Show your work

I’ve been reading Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work, which is like this great little book that perfectly straddles the line between motivational anecdotal bullshit (e.g. the Ira Glass quote on the ‘taste gap’) and practical advice (e.g. ‘have your own domain name that people can associate with you’).

For the past year or so I’ve been taking part in a 1 Game a Month group here in Dublin. It’s a great group, full of lovely, helpful and enthusiastic people and I’ve learned loads about all sorts of different subjects I’m interested in: game design, programming, art, and sound. But I know people are frustrated with me there because getting me actually to let them see what I’ve done is like pulling teeth. I’ll keep it all to myself.

Around Christmas, I took part in a gamejam where I made a game where you had to navigate using sound. This was the first time I’d ever let anyone else play something I’d created and it scared the shit out of me.

I want to get better at this – showing people my works in progress. And most of all, showing people my finished work.

So here we go.


The Worst Day Of My Life Is Now New York's Hottest Tourist Attraction

The brother of someone killed in 9/11 visits the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

I think now of every war memorial I ever yawned through on a class trip, how someone else’s past horror was my vacant diversion and maybe I learned something but I didn’t feel anything. Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark. Annotated divorce papers blown up and mounted, interactive exhibits detailing how your mom’s last round of chemo didn’t take, souvenir T-shirts emblazoned with your best friend’s last words before the car crash. And you should have to see for yourself how little your pain matters to a family of five who need to get some food before the kids melt down. Or maybe worse, watch it be co-opted by people who want, for whatever reason, to feel that connection so acutely.

Gentlemen of Letters

It’s easy to take for granted just how important hand-painted signs are to the visual identity of Dublin city. This is a lovely documentary that shines some light on the people whose work we see almost every day.


Amazon guts Comixology

Gerry Conway: The ComiXology Outrage

And so, as we could have predicted, Amazon wrecks Comixology.
What has it been, less than a month since Jeff Bezos bought the most promising tool for renewing the mass distribution of comics in the digital era? I’ll give the man this: he’s moved faster to undermine an existing technology for the benefit of his own company than General Moantors did when it sabotaged Los Angeles’s public transit Red Line for the benefit of the bus fleet they wanted to sell the City of Angels. Job well done, Jeff. My comics reading has gone through the goddamn roof thanks to Comixology. The convenience of having an entire comics store at my fingertips is a powerful thing for someone with poor impulse-control. Being able to buy and read a comic from the same app is beautiful and simple and is exactly why I spend way more time inside Comixology than say, Comic Zeal.

Splitting it into two experiences – buying a comic from the website, switching apps, downloading reading it in the Comixology app destroys this simplicity. It destroys what made Comixology so powerful. And to what end? To increase the profits on each individual sale at the expense of what I bet will be lower overall sales? It’s a giant shame to see a smart company be so short-sighted.

(Of course, I realise this whole thing is such a Western problem. You’d expect a lot of people’s monocles to fall into their tea over this issue. “You mean they changed it to make it harder for me to waste money with them?!”)


The Guilt of the Video-Game Millionaires

Great article about how indie game devs are handling sudden financial success. Favourite line is this, about Davey Wreden, the creator of the Stanley Parable, on how he'd ground himself:

Wreden returned home having decided how, if his game sold well, he would spend the money. “He said that he would go to the store and buy the cheapest and most expensive salmon,” Ismail recalled. Wreden would then cook the two fish side by side and conduct a taste test to see whether the cost difference was justified.

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Jodorowsky’s version of Dune is right up there with Kubrick’s Napoleon as one of the most famous films that never was. This documentary is an amazing glimpse at what could have been.