Kickstarter to Launch in Canada This Summer

Some significant news for Canadians on the Kickstarter front. Kickstarter will be moving up to Canada this Summer. This is huge for startup hopefuls hoping to get into the crowd funding scene. Until now, Kickstarters required access to a US based bank account in order to administer the project, significantly raising the barrier to entry for many. This should stimulate yet more great ideas into reality.

A great primer on Film Noir lighting from FilmakerIQ.com

Many thanks to my brother for finding this primer on the basics of lighting film noir by filmmakerIQ.com.

There are 92 other videos on the site at this time, with more being regularly added, so if you’re a movie buff, it will be worth your time to take a wander down there.

Unlimited viewing angle, glasses-free 3D displays on the way from Dolby

This is the sort of solution that is probably going to render in-home 3D a more attractive proposition. Being able to watch a 3D display without wearing cumbersome or uncomfortable glasses, particularly for those of us that need to wear prescription lenses, is very promising. The quality of the 3D effects will doubtless continue to improve as the technology matures. I’m looking forward to seeing this in action.

 

Why is the future transparent?

Everyone has seen it by now. The artistic conception of the future involves transparent electronics. Clear glass gizmos ooze sexiness and shout high technology. Anyone who watched Avatar was probably wowed by scientists whisking data from a transparent screen onto a transparent mobile device and reading it on the move. Very cool, eh?

The future is here.

(Note: for some reason, I don’t seem to be able to embed these videos today, so I’ll have to make do with a simple link until I figure out a fix. http://youtu.be/Xi4VBmxZlLY)

Transparent USB keys sound pretty neat. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy looking at flashing lights that seems to hover in mid air an inch away from their computer?

Microsoft posits a very inspirational vision of a transparent and highly mobile future.

(Youtube link: http://youtu.be/bwj2s_5e12U)

These are all outstanding ideas, but there are a couple concerns that I cannot keep from hammering away at the back of my mind:

1.  We have a hard enough time keeping track of fiddly little thumb drives as they slip into the bottom of our trouser pockets or in a small pouch in our laptop cases. Now we want to make them invisible? This may be a ploy to keep us buying a continuous stream of storage devices. A moment of absent-mindedness may carry a greater risk of leaving a cell phone on the restaurant table, too.

2. I hope oleophobic coatings are greatly improved by 2019. The sleek clear displays and memory sticks probably loose a little bit of their sexiness once they become smudged with fingerprints and oil from that delicious balsamic vinaigrette salad you had a lunch.

Regardless, I’ll have to start saving up some funds to get my hands on some of these. And to pay to replace the phone I lose forever in the house the first time I put it down.

Game Design: Mining in Star Citizen

If you ever wondered about what makes or breaks mining and resource gathering game mechanics, Plotscaper has an article for you. The topic is covered in depth, and you can find several very clever insights that may improve your own game.

Plotscaper

A Wild New Blog Entry Type Appears! Alright, so normally I try to keep my blog focused on my game designs, but I’ve been obsessed with Star Citizen lately, so I wanted to share my thoughts on how Chris Roberts should go about designing the mining aspect of Star Citizen. I’d just like to emphasize that I’m not trying to tell the master how to do his job; just that outsider observers into design often bring a fresh perspective that can inform positive changes. I certainly know that sometimes I become obsessed with certain designs, spend weeks polishing them, only to realize that I’ve just polished turds. Well, Mr. Roberts, in the hopes that Star Citizen is turd-free, here are my thoughts on how to properly implement a mining minigame that proves to be actually fun rather than simply present.

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You know that feeling you get when you’ve been scooped?

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been pretty quiet for the past several days. It’s because I’ve been busy little bee working away at a paper that I was hoping would open the debate to revolutionary concepts and disruptive technologies relevant to my desk-jockey day job. I’ve been examining the ethical considerations of applied transhumanism, and its impact on the future fabric of society. Pretty nifty, eh?

