A few months ago, I had this idea to prank Giant Bomb by interrupting their PAX panel with a series of bands. I reached out to my friends at Harmonix, and over the last four months, we booked a bagpiper, a three-piece mariachi band, and a full dixieland jazz band to come in and interrupt the panel… we even hired a producer to sneak them into the building and give them their cues.
In the history of this Giant Bomb panel though, our prank will be merely a footnote; halfway through, someone from the audience strolled up the stage and put a jar labeled, “ANONYMOUS BREAST MILK - CERTIFIED” in front of Ryan.
Anyway, please enjoy the funniest and weirdest panel I have ever seen at any con, ever.
EDIT: Thanks also to patbaer from UCB for helping us get everything set up!
At a PAX East panel today, Cards Against Humanity designer Max Temkin launched and funded a Kickstarter campaign for his version of a card game called Werewolf.
During the presentation, which included Kickstarter employees, Temkin took the audience on a trip through what it’s like to launch a Kickstarter project. He walked through the crowdfunding platform’s back end, which includes setting categories, uploading product images and videos, creating descriptions and more.
Temkin submitted the project onstage, and Kickstarter’s project specialist Luke Crane and head of community Cindy Au talked it over as if he weren’t there. Approval usually takes 24-48 hours, but they approved the project onstage.
Within minutes, it exceeded its $230 goal.
After the project launched, they took questions form the floor, which was filled with former, current and potential Kickstarter project runners.
“Everyone’s gotten help from people who’ve been there before,” Temkin said.
He encouraged people who want to use Kickstarter to reach out to those who’ve been there before.
Ridiculous Fishing’s art, by Greg Wohlwend, is unlike anything I’ve seen on any platform, an intricate arrangement of creatures, backdrops made entirely of 45-degree angles. Any screenshot you take of this game would make an amazing wallpaper – quite an achievement for a game about a guy sitting alone in a boat.
Ridiculous Fishing is a great game that is among the best we’ve seen on the iPhone, ever.
Right now Ridiculous Fishing is the 6th-ranked paid app on the App Store and Apple has picked it as a featured app, which is especially amazing once you hear the story of how this game was cloned before it was even finished and almost died.
There’s a ton of surprises and a great story in the game as well (for example, I’m in there as the egg pictured above - look for Max Shrimpkin on Byrdr). I’ve had Ridiculous Fishing for about a month, and played it all the way through twice, and I just keep having more fun.
My three year old daughter and I play a lot of old games together. Her favorite is Donkey Kong. Two days ago, she asked me if she could play as the girl and save Mario. She’s played as Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2 and naturally just assumed she could do the same in Donkey Kong. I told her we couldn’t in that particular Mario game, she seemed really bummed out by that. So what else am I supposed to do? Now I’m up at midnight hacking the ROM, replacing Mario with Pauline. I’m using the 2010 NES Donkey Kong ROM. I’ve redrawn Mario’s frames and I swapped the palettes in the ROM. I replaced the M at the top with a P for Pauline.
As the development of StarCraft dragged on it seemed like it would never be done: the game was always two months from launch but never seemed to get any closer to the mythical ship date. “Fortunately” — and I use that term advisedly — Blizzard had previous experience shipping games late.
Some bugs were related to the development process itself. The Protoss Carrier regularly lagged behind other units because it had its own way of doing … everything. At some point in time the code for the Carrier was branched from the main game code and had diverged beyond any hope of re-integration. Consequently any time a feature was added for other units, it had to be re-implemented for the Carrier. And any time a bug was fixed for other units, a similar bug would later be found in the Carrier code too, only more devious and difficult to fix.
But the biggest thing holding back StarCraft was unit path-finding.
My idea was simple: whenever harvesters are on their way to get minerals, or when they’re on the way back carrying those minerals, they ignore collisions with other harvesters in the same state other units. By eliminating the inter-unit collision code for the harvesters there is never a rush-hour commute to get jammed up, and harvesters operate efficiently.
It’s possible to notice this behavior by selecting a large group of harvesters who are working a plot of crystals and telling them to halt. They immediately spread out to find tiles that aren’t occupied by other harvesters.
The behavior is obvious if you look, but hidden in plain sight — it doesn’t rise to the level of conscious awareness, though professional-level players and map-makers/modders do notice.
In short, it just works, which is the best kind of hack.
I always noticed this when I played StarCraft as a kid, it’s pretty cool to hear that the story behind it involves the same kind of hack that I’ve had to use a thousand times in my work.
Zach Gage’s board game Guts of Glory, a post-apocalyptic competitive eating contest, is Kickstarter’s project of the day. This was my favorite thing that I saw at PAX, I have an advance copy, and my Playtest review is in the works.