Shared posts

17 Dec 20:31

A-Z illustrated list of CIA's torture program

by Mark Frauenfelder

Oscar Rickett and ​Krent Able created The A-Z of Torture for Vice.

17 Dec 17:43

Lego zoetrope depicts fighting ninjas

by Nannan

I’m a fan of seeing new concepts in Lego creations such as a working zoetrope by Ian Spacek. The viewer rotates the cylinder and peers through the slots to see the sequence of animated images.

15 Dec 15:46

She Hears A Nintendo Theme Once, Then Makes Beautiful Music

by Mike Fahey

I'm amazed. Mostly because I'm totally useless with notes, can't tell them apart and I absolutely can't produce any music at all. And people like this just hear a tune and play it. Roighty.

Sonya Belousova is one of today's most accomplished young composers and pianists. Watch her demonstrate her skill by listening to a series of Nintendo themes — most for the first time ever — and then coming up with gorgeous arrangements on the spot.

I can pick out a tune on just about any instrument you mut in front of me, but what Sonya of does in this video, a few weeks old but currently making the Reddit rounds, is some sort of dark melodic sorcery.

While the themes from games like Kid Icarus, Castlevania, Duck Tales and Mega Man are ingrained in the collective gamer consciousness, Russian-born Belousova is hearing most of these for the first time, save the original Super Mario Bros. music.

Her Duck Tales moon theme arrangement literally brought a tear to my eye.

The video was put together as a reward for one of Player Piano Music's Indiegogo campaign. Good man, Oliver.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at
Want something else to read? How about 'Grievous Censorship' By The Guardian: Israel, Gaza And The Termination Of Nafeez Ahmed's Blog

15 Dec 09:14

HOWTO: Make glue-gun sticks out of sugar for building gingerbread houses

by Cory Doctorow

All Thumbs has devised a method for molding your own sugar-based hot-glue-gun sticks that you can feed into an unused and uncontaminated gun to produce perfect gingerbread-house-building molten sugar adhesive. Read the rest

15 Dec 22:43

Was isolated with a 486 - built my own 80s operating system

by ()
From an Imgur Post of the same title: I was moved out to an extremely remote country area in the middle of NSW Australia to live with people I didn't want to live with and isolated with no internet for 7 years during my childhood/teenhood. Using the 1980s reference books from my high school library, I decided to build my own OS so that I had a more manageable way of dealing with files than the standard DOS structure. A short but interesting read about the author's experience with pictures of the finsished product.
14 Dec 15:41

Did you grow up with these toys?

by Nannan

LegoJalex built an elaborate kid’s room from the 80’s featuring many iconic toys from the time. How many do you recognize?

Kids' room from the 80s

09 Dec 09:49

NYC theater overrules MPAA rating for Snowden documentary

by Cory Doctorow

Citizenfour, the acclaimed Laura Poitras documentary about Edward Snowden, has been given an R rating by the notoriously corrupt and opaque MPAA ratings board (see This Film Is Not Yet Rated). Read the rest

06 Dec 18:28

Congratulation to Ken and Roberta!

Congratulation to Ken and Roberta for their Industry Icon Award. Well deserved.

Over the years, I’ve given Sierra a lot of crap, but the honest fact is that without King's Quest, there would be no Maniac Mansion or Monkey Island. It really did set the template that we all followed.

I’ve told this story before, but you’re going to listen to it again…

A few months into Maniac Mansion, Gary and I had a bunch of fun ideas, some characters, and a creepy old mansion, but what we didn’t have was a game. There was nothing to hang any of our ideas on top of.

I was feeling a little lost. “There is no game”, I kept saying.

We had our christmas break and I went down to visit my Aunt and Uncle. My eight year old cousin was playing King's Quest I. I’d never seen the game before and I watched him for hours.  Everything Gary and I had been talking about suddenly made sense.  Maniac Mansion should be an adventure game.

Without King's Quest, I don’t know if that leap would have happened. No matter how innovative and new something is, it's always built on something else. Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island are built on King's Quest.

We always had a fun rivalry with Sierra and they always made us try harder and be better.

Thank you Ken and Roberta and everyone else at Sierra.

03 Dec 18:13

Robot art by Simon Stalenhag

by Igor Tkac
Tons of amazing concepts by our good friend Simon Stalenhag. Check out conceptships.

