Links for September 4, 2016

Generating fantasy maps / Uncharted Atlas (@unchartedatlas)

I wanted to make maps that look like something you’d find at the back of one of the cheap paperback fantasy novels of my youth. I always had a fascination with these imagined worlds, which were often much more interesting than whatever luke-warm sub-Tolkien tale they were attached to. At the same time, I wanted to play with terrain generation with a physical basis. There are loads of articles on the internet which describe terrain generation, and they almost all use some variation on a fractal noise approach, either directly (by adding layers of noise functions), or indirectly (e.g. through midpoint displacement). These methods produce lots of fine detail, but the large-scale structure always looks a bit off. Features are attached in random ways, with no thought to the processes which form landscapes. I wanted to try something a little bit different.

Earth-sized planet around nearby star is astronomy dream come true

Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun, has an Earth-sized planet orbiting it at the right distance for liquid water to exist.... Proxima’s planet is at least 1.3 times the mass of Earth. The planet orbits its red-dwarf star — much smaller and dimmer than the Sun — every 11.2 days.

It's a Mystery Who's Running One of the Oldest Multi-Player Online Fantasy Games

It is all very charmingly basic fantasy fare, but I was truly shocked when I quickly stumbled upon another player character. It was a sprite in green tunic wearing what looked like a variation of that mask from the movie Gladiator. The character was standing still and didn’t respond to my chat of “Are you a real person?” so, I thought it might have been a mistake. Maybe those 14 “people” who were supposedly logged in were just old, dead accounts, whose avatars would stand like statues in the game world until the powers at Norseman finally let it die.

Macintosh Plus - Floral Shoppe [FULL VISUAL ALBUM]

This video was designed as a distinct yet sincere and flattering take on Macintosh Plus’s seminal 2011 album, Floral Shoppe. The visuals primarily consist of obscure 80s VHS rips, sampling content from summer vacations to early CGI demo reels to logos, shows, and channels from 80s and 90s TV. I combined the video with the Floral Shoppe album to create a retrofuturistic, faux-utopian, and borderline psychedelic vibe. I hope you enjoy it.