1 - UnConed

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1 - UnConed

Post by rabid squirrel on Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:43 am

UnConed
@mr_unconed
also known as: Steven Wittens

Our earliest legend, UnConed was likely famous mostly due to circumstances. He only made the two notable tracks, but Jagged Peak Adventure became a two-month beta 2 teaser for the magnifying glass, eraser tool, and flag tool, which resulted in enormous popularity. Millions of people watched Jagged Peak and its sequel, Urban Run, and he inspired countless people to move beyond goofing around with line rider to creating worlds for Bosh to ride through.

UnConed was not an amazing line artist, but that is arguably one of the reasons his videos became so influential - the typical response was not "Wow I could never do that" but rather, "That's awesome, and I could totally make something like that if I put in a little time and effort!" The amount of people UnConed has directly and indirectly inspired to play line rider seriously is simply unparalleled in sheer numbers. We basically owe him everything.

Jagged Peak Adventure [2006]
Spoiler:
Released a couple months before Beta 2 with about half the features, Jagged Peak Adventure remains the most well known Line Rider track of all time. By describing this as "a scenic trip through the magical world of Line Rider", unconed coined the term "scenery", since this was before the three different line types. Careful examination of the track shows spots where green lines would be if UnConed had had them at his disposal, but were left out - the conclusion being that the entire track was made with "blue" pencil tool lines, but before the lines had designated colors. You can also see that this track was made without the straight line tool. This track's mountain theme is clearly inspired by the Beta 1 track "Die at the Slopes" by D4N3TRAIN, but UnConed's scenery has so much more variety and creativity that it arguably was the first track to transcend the "game" label and become art. It was also arguably the first track to go beyond "decoration" to create a convincing world that Bosh traveled through. Talk about inspiring.

Urban Run [2006]
Spoiler:
Described by UnConed as "Completely 3D", this was the first Line Rider track to attempt 3D scenery, making it the basis for all scenery in line rider that attempts some sort of 3D look - which is nearly every well-known scenery track released after it. This spawned a whole pack of "city" and "skatepark" spinoff tracks, not to mention was one of the first tracks (possibly the first track) to use of the straight line tool in an innovative way.


Last edited by rabid squirrel on Sun May 31, 2015 12:59 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: 1 - UnConed

Post by rabid squirrel on Fri May 01, 2015 4:25 pm

I think it's pretty crazy that the Urban Run inspired Ideology by FlagCapper in late 2008:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYLklq6fYUg
and (possibly indirectly?) Metropolis Run by shotoku in 2015:
http://iridethelines.forumotion.com/t10919-metropolis-run-by-shotoku-and-gaoyubao

also, GhostY is working on "Jagged Peak Adventure 2015" - we talk about it at like 1:52:20-1:56:15 in the squirrel broadcast interview, and you can see a sneak peek too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOpgUYfb7Jk#01h51m00s

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Re: 1 - UnConed

Post by Conundrumer on Mon May 18, 2015 5:11 pm

unconed is at acko.net
he's got a lot of bio stuff there, showing how he used to be part of the music visualization community and eventually transitioned to the web browser and webGL

Here are his blog posts about his Line Rider tracks:
http://acko.net/blog/on-a-lighter-note/
http://acko.net/blog/line-rider-urban-run/
http://acko.net/blog/stargate-atlantis-meets-line-rider-go-rodney/

a more recent post of his is also somewhat relevant to LR:
http://acko.net/blog/the-cargo-cult-of-game-mechanics/

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Re: 1 - UnConed

Post by rabid squirrel on Mon May 18, 2015 5:57 pm

Damn that last post is AMAZING

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Re: 1 - UnConed

Post by rabid squirrel on Fri May 22, 2015 3:29 am

unconed
If you really wanted to remake jagged peak, you'd only use blue lines tho. Hah.

IRTLtube
+unconed True!
Did you know I typed up a Line Rider bio for you?
http://iridethelines.forumotion.com/t11040-1-unconed

Feel free to critique it!

unconed
+IRTLtube Yup, that's how I found this video. I saw the referral traffic.

"Careful examination of the track" makes me laugh in the best way, that people had analytical discussions about my mediocre drawings. No critique, you pretty much nailed it, especially the Die at the Slopes inspiration. As for the long tease for beta 2, this was an accident. Fsk was going to release it a week or so after I posted my video, but then got into talks with Inxile and put it on hold.

I always thought it was a shame though that pretty much everyone adopted the two step process of 1) make crazy tech track with autist levels of precision and 2) draw surreal scenery on top. I always drew the scenery right from the start... This made it feel more like a story to me than just a piece of artwork. I thought it was cool that the one-way aspect of lines was enough to let you hide the track in the landscape if you were smart about it, and scenery lines took that away.

The biggest achievement in LR to me is still Omniverse, because it was a meta track, illustrating all its own tricks. I know all about LR's physics engine (I helped fsk with it), it was amazingly impressive that people figured out stable and reproducible ways to do glitch tricks and developed this pseudo-skater culture of naming and performing them. In a flash game that was never meant as more than a toy.

gg internet, never change.

Ben Harvey
+unconed responding on my personal account this time. Glad I got everything right. And yes, many of us have had analytical discussions about your mediocre drawings :P Like I said in the bio, they weren't amazing but they were very inspiring, which is why they were incredibly influential.

