The book Masters of Doom beautifully describes the type of product created when a great designer and a great engineer get together. Doom and Quake were perfect examples of this union.
If Doom and Quake represented the first wave of interactive 3D, Virtual Reality will be the second. A designer needs to rise to the occasion, or else we’ll end up with clunky, high-tech systems that don’t feel human. The same pairing of great games with the right graphics, controls, and mechanics need to be designed for VR to be a success.
I haven’t been making great progress on my side project. I’ve been spending most of my nights alone, chasing down errors and reading posts on the best way to organize my data structure. When I’d struggle with something for a while and couldn’t figure it out I’d send my friend Brad an email…
Have you ever sat in a meeting where everyone stares at their laptops? You look around the room and can’t tell if anyone’s actually paying attention. Chances are they’re doing their own thing: Checking e-mail, Playing Minecraft, who knows?
As laptops and mobile phones have become more ubiquitous, the problem worsens.
It’s easy to stare into your screen while someone else is talking. “I’m just checking this one e-mail,” you think to yourself, or “What if our servers go down?! I have to be able to respond on IRC, right?”
I found that more and more, I would just be refreshing Twitter or checking Hacker News.
Last June, my friend Walter Chen, CEO/co-founder of iDoneThis, invited me to visit him in Las Vegas. Walter had just taken an investment from Vegas Tech Fund and thought it’d be interesting for me to come speak to their portfolio companies.
There’s an interview with Gabe Newell (co-founder of Valve) in the Washington Post. It’s a great read and required reading for anyone who has or wants to start their own business. This part of the interview stuck with me the most:
Also, it was pretty clear that there were very large…
“What we need are programs to teach this way of thinking, working, and creating. Call it “view source-ism.” View source-ism is about learning by doing, remix, and recombination. It’s what happens when you Google for the answer for a solution problem and land on Stack Overflow or MDN. It’s forking millions of GitHub repos and using shared code like Lego bricks.”—
Being able to modify a program/webpage/app, rebuild it, and see feedback is one of the fundamental things that got me where I am today.
I started with using debug.exe (or .com?) in MSDos to hack Civilization and continued to edit BBS script files for the Renegade BBS to create menus, etc.
From there I got into video game scripting (DOOM, Quake), and HTML.
View Source and Open Source are (imho) the two most important concepts in computing besides the proliferation of the internet.
Interesting to note: One of OLPC’s founding tenants was that kids could ‘view source’ on any program currently running and freely modify it. Imagine if every program on your computer let you do this, with a quick and easy ‘rollback’/undo feature?
“I don’t even know why I would want to be on a label in a few years, because I don’t think it’s going to work by labels and by distribution systems in the same way. The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it’s not going to happen. I’m fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing. Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity. So it’s like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again. You’d better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that’s really the only unique situation that’s going to be left. It’s terribly exciting. But on the other hand it doesn’t matter if you think it’s exciting or not; it’s what’s going to happen.”—
“The gatekeepers who were exploiting artists were also the ones providing them with camaraderie, management, validation, and guidance. Working alone can be creatively freeing, but it can also be isolating, terrifying, and incredibly difficult. Even Wolverine is more effective (and stable) as a member of the X-Men.”—More brilliance from Christina Xu of Breadpig. (via garychou)
How to construct one? They have approximately three months to produce the credits, and create the sequences for all 10 episodes in one batch. The credits change weekly as campaigns expand or end in ignoble defeat, and all every location in the episode must appear on the atlas.
The music alone might make it the best title sequence in all of television, but the intricate animation work — which changes week-to-week — just puts it over the top.
“People who are negative tend to want to demean people’s ideas. They say what they dont like, but they don’t really say what they want to do. And it’s very hard to have ideas. It’s very hard to put yourself out there. It’s very hard to be vulnerable. But those people are the dreamers and the thinkers and the creators. They’re the magic people of the world. So strive to be one of those.”—
Today I learned that Amy Poehler has a YouTube series called Smart Girls (described as ”a place for funny, thoughtful and deceivingly educational programming.”) Who knew?
In this segment on Negativity (where the quote above is from), she eloquently sums up something I’ve long found to be incredibly frustrating - people who are quick to criticize someone else’s ideas but offer nothing in the form of alternative solution.
It sounds obvious but sadly this is a quality that is very much not limited to teenagers. When debating ideas, make the extra effort to try and push those ideas to a better place instead of just trying to cut them down.
Each year we do two company retreats together with our entire team. These retreats are meant to forge us together as a team as well as improve how we work together. Actually, we just got back from our latest retreat two weeks ago. This time we rented a house in the Scottish highlands where we…
As I’m stuck on an airplane with no Internet connectivity, I decided to try out different apps and see which are remotely usable while offline.
Most apps, especially retail/Ecommerce, offer little to no functionality.
Tumblr takes the cake for offline functionality. It pulled up my old posts from last time I logged in without complaining about lack of connectivity. I was able to Favorite a post and have it show up in my favorites, and I could access most menus such as my followers, even if some of the user images were sometimes missing. In fact, I was even able to queue up this post!!
Walmart and Target at least allow me to click through a few menus without leaving me at a dead end. Zappos also gives me a nice home screen and lets me navigate through categories before stopping.
Fab, eBay, and Wanelo, all dead-end me before I can even see a single product.
Karma goes one step further and boots me out of the app when I don’t have a connection.
Shopstyle seems to be the worst offender of the bunch, trapping me in an endless loop of ‘connection lost’ dialogs until I exit the app with the home button.
A great offline experience can really set an app apart. As many New Yorkers know, 75% of your commute is spent offline while riding the subway (aside from the new wireless initiatives), and a functional offline mode will keep me clicking while I’m riding.
(note: I focused on e-commerce apps because I’ve been researching them a ton for Shapeways.)
Hi. I’m Darius Kazemi. Recently I’ve been making a bunch of weird stuff that randomly generates things. For example, there’s the Twitter account @metaphorminute, which tweets a random metaphor every couple minutes. There’s also OutSlide, which generates a slide deck from an outline that you…
“What did I learn from him? We could be here all night, probably all week, maybe even a month. I learned focus is key, not just in running a company but in your personal life as well. That you should do only a certain number of things great, and you should cast aside the rest.”—
Joseph Williams IV approaches design with a purity that only comes from an unyielding attention to detail. “Wrong side” Leather jackets catch the light like velvet. Boots are caked with earth, conjuring the the visual vocabulary of the forest and a noble huntsmen. Sterling silver…