I really liked this design pattern of the wooden trashcans spread throughout Butchart Gardens (near Victoria BC), which also serve as planters for flower displays (with the species carefully chosen based on the location of the trashcan).

I'm sure there are contexts where this would be difficult to replicate -- but many others where it could be worth trying out, as part of our bringing about a future ;-)

Some games are pure perfection, like Tetris on the original Game Boy. Super Hexagon by Terry Cavanagh (a $3 indie title w/ cult status) is another such game. It's almost a trainer for achieving flow state. I come back to it at least once a year.

You guide a triangle between rapidly approaching walls that will immediately crush you upon collision. Learn repeating patterns & keep that reaction speed high. Game design is optimized for instant restarts. (Warning: flashing lights/colors everywhere.)

Karawan is a small, free indie game that came out of this year's Ludum Dare jam. You guide a growing caravan through a world that is rapidly falling apart, to a portal that will take you to safety.

To make it, you have to carefully plot your path, and pay attention to the resources you can gather along the way.

Very atmospheric, and may hook you for at least 30-60 minutes, longer if you want to beat all maps (download the PostJam version). Made with .


If you like point & click adventures, I recommend picking up "The Last Time" - it's currently just $1 on Steam. The art is minimalist, but it's got a great vibe & "choices matter" gameplay. Native Linux version. Content warning: violence/murder.


OK, a genuinely short review of a very short game - "Take A Hike!", part of this year's massive itch.io Indie Game Bundle For Palestinian Aid.


If you're not sure if kinetic visual novels (where you don't get to do anything other than read text on a screen) are your thing, you may want to try this one -- it's only ~30 minutes long and it's both sweet and funny.

TIL that emacs ships with a text adventure game easter egg (`emacs -batch -l dunnet`) first written in 1983.

6b.eleuther.ai/ is pretty fun to play with to get a feel for what the babbling AI models known as Transformers can and cannot do.

It's the latest model developed by Eleuther.AI, an open source alternative to GPT-3 (the proprietary model developed by "Open"AI).

Try it with a prompt like this:

Elvis In Paris (2033)
Plot summary: Elvis Presley finds himself in 21st century Paris,

(Each run will produce different results, some more coherent, most less so. :-)

I quite enjoyed my time w/ "Iris and the Giant", a stylish roguelike deckbuilding game (Win/Mac/Linux/Switch).

Excellent game design that is likely to hold your attention for 5-15 hours without getting you hooked indefinitely, as some roguelikes do. Content warning: The game's story is about depression and bullying and not its strongest suit, IMO.

Full review:


(It's on sale on Steam currently, and you can pick it up for even less in Fanatical's "Slayer" bundle.)

I find the NodeJS API reference generally better organized and more readable than the Python docs:

- long form docs for all arguments & return values
- version-specific changes are collapsed into a "History" section, instead of breaking the flow (given Python's long history it can turn docs into massive changelogs)

It would be nice to see more best practices sharing across open source projects.

What are your favorite technical docs?

"The Body Monstrous" is a 15-30 minute (free) narrative game about a person dealing with an unspeakable horror in their otherwise ordinary life. Content warning for dark psychological themes and some blood.

Beautifully done, made with the open source . Played it in Firefox on an an old laptop w/o issues.


Left criticism: "Without rethinking our economic system, automation will destroy thousands of jobs in labor-intensive industries like agriculture"

Standard liberal response: "Don't be a luddite - we will invest in re-training programs to help those folks learn new skills like programming!"

Uipath (automation company with $35B valuation that just filed for IPO): "Hey check out our cool product for automatically weeding out this fictional job applicant named 'Peter the Farmer'"

One of my least favorite patterns - "as you type" validation with error-style messaging. The net effect is that the computer is constantly yelling at the user until they've completed the input, like a dog barking from behind a fence.

One of the interesting turning points in the history of computer graphics is the transition from 16 color EGA graphics to 256 color VGA. The constraints of EGA often led to very different artistic choices, and some early VGA "remasters" were done quite sloppily.

Designer Rune Spaans has compiled beautiful mouseover comparisons of two EGA->VGA transitions, for the Lucasfilm (now LucasArts) games "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Loom":



"If on a Winter's Night, Four Travelers" is a _very_ well-made narrative adventure and completely free (they're planning to release an OST and art pack later if you want to support them). It reminded me a bit of "The Lion's Song", "Kathy Rain" and "I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream".

Be warned, it explores dark themes and contains some graphic violence. About ~2 hours playtime.

cc @gamingonlinux


Gaming suggestion: Take lots of screenshots - they're like the photos from a journey, fun to revisit later.

I toot this as I'm navigating through my own screenshots folder :). Here's one from Firewatch, one of my favorite narrative/exploratory games:

uspol, gerry the mander 

this graphic about the effects of gerrymandering on the 2018 WI legislature was so shocking that I had to add it to the electoral justice primer (sources linked there):


One of the under-reported stories of the 2020 election is that ranked choice voting was used for the first time in a US presidential election, in the state of Maine. A ranked ballot dramatically mitigates the "spoiler" effect of third party candidates (think Jill Stein 2016/Ralph Nader 2000).

There are good reasons to consider other voting methods, but RCV is a huge improvement over simple first-past-the-post voting. I hope we'll see it in more states soon.

Session Seven is a free 1-2 hour point and click adventure made as a passion project by a team of four.

You awaken injured, locked up in your own basement. How did you get there and, more importantly, how do you get out? Is your family in danger?

Straightforward inventory-based puzzles, solid writing and three endings (multiple proper endings are still rare in traditional point-and-clicks). Available for Linux. Recommended:


Mastodon UX (default UI) 

I just now realized that the Eye icon on toots/threads (highlighted in red below) is for expanding/collapsing content warnings.

It appears even when there's no content warning anywhere in sight, and the tooltip "Show less for all" made me think of content visibility ("followers only" etc.). I was reluctant to click it in case it immediately did something unexpected and irreversible.

This could be a "just me" thing, so curious if others were confused by this.

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