December 17th, 2005


(no subject)

Because people keep pointing me to this, I may as well refer all of you to it. Xooglers - "A gathering spot for ex-Googlers to reminisce and comment on the latest developments in search." Mostly it seems to be Google anecdotes and history.

The people who are doing this have left the company, and so obviously this isn't going to be up-to-the-minute stories. The company seems to have evolved a bit since they left (one of them left many years ago, so obviously he's out of date) - but evolved, not transformed or anything. Their stories are pretty similar to what the company's still like.

And just to forestall the inevitable, yes, I believe they are indeed ex-employees. It all rings pretty true and they know details that most people don't.

It's a good read. I recommend it.

random thoughts about game puzzles and conventions

Building a barricade out of bookcases and random office crud is acceptable. Okay, so if I could just lift up that garbage can, I could get past. It's okay. The garbage can isn't a garbage can - it's an Obstruction. We're used to things like that, and we recognize that games might not reflect reality completely.

Making a puzzle involving moving a crate around, in order to jump over an obstruction of cast iron or steel, is also okay. Cast iron and steel are solid. We can see that with our own two eyes. Not a stretch. C'mon, it's something we might do in *real life*.

Combining the two isn't okay. The garbage can is an Obstruction, and as such, we can't get past it. It's a solid wall in a gamer's mind - the sheer fact that it's not a steel wall means that we can't treat it like one. It doesn't follow the same rules. You can see how a steel wall will behave because it already behaves like that in real life, but a garbage can? If you can't move it, it also means you can't bypass it. End of story.

You can't have your abstractions and your realism in the same package.