Monday/Tuesday combo two-in-one post

Monday I was busy in the evening so didn’t have time for posting. And tonight I’ll be out at the university for the student project kick-off lecture for the image processing course I’m tutoring. So I thought I’d make a combined post for both days. Yesterday (Monday) was a lot cooler than Sunday, but today (Tuesday) is already warming up dramatically again as of 10am. Monday was actually a public holiday here, Labour Day.

I spent some time knocking ideas into shape for my current game design class on outschool, in which I’m working with three students on ideas for a game about crystal balls. I came up with three different possible modes of game play:

  1. Cards list random events that could happen to a person: e.g. “win the lottery”, “get married”, “lose your job”. You lay out a series of cards face down so nobody can see them – this represents future events, which are now fixed by the layout. Players are fortune tellers and can use their crystal balls to peek at a card, thus learning what is going to happen to a client in the future. Here it gets a bit vague – somehow you do this to earn money and/or reputation.
  2. You use your crystal ball to make free-form predictions of what other players will do on future turns. On the given future turn, the player who has had a prediction made can choose to either (a) follow the prediction, gaining some benefit, and also giving the predictor positive reputation for being accurate, or (b) defy the prediction, losing the benefit, but also giving the predictor loss of reputation.
  3. Players are fortune tellers competing for business in the same town. You have a hand of cards with events on them, and “use your crystal ball” to foresee those events happening to your rivals. Some are positive, some are negative, and you choose an opponent and place the card in front of them. The card has countdown numbers on the edges, and each turn you rotate the cards played in front of you to count down the turns, and when they reach 0 the event happens. Your shop might burn down 3 turns from now, losing you a lot of money. But! If you take out fire insurance (using another card) before your shop burns down, you collect a huge payout! So you can use your knowledge of future events to change good/bad events.

The last one is the one I like the most, and the kids in the class all agreed. So that’s what I’ll be developing into a full-blown game over the next few days, in time for the next class next Monday.

When my wife and I went to take Scully for a walk after lunch, we found a film crew filming something right outside our place. A dozen or so people, vans, lighting gear. They were filming something on the walkway from the footpath going around the side of our apartment block property to the rear entrances of some of the units. I stopped and asked what they were doing and one of them told me it was an “independent film project”. It wasn’t huge like a fully professional set-up; more like a film school student project or something. They were still here when we came back about an hour later, filming someone driving a car up our street – we saw it reverse and drive back a couple of times as they filmed it.

In the afternoon I did another 5k run. My times on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were very consistent: 27:20, 27:21, and 27:20. While walking back home through the park from the end of the run, I spotted a king parrot feeding on a tree near the path.

Australian king parrot

I approached as close as I could and it was tame enough that I got within about 30cm with my phone to get these photos.

Australian king parrot

In the evening I had that game design class, and also a new ethics class time for older kids. A parent had signed up a girl for a younger kids class last Friday, and she had enjoyed it so much that the parent wanted to enrol and older sister into a class too, but there were no suitable vacancies. So I made a new class on Mondays. At the moment there’s just the one student, but the class went well because she’s clever and talkative. The parent wrote back soon afterwards to say what a great class it was and how excited the kid was to talk about it. So that’s good!

Today I’ll be working on producing that crystal ball game, and maybe writing some comics, before heading into the university tonight.

New content yesterday:

New content today:

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