As a scener myself, I find myself repeatedly trying to explain to the majority of the community that just because a track is technically good at abusing glitches that does not mean that it will be good for scenery, and I find people kinda nod their heads vaguely and then go back to scening quirks, and then when the scened quirk takes a ton of effort and receives mixed reviews, they stop scening altogether and go back to making quirk. headdesk

I do have to say though, that though I often plan out the scenery at least part of the way into the track, if a track will get upwards of 20,000 lines or so it's not really practical to scene it as you make the track due to lag, which requires splitting the scenery into sections. I also like to plan out the entire scope of the track before getting down to the nitty-gritty details. Nevertheless, I do try to advocate for a synthesis of track and scenery, and strive to create that myself. If you feel so inclined, feel free to check out the best tracks I've made (bolted to the wall, archaeology, driftwood) on this channel. (No pressure though, feel free to ignore this)

Did you know that Conundrumer is currently working on a new build of Line Rider, LineOnline? The idea is for it to keep with the spirit of Beta 2 (unlike Beta 3, Silverlight, UnBound, etc) but be in a modern programming environment which would greatly reduce lag and make it easy for people to collaborate, share, publish, etc. It's still in alpha stages since Conun (David) has been busy graduating from Carnegie-Melon and stuff but I'm hoping it will soon show real progress. I've been following the project relatively closely and it's showing some real promise Smile

Also, I read your somewhat recent blog post with the conclusion about sandbox games being the future of game design (conun posted it in the thread and I commented on it) and found it extremely well-written and totally fascinating. Always thought of myself as more of an artist than a gamer, which is maybe why I feel kinda alone in the line rider community a lot of the time.

Ben Harvey
+unconed Oh damn it I forgot the most important thing. So, as you may know, InXile has officially discontinued hosting Line Rider, along with Fantastic Contraption and some other things. The thing is, the guy who made Fantastic Contraption showed up on the fan forum and said that since InXile took it down there was a clause in his contract that said he now has the ownership for the game, so he was able to get the domain and data from them and get the game back up.

This obviously got the wheels turning in my brain, and I started thinking, does that mean fsk now has the rights to Line Rider, and maybe the versions we've been making to add little tweaks and such to 6.2 could be less undercover? And - just maybe - we could get the linerider.com domain? We tracked down his email on an art museum site that was good last october so I assume it's still good, and I'm gonna try emailing him. But since I know you two were (are?) friends maybe you might have thoughts on how I should reach out?

unconed
+Ben Harvey Yup lag, that's why my drawings were always so jittery at the end. Unlike your flawless line work, impressive.

A new version of LR sounds great, I was unaware. I saw a web-based track viewer earlier (asciirider?), nice to see that kind of work being done. Having an open format for tracks and a reference implementation would be wicked, even more so if someone sets up a good repository to host them on. These things are cheap nowadays, node/express/couchdb on a linode could be all you need.

Re: the blog post, thanks, I'm glad it set off light bulbs, it certainly drew a crowd. Culturally we don't understand games as a medium or a craft, I don't think that's obvious to the younger generation. The quip about Twitter being a video game was more important than I let on, I don't know if that gave many people pause or if they read over it. I wanted to spotlight video games and gamification for a reason other than GamerGate, as the media had started their demonization narrative and that was surely going to take a year (and here we are). Many today who are avid gamers in their 30s and 40s were the outcasts as kids, playing games was not fashionable, especially PC. Even on early line rider videos everyone's telling the author to get a life. Fast forward 9 years and people-with-no-life is now pretty much the entire driving force behind Tumblr and Twitter. If you haven't read anything else I've written, there's a post called "Storms and Teacups" from 2013 which indirectly heralds the ongoing events in gaming of last fall. It also ties into my experience with line rider at the end, albeit indirectly. No pressure though, feel free to ignore me Smile

http://acko.net/blog/storms-and-teacups/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOpgUYfb7Jk

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Re: 1 - UnConed

Post by Z_N-Freak on Fri May 22, 2015 11:54 am

read both of those blogposts. I love this guy.

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Re: 1 - UnConed

Post by Conundrumer on Fri May 22, 2015 3:10 pm

The thing about fsk getting the rights to LR seems possible, but InXile is still hosting Line Rider iRide, where the latest update was back in February. I still think it's worth reaching out, though. Further discussion on this should be in a separate thread.

To bring to back to unconed, I think I'll ask him for help on WebGL (this will make LR really fast at rendering lines), since he actually gave a talk at a JS conference about WebGL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNO_CYUjMK8

His blog post "Storms and Teacups" is also on point.

It's pretty amazing how everything is coming together in unexpected ways.

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Re: 1 - UnConed

Post by rabid squirrel on Fri May 22, 2015 8:15 pm

@Conundrumer wrote:The thing about fsk getting the rights to LR seems possible, but InXile is still hosting Line Rider iRide, where the latest update was back in February. I still think it's worth reaching out, though. Further discussion on this should be in a separate thread.
All the reviews on iRide are about how it no longer works

(Sorry for not making a separate thread, I don't want to make it until I actually send the email. If you make it I will tag along)

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Re: 1 - UnConed

Post by rabid squirrel on Sun May 31, 2015 1:00 am

UnConed now has a WRTL account!

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Re: 1 - UnConed

Post by rabid squirrel on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:08 pm

Q & A from 2008


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Re: 1 - UnConed

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