July 30, 2012
Cloud Atlas trailer — long trailer for the new centuries-spanning sci-fi epic by the Wachowskis
Wired on the design of the Def Con 20 badges — crypto puzzle, viral game, and reprogrammable platform rolled into one
Diana Kimball's case study of Cards Against Humanity — going from an idea to a Kickstarter-funded Amazon bestseller
Generation Sell — “The small business is the idealized social form of our time.”
David Carr asks, What Is Yahoo? — trying to understand the net’s most popular question mark
Portland man found not guilty for stripping at TSA checkpoint — the TSA may still choose to fine Brennan and place him on the no-fly list
Polygon's The Evolution of PC Games — music remix with audio culled exclusively from the original games
Books of Adam on falling in love with videogames — owning Earthbound as your very first game would set the bar pretty high
Fez technical postmortem — I liked the bits on the designer vs. programmer dynamic; crazy that it was a two-person game
Ars Technica tracks down the secretive owner of FunnyJunk — great detective work
Marissa Mayer becomes Yahoo's new CEO — first smart move Yahoo’s made in years, but it’s hard to turn that ship around
David House's grand jury testimony in the Bradley Manning hearing — that guy has balls of steel (via)
Star Wars "Call Me Maybe" — impressed he didn’t cut corners on the repetitive choruses
HypnoSF — amazing music video, and the resulting animated GIFs
Marc Maron interviews Dan Harmon on the end of Community — six years after Arrested Development, networks still don’t know how to handle fan favorites
Amazon's push for same-day delivery — the promise of Kozmo, but for everything?
Kyle McDonald's story of his Secret Service raid following People Staring at Computers — you might remember his project, setting up software on Apple Store computers (via)
Analysis of the 450,000 leaked Yahoo Voices passwords — apparently Associated Content, the content farm they acquired in 2010, stored passwords in plaintext
Using Echo Nest to use music preference to predict political leaning — Democrats appear to have more diverse tastes (via)
A Lip-Sync Six Years in the Making — “I think it’s simultaneously the best and worst idea I’ve ever had.”
Machines (Take Care of The) — music video as a Robotron-inspired game
Rabble digs into the history of the @reply on Twitter — using Kellan’s oldtweets, a searchable archive of Twitter’s first year
My eight-year-old son and I are completely obsessed with Spelunky, the brilliant 2D platformer-meets-Roguelike game that launched last week on XBLA.
How obsessed? Yesterday, at brunch at Slappy Cakes, he asked me to make this:
Spelunky borrows two elements I hated back in the 8-bit era — randomized levels and no way to save progress — and makes them eminently enjoyable. Like NetHack meets La-Mulana, Spelunky is brutally hard. Like other Roguelikes, when you die in Spelunky, you’re dead. There’s no way to continue.
In an interview with Anthony Carboni, Derek Yu said, “When you die and have to start from the beginning, it makes death meaningful, just like in real life.” I’d recommend watching the interview, and Derek trying to play his own game, on New Challenger.
Unlike other hard games, Spelunky feels fair to me. Every time I die, I know that it was my fault. I never felt cheated because of awkward controls or unpredictable behavior, because the processes running the environment are so consistent and learnable. You can palpably feel yourself mastering the game, learning the mechanics and traps and creature movement and every other detail, until the next time you stupidly fumble.
To feel what it’s like to play Spelunky, and how deep it goes, I’d recommend reading Tom Francis’ quest to find the lost city of gold.
P.S. Eliot just came downstairs to tell me he finished the Worm level, grabbed the Crysknife, and unlocked the Super Meat Boy character. If you’ve played the game, you know how hard that is. My boy!
How Vi Hart Makes A Video About Making A Video About Making A Video — reminds me of this classic Reddit thread
Tom Francis on Spelunky and the City of Gold — written in 2009 about the free PC version, every word of this applies to the brilliant new XBLA release
Howard Rheingold on the rise and fall of The WELL — interesting to hear the community’s trying to buy it
San Diego malfunction leads to 15 minutes of fireworks in 15 seconds — sometimes, failure is more fun than success
Charles Carreon dismisses his lawsuit against the Oatmeal — a temporary end to an epic flameout
Andrew Kim's proposed rebranding for Microsoft — fun speculative work