The Chinatown Bus

The weather was improving in DC and it was good for walking, but I had just finished the meal at the Indian restaurant and felt sluggish. I hadn’t overeaten, but Indian food always made me sleepy.

So I digested for half an hour or so and checked email, took a crap, gathered my bags, then headed out. I was north of the mall, and I had already been to the closest museum (Museum of Buildings, with exhibits on architecture and design. They had a nice gift shop although I hadn’t bought anything) and didn’t feel like walking far. So I headed to one of the $20 Chinatown bus places I had passed the day before.

On the way I passed an arhitectural design company that specialized … Read the rest

Frank Bourbon and the Letter

I woke up earlier than usual and after a piss the cupboards reminded me that I didn’t have any food in my apartment.
I dressed in yesterday’s clothes and when I went out I saw the door across the hall open.

Frank Bourbon sat in a chair fully dressed except for his feet and was putting on his favorite pair of socks.
I can only guess that they were his favorite since he seemed to wear them every time I saw him and he seemed like the kind of person who would own a lot of socks.
And I recognized them because they were what I considered to be uniquely ugly, and I had given them to him.
They had been a gift to me but … Read the rest

Jig Easy, Sam



(latest revision: 2007/10/1)

This was an entry for JayIsGames Casual Game Design Competition #4.

It’s an odd game that is essentially a prototype for something more complete.
The initial idea was to have a “Tower Defence” kind of game where the ‘enemies’ were bouncing balls rather than marching monsters.
About an hour before the game was to be submitted I realized it was just too hard, so I added the final element: clocks, which have teh result of now making the game too easy.

In developing games, the coding can be a challenge, and the graphics can be a challenge, but the biggest one to me is the balance of easy/difficult and frustrating/boring.
I think this is a fun game for about 10 minutes. It is … Read the rest

Parley



(latest revision: 1.3 2007/8/17)

This was an entry for JayIsGames Casual Game Design Competition #3 I created with Joe Versoza.

It’s a card game with a unique deck, containing up to 5 suits and up to 5 ranks.
Unlike in a standard deck of cards, the suits are hierarchical, and also use a bit of rock-paper-scissor logic to determine what card beats another.
Also, the ranks are hierarchical, as they are for regular cards, except in Parley the ‘Spy’ card (2-to-lowest rank) can beat the ‘Queen’ card (highest rank).
Although it may sound complicated, it’s pretty easy to pick up the rules after playing a round or two.

The new revision fixes problems with the AI bing too difficult.… Read the rest

The Delivery

Bart farted loudly. Nobody reacted. About half a minute later he scratched his rear and laughed a couple times, mumbling something about underpants.

I looked at Arnie, who stood in the corner, smoking a cigarette, staring at nothing. He saw me staring and looked back without changing his expression or blinking his eyes. I looked away first.

“So.” I said. Nothing moved but Bart’s TV screen and Arnie’s smoke.

“So.” I said. “Maybe one of you can sign for this, since it looks like Mr. Cooke isn’t around.”

Again, nothing moved.

I set the package on a workbench near the door.

“Or, tell you what. The signature is just a formality, anyway. Let’s just forget it.”

No reaction again, so I turned the knob on the … Read the rest

Train Story

The train was late leaving Penn Station.
Delays between Boston and New York meant we wouldn’t get into Washington until around 2AM.
Apparently there had been flooding in Connecticut which somehow caused an electrical fire at a switching station.
The conductor was telling some of the passengers about an area of woods they had passed that was both underwater and on fire at the same time, with water going up three or four feet on the trunks while flames consumed the branches.

While the businessmen shuffled back and forth to the bar car to fetch beers in twos and threes, I figured I’d just settle in and snooze or read.
On some trains, falling asleep meant possibly missing your stop, but DC was the last stop … Read the rest

Dreamcaster

Johnny Reeve waited in line at the Dreamcaster Dream Resource Center.
Johnny was an average looking dream character, and his resume was typical of the others waiting in line: mostly crowd scenes, laughing at dreamers in their underwear at school. He had never had a big break, as Mystery Lover, or Helpful Stranger, (or, if he were really lucky, getting to play thedreamer himself in a third-person dream) and his hopes weren’t high this evening; the line was longer than he had ever seen it.
Standing behind Johnny was Wally, who had had some success earlier in his career playing dreamers’ friendy uncles.
Wally was reading the classified ads in the Dreamland Gazette.
He grunted and closed the paper, turning to Johnny.
“The Night Mare is … Read the rest

Go Rabbit, Go!


Go Rabbit, Go! (beta latest revision: 2007/3/2)

This game was developed over a few days as an entry in the DonationCoder.com Accessibility Game Design Competition.
The parameters were to simply make a ‘switch game’ (or alternately a game relying only on audio).
A switch game is a game with the simplest interface, a button that is either pressed or not – the space bar, mouse button, or other controller.
The idea is that people with limited mobility may not be able to use conventional game controllers.

Additionally, I consulted with representatives of the Univeristy of Delaware Center for Disability Studies in coming up with a game that could be played by people with a wide variety of abilities or disabilities.
In addition to the switch interface, … Read the rest