  
 
 
Posted 2008-09-03 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I've been blogging for 9 years this month. Well, maybe 8 considering I haven't posted much since my baby arrived. She's a year old now, and her blog has withered as well.

Here's the deal: I'm not likely going to be posting at Clickable Culture any more. Instead, I'll be moving the conversation to the Phantom Compass blog, where I'll be talking less about myself, and more about the kinds of things my game-making company is up to and interested in. On the plus side, you'll get less navel-gazing meandering. On the minus side, you'll get less navel-gazing meandering.

Hey, if it's meandering you want, I do it 140 characters at a time on Twitter.

Longer-term, I'll be migrating on-topic entries and articles from Clickable Culture over to the Phantom Compass blog, but plan to keep the rest of the Clickable Culture content right where it is. Comments will be locked on the older material eventually.

Thanks for your patronage over the years, I'm not dead, I'm just running a company :)
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Spam Headline Uncovers ‘Productive Play’ Dungeon  
 
 
Posted 2008-08-26 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Got the following spam email today:

"BREAKING NEWS: Video Game Designer Forces Children to Play Mini-Game for Lunch Money"

At first I thought it was an auto-generated email, but then I searched for the phrase on Google and found the real article (or a copy of the real article). Summary: Game designer tests out game mechanics on his family members.
"Mr. Neil's wife says he finally crossed the line when he made their children put the families CD's back into their proper CD cases in order to earn lunch money for the day. The task had to be accomplished before the school bus arrived at 7:30 a.m."
Evil taskmaster, that Mr. Neil.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  ScreenBurn at SXSW Game Design Competition  
 
 
Posted 2008-08-19 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I've joined the SXSW ScreenBurn advisory board for a third year, and will be helping with the public panel selection process. This year, ScreenBurn seems to be wrapped a little tighter into the Interactive component of the festival, and is bound to get more exposure as a result.

ScreenBurn announced its first game design competition yesterday, aimed at "emerging designers," who merely have to write and package/present a 200-word pitch for their game. The contest opened yesterday. Semi-finalists will be announced in mid-January 2009. These semi-finalists will then construct a 3-minute slideshow presentation that graphically illustrates their concept. Finalists will be chosen to present at the event after the jury reviews these slideshow presentations. There is no fee to enter the Game Design Competition, however, each person may only submit two proposals.

Wish I could play along, I've got a back pocket bursting with ideas. Oh, wait. Those aren't ideas...
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  More iPhone Gestures, Please  
 
 
Posted 2008-07-21 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Despite being a surprisingly liberating piece of technology (in terms of getting me away from my desk where I can actually think about things), I'm still grouchy over a handful of iPhone oversights. Number one at the moment--the stunning lack of a copy/paste feature. Which leads to a few related thoughts:

1) Why does the iPhone, a mini-computer, insist on pretending its just a phone?
2) Let's please have a toggle between "Power User" and "Hapless N00b."
3) More iPhone gestures, please.

I get that the screen is small. I get that there aren't supposed to be buttons all over the place. But for us interactive-literate types, why not provide another layer of functionality? For example, at least one iPhone app I've heard of erases something when the phone is shaken gently back and forth. Nice. More gestures, please. And not cop-outs like plain old sliding or dragging, either. Here's my proposal for copy/paste:

Put your finger on the thing you want to copy, keep your finger down, and draw a "C" shape. The thing is copied. Then, put your finger where you want to paste the thing you copied and draw a "V" shape. The thing is pasted with a couple finger-flicks. Was that so hard? Christ.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Dipping Into Toronto’s Flash Pool  
 
 
Posted 2008-06-26 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Toronto's Flash user group 'FlashinTO' held a public meeting last night that included brief presentations from a handful of local Flash designer/developers, including yours truly. Although I've been working the new media trenches here in Toronto for almost 15 years, and have been working with Flash since version 2, I'm way out of the loop in terms of who's doing what with Flash locally (aside from my clients and a few others). Glad to have had a chance to get a bit up to speed.

Other presenters included Andy Tipping of Mischief Media, Tim Willison of Oddly Studios, Tom George of DesignAxiom, and a dude who gave us a preview of an in-browser media viewer called "Radar." Good to be able to get a nice cross-section of what's going on around town, and meet some folks Flashing it up in Toronto.
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  How Do Web Game Monetization Venues Compare?  
 
 
Posted 2008-06-13 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Ryan Creighton of Untold Entertainment is doing a little experiment to compare an array of monetization venues for his Flash-based mini-game Two by Two. He'll be trying to drum up cash using Kongregate, J2Play, Newgrounds, MochiAds, Flash Game License, Addicting Games and finally Armor Games. Thanks to Ryan, I get to see how a very simple Flash game makes money (or doesn't) across the various venues.

