October 25, 2007

Game On

Tomorrow I’ll be playing in Coudal Partner’s Layer Tennis, a rip roaring good way to spend a Friday afternoon. Here’s how it works: Two players swap a file (in this case, a Photoshop file) back and forth in realtime “volleys”, each player adding to and embellishing the previous volley. Each volley has a 15 minute time limit, so the action is fast-paced.

I’ll be playing against Brian Taylor, a throughly capable opponent whose work I’ve admired for years. Commentating on the match is Matthew Baldwin of Defective Yeti fame (and responsible for one of my favorite posts). I definitely have my work cut out for me. Check out the match preview for more info on the three of us and the game.

The match is a special Halloween edition and I’m told is not meant for the faint of heart. The blood shall indeed flow! Hopefully there will be a medic on the court, just in case. A few vampire hunters and crucifixes probably wouldn’t hurt either. In these final moments leading up to game time I’ve gotten my racket restrung and have been doing some calisthenics to ensure I can chase down any errant returns. I won the coin flip, so I’ll be starting us off. No matter who wins, this promises to be a fun time. Tune in tomorrow at 2pm Chicago time or GMT-6, and jump into the forums for discourse on the match. Hope to see you there!


Boy, am I glad that’s over. I won! It was an intense match, and now my office is knee-deep with blood. Brian had some great volleys (I really want a big print of the illustration from #6), and the commentary from Matthew was just perfect. Luckily, my volleys were fueled by Dawn of the Dead playing in the background and the Misfits boxed set on rotation in the foreground. If you missed it, you can always head over and watch the replays from the match. And 15 minute rounds is a cruel, cruel joke. Those folks at Coudal know how to pull the strings. Now, to get the hell away from my computer, for tomorrow I will be in Philly for a 24-hour horror film festival.

Commentary (15):

1. Jason Beaird says… oct 25, 2007 | 7:48 pm

From what I’ve seen of the Layer Tennis matches so far, it’s much more about a collaborative spectator show than a competition. With you and Brian Taylor on opposite sides of the table it’s sure to be fun to watch. Best of Luck!

2. Rob L. says… oct 26, 2007 | 1:01 am

Give ‘em hell.

3. Elliot Jay Stocks says… oct 26, 2007 | 4:35 am

Excellent! I’m really looking forward to this one. Personally, I don’t think the level of quality has been matched (pun intended) since the Shaun vs. Kevin match, but I reckon today’s could stand a good chance of equalling (or even bettering) it.

Best of luck, Jason!

4. Stevie K says… oct 26, 2007 | 6:56 am

No pressure, but I’m counting on this one being the best so far! Elliot is right that Shaun and Kevin’s match was probably the best and closest match but I enjoyed last week’s one purely for the masterclass photography from Chris Glass.

5. Eric Smith says… oct 26, 2007 | 7:29 am

I agree, last week’s match was pretty incredible. The use of photography also certainly levels the playing field an makes for a great way to make a Friday afternoon speed by! Best of luck!

6. Sam Hardacre says… oct 26, 2007 | 9:10 am

Sounds like a great idea. Good luck Jason, looking forward to seeing the results!

7. Jason Robb says… oct 26, 2007 | 9:51 am

Wow. This just made my day. Can’t wait for it! Wahoo!!

8. Deanna says… oct 26, 2007 | 10:03 am

Wahoo indeed! Blood, guts & photoshop…my favorite things.


9. Aaron says… oct 26, 2007 | 11:16 am

Jeez, I’m gonna miss it. I have meetings scheduled for two and a half hours starting at the same time as the match. I’ll have to check it out afterwards. Good luck!

10. J Maxfield says… oct 26, 2007 | 7:00 pm

Congrats. It was a nice solid trouncing. A solid clotted trouncing.

11. Shane says… oct 26, 2007 | 9:20 pm

I loved your opening serve!

I think 1,3,9 is what got you the win, also the fact taht you stayed consistent regardless of what he threw at you. It seemed like he was always playing catch up right from your HUGE serve.

I almost wanted to hand you the trophy right then and there. That was the best opening served image I’ve seen come from Layer Tennis.


12. Tanner Christensen says… oct 27, 2007 | 3:12 am

Great stuff Jason, you really spooked me with your creative genius.

Was the 15 minutes allotted to each player really that bad? I keep hearing horror stories (no pun intended) about 15 minutes being tough to play with.

13. Jason Santa Maria says… oct 27, 2007 | 7:31 am

Tanner Christensen: Yes, the 15 minutes is indeed that bad. During those 15 minutes you have to:

  1. Download the last PSD (can sometimes take a minute or two).
  2. Soak in what’s been done.
  3. Brainstorm a return.
  4. Execute your return (and hope that your idea plays out).
  5. Upload your new PSD and jpg.

I’m sure the gang at Coudal would give you a break if you had trouble with the upload/download process, but everything else is on you. 15 minutes is just barely enough time for some sort of coherence. And that’s if your idea actually pans out! If you spend 5 or more minutes and discover that your idea didn’t work, you might be screwed. I often have trouble coming up with manageable ideas, so the hardest part for me was coming up with a good idea, and more importantly, a small enough idea that I could execute in a just a few minutes.

14. Andy States says… oct 27, 2007 | 7:28 pm

I did a remix.

15. Ashley says… oct 29, 2007 | 11:43 pm

*Claps* Congratulations.