Live action Video Game

July 13, 2015 — 1 Comment

I’ve seen plenty of indie videos over the years based on video games, but this one is jaw-dropping.

Wow!  I can only imagine how challenging this was to pull together.

I never went to see this movie in the theater, didn’t watch the trailers, I literally knew nothing about it.  I ended up watching it to see if the computer graphics are “there yet”.

There are technological leaps coming that can’t happen until a myriad of individual technologies progress dramatically.  A simple example would have been Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality as there were numerous components (displays, gyros, rendering etc.) that all had to advance to make the combined experience possible.

I saw Ray Kurzweil speak years ago at a conference and he compared our knowledge of the human brain, being like we’d just been given the first ever CPU in a computer case.  But we couldn’t open the case, we could just put sensors around it and try to work out how it’s so smart.

This movie is the perfect example of how far we still have to go.  I watch lectures on just about every component that could make robotic AI that would pass the Turing Test (where you believe the software is a human), but each component still has so far to go.  From batteries, to silent motors, to vision systems, to cognition, awareness etc.  Even things like “common sense” are insanely difficult challenges.

I’ve seen attempts on the Turing test were people have put computers in public places and recorded the questions they get asked so they can write great “surprising” responses.  But if you ask something bizarre or complicated you always break it.  “What did you mean by your answer two questions ago?”…  Oh snap.   “What price is fish?”…  Oh snap.

So I absolutely loved this movie.  It’s the kind of work that inspires technologists, much like the Light Saber in Star Wars or the Hoverboard in Back to the Future.  Robots are generally “robots” and I think this is a kick in the pants to push much harder to stop accepting the “walking like robots” “talking like robots” etc.

The movie making technology was also equally incredible, I didn’t see the use of all the typical motion capture suits with marker balls and green screens.  I like that to make a movie about artificial intelligence was technically very hard.

Anyway, as you can probably tell, this is my favorite kind of experience, when it’s all just a really good surprise.

It reminds me of seeing “The Terminator” for the first time.  I knew nothing about that either, I was stuck in the rain outside a movie theater in England, and a friend and I went in and watched it in an empty theater.  We were both blown away.

So robot makers keep heading towards making the Terminator T-800 Model 101, when they should be studying ballet dancers.

They need to see this movie.

Just for contrast, here’s what Chatbots sound like today, it’s a nightmare!

Movie Making Info – Video Contains some spoilers.

Had fun hosting the Lunch with Luminaries 2015.  I changed the format a little, so we started with a 13 year old aspiring game developer called Thomas Hughes (I’m currently mentoring), he’s already shipped his first 3 mobile games and hopefully will have a career in the industry.  It was a fun exchange to see the veterans helping him out.

We had a bowl filled with questions we knew would inspire a very wide range of conversations and as always there’s just not enough time, before everyone has to return to their crazy conference schedules.

You can read more about it here.  I’ll post a full transcript there when I get a chance.


Lady Gaga – Imagine

June 12, 2015 — 1 Comment

I remember seeing Lady Gaga when she started, as a back-up band.  I heard her on Howard Stern singing live, that was impressive, but this is a huge audience and a tough song to tackle.  Amazing, she kicks into high-gear at 3:40.

I’ve got a few cool arcade machines (Star Wars Cockpit & Lunar Lander), and a few Pinball Machines (Funhouse, Roadshow, The Getaway & Terminator 2), but the jewel in the crown I’ve been trying to get is a Computer Space “Multiplayer” from Nutting Associates.  Let’s just say this has taken over two years to get.

As I’m originally from Ireland, I’m more than happy that it’s GREEN!

It’s having a few final tweaks made by the Arcade Doctor, but I should be able to play it soon.

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Free Tickets available for US theaters: CLICK HERE

Thanks Naughty Dog, I get asked a lot what it takes to be a video game designer…  It’s now answered in one short video.

They also have a video for Programmers.