235 Slices
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9780892728060

Do you recognize this hushed hall?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

With the colonnade of ash trees beginning to leaf out in the late spring sun, going to the mall is especially inviting on a June afternoon. The freshly mown lawn is but one of the many clues in this verdant scene. The flag pole in front of the imposing brick edifice is something of a giveaway, suggesting an institution of some sort, a public building. The multiple entrances and inviting steps further that idea. Could it be a town hall, perhaps? Maybe a venerable high school or post office or museum? Possibly a barracks even? It’s too pleasant-looking to be prison-related. Well, here’s what we know: Construction of this impressive structure began in 1941, but it was postponed because of the Second World War and completed in 1947. Funding was provided by a prominent businessman who donated a great deal of money in the area. The population of the town hereabouts is just over 9,000 in the summer, and the community, named for a Penob-scot Indian chief, is known for the pretty National Register homes in its historic district — testaments to the importance of timber in the region — in addition to the goings on in and around this particular building. On warm days, people appear here like dandelions in springtime, enjoying the sun or playing Frisbee on these green grounds. See page 100 if you’d like to educate yourself about this location.

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Medium 9780253014993

2. Madden Men: Masculinity, Race, and the Marketing of a Video Game Franchise

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Thomas P. Oates

IN AUGUST 2012, AS THE RELEASE OF EA SPORTSMADDEN NFL 13 video game approached, a months-long marketing blitz peaked with a series of advertisements featuring actor Paul Rudd and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. In the campaign, the two are presented as close, lifelong friends, whose bond is cemented by periodic Madden NFL marathons. The ads are clearly presented with tongue firmly in cheek. The friendship between Rudd and Lewis is offered as a whimsical premise. Rudd is a recognizable film and television actor, best known for roles playing middle-class white professionals. While appearing to be reasonably fit, he would never be mistaken for an NFL player, and though his movies are frequently about masculine themes (see, for example, I Love You, Man; The 40-Year Old Virgin; and Forgetting Sarah Marshall), he has never played the role of an action hero. Lewis, meanwhile, is black, was raised in poverty by a single mother in Lakeland, Florida, and was a major NFL star at the time, and hence a visible representative of hegemonic masculinity. The joke turns on the premise that despite the seemingly unbridgeable gaps separating affluence from poverty, white from black, icons of masculinity from the average guy, Rudd and Lewis are improbably buddies. Their friendship goes back to the cradle, as Rudd explains in the first ad in the series: “Oh, man, Ray and I have known each other our whole lives. We grew up together. Best friends!” The rest of the campaign shows the two friends playing the video game, engaging in verbal dueling, boasting, and performing other acts that characterize a certain kind of friendly masculine competition.

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Medium 9780892728060

Can you name this southern Maine coastal community?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

You get four guesses at the name of this southern Maine community, serene as can be in this sunny scene. Local history buffs like to call the place the first chartered city in America. Those are fighting words to some people up the coast, but an argument can be made — there are few villages in the nation that can trace their roots back to the 1620s and still fewer cities were founded by 1641. Early residents found the haven here to be a particularly snug one. The Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast calls it “the most secure harbor between Portsmouth and Portland,” and notes that it’s long been a fine hurricane hole. The lands around it have not always been so secure. The Englishfolk who made their homes here had some trouble with the French and Indians. The Candlemas Day Massacre is a notable example — the settlement was nearly obliterated during Indian raids. Good plucky Mainers that they were, the townspeople rebuilt rather than leave, which, as a local historian notes, was forbidden under the law of the day anyway — better these folks get killed, the thinking must have been, than those in Boston. These were the sorts of nasty English laws that ticked off the Colonists, and when separation from England became a hot idea, residents here were largely behind it — they had a tea party even before their brothers in Boston did, raiding a store where British tea was kept while posing as “Pequawket Indians.” When prosperity returned after the war, townspeople turned back to fishing, farming, and shipbuilding, which would keep them employed until the explosion of tourism that hit the community after the Civil War. Turn to page 101 to see where to find it.

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Medium 9781449360504

8. Back to the Web

Jesse Freeman O'Reilly Media ePub

In this chapter we will discuss techniques for making sure your HTML5 game will still run on the Web as well as Windows 8. After spending all of this time getting your game to run on Windows 8, it’s important to make sure you can also get the most out of your hard work and take advantage of the ability to run HTML5 games on multiple platforms.

