Revisiting the old school: Deluxe Paint

There’s a lot of ideas that were explored briefly the first time they came up in the computer evolution, not all of them game related!

Interestingly, with the technology today, we have actually forgotten a great many of those ideas in favour of what we do now, because we have new techniques that often replace the old – but they need not.

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Fresh young hopeful?

So, last time I talked about a couple of ideas I’d already discussed in depth here on InI for game remakes/redesigns, with a little bit of imagination and ingenuity (and maybe even a bit of innovation!)

Today I’m going to look at one of the myriad ideas I’ve had lately. A lot of them seem to be distinct old-school influences that I’ve seen, and whether the ideas are salvageable into something very new – most of the time, this old-school stuff didn’t work because the idea didn’t have the right execution, and with a new take on execution, often the idea becomes much more awesome. Continue reading

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Musing on game ideas

So last time I talked about games that leave you with something. Some of the ideas I’ve had lately sort of fall into that category, and some of the ideas I’ve had in the past, about things I’d love to see – they really don’t, because they don’t actually conform to this rule.

In hindsight, that’s why I never actually got very far with realising those ideas, because I forgot the key elements.

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What do games miss?

OK, so I’ve been slacking a lot lately. Life has been… interesting. Anyway.

The thing I’ve been putting my mind to a lot lately is innovation in gaming. Or, more precisely, the lack of it. There is an astonishing lack of innovation in gaming at present, and even the stuff I’ve been playing with has been largely stillborn in my mind because none of it is experimental or innovative, it’s simply getting to grips with a toolkit by cloning what’s been done before. (Which, by the way, sucks. Not the toolkit, the fact that the best way to use a toolkit is to implement something you already saw, so that you have fewer unknowns in mind)

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A brief look at some interesting ideas

Each year, there is a competition for authors to write ‘short interactive fiction’ games. Far more information is available at http://ifcomp.org/ if you’re interested in what I’m talking about, but long story short is that it’s like a book where you are a character, in the very real interactive sense – you decide where you go in the world, what you take, what you do.

Much as conventional text fiction has few boundaries other than putting words to paper (or computer), interactive fiction has modest boundaries for realising all kinds of shenanigans, far fewer than you could ever do with using artwork in more ‘conventional’ games.

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A fresh-air look at innovation

I’m running short on titles, but today’s one is pretty apt.

We’ve been building bicycles for years using metal frames. It’s effective, but not particularly efficient. And now, a group of British engineers has demonstrated making a modern mountain bike out of a non traditional material: bamboo.

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Legacy of Steve Jobs

This won’t be new news by the time this gets published, but Apple’s leading light for the last decade, Steve Jobs has sadly passed away.

Whether you admired the man, or disliked the business practices that Apple carried out under him, I don’t think there’s any doubt that the man had a profound effect on computing, over the way we interact with the world today.

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Policing the Internet

There is someone in this world I find myself disagreeing with a lot. Families are like that, after all. But recently I had a heated debate with them about the state of the Internet, and I conceded that some kind of innovation was required, though I did explain that most of the provided solutions weren’t valid, and didn’t really solve the right problems…

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Another pet peeve: writing data validation rules

This isn’t really innovative, not in the slightest, but it’s something that needs some innovation quite seriously being poured into it.

I sometimes have to work with datasets, documents that structure data in a meaningful way, and occasionally have to contend with documents that have a structure unlike anything I’ve seen before, even when it claims to be in a given format.

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A non-traditional source of innovation

For a long, China has been seen as a growing production powerhouse, seemingly able to push out ever more production of goods at economically viable prices.

Part of how that’s been achieved historically is through cheap imitation of established brands and essentially leeching from other R&D. But perhaps not now.
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