February 27, 2011

Tiltfactor at GDC

from tiltfactor
by @ 10:13 pm

This year’s Game Development Conference in San Francisco promises to be enjoyable and informative. We are doing a soft-launch of […]

February 25, 2011

Tiltfactor at GDC

from tiltfactor
by @ 9:14 pm

This year’s Game Development Conference in San Francisco promises to be enjoyable and informative. We are doing a soft-launch of our new beloved tiltfactor.org site (uber exciting!), as well as following lab director Mary Flanagan as she’s speaking at the GDC Education Summit: Monday 10:00-11:00 Room 301, South Hall: http://schedule.gdconf.com/session/12198.

(and, just for GDC, we’re donning our new sneak-preview Tiltfactor bling, soon available on our web site!)


We are also bringing student designer E McNeill, winner of the 2009 Imagine Cup game design second place, as he launches his first indie game Auralux; also along is Heidi Gamer, our Virtual Finance Expert. Tiltfactor is also participating in the Game Education Rant at the GDC on Tuesday 4:15- 5:15 Room 301, South Hall.

February 23, 2011

Get Yer Art, Culture, and Game Studies

from Post Position
by @ 9:56 pm

This and That Thought, a Turbulence commission, is a robot riot. (Turn on your sound before beginning!) The new issue of Culture Machine grapples with e-lit and the digital humanities and looks to be made of win. And there’s the happy occasion of a new issue of Game Studies, focused on game reward systems.

February 21, 2011

Book Meets Tube, Explains Tube

from Post Position
by @ 10:49 am

Learning from YouTube by Alexandra Juhasz is an open access MIT Press “video-book” published on Vectors. It’s made of “texteos” (with YouTube-like videos at the core) and is hilarious and incisive. I suggest you vread it right away.

February 20, 2011

Choose from 1 Ending to this Blog Post

from Post Position
by @ 4:38 pm

There’s a nice Slate article on the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure series, quoting not only both of the main COYA authors but also Zork creator and Infocom implementor David Lebling.

Click what?

from tiltfactor
by @ 12:49 am

Ubermorgen’s Clickistan is a wild ride. Designed as a web art extravaganza, and in part serving to fund raise for the Whitney Museum of American Art (a pretty credible cause, as causes go) Clickistan is a conceptual work that locates its work somewhere “between the 7th and 8th bit of every byte.” In other words, Clickistan is a nation surfing the hinterlands of the on and off of binary logic. This makes us very excited at Tiltfactor!

February 18, 2011

Games, motivation, and pleasure

from tiltfactor
by @ 11:41 am

Today at Tilt we are thinking about play and motivation, looking at variable ratio reward scheduling, empathy, and other means by which players might find pleasure in a game. To Caillois in his Man, Play, and Games, the experiences of competition, chance, altered perception (vertigo), and make believe are ways in which play can set the stage for pleasure. Csíkszentmihályi’s flow state (and the nice excerpt from Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention) is worth a read; it is a nice investigation into pleasure through perseverance. But what about the simple satisfaction of completion, or taking a step toward completion? Or, how about, the classic Barthes treatise on The Pleasure of the Text, one of Tiltfactor’s all time favorite reads?

February 17, 2011

Label This One a Failure

from Post Position
by @ 11:23 am

It’s tough to write about the ideas that didn’t work out. Sometimes the negative results actually aren’t very interesting, and it’s better not to discuss them. In other cases, it’s impolite to point out other people’s roles – to blame them – and impossible to discuss the failure otherwise. But when a failure is not too big of a deal, possibly instructive to bring up, and as least as much my fault as anyone else’s, that rare opportunity to post about it presents itself.

February 15, 2011

Gatsby + NES … Abyss Gent?

from Post Position
by @ 8:25 pm

If you’re a fan of the ideal (not the reality) of video games that are adapted from literary works, and particularly if you liked Gatz

Do check out The Great Gatsby for NES. Old chap.

