6 Feb 08

A few bits and pieces:

  • Back from a trip to see Brennen in Colorado. A beautiful place, and a great guy to talk with for a weekend. I feel privileged to know him. And I’d love to see that generic document markup language.
  • There’s a great little article at Gamasutra about the Fun of Super Mario Galaxy (free registration may be required). It mentions the four types of fun: hard fun (beating a challenge), easy fun (exploration, manipulating the environment, etc.), social fun, and what I’ll call sense-a-wunder fun (amazement and wonder at abilities, plot twists, etc.). Most games focus only on hard fun; great games include several of them. Super Mario Galaxy has all of them.
  • Tried to watch The Godfather last night. An hour into it, I realized that I didn’t care about any of the characters, and really didn’t want to see any of them succeed or survive. So I popped out the disc.
  • Also tried to watch The Triplets of Belleville. The character designs were unappealing and the movie lacked any narrative structure. After about twenty minutes, that came out of the DVD player, and I slipped in and re-enjoyed two episodes of The Critic. Amazing that I still laugh at episodes that I’ve seen half a dozen times.
  • Classes have started again. I’m teaching two courses, and contemplating adding a third. They’re only two hours long, Monday and Wednesday nights, for two and a half months, so they feel like side projects instead of part-time jobs at this point. Which is good.
  • Hosted a wonderfully successful little dinner party with my parents and a few friends. The menu: Asian orange salad (spinach, mandarin oranges, crunchy Asian noodles, and sweet onion salad dressing), hearty vegetable soup, ciabatta, hearty multi-grain bread, and pumpkin pie. I plan to do a party every month or so, with a different group of four or five friends.
  • I’m planning to make a short animated film from scratch. Crazy, I know, but I think it’s the only way I can move forward in the animation realm. I have a plot and a high-level storyboard; I’m now drawing the full storyboard.

And that’s all I can think of going on at the moment.

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