A Blogfull of Gaming Bliss

Frequent blog readers have probably checked out some of Vince’s games that I’ve written up. Well, I’m through blogging about them. Why? Because Vince has created his own blog to chronicle his games!

Check it out!

On a related note, I’ve been writing essays for my Game Design class, and Vince suggested that I post them on his site. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. My first essay is already up, and more will be posted over the coming months. Check it as often as you check mine!

Nine Billion Hours

That’s the number of hours that people played solitaire around the world last year. Yikes.


One of the presenters from Carnegie Mellon has been doing work to try and tap into that manpower for tasks that humans do better than computers. By creating games that have meaningful output, suddenly those hours are being better spent, even though the people are still playing games and having fun.

So, next time you want to mix up your solitaire game playing (or if you need some new games for your toolbox), check out The ESP Game or Peekaboom . Not only did they seem fun, but they also are helping to categorize the images on the web in a meaningful way. Very cool.

Moving Jigsaw Puzzles

Meghan sent me a link to a today, and I thought it was a cool use of Flash. It takes a bit to get the hang of it, but in general I felt pretty accomplished compared to .

Fail in the Desert

Our Game Design professor is gone for class on Wednesday, so we have a guest lecturer: The lead designer for . As homework, we were supposed to play the game for at least 20 minutes so we could get an idea of the game for a discussion on Wednesday.

It took me less than 20 minutes to become utterly frustrated with the game. All sorts of messages were referring to actions to do in “the menu” - but I couldn’t find the menu! The natural choice would be to ask other players for help (since it is a MMO, or Massively Multi-player Online, game), but as you can see in this image, the “Island Chat” (your only means of talking to people without having to track them down) is something that you can close (note the big X on the Island Chat tab).

So I closed it. And I was cut off. How do you get it back? Upon finding a “mentor,” I learned that I had to return to the top of the mountain to get it. It took me 30 minutes to find my way off the mountain in the first place. Go back? Sure thing.

We Have A Winner

If you scoped out the comments on a recent post , you might have noticed that Vince said he solved the Ishihara puzzle offered up in my blog a week ago. Here it is again to remind you:

Read more…

More Games For Your Toolbox

I was talking to my good buddy Jason last night, and he passed along a website with a . If anyone can tell me how to play the Dodgeball game, I’d appreciate it! I end up just standing there while getting beat up with the bouncey balls. Sad.

A Puzzling April Fools Day

I’ve tried my hand at a few April Fools Day pranks, but in all they weren’t very exciting. It’s tough to live up to Vince’s closing journal entry from last year, which left everyone guessing if the news he’d been hyping for a month was true. (It turned out to be).

I decided to resign myself to working on puzzles for the day. Today happened to be the , a Microsoft-sponsored events where students in groups solve puzzles for prizes. Check out the scores if you want - we were 8th in the middle of the day, and decided to quit early when we were 13th (these puzzles were tricky). We ended up dropping to 21st because we stopped solving puzzles, but in all, it was fun.

I’ll leave readers with our group’s favorite puzzle from the event, called Ishihara:

Anyone want to take a try solving it? No fair asking people who participated since they already know. Fewer than half of the teams got this one right, but give it a shot!

Video Game Excitement

Anyone who’s played the original Kingdom Hearts game knows about the sequel, and I know that videos about it have been around for a long time, but I hadn’t seen any English commercials until tonight on Cartoon Network.

I’m very excited - it seems like the Disney worlds & characters from the first one are coming back (Aladdin, Beast, Neverland, Halloween Town) with some awesome new characters like Stitch, Mulan, Chicken Little, Simba, and did I see… Captain Jack Sparrow? Plus we get what looks like a sweet appearance from Auron, one of my favorite Final Fantasy characters.

I couldn’t find the new commercial that I saw on Cartoon Network, but the is on Google video. Also, if you’re a hardcore video gamer, check out with previews for Kingdom Hearts II, the new Legend of Zelda game, and Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children. Sweet.

Legendary Adventures

Spring Break is upon us, and in Game Design, we’ve just finished our Adventure game. I think it’s cool that our professor is so in tune with the Game Design community - he recognizes the need for people to participate in paper-and-pencil adventure games (dare I say… role playing ) because it’s what a lot of the senior game designers grew up with. If you don’t have experience in this medium, you won’t have credibility with these people.

Anyway, Jenn posted a brief reflection about her adventure game, and so I thought I would post a brief reflection about how I felt my adventure game played out.

Here it is (mov).

Sorry in advance that the file is so large. Its 16MB, so if you aren’t on a high speed connection… just trust that it was funny and you’ll be the only one not laughing.

Death, Destruction, & Goldfish

Vince XII is at it again. On Valentine’s Day, he released a game about, as the title implies… death, destruction, and goldfish. I personally prefer my Valentine gifts in heart-shaped boxes, but hey, I’m sure his wife was quite proud.

Anyway, check out Spooks , the second of twel - sixteen games at XII Games. (Seriously V, what’s going on with that. You’re messing with people’s heads). An ideal game for Game Designers looking to add on to their Toolbox.

It’s an exe, so I’m guessin Mac users are out (though not for Anna apparently, so check that out). Also, an update from the - apparently Vince won Best Documentation for Anna. Well done, Vince!