Games aggregate.

This was long overdue: a browser for all of my released games, including the terrible ones, and covering all the range up to the mediocre. I used a binary system for highlighting the ones I consider to be less unremarkable; they use up double the space of the others. There’s also a handy tag there called gamey that marks the games that are more traditional in scope, so you don’t have to bitch to me about how my games are not really games.

This blog now looks different.

I have made this blog look different from how it looked yesterday. It is also used somewhat different. I pressed many keys during several days to make this happen.

The design is a relic from 2010 which I never finished implementing, because back then I didn’t know much PHP. Now I decided to finish it, for the large part eschewing WordPress’s redundant, confusing, ill-documented and inflexible functions, which made me give up that time, and rolling my own code. Also for the first time I’ve tasted what it’s like not pulling so many hairs in the process of getting letters and boxes where you want them to appear on the screen, thanks to Less, an alternative to plain CSS.

Below is a picture of how this blog no longer looks. And here is the whole, long first page.

Updated front page.

I’ve refreshed the front page. The new design sports a rather subtle effect that nonetheless took me a fair number of hours to pull off, in part because I’m still not that familiar with javascript, but also because it was far more complicated than I originally estimated. It may not work as it’s supposed to in browsers other than Firefox and Safari’s latest versions, since it hasn’t been tested beyond those.

The previous design’s been archived.

Colorful new front page.

I wanted to highlight some new stuff on the front page, but ended up redesigning it. I like this new version much better than the last one, even though it’s just a retool gone a bit out of hand. Other than still featuring Cleo, it includes a favorite feature of mine: random colors. Another ‘feature’: it doesn’t work properly in IE.

As always, the previous design has been archived.

Cookbook for children.

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I can now hold in my hands the physical result of half a year of work, the freshly printed book for children called Jugosa cocina para niños (juicy cooking for kids) that, in addition to containing plenty of recipes meant for them to prepare by themselves (with an adult’s helping hand), includes all sorts of trivia about ingredients and the culinary art, and which, the author says, is meant to help the children recognize the value in the food that they eat, think about nutrition, and put their creativity into practice. It was a fun project, in which I was involved as an art director and layout designer.

Jugosa Cocina para Niños cover

[…]

Pixevolución: Monkeys and pixels.

Monkey games

In 2006, for my workshop course in that year’s first semester, I created a graphic work that ironized technology and how the Monkey King (humanity) wreaks havoc on Earth through its lack of restraint and its egocentrism. The next semester I was to base an animation on that work.

This was a semester-long project (it kind of doesn’t show, due to a long preliminary process) for Sebastián Skoknic and Bryan Phillips’s course. Other than being my longest animation since, it marks the first time I ever did anything resembling sound design; I even splashed a bit in the tub to get some water sounds. The most interesting part was using the Game Boy Camera (thus the Game Boy sound hardware) for the electronic noise, which I think worked very well.

The subject of this piece remains the same as the one it’s based on, though I didn’t make any specific references to video games this once, just computers.

Campodecolor got me out of college.

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As of today (yesterday), I am a professional graphic designer. My final project, which I now refer to as Campodecolor (Spanish for ‘Colorfield’), was the same videogame I have been talking about for some time, the one about visual composition. It’s not finished as a project, but an important milestone has been reached: its first purpose has been accomplished, which was to get me my degree. Of course.

Here’s my project report (in Spanish), which is a bit out of date and a bit incomplete, but I guess it shows the main arguments that support my project. I have touched on these a bit in past posts, and I might do it further in the future, because they are based on my opinion that videogames, as an artform, can be a relevant contribution to society.

For my defense I had to —evidently— show the game, and do a presentation of basically a recap of the same points already covered on the report. On top of that, during the past week I recorded some playtests, and edited a brief video with that material to show to the committee that graded my work. It was pretty funny to watch the testers stumble around and finally grasp the mechanics a bit, though some came to the conclusion that the game was more about the music than the visual aspect, which, I suppose, is a compliment to the sound design in the end.

Campodecolor, final presentation version

I have uploaded the version of the game that I presented today (yesterday). The algorithms are still lacking, I’m afraid, but I plan to make them my top priority now. The dynamic audio is created using the minor pentatonic scale, with the sound of a Rhodes piano, as recorded by Guy Cockroft. I’m glad it sounds as well as it does, considering the notes are selected randomly from the scale. Since it seems to be crediting time, I have to thank Stephen Lavelle and muku for their invaluable help and suggestions on all aspects of my game. Also, of course, my teacher throughout this whole process, Eduardo Castillo. […]

New front page.

Changed the design of the front page. Tried something different this time—I wanted it to be more disorderly, less clean; a bit more striking, perhaps. It didn’t come out quite how I envisioned it, but it will have to do, for now. The main reason for this redesign was that I wanted all the links to my different accounts at community websites there. I had something else entirely in mind at first, a design that integrated the last few piclog thumbnails and blog headlines, but since I don’t know much Javascript or PHP, all that will have to wait until I have the time to sit down and learn.

There is something I still don’t understand, which happened in the old design too, and that is some Firefox rendering glitches when it first loads the page. After refreshing, it goes away. My guess is that it’s a bug related to blocks with the CSS display property set to ‘none’, which is how I make the popup effect. Well, nevermind the jargon, but the point is that it somehow screws up the design.