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next generation ui

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I submit for your approval the following ATM user interface concept:

Screen 1

Swipe your card to begin.

Screen 2

Enter your PIN:

> ****

Screen 3

Select a language:

  1. English
  2. Spanish
  3. Zork

> 3

Screen 4

You are using an ATM. On the screen is a prompt: "Swipe your card to begin." There is a suspicious man standing behind you.

> swipe card

Screen 5

You swipe your card and are prompted to enter your PIN, which you do. At the language prompt, you select English. You then choose to withdraw cash from your checking account. The ATM is currently displaying the following prompt: "Enter the amount you would like to withdraw." You can't help but notice the suspicious man behind you reaching into his pocket.

> enter 100

Screen 6

The ATM grinds and churns for a few moments, mechanically counting out five twenty-dollar bills. You see the bills quickly emerge about half way out of the cash slot. Before you can take your money, however, the suspicious man dives for your cash, knocking you out of the way. As you confront him, he pulls out a gun and kills you.

You are dead.

You scored 0 out of a possible 192 points. This gives you a ranking of "total n00b."

Restart, Restore, or Quit? >

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spore love and purple sharpies

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Will Wright, the father of all things Sim, gave an educational keynote on storytelling in games, and (naturally) demo'd his highly anticipated new game, Spore... which is, of course, the last game we'll ever need to play. I just hope it comes bundled with an upgraded CPU, RAM, and video card.

But enough about that... After his wonderful presentation, I jumped over a few people to make my way towards the stage with my original copy of SimCity (Amiga version) and a purple Sharpie (loaned to me by Ashley) and managed to 1) Shake hands with Will Wright himself, and 2) Get his autograph on one of the SimCity disks.

I was sure he was going to get swarmed after the keynote and fully expected to have to push, squeeze, and bite my way to where he was sitting, which is why I bee-lined it to the front, but all was relatively calm around him (except me, apparently). I stood in front of him, disk and Sharpie in hand, waiting for eye contact. Meanwhile, other attendees verbalized their delight in seeing an original copy of SimCity. Then Will looked at me, I said I was a big fan and asked him to autograph my disk, he looked at the disk, and said "Hey! That's the half-bright version!" just before autographing it.

Wow! I totally forgot about that. The Amiga version of SimCity came with both a 512KB and 1MB version for those with the extra memory. I was handing him the 1MB version, which took advantage of a special graphics mode called "extra half-bright" mode to achieve more colors. It made me wonder if he'd actually worked on coding the Amiga port himself. How cool. :)

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8-bit handshaking

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I just shook Paul Slocum's hand, and literally just overheard people talking about how they partied hard at frog's sxswi kick-off event last night. So, pretty good morning so far despite the nanosecond of sleep I got last night.

* Check out the site for Paul's band, Treewave.

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busy, like everyone else

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

SXSW is both literally and figuratively right around the corner. I'll be wrapping up a bunch of frog work amidst the chaos of the Interactive conference and am gearing up for some Vista Sidebar Gadget development, which I'm excited about. I haven't figured out all the panels I'll be attending at the conference yet, but my dance ticket will be pretty full throughout the event.

I'll also be helping with the Interactive kick-off party that frog is once again hosting this year by setting up, supervising, and breaking down a larger, more robust version of Jared's infamous Ruben's tube. Jared constructed this latest tube for a Halloween party last year, however he won't be able to make the kick-off party, so he recruited me to run it — I guess he sensed that I have latent pyro tendencies. (I am a Fourth of July baby after all.) Anyway, stop and say hi if you see me there. I'll be the guy engulfed in flames.

See ya' at SXSW!

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