Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I like the idea of adding more lies of what I am and what I am going to become in comparison to my old life. Here are a few lies I have told myself

I do not play video games (this does not include Ms Pac Man. It’s not just a game, it’s a life time commitment!). I have a life and like interacting with people not machines.

I never have and never will play a Sony PS3 or a Wii or any other of the game consoles. As I do not play games, I do not use anything associated with them.

I am defiantly NOT going to ever design a video game. I don’t play them, so why the fuck would I want to design one?

So that was before and for a long time I stuck to those statements. Now like most aspects of my life, that is out the window.

Over the weekend I attended a “Game Jam” where I had 24 hours to create a level in the new game “Little Big Planet”. As this was required for this course, there was no way I could get out of it.

I began to familiarize myself with the game the week before by playing it and spending time researching it. I had never seen anything like it before. It looks like the Clangers ( and is fun to play. What struck me most about this game are the choices the players can make. This is a game about choices and so I used that as a concept when designing the level.

The level is too complicated to discuss here. I tried writing it out and realized that it’s more of a visual experience instead of a written one. I will try to post a screenshot of the level when I get a copy of it.

The concept is what I really took away from creating this level and its here I will share it here with you. There are many different ways to play this level (13 to be exact), but it breaks down to a basic easy and hard way. The easy way can be played very quick and is very boring. Players don’t have a chance to gain points or play tasks. They just finish the level and get no rewards.

The hard way takes longer, has places to gain lots of points and has more tasks to complete. There are twists in the level as well. At the very end, the player must conquer his/her fear of a dragon on fire by running through it to collect lots of bonus points. If the player tries to go around the dragon, they do not gain as many points

But this is not what this blog entry is about. Nor is it about how I am telling myself lies. I believe that was already covered. What this blog is about is about the choices we make. The game that was created wasn’t simply about running around a computer screen collecting points and killing monsters. I feel mine is more significant. It actually means something. We have choices we make everyday in life. Some are hard and some are easy.

And what I love about me level, what I really gets me excited is the way it ends. For most of the game you are taught to be smart and work hard and you will get the most points and have more fun. In the finale, the user must face a dragon that is on fire. The obvious way is to go around the dragon, but its very difficult. Instead, the only way to win the game is to go through the dragon. But going through the fiery dragon you get lots of points and get to win the game. It’s the twists at the end that makes it most life like. Life is full of choices and twists and turns. If life is too easy it’s dull. At the same time it shouldn’t be so hard. There is a balance between working smarter instead of harder and that’s when you get to have the most fun.

I should go now; I keep seeing the screen move and little creature bounce around. Sleep deprivation is lots of fun ☺

Monday, September 15, 2008

Turnstiels of Fun

Problem Statement

• The turnstile moves in a counter-clockwise position. This is counter-intuitive and seems to confuse the user. The users are never sure where the neutral position is and find it difficult to know when they should swipe their card and when they should pass through the gate.
• The turnstile is not good for moving large object: baby buggies, wheel chars, suitcase or large packages.
• The turnstile is not good for people with handicaps. If you have crutches or a wheel chair, you will not go through.

Context Analysis

The main goal of turnstiles in the MTA Subway system is for the movement in and out of the MTA system. People entering the MTA must swipe their Metro Card to gain access. Users leaving the MTA do not have to swipe their cards to leave.


Users of the turnstile include anyone who wants to use the MTA to travel in New York.

Proposed Solution

Very little can be done to redesign these turnstiles. The design in not intuitive as it runs in a counter-clockwise direction. It is also not able to fit in users with handicaps or large packages.



This new design still forces users of the MTA to pay and go through the turnstiles quickly, but does not confuse the user as to which way to enter. This turnstile is also good for those who are handicapped or have large packages.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My First Entry

I said I would never do this. I swore up and down that the last thing I was ever going to do was to write a blog. I am being dragged kicking and screaming (silently of course) into the world of blogs.

Writing this now has made me think of other lies like 'I am never going to write a blog'. In the past I have said things such as 'I'm never going back to school', 'I'm never living in America again' and 'I'm always going to work in music radio'. These are all lies, but for a while I believed them.

If you start breaking some rules and opening the world up by making previous true statements false, where can it end?

This is what I am here to find out. This is what I am here to do. This is my new life I have been granted. I feel lucky and scared and uncertain and hopeful.

Over the next few years I will update this site. Some things will change and some things will remain the same, some things will grow and some things will die. On my first entry, here is a list of who and what I am. Let’s see what turns out to be a lie and what remains true.

I am 33 years old
I love my girlfriend Annie
I am in my first semester of my graduate degree
I live in Park Slope
I am listening to Godspeed You Black Emperor
I am inspired by sound
I am inspired by sight
I see the world as my playground
I am a brother
I am a son
I am good friend to some and a better friend to others
I believe I can build the world I want to live in
I do not believe in limitations
I need to feel good music
I am not a husband
I am not a father
I do not have a Masters degree
I do not know how to pull the images I see out of my head
I am scared about my new life
I have left my comfort zone
I am driving blind

I know everything will be ok

I have no choice but to carry on and live the life I was meant to