Interior Detail of Steampunk Convertible Gazebo

Spent much of Tuesday wrestling with code to display messages like “Press E to Open” and connecting them to animations. I’ve done this sort of thing before, but there’s a difference between hacking something to make it work once, and developing a workflow that facilitates churning things out. Plus I keep getting distracted by little details such as texturing the individual wood beams… the placement of the beams on the…

A collage of screenshots from the Unity3D game design engine shows a character in a natural-looking pose, with her feet at different levels.

Detailed Articulation of Feet in Unity3D

I’m following a lot of tutorials, and continue to make progress in Unity3D. My character’s feet now react better with the environment. Here she is standing casually with each foot at different levels. With the right code attached to each foot, she will adjust her stance automatically, according to the height and angle of whatever surface is beneath her, including slopes, boulders, etc. The last image shows the person-sized capsule…

Steampunk Ex Machina

In the steampunk bedtime stories I used to tell my kids, the characters would embark on Earthbound adventures or welcome a visitor arriving via “the gondola.” Serving the same function as the transporter or shuttlecraft in Star Trek, it could conveniently break down when I needed the characters to be isolated, and it could miraculously start working again when I needed to wrap up the plot. Modeled in Blender3D.  

Greebles make me happy.

Before CGI, filming a science-fiction story typically involved constructing a physical model of a spaceship or planetscape. In order to trick the eye in to thinking you were looking at something huge, model-makers added tiny random bits of detail, often re-purposing off-the-shelf commercial model kits or using any kind of junk they could get their hands on. The Star Wars modelers nicknamed these non-functioning technological bits of eye candy “greebles.”…

Candy Land Was Invented for Polio Wards

It is a game absent strategy, requiring little thought. Consequently, many parents hate Candy Land as much as their young kids enjoy it. Yet, for all its simplicity and limitations, children still love Candy Land, and adults still buy it. What makes it so appealing? The answer may have something to do with the game’s history: It was invented by Eleanor Abbott, a schoolteacher, in a polio ward during the epidemic…