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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Interesting Design Blog

Keegan recently showed me some stuff on 2Modern’s Design Blog. It has posts about all sorts of interesting design-related “stuff” from useless trinkets, to works by artist-designers, to architecture. I found it to be an interesting read (although I think the things it linked to were more interesting than the site itself) and was surprised to see how much of the design psychology applied to computer science.

posted by Zach at 7:00 pm  

Thursday, February 7, 2008

“The Game Design of Art”

Well, since I seem to go to quite a few seminars, and then proceed to completely forget everything, I thought they’d make good blog-ables.

I just got back from a very interesting presentation by Jason Rohrer entitled “The Game Design of Art”. The presentation was primarily a discussion of the use of games for artistic expression. Jason started out by talking about what made movies unique and then went on to discuss that because games have one thing movies don’t (game play), they may have an advantage in expressing some ideas.

Over the course of the presentation, he mentioned a few games that fell into the genre of art games, including (The Marraige, Braid, Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, and his own game: Passage).  Each had different things that caused it to be classified as an “art game” (from the overall metaphor of The Marraige to the underlying message of Super Columbine Massacre RPG!).

After the presentation, I, of course, download and played his most recent game (Passage) which has a very powerful multi-leveled metaphoric structure (at least that’s the way I saw it). I highly recommend giving it a chance. It may not have fancy graphics, or amazing controls, but it’s a very simple way of expressing a powerful message.

If anyone knows of other games in the genre, I’d love some links.

posted by Zach at 10:26 pm  

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Another Bulk Update

Here is a mini status report for each COSI-related project I’ve been working on lately:

Project: Andriod
Other Members: Jeanna, Max, Katelynn, Ryan L, Pat, Justin, Jeff, Ethan
Summary: Contest entry for the Google Android Developer Challenge.
Status: In Development
Report: We’ve been making headway and having meetings 1-2 times a week A lot of progress is being made, but there is still a long way to go before the new extended deadline of April 14.

Project: Animal/Blade Center/Righteous Management
Summary: Maintenance of the production machines
Status: Stable (mostly)
Report: Everything seems to be running well except for animal (which has some I/O speed issues). Once that’s taken care of (see “Cacti”), the next project will be to clean up some of the scripts.

Project: Cacti
Other Members: Cyrus
Summary: Set up cacti to graph things around the labs, specifically for Animal’s IO issues, the sever room temperature, and switches.
Status: In Development
Report: Cacti successfully installed and running. Built-in monitoring options work file, but custom stuff is still in the tweaking phase. Cyrus got the I/O module up and running, but the Temperature module and switches are still a work in progress.

Project: Docs
Other Members: Ryan L
Summary: COSI’s Documentation Server
Status: Stable
Report: The wiki is still being maintained and added to. We’ve been looking into systems to encourage contribution of status reports and documentation, but haven’t decided on anything yet.

Project: Gateway Server (Crux)
Other Members: Cyrus, Pat
Summary: Turning Crux into a gateway server for authentication
Status: On hold
Report: With my other projects, I haven’t had the time to make much headway. This would be a great opportunity for someone with only limited experience to get involved (it’s a really straight forward project), if someone is motivated and has some time. Otherwise, Cyrus and/or Pat and I will probably take care of it in the next few weeks.

Project: LDAP Server
Summary: Setting up an LDAP server for authentication
Status: Lead Changed
Report: Jake has taken over and gotten an LDAP server up and running. We are in the process of moving things over to it.

Project: Open Source Contribution – PHP
Summary: Contribute to the PHP community
Status: New Project
Report: I realized that PHP is one of the things I use on regular basis (for personal use and for business use), so I decided it’d be a good opportunity to contribute to an open source project. I’m still getting oriented (lurking on the mailing lists, reading bug reports, etc.), but hopefully when other things are taken care of, I’ll have some more time to contribute in a more significant way.

Project: The Project in 340
Status: Just started.
Report: Everything seems to be going well.

posted by Zach at 3:39 pm  

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