Game Balancing

Game designers usually prove their worth by balancing a game design. Many game designers can create very good and strong mechanics, yet are unable to balance their game design. There is a tendency for them to fall in love with the mechanic and not execute it in the best scenarios. The additional power-ups to the mechanic usually are too weak or too strong for a level. Or, the mechanic becomes convoluted when ancillary mechanics, features, or an incomprehensible story overshadow a good mechanic. Game designers should constantly be thinking about balance, flow, and progression when designer their games. These elements are more important when a game is both a single player and multiplayer experience. PvP should always feel balanced unless their is justification why a face-off isn’t balance such as experience points or other point systems that create an unbalance. If a beginner in a MMORPG faces another player with epic armor, then the beginner will have no chance to win in a battle. However, there are other ways to make that confrontation non-beneficial for the more experienced and stronger player. We can penalize them for agitating the fight with the beginning player. The game designer must think of ways to curb the tendency for an experienced player from killing very weak players. For aspiring game designers, you should always think of balancing your game (levels, PvP interaction, inventory items, etc.).

Core Skill of Innovation

Review: The Legend of Coraline in Wonderland

Coraline was an excellent stop animation feature film. I truly enjoyed the pacing, story, and style. All the elements sewed together in a seamless escape in Coraline’s world at the Pink Palace. My biggest issue was the walk cycles that the animators’ used to thumb in your face that it was stop motion animation. They would purposely animate choppy scenes to reinforce this is not a CG film. The fluidity of some scenes versus others was the only distracting scene in the movie.

Coraline is an intelligent and lonely tween, who only desires the attention of her family. Her mother and father are bad parents. They are completely self-absorbed and unloving. Coraline happens to find the rabbit hole that whisks her to another more loving world. As the Wonderland story unfolds, Coraline finds out that this world isn’t as wonderful and loving. The story continues to become more grim as Coraline is faced with question of eternal happiness or life with her parents. All she has to do is give up something she cherishes. ***Spoiler Free***

Coraline departs from the Alice and Wonderland elements and leaps into the Legend of Zelda. Coraline armed with a magical weapon must revisit and raid three dungeons to recover a jewel in each that unlocks the final boss. Coraline must defeat the final boss’ various forms before being free from the quest. She must enlist the help of Wyborn, her uber-intelligent, talkative, and nosy neighbor, to defeat the boss once and for all. But, are any final bosses truly dead? I guess we will see during the sequel.

Kid Cudi – Day N Nite

Kid Cudi’s story is proof that there’s just no denying a good song. “Day N Nite” was written years ago, but the instantly likable stoners anthem with it’s hypnotizing melody and lyrics of escapism caught the ears of the likes of DJ A-trak and Kanye West and landed him a spot on the GOOD Records roster. In no time Cudi went from an employee at the Bape store to an artist on the cusp of super stardom. Fast forward almost three years later, after several remixes and constant radio rotation, the “Day N Nite” track finally gets the visual treatment it deserves by Ed Banger representative and video director So_Me. The half animated video continues with the surreal hazy drugged out feel of the track.

What is Good Design

(I’m just putting this here for future reference.) Dieter Rams was a pioneer of modern design at Braun.

01. Good design is innovative.
It does not copy existing product forms, nor does it produce any kind of novelty just for the sake of it. The essence of innovation must be clearly seen in all of a product’s functions. Current technological development keeps offering new chances for innovative solutions.

02. Good design makes a product useful.
The product is bought or used in order to be used. It must serve a defined purpose — in both primary and additional functions. The most important task of design is to optimize the utility of a product’s usability.

03. Good design is aesthetic.
The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

04. Good design helps us to understand a product.
It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.

05. Good design is unobtrusive.
Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

06. Good design is honest.
It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it normally is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

07. Good design has longevity.
It does not follow trends that become outdated after a short time. Well designed products differ significantly from short-lived trivial products in today’s throwaway society.

08. Good design is consequent to the last detail.
Nothing must be arbitrary. Thoroughness and accuracy in the design process shows respect toward the user.

09. Good design is concerned with the environment.
Design must make contributions toward a stable environment and sensible raw material situation. This does not only include actual pollution, but also visual pollution and destruction of our environment.

10. Good design is as little design as possible.
Less is better — because it concentrates on the essential aspects and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity!

Synthesized Beauty

“Now if you wanna synthesize, I empathize. If you wanna synthesize, I empathize” — Andre 3000, Synthesizer.

Our current reality is a perverse equivalent to Alice and Wonderland. We live in a world where our evils, flaws, and insecurities can be shielded or showcased by our personal appearances or actions. For example, people mutilate themselves for beauty’s sake, mask the self-hate of their physical form and their own physical insecurities. Our crooked media praises the morbid physical alterations that keep one looking youthful and beautiful. Furthermore, many popular professions such as photographers, graphic artists, retouch artists, make-up artists, etc. receive a king’s ransom for upholding the charade and contributing to the false sense of beauty that is perverting the minds of the young. We as general media consumers fall for the sham by worshipping the ill-gotten gains that go with immortalizing youth. We also join the media lynch mobs that place our most prized celebrities in towers of power to later burn them down. We plaster images of Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, and any other hapless celebrity in a bikini with cellulite thighs on tabloids to disgrace them for being human. We as consumers have turned celebrity into demigod ism. We need to understand that our celebrities are humans. They aren’t mutants that become immortal when the magic of a digital camera captures their image or a digital audio tape records their voice. They age, they change, they make mistakes, they are successful, and they live life. 
We idolize the false demigod ism we place on them in hopes of attaining it ourselves. This is the true sickness of our hideous nature. We worship the lies that our celebrities live. These celebrities in fear of falling out of the good graces of the multimedia monstrous public opinion. They even join in the church of the damned evangelism that beauty is equivalent to true power and righteousness. That is why we have young ladies willing to pay for a J-Lo booty or Kim Kardasian ass, Angelina Jolie lips, Christina Milian’s abs, or Halle Berry nose. We have boys getting calf implants, penis implants, liposuction. We mutilate ourselves to mimic individuals that didn’t even want to be revered as gods, but as their professions describe them- actors, actresses, singers, dancers, entertainers, and humans.
Luckily, we have some great super villains that want to expose the fallacy of super celebrity perfection. Please look at the images below.

Boss Lessons

As a child, my father chiseled and sculpted my brother and I with strong family values, a unique sense of self, and a strong work ethic. He raised us to be “the working man’s nobility.” The Babb family are regal simply complex people- nobles in their own right. We walk with the demeanor of knowledgeable, determined, inspired, earnest, honest, and diligent artisans. We aren’t people in love with our work, we love the ability to work. Waking up and knowing that there is a place that we can work drives us to be better people. We are a family that believe people should die working because we will be measured and remembered by our work. That measurement of work is seen in our children and the impressions that we leave on people. We recognize that pleasure is best after a good deal of work is completed and obstacles are overcame with our nimble dexterity. Even without an employer, the Babbs still find work to occupy their time. Work provides a sense of self-worth. My father taught me that it isn’t the salary or financial wealth that defines your self-worth, but it is the impact of your work that defines your self-worth. 

My father began teaching me his philosophy of work before I could even formulate an intelligent sentence. He reinforced his lessons during the small activities sucha as tieing a shoe. You don’t want to just tie your shoe; you want to tie your shoe in a way that it doesn’t fall untied and you need to learn how to do it yourself. He taught us to take pride in our work because “work” is an extension of our identity. As young African-American men, there is a stereotype that we are not honest, earnest, and hardworking individuals. The stereotype suggests that we cut corners, dishonestly hustle, and nickel and dime our way into success. As a result, my father taught my brother and I to be twice as good in order to combat the negative stereotype that has been created for African-American men since the time our ancestors were brought over on slave ships. 
My father’s lessons and dreams have shaped my brother and I into overachievers in order to get any credit from our superiors. I remember even coloring, my father noticed how I went out of the lines just a little bit, he reiterated to me the rest of the coloring job was good, but people will only notice the part I colored out of the lines. He continued to tell me there is nothing wrong with making mistakes, but mistakes are the only thing that people remember in times of despair. So, your successes during these times are of dire importance. He taught us to be fearless and push through the boundaries and remain successful in our endeavors. Failure was never an option growing up, and people defeat failure by working through it. My father’s hammer and chisel chipped my brother and my close friends into champions. My father is a champion. Champions work and overcome adversity. With this long-winded introduction, I dedicate this blog to my first and most important physical boss- my father.
In my short lifetime, I’ve had many bosses. I’ve been fortunate enough to have good men and women as bosses. From my first official job at Micro-City Government (14 years young) to my most recent job at Gorilla Systems Corporation, my bosses have been wonderful people and even better mentors. I’ve learned more from them than they cared to teach. I’ve learned from their mannerisms that exhibit leadership to the ways they make hard decisions. I’ve noticed how they handle their frustrations and how they managed their successes. I’ve watched as their visions dimmed, and how they cast light toward an even brighter and better vision. In the absence of my father, my bosses taught me life lessons that inspire and fuel me in my real job, which is a life of success. 
In the course of my 31 years on planet Earth, my father tasked me with my main occupation which is work toward a successful living. Success is more than a way of life. It is work. You must work at success in order to be successful. As I have the privilege to eat from the tree of success, I would like to pour the libations of my sweat across its’ roots in dedication to my bosses and their bosses that made them the individuals they are today. If it weren’t for great bosses in my past, I would not be the person that I am today. 
I’ve worked in numerous positions in many different and diverse industries. I’ve worked each position like it was the last thing that I would do in life. I’ve been fortunate to have bosses to notice my passion for work and direct me through the mine fields that destroy ambitious people and point me toward success. For their leadership, I only offer my loyalty. As I write this, I debate if I should embellish the readers of my blog with some of my bosses’ lessons…. 
I’ve decided to keep them locked away in my mind and my heart. If I ever become someone’s boss, then they will get the key to the lockboxes that hold the ideas, philosophies, and actions of the people that held my hand on the stairway to success. My dear readers, I do apologize because my intention was to tell you some of the lessons from these great people, but I would rather you stroll down your own memory lane and revisit some of the lessons your bosses, good and bad, taught you on how to work toward success.
Cheers and thank you for understanding. 
Matter of fact, I’m about to take stroll down memory lane and this time I’m bringing my heart’s camera just to capture something that I may have missed on my journey.