jolon.com

Art, Business, Gamedev, Tech & More

April 1, 2012
by jolon
Comments

Robominion guide to puzzle creation

Nice article called Coming up with Puzzles  about creating 2d avoidance puzzles in Unity3D by the guys creating the game ROBOMINION — a beautiful little game in which you must help a robot to his destination by placing objects in his path.

ROBOMINION ScreenshotHe talks through the process of wanting to create an algorithmic puzzle generator, but finding that making it work would take more time than hand-crafting 50 puzzles. And then a bit about their process,  starting with a blank area, they then balance the levels by hand using some in-editor controls they’ve customized for Unity3D.

They are sponsoring the game on Dentura — go, donate to their cause, it’s only $3.99,  download the alpha, and give useful feedback! It’s a great game.

 

March 19, 2012
by jolon
Comments

Ecosphere Closed Ecosystems

I just came across EcoSphere Closed Ecosystems, and can’t wait to get one.

As a long-time marine reef-keeper, I have a special spot in my heart for contained marine ecosystems, and just can’t get over how cool these are, especially with the minimal maintenance involved.

Basically it’s a blown glass sphere (they also have teardrop and ‘pod’ shapes) with filtered sea water, a sea fan, some decorative shells and gravel, and some cool looking shrimp who provide the main attraction as they eat the algae and breathe the air in the water. In return, the bacteria processes the shrimp poop into nutrients for the algae, which produces food and oxygen for the shrimp. A perfect circle of life!

If you follow the instructions for care (simply a room with indirect sunlight and the correct temperature) an ecosphere will normally last for 2-3 years. According to their website, some have lasted as long as 10 years and are still going.

March 14, 2012
by jolon
Comments

The Flyboard lets you be a super-hero (or villain) of the sea

 

This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time, or perhaps, ever.

The Flyboard is a 1 or 2 person water-jet propulsion system that allows you to dive through the water like a dolphin, or hover in the air looking exactly like a wet Iron Man.

It shoots water out from the feet area, providing propulsion, and jets from the palms provide stabilization. There’s no pricing on the website, but Reuters claims it’s $100,000 to pick one up.

March 14, 2012
by jolon
Comments

Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program

My favorite new Indie Unity3D game is the Kerbal Space Program — a simulator rocket launch game with an awesome little crew you have to design a rocket for, get to their destination planet, and return home safely to win.

I haven’t played it yet, although I intend to as soon as it’s released, but it seems that you assemble a multi-stage spaceship from a wide variety of components according to your intended mission.

From the rocket-crashing sequences at the end of the trailer above, it appears you have control over the launch sequence, and there is a solid chance of failure. (More fun! Simulation games on rails get old too fast, and have been the trend for a decade)

All I know about the ‘Kerbal Team’ is that I’ve been watching some great posts from HarvestR on the Unity3D forum, but never a playable release until now.

Some other highlights are that it has an LOD terrain system that makes for an awesome experience as you  blast away and towards planets. There also seems to be a gravitational planetary system, a physics model behind the whole experience, with user generated content, rewards for successful missions, and a lot more on the way, according to what their website makes available.

Continue Reading →

March 13, 2012
by jolon
Comments

Big Blue Ball Machine

I just stumbled across FreddieW’s live action re-enactment of (part of) the Big Blue Ball Machine, totally brilliant!

(The making of video for this one is really interesting too, seeing how they set up shots and act out clips for morphing from small balls to large and back again, FreddieW and crew are fun to watch behind the scenes.)

This is all an homage to the Big Blue Ball Machine animated GIF meme from 2005, which spawned many variations, such as the Indiana Jones Can’t Stop the BBM, and my favorite, Tragedy at the BBM Factory. The full history of the Big Blue Ball Machine can be found at Know Your Meme.

Rube Goldberg devices are amazing. With that, I leave you with this K’Nex Ball Machine containing 24 different ball pathways.