Where to Find Me

A quick update on my upcoming plans and appearances:

I just got back from IndieCade East (look for more coverage soon).

Now I am heading to the Capital Region Celebration of Women in Computing where I am presenting a TouchDevelop session on Saturday!

After that, I am speaking at the Narrative Summit at the Game Developers Conference! I’m very excited about this opportunity, where I will be discussing my game narrative research in a presentation focused on how gamers make moral choices. If you want to find me at GDC, let’s chat!

And when I’m back in town, I’ll be a mentor at LadyHacks, Philadelphia’s women-focused hackathon. See you soon!

The Value of Game Critique and Reviews

At MAGfest I was lucky enough to be on several panels as part of the MAGES wing of the conference! You can see the panel I headed up  about Game Critique and Reviews, here now on this video on YouTube! Joining me are Chris TottenLuke Peterschmidt, and Bobby Schweizer.

It’s hard to see the slides (which are a bit text-heavy), but you can check them out on my OneDrive or on SlideShare.

To be honest, I’ve wanted to cover this topic in my blog for literally years. I’ve had an item sitting in my draft folder since August of 2012 asking “what is the value in game critique”? The problem was I never came to any real conclusion about it that worked well as an essay. So I boiled my feelings down into this panel talk instead and invited many to take part. There’s a lot of great questions, discussion, and diverse opinions. I know the panel videos are long (and yeah the concert vids on MAGFest may be way more interesting to most people) but I hope a few people will check it out and get something out of it!

The info in this panel is already out of date – as I was making the slides, Joystiq decided to stop using review scores, but now, just like that, Joystiq as we knew it has come to an end. Today, however, Eurogamer has announced they’re dropping review scores, so the debate continues. I’m in favor of this method, but curious what other people think!

If you want to see more about how I personally review a game, you can read my latest, too: Hyrule Warriors.

I’d like to thank MAGES for inviting me, and everyone who took part in this amazing discussion!



I Used the MakerBot

I had always seen 3D printers from afar, as some kind of miracle device that could just effortlessly make stuff. The hype online about 3D printing was incredible. But when I talked to anyone who had used a 3D Printer, they quickly warned me that the devices aren’t really magic. In fact, it actually takes some practice to get a 3D Printer to behave, and nothing turns out great at first.

I think the world should know.

This post exists primarily to catalog my series of failures in 3D Printing. Hopefully you’ll find that educational, and appreciate an honest look, along with my tips.

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I Review All the Games on 3DS Streetpass (Part 1)

I recall the 3DS having a bumpy launch, but now it seems like it’s almost ubiquitous among gamers. As a 3DS owner myself, I like to take advantage of the handheld’s Streetpass function. I even splurged on all of the additional Streetpass-based games that are available on the system.

I realized after a weekend of lots of Streetpassing, that I have Opinions about the Streetpass games. And as it’s rare to find a comprehensive review of that kind of thing, I thought I would take some time to write those Opinions down in a three-part series.

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Hello MAGFest

This is my first time attending MAGFest, and I’m really excited!

I’m on three different panels in the MAGES segment of the show. Hope you come find me! Or if this is how you found me already, welcome to my humble blog!

These are the panels I’m scheduled for:

  • Video Games, Society, and Education: Friday, 5:30 PM in the Forum
  • Problematic Fun!: Saturday, 12:00 PM in the Forum
  • The Value of Game Critique and Reviews: Sunday, 12:00 PM in MAGES2

That last panel is my panel, and I’m going to use some slides to start up discussion. Watch for them right here in this space after the show.


Light Painting at Dragon Hacks 2015

Two weeks ago I attended DragonHacks at Drexel University. It was my first time going to an all-hardware Hackathon and I had a really fun time seeing what people came up with!

I want to share with everyone a cool Kinect hack that one of the student teams did. Using Kinect and an Intel Edison, Christopher Frederickson, Nick Felker, and Max Bareiss created a tool that will change the color of an LED to line up with a palette projected onto a screen. As the light changes color, the subject is photographed in long exposure, creating a beautiful multicolored light painting! This video demonstrates how it works:

Max was kind enough to link me to the team’s documentation, so you can try this hack at home if you want. Check it out right here: The Light Painter’s Palette

If you want to see another weird (but non computerized) hack from the event, check this funny one out courtesy Major League Hacking: The Portable Shower.

DragonHacks was super fun – I look forward to doing a lot more hacking and making this year!

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year!

A quick list of what’s up with me in 2015 so far…

This upcoming weekend, I’ll be at Drexel for the DragonHacks event!

At the end of January, I’m going to be at the MAGfest MAGES event, where I’m participating in multiple game design panels! I’m super-excited!

And in March, I’m going to be speaking at the Game Developers Conference, where I’m presenting about good and evil choices in video games!

I’m also hoping to attend IndieCade East, and planning on a Grace Hopper Regional event at James Madison University, where I am teaching TouchDevelop. More details soon.

I’ve also written up my Games and Trends of the Year 2014 for Tap-Repeatedly.com. Hope 2015 is starting off right for you!


How to Simulate a Tiny Universe in Azure

If you need a project to do over Christmas break, why not try simulating and exploring your own little personal universe?

Microsoft Azure is open to all kinds of open source code projects, so I thought it might be neat to try running my own OpenSim on an Azure server. OpenSim is a bit like Second Life, but open source. Anyone can create their own shard worlds to manipulate however they wish. It allows for a very private virtual world for use in role play gaming, education, or just to build out your own environment however you like and play with some 3D construction tools.

When you’re done with your OpenSim project, it will look like this:


This is a virtual world that anyone can log into, provided they have an IP and login credentials. So this is a simple multiplayer environment that you can add additional game elements to if you want. And it really only takes a few hours to set up, if you know the steps.

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Amanda Lange's Blog