Keywords: concept mechs robots droids runaway kids wireless controlling robot toward police car futuristic realistic robotic landscape concept art by simon stalenhag in stockholm sweden
03 Dec 18:14

Concept ships by Simon Stalenhag

by Igor Tkac
Tons of amazing concepts by our good friend Simon Stalenhag. Check out conceptrobots.

Keywords: concept spaceships flying vehicle illustartions hd high definition concept art by simon stalenhag in stockholm sweden concept robots
03 Dec 22:59

Fantastically detailed Boeing 777 model made from manila folders

by Cory Doctorow

Luca Iaconi-Stewart is building a "1:60 model of an Air India Boeing 777-300ER made entirely from manila file folders," with an unbelievable level of detail (it even has working mechanisms!) Read the rest

04 Dec 00:00

SteamWorld: Heist expands to consoles, PC platforms

by Danny Cowan

SW:Dig was quite fun, this may be interesting, too.

Image & Form's turn-based strategy game SteamWorld Heist is coming to "all current platforms," studio CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson revealed this week. SteamWorld: Heist is now scheduled for release on the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and...
03 Dec 02:37

Programming poster of the day and Rob Pike’s 5 rules of programming

by Joey deVilla

fancy algorithms

I made this poster after seeing (and retweeting) this from @CompSciFact, whom you should be following:

‘Fancy algorithms are slow when n is small, and n is usually small.’ — Rob Pike

— Computer Science (@CompSciFact) December 2, 2014

It’s the most amusing of Rob Pike’s 5 Rules of Programming, which are listed below:

  1. You can’t tell where a program is going to spend its time. Bottlenecks occur in surprising places, so don’t try to second guess and put in a speed hack until you’ve proven that’s where the bottleneck is.
  2. Measure. Don’t tune for speed until you’ve measured, and even then don’t unless one part of the code overwhelms the rest.
  3. Fancy algorithms are slow when n is small, and n is usually small. Fancy algorithms have big constants. Until you know that n is frequently going to be big, don’t get fancy. (Even if n does get big, use Rule 2 first.)
  4. Fancy algorithms are buggier than simple ones, and they’re much harder to implement. Use simple algorithms as well as simple data structures.
  5. Data dominates. If you’ve chosen the right data structures and organized things well, the algorithms will almost always be self-evident. Data structures, not algorithms, are central to programming.

It’s a good set of general rules to keep in mind.

02 Dec 09:13

Work out what you are good at

by cliffski

I’m not very good at game balancing and low level design decisions (like whether gun A fires faster than gun B, or what the cost of power C is). I’m just not. I also suck at art. I have no idea what colors go with what colors. This is why my better half chooses my clothes. I’m safe with black, but beyond that, I’d end up dressed like a circus clown if left to my own decisions.

I’m good at some other stuff. I’m very good at Game Names, big-picture ideas for game themes and ‘style’. I’m very good at optimization, and good at the business/strategic/marketing side of things. The thing is, it’s taken me a while to absolutely come to terms with what I am and am not good at. I started selling games in 1997, so it took me 17 years to work this out. That means that for most indie devs out there, the chances of you having really worked this out yet are pretty fucking low.

I know one game developer who is good at big picture stuff, but very bad at mechanics and actual coding. They are awesome at marketing. I know another who is a genius at both high and low level design, but not so good at strategic biz stuff. Both are great talented people who are doing ok. Both will remain nameless :D

The big decisions and difficulties come when you think about what to do regarding the stuff you aren’t good at.

There are basically two choices: Get good at them, or outsource them. Obviously it isn’t that easy. You *can* outsource almost anything. Even big-picture stuff like game name and style/design can be outsourced. You won’t see an advert for people who do this, but there are plenty of very talented designers who would work for you as a consultant on such stuff. There is no shortage of guys in suits who will act as consultants for you on the topics of business and marketing/PR as well. When it comes to coding/art etc, the options to outsource that stuff are well known and varied.


In the long run, you need to work out what bits of your business you do want to control and run personally, and what stuff can be left to someone else. For me, with my temperament and skills/interests, I want to control all of the business, PR and big picture design. In an ideal world I’d do all the coding too (I still do…), but I could cope with letting that go a bit one day. That means I need good artists, QA, and design people, and I’m gradually over the years building up a list of the right people for all this.

