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Dave Howell
Works at Improbable Objects
Attended Pacific Lutheran University
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Dave Howell

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I'm truly liking that I can learn more about this amazing person, you! Because it is making the heart grow founder!


Happy Connecting. Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 5

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Dave Howell

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A more sophisticated example of this can be found in my most recent work, PennyGems for Netrunner.  As project backers can attest (or anybody who wants to read all the updates can see), there was a lot of consideration for these issues involved in the final designs. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/276266606/pennygems-tokens-for-netrunner/posts/1080604

Each of the 14 tokens (one of them is missing from the picture) has a different predominant color. Bad Pub is orange; Memory Unit is bright green, Advancement is dark purple, a Credit is a different, more bluish green, Power is maroon, and so on. Recurring credit fills the circle, but Revelation (the eye), has lots of background. Some tokens have radial gradients, some are linear. The list goes on.

Three of the tokens wanted to be green (money is green, circuit boards are green, and green means 'go') and the click token (far left) and the credit token (far right) did end up a bit closer to each other than I'd like, but the click token has a radial gradient, the memory unit has a linear one, and the credit token has a flat color background. Even in full grayscale, the iconography should keep the various tokens distinct. 

That actually hints at an excellent test. Lay out the bits and parts of a game, take a good clear photograph of the parts, then convert the photo to grayscale. A photograph is much better than testing the design before it's printed, because ink-on-paper can have radically different responses than the on-screen version. Even if you're using CMYK specifications, your monitor is still RGB. 
Inspired by this week's #BoardGameHour discussion of disabilities and access to tabletop games, I made this quick guide to color-coding. Boy howdy, did this blow up on Twitter. It's by far my most RTed and faved tweet. Below is the text from the image. Quick Guide to Color-Coding in Tabletop ...
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Eh?  Money isn't green! :-)
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Dave Howell

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I couldn't agree with you more. 

Well, actually, I could. "Black, white, blue, and red are a safe bet." The problem with that is that many games need a 'neutral', and most games need something to use as a common background. If you make your iconography black, then what color do you make the black piece's icon? You shouldn't (need to) compromise the graphic design for the typical player while accommodating people with impaired vision. I would generally recommend against using both white and black as player colors or otherwise as part of a set. One of them should be reserved to be the backdrop for the colors, and/or for neutral components. 

Here's my take on combining icons and colors:
http://impobj.com/PennyGems/catalog/

The darker colors get the white icon, the lighter ones the black, to maximize contrast. The shapes are chosen to be simple, yet very distinct (the crescent and droplet are asymmetric, unlike the others; the star and spiral have more variable edges, unlike the others; the hexagon keeps its distance from the circle by being the opposite color, et cetera). There's a lot more information about why I use those specific colors and those specific icons here: http://impobj.com/PennyGems/Canonical.html
Inspired by this week's #BoardGameHour discussion of disabilities and access to tabletop games, I made this quick guide to color-coding. Boy howdy, did this blow up on Twitter. It's by far my most RTed and faved tweet. Below is the text from the image. Quick Guide to Color-Coding in Tabletop ...
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Found In Somebody Else's Thread:

"Global warming is not happening due to human advancement. It is a natural occurrence. If global warming is man made then why are animals migrating north to warmer climates? That shows it is natural not man made. If it was man made then the animals would have no clue to go north."

Amazing! I am quite dumbfounded by the level of intellect displayed here! 
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What was he trying to refute, the 2nd Law, or evolution? 

Oh, of course, now that I've asked the question, it's obvious. {snort} 

Yea, that's a pretty good one. 
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Tall Tales

You may already be aware of the peculiar statistical anomaly that, when all other effects are factored out, tall people are paid more than shorter people for the same work.  It's just one of the most annoying (or in my case, embarrassing) examples of what appears to be an inherent bias in humans. 

However, it appears that this might, in fact, once again be a case where correlation is misleadingly implying causation. New information has come to light, or rather, old information has been examined more thoughtfully. 
The average American man is 5' 9”. Women are closer to 5'4". The average 20th-century American president, on the other hand, is 6 foot. Nineteenth-century presidents were still taller, at 5' 10". In fact, in more than half of presidential elections, the taller candidate has gotten more popular ...
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Some teens get tall sooner than others. I was the tallest kid in my class. Every class. Starting in kindergarten. Not every tall man can say the same. 
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Dave Howell

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Techno-geezer

I've tried using FaceTime on my mac before, but it's always thrown an error. This time, I decided to take a few minutes to deal with it. 

