About a year ago, I posted a video about using MOSFETS to control voltage in devices (instruments?) that were never intended to have that kind of control. I chose the 2n7000 MOSFET because it acts like a resistor in the range of voltages we usually care about in synthesizers, around 0-10V. In the second video, I added a resistor to prevent drawing too much current and blowing the transistor. But that’s not (usually) necessary for a tiny, battery-powered toy, particularly a low-voltage, low-current digital one!Continue reading “Making Horrible Little Toys Horrific”
Author: Joshua A.C. Newman
Aga, the River-Straightener
Aga, with the coruscated head of an eagle, is charged with the destiny of straightening the rivers so they can’t wander away and change the landscape from the way it was created by the Great Names before they entered their slumber.Continue reading “Aga, the River-Straightener”
Malam-Shem, the Overseer
Malam-Shem is one of the Giants in the Twine game I’m making right now about the Age of Giants. His destiny is to make sure that the other Giants fulfill their destinies, the purposes for which they were made by the Great Names.Continue reading “Malam-Shem, the Overseer”
Protected: The Tale of the Giant, Aga, River-Tender
Red-hot Fun in the Shop
For decades, I’ve wanted to learn how to forge steel. I’ve been watching blacksmiths in person and on YouTube since I was a teenager. And then, while discussing it with my dad, he told me what I tell my students: Try it! See what happens. It’s obvious when I say it to someone else. It’s mindblowing when someone says it back to me.Continue reading “Red-hot Fun in the Shop”
Bal, who Crushes Mountains Between his Mighty Thews
The Giants are the first beings made by the Great Names to tend the garden of the Earthen Firmament so that the Great Names could sleep. Each was given a destiny by the Great Name that made them, ostensibly to keep the world forever the way it was. But they also instructed them to “correct” the work of other Giants.
Bal’s task is to crush the mountains of the world to rubble. Here, he’s having a great time doing what he was told to do.Continue reading “Bal, who Crushes Mountains Between his Mighty Thews”
To Be a Giant
You might have noticed that I’ve been thinking a lot about giants lately and about what they mean to me. It’s time to start assembling the game that I’m playing in my mind when I start describing them. So here are some of the rules I’ve been intuiting, and want to bottle:
- Giants are objectively terrifying. They not only made (and casually abuse) the Earthen-Beings — the mortals, like you and me — to do their work, but they also challenge the sleeping Great Names themselves. The idea does not yet exist that any one of them is a “person”, even less so the tiny slaves they birthed to do their brutal work for them.
- They have a task — a destiny — for which they were made. To defy it is to act hubristically, with the hope that neither the Great Names nor fate itself will notice. Despite their enormous, sky-upholding, god-consuming, mountain-hurling stature, their only choices are petty. I imagine them like middle schoolers, finding out where they can push a rule while plausibly saying that they were doing as they were told in such a way that they can affect the only change they can: making someone else feel pain.
- They are immortal, unless their hubris catches up with them. The thing about being immortal is that it’s only a matter of time until something catches up with you. The game takes place at that moment of realization, and ends when it catches up.
- Mortals, whom they have crafted from clay to do their work for them, have free will because their destiny is unclear. But the Earthen-Beings also live in fear of the chthonic Giants. Eventually, Tiamut will teach the tiny, momentary, feeble Earthen-Beings how to write and the difference between lies and the truth, but right now, they are little more than wild animals with pointed sticks who live in fear of starvation and ambush by the Earthen Beings of another. The Giants think this makes them easy to control. They don’t know that humans also are developing compassion that gives them solidarity with each other.
The challenge, you’ll note, is making a game about a lack of free will. I expect I’ll have something, tiny and experimental, but playable sometime this month.
Yes, I’ve been playing The Stanley Parable. In some ways, it overlaps profoundly. But not aesthetically.
Habah, Father of Behabah
Hebah is the father of Behabah, who drank the Lake Pehemeh when challenged by Atam. We also know Hebah as the Shepherd, for he stole herds of Earthen-Beings from Mash and Bu — first to make them jealous, and then because he enjoyed their taste.Continue reading “Habah, Father of Behabah”
Space Princess 1.0
My nibling seems to carry some of the George Clinton spirit in them. They love talking about space adventures into a voice box, creating planets and casts of alien characters. So I’m building them a digital voice box.Continue reading “Space Princess 1.0”
The Oblique Palette
The Oblique Palette
The Oblique Easel hardware is composed of two types of module: the Easel, containing the computation and touchscreen; and the input/output Palette, containing interfaces to physical controls and other devices. I’m developing them together not so they have a perfect, final shape, but so they are properly designed as a modular system that can be expanded and modified as the ideas evolve.Continue reading “The Oblique Palette”