Sorry, did not see anything there, just a few comic strips, some ads and reviews and a few notes requesting people to work on some game project.

www.nuklearpower.com

Great RPG-related humor. Even if you don't play RPGs, it's still worth a look. It starts out a bit shaky, but it gets better and better. Check it out.


My comments on Newground:

More than half of their games are simply remakes or current versions of old BBS games (from when "online" meant dialing a local BBS on a 1200baud moden). I used to play "Assassin" (same game available at Newgrounds now) back in 1989. Definitely not anything new or creative.

CZ


I took a look at newgrounds.com and it looks to me to be just another collection of contributed flash. Not even much original that hasn't been seen many other places already and it doesn't even have any common theme about the site.

Worse yet, you have to dig through all of the ads and pop-ups just to find anything (talk about sleuthing). I find it funny that they've got the brains (as a collective group of all who contributed), yet not intelligent enough to discover that pop-ups don't pay well and chase away more visitors than could be retained otherwise.

All of that aside, the flash can be entertaining, but the bottom line is that http://www.newgrounds.com is just another flash-site, not even in the same genre now worthy of comparrison to DanZen.

CZ


www.mouchette.org

Thanks for the interesting site link, Ivan. The site has a few nice surprises. I can't say for sure that I saw all of it. It's one of those artistic, hidden interface sites sort of like a calmer corner of superbad reviewed below.

Nothing really complex, though. That's not to say that creativity requires complexity. A single twist can be extremely creative. Or a spark, to connect two or more ideas often sets a high level of creativity.

Like I said, I found one or two surprises like what happens when you kill a fly. That was very cool and the same concept in communication is used elsewhere. It boils down to a form to submit a story. This is similar to the Tower of Babel for instance. The Tower has a broader scope of encouraging raw imagination in making up phrases never said and a communal ranking system.

The outcome of these stories is similar to a little game we set up for George Jr. Hand Story where we ask people to identify the object in the picture. It's a take on the common improv with an item skit I suppose.

Getting back to the point, there were one or two of these sparks (giving her the benefit of the doubt) on Mouchette. Her word-play looked interesting but I did not pay that much attention to it. We're really trying to deal with creative use of this medium as opposed to creative writing posted online.

On Dan Zen, setting humbleness aside, there are dozens of sparks and very complex mappings of stories, games and themes to Web interactivity. Much of this is raw creativity - building from absolutely nothing to something completely new.

Well, I hope Mouchette keeps at it - she's has an intriguing personality. It would be good to see her stop doodling around - although doodles are fun too.

e-Dan


The post below, signed --Ivan.
It's perhaps not as creative as yours. But www.mouchette.org is nice.
No....don't feel like arguing the Superbad point.
obviously it took some amount of creativity to create, but as for what it offers as far as interactivity....it all dwindles down to: point, click, look, point, click, look....
Hehe, I was just running out of submissions.
I'm sure I could think of a few more, but all the sites I submitted are the ones I had sorta grouped together in my head with this site...weird places, lots of creative stuff.


www.superbad.com

Superbad is a site of pop-art javascript collage. The pieces are colorful, weird, and sometimes thematic. There appears to be about 60 of these pieces all cross-linking with one another in a fairly random manner - possibly grouped in themes but hard to tell.

I've been watching the site for a few years now and the pieces are indeed memorable and clever in their bizarre operation. They rely heavily on javascript to make things appear and disappear. As well, there is great usage of the lowsrc parameter and backgrounds to load multiple images.

Having said that, the site still lives up to its name - it is basically useless stuff - purposefully useless and that's what gives Superbad such a strong sense of self irony. Actually, the site can be useful to pick up some cool tricks to use in places of purpose.

However, I think the true test of high level creativity is to [connect or form] the [artistic or technical] to the [useful or logical].

You are welcome to disagree and we can discuss this more...

e-Dan


CND? is that an abreiviation (screw you, i can't spill!!!!) for canada-ian?

boom. ba dum ba-dum... booom boom.


