Thursday, October 22, 2009

Brains Eden: more pics

Here are some more Brains Eden pics, these ones kindly supplied by Carol Gant:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

UCS Executive as a Wordle

Wordle: UCS Executive

UCS Twitter Feed as a Wordle

Wordle: UCS Twitter Feed

UCS News Feed as a Wordle

Wordle: UCS News

Lecture Notes as a Wordle

Wordle is an online application that makes clouds out of words. Paste in your text, or use a link to a blog or a web page that uses RSS or even the URL of a delicious social bookmarking account to grab the delicious tags; adjust the settings for font, layout and colour and then click the £randomize" button to rearrange the words until you find a pleasing layout.

Here's an example of a Wordle of my lecture notes on defining video games. It's so much easier to see what I was getting at, and what the important bits are, when the words are arranged like this:

Wordle: lecture notes

Click on the image to open a larger version. (Wordles can be uploaded to the Wordle gallery, or downloaded to your own computer as an image file which you can use as a form of textual analysis, as wallpaper for your PC, or just a way of storing the minutes of meetings!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Noodling around until all the little ducks line up in a row

I was noodling around in the Navi-X folders under XBMC on a modded XBOX, trying to find something to watch and/or something that would work (after half an hour of trying to get stuff to load, and failing, I would have settled for anything) and I was beginning to regret moving on from the Japanese horror film that I had running to see if there was "something else" when I *eventually* stumbled across some video clips of presentations from the recent Future of Web Apps conference which might have been at Kensington Town Hall last week.

Pleased to find something working/watchable, I settled back with Francisco Tolmasky's presentation on Building Web Apps Using Atlas, which was very interesting. (Here's a video of the accompanying workshop; what I saw was FT building an RSS reader on stage, followed by Q&A) Not only had I not heard of Atlas, but I also hadn't heard of Cappuccino, nor 280 Slides, which are some other great things the boffins at 280 North have developed.

I made use of 280 Slides to create an embeddable version of John McMillan's Powerpoint slides that he used at the Brains Eden event last week. I was wondering how to implement something like that with John's slides, and I didn't fancy Powerpoint HTML and was wondering about PDF when it all fell into place. Sometimes everything just joins up, and all the little ducks line up in a row.

Games Eden UCS Ipswich: 1st October 2009

The Games Eden exhibition went off virtually hitch-free (unfortunately, the black display boards were made of material that was almost impossible to fix the exhibits on to, but everything stayed up for the event itself). There was a very good turn-out. About 70 visitors came to the event, both UCS students and visitors from local schools (several school parties came, which was great).

The UCS games design students who exhibited their work and who were involved in the set-up (Craig, Dean, Amber, Andrew) will have gained some valuable experience that will be useful not only for the School of Arts' End of Year Show, but also for other times they might need to present their work. (The "Get Into Games" feature in the current issue of Edge magazine talks about the games course at the University of Gotland in Sweden, where building a portfolio and exhibiting work are key components of the course: "The exhibition teaches our students to present their work at events and to communicate the value of their games in a competetive climate.")

The speakers at the Games Eden event at UCS were:

  • John McMillan, McMillan Technology: Setting up a Business.

  • Martin Deacon, Senior Designer, Sony Europe and Jason Riley, Senior Artist, Sony Europe: Games, Game Design and How to Get Into the Industry.

  • Matthew Applegate (Pixelh8): A Choice to Compute.

Here's John McMillan's presentation on setting up a business:

Here's a link to Matthew Applegate's blog post about the event:

John McMillan, who collaborated with Games Eden to help initiate the event, kindly supplied me with these Blackberry-snapped images of the evening: