DOOM: Behind the Music

GDC: In this 2017 session, Doom composer Mick Gordon provides a detailed look into the compositional process, production techniques and creative philosophies behind the hell-raising soundtrack to the 4th installment of the seminal first-person shooter franchise, Doom.

This is one of the best talks I’ve seen on the GDC YouTube channel! In addition to the new Doom game, Mick Gordon has composed music for the new Wolfenstein games and Prey. In his talk Gordon covers a lot of ground, including how he approached the brief, making satisfying bass come across on unsatisfactory equipment, hiding subliminal messages and courage vs. confidence.

See also

  • A history of DoomIf you had a PC — you had to have Doom.
  • The art of FirewatchA recreation of Jane Ng’s talk from Game Developers Conference 2015.
  • Black MIDIHave you ever been listening to a normal song and thought, “I really wish this normal song had 280 million notes and took up 1.1 terabytes of data and was literally unplayable on any computer?”

Also: Two recent Vox explainers on Shepard tones and gated reverb →

Zero Phone

ZeroPhone

Hackaday blog: There are several open source phones out there these days, but all of them have a downside. Hard to obtain parts, hard to solder, or difficult programming systems abound. [Arsenijs] is looking to change all that with ZeroPhone. ZeroPhone is based upon the popular Raspberry Pi Zero. The $5 price tag of the CPU module means that you can build this entire phone for around $50 USD.

Features:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero in a PCB sandwich
  • No proprietary connectors, hard-to-get parts or chips that are tricky to solder
  • All the specifications for making this phone yourself will be available
  • Python as the main language for developing apps (aiming to add other languages later)
  • UI toolkit making development quicker and easier
  • Numeric keypad, 1.3" 128×64 monochrome OLED screen (with screen header supporting other types of screens)
  • 2G modem for phone functions, can be replaced with a 3G modem
  • WiFi (using an ESP8266), HDMI and audio outputs, a free USB host port
  • GPIO expansion headers for customization
  • RGB LED and vibromotor – for notifications
  • Tons of Pi Zero-related hacks that were discovered along the way, that I'll share with you as the project goes =)

See also: Other posts tagged ‘Raspberry Pi’ & Phones for the people

Also, build a Raspberry Pi VPN Router w/ PIA →

Craft and creativity

ZeroPhone: a $50 Raspberry Pi smartphone

A Pi Zero-based open-source mobile phone that you can assemble for $50 in parts.

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Inkwell, by Hoefler & Co.

Inkwell, by Hoefler & Co.

A tiny universe of fonts that combines the informality of handwriting, the expressiveness of lettering, and the versatility of type.

This typeface family is gorgeous. I am itching to use it for some publication!

Typefaces, by design, are unyielding in their style: a good typeface commits to a single visual idea, and explores it with thoroughness and consistency to produce a dependable tool for designers. Contrast this with handwriting, which serves only to record the thoughts of an author, but has the freedom to move from style to style as the message dictates. A writer might scribble a paragraph in cursive handwriting, but punctuate key points with capitals, or backtrack to over-ink some crucial point with darker and more deliberate strokes. It’s a flexibility that makes handwritten communications compelling, and makes the medium of writing infinitely expressive. By comparison, typography can feel almost stifling.

More about Inkwell →

Craft and creativity

Inkwell: a typeface for expressive writing

A tiny universe of fonts that combines the informality of handwriting, the expressiveness of lettering, and the versatility of type.

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Subway map of ancient Roman roads

Roman Roads

Sasha Trubetskoy: It’s finally done. A subway-style diagram of the major Roman roads, based on the Empire of ca. 125 AD.
Creating this required far more research than I had expected—there is not a single consistent source that was particularly good for this. Huge shoutout to: Stanford’s ORBIS model, The Pelagios Project, and the Antonine Itinerary.

I’m not a big fan of the ‘fantasy subway map’ genre, but it’s the research and real data that make this one special. I think I’m going to order the PDF to print my own! (via kottke)

See also

  • Genetic map of the UK shows which invasions created Britain’s DNABritain has a long history of invasions: over the past two millennia, various armies from the Romans to the Anglo-Saxons conquered the bulk of the British Isles. A new genetic analysis of the country has revealed which invading force had the greatest impact on its DNA.
  • Mini Metros — Peter Dovak — a graphic designer and self-confessed ‘lifelong transit nerd’ — has shrunken and simplified 220 metro and light rail maps from around the world to produce this fun poster.
  • Anglo Saxon London, mapped — a map showing the London area in Anglo Saxon times (roughly speaking, 500-1066AD)
Craft and creativity

Subway-style map of Roman roads, c.125 AD

“As a geography and data nerd, I make maps in my free time, inspired by the world around me – whatever happens to be on my mind. Every now and then a map of mine becomes popular and gets publicity; those interested can see my work or get in touch through this website.” — Sasha Trubetskoy

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Braille Bricks
Craft and creativity

Braille Bricks: Lego letters for literacy and inclusion of blind children

Braille Bricks: A toy building brick can be whatever you imagine it to be, or even something you’ve never imagined. Braille Bricks is an experiment that transforms these bricks into a tool capable of encouraging creativity, helping blind children learn to read and write. It also encourages the inclusion of children with or without visual impairment.

Braille Bricks

See also: Lego sets are getting grayerThe transition from the old grays to the current bluish grays (or “bley”) is a hot-button topic for many Lego fans.

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The Beeping, Gargling History of Gaming’s Most Iconic Sounds

Wired: Four video game sound designers explain the thinking behind some of the world’s most recognizable video game sounds. Featuring sounds from the Legend of Zelda, Half-Life, The Sims, Minecraft, Dota 2 and more!

See also

Portraits of Imaginary People

A work in progress by Mike Tyka:

For a while now I’ve been experimenting with ways to use generative neural nets to make portraits.

Adding a third stage allows upressing up to 4k. However I dont have any actual training data at that resolution, meaning the network only learns to generally predict smooth edges etc, It can’t know the details of what skin pores or eyelashes look like. A super-highres database of faces would be needed here. Still for purposes of printing it’s nicer to create some interesting looking artifacts at this resolution, rather than bilinear interpolation of just pixelation.

Anyways, the goal is to make these into printable physical-world art pieces but I found in practice the resolution and detail has to be pretty high or it just doesn’t look nice printed. Like I said, it’s all work in flux and progress, more soon.

(via waxy)

See also

Craft and creativity

Portraits of imaginary people

Mike Tyka studied biochemistry and biotechnology at the University of Bristol and currently works at Google. He became involved in creating sculpture and art in 2009 and later co-founded ALTSpace, a shared art studio in Seattle where he started creating sculptures of protein folds.

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