Put Another Token in the Jukebox, Baby

from Post Position
by @ 5:52 pm

“D.P.O.” is a pretty amazing X-Files episode, featuring not only an arcade, which is central to the episode, but also a Lenscrafters cameo, glimpses of a Jerry-Springer-like show and a music video, a reference to the land art piece Lightning Field, a rural boy pranking cows, Jack Black, and a Playboy centerfold with at least a passing resemblance to Sarah Michelle Gellar.

I particularly like how Moulder picks out the suspect by locating his initials on the high score screen of a Virtua Fighter machine. One thing I’m wondering about the arcade in this episode, though: It has a jukebox, which is rather instrumental (no pun intended) to the way the episode … plays out.

February 14, 2011

Portal Past

from Post Position
by @ 1:09 pm

Truth is often stranger than fiction. Sometimes fiction just exaggerates for effect, of course. In the world of this commercial,

  • Early Macintoshes have a green-on-black, all-caps display.
  • Interactive fiction text goes only 3/5 of the way across the screen.
  • Macs use 5.25″ floppy discs.

These changes were no doubt thoughtfully made to construct the “retro” in a more intense way, allowing for a readable and seemingly old-school display and collaging different aspects of 1980s home computers. This way the green-on-black display and 5.25″ disks can live alongside the iconic presence of the early Mac. Plus, GLaDOS gets to say the multisyllabic word “Macintosh” at the end of the video. The creators of the video surely knew they were doing it wrong but decided to try to construct something more 80s than 80s.

February 13, 2011


from Post Position
by @ 2:13 pm

Google’s spam cop, Matt Cutts
the head of the Webspam team
in the sprawling, subterranean world
found 2,015 pages with phrases like “casual dresses,”
snoring, diamond drills, bathroom tiles,
a Google no-no.

Liquid nitrogen and “fairy tale pumpkin”
will flag a Web site that goes from zero
zero influence on the latter, he said.
Chinese cooking can bolster your profile if
organic search results
warn against using tricks

to snooker his employer.
You could imagine a dozen contenders
“Samsonite carry on luggage,” for instance,
And bedding? And area rugs?
Who is that someone?
The next it was essentially buried.

February 9, 2011

Here’s the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 2

from Post Position
by @ 2:30 pm

Thanks to the hard work of the editorial collective, Laura Borràs, Talan Memmott, Rita Raley, and Brian Kim Stefans, and to contributions of more than 70 (often collaborating) authors, we now have an incredible new anthology: volume 2 of the Electronic Literature Collection, which offers 60 new reading experiences for the networked computer.

(Here’s the ELO’s announcement about the new volume.)

February 4, 2011

Congrats to new Dartmouth’s newest artist

from tiltfactor
by @ 12:05 pm

a big big honor! Dartmouth Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies Jodie Mack received a Jury’s Choice First Prize award at the 2011 Black Maria Film Festival for her animated film. Mack describes her winning 28-minute “Yard Work is Hard Work” as “an animated musical featurette made with thousands of cut-outs from discarded printed materials. The piece follows a pair of newlyweds as they learn the perils of home ownership and life in general.”

February 3, 2011

Pocket Curveship

from Post Position
by @ 9:42 pm

Curveship running on a tiny computer, the Ben NanoNote.

Curveship runs on the Ben NanoNote, by the way. It could be faster, certainly – I and others will be working on that. But it does run, which is a good start and bodes well for the ability of Curveship games to run on many different platforms.

Happy Chinese New Year.

February 1, 2011

Curveship 0.5 Released

from Post Position
by @ 11:10 pm

Happy Groundhog Day. Today, I’m releasing Curveship, my interactive fiction system that models not only the fictional world, but also the narrative discourse. A development version (0.5) of this Python framework is now available for download. You can find the links, along with some description and documentation of the system, at curveship.com.

(Original photos by April King and Postdlf, Wikimedia Commons; they & these modified versions are CC by-sa 3.0.)

