This morning I was feeling nostalgic for the road trips we’d take in our teens. Louisville, Huntsville, Athens, or Atlanta were all within a 4 hour drive of my little town of Lewisburg, TN. My friends and I would pile into a car and drive till we found a neat looking neighborhood, then get out and walk for a few hours before heading back to the car for the night. We’d wake up sweaty and sore, then walk around for a few more hours before driving back home.
The cities all stayed the same, it was us that would change. Of course we had plenty of coffee shops, all ages shows, and heavily tattooed punk girls in Nashville, but travelling gave us plenty of chances to try on new identities for ourselves. In each new city I could pretend to be some sort of Kerouac-ian poet, well travelled and confident. But as we’d return to the same town that mystique would wear off and we’d eventually just be more locals spending their whole day in some coffee shop.
Matt was my best friend and most frequent travel companion. He’d meet me just as I was getting off from work and we’d just decide to drive somewhere. “North or south, doesn’t matter. I just need to be back by Thursday.”
I had a secret ambition to someday earn the nickname “Tennessee” during one of these frequent trips. I never told anyone, especially Matt, but I hoped that if I tried hard enough the people around would just somehow now that this was my new name. My new identity. That weird traveller from someplace other than where we were.
Matt and I walked into a house party in Louisville after being invited by a cute barista. As we entered she pointed to Matt and said “Hey everyone, this is Tennessee, he’s an artist.” then she pointed to me and said “and this is his friend”. Matt and the barista made out all night while I eventually worked my way to the back porch where I sat and read on the road while everyone partied.
I rarely have the urge to be anonymous anymore, but when I do, I use my real name.
I’m on a flight back to SF from Austin and had a random thoughts to share. For the past 8 months I’ve been contracting a couple days a week with Torque Magazine and WP Engine, who are based in Austin. Last month they officially brought me into the company as a creative content strategist. So I flew in this week for New Employee Orientation.
Austin feels like a smaller version of Nashville, which is the city I grew up in. The weather felt similar and both cities share a similar mix of modern architecture. Stylish skyscrapers, historic old bars, lots of live bands playing along neon lit streets. Another small thing I noticed around Austin: it feels like the city was designed before skateboards. You know how just about every handrail, marble step, and public bench in SF have little bumps to discourage skaters? There’s so many awesome skateable places in Austin without any of that. I didn’t see a lot of skaters there though, maybe the cops are real dicks to skaters there?
While playtesting our Sweet Ride game, we kept having players ask us why the board didn’t slow down or change direction whenever they turned it. For us the game was always meant to be a silly un-realistic take on skateboard games, but for our players the lack of friction was distracting. So we decided to make it a hoverboard game.
Now I’m just wondering, which ground effect do you like best and why? A, B, or C? These are the undersides of the boards, the tops will just have grip tape (like a normal board). Here’s some recent gameplay footage.
When viewed from the top down (the normal player view), the board will have a glow underneath it like this:
I just launched a collaboration with Betabrand that I’m really stoked about. Many of you might already know that for the past few years I’ve been trying make a series of glitched-knit-sweaters. Trying to find a source for the sweaters has been difficult and many of my factory connections have slowly stopped responding to me. So when I Liz from Betabrand reached out to me I thought it would be awesome to scale the project down a little bit and try doing a series of glitched out socks.
I’ve already been working on this for years, so I had a lot of the copy and designs down, but doing it with Betabrand means this project might finally get made. It also gave me a chance to look at everything from a new angle and I decided that along with the glitched out patterns, it’d be great to include some classic crash screens that would instantly evoke strong memories for many who saw them.
Doc’s Socks are currently in the voting process and I’d love it if you could go over and vote for your favorite pairs. Things are looking good so far, so hopefully these things will make it out of the Think Tank and into production sometime soon!