Game Design and Life

Interesting piece in Wired that pushes two of my buttons:

  1. Games and scoring in everyday life
  2. Making email better and more strategic / thoughtful

There’s some similarities with this talk I did at Playful last year about scores.

I’m mega-pumped at the moment about injecting game rewards and strategy into everything. So I was excited when I spotted this piece about What GTA Can Teach Us About Connecting with Consumers yesterday. It’s almost 80 charts and it’s less about scoring and more about environment and interaction, but there’s some great stuff in there. I especially love the notion of ‘Embracing the Glitch’…

And Tim gets bonus points for mentioning Imogen Heap’s skill at opening up the process.

Thanks to PSFK for the link to the Wired article.

My Talk From Playful in October

Here’s the talk I did at Playful on 31.10.08. It’s basically about the changing nature of scores in games and how scores are starting to infect everything.

Iain Tait – High Scores Talk at Playful London 31.10.08 from Iain Tait on Vimeo.

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get it up online, but I had to get the video off the guys, and then it turned out to have been shot from a strange angle where you’ve got no idea what’s going on. So I did a bit of jiggery-pokery and combined the video with the Keynote presentation and synched it up as best I could. And the audio is a bit muffled, but hopefully you can make out what’s going on…

Retro Gaming, Ant Attack and Hey Hey 16k

We’ve been having a big old nostalgia jam on the Poke mailing list, people nerding out about their first computer games / online experiences. It’s getting deep-geek.


So I was looking for stuff about Ant Attack (one of the most influential games ever?)

Picture 2

It featured.

  • 3D isometric views
  • Equal opportunities (play as boy or girl)
  • Smart(?) ants

Anyway I found this tribute page by Sandy White, the guy who wrote the game in the first place. It includes an online emulator for the game so you can play it in all it’s 8bit glory. He says:

Well, I know I’m probably a bit of a sad git, putting together a page about a game I wrote myself! But I don’t care! Who better to do it? Plus, I thought I’d better get on with it before some other sad git did it… come to think of it… I wouldn’t at all mind if they did…

Sandy, you could never be a sad git to me!

On Sandy’s page I also found this fantastic 16k tribute from the B3ta guys:

So many memories…

Vintage Pole Position Advert – Playful Conference

I’m sure this has been featured a few places, but it is pretty awesome. I came across it whilst trawling around for various game-related things. Reason is…


I’m really looking forward to it. Not because I’m speaking, but because there’s a whole load of great speakers lined up. Plus I’m quite excited about the Electroplankton Orchestra playing together again

Get tickets here, it’s only £25 and it looks well good.

Examples of Amazing Augmented Reality

I’ve been doing a bit of digging around the whole Augmented Reality thing recently and thought I ought to share a few of my favourite things…

Carcade – cool!

Micro Machines on AR acid

Absolutely and totally mind-blowing game taking place on table top…

This demo gets stunning towards the end:

A not-game use for AR:

And even Radio 1 have been getting in on the act…

Further Reading:

Fun fun fun.

Ramsay Gets Gamed

Hell's Kitchen

Jeez, is there nothing that can’t be turned into a video game these days – now Gordon Ramsay gets the video game makeover.

Chef Ramsay watches players’ every move and judges them as they progress by yelling at them, praising them or shutting down the kitchen if their skills don’t meet his expectations.

As players progress, they’ll gain access to authentic Gordon Ramsay recipes, including many that are offered exclusively to game owners.

You can read more here if you like.

Personally I’m holding out for Wife Swap on the Wii.

Forget the Congestion Charge

Mauro, one of our lovely young creatives was talking to me about beating up a car in Street Fighter 2. And I was sort of like: “what?”. And he was like: “when you see it you’ll totally remember”. And he sent it to me. And I was like: “totally!”.

It’s amazing how that bit had temporarily slipped my mind until I saw it again. Kung-fu-ing cars – it doesn’t get much better than that.