So far, Armor Games rejected Two by Two completely, but at least they did it within 24 hours. I think Ryan's experiment is definitely worthwhile, but it's not exactly going to tell us how 'any' Flash game would do--we need more test-subjects. Maybe later this year I can repeat his experiment with one of Phantom Compass' upcoming Flash games.

On a related note, I've been running Google AdSense text ads on a suite of re-skinned and tweaked games (I didn't design or code any of them), and probably make about fifteen dollars a month on click-throughs. Nothing to write home about, but I haven't exactly optimized the pages for ad-space--and the games aren't very good, either. Maybe once AdSense for games becomes a reality, there'll be easier cash to be made.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  The Answer To Your Burning Question Is…  
 
 
Posted 2008-04-01 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I Am A: True Neutral Elf Sorcerer (5th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-12
Dexterity-13
Constitution-12
Intelligence-14
Wisdom-13
Charisma-13

Alignment:
True Neutral A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a dangerous alignment because it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Race:
Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

[Generated by the quiz "What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?" Incidentally, I created a character nearly identical to this for the last Neverwinter Nights campaign I played. Coincidence, or shockingly-accurate self-portrayal?]
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Captain Of A Rocket-Ship  
 
 
Posted 2008-01-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
For the past 14 years, I've been freelancing under my own name, but in 2008, I've become the founder and first employee of Phantom Compass, an interactive development studio involved in both pre-production service-work and end-to-end internal product development. I'm already involved in one collaboration and one co-production in the proposal stages.

In only 10 weeks I've gained a new understanding of and respect for the challenges new media producers here in Canada face--certainly I see my clients in a new light, and now that I'm involved in producing my own IP, a host of previously-unexplored aspects of business development have come to light. As owner of my own studio, I'm now eligible for a variety of Canadian funding programs, tax credits, and other boosters. Most importantly, I'm running my own ship and can initiate my own large-scale projects. I will be opening up all available communications channels next month and reaching out to friends, associates, and strangers to see what opportunities might be on the horizon. Talk to you then.

So, how does all of this affect Clickable Culture, a blog I've been hammering at since 1999? Realistically, the number of posts here is likely to decrease (which is why it's a good idea to subscribe to the feed). Clickable Culture will now serve as the public-facing research blog of Phantom Compass, which probably means less articles and more short-form thoughtbubbles. Phantom Compass will soon have its own blog, which will be a bit drier than Clickable Culture, a blog I like to think of as shot from the hip. Pow!
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Toronto Indie Games Conference Shrivels  
 
 
Posted 2007-12-10 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The Toronto Independent Games Conference will not be going ahead in 2008 as was originally planned. Essentially, the conference was too indie for its own good--my impression as an occasional adviser to the organizers is that there wasn't enough motivation, time, or interest from behind the curtain to stage a robust event. Although it drew an enthusiastic crowd of developers, students, and academics last year, failure to hold the event annually will probably kill any momentum the conference might have been building.

Fortunately, TIGC is not the only games-related meetup in town. Unfortunately, I'm not connected with any of the local people organizing these things, and am often the last to know about indie game events in my own city. For example, GameCamp Toronto happened this past weekend, but I didn't hear about it until a day previous. How many other events like this are hiding in the shadows? I only know of one more--the T.O. Game Jam, which was staged last May--no word on a 2008 date yet. I'd be happy to publicize local events, but I can't do that if I don't know about them ahead of time.
 
     
 
   
 
  5 comments  
  Punking Games  
 
 
Posted 2007-11-13 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Jeff Murray of Fuel Industries doesn't just ask "Whats wrong with the game industry?" He longs for a rebel movement in games:
"...just as punk said anyone with a guitar could make music, I want anyone with a keyboard to be able to make games. I want more radical speaking in the industry and more radical thought outside of academia. I want argument and discussion, then perhaps a fight in the car park afterward … in effect; I want some rock n roll attitude in games. I don’t care if someones game is un-original, just as long as it does to my senses what voiceover guy said it would on the trailer!
[...]
If you want to make games, don’t even bother about the rest of the industry and what they’re doing… just get out there and go for it. Punk style!"
Hey, as long as you're punk-rock enough to live off beans on toast and bargain beer, that's a great plan. Seriously: if you're young and on fire, why not go the risky route and churn out the games you always wanted to--screw what everyone else is doing! Speaking from a post-punk parent perspective, that's not the most practical route, but it sure is nice to dream about while I sniff the leather of my old biker jacket.

Incidentally, Murray's not the only one riffing on rock'n'roll and interactive entertainment these days.
 
     
 
   
 
  6 comments  
[ Detailed Search ]
Clickable Conversation
5224 comments
on 4159 entries

Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


Clickable Culture Feeds:

RSS 2.0 ATOM 1.0 ALL

Accessibility:

TEXT

Clickable Culture
Copyright (c)1999-2007 in whole or in part Tony Walsh.

Trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments owned by the Poster. Shop as usual, and avoid panic buying.