Fancy Pants Adventures: World 2

Finally! I have waited so eagerly. A couple of years ago I came across this incredibly awesome flash game called Fancy Pants Adventures. It's a platform game in the style of Sonic the Hedgehog and sports a really cool main character which is very well animated despite being a stick figure. I really enjoyed it, the only problem was that the game was too short. But already from the start it advertised that there would be a continuation.

And now, much to my joy, the sequel has been released: Fancy Pants Adventures: World 2. And it definitely lives up to my expectations. We meet the same main character but now he has learned a few tricks, like sliding in oil. He can even slide up oily walls. The music is also largely the same, which I don't mind since I liked the music a lot.

So what has changed? Quite a lot. Now there is actually a story to the game but that particular part I don't consider to be an improvement... The graphics has gotten quite a face lift and there are some levels which are quite beautiful. There are also some clear influences from other platform games here. The levels are generally longer and offers more varying game play that World 1.

The secret levels are now more well hidden and have gotten quite a bit of attention. Each of them uses graphics from/inspired from some other game made by friends of Bram Borne, the man behind Fancy Pants. Some of them are not only bonus level but are also a bit tricky to get through.

Another new game element is a kind of golf that can be played on each level. On each level there is a snail and if you jump on it its shell will remain and you can kick that around. The goal is to get the shell into a special hole. The price for doing so is a new color on your fancy pants.

The final boss is also a bit more of a challenge in World 2 compared to the pretty harmless penguin in World 1. This time it's a rabbit which has some clear influences from Bowser in Super Mario World. It took me a while for me to figure out how to beat him and even then he can be a bit problematic since he's throwing spiders at you from time to time.

All in all I really like World 2 and all the improvements it made. My only problem with it is the same as with World 1. The levels are too small and the game is too short. It took me twelve minutes to complete the game the first time. The second time I found all secret levels. I wish there was more. I'm already waiting on World 3.


George Lucas in Love

Following up my latest post on Star Wars, here's a movie about how George Lucas found the inspiration to Star Wars while being in College. It's a really well made little movie that takes inspiration from Shakespeare in Love and applies it to George Lucas. Lots of fun stuff for Star Wars geeks. Enjoy!


Star Wars: you don't need to see the movies to know them

Here's about the funniest thing I've seen in a while. It's a recap of the original Star Wars movies (episode 4-6). It's retold by someone who hasn't seen the movies. Laughter warning for Star Wars fans!

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

QOTD - "It's obvious"

Conal Elliott discusses the use of "It's obvious" in discussions and how it thwarts creativity. He summarizes the basic misconception as follows:
I understand discussions of what is “obvious” as being founded on a fallacy, namely believing that obviousness is a property of a thing itself, rather than of an individual’s or community’s mental habits (ruts).



Here's a wonderful little short movie which I can heartily recommend. It's called Validation and has won more prizes than I knew existed. It's only ~16min so it's a quick watch. I saw it on my lunch break today.

Via Ulisses Costa.

QOTD - Comparing Obama and Bush

On comparing Obama and Bush:
It's like comparing pumpkin ice cream to poop.
Found on reddit.


Hierarchical tabs

Over at the Chromium blog they have a nice article about their thoughts on tabs in Google Chrome. Clearly they've given this quite some thought and also studied how users use the tab functionality to organize their surfing. One particular thing that I learned was that in Chrome they loosely group together some tabs that come from the same origin. But that's not the point of this post.

For quite some time now I've had another idea on grouping tabs together. I think it would be interesting for a browser to have hierarchical tabs. Hierarchical tabs would allow certain tabs to contain a whole new set of tabs, much like directories are a kind of file which can contain files.

Most people already have a first approximation of hierarchical tabs. The bottom layer is that which is provided by the window manager, showing which programs are currently running. For instance, right now I have a file browser, Open Office, Evince (a pdf reader) and Firefox running. The next level is in the browser itself which of course contains the web pages.

Allowing hierarchies of tabs would allow grouping together sets of tags quite nicely, and would help solve the problem which tab overflow when the number of tabs grow large.

I realize though that it would require some thought and experimentation to see if this can work out. One problem is that deep hierarchies will take up screen real estate. But introducing an arbitrary limit on the depth doesn't feel like a good measure either. Another problem is how to easily create a new "directory" tab and send tabs into it. The risk is that the user interface becomes unwieldy.

I know that there are some experiments out there but the one I've seen, Tabgroups is rather underwhelming. It doesn't really deserve to be called hierarchical tabs.

All in all I'm not sure whether hierarchical tabs can be made into a useful feature. But I can't stop thinking about it. I would be totally excited to see some serious experiments with the idea.