Throughout this book we focused solely on getting an exciting HTML5 game to run on Windows 8 inside of Visual Studio. While this is a great approach if you want to focus solely on Windows 8, you may want to have the same codebase run on the Web, Windows 8, and other platforms that support HTML5 games. For this, I tend to use what I call a “web-first workflow.” The basic idea is that we continue to develop the game in Visual Studio, or your Web editor of choice, but do all of our testing and debugging in the Web browser while continually testing the game out on Windows 8. It’s actually very easy to set up, and you may find it to be similar to the way you already work.

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Medium 9780596101374

2. Creating Simple Drawings

E. A. Vander Veer O'Reilly Media ePub

The best way to get acquainted with Flash is just to dive in and create a simple animation. So this chapter starts with some tips for planning your work so you can get more done in less time (and be happier with the result). You see how to set up your Flash document and use the most popular Flash drawing toolsthe Pen, the Pencil, the Shape tool, the Line tool, and the Brushto draw a simple picture. Then you learn how to add color to your drawn shapes and move them around on the Stage.

In the next chapter, you add a few more drawings and string them together to create a simple animation.

Drawing a single picture is relatively easy. But creating an effective animationone that gets your message across, or entertains people, or persuades them to take an actiontakes a bit more up-front work. And not just because you have to generate dozens or even hundreds of pictures: You also have to decide how to order them, how to make them flow together, when (or if) to add text and audio, and so on. In other words, you have to think like a movie director. With its myriad controls, windows, and panels, Flash gives you all the tools you need to create a complex, professional animation, but it can't do the thinking for you.

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Medium 9781449315177

1. Introduction To Impact

Jesse Freeman O'Reilly Media ePub

Impact is a JavaScript game framework created by Dominic Szablewski. Impact takes advantage of the modern browser’s Canvas element in order to create high-performance 2D games on the Web and even mobile. One of the biggest advantages of using Impact is that it is easy to pick up, comes with very good code examples, has an active community, and has a very robust level editor called Weltmeister. The only barrier of entry is the licensing fee for the software, since it is not open source. After purchasing a license, you do get the full source code, the Weltmeister level editor, and free current major version updates (1.x). While there are other open source and free JavaScript game frameworks out there, Impact has an extra level of polish I haven’t seen with anything else so far.

Perhaps one of the most appealing factors of buying Impact is the inclusion of a sample Objective-C project that allows you to compile your Web game into a native iOS app. This enables your game to take advantage of OpenGL for graphics and OpenAL for sound instead of the Canvas and Audio elements in the mobile Safari browser. This solution gives your game almost native-like performance on iOS, and it can be packaged up and sold in the Apple Store just like a native app.

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Medium 9780253014993

5. Domesticating Sports: The Wii, the Mii, and Nintendo’s Postfeminist Subject

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Renee M. Powers and Robert Alan Brookey

IN 2005 NINTENDO BEGAN RELEASING INFORMATION ABOUT their next console, code-named “Revolution.” The reception from the video game press was rather mixed. Ryan Block, covering Nintendo’s introduction of the Revolution at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for the tech blog Engadget, had this to say: “The Revolution is a really unsexy device, all things considered – but it is a prototype, and [Nintendo] did hammer home that they want input from their adoring public. This may also just prove that Nintendo is serious when they say they don’t care about the hardware as much as they do about the gaming experience. They had to show something, and they did. It didn’t hurt them, it didn’t help them.” Mark Casamassina, writing for IGN, provided a more positive assessment: “At E3 2005, Nintendo unveiled the Revolution console. It is the company’s sleekest unit to date. The tiny-sized system is designed to be quiet and affordable. The revolutionary aspect of the machine – its input device – remains a secret.”1 Yet even Casamassina noted how the new console broke with industry tradition by not incorporating significant technological advances in graphic capability.

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Medium 9780596007300

28. Trees That Grow

Andrew Davison O'Reilly Media ePub

The last two chapters have been about creating landscapes: the fractal terrain in Chapter 26 was empty, but the Terragen-generated landscape in Chapter 27 was decorated with 3D models and ground cover (2D images that always face the user). This mix of models and images is enough in most situations but still lacking in one area: the scenery doesn't change. For example, the trees don't sway in the wind, and the sagebrush doesn't tumble.

As the title of this chapter suggests, this chapter focuses on making trees grow. Each tree starts from a tiny sampling, then young green shoots turn brown, grow, branch, and sprout leaves. However, the underlying aim is to describe a rule-based approach to animation, which can be applied to many kinds of 3D shapes. This approach has the following characteristics:

Each rule is a Java if-then statement. If all the conditions of a rule evaluate to true, then the rule's actions are carried out.

