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Outsider philosopher, game designer and author
Recent Activity
The map expansion is coming along nicely, with the entirety of the Parthian Empire and the relevant Silk Road territories of the Roman Empire all now added. You can see the Roman regions of Syria and Mesopotamia in the picture to the left. This completes the entire western side of... Continue reading
Posted 13 hours ago at Silk: Wilderness Adventures
Back in two weeks - I will reply to comments then. Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2019 at Only a Game
Starting in May, A Hundred Cyborgs looks at a series of ten human-machine interactions from the amusement arcades. You’ve probably never wondered about the moral impact of joysticks, change machines, and the option to continue, but this next part of... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2019 at Only a Game
The next round of level editing is focusing on expanding to the west, and I'm pleased to say that the Parthian plateau is really coming together! Here, nestled between two salt deserts, is the region of Parthia itself - the seat of the powerful dynasties that rule the empire, far... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2019 at Silk: Wilderness Adventures
Walking in the morning to San Francisco's Moscone centre whilst at GDC with the other pedestrians earlier this year, I could never suppress my smile at seeing some fellow upon a skateboard making full use of the roads, unabashed and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2019 at Only a Game
Hey Jesse! Thanks for your continued support - and what uncanny timing you have! We just discussed this in the current scrum. The current movement implementation is as follows: - The player selects movement - The player moves - After movement is completed, encounters in the area move - Only after all encounters have moved can you move again. Now as you've noted here, and I've been experiencing myself when I play, the delay while encounters move is an irritation. What we think we can do is modify encounter movement so that: (a) encounters you will enter the same space as are 'locked' to allow you to complete the encounter (b) all other encounters move as you move If that works, it will tighten up movement and let you zwoosh around much more rapidly. I am also investigating with Nathan, the programmer, whether we can make the actual speed of movement faster when you are all on horseback (the fastest movement in the game) for super rapid travel. Might also speed up the camels a bit. ;) Alas, Nathan is entrenched in the battle implementation, so we can't address this immediately, but it will be part of the 'cost of living' update that includes the new FOV change. Thanks for bringing this up! You will get your wish... sometime in May, I should think. :) Chris.
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2019 on Towards Battle! at Silk: Wilderness Adventures
1 reply
For a couple of months now, there's been some experimentation with the field of vision in Silk. The demos at the moment have 30 degree FOV, but this makes turns rather motion sickness inducing, and limits peripheral vision. Because we're rendering in three dimensions, we can't go above 90 degrees,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2019 at Silk: Wilderness Adventures
The captain in a sporting team is, quite clearly, a variation on the military captain, even if the name is not always the same – the quarterback being one clear variation. The parallels between these two conceits of captaincy run... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2019 at Only a Game
The implementation of battle proceeds apace, and we have more-or-less completed the Skirmish script, leaving the Parlay and Retreat scripts still to go. We also have a template for Troop display (mock up to the left) and are just ironing out the movement paradigm since a lot of the tactical... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2019 at Silk: Wilderness Adventures
The military rank of captain, much like the corporate rank of manager that partially descends from it, is an ancient cybernetic invention. It is different from the power structure of the chieftain over a tribe, and indeed, harsher, since the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2019 at Only a Game
Is there any greater emblem of the limits of technology than the weather forecast? Despite an astronomical increase in available resources – both theoretical and computational – the forecast is still frequently mistaken about what is about to happen. Indeed,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2019 at Only a Game
Hi Patrick, Thanks for sharing your perspective here! Your description not only offers an insightful perspective on Halloween 'Nihon-de-wa', but also I think something of the sense of the Japanese adoption of all manner of gaijin activities that are divorced from their roots and thus take on strange forms. While he was with Q Games in Kyoto, my friend James would send me a token of Japanese weirdness every Christmas that never ceased to feel as if it could have originated on another planet... All the very best! Chris.
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2019 on Halloween at Only a Game
1 reply
Despite the decreasing importance of radio waves to their job, the radio DJ remains emblematic of the contemporary cyborg. This odd claims rests on the recognition that every radio DJ exists only through their relationship with technology, that anyone who... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2019 at Only a Game
Hi Karen, Many thanks for your thoughtful remarks here! I think it a great shame that you identify as Christian (even merely in a cultural sense) but can't become part of a community of Christians because evangelical Christianity unnerves you... Reading between the lines, you appear to be based in the US, and one of the problems with the Christian community there seems to be that moderate Christians are being 'squeeze out' of the corners of the churches. Have you tried a Unitarian church? They tend to have a rather more open view on pretty much all matters. Many thanks for taking the time to comment! Chris.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2019 on What Did Joseph Campbell Believe? at Only a Game
1 reply
Hi an531, I don't quite agree with your assertions here, although there's some validity to your remarks. I don't think it is me who confuses atheism and anti-theism... I think they run together these days, and that 'atheism' has become indistinguishably intertwined with anti-theism, for good and ill. The entire New Atheist movement rested upon this conflation. The dictionaries are never a good guide in this regard, since they run ten or more years behind usage and only serve to capture usage. It is absolutely the case that some who would use the term 'atheist' in a precise sense (as it seems you do) are now misunderstood because of it. I also don't agree that atheism and non-theism are indistinct terms... but I can see from the way you construct your argument that you want to keep atheism distinct from what it blurs into, and from that perspective it would make sense to make that claim. It might be the case that 'secular non-theism' is an empty set - that might be the point you are making here, but non-theist religion is a very useful category for thinking about Dharmic religion. Thanks for commenting! Chris.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2019 on Ontology as Non-Theology at Only a Game
1 reply
The team has been plotting the course of development this week. We're working primarily on the Battle systems, but we don't have a Troop design we're happy with and that's holding us up slightly. We also looked at a quick and dirty way to get the map up and running,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2019 at Silk: Wilderness Adventures
What are the behavioural effects of technological networks? What happens if we stop thinking about technology as shiny machines and start looking at other, subtler tools? Can we design technology to have better effects upon humans? These and other questions... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2019 at Only a Game
There's a new Silk demo! It adds an inventory bar that shows which goods will be gained and lost in each choice, Exp notifications and level up events, Encounter notifications, new 'treasure' Encounters and a lot of additional sound effects. Download the PC version by clicking the Silk demo 005... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2019 at Silk: Wilderness Adventures
One of the projects International Hobo has been working on over the last two years is Tropico 6, which has now shipped to rave reviews. Having worked on the narrative design and scripts for this game, we were particularly pleased... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2019 at Only a Game
One of the projects International Hobo has been working on over the last two years is Tropico 6, which has now shipped to rave reviews. Having worked on the narrative design and scripts for this game, we were particularly pleased... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2019 at ihobo
A new demo is in production and should be available next week... Amongst other things, it will have a bar to show the consequences of choosing any given Advisor plan, it will show experience earned in the messaging system, and it should also have the Encounter notifications and audio fanfares.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2019 at Silk: Wilderness Adventures
Now that the Kickstarter is complete, we need to start work on the full set of portraits. If you backed a Personal Portrait, we'll be in touch with you over the next week or so to request a head shot photograph to use as the inspiration for the portrait, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2019 at Silk: Wilderness Adventures
After an incredible final day of the Kickstarter, I'm proud to report that Silk is fully funded! It's a huge step forward for the project and we're very excited to be bringing the game to all our wonderful backers, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2019 at ihobo