Basically, it would say "gimme your Apple ID and password" and I would, and it would pull some kind of Apple encryption key out of my keychain, and then go "holy cow, what the heck is up with this? I can't use this! You'll have to call Apple and  talk to them before I'm gonna go any further." 

Yea, call them. On the phone. 

The tech I reached hadn't ever had to deal with a FaceTime validation code before, but he reached the same conclusion I had. My AppleID is so old that it was in their database before they were doing whatever security-ish things they do. In fact, my Apple ID was the oldest ID this tech had ever seen. I told him I thought it was probably 15 years old, and lo and behold,  the Apple database showed it as having been registered in 1999. He'd never seen one before 2003 before.

For the record, that's actually before there even was an "Apple ID". It was the email address I used with the Mac Developer site. At first, it was just to send emails to me. Oh, yes, I had an ID, but it wasn't my email address. But the dev. database and login expanded, and when they started offering other services, naturally they let developers go on using the accounts they had, so bit by bit, my dev. account eventually became my everything-thats-Apple account. 

BTW, it's very unlikely anybody reading this has any idea what my Apple ID is, since, even way back in 1999, I still gave Apple a unique email address, one I have not used anywhere else. 
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I've experienced a few similar things over the years. I think my favorite was the email I got from Zipcar saying "when you use the gas card at a pump and it asks for your driver number, add leading zeros to make it 6 digits".
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I'm at a Wynonna Judd concert in Lewiston, and she's rocking. As in, that's not country, thats almost Dire Straits, or maybe Kiss. It's pretty cool, though. :)
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Dave Howell

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Game Design Happiness

As my Facebook friends may already know, I played/helped host a game party last Saturday evening. It was in Lewiston at my boyfriend's house, so  I only knew a couple of the people who came, and even those folks I'd only met once or twice before. It wasn't a "hard-core gamer" crowd. There were four or five serious pinochle players, one woman who's a big Boggle fan, and another woman who didn't play pinochle, but told us she really enjoyed Phase 10. 

"Well, I don't have Phase 10 here tonight, but I have something similar you might enjoy...." To wit, my rummy-like game "Foozle," which is played with the Deluxe Fanucci deck. I didn't have rules printed out, but I did have handy reference cards, so I ran through a quick overview of how to play, and got a crowd of five people started. Five is the most I like to have playing Foozle, because, as with so many games, it slows down with more players. 

Not long after they started, some more people arrived, and since my boyfriend was in the Foozle game, I started the newcomers with GiftTrap. That game and the Foozle game ended about the same time, so I had no trouble hearing "Who wants to play it again? We should play it again!" And they did. Not surprisingly, the 2nd game of Foozle was faster than the first, and was followed by a 3rd round. I suspect there might have been even more, except by the time the third game ended, it was after 11pm, and some of the players were ready to go home for the night. 

"Let's play it again!" There are few phrases more heartwarming to a game designer than that one. Heh. 
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I just discovered that my Fanucci deck (used to play Foozle) is referenced from the Wikipedia entry for Double Fanucci. I'm quite astonished. 
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Dave Howell

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Do I know anybody who knows the secret? Hmmmm....
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Well, my best guess would be to install the gnome-desktop (?) package, but that's probably wrong. It's hard for me to believe that they wouldn't make a bare-bones package like that, though.

If worse comes to worst, you could download the source and compile and install it yourself =D
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People
Have him in circles
225 people
Elf Sternberg's profile photo
Margaret Organ-Kean's profile photo
Sarah Hegeman's profile photo
Kathryn Cramer's profile photo
林國庭's profile photo
Jeff Grubb's profile photo
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Work
Occupation
Artist
Employment
  • Improbable Objects
    Artistic Engineer, present
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Male
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Tagline
Nothing if not interesting.
Introduction
If you want to find me in person, just go to the next World Science Fiction convention and ask people if they can direct you toward "Tall Dave from Seattle." Almost anybody will know somebody from Seattle, and just about anybody from Seattle will know me, or know who does. 

About the Photo: Yes, that's really Elmo. Not an Elmo doll, or clone, but Elmo himself. Which is to say, that puppet is sitting on the arm of Kevin Clash, the Henson Puppeteer who brings the iconic monster to life.
Education
  • Pacific Lutheran University
    Bachelor of Musical Arts (Composition), 1985 - 1989
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