In the New York Times, Jason Schreier reports on the game industry's cult of crunch: the pervasive practice of making workers put in 20-hour days, resulting in one met deadline and a many lines of low-quality code.
“People think that making games is easy,” said Marcin Iwinski, a co-chief executive and co-founder of CD Projekt Red, the Polish developer of a 2015 game, The Witcher 3. “It’s hard-core work. It can destroy your life.” Mr. Iwinski, like many other top video game creators, sees crunch as a necessary evil ... A growing faction of game developers, however, argues that it’s possible to make good games without crunching. Tanya X. Short, a co-founder of the independent studio Kitfox Games, asked colleagues to sign an online pledge against excessive overtime. The pledge, which was published last year, has been signed by over 500 game developers. “Crunch trades short-term gains for long-term suffering,” said Ms. Short in an email.
Hey, ever met a geeky computer programmer with a bottomless need to prove his own competence and a political ideology perfectly tailored to capital's needs? Read the rest
Springing from the august tradition of esoteric programming language Brainfuck, behold the mind-mangling power of JSFuck. Read the rest
The code for Sheet fits in one of those newfangled 280-character tweets with room to spare: at 218 bytes, it's the most amazingly compact spreadsheet app committed to screen.
A 218b spreadsheet app in HTML/JS
Inspired by aem1k.com/sheet
Golfed by xem, subzey, p01, rlauck, aemkei, odensc, corruptio
Related AMA answer
See also my new favorite subreddit, r/TinyCode Read the rest
Back to the Future Java is a Java Virtual Machine planed down until it fits on 8-bit computers (i.e. the Commodore 64). It's based on a port of Java made for Lego Mindstorms, lacks a few key features of the language (such as garbage collection), but is quite an astounding feat. Previously: Java on a Sega Genesis; Java on Apple II. Read the rest
Graphical demos created with severe code-length limitations sometimes betray the techniques used to fit a world into a few kilobytes: tessellating textures, featureless fractals, repetitive sequences, and so on. Final Stage, by 0x4015, is not one of those demos. [via]
Here it is rendered on a XEON x560 with a GTX 1070 video card and 24GB of RAM. Check out all the other uploads from the Revision 2017 demoparty.
Eidolon, by Poo-brain, won in the 64k category:
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We've all seen the uncanny, not-quite-there art produced by new AIs. Why Matt Reynolds reports on an area computers might be expected to excel at creatively: programming themselves. And this one's doing it the same way humans do, by stealing and remixing.
DeepCoder uses a technique called program synthesis: creating new programs by piecing together lines of code taken from existing software – just like a programmer might. Given a list of inputs and outputs for each code fragment, DeepCoder learned which pieces of code were needed to achieve the desired result overall.
“It could allow non-coders to simply describe an idea for a program and let the system build it”
One advantage of letting an AI loose in this way is that it can search more thoroughly and widely than a human coder, so could piece together source code in a way humans may not have thought of. What’s more, DeepCoder uses machine learning to scour databases of source code and sort the fragments according to its view of their probable usefulness.
DeepCoder, make me a point-and-click adventure game featuring Rosicrucians, billionaire perverts and the complete dissolving of all culture by internet-mediated telepathy. Read the rest
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wxs.ca/iso/ presents a simple "isometric" field of cubes, Q*Bert-style. Click and drag across it and the cubes will rise and fall in series of waves. They also start to flash wild colors... or do they? Yes, they do! Read the rest
Swingify attempts to turn any song into a swing version of itself. Upload an audio file, select the hardness of swing you prefer, and listen. Read the rest
Behold the John Whitney Music Box, a realization in music of the motion graphic concepts of John Whitney. The animation and audio are by Jim Bumgardner, who first developed the web app 10 years ago.
You may notice some interesting links between the visuals and the audio, especially if you are a musician. For example, when the pattern forms a 3-arm starfish, the chords you are hearing are diminished chords, which consist of minor thirds, an interval in which the notes are 3 chromatic steps apart. The chords you hear always bear this type of relationship to the pattern you are seeing, consisting of intervals which match the arrangement of arms.
I generated the audio using my sound synthesis program, Syd, which provides a very elegant way to accomplish this kind of thing. Unfortunately, Syd is horribly supported these days (I haven’t updated the Macintosh version since before OS X). Here’s a sample Syd patch which was used to generate the audio (I actually used 3 similar patches and mixed the results together).
Bumgardner commented on a recent Reddit thread:
I made the Whitney Music Box nearly 10 years ago. It seems like it gets rediscovered on Reddit about every 18 months. Invariably, I see the same comments: 1) Aphex Twin 2) Bowser's castle 3) Hypnotoad 4) Microtones are creepy 5) Awesome on drugs. And, much to my relief, no one seems to mind that its still implemented in Flash!
There are many variations and each plays perfectly full-screen. Read the rest
If you're the sort to use fancy words, try Cleartext, a simple Mac text editor that won't let you. Read the rest
Tristan Miller and Dave Morice created a website that produces highly-authentic Shakespearean sonnets. The trick: rather than randomly-generated Markov gobbledygook that evokes the flavor while crudely hitting the meter, each generated sonnet reuses whole lines from the body of Shakespeare's poetic work. The results are more convincing, at the cost of more commonplace repetition.
Writes Miller: "unlike some other poetry generators, this one ensures that the poems have the correct rhythm, rhyme scheme, and grammar. Dave first published the
method for generating the poems back in 1991, but this is the first time it's been implemented on the Web." Read the rest
LambdaConf is a conference for people who are into functional programming. If you don't know what that means, it suffices to say that these are stout, yeomanly Hobbits of computer science. What's news is that they invited Mencius Moldbug to speak at it. Moldbug (real name Curtis Yarvin) is a Hollywood archetype of coders: the programming whiz who has strange and comically retrograde opinions of minorities, slavery, ladies, etc. So. Should he be invited to speak?
LambdaConf founder and chief organizer John A. De Goes wrote in a blog post that the conference decided to keep Yarvin as a speaker in order not to set a precedent of discriminating against attendees because of their beliefs. "LambdaConf does not and cannot endorse any of the wildly different, diametrically opposed, and controversial opinions held by speakers, attendees, volunteers, and vendors," he wrote. …
Jon Sterling, organizer of LambdaConf workshop PrlConf, decided to cancel the workshop, writing in an open letter: "We cannot possibly organize a workshop under the umbrella of a conference that values the free expression of racist and fascist views over the physical and emotional safety of its attendees and speakers."
Not all who oppose Yarvin's views say they will boycott the conference. The writers of a forthcoming book on the programming language Haskell say they are coming to support other speakers and attendees.
There's a passage in one of the Hannibal Lecter novels, probably Silence of the Lambs, where it's made clear that the good doctor, though incarcerated as a serial killer, is still engaged as a professional in his field of study. Read the rest
Jo Edkins' online design a tessellation widget makes it easy to create tessellating patterns in a style similar to that of M.C. Escher… albeit without the fastidious pencilwork. There's also a simpler grid tessellation widget and one for triangles too. Read the rest
Linify Me accepts JPG uploads and redraws the images using only straight lines. The effect is ghostly yet technical, resembling something human-drawn but not enough to be confused as such. Watching the picture emerge over time is strangely meditative. Unless you've uploaded a picture of Trump, that is, in which case it's just another example of something slowly going wrong on a computer.
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