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If it’s not required, it’s forbidden

I’m currently working on this idea for a game, and have been struggling with getting it to the point where it is playable. I have a bunch of the pieces, and a bunch of ideas, but I keep getting stuck on parts of it. After recently watching this presentation by Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid, I’ve been inspired to push myself to work on the game in a different way than I’m used to.

For example: in this game, the player has an inventory. Ideally, the player could control the sorting of the inventory – move things around, and put items onto different pages of the inventory display. Implementing this feature probably wouldn’t be that tough, but every minute working on item sorting is a minute I could be spending working on how the items are being used. There’s a saying that I learned from a friend of mine: “If it’s not required, it’s forbidden”. It applies really well to software – especially when deciding what features to have in a product. In my case, the inventory sorting feature might be required in a later version. Right now however, there aren’t any items in the game yet, so it doesn’t matter if the player can sort them or not. Item sorting is a feature that is currently forbidden. I’m not allowed to work on it. Now, to get back to some important features…

New use for embiggen

When I was making this app, I only really thought it would be used while messing around in a bar, but someone downloaded it and thought of a new use for it:

“Used w/ a rooted nook, it’s the perfect tool 4 communicating w/ bad drivers.”

Can you think of any other good uses for embiggen?

The song that goes dun dun dun dun

This isn’t related to android apps or live wallpaper, but I just wanted to do a public service. A couple of days ago, my brother called me up wondering what the name/artist of a particular rap song was. When he described it as being the one that goes dun dun dun dun, I immediately knew what he was talking about, but couldn’t remember the name/artist either.

Shazam didn’t work when I hummed the distinctive part of the song (didn’t really expect it to), and so I turned to google. I was pretty sure the song was from before 2003, because I remember being psyched when they played it in bars during college. I tried searches like “song that goes dun dun dun dun”, “rap song chromatic bass”, and “rap song chromatic baritone”, but nothing worked. Eventually I gave up and my brother found out what the song was through a friend of his.

It turns out that the song is “Simon Says” by the incredible lyricist Pharoahe Monch. I just wanted to post this in the hopes that if you had the song stuck in your head and couldn’t remember what it is, a search for “song that goes dun dun dun dun”, “rap song chromatic bass”, or “rap song chromatic baritone” would result in this post, and your mystery would be solved. You’re welcome.