semiBad

Digital: A Love Story

Digital: Lake City Local

As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't get much more romantic than this — a love story / thriller, set over the pre-web internet of the late eighties. Is it interactive fiction? Is it sort of a game? Is it like Uplink with a narrative and a bit of heart?

Old Maid Letterpress

Old Maid

“ The two opposing sides of the card represent the inner and outer character of a single person in two different forms. What is more desirable, inner or outer beauty? ”

Some beautiful letterpress Old Maid cards in this set.

Via Zeldman > Samantha Warren.

Mychael Barratt

Marriage à la Mode - Mychael Barratt

Mychael Barratt is another excellent printmaker that I hadn't encountered before my last trip to the Biscuit Factory. I was particularly taken with his Marriage a la Mode set — a six-piece series of prints chronicling the process of a relationship (and which caused a mini-argument about interest-free credit between myself and Kathryn). The image above is the fifth part — temptation — and while the reference should be pretty obvious, my soft spot is based on a (slightly more nerdy) nod from my childhood.

Anja Percival

Anja Percival - Palm House XI

One of my favourite things that yesterday's little jaunt to the Biscuit Factory turned up is the work of printmaker Anja Percival. Her work is a beautiful study of hazily lit urban areas — gentle glows picking out and softening abstract sections of carpentered environments. These prints manage to capture the contrasts of the subject — the implied warmth beyond the window contrasting with the lonely, slightly sinister feeling of being outside looking in. I have to admit that they reminded me of nothing so much as the beginning of Braid, when the protagonist makes his way through the darkened city to his home — which, not coincidentally, is one of my favourite moments in a game, ever.

Charlie Brooker vs. the BNP

“ Extremist material of any kind always looks gaudy and cheap, like a bad pizza menu. Not because they can't afford decent computers — these days you can knock up a professional CD cover on a pay-as-you-go mobile — but because anyone who's good at graphic design is likely to be a thoughtful, inquisitive sort by nature. And thoughtful, inquisitive sorts tend to think fascism is a bit shit, to be honest. If the BNP really were the greatest British party, they'd have the greatest British designer working for them — Jonathan Ive, perhaps, the man who designed the iPod. But they don't. They've got someone who tries to stab your eyes out with primary colours. ”

Charlie Brooker talks about the BNP, making (as ever) his own fearsome brand of sense. I'm a graphic designer, and this site is primarily concerned with graphic design, so I'm sort of duty-bound to quote the above section. To be honest, I know a lot of graphic designers, and a fair percentage of them (us, I should say — I include myself) share a few particular negative traits . But not one that I can think of would lower themselves to the level of working for the BNP.

Today I die

Today I die is a Flash game. It's also short, thoughtful, and a little bit beautiful. Its creator, Daniel Benmergui, has also made a bunch of other short, thoughtful, slightly lovely games in Java and Flash, mostly as experiments in ultra-minimal storytelling.

Today I die

BakerTweet

BakerTweet by POKE

A simple, smart idea, BakerTweet is the brainchild of POKE on behalf of their neighbouring bakery. Basically a bakery-proof Twitter notifier, it can be pre-programmed with a list of baked products which can be scrolled through using the dial on the front. When a batch is just about to come out of the oven, a press of the button will notify the bakery's Twitter followers that freshly baked goods are now available.

On a technical note, BakerTweet is built using the extremely interesting (and open source) Arduino prototyping system. The possibilities of this kind of system — extending eminently hackable web apps like Twitter even further, into the realms of hardware — are the sort of thing that makes me glad to be working on the web right now.

NES Mouse

NES mouse

Sadly not real. The best things so rarely are.

9 0 0 0: Invaders

Bring it on

Had a few chuckles when this image turned up in my feed earlier (via Made in England). It's part of a pretty amazing stream of illustrations by the mysterious 9 0 0 0 — and I urge you to check it out.

The aforementioned chuckles were due to fond memories of a first-year project I did in college, designing (and selling) a bunch of one-off t-shirts. One of my favourites (and the one I wish I'd kept)...

RISKY - not invading this space.

Great minds and all that.

Classic Adventures in Javascript: sarien.net

Space Quest emulated in Javascript - sarien.net

Sarien.net is pretty cool — several of the original Sierra graphical adventure games, entirely emulated in Javascript. Clever as fuck, and commendable both for the technical achievement and for allowing people another chance to play these great games. Currently playable are Space Quest 1, Leisure Suit Larry, and Police Quest — games I have fond memories of, even if my own Golden Age of graphical adventures happened a few years later.

Sadly, considering how text-based these games are, the text is letterspaced so badly as to be almost unreadable. Hopefully this'll get fixed soon — although I suspect a user-defined stylesheet might do the trick just as nicely!