MCC

Ask me anything   This description wouldn't tell you much anyway.

twitter.com/mcclowes:

    I got my first legendary! Seems reasonably good. I’m really enjoying the Curse of Naxxramas expansion content. I’ve completed the first wing on normal and the druid and rogue class challenges. I completed the first enemy of the first wing in heroic mode but I think it might take a while to beat all 3. It’s crazy - 45 health and ridiculously powerful hero abilities. Not fair Blizzard (not complaining, the challenge is fun).

    I got my first legendary! Seems reasonably good. I’m really enjoying the Curse of Naxxramas expansion content. I’ve completed the first wing on normal and the druid and rogue class challenges. I completed the first enemy of the first wing in heroic mode but I think it might take a while to beat all 3. It’s crazy - 45 health and ridiculously powerful hero abilities. Not fair Blizzard (not complaining, the challenge is fun).

    — 1 day ago
    #Hearthstone  #curse of naxxramas  #legendary  #winning 
    My new favourite beer

    My new favourite beer

    — 4 days ago
    Life stuff

    It’s been quite a while since I did this. I passed year 1 of my degree course with 71% in Computer Science (ignoring my elective module mark, which would bring my grade down to 68% overall), which makes two years of firsts (I got 74% in the foundation year). I’m now back in London and working and just mentally and physically getting ready for would looks set to be a very intensive second year.

    I got a job at Reiss without applying for a single job. My old manager from AllSaints saw an instagram post I made at a beer festival and offered me a job and 3 days later I started work. Massively convenient, though it feels like I cheated in some (pointless) way.

    I am climbing a lot at the moment as I invested (yes, invested is the right word as I’m trying to physically better myself) in a monthly membership. I successfully installed rock rings in the house so I can work on pull ups and also strengthen my fingers. Gotta get those crimps in. I’m also trying to keep running up, though this unforgiving heat makes it difficult.

    Quizzing every monday goes without saying. Last week we won first place AND the name prize, which is unprecedented. Thats a box of chocolates and a bottle of prosecco. The team name was “We’ll Schürrle win first place, despite our Messi handwriting (or at least a Klose second)”. I know - bad.

    Playing DOTA 2 a lot. I held a DOTA 2 with some friends and I realised quite a how bad I am (technically not rubbish but severely lacking in the necessary knowledge and experience). I’m going to try and get better.

    I read The Wind Up Bird Chronicles, which was brilliant, and I bought some more books (Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore). I am currently reading the Plague by Camus. I’ll probably talk about these at some point.

    That’s pretty much everything…?

    I was rehearsing for a gig with my family (a proper family country band) but it fell through unfortunately. I mic’ed up my banjo. I may very well buy a mandolin (or a dulcimer; those things are beautiful, if lacking versatility). Relationships. I wanted to go to Lovebox but couldn’t get ticket. I fixed my bedroom door (this is a surprisingly significant victory, both personally and for mankind). I went to Henley, it was fun and hot. I went to Ronnie Scott’s, it was awesome. A French boy is staying with usl he is very nice.

    That is everything. Thought for the day: The news is particularly depressing at the moment.

    — 4 days ago
    I just reinstalled Two Dots and I instantly regret it. Two Dots is the Candy Crush-ified sequel to Dots, a simple, visually appealing puzzle game on iOS. By connecting two or more dots of a certain colour, those dots are destroyed, and more dots drop down replacing them. Dots was great fun but limited in longevity due to it’s simple concept, and this, combined with it’s ease, clearly resulted in poor monetisation of the franchise.
Enter Two Dots, taking the life system and level structures of Candy Crush and shoving them into what was previously a charming game. It is visually appealing if a little bland, and the connecting dots mechanic is intuitive and almost therapeutic. It’s based on a game I really liked and yet I really hate it, and I don’t know why I reinstalled it.
"When in doubt, just make squares". The main issue with the gameplay is it’s square mechanic; when a square is formed by connecting dots, all dots of that colour are instantly destroyed. This mechanic worked in the original game, essentially boiling down to "how many times can you fail to make a square". In the sequel, which is level based, the disproportionately effective power of making squares means that each level is either focused on the player constantly making squares or on them not being able to do so (by changing the shape of the board), and it is all too frequently the former once you get to about level 15. 
Generally, I would say that good game design creates a system of play where victory is definitely achievable, and the ability to win is in the hands of the player (with elements of luck thrown in to spice it up). In Two Dots, victory is in the hands of the randomised selection of dots you receive, and the player really only has the ability to fuck up by making the wrong move (which is all too easy as your finger often covers key screen real-estate). Victory could be impossible based on the first array of dots you get (any time you can’t make a square in the first 3 moves), and should this initial array be actually ok, if the subsequent dots that drop fail to provide you with a new square, you’ve failed. And you have to wait 20 minutes for a new life, or pay £0.69!
Also, the original featured power-ups that would have been perfect for this game but are for some reason absent. It seems to me like they missed a trick, because the only power up available is a bomb, which are pretty useless. You can actually form bombs by forming a 3x3 square with a dot inside, but the resulting bomb always seems to destroy dots that would have enabled me to create another square, as a result ruining my streak.
Despite all this it is very addictive and I will probably keep playing it for a few days. Perhaps this addiction lies in the fact that that success is so rooted in the selection of dots you receive, something that is totally out of your control, just like opening booster packs of playing cards (like I keep doing in Hearthstone, despite having failed to get a legendary card yet!).

