And thus Spoke Pi.


Frustrations of hack

I feel like I have good ideas - maybe not genius, but something! It's hard to grasp that intuition that spark that /something/ and follow it through to the real gem - the game that lives behind the sudden interaction, behind the impression I want to give.

How do I make a game that tells people how this game makes me feel?

This song makes me embrace life. Everything falls apart - so why cry about it?

The chaos you're fighting is life. So stop fighting it!

But it doesn't say that, it makes me FEEL that, and the feeling comes into my mind in the form of these words. The connections are THERE - the simple strong truths that made me post this. But EXPRESSING them, in words let alone GAME is just...hard.


So I'll try screaming into the abyss.

So we need an 'everything'. A 'Chaos'. Cause that's the thought right? 'Stop fighting'

Or should I take a different tack? Not personification, but systemification - the chaos is the system. Something delicate. Something you're always on the edge of /almost/ failing

Okay, so how about this. You can place platforms. Platforms fall after random (longish) time intervals, collapsing on themselves. Platforms collect something you want - say rain.

Okay wait, game where the platforms are shifting color blocks, more platforms means more score, when the colors start matching the platforms start fading. land on platform to randomize colors. PLatforms form 'links' when you have enough, links are random, you can teleport along them, and if one platform in a link falls they ALL FALL. Platforms will always fall - jumping on them just nets you more time (which means more links...)

oh, I'll start prototyping after new years - I GOT LIFE TO LIVE.



I'm going to be submitting something for ZZTV 11. It's a compilation of ZZT games, ZZT being the game-platform-thing Epic Megagames did before Unreal. So far, I've found it to be a really awesome experience. I've played through Syndromes, and found it to be a FASCINATING thing - a tutorial on ZZT game design, in ZZT! It's also awesome digging through the various toolkits, thinking about all the care and time people put into making them.

Before I start thinking about what kind of game I want to make, I'm going to dive into some the recommendations from funk's guide. I really want to see what the ZZT can do in the hands of experts!


My Manifesto

My name is Adam David Burch, and I make games. 

I make games because I know that
1) I've been playing games my whole life.
2) my knowledge of games is pathetic, and lastly,
3) my games are awesome, and worth making.


Anywhere there is shit to do, and shit that can be done about it, there is a game.

By this logic, damn near everything's a game!

The to-clever computer scientist in me couldn't help but agree that damn near everything IS-A game. 

And when everything's a game, how can I stop playing?

 I went to high school. 
 Get good grades - Shit to do 
Schoolwork - Shit that can be done about it 

 My friends and I used to eat Corn Nuts(tm) after throwing them into the air. 
 Eat, Show off - Shit to do 
Throwing Corn Nuts(tm), eating, diving, tackling, etc. - Shit that can be done about it 

 When on tile floors, I would impose rules limiting my movement (stay on like squares, chess-piece movement only, etc) 
 Desire to play - Shit to do 
Movement - Shit that can be done about it 

 Meditate - Shit to do 
Meditate - Shit that can be done about it 


 Let's look at my edge cases (the first and latter ones, respectively).

 I went to high school.
 Get good grades - Shit to do 
Schoolwork - Shit that can be done about it 

 Isn't school supposed to be about...learning? Why has the signifier (grades) taken over for the signified (learnins)?

 Meditation - Shit to do 
Meditate - Shit that can be done about it 

 It is only by abandoning our conception of meditation as a game that we can meditate.

Each of these things IS-A game. However, they're also NOT GAME.
Everything that's NOT GAME IS-A game.
It's just not supposed to be played.
Playing something that's NOT GAME as a game can seem smart, but it's most likely stupid.
The thing is simply NOT GAME.

We now know the set of all things that are NOT GAME - Everything that IS-A game, but IS NOT meant to be played.
We now know the set of all things that are GAME - Everything that IS-A game, and IS meant to be played.

 But the question is, what do /I/ know about this set?

