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Archive for category Games
Since games get bigger and bigger and their graphic gets more and more impressive I’ve made some panoramic views from In-Game with everything turned to 11.
Here are just two of the panoramic images I’ve made while playing through BioShock Infinite this year. Gorgeous art!
“0 A.D. (pronounced “zero-ey-dee”) is a free, open-source, historical Real Time Strategy (RTS) game currently under development by Wildfire Games, a global group of volunteer game developers. As the leader of an ancient civilization, you must gather the resources you need to raise a military force and dominate your enemies.”
Source 1: http://play0ad.com/
Back in 2006 I wrote about a new technology which the also new company Geomerics was demoeing.
Back in 2006 everything was just a demo. Now it seems that Geomerics found some very well known customers and without noticing a lot of the current generation games graphics beauty comes from the capabilities real time radiosity lighting is adding to the graphics.
“Geomerics delivers cutting-edge graphics technology to customers in the games and entertainment industries. Geomerics’ Enlighten technology is behind the lighting in best-selling titles including Battlefield 3, Need for Speed: The Run, Eve Online and Quantum Conundrum. Enlighten has been licensed by many of the top developers in the industry, including EA DICE, EA Bioware, THQ, Take 2 and Square Enix.” (Source)
There even is a more updated version of the demo video:
So it happened again: the 360 which I was using since the last RRoD in 2007 died today. Just when you want to play a game in months it’s dying… damn!
“Z-Type was specifically created for Mozilla’s Game On. I immediately wanted to participate in the competition when I first heard of it, but the deadline seemed so far away that I didn’t bother to begin working on a game back then. Fast forward to this tweet announcing that the deadline was only one week away – it took me by surprise. I still hadn’t even began working on anything. The thought of just submitting my earlier game Biolab Disaster crossed my mind but was immediately dismissed again.”
Great sound, great graphics and in the higher levels quite difficult.
Source 1: http://www.phoboslab.org/ztype/
After a very very long wait finally Forza 3 arrived! The first panoramic view of a 1-series BMW in Forza 3:
Finally a game where I can drive that car!
Sascha von Gawom ist heute auf der GamesCon in Köln unterwegs. Er twittert von dort sodass auf diese Weise der ein oder andere Einblick gewonnen werden kann.
Apparently DiRT 2 is coming with several funny features – one of which is that you can decorate your cars interior – like: you can hang your avatar on the rear-view-mirror… great idea!
I’ve seen the launch of PopFly two years ago. And now I am going to see the landing 🙁
“Unfortunately, on August 24, 2009 the Popfly service will be discontinued and all sites, references, and resources will be taken down. At that time, your access to your Popfly account, including any games and mashups that you have created, will be discontinued.”
Now somebody please tell the world that the code of popfly will be released in some way so that other people can learn and work with it. That would be great. Oh if we just wouldn’t have that many lawyers on this planet.
Source 1: http://popflyteam.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!51018025071FD37F!336.entry
Source 2: http://www.popfly.com/
Auf dem täglichen Weg ins Büro und von dort wieder nach Hause höre ich die verschiedensten Podcasts. Ein Stammpodcast seit nahezu der ersten Stunde ist Bitsundso und die verschiedenen Ableger davon: Games und so, Videogames und so, usw.
Und da Herr Hetzel und Crew seit wenigen Tagen hochoffiziell die Möglichkeit anbieten sie finanziell direkt zu unterstützen und dafür sogar noch zusätzlichen Nutzen (neben dem guten Gefühl) zu erhalten habe ich mir sozusagen direkt dieses famose Bits und so Plus Abo gegönnt.
Auf das da reichlich wunderbare Unterhaltung (wie in den letzten Jahren schon) kommen möge. Kaufe Bits und so Plus und werde glücklich!
Turns out that a new snapshot (unofficial) version of my favourite DVD to iPod Converter is available. With the new version came new features like the one that allows me now to convert almost anything to wonderful iPod compatible movie files.
“HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded DVD to MPEG-4 converter, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.”
