The Princess and the Frog

We saw the Princess and the Frog tonight, and I liked it a lot, it was super sweet! I am glad, because I wanted so badly for this movie to be good. Well done, Lasseter! I hope people will get excited about 2D again.

My favorite thing, as pointed out to me by Will before I even saw it, was that the comic relief characters are endearing and not annoying. Like, the little lightning bug that you saw in the previews and thought “Oh, God!” and were all worried about? You totally love him.


Spoilers abound!

Back in Kentucky

Ah, to be back in Kentucky once more, it feels wonderful!

Shortly, Scott and I will be off to do some adventuring, which may or may not include going down to the river to take photos. Either that, or scouring the Goodwills for picture frames. Or maybe just lunch. Who can say!

Anyway, my goal this break is to do more soaking in of Louisville locations. Last visit’s trip to Cavehill Cemetary was wonderful, and I want more of that.

In unrelated news, I’ve been playing around with formspring. It seems like it has potential to be a fun little application, especially since I often enjoy memes but am usually reluctant to post them in my journal. Anyway, check me out.


If anyone’s been following my tweets recently, you’ll notice a fair amount of the recent ones were about an awesome little web game, Continuity

This game is a combination slider puzzle, maze, and platformer. Basically you move the tiles around to arrange the space for your little guy to traverse. You can’t move between two panels if their walls (or floors or ceilings, depending which direction you’re trying to go) don’t match up. Get the keys and reach the door, pretty simple, but a very elegant game.

Continuity demonstrates something very strange that happens when you inject simple movement interaction into the main stop-and-think puzzle solving part. It does delightful things to the pacing! It’s as though the simple act of moving your little guy is a reward for how clever you are for solving which panel to put where. It also helps break up the heavy thinking in the later, more difficult puzzles – just work at finding one piece you can match up, and getting to move there is a reward. The platforming is very mild, even in the later levels, but you do eventually have to do tricky things, like jumping up into a panel, then pulling out and switching out the one you’ll fall into.

It also makes beautiful use of the music to communicate which mode you are in – puzzle slidy mode, or move-your-guy mode.

The other thing it does really well is ramp across all of its levels. Every time a new tricky mechanic is introduced, you face an extremely simple level where just that mechanic is involved, so it’s very clear you will have to use that little trick in the upcoming levels.

Lastly, I love that there is no formal instructions in the game. You figure out what you’re supposed to do and how to move by the constrictions of the first level, and then you’re all set for the rest of the game.

I beat the last level today, and of course yearn for more. I’m very curious about the process these guys used to design their puzzles – if they had a step-by-step method or if they were something more reverse engineered. Puzzle design is something I take for granted.

Anyway, I hope you try it out. Enjoy!