 Not a damn thing.


 This is a tautology. All games are awesome (exploring the possibility space for a game is THE BEST, and CREATING THAT POSSIBILITY SPACE IS THE DOUBLE BEST OMG), and if I want to do something, then it's worth doing.

 My name is Adam David Burch, and this is my manifesto.



forgot about that censorship bar! took it down. Also added Amazon Associates thing. More MONETIZATION!!!

I live in Seattle now. And work for Amazon. Weeeeeeeeee!

I have some stuff up at Digital love child. It's about skullgirls. I like the game! I'm going to be doing more here.

workin on a game atm. cool concept, i think.

also, going through my steam library. more forthcoming.


Blogs of the Round Table: Being Other OR Identity Crisis

Games, like most media, have the ability to let us explore what it’s like to be someone other than ourselves. While this experience may only encompass a character’s external circumstances–exploring alien worlds, serving with a military elite, casting spells and swinging broadswords–it’s most powerful when it allow us to identify with a character who is fundamentally different than ourselves–a different gender, sexuality, race, class, or religion. This official re-launch of the Blogs of the Round Table asks you to talk about a game experience that allowed you to experience being other than you are and how that impacted you–for better or for worse. Conversely, discuss why games haven’t provided this experience for you and why.

Whenever questions like this come up, I always think of two things.

First, I think of a girl I knew in high school, Angelica Hernandez. Smart girl, pretty, and an incredibly hard worker. We were both on the robotics team (Falcon Robotics Team 842, look it up) and the robotics team was hella in involved with the AZ immigration protests. And any talk of immigration in AZ inevitably turns to the hilarious amount of casual racism that permeate's this state.

So she tells me a story. She's talking around in a department store, shopping as teenage girls are wont to do; pick something up, carry it around, compare it, put it aside, etc etc. And after a while she realizes the security is following her around.

This blew my fucking mind. Angelica is the fucking model citizen. She's nice, she's smart, she's a hard worker, she's the FUCKING VALEDICTORIAN AND PRESIDENT OF AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ROBOTICS CLUB. And she was followed around while shopping in a department store, a normal, American, and mildly boring thing.

Can you imagine that? Born and raised American, and being followed around while you did normal American shit*?

Second thought: Ya ever read Brave New World? Wonderful, naive, condescending, and visionary, all at once. One of the key 'things' about the book is the 'feelies' a rather wonderful opiate of the masses. While the exact mechanism of their operation is never quite explained** the effect of a feelie is allowing whomever views it to feel whatever the subject of the feelie is feeling. So, if a Savage was, say, lashing himself to avoid temptation, and someone was recording that for a feelie, the viewers of that feelie would feel the emotional and physical sensations of the Savage in question.

And hey, here comes the point!

When people bring up race and sex and gender in the context of videogames, and specifically the context of identification, I inevitably come back to Angelica's story, and specifically my reaction: "who would want to live like that?"

And now here's the point!

Anyone who would want to experience that type of shit is, in my eyes, sick. I understand living with it. I understand wanting to understand some small portion of it. I understand the desire to be empathetic to your fellow man. But to have the absurd conceit that you 'know what it's like', to take a whole promising artistic medium and to pigeon-hole it back into these old absurdities, to not let it breathe an explore it's own potential...god, how bizarre.

*unless you lived it, no you can't
**making it better than all modern sci-fi HIIIYOOOO!!!



Sometimes I forget why people hate programming.

Then I spend an hour fixing an xcode linker error that boils down to "XCODE DOESN'T LIKE C++ CODE THAT CALLS C CODE!" And of course, it doesn't listen to what I tell it to compile the code as, it listens to the file extension.

I spent an hour to figure out that I had to change main.cpp to main.c.



But WHY is LoL down?

Maaaaaan, how am I gonna farm LEAGUE GAME POINTS if the server is down? It's rather rude Riot games! Rather rude indeed.