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Sunday May 25, 2014
Blog Essay: The Indie (Game) Bubble Is Popping
Rock, Paper, Shotgun continues to be a great site for thoughtful commentary on videogames. Today they point to a long blog essay on independent game developers, and the idea that we've seen a growing trend of indie games that has reached its apex, producing an unsustainable number of generic low-quality games, which is making it harder to find quality projects.
Indie gaming started out as games written with passion for people who embraced and loved them. Now too much of it is about churning out giant mounds of decent but undifferentiated product to be bought for pennies by people who don't give a crap either way. It's not sustainable...
Tuesday May 20, 2014
Super-sized Newsletter for May 20, 2014 - Codename: Slow and Steady
It's been 125 days since the last newsletter. In that time, approximately 837 new threads were started on the forum, and 8500 new posts were made (133 of those have been selected for inclusion in this newsletter); 300 spammers were banned by our moderators, 3187 new members joined the forum, and 600 new people donated to the site (thank you!).
In those 125 days, the site has registered over 20 million pageviews and served over 4 terabytes of data (most of that coming from our free software downloads).
I highlight those stats because freeware has been getting a bad name lately, with adware, junkware, and toolbars being bundled into downloads by more and more formerly-respected software hosting sites (sometimes even against the will of the original coders) -- and our site has remained free of such things since we started 9 years ago.
That's been possible only because of the support of normal everyday folks who have donated to the site. Your donations have meant that we have been able to pay for a fast dedicated server and have never had to depend on software hosting sites or the whims of advertisers. And that's made all the difference.
Thank you for supporting our site and making it possible for us to keep doing things our way, as a small independent site.
And now on to the newsletter -- a collection of some of the best posts on our forum in the last few months, and a summary of recent updates to our software.
Hopefully you'll find something worth your time.
Friday May 16, 2014
Linux Lite - viable 1st Linux alternative for XP and Vista users
The good folks over at Linux Lite have just announced the release of version 2.0 beta of their already fine distro which is geared up for first time Nix users and reluctant refugees from Windows XP and Vista.
Based on Ubuntu LTS releases, the goal is stability, ongoing software support, a familiar interface, and high out-of-box usability. System requirements (700Mhz CPU/512Mb RAM/5Gb disk space/VGA 1024x768) are very modest and should run on anything Windows XP is currently running on.. If you're interested in seeing what this whole Linux thing is all about - or you're reaching the point where you have to move off Windows XP for whatever reason, this is an excellent distro to at least try out.
Here is a quick overview of the current v1.0.8 stable release:
Look here for more information on Linux Lite here.
(Note: the homepage does not seem to be working correctly. So if you have trouble navigating the site, just return to www.linuxliteos.com/linuxlite.html. The tour and other pages don't appear to have this problem.
The 688MB 32-bit ISO can be directly downloaded from here.
Saturday May 10, 2014
Correlation is not causation
You have heard that said, maybe even said it yourself. But there are those that still don't get it. Spurious Correlations will help illustrate it in a way that others can understand. 1000's of examples. Have fun finding the craziest ones.
Wednesday April 30, 2014
Nice Long Read: The Great Works of Software
Nice long blog essay looking at some influential software programs.
So I set myself the task of picking five great works of software. The criteria were simple: How long had it been around? Did people directly interact with it every day? Did people use it to do something meaningful? I came up with the office suite Microsoft Office, the image editor Photoshop, the videogame Pac-Man, the operating system Unix, and the text editor Emacs.
Monday April 28, 2014
State of US Nuclear Silos (60 Minutes)
This is a pretty crazy look at how out of date our nuclear silos are here in the US. It was a story on 60 Minutes last night. 8' floppies? From the 1960s!?!
Friday April 25, 2014
Ludum Dare 29: April 25-28 Weekend
First of all, what is Ludum Dare?
Quote from: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/rules/
Ludum Dare is two similar events taking place over one weekend
The Competition is the familiar “make a game in 48 hours solo competition” that Ludum Dare is known for. Specific details can be found below. After the competition ends, participants are given 3 weeks to play and rate games created by their peers. After those 3 weeks, winners are announced.
