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Archives for Lean / Agile

random links: december 6, 2009

How to lose an argument online. I’d been thinking for a while that ‘hardcore’ was only useful as a term in a polemic I had no interest in making. Three false constraints on game design challenges. I’m reluctantly coming to the conclusion that I won’t be able to avoid playing Dragon Age. (But I’ll hold […]

random links: november 24, 2009

Gerald Weinberg is, sadly, in poor health. Never tried doing Rock Band vocals this way… (Takes 15 seconds or so to actually start.) (Via @dan_schmidt.) R.I.P., Brother Blue. (Via @scottros.) The difference between motion and action. (Via @harlan_knight.) An unforeseen design problem. (Via @shawnr.) Nice perspective on slow programming languages. Glad to see non-Miyazaki Ghibli […]


So far, the talk I attended at Agile 2009 that has had the most impact on me was Renzo Borgatti’s talk on the pomodoro technique: I’d heard a bit about the technique before, enough to know that it tells you to break your work up into 25 minute chunks and to try to really focus […]

random links: november 8, 2009

Michael Feathers on testable Java. Good advice, that is of course relevant far beyond Java. Quite the Venn diagram. (Via @kateri_t.) James Paul Gee on games and teaching. (Via @HackerChick.) Lots to think about here; I hope the VGHVI folks can help me figure it out. A remarkable meandering about games, genres, Japan, and countless […]

this is why you write the failing test first

I finished adding multiuser support to my memory project this weekend. I’d added the ability for users to log in and out while I was on vacation this summer, but I hadn’t actually linked up the users with their lists of items to memorize. The relevant models are a User model and an Item model. […]

random links: september 6, 2009

I mentioned Roger’s Operation KTHMA last time, but it’s actually started now and sounds awesome enough that I’ll mention it again: day 1, day 2, day 3. Our whole household was playing Bunni Game: How We First Met last week. (You should be able to see my world at this link.) Victorian Homes of the […]

change of scene

One of the GDC sessions I attended this year was a charming panel discussion including, among other people, Steve Meretzky of Infocom fame. Which got me curious what he was up to these days—I don’t generally expect people from that era to still be active in the game industry—and was pleasantly surprised to find out […]

random links: august 30, 2009

Tanuki testicle art. One day in kanban land. Pixie Driven Development. A plain-text version of the Declaration of Independence. (Via Kelley Eskridge.) Rock Band as a music theory teacher. Maira Kalman on Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. (Via @bos31337 and The Edge of the American West.) The red handprints are a particularly nice touch. Another […]

galison, strands of practice, and trading zones

The last chapter of Galison’s Image & Logic is about the relationship between (breaks in) different strands of practice within physics. If you treat the notion of paradigms sufficiently seriously, you’re led to think that theoretical breaks and experimental breaks come hand in hand: the two sides of a paradigm shift are incommensurable, so the […]

a taxonomy of boundary objects

The original paper on boundary objects gives a partial taxonomy of boundary objects; given my earlier thought experiment, I thought I’d see if I could find programming analogues to any parts of their classification. Star and Griesemer’s first type of boundary objects are Repositories: These are ordered ‘piles’ of objects which are indexed in a […]

random links: june 21, 2009

Some evidence for anybody curious how well being good at Rock Band drums transfers to real drums. The neuroscience of illusion; I’ll embed one of the videos so you can see the kind of thing they’re discussing. (Via Kelley Eskridge.) A pleasant network logic puzzle game. (Via User Friendly, which makes it essentially impossible to […]

change of focus

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been finding enough unusual projects imposing on my time that I think I’m going to have to shuffle my priorities, albeit temporarily. I’ve been wanting to do more programming at home than normal recently: aside from improving the memory project, I want to spend a bit of time getting […]

random links: may 26, 2009

Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce: the power of choices, of market segmentation. Two on folded paper: pictures by Simon Schubert (via @KathySierra) and a TED talk by Robert Lang on the origami that modern math and computers allow us to produce. An abandoned island city. (Via @japanesepod101.) Or, if you want a whole blog about […]

routinization, inscription, and facts

I can’t say I’ve internalized (routinized? inscribed?) Latour’s Laboratory Life yet, but in the mean time I present you with three quotes on routinization, inscription, and facts: To counter these catastrophic possibilities, efforts are made to routinise component actions either through technicians’ training or by automation. Once a string of operations has been routinised, one […]

idea factory workshop at agile 2009

I was pleased to learn last week that the workshop that Brian Marick and I proposed for Agile 2009 has been accepted. It’s titled “Idea Factory”; since that link goes to a page behind a login barrier, I’ll just reproduce the description here. Summary Ever heard a programmer say “I think the code’s trying to […]

inbox zero and technical debt

About 10 minutes into a talk he gave at the Philadelphia library, David Allen says: A lot of it was based upon my experience getting a black belt in karate. … One of the things you need to learn is the strategic value of clear space. Trust me, when four people jump you in a […]

random links: april 12, 2009

I’ve been meaning for ages to write about Jim Womack’s article on Respect for People, but I don’t seem to be getting around to it, so I’ll mention it here. A TED talk on underwater astonishments; if the beginning doesn’t capture your fancy or you’re short on time, go to the 4:20 mark. Everything you’d […]

gdc 2009: friday bioware talk

At 4:00pm on the friday of GDC, I attended The Iterative Level Design Process of Bioware’s Mass Effect 2. I went because I loved Mass Effect and because I’m always happy to see the word “iterative” used, but the talk turned out to be an excellent final experience from the conference for a completely unexpected […]

gdc 2009: friday

My notes from the talks that I went to on Friday at GDC: 9:00am: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: Design Lessons Learned from Rock Band. Which began with the question: what do you do about the fact that everybody wants to have input into the design of your game? If a designer has tight control, […]

gdc 2009: wednesday

Notes from today: 9:00am: Iwata’s Keynote. The part I enjoyed the most was his discussion of Miyamoto’s development style. I wish I’d taken better notes on one slide in particular; a few things he talked about: No design documents. Instead, they depend on personal communication among small teams. They use very focused prototypes. These are […]