puzzle-swap

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.

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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!

myworldpinksunset

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:

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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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M-Rated Games and Parents

Grand Theft Auto V is coming out for PC.

Do you have kids? Above say… ten years old, or so.

There is a good chance that if your kids are interested in gaming at all, they’re interested in Grand Theft Auto.

I went to a middle school computer club last week and talked with a bunch of brilliant kids about how games are made. At the start of a school lecture, I like to show pictures from different games and ask if the kids play or know of those games. I start out really easy, and work my way to more obscure indie stuff. Continue reading

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Trip Report: BarCamp Philly

On Saturday, I went to BarCamp Philly. At this “Unconference,” I learned that the “Bar” in “BarCamp” comes from the phrase “Foo-Bar” rather than having to do with alcohol. That answered a big burning question of mine, let me tell you! I also delivered a talk about Gamification, wherein I tried out a new crowd game called Cat On Yer Head.

Join me below the fold for an explanation of the game, the game book, the talk, and talk acknowledgements!

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bunchabuildings

Putting Real Map Data in Unity Game Engine – Philly Game Jam

Last weekend I was part of the Philly Game Jam with some talented Philadelphia folks – Tatiana, Andrew, and Laura – at the Cipher Prime studios in Philadelphia! It was a lot of fun and we made a quick game called Evacuate Philadelphia which will be demoed at the next local IGDA meeting. It’s a little rough, but that is the nature of a game jam piece after all.

I want to talk about something that made me pleased about this game. The topic of the jam was “Deconstructing Philly.” I immediately thought it might be fun to use real Philadelphia data from the Open Data Philly project in our game. So I started looking through the data sources for something that might make for an interesting game idea.

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