DANIEL FERREIRA     DIGITAL CREATIVE
Personal blog, various themes, updated sometimes.
More Notes on Procedurality research

[Versão em português ainda não disponível para este post.]

WIRED published an article on procedural generation (procgen), as part of it’s fourth annual trends report “The WIRED World in 2016”. In this post I’ll comment on some parts of the article which I believe to be common misconceptions about the field of procgen.

Read another post on procedurality here.

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ProcJam 2015 blog

ProcJam 2015
I participated with two works in the Procedural Generation Jam 2015: Branco and Algorithmic Opera.

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Digital Works at FILE 2015 exhibit

FILE 2015

I participated in the FILE 2015 (International Electronic Language Festival) exhibit with two works: Learn, an experiment in artificial learning, and Join Us, an “interactive cover art”.

Exhibit held in São Paulo, Brasil, in June/July 2015 (program).
Posts on previous editions: 2009, 2011 (in Portuguese) and 2013.

  

Why I Am Thankful For Akismet blog

[Versão em português ainda não disponível para este post.]

Akismet saves millions of bloggers every day from trillions of spam bizarreness such as:

Now, let me ask you… Do you need your website to be successful to maintain your way of life?

And:

Hurrah! After all I got a webpage from where I know how to actually take valuable information regarding my study and knowledge.

And this beauty:

I never “cut” the cord anymore. I use a burn box and 2 candles and about 1 to 2 hours after the birth I help the parents sever the cord by burning it. Not only does it completely prevent infection of the cord (I work primarily in developing countries) but it is also a very nice ritual – not nearly as abrupt as cutting. It gives us all the time to realized what is happening – the baby being severed from its internal mother and now transitioning into this place. It’s really quite lovely.

More after the break. By the way, I didn’t even have to search too much to find these. They were all in page 1 of 1000 from my Spam inbox.

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The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness blog

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (Mami Sunada, 2014)

[Versão em português ainda não disponível para este post.]

I selected some images and quotes from this fantastic documentary on Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, by Mami Sunada (2014) – click image above, or here (new tab).

  

A Brief History of Graphics review

A Brief History of Graphics

A Brief History of Graphics is a five-part video series about graphics in videogames (link takes to the playlist on youtube). The videos are very well produced by Stuart Brown, with tons of examples of games and different graphics technologies. They are short and accessible, and should appeal even to non-gamers who might be interested in the subject.

Though most of the information in the series seem accurate, I do think there are some parts that are problematic. Read the full post for some of my comments about it.

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Computer blog

Computer (fonte: wikipedia)Computer (fonte: wikipedia)

[Versão em português ainda não disponível para este post.]

Here is a fun (albeit slightly sexist) anecdote about “early computers”:

As N. Katherine Hayles writes in the prologue to My Mother Was a Computer (Hayles, 2005): “in the 1930s and 1940s, people who were employed to do calculations — and it was predominantly women who performed this clerical labor — were called ‘computers.’ (…)”

More after the jump!

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Equilibrist Sofa art

The “equilibrist sofa” is one of the first things that the FILE 2013 visitor sees when entering the exhibit. The installation, titled Balance From Within (Jacob Tonski, 2012), consists of an old sofa balanced on one of its feet.

Though it might not look like it at first, maybe this is one of the most interesting pieces shown in FILE for the past years. Specially because it avoids the “interactivity” trap, that seems to attract so many visitors (as well as curators; and artists).

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Unity tool

Unity

Unity is a cross-platform engine and authoring tool, most popularly used in games. It is being used to develop the new version of MissionMaker, which is itself a game authoring software, part of the Playing Beowulf project. Last year I worked on this project as part of my PhD at the London Knowledge Lab.

In this post I will briefly introduce Unity and present some of my own experiments with the engine.

Note: posts about Playing Beowulf, MissionMaker 2 and my research.

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Neural Networks (Google Research) blog

Here is an amazing post at the Google Research blog about some very interesting work being done in Neural Networks and image interpretation/classification.

I selected some quotes below – but the post is worth a read (emphasis added).

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Dirty Rotten Strip publication

Dirty Rotten Comics

I am part of the Dirty Rotten Comics #4 anthology, which spans almost 100 pages and over 40 contributors. Images in the full post!

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The Sculptor (Scott McCloud) review

The Sculptor (Scott McCloud)

[Versão em português ainda não disponível para este post.]

The Sculptor (Scott McCloud, 2015) is a very good graphic novel (and also a very big book), with many interesting themes, careful artwork, superb character development and world building and… well, many clichés.

In this post I present some of my (mixed) opinions about the book, as well as my (non-mixed) admiration of McCloud’s work. So, beware many spoilers, personal opinions, criticism and praise!

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2014 Recap meta

Main productions and projects from 2014:

PS: more projects from 2014 (and older): menu on the right

[Post from 2015/01/02. Updated whenever portuguese version updates.]

  

TIME Actually Gets Last of Us Analysis

TIME and LOU

[Versão em português ainda não disponível para este post.]

TIME did an interesting piece in which war photojournalist Ashley Gilbertson was “sent into” the action/adventure videogame The Last of Us (Naughty Dog, 2013). KillScreen commented on this with an article titled What Time Got Wrong About The Last of Us, in which said publication is accused of procedural illiteracy – in other words, of not understanding how digital media works.

I agree. But I don’t think the creators of The Last of Us – and most game developers – understands it much either.

Read more about my research on the expressive use of digital media here.

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Doom: 20 Years nerd

Today the classic game Doom (Id Software) is 10 20 years old (at least according to wikipedia). I will celebrate the occasion posting some levels I made at the time (nerd alert!). Click above (17 images).

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Will Wright on Time quote

Will Wright is a game designer, creator of the popular série The Sims, in which the player controls “virtual people” in their “virtual lifes”. In explaining his motivations on creating the game, Wright makes a reflection about time.

One of the biggest things that I wanted to show [with The Sims] was how, basically, the real resource everybody has in life is time. You can convert time to a lot of other things – you can convert it into money, objects, and friends – but how you choose to spend your time is how you’re playing the game of life. That’s the one thing that you don’t get more of, really. (…) It’s just interesting when you sit back and think about how you choose to spend every minute of your day.

Quote from Unit Operations (Ian Bogost, 2006; page 88), originally from an interview on Gamasutra (John MacLean-Foreman,2001).