MusicThe Sunday Song: The Sculptor

 Posted by (Visited 4654 times)  Music
Aug 302009

There’s only one CD sitting over there on the sidebar, but I have a couple hundred songs sitting around, of varying quality, most of which never got decently recorded. Back when I lived in Alabama, I used to record onto a Walkman using the built-in mic. We didn’t have much money. 🙂 I still have those tracks. They sound awful.

The thing about looking back at old songs is that you can see where I was trying out new things; new tunings, new chords, new styles. In a lot of ways it’s a mix of more derivative and more adventurous than what I would write today.

I wrote this back in 1992 or so, and re-recorded it yesterday. At two hours per to do it nicely, I have months of work to do to re-record all of them. But it’s fun to revisit these old friends, and think about the times in which they were written.

This is called “The Sculptor” and it is from a cassette tape called Sun & Moon. Lyrics, chords, and recording notes after the break.


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Aug 272009

I know, everyone and their cousin has a panel up in the SXSW Panel Picker. Well, we at Metaplace do too, and here it is… go vote for it!

SXSW 2010 PanelPicker – Making Virtual Worlds And The Web Collide.

Until now, virtual worlds have been walled gardens restricted to their platform. This panel will explore how virtual worlds are now bridging to the “real,” web world. Twitter interfaces, embeddable virtual worlds and other bridges are opening opportunities for users to communicate and promote to the outside web.
  1. What has the evolution of virtual worlds been in regards to access to the outside web?
  2. How far have virtual worlds come in opening to the outside web?
  3. What are the biggest benefits to this bridging?
  4. Are there downfalls?
  5. What are some of the case studies of this happening in virtual worlds now?
  6. How will updates and innovations in browser-based technology further this initiative?
  7. What does the future look like for virtual worlds in relation to the web?
  8. Can this opening of virtual worlds to the web be monetized?
  9. What are the biggest changes in gaming and virtual worlds to come from this?
  • How will this affect the non virtual world user?
  • Game talkM.U.L.E. remakes underway

     Posted by (Visited 8990 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
    Aug 262009

    World of M.U.L.E. : M.U.L.E. remake underway.

    Some quotes:

    Melanie Bunten Stark (Dan Bunten’s daughter) informed the WoM community that a M.U.L.E. remake is underway, probably out this summer. Tell your friends and family and be on the lookout.

    And direct from her, on the Facebook page:

    Hey guys…I never thought that this lisencing process would be such a big deal. I’ve had to hire attorneys, get things signed, reviewed, etc. I told my team, we need to get something going by the end of this week. I know people have been without a new MULE for nearly 25 years, but seriously, let’s get this off the ground. The good news is that flash won’t take too long. Stay tuned…I’ll let you know something as soon as I do.

    Hang in there guys, we’re still working on getting you some MULE.

    I have received several emails asking about M.U.L.E. for iphone…that is also in the line up.

    M.U.L.E. for mobile is also in the works.

    This makes me happy because I am contemplating finally getting an iPhone (I hate to switch off T-Mobile because I use the tethering, hotspots, and roaming almost every time I travel… and their service has been great).

    Aug 262009

    I know, I know, I have been neglecting the blog lately. Sorry about that. 🙂

    I thought this article was well worth pointing out though. We tend to think of EA as one of the largest publishers in the games biz, and then conclude that perhaps it is slow to adapt. But in terms of how the games industry is changing, I actually think they are more on the ball than they are usually given credit for. The article is based on a speech he gave at the Stanford Hot Chips conference, apparently.

    Check out these stats!

    EA now typically spends two or three times as much on marketing and advertising as it does on developing a game. That’s because advertising is critical to getting a game in the top ten rankings. If you have a $10 million game, don’t be surprised if the the TV advertising costs drive the ad budget to $30 million. If a $60 game yields revenue of $35 for EA, then (according to my math) the company has to sell 1.1 million copies just to break even.

