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Dark souls is frequently described as masochistically difficult. I don’t think this is very apt: Masochism implies a state of being acted upon, of being made to suffer by an outside force. 480 more words

Problem Machine

War Stories

America has a relationship with violence that is, let’s say, a little too friendly. That’s not to say that the American mindset is violent necessarily, that we are predisposed to… 980 more words

Problem Machine


Eh, I’m tired. It’s hard to focus, hard to create. It’s hard to be the person that makes things.

I don’t know if it’s like this for everyone, but for me part of the process of creativity is the process of meta-creativity. 369 more words

Problem Machine

Merciful Criticism

I understand feeling threatened by criticism. I mean, at the point where you’ve invested enough of yourself into something to really care about it – and that’s what art asks of us, that we care – that you spend time thinking about it, wondering what each aspect of it indicates, trying to figure out what might have happened before or after, seeking to understand what the artist was trying to communicate, once you pour that much of yourself into appreciating something, it becomes a part of you. 331 more words

Problem Machine

Object Orientation

I’ve been playing around with the Source Filmmaker animation tool a bit; it’s a strange experience. We spend so much time crafting illusory people, characters constructed piece by piece out of textures and polygons and recorded lines of dialogue, and at the best of times we are genuinely emotionally affected by the experience. 2,156 more words

Problem Machine

Fog and Sound

I’ve been having a hard time thinking this week.

This isn’t the real essay. This is a placeholder. The real essay is incomplete, pending a time when I can think, and pay attention, and construct a spine and ribcage to hold the bleeding guts of words. 277 more words

Problem Machine

Tyrannical Play

The discussion of what’s fun and interesting in games is necessarily also a discussion of what’s boring and tedious. Finding the points where a design begins to work against itself, begins to push the player down paths of rote task and mind-numbing chore, and understanding what exactly leads to these problems, is fundamental to designing an experience that is interesting and exciting. 1,758 more words

Problem Machine