Wednesday, 30 July 2014

More uses for those pesky Loom Bands?

If you've got a child aged between 10 and 15 you will have probably been unable to avoid the current craze of "Loom Bands".  These tiny multicoloured rubber bands are intended to be woven together, in a form of phsychedelic macrame, to make friendship bracelets and other strap like objects.

But they have a far more useful use...  as wound markers for your tabletop miniature games!!

Loom Bands make great wound markers
They're stupidly cheap (1000 for about £3), you can find them just about everywhere at the moment and come in an astonishing array of colours. 

I'm going to throw down the gauntlet and challenge you crafty readers to weave up a set of spell effect templates.  Post links to your achievements in the comments below.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Mad Max 4 - Fury Road Comic-Con Trailer

There's only one word for it...


Dazzle Camoflague for the Future

Back in WW1 artist and Naval Reservist Norman Wilkinson came up with the idea of covering ships in bizarre geometric paint schemes to make it harder enemy submarines to target them.

HMS Kildwick in Dazzle Camoflauge
Fast forward a hundred years and we are fast approaching a minority report scenario where we are all subjected to face recognition scanning to some degree as we pass through public spaces.  We even carry these devices with us every day (it's in the software of most digital cameras in our smartphones). 

Thankfully we're not at the stage where you are scanned by GAP as you walk past their billboard at the tube station, but I'm sure that I'm not alone in thinking that things like facebook's face recognition software are a bit creepy, So here's a free app idea for some enterprising mobile developer.
Muppet face recognition

Enter the guys at CV Dazzle who are developing simple makeup and hair techniques to fool facial recognition software.  The only downside is that it makes you look like some uber futuristic cyberpunk cosplayer or Lady Gaga fan depending on your perspective (and age).

CV Dazzle Makeup and Hair Techniques

Which brings us back to Sci-Fi and RPGs in particular.  The most common party concept for Sci-Fi games is the band of misfits sticking it to the empire/corporation/man and engaging in lots of covert ops where your ability to hide your identity is crucial.  Unless there's been some sort of utopian revolution there is likely to be some form of mass surveillance at work. 

R Talsorian's Cyberpunk 2020 had a plethora of fashionware items such as light emitting tattoos, colour changing hair and contact lenses squarely pitched as mere character affectations.  The 2006 adaptation of Philip K Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" had undercover cop Keanu Reeves in his hi tech "Scramble Suit" to prevent his identity from being revealed.  Even Milla Jovovich got her identity fooling fashion camo together in the visually entertaining "Ultraviolet".

Put these all together and you've got a really sweet combo which should keep those algorithms busy.