Aphasia poetica.

Acabo de terminar un asuntillo.

Prueba Aphasia poetica (web)

Esto comenzó como un trabajo en conjunto con Ilan Libedinsky el 2010. Era algo imposible de construir bien: requería mapear palabras con una palabra alternativa, manualmente y una por una. Pero el idioma es claramente demasiado vasto para hacer esto una tarea alcanzable por dos individuos, así que nunca se cumplió. Tres años y medio más tarde, lo llevé a cierre. Esto no pasa de ser un punto medio: usando un bastante nutrido diccionario de sustantivos, diferenciados por género, el intercambio es generado automáticamente, sin el mapeo manual.

Spoems.

Over at Glorious Trainwrecks, a spambot started an event, and thus we had to comply and make stuff. I didn’t really make a game; it’s a silly visualization of Noyb’s readings of (other) spambot postings.

Read Spoems (web)

The audio may or may not sync with the text for you, depending on your configuration. Try reloading if it doesn’t, and if it still won’t, then I think you’re out of luck.

A shoutout to Kirk Israel for his useful lowLag.js.

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.

New portfolio page.

When agj​.cl first went live, the only thing that was there was my old portfolio website, made in Flash. It was my first experience with actionscript, back in 2007. I took it down a while ago because it had grown too outdated, and since it was so hackishly conceived, I wasn’t planning on updating it. Well, I’ve finally made my new portfolio page. Things have changed enough that only two of the works I selected for it remain from the old Flash portfolio.

I’ve archived the older one (in Spanish) for posterity.

Games for a reason.

After seeing videos and reports of some of the talks at this year’s Independent Games Festival, I’m saddened. Sure, all those indie game developers are having the time of their lives out there, and the scene seems to be growing and doing very well for itself. The problem is, it’s just all a bit empty. There’s a lot of whizbang, but very little substance. Most of these game developers make games for the sake of making games, which is a good thing to do for themselves, but ultimately doesn’t result in a product that will be relevant for the end user, and to society as a whole. So many game developers, from the mainstream industry and the indies, repeat that they want to make fun games, and ‘fun’ is that end goal that every game needs to accomplish. And if you look around, you will see that most games are indeed catering to our senses, because what else is fun if not pleasure? I mean, addictiveness is a desireable quality in a game, according to most game reviewers out there—but do gamers really wanna be playing packs of cigarettes all the time? Don’t they wanna get something positive out of the experience, be stimulated every now and then? Don’t their minds (as opposed to their brains) wanna be challenged, or nurtured?

I, at least, want more communicative games, games with ideals, games that have some new things for me to think about. I want more utilitarian games that explain a process to me, or ease me into a concept, or teach me something. There’s nothing wrong with the videogames being made nowadays; there’s just not enough of them that go beyond being fun. I’m not the only one who thinks like this, either; here are a few individuals and teams who also have things to say on this matter: Chris Crawford, Raph Koster, Jason Rohrer, Values at Play, Serious Games Initiative.

The good news is that there are such games out there—they’re just not exactly the norm. Since I got involved in the indie game making scene, I’ve seen some of them; just a tiny portion of the spectrum, but they still remain largely outnumbered by all of the just fun games. I’m talking about subtle communicative experiments like Coil. About attempts at creating interactive storytelling, like Storyteller. Strong aesthetic games like flOw. Ideological games like The free culture game. Also, a couple of the games that won awards at the IGF went deeper than the standard indeed, like Blueberry garden, and Between. The games that I just linked are brief, and free to play directly from your web browser, so give them a try if you haven’t.

I want more of these games, and games that go beyond. I want games that have a good reason to exist. I hope to make such games!