Links For April 30, 2015

The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They're Only Political.

The Hugo Awards are voted on by fans, and anyone who purchases a supporting membership at Worldcon can nominate two years in a row.... To Torgersen and Correia, this meant that a “rarefied, insular” group of writers were promoting their agenda by nominating works by women and people of color. To the rest of us, it looked as though science fiction and fantasy were finally catching up to reality — the best stories aren’t only the ones told by straight white men.

Gone in a Flash: The Race to Save the Internet’s Least Favorite Tool

“More challenging than saving Flash sites is the replayability of it all,” Trevor Owens, a digital archivist who worked for the Library of Congress and now is heading the government’s National Digital Platform project, told me.... “In creating an emulator or other method of playing these, it’s more like the performance of a play instead of the text in a book,” he added. “You have all these elements that have to come together to be like originally was—the systems are almost drawing their own interpretations of what it looked like.”

Building A Self-Sufficient City In Cities: Skylines – Part One, and Part Two

I rely on Foster + Partner’s futuristic renderings to lay out my road network. Masdar City is built around pedestrians, cyclists and public transport but Cities:Skylines dictates that buildings have to be on a road so I choose as low-capacity roads as possible while still maintaining something of a hierarchy. Inside the twin squares that serve as the city’s basic shape, only gravel tracks serve the neighborhoods, while a series of roundabouts offer connections to the outside world. I zone the squares as districts, banning all heavy goods traffic within.

Wander (1974) — a lost mainframe game is found!

Wander was probably the first computer game that is recognisable as what came to be known as a “text adventure” (or “interactive fiction”).... But Wander was more than that because it seems to have been designed to be a tool to allow users to create “non-deterministic fantasy stories” of their own. So perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Wander was in fact the earliest known precursor to modern interactive-fiction development-systems like Inform 7!

WipEout (PSX) – Model Viewer

Reverse Engineering WipEout (PSX)

Knowing the PlayStation didn’t have a Floating Point Unit (FPU) I assumed vertex data had to be stored as Integers. Using JavaScript and the three.js 3D Library I quickly whipped up a page that would load one the games’s .PRM files that I thought would contain the 3D objects. I loaded all data in the file as coordinates of 3 Integers (x, y, z) and rendered them as a point cloud. This allowed me to quickly shift the stride (the spacing between distinct coordinates in the file) and look for patterns.