CND
Hey! Is the $100 in American money or Canadian?
$100 Critic Sumission (yet again!)

Dammit! Tightwad! Hehe...
Well, as for snarg, the first time I ran into it I was under the influence of quite a bit of LSD.

The second time I visited I was much more sober, and I didn't get quite as much from the experience...but at least then I was able to appreciate a bit more how the site was put together, rather than simply accepting that the site was manifested onto my monitor by aliens of a much higher degree of enlightenment then myself (and who's to say it wasn't!?), as I had done before.

Anyway, here's another little sit for ya...relatively simple design, but I thought the simplicity was used rather creatively...although...I made little sense of the whole place.

Submission:
www.superbad.com


www.otakuworld.com

Virtual paperdolls and kamishibai, with a large gallery of visitor contributions. Not that I think it's better, you just might like to check it out.
www.snarg.net - challenge received by email.

SNARG is a beautiful, rich, funky, psychedelic, moody trip through multimedia art.

The interface to view the work is embedded in the work which helps the site become more than just a gallery. When exploring the main oval screen you can click the partial oval at the bottom to get a menu:

j'n'g [personal experiences of Jeff and Gael]
justbecause [pictures]
posi-web [web ring]
flashers [interactive collage in flash]
technobaroque [pictures and patterns]

A great deal of care and artistic integrity went into SNARG. For instance in the j'n'g section as in all the sections special icons are used that are art themselves. You do not see a hint of undressed HTML.

Justbecause and technobaroque are exhibits of pictures that are often fractal based but morphed or arranged to meet the artist's goal. They are vivid, grouped in themes, and present a solid body of work. The pictures are often animated with parts of pictures linking to other pictures, different backgrounds or sounds.

The Flashers section leads you to three flash pieces which like the main-menu oval, are experimental and beautiful. Although haunting, they are simple or obscure and I did not take much meaning from them aside from a rewarding feeling that there may be a higher level of existence that I do not understand. It is amusing playing with the buttons and hunting for the navigation which turns out to be logical and consistent once you get in the spirit.

The music on the site is great - perhaps the first site I've left it turned up and not been upset by download time or transitions, etc. There's definitely a techno/ambient feel - I don't know if these sounds were created by the authors or sampled but they are certainly well chosen and placed and often acts as if driven by the animation! Excellent use of overlaid action sounds making an aural collage as well.

All in all, a beautiful site to explore. Does it show a higher level of creativity than Dan Zen? The sites are different; one being art and the other "games" which makes the comparison more complex so I'll move towards a quick analysis of SNARG in its respective field.

SNARG is fairly fresh to the Web with it's heavy use of Flash. But, the interactive multimedia technology has been around for a while and probably reached it's first peak about four years ago with the development of CD Roms. The authoring tool, Director, by Macromedia who now look after Flash and Shockwave, was used extensively to produce many CD Roms similar to the graphic art collage work of SNARG. A popular example is Laurie Anderson's work. So the concept is not new and we need to look to the content of the art for creativity.

The art pieces certainly appear creative but generally in an aesthetic sense not in subject manner or meaning. Even looking at the aesthetic creativeness I would point to the technique and tools like fractals and morphs as a major contributor to the unusualness of the artwork. Remember not to confuse visual complexity with creativity.

In general, I would say the art of SNARG excels in aesthetics, style and skill. There is plenty of discovery but that is what happens when you play with these tools. Until you show me art with ingenious subject matter or at least novel concept, I can not conclude that it is at a high level of creativity.

e-Dan


the aliens are coming!!
SUMMERY

NG Http://www.newgrounds.com
DZ Http://www.danzen.com

NG 5 years development
DZ 2.5 years development

NG logo
DZ Totem (more info)

NG BBS
DZ Dens
Compare the creative writing going on in the atmospheric Dens to the standard but still cool chat on the BBS.