January 31, 2011

From Concept to Game in 48 hours: Global Game Jam 2011

This past weekend I participated in Global Game Jam 2011, an international event in which small groups of game development enthusiasts attempt to build a game in 48 hours. It provides an opportunity for people who love games to share in their passion of making games. This year the event was a huge success, with 6500 participants resulting in over 1500 games. I was part of the game jam at UC Santa Cruz, which included over 50 jammers. While building a game in 48 hours was a highly rewarding experience, it provided several interesting challenges.

Day 1: Design

January 29, 2011

Fair Use and Poetry

from Post Position
by @ 12:50 pm

“Code of Best Practices In Fair Use For Poetry” has just been released by the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. “Poetry” as a cultural force, in the popular consciousness, is very traditional, but poets of course also have undertaken some of the our most unusual, avant-garde writing. The document gives a hint of the wide sweep of poetic practice while showing that poetry has long played host to quotation, parody, and other remixological practices. And the “Code” achieves its main purpose of outlining common sorts of writing and use that fair use seems to cover, as poets see it. I’m glad to have been involved in some of the meetings that led to this document. I hope it will helpful us continue the discussion about alternatives to cultural lockdown, bringing in the perspectives, not of industries, but of the creators of different sorts of culturally significant work.

January 26, 2011

exciting Spring Events at Dartmouth

from tiltfactor
by @ 3:45 pm

Sherry Turkle is coming to Dartmouth to speak on the 10th of February about her newest research, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, published by Basic Books. The 15th of April 2011 we’re hosting a DIGITAL POETRY SYMPOSIUM at DARTMOUTH COLLEGE, with leading digital poets John Cayley, Stephanie Strickland, and Marjorie Luesebrink.
See more info at Dartmouth’s Digital Studies Website.

January 25, 2011

Teejay Spins Tales

from Post Position
by @ 6:00 pm

Last night I projected words to accompany music at a local lounge. This practice does not seem have an established name – does it? Please let me know if you’re aware of the conventional term. I have heard the phrase “text jockey” used. I’ve also come up with some other terms that don’t seem to fit perfectly. In a sense, this is VJing, but it’s also a practice that is compatible with VJing, since words can be projected in a subtitle-like fashion on moving images.

January 20, 2011

Play Aurora

from tiltfactor
by @ 3:29 am
E. McNeill's new game, Aurora

Indie Game Designer E. McNeill's new game, Aurora

Dartmouth’s own E McNeill has released his indie game Aurora for PC. Aurora is an ambient indie RTS game. It’s beautiful, abstract, and — be warned, it is utterly addictive!

Congrats E, we are proud of this fantastic accomplishment!

January 18, 2011

Congratulations, Codex Alimentarius

from Post Position
by @ 7:22 am

This year’s MIT Mystery Hunt was won by my intrepid friends on team Codex Alimentarius early Sunday morning. I’m glad I had the drive (the 5.25″ drive, to be exact) to help them as they solved one of their puzzles.

January 10, 2011

Tiltfactor Full Steam Ahead on Metadata Research

from tiltfactor
by @ 1:19 pm

Researchers at Tiltfactor have been working into the wee hours on honing the Metadata system. Many doughnuts have been consumed as we work out plans for trust algorithms and community motivation.

Sukdith Punjasthitkul (Dartmouth ’98 MS Evaluative Clinical Sciences) and Robinson Tryon (Dartmouth ’04 BA Computer Science)

If you are interested in helping us test our system and games, let us know! We need many participants even in the testing phase.

POX underway

from tiltfactor
by @ 1:13 pm

Tiltfactor’s official foray into health games begins this spring. Our new board game and associated web based game are launching in March at the NH Immunization Conference. The game will be for sale on our newly designed website, launching also in March. Watch this space!

January 5, 2011

Today’s Curveship Koan

from Post Position
by @ 1:11 pm

You put yourself on something unseen.
  Then, you are unable to take a look at something because you are not in the world.

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