I'm the lead designer for We Tell Stories - it's a website created for Penguin, in which six authors are telling six stories in ways that are completely original to the web.
Our first story, The 21 Steps (a homage to The 39 Steps) was told over Google Maps; another was written live and displayed in real-time, in five hour-long installments, by Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. This week's was by Matt Mason ('The Pirate's Dilemma') and Nicholas Felton ('Felton Personal Annual Report'), and they created an infographic snapshot of teen life and the new media world.
We're really pleased with all these stories, but the final sixth story is coming out on Tuesday, and it's the one I'm most impressed by. It's basically an unholy cross between a text adventure, choose your own adventure, and dungeon map. Technically speaking, it's not very sophisticated, but it has an interface that I'm sure hasn't been done before.
It's written by Mohsin Hamid - author of the Booker-shortlisted 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'. I would be the first to say that good novelists or screenwriters don't necessarily make good game writers, but in this case, Mohsin really nailed it and he wrote a story that shows a very deep understanding of interactive storytelling; it's called 'The (Former) General in his Labyrinth'.
In this Scientific American video, Rubik’s Cube master Ian Scheffler, author of the new book Cracking the Cube, explains some of the math behind “speedcubing.” Scheduler’s book sounds fascinating even though the only way I could get my Rubik’s Cube solved is to hand it to my 10-year-old son’s friend Luc who was the first […]
Swim Through the Darkness: My Search for Craig Smith and the Mystery of Maitreya Kali is the much-anticipated story of one of the more esoteric, fascinating casualties of the flower power generation. As told by Ugly Things magazine creator Mike Stax, the book tracks the odyssey of Craig Smith, a musician who evolved from clean-cut […]
While “design thinking” has become an overused catchphrase among consultants, it is also a real thing, a formal methodology for solving difficult problems. Bill Burnett, the executive director of Stanford’s Design Program where they take design thinking very seriously, and his colleague David Evans, who co-founded Electronic Arts and teaches a very popular Stanford course […]
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]