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Category Archives: Personal

An invite I created for my 40th birthday party at a local tiki bar. Click to expand it to full-size.

Invite to Greg's 40th Birthday

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For my personal portfolio, a Space Mountain attraction poster in the style of ’60s-era Disney posters.

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Want a copy? Visit here and download.

An Imagineer I met at Disney mentioned that his first assignment at the company was to design a popcorn cart. He shared this in an effort to make the work sound not-at-all-glamorous (it didn’t work), and it occurred to me that if I wanted to get into the theme park business, designing a popcorn cart was probably a more typical task than, say, designing an entire park or attraction.

With that in mind, here’s the popcorn cart I created, themed toward Tokyo DisneySea’s steampunk-inspired Mysterious Island. What you see here was not created for Disney, but instead done for my own portfolio.

Popcorn Cart (400 pixels wide)

I like how it turned out, though my one critique is a fundamental one: it looks a little too much like “a popcorn cart themed to Mysterious Island.” A stronger approach would have made it look like some other piece of hardware that’s been converted into a popcorn cart. My approach almost implies that Captain Nemo (Mysterious Island’s “creator”) spent his spare time designing popcorn carts…unlikely. Far more likely that someone else take one of his creations and turn it into something “trivial.”

The most exciting theme park attractions do something to fool my eye, whether it’s the ghosts of the Haunted Mansion ballroom, Roger Rabbit’s “Portable Hole,” or the Tower of Terror’s infinite hallway. Given the extreme control theme park rides have over the speed and direction of the guest, it would seem like there are rich opportunities to use a parallax scrolling technique to make an interior space seem dramatically bigger; unfortunately, this trick isn’t used nearly as often as I’d expect, especially in low-budget rides, where I think it could add a lot at a very low cost.

Here’s a decidedly not-low-budget concept I drew up for a way to employ the trick in a large circular space:

Click to download a PDF

Click to download a PDF

So: will this actually work? I’m not sure; it’ll take some 3-D modelling of the space to really figure out. But I think the idea is promising.

This is a blog post I wrote that got quite a bit of notoriety back when it was published at the end of 2006. It details my experience of working at Apple Computer on a doomed technology called OpenDoc, and I think a lot of people took interest in it because it talks about one of the real –yet underreported–reasons Apple was failing in the mid-’90s.

You may or may not be familiar with MAME, an absolutely amazing piece of software that lets you run on your PC or Mac virtually any arcade video game that ever existed, from Space Invaders to Pac-Man to Mortal Kombat. Seeing MAME for the first time inspired a deep, deep desire in me to build an arcade cabinet that could play all video games known to man, which I did. The only problem is that MAME is very tricky to use…and arcade games shouldn’t be. To help solve that problem, I wrote a piece of software in Java that makes it easy to run MAME video games, displaying them as if they were songs on a ’60s-era jukebox. Click on the image below to see what the front-end looks like, or visit the Jukebox web site for further details.

Jukebox Screenshot

As mentioned in this post, inspired by MAME, I decided to purchase an old arcade cabinet (Tetris, in this case), gut it, put a PC inside, style the outside, and write a custom software front-end to allow it to play over 1,000 classic arcade games, Atari 2600 games, ColecoVision…you name it, it plays it.

It’s designed to have an early ’60s jukebox aesthetic, and I have to say that it all came out looking pretty great. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to photograph in a flattering way…but in person, it’s cool.

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Design for a web site to teach math to elementary and high school students. (Though you can visit the site, it isn’t working well at the moment. Don’t be too disappointed!)

MathSquid.com Web Site

I developed some “widgets” (tiny programs) for Yahoo!’s Konfabulator and Apple’s Dashboard. Countdown Calendar is one of the more popular widgets on the Mac, and Steve Jobs demoed it in his “Transition to Intel” keynote.

“Rubik’s Cube” game. Download it here (Mac OS X only).

Cube

 

“Countdown Calendar” widget. Download it here (Mac OS X only).

Countdown Widget

 

“Look It Up” search widget:

“Look It Up” Search Widget

 

“Simon” game:

“Simon” game widget

A wedding information web site designed to match pre-printed invitations. Click here to visit the web site.

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I wanted to create a blanket brand for my graphic design and film work, and thus came C3 Images. Though the brand has gone largely unused and the site has remained small, the design was inspired by 1930s-era German graphics.

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Just a few random illustrations:

Milk

Lamp

Balloon

Balloons

A Disney-inspired attraction poster that I created on my own. Posting this online led to me getting a job with Disney to do these “for real.”

Swan Boat Poster

Tomorrowland Poster  If You Had Wings Poster

Back when I was thinking of starting a casual games company, I created this mock-up for a word game based on a metaphor of an eye chart. The Jobim music in the background is an attempt to make the music sound like “waiting room” music at a doctor’s office. I also created a custom “Snellen” font that looked like eye chart type (Snellen charts don’t use all 26 letters, so I had to make up an appearance for some of them.)

Click on the image to watch the video: