My new pop-up newsletter: Perils of the Overworld

Robin’s feed

Week 8, inky

An introduction to Ink, the scripting language that controls this game's branching story.

Blogging the global pantry

How do we make sense of tomatoes and chiles?

Week 7, paused

A couple of other works that are relevant to the interests and goals of this newsletter.

Week 6, mechanism or bust

This past Tuesday was probably the most important day in the lifetime of this project so far.

Two nice databases for Ruby

YAML::Store and Daybreak: both underrated!

Week 5, imagination engine

Exploring thousands of imaginary cities.

Week 4, ladder of abstraction

Worldbuilding, voice, and writing lessons.

Week 3, oblique

Soldierly perspective and sketchy shaders.

Chasing a ghost

What causes this particular vintage optical printing effect?

Week 2, barnyard

This one's all about text and typography!

Week 1, overworld

I'll begin in the most basic way: why make a video game?

An integration loop

Its origin is a mystery. All we know is how it sounds: stately and nostalgic.

The thing about blogging is

you can just write about the things you love.

Reframing inflation

People need money; let's exorcise the ghost of the 1970s.

Notes from a week

I never imagined a world without cafés.

The master tapes

Part of the “newer media” series.

Writing and lightness

Every way of writing can work, and every reason for writing can work.

An app can be a home-cooked meal

I made a messaging app for my family and my family only.

But/and

An essential new conjunction.

The origin of the double dagger

Why ‡?

Rosegarden

A thread from a fictional social network.

Proposal for a book, etc.

This is my proposal for a book to be adapted into a movie starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson. It’s very serious.

Expressive temperature

Documenting a machine learning technique.

Fortnite and the Fermi paradox

This is a piece written for the Atlantic.

Voyages in sentence space

A new machine learning project.

Making the music of the Mazg

This is a story posted on the MCD Books website.

How to think (dangerously)

Describing a standard.

Writing with the machine

It’s like writing with a deranged but very well-read parrot on your shoulder.

How to end on the internet

All the conventions of print feel false: the neat summary, the mild prediction, the kicker quote.

Julie Rubicon

This is a story posted on Facebook.

Shmuplations across space and time

Translations across languages and through decades.

In praise of the serious playground

Remembering a wonderful tool.

Naked em dashes

Fixing a small problem.

Whispering about virtual reality

A brief era is coming to a close and I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

In praise of Josephine

This is a piece written for the Atlantic.

The Decagon House Murders

This was a weird one. I loved it.

The Counselor

This is a story posted on Motherboard.

Pictures and vision

Okay, I’m going to argue that the futures of Facebook and Google are pretty much totally embedded in these two images.

Alien signals

Memories of long-ago Sunday nights on the road.

The primes of the story

This is an idea I swiped from Zachary Mason.

Dancing the flip-flop

A particular creative and technical process that fascinates me.

The secret of Minecraft

This is a piece posted on Medium.

Return to Nib's Knoll

This is a piece written for Aeon Magazine.

Making culture for the internets

It’s us, the internet culture makers, who are behind.

The prime mover

One of the people we lost in 2012 was Jim Naughton. He had an outsized influence on me.

The wiggle of least resistance

This is a piece written for the New York Times.

Making progress, sure and steady

An encounter in the fog.

Penumbra has a posse

You know those heist movies, where half the fun is watching the team come together?

Further reading for Penumbra fans

So you read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and now you want something similar.

Inventing the book

Notes on The Book in the Renais­sance by Andrew Pettegree.

One-man ILM

“You’re the direc­tor, you’re the spe­cial effects coor­di­na­tor, you’re the cos­tume depart­ment, and you don’t have to worry about a budget.”


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