NG Shirt
DZ World's Tallest Hat

NG Mailing List
DZ Telepathy

NG Theatre and The Portal
DZ Gallery 2000
Both display other's work and can't really be counted.


NG Games or Features
Assassin
Beep Me Jesus
Cat Dynamics
Club a Seal
Pico
Samurai Asshole
Telebubby Fun Land
FDA featuring Tyrone
Unstoppable Flying A-holes


DZ Games and Features
Hip Cats - Turn On, Jack In, and Hang Out
Password Paradox - Most addictive game on earth
Salamander - Spy Game
Spirogram - Encoded Messages
Prediction Train - 2000 Predictions
Teleporters - Roll-over One!
Word Warp - Anagram Fun
Tower of Babel - Mythical Murmurs
Moustache Mysteries - Interactive Sleuthing
Web Ouija - Mystical Oracle
Gorgolon Underwater Sci-Fi
YesUmNo - The Voting Game
Danisms - Inventions & Ideas
Headline Machine - Elvis was an Alien
Help - Barnacles Give Aid
Invite - Unusual invitations
Grim Reaper's Age Guesser - Numerology
Utopia - An Erotic Mystery
Shrinkray - Wow, a shrink ray!
Blimp Race - several thousand party as they float
Blimp Race II - 13,000 Racers float on

COMMENTS

NG is certainly a lot of fun in a scatological way. The NG games also involve a lot more action and animation which DZ, being primarily "mind games" does not have. I could be wrong but I would say that the action and animation are a way to realize a creative idea and are not necessarily creative in themselves although they certainly take skill to produce. The creativity is often found more so in the areas discussed next.

Most DZ games have very original plots, characters, concept and game play. For samples, please play the games or read the help sections which go into detail about the games. NG games, have fairly simple plots. Being primarily parodies, the characters are original only to a certain degree. Their game play is traditional or even fairly one-tracked -maim. Their concepts are very clever. Clever can certainly require creativity. In some cases with NG it is difficult to tell if the originality is through creativity or inhibition.

A reasonable amount of creative interface work went into the NG games. The flash interface work is well done but fairly traditional manner of "forward" arrows and menu options. The Beep me Jesus game is a good example of wrapping a simple game in an interesting marketing shell and following through with matching interface design. The comic bubble blurbs used for characters speaking is also an example of an "immersed" interface although a fairly standard one. I think you will find that DZ games almost all have an immersed interface and many of them are far from standard - whispered words forming the Tower of Babel, send and receive antennae, saucer controls as an interface to a song, consoles, trains, spots, teleporters…

All in all, I think the plots, characters, concept, and game play of DZ games like Gorgolon, Moustache Mysteries, Salamander, Password Paradox, are leaps and bounds ahead in terms of creativity than any of the games on NG. Contrary to this, I think the fun had in playing NG games may be leaps and bound ahead of the DZ games. To that end, you may one day see a more lively DZ game.

Sorry, no $100 yet but you are certainly welcome to refute or try again with another site.

e-Dan


Argue this one....creativity, innovation, interactivity, great art, design, ideas (in my opinion at least), great use of Flash, Java, and HTML....and dammit, this site is just fun as all hell.

I've posted it on Hipcats before, and here it is again, because I'm broke and I'm hoping to make an easy $100 without needing to bust my ass at work to get it.

NEWGROUNDS
http://www.newgrounds.com
"The problems of the future, today!"

I'm sure somebody must have posted this before, but I didn't see it so here it is.


Helllooooo?

nico blue


Whats goin on????
he people
Well any other takers?

There must be some site out there.


I'm not looking for any award, the site was given as an example, of how people of common interests can form the fiction and politics to liven something so static as an unchanging game. Those involved have formed a solid bond and many have met in real life, as well as branched into other action gaming arenas and game developement itself. Because there are no sponsors or funding, only parts of the many free web resources were used in all parts of that site.

I too am a bit supprised that a simple game has led to so much, because of the LOC website. There is so much more to it, but due to the politics played into the game, much is done in secrecy, with limited access. There is also spying and other espianage going on between rival gaming squads, but all in the nature of the game.

