Monday, May 7, 2012

Lord, make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother

Ice bomb! (Do not try this at home.)

The results are in: teaching gaming theory to budding gamers gives them a greater sense of play, creativity, and understanding about the basic issues. You can find out more on his blog.

This is one way to get rid of that feeling of being surrounded by blank white walls...but if you rent, I'm going to go out on that limb and say it may not be your best choice.

Do you like gummi bears? Do you like fiery-hot things? Why not mix the two? For eight bucks a bag, you can get 250 of them in a bag suffused with warnings and cautions.

Why does this even exist? People want to be drunk for less than a minute? Well, I guess it spares folks the discomfort of being hungover the next day?

If you really want to know more, contact the designer.

These will likely sell out, but they are very cool-looking.

Mimic octopus!

Everyone knows about sporks by now, right? Well, the knork has been introduced. My only concern: how sharp is that cutting edge? Is it safe to slide into an open mouth?

While this likely will encourage paranoia in those souls already inclined to it, I think it's a fascinating application of technology. Hummingbirds already strike us, visually, as being unnatural in their movements, so seeing one that's artificial likely would be dismissed. Which is sort of the point.

My only problem? Those poor law officers stuck with shaky-cam footage, and trying to identify crimes in progress without getting seasick.

Sticky notes are available in just about any size, shape, color, or design you can possibly think of. Now Suck UK brings us the next sticky note evolution--random shapes. Designed as page markers, their use can be expanded anywhere one needs a dash of color, and it's pure whimsy that will get you any of their designs from the website. (If you go into their UK store, well, then you can pick out what you want in person.)

There is a Minecraft texture pack out there which is simultaneously the most terrifying and the most kawaii thing I've ever seen. But, start to finish, it's also one of the most creative packs I've ever seen. Why? Because the High on Sugar pack was created as an inclusive whole, something other packs really don't do.

Let me explain that because it's an important point.

(from the Minecrafting album)

Yuikami is, like many of us, a die-hard Minecraft player. But where many texture packs simply imitated what already existed in the game (and I'm not saying that's bad for retexturing, at all), she chose to break it down from the ground up. Cows and certain bricks are made out of chocolate-bar sections. Ghasts have smiling happy faces and little pink bows. The beds are frosted cake bars with little sprinkles--if I had to guess on flavor, I'd probably think strawberry. Armor becomes different colors of cafe-maid frocks. The portal into the Nether is comprised of animated hearts. Creepers blow up with an explosion of cherry-blossom petals and more little hearts.

(from the Minecrafting album)

But that's not where it stops. No, she's created animation sets for many of the textures, which can still be used by people in my position, who either don't have good results with MCPatcher (the industry standard) or just don't want the extra graphics burden on their systems. She's made monster skins random, so if you're set upon by three zombies in the wilderness, you won't be seeing three undead Steves coming at you.

(from the Minecrafting album)

While form does--and must--follow function (all cows are shaped the same, all monsters are shaped the same for that monster type), she's really given serious thought to how that form and function are represented in her pack--and that level of thought and attention to detail is seen in every single texture within her pack.

(from the Minecrafting album)

Sure, it's saccharine as all hell, and it gives your eyes diabetes, but push all that aside--here is a designer who reached into the heart of what she wanted in Minecraft, and made it a reality. It's a syrupy, overly twee reality, to be sure, but from the very grass on the ground, to the sun and moon in the sky, everything matches her base concept.

Man, though, those wheat stalks...I swear I was having Children of the Corn flashbacks. "He who Walks Behind the Stalks...Nyan!"

Or something. Anyway, I'll work on getting back to normal Minecrafting entries...or at least, the evolution of Team Caledon.

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