Larry Hosken: New: Tag: urban-morphology

"The city you love disappears
But not before leaving
Its mark on you"
–"The City Disappears"
Aaron Cometbus

Permalink
& Comments

Urban Morphology is Everywhere, even San Francisco's Union Square Neighborhood

A lamp post is gone. That's not surprising—it was surrounded by construction for the new subway line. But that post was special, a "landmark" for a photo walk puzzle in the 2-Tone Game. That could explain why those folks who solved that puzzle a few weeks back needed hints to get past that; they were trying to find something that was no longer there.

It was a neat feature for a photo walk puzzle. The usual gimmick with those is getting folks to spot something from far away. This post had something unusual: a number in a distinctive font; the number was on the "wrong side" of the post to be visible as teams walked towards it. But as they walked along, they were looking right at a post with a distinctive-font number that was off-by-one from the number they were looking for. So they could figure out they were looking for a lamp post, probably one nearby. It was an "aha" for teams, not the usual photo walk "aha". It was fun watching playtesters figure it out.

Anyhow, I figured out a new landmark, fixed up that puzzle with a new photo. But I'll miss that post.

Permalink
& Comments

Urban Morphology is Everywhere, even San Francisco's Mission District

We built this city on rock and roll; I built puzzles on this city. Tonight I made a rare journey out to the Mission District to meet friends and listen to shoegazy music. But on the way over, I stopped in a certain alley with a certain musical-themed mural… and thus found out that mural was gone. I'd based an Octothorpean puzzle on that mural. Suspecting that mural might not last long, I announced that puzzle ahead of the rest of Octothorpean. But it lasted quite a while. But tonight it was gone.

So, back at home, full of shoegaze, I set about removing that puzzle from its "arc" of puzzles, lest anyone try to solve it in the future.

Permalink
& Comments

I updated the downloadable 2-Tone Game source code. More recent versions of the App Engine SDK weren't compatible with this four-year-old (five-year-old? something like that) code. I just wanted to u...

Permalink & Comments

Link: Sewage Treatment Plant Tour San Franciscans: I signed up for the June 14 tour of the Oceanside Treatment Plant (the one near the zoo). As of when I signed up just now, there were still 40+ tickets available. ...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: The Ludic City Mostly, an academic jots down observations of people goofing around in cities' public spaces. Pedestrians waggle their arms. Buskers and street crazies accost passers-by. Bicyclists ride in perhaps-s...

Permalink & Comments

Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere and Sometimes Well-Defended Back in the Justice Unlimited game, we stepped off the end of a pier to retrieve a puzzle atop some pilings. But you wouldn't pull that stunt nowadays, of course, it's too dangerous. Those pilings ar...

Permalink & Comments

Who is Max Alper Astroturfing For? Max Alper tried to fool San Francisco yesterday. He posed as a Google employee and screamed condescending crap at people protesting high San Francisco rents. Apparently, the folks staging the protest...

Permalink & Comments

This isn't Even my Final Form In last week's SnoutCast, DeeAnn mused on the recent "save the date" announcement for the Octothorpean Order Opening Day (November 16!): "It's going to be very interesting to see it in its—I ...

Permalink & Comments

Of course the main thing that will strike you about this mural photograph is the total lack of octothorpes: For a while, this wall had an Octothorpe and an Octothorpean puzzle. The excellent Bonel...

Permalink & Comments

Urban Morphology is Everywhere, Even Truckee Dave writes: "I wanted to make a puzzle using the parking meters but they changed while I was developing the puzzle and the new look has much less information." That gets a sympathetic chuckle from ...

Permalink & Comments

Like @TheUriah says, "If you want to destroy part of the urban landscape, base a game on it." Yesterday, on my way back home from the Fendels', I changed trains at the Embarcadero. I checked up on t...

Permalink & Comments

Another San Francisco Octothorpean Puzzle Ahead of Opening Day [Update: Don't play this puzzle; playtesting reveals that it wasn't actually fun.] I'm revealing another San Francisco puzzle from the Octothorpean Order online puzzlehunt: Bunny. No, the Octothorpe...

Permalink & Comments

Post about Post-Post Situation Part of a 2-Tone Game puzzle used to be something like, "Look south-by-southwest for an easily recognizable post; on the sidewalk beneath it is a quote; the letters on the corners of the quote form a...

Permalink & Comments

One San Francisco Octothorpean Puzzle Ahead of Opening Day I'm not a super-duper expert about location-based puzzles. I don't know exactly when the world is going to change and thusly mess up a puzzle. But I know that it happens. This weekend, I found a nice...

Permalink & Comments

Before watching the CNY parade, I kibbitzed a bit at the CNYTH. And before that, I swung by the Ferry Building to check on a 2-Tone Game puzzle, make sure its environmental data was still there. But ...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Low Life Many quick snippets about New York's criminals and underclass. It was kinda fun, but a few days after reading it, I remember almost nothing. I could say that was a metaphor for New York itself, alway...

Permalink & Comments

Everything is the Same There The Tektronix business park is in Silicon Forest, not Silicon Valley. But. But they named a street after Terman nonetheless. ...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: West of the West A newspaper reporter does some journalizing about whatever he likes. Since he likes California, especially the San Joaquin Valley and Fresno, the results are some pretty interesting stories... uhm, t...

