Projects From 2017

Hey all. It’s been over a year since I’ve written anything here. I haven’t much felt like writing about things since I’m not yet established in a somewhat stable job, but I’ve been working nearly every day of the year on one project or another. I wanted to spend some time today writing a tiny bit about each of the projects I’ve worked on this year. This is helping me organize my thoughts about what I’ve done, but also allowing you some little insight into my world.

This will by no means be a comprehensive list. I’m sure that I’ll forget something or another along the way. I work on a lot of projects, and some are just one-offs that I forget about. That said, I keep copious notes about projects, so I’ll be going through that.
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Some Potential Design Project Ideas

I just thought I would make a quick post and describe some design ideas I am considering working on, particularly for MFA projects that may come up. These are not all of my ideas, but I tend to have new ideas and remember other ideas quite randomly. This is just a list and short description of each. They are in no particular order (except the order given by headings). If you are interested in one project or another, or would like to see a different project, just leave a comment!

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Designing with PGDI: Set 3 Conceptualization

I’m back again for the third set conceptualization that I laid out in a previous post. To recap, this series of three posts is my taking three sets of PGDI components and coming up with general designs that emphasize those components. I’m writing these posts to be transparent in my design process, since this is essentially a test of how useful PGDI is for driving design. This post will largely be unstructured freewriting, with me just wrestling with the components at hand.

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Designing with PGDI: Set 2 Conceptualization

A bit ago, I proposed three different sets of randomly-generated components for designing a game with PGDI. In the last post, I worked out a concept for the first set of components, a game about a minor god trying to gain a following among both the people and the larger pantheon, in order to ascend into greater divinity. In this post, I’m going to work through the second set of components, in order to find a concept for that game. The eventual aim is to select one of these concepts to be made over the next eight weeks, as part of my first quarter in my MFA program.

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Designing with PGDI: Set 1 Conceptualization

In the last post, I randomly generated some PGDI components to use in driving the design of a game from blank slate to playable game. To do that, I polled a social media network for numbers and assigned them to the components. I got three sets from people, and so I’m going to examine each set of components individually. The aim with these Set conceptualizations is to come up with a good idea for something to explore. This will be pretty freeform. A lot of this is freewriting, rather than structured writing. By Tuesday, I’m going to be selecting one of these design ideas for going forward.

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Designing with PGDI: Selecting Components

This quarter, I am expected to present something at Open Studios, an event that showcases Digital Arts & New Media student work (plus a few diligent people), in various stages of completion, in a gallery-like setting. I went through a number of possible projects before I finally settled on Designing with PGDI. Designing with PGDI is a project that follows game creation from blank slate to a working game, using the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI) as a tool for design. PGDI is a model I developed, over the past three years, for describing digital games (and apparently doors) and their players. Follow the link if you want to know more. The first part of the process is selecting some components to focus on for the game I’m going to design.

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Heaving a Huge Sigh of Relief

Goodness it’s been a while. These last few weeks have been nothing but rush to get significant work done on three projects that plagued be throughout the semester. But they are done for now and I can relax for a little bit. What I’m going to do today is recap the last four months or so, and explain what I am going to be doing this Summer. I’m going to do this in the following way:

  1. A list of the games I played or watched plays of (via roommate or YouTube)
  2. An update on the game project for the semester (The Doors Are Frozen Shut)
  3. An update on the narrative project
  4. An update on the player types project
  5. My plan for the next 3.5 months

I have made links so that you can skip past things like the lest of games. If the more link is showing below, then you’ll need to hit it to use the links. So without further ado.

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Player Taxonomies: Reviewing Richard Bartle

Today I sifted through two sources of Richard Bartle to get a handle on his player types model.  For those who do not know, Bartle was one of the designers on MUD, the first of its kind. MUD (a Multi-User-Dungeon) is what MMORPGs are based upon. Games like Everquest and World of Warcraft owe a lot to the world of MUDs, and to Richard Bartle in particular.  In 1996, Bartle wrote “Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit Muds“, an article which looked at players of MUD2 and tried to understand what people thought was fun in a MUD.  Many years later, Bartle revised his model in Designing Virtual Worlds.  The model was much the same, but expanded.  Here, I have my notes on what Bartle described in these two sources.

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Database: Kwelos

Kwelos (Artist's Rendering)


Alien Race Specification: Kwelos

Common Designation: Three Arm Body Alien

Alien Classification: Class 3 Alien (Capable of limited communication, but not direct communication)

Average Height: 2.3 Meters (7 feet 6 inches)

Average Weight:  90 KG (198 lbs)*

Number of Limbs: 3**

Body Structure:

  • One head with three limbs (arms), two lidded eyes and one sound receptacle (ear hole).
  • One torso with feeding hole and waste-delivery hole.
  • Two detachable pivot-point feet.

Special Characteristics:

  • Head hovers above the body via a complicated electron field.
  • Head may be forced down into body, which creates a rapid synaptic transfer between the body and the head. This transfer is highly pleasurable to the Kwelos, and is considered a sexual function.
  • Sleeps upright by removing feet.  Feet remain alive while detached from the body for about a day.
  • Feet are similar to animal horns, but can be attached to the body in a process similar to magnetism.\
  • Each hand ends in five fingers, laid out in  star pattern. Each finger is opposable to each other finger, and each is made of three segments.
  • Kwelos communicate directly by electron transfer via the palms of their hands.
  • Kwelos also reproduce via electron transfer between one’s center hand and another’s abdomen.  No Kwelos can reproduce with their own body.
  • Offspring are birthed through the feeding hole, in a separate tract from the digestive system.
  • Kwelos intake air through pores in the skin.


  • Kwelos assign different societal functions to each hand.
    • The left hand is for communication. Kwelos communicate with each other electronically by slapping each other with the left hand.  They also write and perform social gestures with the left hand.
    • The right hand is for work. Kwelos operate machines and tools with the right hand.  They also make art with the right hand, and conduct acts of violence with it.
    • The center hand is for pleasure. Kwelos primarily use this hand to feed themselves, play with others or during sexual activity.
  • The center hand is most often stowed in the upper loupe of a harness that all Kwelos wear. Doing so protects the feeding hole from harm.
  • The lower loupe is for stowing a hand that is not in use.
  • It is considered obscene to use a hand for something other than the societal purpose, even though they know that everyone does it.

* As the Kwelos have floating heads, it is very difficult to garner an accurate weight for them. Weight is not much of a concern to the Kwelos, socially.

** Only the arms are counted, as their feet do not have any function other than locomotion and cannot be considered limbs.