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Star Control creators working on direct sequel to Star Control 2

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Ghosts of the Precursors is their new “passion project”

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tingham
6 days ago
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!!!! Bring on a six hundred page manual.
Cary, NC
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Mental Health Day

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It’s World Mental Health Day today (10th October), and I usually say something about it — typically in a tweet. This time, I’m allowing myself some extra words.

I’ve suffered from clinical depression. I’ve also had recurrent issues with anxiety. I’ve had antidepressants, and counselling, and even brain imaging. Most of it was a very long time ago.

It’s important to acknowledge when you’re having problems; that’s the first step. It’s important to talk about it, and I know that’s a scary prospect. It’s important to seek help — and help is available.

It’s also important not to be a hypocrite.

So: I’m having problems. It’s a different world than it was a couple of years ago, and I’m backsliding. I’m going to get some help.

If you’re having trouble too, you should do the same.

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tingham
6 days ago
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Cary, NC
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Microspeak: Gardening

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A lot of project management tasks are simply housekeeping: Maintenance tasks that keep things running smoothly. For a project, that could be doing things like closing out old work items that were successfully completed, but which the developer failed to mark as complete in the work item tracker. Or it could be verifying that all the milestones for open work items are set correctly. Or it could be looking for work items that are assigned to people who have since left the team. Or it could be closing out stale pull requests.

You get the idea. There are always some housekeeping tasks that need to be done to ensure that the project runs smoothly. The Microspeak for performing these housekeeping tasks is gardening, as in, "I did some gardening over lunch and moved all the unfinished work items from the previous milestone into the current milestone." Or "Bob, can you do some gardening on the wiki and delete the outdated information?"

As with most housekeeping tasks, gardening tasks are largely mechanical and do not require the person performing them to make any decisions that alter the project. Gardening is primarly about getting the bookkeeping up to date with the current reality.

I suspect that this Microspeak term is not in use in the UK. In the UK, if you ask a work colleague to do some gardening, that is a euphemism for asking them to resign.

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tingham
6 days ago
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Lol @ UK
Cary, NC
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Toronto Airport's Inunnguat Are Sending the Wrong Message

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If you fly into the Toronto Pearson International Airport via Terminal One, you're welcomed into the city by three human-like figures, made out of stones placed on top of stones. One has its arms straight out, one has them raised, and one is making them into a sort of "L" shape.

To some travelers, the sculptures may resemble a trio of air traffic controllers (or, as someone said on Facebook, a few friends trying to hail a cab). But to those in the know, they're bearing a much more dire—and almost certainly unintended—message. These are inunnguat, traditional Inuit artworks that encode particular messages. And an inunnguaq with its arms raised up means, essentially, "Stay away! This is a place of violent death."

If you're looking to add some Inuit artworks to your airport, building some inunnguat isn't a bad idea. Along with inuksuit*—sculptures that, while also made of stone, take less humanoid forms—they are traditionally constructed as navigational and land-reading aids, meant to indicate good fishing spots, sacred areas, or places of danger. Because of this, they've become a symbol of Inuit culture itself: for example, there's an inukshuk on the flag of Nunavut.

Over the years, though, their usage has broadened, and now they are sometimes employed to represent Canada as a whole. Such a broadening can lead to a loss of the specific meanings that made the symbol important in the first place, something that many Inuit people have pushed back against. When Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010, the Olympic Committee chose an emblem that resembled an inunnguaq, prompting backlash from several First Nations leaders. (It didn't help that they called it an inukshuk.)

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A similar loss of nuance was probably responsible for these airport sculptures. As the CBC reports, the federal government commissioned these particular artworks back in 1963, from an Inuk artist named Kiakshuk. Save for a brief stint in storage, they've been standing near Terminal One since then, in these same positions. The concern about them is new, and was spurred when CBC Nunavut posted photos of the statues on Facebook, prompting a near-immediate response from Inuk readers. ("That kind of inukkuk/inuksuk signifies a bad [omen], a place of horrible death," one, Jessie Kaludjak, wrote.)

It's unlikely that Kiakshuk was trying to send a morbid message. So what happened? One possible answer comes from elder Egeesiak Peter, who helped Kiakshuk with the statues when he was a young man. Peter, who is now in his 80s, told the CBC that the original vision for the art differed greatly from what is now on display.

Kiakshuk, he explained, chose and shaped the stones to make one giant inunnguaq, and numbered them to aid in its reconstruction. Somehow, after it was shipped to the airport and rebuilt, it became three smaller ones instead, with raised arms.

The airport told the CBC that they are working with Piita Irniq, an Inuk artist and former political representative, to "improve the presentation of the artwork."

Irniq has some very specific credentials: he designed and built the Ottawa airport's inukshuk, which is more pyramid-shaped, with a hole in the middle. Traditionally, this type of structure led people in the direction of good hunting and fishing areas—you could look through the peephole and see which way to go.

"[Irniq] said he believes this traditional meaning makes sense for an airport," the CBC writes. It's certainly better than telling everyone your airport is a death trap.

*While the CBC refers to the airport sculptures as inuksuit, we are calling them inunnguat, in accordance with Irniq's differentiation.

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tingham
6 days ago
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"Cultural Misappropriation"
Cary, NC
acdha
6 days ago
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Washington, DC
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Even Stardew Valley’s creator can’t fix its saddest bug

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Poor, poor Pam

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tingham
6 days ago
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The linearity of this bug and the apparent un-solvable nature of it are proof that Buddhist principles are true and that there may in fact be some kind of afterlife in the universe. Stardew Valley my friends, Star-fucking-dew Valley.
Cary, NC
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Destiny 2: Prestige difficulty for the Leviathan raid delayed

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The Prestige difficulty of the Destiny 2 Leviathan raid has received a last-minute push to next week.

The Destiny 2 Leviathan raid has been available since a week after the game launched in September. It’s been out long enough now that we managed to have a complete guide of the raid. Bungie’s biggest fans, though, were patiently waiting for news of the Prestige difficulty.

Last week, Bungie finally announced that the raid would be launching this Tuesday, October 10. Despite the news that Prestige gear won’t offer a power boost, many were still excited to see the ultra-hard version of the raid.

The Prestige version requires a Power level of 300, which shouldn’t be a problem for the most hardcore players – or those who follow our awesome guide of how to level up fast.

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Unfortunately, at seemingly the last minute, Bungie just announced that Prestige mode will not be making tomorrow’s launch. Instead, Prestige difficulty will now launch on Wednesday, October 18 at the previously set time of 10am PT (1pm ET, 6pm BST, 7pm CEST).

The delay is a result of an exploit that would cause encounters to be easier than they were intended. “To allow time to fix this issue, we are delaying the start of the Prestige Raid until next week,” Bungie wrote on the official forums.

“It’s important to us that the team who earns world first status doesn’t have their legacy tarnished by doubt, scepticism, or uncertainty.”

Definitely disappointing news for those who were looking forward to tomorrow’s launch. Until next Wednesday, you can kill time by ready our Destiny 2 guide and checking off everything else you’ve yet to try out.

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tingham
7 days ago
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Yeah the cheese in Calus' throne room is definitely on its way out. Too bad really, brilliant piece of reverse engineering.
Cary, NC
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