Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pinterest for Boys

Everyone knows that most Pinterest users are female. At least I think they do... I wonder what age group of women? Here I am writing a blog post and I'm already distracted. One moment please...

Ok, as I was saying: Everyone knows that most Pinterest users are female women in the 25-34 age group. Why is that? Well if you really want to know, you can google it this time. I'm here to tell you why us manly dudes should be using it more often.

I have a few interests that make me boy-like. Cars. Trucks. Cute animals. So what if I want to keep a collection of those sweet rides and cute baby monkeys? Hang posters on my wall? Naw, man, naw. This isn't the 90's anymore. You put them on a Pinterest board. Why? Here's why. Ok... Here I go.

Before Pinterest, I used to save every damn thing I thought was cool that I found on the internet into folders on local drives. Oh, you're still doing that? Read on.

But there were a couple of problems. First of all, unless I spent way too much time organizing, the source of these images, movies and whatever media ("whatever media"- I like it) was lost. Sure, I found a cool looking car, or something- what if I wanted more? Well you'd get to start all over again looking for the stuff. Not fun. Not efficient. Pinterest boards are collections of "whatever media" that can link back to the source. Totally cool.

The next challenge with inconspicuous folders on a hard drive is it's not social. Sure there are ways to share that data, but Pinterest makes it easy.

"Hey bro, wanna see some badass movies?"

"Yeah, man. Hook me up." BAM!

So boys, stop playing Black Ops 2 and get on Pinterest. Your girlfriend will be proud of you.

Friday, August 31, 2012

My Son's Letter to Mojang

My boy has been playing Minecraft since he was about 3 years old. He's currently 5 and it's still by far his favorite game.

Since the Mojang crew goes to PAX in Seattle now, my friend Kenna @ suggested that he write a letter for them.

Well, he did; and I just delivered it to Jeb a few minutes ago. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Notch's Secret PAX Party

Going to PAX Prime in Seattle this year? Well you're not going to want to miss Notch's (Markus Persson of Mojang) secret party. I attended last year, and you simply will not find a higher density of classy geeks in one dance club!

Sign up here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

OnLive Isn't Shutting Down... RIGHT??

So here's the deal. I love OnLive. I love Steam. I love OUYA. I love Gaikai. And... Eh... Sony is alright.

Streaming services aren't very popular right now, but I've long predicted that they will quickly become a force to be reckoned with. Why? Well... You have never purchased software- only the right to use it. Running a local copy of that software creates challenges in terms of hardware requirements, DRM issues, etc. Streaming solves many more issues than it creates in today's hi-fi broadband intarweb age. Ok, back to OnLive shutting down...

Rumors started today that OnLive is shutting down. They're just rumors for now, but based on everything I've read on the aforementioned intarwebs, it appears as though something is indeed happening. I really doubt it will be a straight-up bye-bye end of the line for OnLive, though. Here's why:

Sony recently acquired Gaikai- Gamestop's answer to OnLive (and they seem to be aware that their stores will shortly become obsolete *cough* Blockbuster). OnLive recently announced a partnership with OUYA- the cute little indie game console kickstarter. And Valve is quite obviously working on a console, even though they've attempted to shut down those rumors

You want a juicy conspiracy theory?

Valve/OUYA/Onlive acquisition to combat Sony/Gaikai? Will this be the year of streaming consoles?

Or it could be that OnLive is just done. You know...

We'll see what happens! But i truly hope the best for OnLive as I <3 it very much!

UPDATE 8/17/12 2:26pm

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Trekify Me

Here's a pretty radical iOS app. Yes, radical is the word of the day. It's called Trekify Me, and you need to go grab it; it's free.

Here are radical (albeit creepy) examples of why it's so good:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Demoscene Compo/Filler

Oh hai there,

I've been quiet recently, but you know me (actually you probably don't); when I'm quiet online it's because I'm busy "in real life".

So recently a friend from Seattle invited me to make music for a demoscene competition. What's the demoscene you ask? Buy this DVD, or if you don't feel like spending money click here. (But really, you should spend money)

Here is the link to the prod on pouet:
And here is the browser version:

I have to thank Jim Scott (blackpawn) for letting me contribute my music to this prod. (I completed it in roughly 3 evenings after work) I look forward to our next collaboration!

Also, thank you Peter Hajba (Skaven) for your help over the years. It was your work that originally inspired me to "pick up" a tracker (Scream Tracker) and see what kind of noise I could make with it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Facebook Changes

One thing I share with roughly 0.3% of the world population is the appreciation of most every Facebook change that's been made. Or, at the very least, I can predict the intended direction of whatever new Facebook "feature" has been implemented.

To use an example, the new "Timeline" feature. Don't crucify me, but I thought this was a winner from the beginning.

Due to the current outcry, I don't know that anyone will admit when they formally no longer disfavor the Timeline; but I'm noticing subtle changes that make it more and more usable every week.

But that's not why I'm blogging today.

