(On BoomBlox)

Lisa: “I like how it vibrates your wiimote just a bit when it’s your turn.”

Maria: “It’s so you can play this game if you’re blind.”


Maria: “I don’t have any programming skills, I just think of the ideas. That makes me the designer.”

Scott: “I don’t have programming skills either, what does that make me?”

Maria: “That makes you a playtester.”

Soul Bubbles

One of the awesomesauce people I met at Project Horseshoe was Olivier Lejade of Mekensleep. When he told us about his company’s game, Soul Bubbles, on the van ride to the conference I became instantly intrigued. It sounded cute and fun, and the more I got to know Olivier and his cleverness, the more I was curious about investigating his design work. One Amazon gift certificate later, I finally got a copy into my DS.

The game is delightful and super-elegant, and I’m really enjoying it! The world of the game is very strange: You act as a spirit herder, putting spirits in little bubbles and blowing them around to transport them, using the bubbles to solve puzzles to make your way through the level. But the weird concepts are very smartly introduced, so that by the time you start herding spirits, all the weird stuff feels natural.

Part of the delight of this game is simply the core interaction: using the DS stylus to blow around a bubble, slice it into smaller bubbles to squeeze them through small spaces, bouncing bubbles back into one another and combining them back into one big bubble, etc. The interaction makes wonderful use of the stylus and touchscreen and is a perfect fit for the DS.

Above all, Soul Bubbles just feels very, very polished. Everything is “just-so,” and is not bogged down with too many features. It is very simple, but very polished, very elegant, and very fun! All the better, too, for my poor DS was stowed away and gathering dust, only coming out for long travel trips. Now I have a reason to tote it around with me more regularly.

Huzzah for awesome games! Well done, Olivier 😀


I adore the Tuesday Night Ballers, and I often think of them fondly at various times in my most recent adventures. The times when we are able to get together have been more and more adventurous as time goes on.

Tonight, everyone was “on,” and it was brilliant. Not 2 minutes would pass without laughter or wit or some clever exchange sparking another clever exchange. I love them all! Scott, Will, Ian, Brendan, Maria, Matt, Kyle, DC, Beth, and I had dinner at the Mayan Gypsy and launched the night with much gaming. Reviews!

Lots of games…

Simultaneous Attraction and Repulsion

Yesterday, Jesse and I were chatting about a Civil War game he picked up out of curiosity. We were speculating on what a Civil War FPS might be like*. Jesse figured a lot of bayoneting, and I figured a lot of gangrene.

“Oh!” I said suddenly, “what if there is an amputation mini-game with a hacksaw?”

IMMEDIATELY after the words fell from my fingers, I recoiled in horror. UGGGH!! Ew!! EW!

“Undo, UNDO!” I shouted, but alas, once an idea is birthed into the world, it cannot be forced back from whence it came. It is here to stay.

Even though I shuddered at my horrible idea, it kept coming back up in conversation, both then and again tonight.

At one point I even said, “I want someone to make a BVW World about it. NO I DON’T!”

But it wouldn’t leave my brain! Imagine the sound design on that. Bits of bone…..no..ew…EWW!! UGGH!! STOP IT.

Jesse laughed and said that there’s no word yet for those mysterious things which attract and repulse at the same time. And he’s right. Attempting to google it only brings up some science journal article titled “Independent functions of slit-robo repulsion and netrin-frazzled attraction regulate axon crossing at the midline in Drosophila.” Which, of course, is not helpful at all. Do scientists publish these things and then giggle behind our backs? Netrin-frazzled, indeed.

Anyway, my poor, horrible Civil War FPS amputation mini-game may as well get logged away on my great list of ideas. Perhaps writing it down will cast it away for good. And who knows, perhaps it will come in handy someday. Poor little idea. Uggh….*shudder*

*apparently it’s pretty terrible.

Semester Recap

This is a slightly abridged version of my most recent posting to my mailing list, so I apologize for repeats.

My fall semester project was a HUGE success. The experience we created for the line for the BVW show was incredibly well-received, and people waiting enjoyed themselves (and felt like the time went by very quickly, which was one of our most basic goals!).

To catch people up, we decided to use Megaphone as the software platform for our games. Basically, you dial a local phone number and, once connected, can control things on the big screen with your cell phone acting as a game controller. In addition to mini-games, we filled our our experience with videos and factoids and break times, all themed for the BVW show.

The games worked and people played them, and the people in the two competing lines really got into it, cheering and sighing depending on how their team did with each game.

One interesting last minute idea was our crude version of a “virtual host” for the experience. Whenever the web camera breaks were on, I opened up Notepad and typed messages to the audience. They LOVED it. If I typed “hello,” the guests would wave at the screen. If I typed sassy comments, they laughed. I even got them to do silly things in line, including the wave and an impromptu dance competition. It was a fantastic success!

All in all, the experience went really well. We did have one issue with our phone server crashing at the end, which means people didn’t get to play our final game, but we glossed over it and no one knew the difference.

Here’s a video clip of footage from the day of the show. All the music was composed by my teammate, Soo, and was the music we used in our games.

If anyone is terribly curious and wants to watch our final presentation, it’s posted on the project website here:


So, since I’m doing an internship for the spring semester, that wraps up my official graduate school experience! I’d say it’s an incredibly positive way to close off my ETC education.

As for now, I’ve been enjoying my last school break as much as I can muster. I’m already enjoying being back in Louisville for the holidays by being as sickeningly lazy as possible. It’s wonderful!


Today I fell into the Flow, this time regarding the tidying of my journal. It has mostly been going back through old posts, tagging things, and correcting image links.

However, some of you may recall that between the end of 2004 and 2006, I went away from Livejournal for awhile and self-hosted my journal, then decided to return to LJ in the end.

Back when I did this, I’d changed hosting plans for my website, and in the process lost all my on-site journal entries through a mishap. I wasn’t overly distressed, however. I knew that if I gave it 6 months or so, the Internet Wayback machine would have the archive of my entries available.

It wasn’t until now that I got around to digging up my old entries and transferring them to LJ, but I did today.

For any who are interested in seeing them, they are under the tag “lost entries,” (first post at the bottom).

I have to pick up tagging and image link correcting from the end of 2006, but the transfer of posts was the biggest hurdle to get over. Going back and plugging along through my journal has been incredibly insightful! I’m glad I started this blog when I did.