    I just reinstalled Two Dots and I instantly regret it. Two Dots is the Candy Crush-ified sequel to Dots, a simple, visually appealing puzzle game on iOS. By connecting two or more dots of a certain colour, those dots are destroyed, and more dots drop down replacing them. Dots was great fun but limited in longevity due to it’s simple concept, and this, combined with it’s ease, clearly resulted in poor monetisation of the franchise.

    Enter Two Dots, taking the life system and level structures of Candy Crush and shoving them into what was previously a charming game. It is visually appealing if a little bland, and the connecting dots mechanic is intuitive and almost therapeutic. It’s based on a game I really liked and yet I really hate it, and I don’t know why I reinstalled it.

    "When in doubt, just make squares". The main issue with the gameplay is it’s square mechanic; when a square is formed by connecting dots, all dots of that colour are instantly destroyed. This mechanic worked in the original game, essentially boiling down to "how many times can you fail to make a square". In the sequel, which is level based, the disproportionately effective power of making squares means that each level is either focused on the player constantly making squares or on them not being able to do so (by changing the shape of the board), and it is all too frequently the former once you get to about level 15. 

    Generally, I would say that good game design creates a system of play where victory is definitely achievable, and the ability to win is in the hands of the player (with elements of luck thrown in to spice it up). In Two Dots, victory is in the hands of the randomised selection of dots you receive, and the player really only has the ability to fuck up by making the wrong move (which is all too easy as your finger often covers key screen real-estate). Victory could be impossible based on the first array of dots you get (any time you can’t make a square in the first 3 moves), and should this initial array be actually ok, if the subsequent dots that drop fail to provide you with a new square, you’ve failed. And you have to wait 20 minutes for a new life, or pay £0.69!

    Also, the original featured power-ups that would have been perfect for this game but are for some reason absent. It seems to me like they missed a trick, because the only power up available is a bomb, which are pretty useless. You can actually form bombs by forming a 3x3 square with a dot inside, but the resulting bomb always seems to destroy dots that would have enabled me to create another square, as a result ruining my streak.

    Despite all this it is very addictive and I will probably keep playing it for a few days. Perhaps this addiction lies in the fact that that success is so rooted in the selection of dots you receive, something that is totally out of your control, just like opening booster packs of playing cards (like I keep doing in Hearthstone, despite having failed to get a legendary card yet!).

    — 4 days ago
    #dots  #twodots  #game  #game design  #game review  #ios  #iphone  #squares  #bad 

    typographybooks:

    The Essentials of Lettering: A Manual for Students and Designers by Thomas Ewing French.

    This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

    See more details here: http://amzn.to/1ilsz2z

    Oh typography, I love you

    (via goodtypography)

    — 4 days ago with 8118 notes
    "

    I told Miyazaki I love the “gratuitous motion” in his films; instead of every movement being dictated by the story, sometimes people will just sit for a moment, or they will sigh, or look in a running stream, or do something extra, not to advance the story but only to give the sense of time and place and who they are.

    "We have a word for that in Japanese," he said. "It’s called ma. Emptiness. It’s there intentionally.”

    Is that like the “pillow words” that separate phrases in Japanese poetry?

    "I don’t think it’s like the pillow word." He clapped his hands three or four times. "The time in between my clapping is ma. If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it’s just busyness. But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb.

    "
    Rogert Ebert, on Hayao Miyazaki (via thymoss)

    (Source: improv-is-easy, via rexuality)

    — 2 weeks ago with 56706 notes
    This is such a great beer. Really flavoursome (I wish I could describe food and drink). I had not heard of an A.P.A before!

    This is such a great beer. Really flavoursome (I wish I could describe food and drink). I had not heard of an A.P.A before!

    — 3 weeks ago

    Arabic logos of popular video games

    — 1 month ago
    AHS and OITNB

    I’m now on the third season of American Horror Story and I’m halfway through season 2 of Orange is the New Black, and liking them both a lot.

    AHS is particularly good; I’m generally not a massive fan of horror, but it takes all of the typical horror tropes - haunted houses, mental asylums, witches, etc - and manages to seamlessly combine all of these very different typical horror elements into something that feels completely new and original. The acting is brilliant, and consistently so because the cast comes back each season as new characters. This could have just been a gimmick, but seeing the individuals you know suddenly take on a different role is very unsettling and only adds to the strong atmosphere the show creates.

    OITNB is definitely not as exciting as AHS, with more mundane content and slow pacing, but is still very enjoyable (and watching an episode takes a lot less out of you!). The characters are interesting and they way in which their stories are slowly told as the show progresses is very compelling, as you build up an image of the character in your mind only for it to be rocked when you see their backstory. The show is not quite funny, but has a cartoonish feel and a humorous undertone, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

    Can’t wait to finish both seasons!