    — EA’s chief creative officer describes game industry’s re-engineering | VentureBeat

    Bear in mind, though, this is what they are moving away from. The rest of the article probably won’t be a huge surprise to regular readers on this blog, but it’s good to see big industry giants taking steps in these new directions. Hilleman specifically cites looking to Korea as a model, lifestyle-driven development goals, lower cost development, web models, “multihead” games (where many platforms connect to one game experience, albeit in different ways)…

    Game talkArt game guy Jason Rohrer in Metaplace

     Posted by (Visited 6467 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
    Aug 182009

    Jason Rohrer, known for games like Passage, will be on the Metaplace stage this Friday. I am sure that most of the readers of this blog know about him, but I will paste all this info in anyway! I’ll embed the actual event when it happens (and the link to The Stage is on the blog sidebar as well), so you can just come here to attend.

    If you know indie game development or art game communities that might be interested, pass this along!

    Where: TheStage <>
    When: August 21
    Duration: 12:00pm – 1:00pm PDT

    Come chat in a Q&A Session with Indie Game Designer and programmer Jason Rohrer!

    Please submit any questions ahead of time by sending a Metamail to Cuppycake!

    In 2007, Rohrer created the free indie game Passage, which received mainstream media coverage for its depiction of mortality and the tradeoffs of married life in an interactive experience.

    Rohrer releases all his software for free download under the GNU GPL or into the public domain and tries to earn his living via donations from the users of his software. However, he does charge for the iPhone ports of his games.

    He creates a game a month for The Escapist. His fifth game, Between, is hosted by Esquire Magazine as an adjunct to Rohrer’s profile in the December 2008 issue.

    Rohrer’s latest game, Primrose, was released on February 19, 2009. It is a departure from the art-game theme, and is a simple puzzle game. He is currently working on a game for the Nintendo DS to be published by Majesco in 2010. It is a strategy game “about diamond trading in Angola on the eve of the passage of the Kimberly Process.”

    Previous Projects:
    konspire2b: a pseudonymous channel-based file-distribution system
    token word: a Xanadu-style text editing system
    tangle: a proxy server which tries to find relationships between websites a user visits.
    MUTE: a file sharing network with anonymity in mind.
    Monolith: a thought experiment that might be relevant to digital copyright. This has expanded to a computer program implemented on his ideas.
    seedBlogs: a modular building block that lets you add PHP and MySQL-backed dynamic content to any website.
    silk: a web-based hypertext system to simplify web page linking. Similar to wiki markup.
    hyperlit: a literary hypertext authoring system.
    subreal: a distributed evolution system.

    Read more here:

    Game talkCreative Place-Making

     Posted by (Visited 4613 times)  Game talk  Tagged with:
    Aug 182009

    Via Bernie DeKoven comes this:

    What constitutes ‘a ground of play’? What are the universal conditions of a place of play?

    From the consilience of these sciences, let me suggest three rules for a healthy ground of play:

    1 It must have loose but robust governance

    2 It must ensure a surplus of time, space and stuff

    3 It must treat failure, risk and mess as necessary for development

    via The Play Ethic: The Play Ethic and Creative Place-Making: Doing What Comes Naturally?

    Sounds rather “magic circley” but it is a good prescription nonetheless. The article goes on to discuss this as a way of making more playful spaces in general — including workspaces:

    But I think a case can be made (which I hope I’ve begun to make tonight) that cultural managers could base their policies on the legitimacy of a play ethic, as the main characterisation of a productive, value-creating life in the 21st century, than a work ethic.

    The post author has a book, too.

    Game talkVideo Games Are Dead video, part 2

     Posted by (Visited 4191 times)  Game talk
    Aug 172009

    Video Games Are Dead – Part 2 – Players Only – Digital Trends Videos.

    I’m not in this one. 🙂

    As losses continue to mount, price cuts remain slow to materialize and more and more blockbuster releases are delayed until 2010, the PC and video game industry finds itself at a crossroads. The big question: Will it power up in time to save itself from going the way of the arcade? With the stakes higher than ever, we ask the field’s best and brightest what’s causing the biz to short circuit, whether the virtual landscape has permanently changed, and how to save interactive entertainment. Join us for the conclusion of our critically-acclaimed season opener as we discover whether or not it’s too late to hit restart.

    Game talkGDC Austin discount code here

     Posted by (Visited 5161 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
    Aug 132009

    I am on the advisory board for GDC Austin. That lets me give you a perk! Because you read this blog, you get 20% off your registration. Click the image above, or this link: and use the code GDCAADVISORY in the reg form. if you use it before Early Bird ends, which is well, today, then the 20% applies to the lower rate. Hurry hurry. 🙂