The tendency, and I’m sure many indie devs encounter this, is to pretend you can be good at everything, just given enough enthusiasm/late-nights. This is bullshit. Steve Jobs didn’t solder together Apple II components, nor did he design the iMac. He knew what he was good at, and stuck with it. At the start, when you have no money, you’ll probably need to offer revenue share to artists or PR/biz people who help you out. That’s fine. At the very start, if you are feeling adventurous, you probably (for at least one game) try and do it all yourself, for no other reason than to work out what you really do enjoy, and what you don’t. Try not to be like me, and take over a decade to work this out.


01 Dec 01:31

peterfromtexas: Some statistic for today


Some statistic for today

30 Nov 17:01

Lego version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

by Nannan

Check out this Lego version of the latest Star Wars trailer by FinalFeature.

27 Nov 10:43

Brickmania releases custom Red Baron Fokker Dr. 1 set!

by Josh

Brickmania has just released a new version of the iconic World War I tri-plane flown by Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, The Red Baron. The Fokker Dr. 1 kit includes special MG08 “Spandau” machine guns, hand-injected in the Brickarms studios, as well as a custom printed minifig of the baron himself.

27 Nov 04:13

Forum Post: Fifth Element Taxi

by OctaneOrange

paper model of the Taxi from Fifth Element movie. Not finding any kits of this subject except for a rare resin kit that's long oop, i decided to build this paper version. although it lacks the curves, the roofline required a lot of tabs just to get this basic shape.


I don't think i'll be build more paper models. Maybe it'll inspire me to scratchbuild my own car.

26 Nov 06:57

Enter the Armory

by Josh

You all know I’m a sucker for a good medieval scene. Well, this is a really good one. We don’t often see interior shots quite like this. Mark Erickson has knocked this one out of the park. I love the rows of weapons, the various stands and displays, as well as the overall architecture of the place. Overall, it’s a really nice build.
CCC (LoR) A Visit to the Armory.

24 Nov 16:28

A Candle Based on Gestapo Agent Toht’s Gory Face-Melting Scene From ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark’

by Justin Page

Melting Toht Candle

Firebox has released a fantastic candle based on Gestapo agent Arnold Ernst Toht‘s gory face-melting scene from the classic 1981 adventure film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is available to purchase online.

No, we’re talking about when ruthless Gestapo agent Toht gets his gory comeuppance at the end of the film – you know, when his eyes roll back like a couple of boiled eggs and he lets out a blood-curdling scream as his entire face dribbles off his skull. That bit. Just awesome. He did Nazi that coming.

Whether it left you with nightmares for weeks or just had you repeatedly hitting the re-wind button, celebrate one of the greatest deaths in all of cinema history with the Melting Toht Candle. Thankfully this detailed replica won’t melt quite as fast so you can really savour the moment.

The original face-melting scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark for the sake of comparison:

Melting Toht Candle

Melting Toht Candle

images via Firebox

via Dangerous Minds

24 Nov 22:00

Ron Gilbert's new 2D adventure game passes crowdfunding goal

by Earnest Cavalli
Last week we brought you word of Thimbleweed Park, a new yet classically-styled 2D adventure game from Maniac Mansion designers Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick. At the time the duo were seeking $375,000 to fund the game's development - a goal they reach...
23 Nov 00:00

Effi suree Ville Oksasen poismenoa

by Sirpa Poyhonen
20 Nov 19:34

IDLE Reimagined

by Al Sweigart

I've started a wiki for an IDLE redesign project:

If you would like to help, please join the mailing list:!forum/idle-reimagined/

IDLE Reimagined mockup screenshot

From the wiki:

IDLE Reimagined is the code name for a redesign for Python's default IDLE editor with focus as an educational tool. IDLE's chief utility is that it comes installed with Python, making it simple for newbies to start programming. But professional software developers don't use IDLE as their IDE. Instead of turning IDLE into a sophisticated IDE for professional software developers, it can be tooled with features specifically to make it friendly to those learning to program.

Prime Directives for the new design:

  1. IR is designed not for experienced developers or those new to Python, but specifically for those new to programming.
  2. IR is meant to be a drop-in replacement of IDLE, and be installed with the default Python installer.
  3. IR's code will use the tkinter GUI toolkit (unless a better GUI toolkit is bundled with Python).
  4. IR is fully-featured offline, but also has features for finding help or sharing code online.
  5. "Simple is better than complex."

