Finishing Grad School

It’s been a while since my last post. Things certainly have been busy. As of Sunday, I am a graduate from the PNCA Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies program. It’s been an intense two years, studying, making, reading – all the while managing my full-time teaching job at the Art Institute of Portland, ...

A Magic System Proposal

I’ve just finished reading the Kobold Guide to Magic, and it’s very good. I’ve been inspired to try my hand at developing a system of magic for tabletop games. A system of magic has different components, and for the purposes of this exploration I’m going to approach development from the standpoints of mechanics and aesthetics. ...

Beyond Erotic, Future Forward, October 2014

Beyond Erotic, Future Forward, October 2014
This summer I was contacted to participate in a group show, called “Beyond Erotic”. The show description read: By using elements of sexuality or the erotic, artists face challenges when communicating other ideas through this lens. Likewise, the viewer is presented with the challenge of reading through layers of eroticism and sexuality to encounter concepts ...

Southlands

Southlands
Several years ago I made a map of Siwal for Kobold Press. As of a couple weeks ago, their new book Southlands was very, very successfully kickstarted. This book expands upon the realm surrounding Siwal, encompassing savannas, jungles, deserts, and more. I’m excited to say that I’ve been asked to contribute at least three more maps ...

5035586666, Heavy/Light, Disjecta July

5035586666, Heavy/Light, Disjecta July
My MFA first year group show, Heavy/Light, took place at the Disjecta gallery here in Portland. It’s a beautiful space, a little off  the beaten path, but a great fit for us. My piece, 503558666, is a phone-based experience, mixing modern corporate culture, contemporary art criticism, and classic choose-your-own adventure games.   Creating it was ...

Review: Twisty Little Passages

Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction Nick Montfort 2003, MIT Press I grew up on choose-your-own adventures and Infocom text adventures. They’re in my blood. So I’m a little predisposed to liking things that celebrate them. This is such a book. It’s a pleasantly well-written history of the medium, along the way picking ...

In class with Jeff Grubb

In class with Jeff Grubb
Last week my Worldbuilding class had the treat of a guest speaker — Jeff Grubb. He’s one of the grandmasters of tabletop roleplaying, and a prolific author. I was pretty excited that he agreed to come down to talk, as I’ve been playing his games and worlds for almost thirty years. After a pleasant lunch ...

Human Interface Guidelines

Human Interface Guidelines
Human Interface Guidelines is a quick project, made with traditional materials hooked up with Arduino-based hardware. It was made in response to the institutional reverence of art objects placed in conjunction with the cultural reverence of technology objects. It’s ostensibly a rather trite minimalist painting. But when the black paint is touched, the painting produced ...

Review: Uncertainty in Games

Uncertainty in Games Greg Costikyan The MIT Press, 2013 This is a good book. It’s short, but I also believe it could be shorter; it has some great information and is a worthwhile read. Costikyan’s basic premise is that a essential feature of games is uncertainty, and that uncertainty originates from several locations: performative, solving, ...

More Harmony Tutorials

More Harmony Tutorials
I’ve been trying to churn out some more tutorials for Toonboom Harmony, and I’ll be posting them as I go. Here is the first one — a simple one, about masking pupils to eyes.