Showing posts from 2013

Now You're Playing With Power!

This is going to start out sounding religiousy, but stick with me if you’re not into that sort of thing.
In the October 2013 Christianity Today there’s an article about power that I found fascinating.
(You don’t need to read it to follow what I’ll be talking about.)
It starts out talking about the tiny hidden earpiece mics so many pastors wear now, and my eyes started rolling back in my head so far I could see my prefrontal cortex.  Oh God, not another Christian who’s going to nit-pick a  personal peccadillo and find some way to spin it into a terrible pedantic article.  Buuuut, it turns out that was just a metaphor for the real topic, which is our culture’s attitude toward power.  The kind one human has over another.  Andy Crouch points out that our modern western attitudes toward power are historically abnormal.  There’s a concept anthropologist Geert Hofstede called power distance.  And it …

I can't handle this challenge

These past couple months have been rough for Heather an me at church.  We've been doing a sermon series called "Empowered" which is essentially all about how we Christians ought to be doing miracles and stuff.  Implicit in every sermon then is a litany of things we must be doing wrong since we aren't bringing anyone back from the dead or regrowing limbs or what have you.  One thing I love about my church and pastor is that we aren't usually this stereotypically evangelical.  I'm a live-and-let-live kinda guy, so sitting through messages that I disagree with is not generally a problem for me.  I can almost always find some kernel of inspiration to apply to my life.  But this series has left me dry almost consistently.  I just simply disagree with almost every premise that these sermons are based on.  I don't think God promised us we would have miracle powers.  I don't think God WANTS us to do miracles but is sad that we aren't because we are faili…

Dealing with Criticism

I’m in a pretty interesting situation right now.  in April I was getting resounding praise for a project I lead.

Today I’m reading through resounding complaints about the follow-up that came out a couple weeks ago.  

I’ve already covered a lot of the problems with the release in my last blog.  (That SHOULD have been set to private.  Now I’ve learned to just keep private blogs on my hard drive.  Thanks for that lesson, Blogspot!)  And this blog isn’t really about this specific release and it’s problems, but more generally how I try to approach criticism of all kinds in my life.  I’ll start by dividing criticism into two groups.  There’s the kind that simply isn’t true, and the kind that is.  For instance, a lot of feedback was accusing me of purposefully making the content too hard to sell an item that helps players.  Since I am absolutely certain that this was not the case, that criticism doesn't sting at all.  …

Epic Weekend

Wow… I am worn out.  My team’s big project at work is live now, and we just released a big patch to fix some terrible difficulty spikes.  The last time we released Super Adventure Box: World 1 it got pretty universal praise.  (Which I put up here back in April)  Since then our founder/president has used it (Along with the Mad King Clock Tower I designed and built back in October 2012) as examples of content we release that raises retention rate, and therefore revenue.  So expectations were high for this World 2 release which came out on Tuesday.  The day after Labor Day and the Penny Arcade Expo.    
Saturday (3 days before SAB World 2 launched) my company held a party at a hotel near PAX for fans, and my project, Super Adventure Box was the main feature.  We were running speed run competitions all night where players tried to be the first to get to the end of the new zones.  I ended up MCing the whole night.  I guess there’s a first time for everything.  Seems like people had a really…

Unfinished Swan

Here’s a really neat little game with a great premise and unique mechanics.  The first levels are completely white.  No shadows to define your environment.  So you toss blobs of paint around and they splatter like ink balloons allowing you to make out the environment.  It’s a beautiful subversion of the traditional first person shooter, where you explore and create rather than kill and destroy with your shots.  But it triggered an interesting metaphor that relates to a frustration I’ve encountered over the past several years as I’ve been delving deeper and deeper into epistemology, theology and other hefty subjects.  In Unfinished Swan there is a balance you need to achieve to best understand the environment in order to navigate.  Too little paint and you are left with vast areas of empty white.  But too much paint and things get so obscured in dense blackness that you can become just as lost.  I’ve found this to be the case with philosophy.  Most people don’t care enough about phil…