    — 1 month ago

    By my house there is a power transformer with a fenced off exterior covered in sheet metal. I’ve walked past this dull grey sight every day since I moved here, and I was fed up of seeing it. So I decided to do some graffiti. It was fun.

    — 1 month ago
    #graffiti  #moth  #tag  #omgsucharebel 
    Sick typography

    Sick typography

    (Source: grog-eu)

    — 1 month ago with 431 notes
    Warning: This is a bit a rambling train of thought.
I just finished reading Aldous Huxley’s Island. It was absolutely not what I expected, and I really enjoyed it. Island is a detailed account of the way the fictional and utopian island of Pala operates. The society of Pala wonderfully blends eastern and western ideas and philosophies (something that always appeals to me) into a near perfect existence, and despite it being a work of fiction a good deal of the solutions to life it offers (or indeed, proposes?) seem, at least upon reading, sound.
I read Brave New World last summer and enjoyed it a lot, and Island’s re-exploration of and further development upon similar themes was very interesting. But whilst Brave New World was such an extreme and alien dystopian future, Island is very relatable. It’s made me think hard about a number of things, but mainly upon happiness.
Why is it taken for granted that productivity is the primary goal in modern economies? Why can’t happiness be the ultimate aim, of both individuals and the organisations we make up? Happiness is such a main theme in western media and I’ve personally always been generally advised to seek happiness out, and yet this motivation fails to transfer into larger organisations.
I think part of the problem lies in the idea of a separation of work and home life. Work is where you come to earn money with which you fuel the life you really want to lead, at home. Separation is definitely necessary to some extent - switching off is essential - but fundamentally impossible; when a person spends around half of their awoken life either working or travelling to work, and most of the remaining time mentally and physically recovering, distinctions become blurred. On top of this, work is often a form of recreation - if a slightly tedious one; without it most are bored.
Another element of happiness the book touches on is that happiness is never taught. Being told that one should try and be happy is one thing, but achieving that is another, and very difficult to do. But surely, if happiness is so important, there must be ways of teaching others in how to achieve happiness? Counselling seems to be the closest thing we have, which is ultimately a pretty shallow cure to unhappiness than anything else. In Pala, tools including meditation and recreational drugs are deployed to achieve happiness.
After writing this and thinking about the subject, I’d say that my view is that happiness (of both the self and of dependants) should be the ultimate goal of the individual. This happiness includes survival. This stems from a belief that our existence is justified by our experiences and happiness is essentially a summation of positive experiences. Living in a modern time where it is (at least in many states) possible for the base survival of all to be guaranteed by the state and therefore death through lack of food/water is not an issue - a post-survivalist state - it should be possible for happiness to be everyone’s aim, not just getting by. 

    Warning: This is a bit a rambling train of thought.

    I just finished reading Aldous Huxley’s Island. It was absolutely not what I expected, and I really enjoyed it. Island is a detailed account of the way the fictional and utopian island of Pala operates. The society of Pala wonderfully blends eastern and western ideas and philosophies (something that always appeals to me) into a near perfect existence, and despite it being a work of fiction a good deal of the solutions to life it offers (or indeed, proposes?) seem, at least upon reading, sound.

    I read Brave New World last summer and enjoyed it a lot, and Island’s re-exploration of and further development upon similar themes was very interesting. But whilst Brave New World was such an extreme and alien dystopian future, Island is very relatable. It’s made me think hard about a number of things, but mainly upon happiness.

    Why is it taken for granted that productivity is the primary goal in modern economies? Why can’t happiness be the ultimate aim, of both individuals and the organisations we make up? Happiness is such a main theme in western media and I’ve personally always been generally advised to seek happiness out, and yet this motivation fails to transfer into larger organisations.

    I think part of the problem lies in the idea of a separation of work and home life. Work is where you come to earn money with which you fuel the life you really want to lead, at home. Separation is definitely necessary to some extent - switching off is essential - but fundamentally impossible; when a person spends around half of their awoken life either working or travelling to work, and most of the remaining time mentally and physically recovering, distinctions become blurred. On top of this, work is often a form of recreation - if a slightly tedious one; without it most are bored.

    Another element of happiness the book touches on is that happiness is never taught. Being told that one should try and be happy is one thing, but achieving that is another, and very difficult to do. But surely, if happiness is so important, there must be ways of teaching others in how to achieve happiness? Counselling seems to be the closest thing we have, which is ultimately a pretty shallow cure to unhappiness than anything else. In Pala, tools including meditation and recreational drugs are deployed to achieve happiness.

    After writing this and thinking about the subject, I’d say that my view is that happiness (of both the self and of dependants) should be the ultimate goal of the individual. This happiness includes survival. This stems from a belief that our existence is justified by our experiences and happiness is essentially a summation of positive experiences. Living in a modern time where it is (at least in many states) possible for the base survival of all to be guaranteed by the state and therefore death through lack of food/water is not an issue - a post-survivalist state - it should be possible for happiness to be everyone’s aim, not just getting by. 

    — 1 month ago