Since the creation of LOC, my gaming club has been invited as Proffessional Beta testers to experiment and participate in many "closed betas" and games still in developement, as well as bartering free play-time in exchange for test playing.

CZ


http://loc.iscool.net is an example of a site which requires a community - people to imagine and build. Chaos Zen has set up the beginnings of a community for a "team" that plays the Raiderwars game. Much like we at Dan Zen, he is hoping that people will come and use their imagination to form friendships, stories and memories.

People tend not to get involved to the level hoped for by the creators so we are often left with a question: is it the environment we have set up that that is the difficulty or is it just the pace of our society (or the Web) that pulls people away from spending time within the environments and really participating?

Chaos Zen, you probably ask this question. We at Dan Zen have to ask it for the most of our games because they involve created environments. Unlike your site, we have created environments from original premises. Why don’t you try that? Do not base your hard work on someone else’s concepts. Start your own. Then perhaps we’ll award you the $100 prize.

Dan Zen


OK, I haven't posted any of my pages yet, because I don't think any have the kind of interactivity I would be satisfied with, but since the rest have been fair and now exactly "awesome" so far, it would only be fair that I submit something, even if only a little.

The following is a link to a web page designed for participants in an online game (my personal favorite), and offers a form/guestbook or two, a message area, some info, the basic web page stuff. Like I said, the interactivity is very limited.

http://loc.iscool.net

Perhaps when I figure out how to obtain a static IP without paying my ISP a fortune to do so, I could set up a host server and get the script support I need for my program code.

Chaos Zen


http://www.angelfire.com/pa/megandianna has a fun and useful set of links but where's your content?

Dan Zen


http://www.angelfire.com/pa/megandianna
Hello everybody


With regard to www.countdown9199.com - the site is fairly standard Marketing fare. It looks decent but it's hard on the Web to compete with TV for a presentation like that. So it makes more sense to use the Web's strengths - interactivity.

You should be asking people how they percieve e-commerce and what they would like for themselves. Tell them that all the data you collect you will use to offer solutions by September. You will send a reminder as the date approaches.

The way you ask them could be a form or it could be a graphical puzzle where they put together their scenario based on a number of inputs like type of business, estimated traffic, etc.

Best of luck, but no $100.

Dan Zen


That SUX! 60 second comercials are bad enough, but a slow multimedia comercial that includes an even slower "countdown" before the actual comercial! That's one of the worsts sites I've ever visited, most kid's "links to cool pix" pages have more interactivity and take less time.
www.countdown9199.com

I just want to see the hat, but can't afford it while out of work due to injury.
That's a good attitude!
If I won the $100, I'd throw it in the hat!
thanks for the compliment e-dan.
or real, all natural vinilla bean ice cream?
better than LL cool bean
howdy zen
That was me, Chaos Zen, but unfortunatly my pain causes me to be short of concentration at the moment and I have a hard time seeing things through or remembering a recent train of thought. I know I had several ideas that seemed good at the time, but forget what they were. Sorry.

Maybe if I remember, I'll post them somewhere.

Chaos Zen


By the way, the http://www.cinenet.net/~lebe/ is cute. Kids these days are lucky to be growing up with such a wonderful place to create. I hope their ideas make a boundless cyberspace. Calm down (expand your attention spans), think and do.

e-Dan


Creativity. What kind of items have you got in mind? And who are you?

e-Dan


Creativity or "know-how"?
I have many items of interest, but lack the knowledge of implementing as much interactivity as Danzen has. Perhaps some day.
try http://www.cinenet.net/~lebe/

it is under constrution...



We'd like you to suggest websites for Dan Zen to review. We'll give you $100 if you suggest a site that we agree shows a higher level of creativity than Dan Zen.

Go ahead, take the challenge. One site per person, please email garden@danzen.com with the site URL. Of course, for a proper challenge, you should play all the Dan Zen games.