PSFK Asia – October 10th

Eventbrite - PSFK Conference Asia 2008

Piers is putting on one of his excellent PSFK events in Singapore. If you’re in the area. Or can blag a trip I’d highly recommend it. The London one I went to was great, and the content from the others is really spot-on too.

He is a friend, but they are genuinely good and well-priced for what you get.

Wario Land – Shake it! Wii Advertising

YouTube - experiencewii's Channel

This YouTube Channel for Wario Land is great. We’ve seen the technique before, but it really works here and was a genuine surprise. (Sorry, I guess I’ve spoiled it already, but take a look).

And the game looks great too. The Wario franchise has always had some neat interface innovations, this looks to continue that tradition.

There was one thing that disappointed me a bit; the clip looks embeddable (as a bit of Flash) from the YouTube page. I almost peed my pants when I thought that I could embed the clip and it’d shake my blog to bits when someone played the video from my post. But unfortunately not. Or at least the embedding didn’t work at all for me.

This has been featured by the always on-the-ball fellows at Adverblog, but thanks to Iain at Moo for the tip off.

Completely Insane Lo-Fi Flash Animation

ubercat

From 2007 I think, but new to me. Incredibly strange lo-fi 8-bit style game animation – The Tale of the Übercat.

If it’s your kind of thing don’t miss Snail Jesus Rides Again.

Thanks to Martin for leaving a link to Albino Blacksheep in the comments.

Techno Viking’s Route on Google Maps


Größere Kartenansicht

Thanks to Andy Polaine for the link to the map.

I couldn’t help but open it in Goolge Earth.

Google Earth

Then I started fantasising about how great it’s going to be once they add Street View to Berlin. Then I can retrace the footsteps of the mighty one.

Here he is again, just in case you’ve forgotten his immense power:

More Church and Bass

YouTube - Holy Ghost VS Twisted Individual & MC GQ - @ Baptazia - part 1

It’s like a funny sledgehammer. Crude but brutally effective. I love the fact they’ve started using annotations to add another layer of humour too.

And another…

It can’t be long before someone does one of these as a proper promo video…

And Baptazia is a genius name for a religio-rave.

Thanks to Garry at Anorak for this new tip off. Nice one.

5 Games You Need to Know About

I’m not a hardcore gamer. I play games very occasionally. I’d like to spend more time doing it. But I think I’ll save it till I retire. Games are bound to be super-awesome then and I’ll have loads of time to waste.

Here are 5 games that have caught my attention for various reasons, and they all have things going for them that I think make them at least mildly interesting for anyone involved with interactive things of one shape or another. And I reckon you can drop all 5 of these into gamer conversations without fear of someone saying they’re shit – I could be very wrong on this though.

Braid
First up Braid. Available on Xbox 360 as a download. And seemingly causing a lot of people to go out and buy Xboxes…

It’s a lovely looking platform game. All cutesy and painty-styled. But the big twist with the game is that you can muck around with time. When you die you can rewind time and go back to where you were. Or at any point you choose you can just do a quick rewind or ffwd. But depending on the level it works slightly differently each time. It’s quite hard to explain, I’m not even sure I fully grasp it, but this video helped…

It gets absolutely amazing reviews everywhere. I’m sure a lot of it is because it’s taken a classic format and done something to it that everyone is just going ‘damn I wish I’d thought of that first…’.

Equally I’ve always been a big fan of the idea that the web and computers allow us to mess with the standard laws of time and space (like being able to warp to different bits of a supermarket using just a search box). But it’s hard to get your brain to think of paradigms that don’t have real world equivalents.

We need more things like Braid that abuse our expectations of normality.

Which is a beautiful anti-segue into something that’s all about the wonders of physics, motion and gravity. Crayon Physics Deluxe has been seen millions of times and is hardly new. But in case anyone hasn’t seen it…

There is actually a playable sort of prototype (PC) that you can get from the website. But the deluxe version isn’t ready yet.

And if that’s all a bit crayony for you, perhaps Little Big Planet on the PS3 might be more your thing. It just looks stunning. And there’s a huge part of the fun which is creating your own worlds / levels and characters.

Here’s a drool-inducing gameplay montage:

It looks like it could be the awesomest thing ever.

But back to basics for now. I love simple games. They’re the games I can relate to best. Ones that don’t take hours of investment. Ones where I don’t need to learn anything. Games that are just instantly loveable and fun.

Step up: Coign of Vantage. It’s a simple little online game, that’s fiendishly brilliant. All you have to do is rotate your point of view until a picture appears. This picture won’t do it any justice at all:

coign of vantage | bobblebrook | delightful free online games

It’s just lovely. And the way that it introduces ‘how to play’ is a lesson to us all. Absolutely beautiful. I’m certain that the game has a directly educational benefit too, in terms of both spacial recognition and manipulation of 3d environments.

Please take a couple of minutes out to go and have a play. It’s fab.

Pure joy.

And finally Music Catch. This is just so calming and soothing and wonderful. Again massively simple. Just collect little shapes. But it’s the way that it uses the music to generate the gameplay that’s really sweet…

And you can play it right here, in the page. How good is that!

The music it comes with is perfect too. You can download a desktop version for a small price, this includes a number of tracks, as you play you unlock more. Or you can load up your own MP3s as the soundtrack to generate the gameplay. Nice.

If you want to keep up with casual games online, this site looks to be really good – I found it when researching music catch.

Growing Mushrooms In Your Old Books

Mushrooms in booksSorry I can’t find any bigger / better images of this quite remarkable thing. It’s a kit that enables you to grow oyster mushrooms in the pages of old paperback books. You just put the spores inbetween the pages, damp it down and away they grow. Makes sense when you think about it, they grow on damp trees so it’s not that strange they’d grow in books.

The kits can be ordered from here and cost £9.99. The perfect gift for the person who has everything (including some old books they might not want any more).

I don’t think I can resist…

Oh, and it could beat the hell out of the old ‘growing cress in the carpet’ gag. If I turned up and my books had started sprouting oyster mushrooms I think I’d be quite worried.

Advertising Gambling as Insurance

I guess it had to happen. Everyone’s realised that finance is a big gamble. So Paddy Power have started advertising their betting service as a kind of insurance against your holiday being ruined by an airline going bust.

Paddy Power Advert

The ad was placed in the Guardian travel supplement on Saturday.

More than half of me hates it. Less than half of me thinks it’s clever.

I Heart Flight of the Conchords A Lot

Flight of the Conchords

I know lots of people know about The Flight of the Conchords, and I know that it’s not new. But there are a few people who’ve either not heard of it, or for some reason resisted. This post is for you.

I’m loving it so much I feel the need to evangelise…

For me FOC takes the slow, dark, slightly depressing humour of The Office, and manages to fuse it with the surreal nutsness of The Mighty Boosh in a spectacularly funny way. And the characters all possess those fundamental human flaws and quirks that we can all relate to, but it’s done a bit more subtly and less painfully than something like Peep Show.

And the songs. I’m not normally a funny song kind of person. But I love the way these guys burst into song with a totally unexpected genre and mutate it into something that’s laugh out loud funny.

Hip hop gets lampooned quite a lot, but this is so superior to most efforts. Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros:

And Inner City Pressure bears more than a passing resemblance to someone…

And the songs / sketches make perfect YouTube fodder. Their clips have millions and millions of views which can’t hurt in terms of creating buzz and awareness.

And their websites are funny too.

Copy like this is just good:

The Conchords will be playing there. Here for details. Performance times TBA (that stands for ‘to be arranged’ but it just saves time to write ‘TBA’).