Drop #141 (2022-11-22): We shall build a tower so tall, we will mine the very stars themselves!
Seven (Core) Principles Of Design; nfty; The Carp Has Drowned (a.k.a. Losing Is Fun For Everyone!)
#30DayMapChallenge is over soon, and with that end, the 0900ET-ish mbox arrival times will resume.)
Seven (Core) Principles Of Design
A colleague of mine reminded me that I haven't covered design principles in a while (being addicted to Rust will do that to a person). It is time to remedy this callous oversight by dropping back down to some basics. Said basics are the seven (core) principles of design.
Now, there are, of course, more than seven, and most professionals can rattle off the "design dozen" with almost no effort: emphasis, repetition, rhythm, proportion, contrast, balance, white space, movement, hierarchy, unity, pattern, and variety.
Twelve is…alot. No, really! Most of us can keep track of 3-7 "things" pretty well. Get closer to twelve, and we tend to tune out. Design experts know that, and tend to have a fav subset of the list of twelve. I've seen slight variations on the following "core" list, but they most, ultimately, center around:
You may be thinking, "I'm not a UX designer or an artist, so why do I care about this? I am going to unsubscribe from this rag." Well, before you click/tap that exit button, hear me out…
We all design things. All of us. Whether it be something as simple as a Tweet/🐘 Post/email/SMS, or as complex as a presentation or think-piece, you are designing that creation. You may not be doing it overtly, but you are applying some sense of those seven principles you've learned from everything your senses have taken in over the years.
Being deliberate and thoughtful about the creations you make will change the way you build and communicate, which will change the way what you build is perceived.
The link goes to a short, focused article that I'd encourage you to save (perhaps in an Arc Space or Note!) and refer to when you set about to publish the next item you create (say, a note in the comments about your take on what the "core" principles are).
Being lost in a sea of tweets, ActivityPub posts, and Slack messages means I've no idea who it was that pointed out nfty to me (identify yourself in the comments or DM, so I can properly credit you!), but it's a pretty clever pub-sub notification service that is fully open source and super-easy to use.
It feels a bit like an HTTP version of MQTT, and the usage of it (whether the public version or one you host on your own) is pretty simple:
curl -d "New Daily Drop Posted!" ntfy.sh/dailydrop
More complex use lets you add notification priority, a title, and tags to your messages.
On the receiving end, there are apps for all your glowing rectangles, or you can roll your own by following their implementation guidelines for the various streams they support.
I'll be rolling support for this into my CISA KEV notifier (I'll drop a note here when that's done).
The Carp Has Drowned (a.k.a. Losing Is Fun For Everyone!)
I could never be mistakened for a "gamer", though back in the day I could definitely hold my own in a mean game of "Pong" on the monochrome 13" tube TV. Modern games are hyperrealistic, and some of these newfangled rendering engines and graphics hardware make it very difficult to tell reality from [violent] fiction.
Despite these advances, some treasured, older games endure. One of these is Dwarf Fortress, which is "a construction and management simulation and roguelike indie video game created by Bay 12 Games." It's popular enough to have its own subreddit, and compelling enough to cause incredibly talented folks like Lynn to spend time dropping some data science on it. (There are just under a hundred tagged GH projects for it as well.) Even the patches are kitchy enough to follow.
The section header image doesn't do justice to how difficult DF is. The learning curve is…um…massive. You die…alot.
Given that, as a gaming company, one might actually want to earn some coin, it's important for the DF creators to lull unsuspecting, potential gamers into the fold, so they, too, can have their hopes, dreams, and sanity taken from them.
To that end, they've finally offered a tutorial in a recent release of the game. In their own words>
"To make the tutorial all it can be, we found the ultimate play tester: my wife Annie. There are a lot of base-building games out there now, enough to make Dwarf Fortress easier to get into. She doesn't play any of them. The closest she gets to DF is Overcooked 2. After one failed attempt with the original, the latest version of the tutorial allowed her to get good enough at the game to tunnel under a bog and drown her fortress."
See, drowning is definitely not just for carps.
If you've always wanted to be able to torture someone under the guise of generosity, perhaps consider gifting this new, improved? Dwarf Fortress during the upcoming holiday season. Better yet, take the tutorial for a test drive yourself! Perhaps, you, too, will get to the point where "No one has gone missing or died. [But, ] the year is still young."
Make sure to check out Lynn's newsletter for more Dwarf Fortress (and many other interesting topics/finds).