pengel, excel

(1 comment)
July 18, 2004

Game of the Moment
So it's rare these days that I'll spend a lot of time on a single player video game, but there's this brilliant game called Magic Pengel ("Pen+Angel") that I keep coming back to. It has this amazing feature where you sketch out parts of a creature in 2D (indicating "this is the body piece", "these are arm pieces", "this is the head piece" etc), it creates a nice, rounded 3D model from that, and then animates based on that.
Bad screen shot of CHIKZLA, my most fearsome creation.
And the animations are really pretty convincing...if you've drawn in a club it'll swing it, you need at least 2 legs to do a double kick, etc. Based on the limbs you make (and what shape) and colors you use, your creature has different statistics and can do different attacks.

Unfortunately, the combat is "Pokémon-like", you don't actually control your warrior directly, just pick a type of attack in a decent "rock-paper-scissors" setup. Still, it's a fun game, and I'm enjoying unlocking more and more drawing features.

Here's a Flash-based fan site with Videos and Screenshots of that person's creations, here's IGN's review.

Neat stuff. I really want a game where I could then control these creatures directly in fierce, "Smash Brothers" like combat, but this is still pretty impressive. I mean, it really seems kind of magical; isn't letting kids draw some pictures than having them come to life exactly the kind of things computers should be doing for us by this stage? (No, we don't want computers to be a total imagination crutch either, but still, anything with a creative element in it like that is going to be better than tv or a typical video game.)

Rant of the Moment
I only sort of got around to ranting about how bad and overused Excel is but here is proof...Excel is frickin' EVIL. It's retarded auto-correct garbage is eroding valuable genetic data. My company uses that blighted program for way too much...data dictionaries, screen layout even...ugh! It's probably great for people who are actually crunching numbers and have grown into its UI, but other than that...feh. I really need to make a public release of my one-table-database online that's much easier to get around in for basic flat data recording than excel...

Flash Video of the Moment
It has made the rounds already but the pretty-much-bipartisan parody of "This Land" is better than I expected, with jabs at both sides.