Permalink & Comments

Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, even the new Online Journalism Sweet article by Sara Faith Alterman in the Bold Italic with awesome illustrations by juan leguizamon about the local puzzle hunt scene. No wonder a bunch of people suddenly showed up at the 2-Tone G...

Permalink & Comments

There's a van parked across the street from my apartment labeled Digital Concrete. That sounded about as useful as Online Haircuts. But when I visited the Digital Concrete website, it was pretty inte...

Permalink & Comments

Some Dude named Danny asked on the BANG mailing list: has anyone played the 2-Tone Game lately? Anyone sure it's still working? After all, it's based on stuff in San Francisco, and is bound to corrod...

Permalink & Comments

PhotoCity Pervasive Capture-the-Flag Photo Game Part II PhotoCity is this game where you "capture" areas of a city by photographing them. But you can't play in just any neighborhood. The game only works if you start in a place that they've "seeded". I h...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Kraken I guess this book's genre is horror. Or urban fantasy. In modern-day London, some normal folks are drawn into conflicts between wizards, armageddons, and objects of worship. So there's a secret Lo...

Permalink & Comments

Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, albeit one less place Corby sent me mail yesterday: some of the environmental data for the 2-Tone Game went away. I was already planning to take today as a vacation day, so now I had a morning activity. Confirm that the...

Permalink & Comments

Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, Decaying You remember how I wrote that Blood and Bones behaved particularly classily on a spaceship-sized climbing structure? That climbing structure is gone now, it's just a big sandpit at the bottom of som...

Permalink & Comments

Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, Even Places that are Gone This is another spoiler-free (I think) post about the 2-Tone Game. Things change. Cities are things. Therefore, cities change. Last weekend, I was in the neighborhood of a puzzle site, a puzzle f...

Permalink & Comments

Link: PhotoCity Pervasive Capture-the-Flag Photo Game Just watched a video of a recent talk by a University of Washington professor named Popovic. His schtick is crowd-sourcing difficult tasks by turning those tasks into games. (Have you heard of Rosett...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: The Berkeley Pit Cousin Eric was in town this weekend. There was some sight-seeing. One place of interest was Berkeley. My parents pointed out some places of interest for the Free Speech Movement: here was the pla...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: The City & The City It is a new book by China Miéville. It has a creepy premise, and is very paranoid. There are two cities which occupy the same geographic space. How do they coexist? Citizens of each city ha...

Permalink & Comments

Comic Report: Ex Machina (the first several collections) When I first heard about the comic book "Ex Machina", I stopped paying attention too soon. I heard that the protagonist is a superhero who can talk to machines. And those do what he says instead of...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Un Lun Dun Before I launch into a complain-y whine about a book, I want to remind myself that there are good things in life. Yesterday was a good day. (I didn't even have to use my A.K.) There were good comic...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Engineering the City This book, Engineering the City showed up as an Amazon.com-recommended book, probably because I liked Brian Hayes' book Infrastructure so much. I kinda wish I'd paid more attention to the details of...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: A Far Country Scouting game locations for a puzzle hunt, e.g. BANG 19, is time-consuming but fun. It's a good excuse to go out on a tour of not-in-front-of-your-computer. Plus, since you're trying to find places...

Permalink & Comments

Site: New Photos for the Lyon St Page Last week, a few folks headed over to Pete's place to watch the movie "Appleseed Ex Machina", which was pretty good. Pete lives in the Marina district. Thus, this was a chance for me to once again ...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Invisible Cities I am back from Los Angeles. I have seen more art museums recently than... than is perhaps healthy. The stench of artsy-fartsiness clings to me still. I'm digging out from underneath a backlog of e...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Infrastructure Wow, Infrastructure is a great book. You should acquire it and read it. (Here, by "read" I mean "look at the photos". But you can read it, too, if you like.) It is photographs of "infrastructure"...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Planet of Slums Seriously? They used Erlang? On purpose? What's that you say? The mic is on? We're rolling? We're on the air? Oh! Ahem. It's time for a Book Report. This book by Mike "City of Quartz" Davis ...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Invisible Man Yesterday, I went to a game party at work. I won a couple of games, which was more than my share. You might think that means I'm a brilliant strategist, until you find out what games I won (and how...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Poor George Apparently Bernd Becher, industrial site photographer, died last week. Dammit. I would prefer that tragedies be restricted to fiction, please. Poor George is bleak. Nobody knows why they do the th...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Garbage Land Yesterday was all errands, errands, errands. Except that one of those errands was "Return Garbage Land to the library." and since that library was in Berkeley, I made a couple of fun side trips. I ...

Permalink & Comments

Link: We have Metonymy and They Are Ours The Brain Fist webcomic is often funny.Labels: comic, explosions, urban morphology...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Shadow Cities This book, by Robert Neuwirth, changed the way I think about the world. It's about slums, squatter cities, shanty towns, favelas. It's about people who build on land they don't own. It's about peo...

Permalink & Comments

Book Report: Metropolis I am sick today. I lost my voice. So it's a bad day for conversation. But a good day for napping, blogging, and reading. Out of sympathy for my plight, I think you should read Metropolis. Go read...

Permalink & Comments

Tags