Today I wish to make fun of the vast majority of people in the world (sounds like a good idea, no?). So if you represent that 0.3% of the population, please enjoy the following images!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Coolest April Fools Prank Ever

I wonder how many people understand the reference Google is making with this April Fools Day joke. Likely very few. But regardless, I <3 it!!!

Visit before it's too late!

3 Years of PAX

With PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) 2012 coming up in a few months I figured I'd put together a collection of all my experiences there since 2009 on flickr. Enjoy!
basementdigital's items tagged with pax More of basementdigital's stuff tagged with pax

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dear Esther: Are you a game?

I recently found myself in a defensive posture when I posted my thoughts about Dear Esther on Facebook. I announced to the world, "This game is absolutely brilliant", to which the world responded: It isn't a game.

I have a nasty habit of quickly defending my position, so naturally I looked up the definition of "game".

  • Merriam Webster: activity engaged in for diversion or amusement 
  • Wikipedia: A game is structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool.
  • Urban Dictionary: means ghetto attitude manipulative environment. as told to my freind (sic) by a straight up pimp on an airplane... referring to someones skills with the hoes.

But oddly enough, once I confirmed (as I often can) that the world was wrong; I began to agree with the assertion that indeed, Dear Esther is not a game. In fact it is not. It is much more.

If you haven't heard of or "played" Dear Esther, please watch this trailer before continuing:

If you aren't covered in goosebumps, please close your browser and resume playing Gears of War 3.

Look, I love games. Even violent, competitive FPS's. But I also love art. And that's what Dear Esther is. Interactive, digital artwork. And by my standards, it's nearly flawless in every way.

  • The voice acting by Nigel Carrington is far beyond what you'll find in the finest, modern AAA titles.
  • The musical score by Jessica Curry is absolutely moving.
  • The story by Dan Pinchbeck is open to interpretation, but completely profound.
  • The artwork and level design by Ben Andrews and Robert Briscoe is simply beautiful.
If you require a de facto standard 10-hour, monster-slaying journey; please look elsewhere. But if you don't mind a slower paced, shorter- yet more moving journey; pony up the 10 bucks and get ready to experience something special.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Madgarden is a Madman

So you've got an iPad and you want to make some noise? No worries; the app store has you covered. There are roughly a bajillion FL Studio-ish apps out there (Including FL Studio Mobile), but who cares? If you're interested in making music with this platform, you should look for the least traditional methods of creation to really push that artistic envelope, yeah? Additionally, people will think you're cool.

Introductory paragraph aside, I have two insanely-awesome tools for you to consider. One is so simple to use, your cat will be making tracks in no time. The other... Well. Let's just say I hope you have a good grasp of Reverse Polish Notation.

Russian engineers tend to design things that just work. Sure, their rockets aren't impressive to look at. But some how they've managed to get people into orbit for over 50 years. When it comes to music machines, the Russian-made PixiTracker follows similar conventions.

Awww, the little sprites represent sounds. How cute!

PixiTracker won't get you into outer space, but it can produce charming tracks and its whimsical interface is astonishingly simple to use. I say charming because its lack of features is a feature in of itself. The limitations of this little machine put a smile on your face. Especially because you can create stuff that sounds like music within a matter of minutes.

But maybe you don't want something "cute" or "fun" like that. Perhaps you want something that in addition to creating music, causes cancer. Something so difficult to figure out, that the second you generate a pattern of noise that begins to resemble music, you call in sick at work to recover.

I'm talking about Madgarden's Glitchmachine. And ohhh, what a machine it is.

I'm pretty certain The Borg use a similar interface at each Regeneration Alcove

You know, I've worked with a lot of software over the years, and even the steepest learning curves were no match for my perseverance. But Glitchmachine isn't your normal tracker or DAW. It's surely designed with a special breed of musical-coder in mind. So when I found myself stumped after a couple of hours of research, I bought a copy for my father.

Before becoming a computer programmer, dad played music professionally. So naturally he'd figure this thing out in a jiffy, yeah? Well. Not yet. But I've got faith in you, pops!

Ok, yes it's stab-your-eyeballs-out difficult to figure out. No, it wasn't free either. But that's not the point. As with PixiTracker, the obstacles are part of the appeal.

Glitchmachine makes some crazy sounds when you know what you're doing (Search Soundcloud). And if you're concerned with the price, how many times have you dropped a couple bucks into a street performer's hat? Well my hat's off to Madgarden, because he made something totally nuts, but very special as well.

Before I go, I have an honorable mention for you: ReBirth.

Slightly more conventional music creation to be found here, but it's still plenty fun!

There's a lot you can do with two 303's, an 808 and 909. If you're unfamiliar with this hardware, all the knobs and buttons can look really intimidating. But after a little research you'll be producing tracks in no time! This one's worth the money too!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Minecraft Legos (!!!)

During a recent, *ahem*; "conversation" with Daniel Kaplan of Mojang, I mentioned that I would gladly purchase Minecraft LEGOs, should they become available. Two months later, they're becoming a reality. Coincidence? I think not...

Ok... Maybe the LEGO Cuusoo lobby had a small part in making it happen. But OMG MINECRAFT LEGOS!!!!!