Signals and Noise

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The sheer amount of publications, information sources, and people that I follow has become too much to read, and too much to mean anything. Continual anxiety means I’m struggling to focus on anything useful, like uni work or project planning. But trying to escape or get ideas by reading non-uni media isn’t helping at all.

Between my Twitter feed, Medium recommendations and Pocket list, there’s almost 1000 items of “do this to be happy”, “do this to be better”,”here’s how everyone else is succeeding”, and “you need to care about this”.
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Happy (Old) Year

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2015’s been a weird year, and I don’t know what to think of it yet.

It’s almost been two years in one- everything before August, v.s returning to uni. I normally don’t do this kind of reflection, but this year deserved stopping and thinking about. Things that I expected to be there, like church, fell out of meaning; new things to explore appeared instead.

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New Intro Screen

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Today’s challenge; a new general intro screen for clan videos.

When I was planning this out, I first thought of a spinning cog or gear to indicated the type of video, over a minimal background. We have 4 main types of video at the moment:

 
  • Play; most or all members play through a game together, with minimal editing.
  • Do; one or two members play through a game with moderate editing.
  • Fail; any amount of members, heavily edited. Focuses on funny mistakes, accidents or glitches.
  • ???; videos that don’t fit into any of the existing categories.

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End Cards

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My project for this week was making end cards, both for my own channel and the gaming channel I’m part of. I’d seen similar cards on various other YouTube channels, and really wanted to try one out myself. Despite expecting a complicated process, it was surprisingly simple to get a basic card ready.

While it is probably possible to make the entire card inside Vegas Movie Studio (my software of choice), I wasn’t sure how to go about that, so instead made the basic layout (top) as a Photoshop image. The background came from experimenting with layering two blurred gradients over each other with partial opacity; while it was simple to make in the first place, I’ve had no luck trying to recreate exactly what I did. After exporting this still from PS as a 10-second video -a really useful feature that I wish I’d looked up earlier!- I used Vegas to add the video clips.
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How Not to Play Mass Effect 3 (or, the joys of truly co-operative multiplayer) :P

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Note: This post works better with its associated video here or opened in another tab so you can see both video and text at once. If that’s not possible, there are time tags for every rule, to keep things on track.

As you can tell from the title, the subject today is Mass Effect 3 multiplayer. Which is probably my favourite and most-played video-game-related-thing ever. It’s not the most original game in the world, but it is very well done- there’s something incredibly compelling about the multiplayer even two years and 650 games in.

Part of the reason for this is the sheer variety of characters and powers. However, just having loads of characters isn’t enough to make a game good:  ME3 multiplayer got it right because every character can be of use in a team. It’s replayability is mainly a function of the incredible amounts of team synergy that can be created. That’s something you don’t see in a lot of shooters- even when it says co-operative multiplayer, many are basically competitive multiplayer instead, just with a few less people shooting at you, rather than modifying the fundamentals of how you play the game.

While I’m planning to put some videos of good runs up, with my typical team. I’m putting up this one basically as a “what not to do” video, and a view of  why maybe some people don’t find this game as long-term interesting as we do.

So, how not to play ME3 😛


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A New Research Culture?

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Last week, I posted about ways that websites could get implied, indirect, or direct consent from visitors, to ensure they had a consenting user base for user experience (UX) or technological experiments. The ways I posted were quite simple, being mostly based on straightforward modifications to existing strategies, and without changing much in the way the websites themselves treat research and data collection.

However, after finishing that post I started thinking about what websites would be like if their approach to research changed in a more fundamental way. This is probably (unfortunately) unrealistic at the moment, but its an approach that I would love to see realised.
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