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Archive for June, 2011

I was reading this article on the history of Myspace, and I came across this quote:

“Using .NET is like Fred Flintstone building a database,” says David Siminoff, whose company owns the dating website JDate, which struggled with a similar platform issue. “The flexibility is minimal. It is hated by the developer community.”

My first thought was “What?”.    Even in 2005 .NET had a robust toolset and was built on on established and well-supported webserver architecture: ASP.  Granted, it was easier to deploy on a LAMP server, which has a really robust community behind it, and JSP I imagine had a much larger population of knowledgable devs at the time, but still.

And this move to ASP was brought about because:

At that point it was too late to switch over to the open-source-code software favored by developers; changing would have delayed the site for a year or two just as it was exploding in popularity. The easiest move, says DeWolfe, was to switch to .NET, a software framework created by Microsoft.

What?  Why would that at all be easier than building a LAMP set up or Java-driven set up?  In any case you have to completely re-write the server…

And then I remembered I was completely nitpicking details that were mostly irrelevant.

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If people’s beliefs strengthen in the face of argument, then how do you reassess beliefs to arrive at the good ones?  Epistemic Nihilism.

Destroy everything in your head, attacking from all angles with all other beliefs.  Throw beliefs at each other, they your soldiers and you their general.  Marshal them to war and pit them mercilessly and endlessly at odds.  Those nations of beliefs which stand, those individuals which triumph, they should be your initial guide to the beliefs which stand above the others.

And never forget to send in the cowards and deserters which hide amongst the shadows of your mind.  They too must be tested.

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A game is an immersive experience, and game design is concerned with that experience.  Thus, the point of game design must be primarily the immersion, which is primarily a function of presentation.  It is the communication of the world which is of paramount importance; the form.  Game Design is architectures, their bricks are game pieces and their mortar is rules.

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I’ve been told before that once you design the abstract systems of a game, it can be skinned however you wish.  Devil May Cry and God of War are simply two similar games with different skins; the same underlying game systems would have worked just as well in either.

I disagree.

How a game looks is inextricably intertwined with how it feels and plays.  We read things from the pictures, the flow, the sound, and the world, that tell us (as players) what to expect.  How could any designer deserving of the title ignore the power the skin grants them?  We may be meat and bones and brains, but we make all our judgements on each others’ skins.

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