The Jam is the new “relaxed” Ludum Dare. It was created to make Ludum Dare even more inclusive. You can work in a team, borrow assets from your other projects, or do things that would normally be against the rules. You also get one extra day, giving you up to 72 hours to submit an entry. This is helpful for those times real life gets in the way, or for games that need just a bit more time to become something great.
Ultimately, our goal with Ludum Dare is to encourage people to sit down and make something. Our hope is that the new structure continues to encourage more and more developers to join us and create a game in a weekend.
Ludum Dare 29 begins today. In about 6.5 hours from the time of this post. I'm planning on trying it out, which means before Monday comes to an end (in my timezone, at least) I should have a new game playable for all of you.
More details can be found here:
Join me (us)! Scrap your plans for this weekend and make a game!
See my previous DC posts about Ludum Dare:
Ludum Dare - Game Programming Challenges
Ludum Dare 23 - 1,000 New Games and Counting
Be Tiny, World! (The game I made two years ago during Ludum Dare 23, which I've continued to update to this day!)
Saturday April 19, 2014
A good gift for a 10yr old: Wreck This Journal
I recently stumbled across this and bought it for my 10 year old niece, and she is really getting a kick out of it:
"Wreck This Journal" by Keri Smith.
Wreck This Journal, an illustrated book that features a subversive collection of prompts, asking readers to muster up their best mistake and mess-making abilities and to fill the pages of the book (or destroy them). Through a series of creatively and quirkily illustrated prompts, acclaimed artist Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in "destructive" acts--poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting pages with coffee, coloring outside the lines, and more--in order to experience the true creative process. With Smith's unique sensibility, readers are introduced to a new way of art and journal making..
I think she really got a kick out of how subversive the book is, telling you to do all the things to a book that you are never supposed to do (stomp on it, take it into the shower, etc.)
Tuesday April 15, 2014
RIPT (Ript) shareable scrapbook-clipping programme - Mini-Review
Intro and Overview:
RIPT is a shareable (with other RIPT users) scrapbook-clipping program.
I thought I'd publish a review of this forgotten, elegant program for those who (like me) might find an occasional - if not frequent - use for it. I don't really need it now, as I tend to use:
Monday April 14, 2014
Rusty's Real Deal Baseball: Most Effed Up Game Ever
An utterly fascinating and entertaining discussion of a strange video game (Rusty's Real Deal Baseball) based on in-game purchases:
Other reviews of the game:
Tuesday April 08, 2014
Are your websites secure? The openssl heartbleed bug
As it is already known, the heartbleed bug is a vulnerability in the OpenSSL library which seems to compromise the traffic flow at secure sites. the web admins everywhere are rushing to patch their servers with the latest bug-fix.
to check if your site's exposure level, you can go here to test. to learn more about the bug itself, click on the image below.
Saturday April 05, 2014
I LOVE this program. For me, it is the perfect brainstorming tool I've always been looking for.
It's easy to change the look of each element. It's easy to put background shapes around a selection of elements. It can export easily as images, pdf, whatever. You don't need a "center" like most mindmaps. It's easy to link things together with lines or arrows. It's easy to do simple alignments of elements.
I've been looking for something like this for years. I tried a whole bunch. Things like Personal Brain are too fancy and complicated. Mindmaps never worked for me at all. Visio is too much and too hard to do simple things. I settled on Edge Diagrammer (thanks mouser!) for a while because it was the easiest of those flowchart tools to use. Regular notetakers and outliners are not freeform enough for brainstorming.
Monday March 31, 2014
Dr. Windows recommended for April Fools Day Pranks
The excellent ILoveFreeSoftware website reviewed/recommended my DrWindows program today as a good way to play April Fool's day pranks on people:
Dr.Windows is apt to create real fun and play pranks on friends, as it lets you display amusing messages at regular intervals. In short, this is a fun application that lets you play harmless jokes on your friends.
If you use it to play a prank let me know how it goes
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