Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Good Bye Ryan Davis, and Thanks for the Memories

It's weird to shed a tear for someone you never really knew.  Ryan Davis was for all intents and purposes and imaginary friend blasting out of my speakers every week, chumming it up with the rest of the merry Giantbomb crew.  I have a term for these people, they are my "podcast friends".  They are the people that keep me company everyday and fill the frightening silence of a home office with laughter and chitchat that I could alternatively listen to and ignore.  They make my workday go by faster than it ever would under normal circumstances.

My journey with Giantbomb began with an ending.  They were guests during 1up yours' marathon last few shows before they would be broken up because of the sale of 1up to UGO.  Their infectious humor grabbed me from the start, and I needed a new podcast to ease the pain of losing the 1up podcast network.  It's been  almost 5 years since then.  5 years of weekly laughter and stories about an EVE Online peace treaty called "The Honda Accord" and figuring out just who would win, a T-Rex or 20 bears (bears win, but with terrible losses) and the dangers of accumulating arcade machines.  On his last podcast Ryan made a joke about possibly being crushed to death underneath an arcade machine, with him laughing merrily along with the rest of the crew about the sheer ridiculousness of the idea.  He missed the next podcast because he had just gotten married and was enjoying his honeymoon with his former fiancee (rhymes with Beyonce).  And then this.  He's gone.

Thanks for all the virtual laughs Ryan, you will be missed by me and all of the friend, both virtual and real, that you have made via your podcast.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Top 5 Prison Architect Maps

The players of Prison Architect continue to amaze me with the creativity they've shown in making their prisons.  Steam's workshop has given them a venue to show off their work to their fellow fans and I've picked some of the most ridiculous and wonderful to show off here.

The Panopticon

OK so it's not quite the Panopticon, but the ability to build Jeremy Bentham's dream prison was one of the first questions raised by Prison Architect fans when it first came out.  This proves it IS possible, even given the crude tools that we've provided for the creation of circular building (there aren't any).

The Tower of London

Recreating real world spaces has always been a pastime for fans of this genre, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the famed tower now has a replica in PA (inset is a satellite image of the real tower).

Dami Inn

We're treading into liberal hippie territory here, with a prison designed to function almost like a hotel (hence the "Inn") with prisoner rooms coming with their own personal shower.  Sure the rooms are still tiny, but anyone who's slept in a Japanese hotel room should feel right at home here.

Cathnicle Town

We're definitely in a drug induced hippie daydream now, with a prison that's essentially been built as a little town.  Regular prisoners stay in dormitories while good prisoners get a tiny house and lot for their own.  it looks like there are even conference areas, where presumably the prisoners hold town hall meetings to decide their next town improvement project.

The Turtle

Now this is a PRISON.  It looks vaguely like a prison layout you'd see in a sci-fi movie, and also resembles a turtle if you squint your eyes hard enough.  No?  Try it again.

The sheer creativity on display and the dedication it takes to map these prisons is beyond my comprehension.  I am humbled by the work these player put into the game and also ridiculously embarrassed  that they're doing it with my work.  If the good folks at Introversion give me time, I would love to update and add even more awesome stuff for these architects to play with.