Monday, November 30, 2009

The Hardest Game Ever

So I got bored one day.... yeah, somehow I got bored even with all the work I have to do with finals coming up... and came across a game called The Hardest Game Ever. When you first look at it, it doesn't look hard at all, but you will soon realize it is in fact the hardest game ever. There are 30 levels and each lever gets harder and harder.

The object of the game is get from one end to the other. You are a red square and you must avoid the blue balls. Also, you must collect the yellow balls on your way. You must make your way from the green area you start at to the last green area. Some levels have multiple green areas (these are considered safe zones). If you touch the blue balls, you die and start at the beginning of that level. However, if you reach a green area and then die, you start at the last green area you reached (kinda like checkpoints). You are not given a certain amount of lives, the game just keep track how many times you died, because the amount of deaths you rack up will surprise you.

The furthest I made it was level 10 and had over 700 deaths. I was unable to beat level 11 and by the time I reached it I had spent too much time on the game. I wasn't bored that's for sure, but you will get very frustrated. I'm sure if I went back and played the game again I would have less deaths because I would know how to beat the levels and I would get through them more quickly. You definitely have to have patience with this game and strategize each level before diving in.

I found this site a bit inspirational because as simple as the concept is, it is a very complex game. Plus, I never lost interest which is something artist aspire to get from their work.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

lounge lizard

I was just browsing the internet looking for some inspiration for my final project in my Flash class and I came across a cool site called Lounge Lizard. I actually found a link to it off another site called The Best, from their featured designers page. Anyways, what I liked about the Lounge Lizard website right off the bat was their "loading page" bar. It was a beer mug being filled with beer corresponding to the percent the page was loaded to. It didn't take very long to load so the animation was very clean and smooth. On the home page you are looking at a table, from birds eye view, with various objects on it (many of which are costers). Some of the object are links and when you rollover them they rotate a bit. My favorite rollover is the candle, which has a flame animation on it. When you rollover it, the flame goes out. When you rollover it again, your mouse becomes a lit match and the candle relights. Saaaaweeeeeet!

When you click on one of the links (a coster) your taken to that page. Another scene is given to you. A book lays closed on the table and list of the other links is on a piece of crumpled paper (web link). When you click on the book it opens to their portfolio for that link and you can flip through the pages. All the other links have different ways to look at their portfolio (i.e. their print link has pages laid out with images on them and they have their crop marks as well. Each crop mark is distinct to each piece you see.

I just think this is a really cool site all together, even if your just browsing through. This site gives me a lot of inspiration for my online portfolio project. Anybody who wants to include flash or build their site in flash should take a look at this site. It's put together exceptionally and the whole look and feel of the site works great. It's seldom you come across a website that was built really well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Designing iPhone Apps

My class has recently started a new project in which we are to develop an idea for a new iPhone App. It does not need to be functional, but just illustrated in how it will work and look. While I was researching on how to design iPhone Apps I came across a website that pretty much lays it out for you. The site is called Smashing Magazine and the article is called "iPhone Apps Design Mistakes: Disregard Of Context". It pretty much spells out what you should be looking at when designing an application for an iPhone.

Many designers don't look at how consumers will use the apps or where they are when they use them. This article basically tells the designer to step back from the phone/design and put yourself in the users shoes. Think how they would think and design around that.

Designing an iPhone App can be a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. Research is key when designing a app because you're not designing for one person or one client, you're designing for a numerous amount of people with all different life styles. And being able to cater to their needs through your app isn't an easy task. If you do your research and execute successfully, you'll be raking in the dough!

I would definitely recommend this site/article to anyone beginning in the field of designing phone apps.


Anybody who like the new iTunes Store design raise your hands (raising hand!). I absolutely love the new version of iTunes and am so glad they finally got rid of their last design. It was definitely time for an upgrade. Their new design looks more like the times now. It's much more sleek and clean, which is my style. The format is basically the same, but they did move some stuff around so that will take a few days to get used to in order find things.

One thing I noticed every time I opened the iTunes Store was that text would overlap when the home page was loading. Not a big deal because once the page is loaded its fine, but kind of annoying. Other than the design of the store, one big thing they changed was the format of the list of songs, movies, apps, etc. you get when you search something. It's not at the bottom like it used to be and instead of having to go to the top to preview the song, they have a play button the pops up next to each song when you roll over that area. It's a nice feature, however, first time users don't know the roll over play button is there until they "accidentally" roll over that area. It took me a couple minutes to catch on.

Also, they changed the feature of being able to extend the area where the songs are listed to see the entire song, artist, album, etc. Instead, if the box isn't long enough to show the entire album for example, the album is linked and once you click on it, iTunes will take you to a list of songs on that album. That's nice, but sometimes I just want to read the album. To fix this, when you place your mouse on the text, a window will pop up and show the entire text. This happens because of the link. This is kind of a pain in the butt. I think I preferred the old version over this one for this feature, but they had to change it because of the new design.

Other than that one change (I guess I'll have to get used to it...) I really like the new version and design of iTunes. The changes they made were good because they weren't so drastic that users wouldn't be able to find anything. When revamping or redesigning a designer always has to take into consideration the customers and/or users and how the changes will effect them. Just because something looks "pretty" to you, doesn't mean it's a good thing for everybody else.

Friday, November 13, 2009

CG Textures

Our Adv. GD class was giving presentations on our design concepts for our final projects when another professor mentioned a site called CG Textures. At first I wasn't interested in it because I don't like using textures in projects, but I checked out the site and they have a lot of cool textures to choose from. And the best part is.... it's FREE! They have all sorts of textures to choose from. I'm not saying I use them all the time, but it is a good resource for those who like to use textures or just need a quick find. I haven't needed to use any textures yet, but I still keep in mind this site just in case I should ever need a texture.

This is a good site because on the home page it showcases a wide variety of textures so that the visitors are given an idea of what type of products they have to choose from. They have 2 navigations: one at the top which includes about, textures, tutorials, and members. The second is on the right which lists all the different categories of textures they have. I think this a good way to separate the navigation and keep like items together.

Although the design of the site isn't great, it's still a good site and does just enough to keep visitors in their site browsing.