Minecraft vs Starcraft. Some research.

I’m giving a talk in a couple of months on the very weird state of the games industry. So I’ll be posting some info as I collect it. To begin, 2 giants of 2010 both with Craft in the name. Presenting the last 6 months of popular interest in Minecraft vs Starcraft. (The large peek in July is the Starcraft launch date)
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This is where we are. And it’s a really weird.

The games industry has had a see saw year. Studios closures. The rise of indie development. Failure on big titles. Success on small titles. All the classical rules of “how it works” in this business are in flux. The GFC has done wonders for throwing consumers into chaos. And it’s really hitting the way the industry makes product.

For me nothing sums this up more than what appeared in my twitter feed this morning. On the same day as LA Noir drops a very impressive trailer, a never heard of bunch of students drop Octodad.

Click through for both.

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Been busy. But there’s always time for PONG.

I finally had a weekend off so I put together this face tracking PONG demo using openCV. It’s just like the original PONG. But. With. Your. Face. There should be a nice HD version at Vimeo. I try to explain what’s happening in the video so watch it to hear what’s going on. Strangely enough keeping composed while trying to smack cubes with your face is a little tricky.

March was insane. I got back home and the next day was the first class of the year. And I haven’t stopped. Every project I was working on came to a grinding halt. Which was a little annoying. But there is great stuff coming down the line that I’m looking forward to getting out there. GFSGames has their first lot of 3rd years and they are awesome.

But next week is the mid term break so it’s scramble to get ahead time. No rest for the wicked or the convenor.


Nearly over. Nearly home.

a Pollock via iPhone and Pollock via Pollock

Tomorrow is Saturday and it’s really my last day of holiday. Sunday I’m getting a tour of the TOKYO GEIJUTSU DAIGAKU new media department from my old processing buddy Saito. I get the plane home on Monday, touchdown Tuesday and stand up in fronts of the first class of the year on Wednesday. I’m already damn tired and I’ve got a backlog of 40GB and growing of photos and video to get through. I’m leaving the photos for the plane.

Just one thing though. Visually this country is exhausting, Tokyo specifically. I’m good with iconography and body language so I’ve had no problems getting places or talking to people, just no existential topics. But I can’t read the language so I’m constantly searching for english in any signage. And the sheer number of fonts is driving me insane. How do people stand it here? After a day walking around I’m happy for any small part of familiar grounding. It did make me smile when I thought I saw comic sans at DisneyLand.

Did I mention it’s cold in Tokyo!

Guess what they sell ?

We’ve been here a day and it’s raining. Which is better than the snow that was falling when we first got here. If you follow the link above, I’ve started a flicker set with all the photos. Off to get some lunch and avoid the cold.

I’m going on Holiday !


From Saturday the 13th to March the 2nd I’m on holiday. I’m heading to Tokyo and camping in a hotel room for 2 weeks. Urban touristing. The sights I see will be the concrete and kitsch of the Tokyo MegaCity. I’ll be posting photos and a few posts no doubt. And I still have to finish my experimental gamplay entry for the month. So I’ll be doing stuff. But nothing serious. To kick that off there is another photo after the jump (click the post to see).

The coolest thing I read last week

The timing pulses in question can be thought of as places in the transmitted wave trains where there is a particular phase reversal of the circularly polarized electromagnetic signals. At such places the electromagnetic field tensor passes through zero and therefore provides relatively moving observers with sequences of events that they can agree on, at least in principle.

from “Relativity in the Global Positioning System” by Neil Ashby

Really that paragraph has everything. Timing Pulses. Wave Trains. Phase Reversal. Tensor Fields Passing Through Zero. Seriously it’s amazingly cool. I can barely comprehend what it’s on about, and that’s just from the introduction. But it just emits a level of sci-fi geekery that you rarely find. Just one of the daily gems I get from twitter. Specifically from Nick Porcino (Meshula), go follow him.

I now have to go make something where a tensor field passes through zero.

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

visits from odd groups

On the day I was uploading a LOT of very old images to flickr I got a LOT of visits from a yahoo group called “ladies in costume”. They were very focused on a few images that I had of Jamie who wore the TY mascot back in 2002. Well that makes sense really, that is what their group is into.

The creepy part about it was back in 2002 when I was the spotter for that costume at E3, I had my first run in with a furry. There was a guy who kept coming around to the booth, not interested in the game but taking a lot of photos of the suit. I popped over, said hi and started the creepiest conversation ever.

He told me about his hobby (I was innocent at the time). He asked about the TY suit. The girl in the suit. How long she could stay in the suit. He boasted about how long he could stay in his suit, and then proceeded to show off a large number of photos of his suit. He even had a badge photo of it. And then his friends suits. And him in his suit. And him with his friends in their suits with him in his suit. And then I think I got rescued and had to walk away.

I don’t think this situation is like that situation. But some memories you just can’t repress enough.

It’s time for a change.


frame-0141 by matt ditton (AKA polymonkey)

2010 is going to be a big year. On Monday I start a new job. I’m going to be looking after this. I have no idea why there is a ninja on that page. But it sets an interesting tone.

To mark this special occasion I am gutting www.polymonkey.com. Over the next week it will be changed. I bought a new domain www.thequietvoid.com and the polymonkey_code blog will be moving over there. The polymonkey domain is going to shift to be the one thing I never got around to making. A portfolio site.

So with that I’m drawing a line under polymonkey_code. All previous posts and all future posts will live over on the quiet void. In the coming days a redirect will be turned on to move all the traffic over to there.

Always the monkey, MattD

POST EDIT: welcome to the quiet void.

Another Unity Test

In which we try a second method of showing Unity work on a wordpress blog. This one wasn’t hard at all.

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