These are the features that will distinguish IR and make it a good candidate to replace IDLE:

  1. Single window design, with file editor on the upper pane and interactive shell on the lower pane. (No more confusing separate windows for shell & file editor.)
  2. Tabbed file editor.
  3. Foreign language support. (Though Python's keywords and standard library will still be in English, IDLE itself can be multi-lingual.)
  4. Tutorial plugin system for Codecademy-like tutorials.
  5. Integrated pip installer.
  6. Integrated pastebin feature. (Easily share code with those who can help you.)
  7. "Plain English" error message translations. Instant Google-search for error messages.
  8. Detects and warns if you are trying to run Python 2 code on Python 3.
  9. Lightweight real-time lint tool that will point out missing variables and syntax errors. (Checks for errors, but does not check for style or PEP8.)
19 Nov 19:40

Hotel charges couple’s credit card $156 for negative Trip Advisor review

by David Kravets

That's beyond offensive :s

A British hotel added $156 to a couple's credit card bill for violating its terms of service that says guests can be dinged for leaving bad online reviews.

The Broadway Hotel charged Tony and Jan Jenkinson's credit card, CNN reported Wednesday, after they left a review on Trip Advisor decrying the Blackpool hotel as a "filthy, dirty rotten stinking hovel." The BBC described the hotel's terms of service contained in a booking document as:

Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love our hotel, your friends and family may not. For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review. (About $156)

This isn't the first time we've seen fines like this from a hotel. In August, the Union Street Guest House in Hudson, NY included a table-turning clause in its reservation policies: if you book an event at the hotel and a member of your party posts a negative review, the hotel will fine you $500. Amid an Internet firestorm, that hotel changed its policy.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

19 Nov 18:11

New Heat Signature Trailer Shows Art, Music, Wrenches And Guns

by Pentadact
20 Nov 00:00

Video: If Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 was released today

by Danny Cowan
We've seen variations on this sort of thing before, but this mocked-up glimpse at our industry's terrifying future is more plausible than most. Something Awful founder Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka proposes what Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 might play like if...
18 Nov 22:30

Maniac Mansion designers seek funding for new 2D adventure

by Earnest Cavalli

I don't really care about the hamster but I kicked the project anyway. Because Ron "Grumpygamer" Gilbert is awesome.

Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the duo behind the classic LucasArts adventure game Maniac Mansion, have launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new point and click 2D adventure dubbed Thimbleweed Park. "Why do we want to make Thimbleweed Park? Because...
17 Nov 18:46

Star Wars Fan Creates Insanely Detailed Cardboard Millennium Falcon

by Caleb Kraft
Thomas Richner may need to consider a career change. His hobby of recycling cardboard into interesting items, like an R2-D2 and a Millennium Falcon show enough promise that, well, someone should hire him to keep it up! This incredibly intricate Millenium Falcon has actual retractable landing gear and details that […]

Read more on MAKE

15 Nov 06:56

Spain's top piracy-fighter goes to jail for embezzling $50K to spend in brothels

by Cory Doctorow

I have to say that I wouldn't be surprised if he met (and entertained) those people in brothels as well as elsewhere.

Pedro Farré was head of corporate relations for the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, and he falsified €40K worth of receipts for all night binges where he consumed Champagne and sexual services at brothels, claiming the funds were spent entertaining and meeting with senior cops, journalists, and academics. Read the rest

12 Nov 19:40

Breaking the lock: Why all game content should be unlocked from the outset

by Kyle Orland

I've always hated two major things in games since I started playing. Time limits and that endless (sometimes idiotically set up) unlocking.

Aurich Lawson vs Capcom, FIGHT!

The Master Chief Collection launched earlier this week, a collection of classic Halo games that included an array of changes from the originals, such as improved graphics and customized, cross-game playlists. But there was another, more subtle change from the original Halo titles that I think more games should mimic well before being re-released as "remastered" collections.

As Sam Machkovech pointed out in his review, "all four full campaigns are unlocked the moment you boot HTMCC, meaning you can skip ahead to a favorite part of Halo 3, then find a friend and pound out a beloved Halo: CE mission in online co-op." It's a design decision that makes us wonder: why wasn't this the case when the Halo games were originally released? For that matter, why do developers "lock" game content in the first place?

The idea of locked content, which has to be "unlocked" through some sort of in-game achievement, is a peculiarity that games share with no other mass consumer art form. Books don't require you to read the prologue and author's note before diving in to Chapter 1. DVDs don't confirm that you fully comprehended the first act before letting you jump to your favorite scene in Act 2 (or make you suffer through the bad episodes of a TV show just to watch the good ones). Music albums don't require that you listen to songs in a certain order without the ability to skip around at will.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments