15 Jul
   Filed Under: Gaming, Interface Design   

RTS, or Real-time strategy games, have been with us since the birth of the first games that ever graced computer screens.

With some recent client work, I’ve been doing quite a bit of homework on strategy game interfaces; I dug out all my old games, played and screen-captured over two dozen game interfaces, mocked up a massive amount of approaches to problems, and talked with some friends in the gaming industry. As a UI designer, I’m fascinated to see how it’s developed in the last 20 years and in which direction it is now headed.


It’s quite interesting to look not just at where we’re heading, but also where we’ve come from. Since the invention of chess and other similar strategic board games, it’s clear that people love the tactile experience that manipulating ‘units’ gives. However, with today’s world of massive virtual representations of battlefields, this feeling has been diluted significantly. The relevant question for me is, obviously, how multi-touch devices like the iPhone can bring back the sweaty palms and rush that you experience forward the first pawn in a game of chess.

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14 Jul
   Filed Under: News, Software Releases   

We’re entering a very exciting age of web design. I’ve never hidden my opinion on Flash on this blog or on any other online outlet — I think it’s an abomination that should be used solely for cross-platform games and other niche cases — but without an alternative, I’m also using it for video on my blog.


With ‘demos’ like Snow Stack, however, this will soon change. If you’re running Snow Leopard and Safari right now, you can check it out right here. Otherwise, just check out the video. Snow Stack is similar to CoolIris, which I like, but it’s made with pure HTML, CSS, and Javascript. I love it.

On that note, I’ll soon start using the <video> element for all video on my blog. To support Opera and Firefox, all media will be available in H264 and OGG formats. I’ll be very happy when I can say I’ve banished the scourge of Flash from all my websites.

Hat tip to Wolfgang Bartelme for sharing Snow Stack on Twitter.

09 Jul
   Filed Under: Apple, How-To   

Since I recently stopped using an old and dented Macbook Pro that was otherwise perfectly working as a computer, I tweeted about having turned it into a media, file, and Bittorrent server. I got a lot of responses asking for my setup, so here’s a guide for turning a Mac that would otherwise gather dust in disuse into a useful server.


My primary demands were gathering content from the internet through FTP and Bittorrent, serving them up to the Macs and Playstation 3 on the network through streaming, and function as a secure public-facing server so I can log in and grab some files when I’m on the go.

I’ve divided this post into three sections, dealing with getting stuff, serving up stuff, and all the nice other things you can do with an always-on Mac. Note: I will not be liable if you melt, damage, or hurt your old Mac in the process of following this guide.
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