I'm not using a rule-based language such as Prolog, or a Java rules engine such as JESS. There's no need to step beyond standard Java.

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Medium 9780253014993

10. Yes Wii Can or Can Wii? Theorizing the Possibilities of Video Games as Health Disparity Intervention

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

David J. Leonard, Sarah Ullrich-French, and Thomas G. Power

THE DEBATE ABOUT EXERGAMING OFTEN APPEARS IN headlines such as “Can Wii Games Replace Regular Exercise?” and “Is the Wii Fit Better than Regular Exercise?”1 In this regard, virtual gaming has been reduced to a binary, a mathematical formula that treats participants as universal subjects and analyzes how well the games transport those bodies into virtual space. It reflects on whether these games have real-life impact on the universal game subject and how these virtual activities compare to their real-life brethren. Take one study from the American Council on Exercise, which after testing sixteen participants on six of Wii’s most challenging games – Free Run, Island Run, Free Step, Advanced Step, Super Hula Hoop, and Rhythm Boxing – concluded that virtual reality was distinctively different from the real world, in that twice as many calories were burned with the real “thing.” Emblematic of much of the discourse, the adherence to the virtual-real binary and its conceptualization of all participants as having equal access and opportunity demonstrate the shortcomings of the discourse surrounding virtual exercise.2 Furthering the establishment of this dualistic framework, the discourse focuses on the caloric impact–energy expenditure rates of virtual exercise games; it works to understand if exergaming is a substitute for real-world exercise. Yet there has been little effort to measure the impact of games on the physical body (core strength, balance) and, more important, the impact of games on identity, knowledge about fitness, health, and nutrition. In the end, these studies, more than the games themselves, disembody people and fail to look at how games change people in a myriad of ways, from the physical to the mental, from identity to self-worth.

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Medium 9780596529789

5. Shop the iTunes Store

J. D. Biersdorfer O'Reilly Media ePub

People have been downloading music from the Internet since the 1990s, from sites that were legal and others that were, well, not so much. Music fans loved the convenience, but record companies saw potential profits slipping down millions of modem lines. They fought back by suing file-sharing services and other software companies for aiding and abetting copyright infringement.

The need for a mainstream legal music download site was obvious, but many early efforts resulted in skimpy song catalogs and confusing usage rights. Things changed dramatically in April 2003, when the iTunes Music Store went online. Apple made deals with several major record companies to sell digital versions of popular songs for 99 cents a popand you could instantly transfer and play the tunes on your iPod or burn them to a CD. Things have gotten even better since.

Now simply called the iTunes store, you can find millions of songs, plus full-length movies, TV shows, audio books, podcasts, videogames, music videos, and more on its virtual shelves. Its all custom-tailored for the iPod, and best of all, once you download a title, its yours to keep. This chapter shows you how to find and use what youre looking for, and get more out of The store.

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Medium 9780253012531

4. Silent Hill and Fatal Frame: Finding Transcendent Horror in and beyond the Haunted Magic Circle · Brenda S. Gardenour Walter

Heidi A Campbell Indiana University Press ePub

Brenda S. Gardenour Walter

ON A RAINY AFTERNOON IN A SLEEPY, MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICAN town, seventeen-year-old Heather Mason visits an aging shopping mall on an errand for her father. Walking through the main entrance, Heather is transported to the horrifying town of Silent Hill, where the mall has become a monster-infested and blood-soaked nightmare. Descending through the strange worlds of Silent Hill, Heather crosses through several haunted circles, including a derelict hospital with a filthy, mirrored storeroom where she sees herself invaded by bloody tendrils and consumed by decomposing walls. Her consciousness raw from terror, she finally reaches Silent Hill’s rotten core where she must master the perverse rituals of a religious cult called “the Order” and use them in battle against their unholy and half-formed god. Thousands of miles away, a young woman named Miku Hinasaki searches for her brother in the fabled Himuro mansion high in the hills above Tokyo. Stepping across its decrepit threshold, she enters a haunted sphere, a foggy realm ruled by the angry dead, ancient curses, and long-forgotten Shinto rituals for the binding and loosening of hell. As a horrified Miku performs each arcane rite, she descends to Himuro’s most sacred circle, that of the Strangling Ritual. There, she not only witnesses the dismembering of the Shrine Maiden, but also faces the maiden’s vengeful ghost in a battle for her sanity and her brother’s freedom. In this chapter, I will explore supernatural horror in the ritualistic game worlds of Silent Hill and Fatal Frame and argue that by entering these horrific magic circles, both Western and Japanese players experience terror, abjection, and ultimately, religious transcendence.

