Archive for Videogames

Pocket Recipes for the Pokémon Trainer – Pidgey

Pocket Recipes for the Pokémon Trainer
Kanto District:

So you’ve gone and done it. You’ve cast off the chains of your middle-school and have set out to become a Pokémon Trainer. Good for you! The open road, new and exciting creatures to discover and conquer. It’s going to be just like camping, except Dad’s not there to carry the cooler. And as jobs go, hunting Pokémon doesn’t really pay very well. But that’s okay, right? You can live off the land, collecting berries and making your own fabulous meals over the campfire. I thought so! So to help you on your way, we’re bringing you the best in Pokémon camping cuisine. Each recipe is easy to make (provided you’ve captured the right Pokémon, of course) and is tailored to the regions those Pokémon come from, so ingredients should be easy to find.


The Pidgey


Shōyu de Poppo

8 Pidgey (bone-in, skin on, split)
I know, it seems like a lot for just one person, but the little f*ckers are everywhere. You can bag a dozen per day if you have enough pokéballs. In their first evolution, they are pretty small, so you want to cook as many as you can fit in the pan.

1 cup of water
It’s clever, isn’t it? Pidgey is known for hunting over water (especially Magikarp, which explains why Gyarados are just so hard to find, the Pigey’s eat ‘em all before they can evolve!)

½ cup razz berry vinegar
If you’re still young enough to enjoy Pokémon Go, you may not yet have a bottle of this in your kit. Hip up a Pokéstop, they’re bound to have some to hand. Trust me, this makes everything taste good, they even put it on ice cream.

1/3 cup soy sauce
That’s about 25 soy sauce packets if you’re swiping them from your local Panda Express.

2 ½ Tablespoons sugar
About 8 sugar packets if, like me, you snag a couple extra when buying your morning latte.

1 Figy, split and the seeds removed.
Just remember, like the habaneros you find in the supermarket, it’s the seeds of the Figy that pack the real punch!

Put all the ingredients (except the Pidgey) into a saucepan and boil it for about 20 minutes. Add the Pidgey and cook, turning frequently until the liquid has been reduced to a sticky glaze.

Arrange on a serving platter (we may be camping, but we’re not savages!) and spoon the remaining glaze over the Pidgey before serving.

If you are going with a later evolution, you can feed a couple of people with just a single Pidgeotto, and if you are truly lucky and have managed to bag a Pidgiot, well you’ll need to quintuple this recipe and call the whole family to enjoy!

Public Speaking at the IGDA

I was invited to give a talk to the IGDA in partnership with DAGA in Salt Lake City a couple of months ago. Had a wonderful time! They were kind enough to record my talk (I do a lot of talks, but I don’t always get to see how they turned out from the audience perspective, so this is especially cool for me).

Check it out!

Back when I started, there was no clear path into the games industry. You got there by asking around, talking to people, finding ads in the back of local newspapers, showing up for a night of tabletop gaming with the right group of people. While the idea of working in games has become mainstream over the past few decade, I find that a lot of students still think of it as a rather monolithic entity. They get hung up on the idea of having the *perfect* skill for this job or that job, where the reality is, there are a LOT of different niches in games and, if you have spent the time to develop skills that apply, even if you don’t have a degree, you have a chance to find a home here.

Alternate Lenses in Limitless

As a visuals geek, I have been delighted with the symbolic language that they have been employing in Limitless. So naturally when I heard they were going to give us an episode from Rebecca’s point of view, I was hugely interested to see if they would take the look in a different direction given a different characters point of view.  We’ve already had different characters on NZT (Piper, Casey, Morro) but the story has still stayed true to Brian being the primary character and hence, it’s to be expected that we continue with his bright worldview and artsy-craftsy problem solving techniques.  In the case of this weeks episode, we are inside Rebecca’s head, which should (I expected) give us a dramatically different outlook on the world.

The look and feel was much subtler than I expected.  With Brian as the POV character, the difference is brighter, the character almost glows during those first few seconds of camera-shift.  We get a similar shift in Rebecca’s case, but it is nowhere near as dramatic (befitting her character’s personality).  I’m not yet sure if that is some kind of foreshadowing but I suspect the next episode will answer this for us.


Rebecca before NZT


Rebecca after NZT

See the color shift?  Everything develops a warmer, orangish tint (it’s particularly noticeable around the whites of the eyes).  This color change sticks (in both Brian’s cases and in Rebecca’s solitary case) thru the entire episode.


The biggest difference between the two characters (which suits them quite nicely, by the way) is that, while Brian’s thought processes and illustrations are on the wildly creative side of things (puppets, houses made of sticks, crayon drawings), Rebecca has fixated on the linear h*ll that is…  The Etch-O-Sketch.

(Please note, I loved my Etch-o-Sketch as a kid, but I had one of those parents who interrupted me every half hour or so because PARENTING, so my experiences with it always came up wanting).


Rebecca’s NZT Etch-a-sketch.  Lady gotz skillz

And the thing about the EaS (because I’m tired of writing “Etch-a-Sketch” over and over) is that to work with one, to really get a proper result like the one you see here, takes forethought, it takes planning.  You can’t erase, not one single line.  This is a linear progression and one that requires a complete and total do-over if you muck it up (or some extra creativity to recover).

One of the reasons all of this is so much fun is that, when Rebecca is not on NZT and Brian *is*, she’s very nearly a match for him.  Brian gets all the obscure stuff, what color a high C-note smells like and other bits that are beyond the norm, but when it comes to the actual case-solving, Rebecca is on a par, sometimes even one step ahead.  So seeing that character outclass Brain when they *both* are on NTZ is something to behold, and the people behind the look and feel of the show are supporting that by carrying over the same visual language normally used in Brian as the main POV character.