I’m honoured to be able to work in an environment that allows me to think about such things as a side venture to my primary duties, particularly as it’s been itching away at the back of my mind for the past four years. I’d been talking the talk for a while, but finally decided to put pen to paper back in March and had finally completed all of my research and my first draft early last week. I sent the draft out to some trusted advisers and scientific authorities I have had the pleasure of working with in the past. Everyone agreed that I had come up with some pretty groundbreaking material. I was starting to feel very proud of myself.

This morning, one of my scientific advisers sent me a paper published this January that I had not previously been aware of. It covers my topic in stunning detail. The thought processes, arguments, and conclusions are remarkably similar. In a way, I found it reassuring to know that I’ve been on the right track, and that little ol’ me has derived a similar analysis to some folks that are likely far wiser than I am or at the very least who have spent a considerable amount of time and effort examining this particular issue. In another, I’ve just been scooped and all the work I’ve put in needs to be revised, since I need to ensure that I am adding value to the debate, and not simply spouting off what has already been resolved. It’s not quite back to square one, but I definitely need to give credit where it’s due, since the authors of this most recent study appear to have wired the case I was making shut, and have opened up a whole new series of questions I was going to examine at a later time.

Face palm. Totally appropriate response to this morning’s news. Image source: Flickr

Yep. Someone else already thought of it.

This is by no means a failure, but it does force me to go back and put more thought into a subject I’ve been examining for a while. Ultimately, this is a great thing for all involved. I’d better get back to it, before I find out that someone has figured out the next set of solutions before I get to write them down!

I hope Pacific Rim signals more ginormous robot movies on the way

Ginormous robots. Check.

Titanic monsters. Check.

Sweet visual effects. Check.

Pacific Rim has all the makings of  a brilliant summer blockbuster. Hopefully the script will be up to the challenge of complementing the flashy visuals, but when we take a moment to honestly assess this kind of movie, there’s some expectation of switching the brain machine to “off” and doing some healthy suspension of disbelief to enjoy this kind of movie.

A few thoughts about the trailer:

1. Mr. Del Toro and his concept artists must be big fans of Warhammer 40K’s Tyranids.

The Hive Tyrant’s cousins got big parts in the movie.

Games Workshop: inspiring terrifying creatures everywhere.

2. If a giant robot movie with no pre-existing fan base can make it big, and I certainly hope so for this movie, then it suggests that it is time to bring out the movie that I’ve been waiting for years to see produced: Mechwarrior.

Rolling thunder. In space. With massive dropships. And energy weapons. 100% awesome and then some. Image source: http://shimmering-sword.deviantart.com/art/Unseen-Moon-367110033?q=favby%3Amaxshields%2F55292083&qo=65 He’s an awesome artist. Check him out.

My giddy-o-meter jumps a couple notches at the thought.

Buns in the hallway. Sometimes it’s hard to take a toddler seriously.

My kid has just developed a case of athletes foot. It must be the result of all the hours he’s spending in the gym getting ready for football pre-season camp. Sure, he’s not yet three years old, but you’ve got to start them young if you hope to get them into the big leagues. Tomorrow: we’re doing squats. We’ll start him off easy at 320 lbs, and work our way up from there.

Anyhow, just moments after having having pulled him out of the bath tonight, we dried his feet off and applied a liberal dusting of foot powder to keep his feet dry over night. We then toss on his socks to make sure he doesn’t play with his feet and attempt to keep the powder in place rather than have it wiped off all over his sheets.

We had just finished getting his last sock on as he wriggled out of my arms and dashed down the hallway towards his room. By this stage, he’s still running around au naturel, and it is at this very point that he lost the opportunity for us to ever take him seriously again. There’s nothing quite so hilarious as a naked toddler running away screaming “ninja!” (I am at a loss to explain where that came from) while wearing nothing but white socks as he disappears down a dark hallway.

I’m going to have to bring this up the first time he brings a young lady over for family introductions when he gets a little older. He may die of embarrassment, but the lass will likely find it quite endearing.

I’m looking out for you, kid.

Titanfall’s release trailer stirs the depths of epic science-fiction battles

The first glimpse at Titanfall’s trailer would almost seem a suitable substitute for an Avatar 2 trailer. Giant mechs, futuristic infantry bouncing around in three dimensions, and giant spaceships soaring above the battlefield. This is definitely worth watching a couple times.