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Medium 9780892728060

Can you identify this wintry scene?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

The waterfront in this midcoast hamlet is quiet under a fresh snowfall. The pleasure boats are long since gone to shrinkwrap, and only a few working boats remain. It’s a serene scene in the piney inlet as the holidays approach. Like so many saltwater villages, this one is but a single part of a larger town, and people are often confused just exactly which one, the one to the north, which sounds like it’s actually south, or the one below it (whose name might make you think of dragons). And for good reason: the history of all these communities is tightly intertwined. They all used to be a single town of epic proportions, until 1848 when they split. The ink had hardly dried on the maps of these new towns when a bunch of residents in this village wanted to secede yet again and form their own town, aptly called Independence. That didn’t work. So they raised the issue again in 1853, and again in 1856, when they thought the town name Melrose had a nice ring to it. This particular village has been called all sorts of things, from Seal Harbor Island to Lobster Cove Island to Elwell’s, and then by the early nineteenth century it took its current moniker. Turn to page 98 if you think you know its current name.

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Medium 9781449315177

4. Building A Game

Jesse Freeman O'Reilly Media ePub

In the following chapter, we are going to build a game called Resident Raver, in which the player controls an unnamed hero who is trying to escape a college dorm overrun by raver zombies. The hero has several weapons at his disposal to help him escape, while also navigating platform-based obstacles. I have gone ahead and created all the assets you will need for the final game.

Before moving onto the next section, make sure you copy over the contents of the media folder that is included in the book’s example files folder. This will contain all the assets you will need for the rest of the book. In it you will find sprites, map tiles, and sounds.

It’s okay to replace the default media directory with the one we will be using for this book.

Now that we have learned about creating graphics for our game, we can start building our first level. Let’s open up Weltmeister and create a simple level. When you open up Weltmeister for the first time, you will see that an untitled.js file has been created for you, but that the level is empty. Before we can even start creating our level, we will need to add our map tile sprite sheet. Create a new layer and call it main. This is where we will start drawing our level. You can create this new layer by clicking the plus icon on the top right of the screen next to the Layers label.

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Medium 9780892728060

Do you know the name of this central Maine mill town?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

It’s very clear from this autumnal photograph that Milburn is a mill town. Milburn? That’s the name this county seat used before it decided to assume the Abenaki name for “place to fish.” The surging Kennebec, which wraps its arms around the little island pictured here, provided the power for grist- and saw- and woolen mills in years past. The 12 ½ acre isle is literally the heart of town, and its steep sides posed many problems for Benedict Arnold and his men during their Revolutionary march to Quebec — they had to heave their bateaux over its steep walls to get upriver. Many years later, in 1920, the rectangular building in the center of the image was built as a power station, its inners generating 16,000 horsepower in its heyday under Central Maine Power. Today, though, the central Maine town of ten thousand that grew up around the river is not known so much for electricity as for paper — it shares a mill with the burgh immediately to the south, the border running right through the factory’s compound. The municipality is also home to one of the largest of the state’s fairs, a massive agricultural festival claiming to be the oldest annual fair of its kind in the nation, and also the country’s tallest cigar-store Indian. A sixty-foot wooden sculpture, it was created by an artist affiliated with the respected school of art named after the town. It’s also where the HBO movie of Richard Russo’s excellent Empire Falls was shot. To learn more about this central Maine mill town, see page 99.

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Medium 9780596007300

30. Network Chat

Andrew Davison O'Reilly Media ePub

In the last chapter, I presented an overview of several types of network programming, including client/server, peer-to-peer, and HTTP tunneling. This chapter revisits those topics to see how they can be employed to build networked chat applications. Chat capabilities are found in almost every multiplayer game (e.g., in shared virtual worlds).

The main characteristic of a chat system is its dynamic nature: clients can join or leave at any time, and there's no fixed order to when people can speak. A message sent out by a user should be delivered to all the other clients, preferably labeled with that user's name or ID.

The chat space may be divided into distinct regions or groups, with varying levels of access and communication privacy. The system may allow personal communication between two users, unseen by other people. I'll discuss ways of implementing private messages in the examples.

In this chapter, I'll code the same chat system using three different approaches: client/server, UDP multicasting, and HTTP tunneling to a servlet. Chat messages are broadcast, and a special who message returns a list of the other clients. A client leaves the system by sending a bye message. The multicasting and servlet versions of the application introduce a hi message for joining and support a simple form of private one-to-one communication.

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