I tried anything in my library, including some matroska movie files. Just everything worked – amazing!
It seems that today it’s the freebie day (well… for some of us). Because today the next Windows Vista Ultimate Extra is available: Tinker.
Tinker – to shorten up things – is a Sokoban interpretation with some interesting twists.
“Being a small robot isn’t always easy. Being a small robot marooned in a surreal world of clockwork, obscure mechanisms and infuriating puzzles, even less so. In Tinker, a puzzle game that pushes the boundaries of robot frustration, you’ll guide your robot through switches, lasers, teleporters, and a host of other contraptions to reach the exit. He’ll only do what you command. He’ll only go where you tell him to. Will you lead him home, or will you doom him to eternal confusion?
Featuring captivating visuals, an original music score, and 60 levels that range from the facile to the infuriating, Tinker is an isometric, two-dimensional puzzler published exclusively as an Ultimate Extra for Windows Vista Ultimate Users. Tinker features tutorial level, and will include regularly released level packs to expand the experience. Want even more? Download the level builder, and create masterworks of ingenuity to keep your friends scratching their heads. What are you waiting for? Start Tinkering.”
It’s good looking, fun, the music is great and it’s free…
And it’s got it’s own Level Editor:
AdventureClassicGaming blog has a very cool article about the could-have-been Full Throttle sequel:
“Playing Full Throttle is like tasting a rich bowl of roadhouse chili filled to the rim with biker gangs, chick mechanics (covered in engine grease too), and truckers with badass tattoos. An action packed, comical (albeit short), animated graphical adventure set in the backdrop of an apocalyptic future, Full Throttle touches on the subculture of motorcycle gangs and their steel horses. It is also a story about Ben, a renegade biker who lives and dies by his own rules. Ben’s voice (played by the late Roy Conrad) is every bit as gravelly as the Old Mine Road where he does battle. In this alternate world, cars hover, transport trucks are armored, and desolate towns like Melonweed are sinking fast into the sand. It is a land with many strange locales and even stranger inhabitants.”
From the wiki about section:
“In Widelands, you are the regent of a small tribe. You start out with nothing but your headquarters, a kind of castle in which all your resources are stored. In the course of the game, you will build an ever growing settlement. Every member of your tribe will do his or her part to produce more resources – wood, food, iron, gold and more – to further this growth. But you are not alone in the world, and you will meet other tribes sooner or later. Some of them may be friendly and trade with you. However, if you want to rule the world, you will have to train soldiers and fight.
Widelands offers a unique style of play. For example, a system of roads plays the central role of your economy: all the goods that are harvested and processed by the tribe must be transported from one building to the next. This is done by carriers, and those carriers always walk along the roads. It is your job to lay out the roads as efficiently as possible.
Another refreshing aspect of the game is the way you command your tribe. There is no need to tell every single one of your subjects what to do – that would be impossible, because there can be thousands of them! Instead, all you’ve got to do is order them to build a building somewhere, and the builders will come. Similarly, whenever you want to attack an enemy, just place an order to attack one of their barracks, and your soldiers will march to fight. You’re really a ruler: You delegate in times of war and in times of peace!
Widelands offers single-player mode with different campaigns; the campaigns all tell storys of tribes or Empires and their struggle in the Widelands universe! However, settling really starts when you unite with friends over the Internet or LAN to build up new empires together – or to crush each other in the dusts of war. Widelands also offers an Artifical Intelligence to challenge you.
In the end, Widelands will be extensible, so that you can create your own type of tribe with their own sets of buildings. You can create new worlds to play in, and you could even create new types of worlds (who says you can’t build a settlement on the moon?). ”
It’s like lego for electronic circuits:
“littleBits is an opensource library of discrete electronic components pre-assembled in tiny circuit boards. Just as Legos allow you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are simple, intuitive, space-sensitive blocks that make prototyping with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together. With a growing number of available modules, littleBits aims to move electronics from late stages of the design process to its earliest ones, and from the hands of experts, to those of artists, makers and designers.”
If you – just like me – played Duke Nukem 3D excessively in times when there was “CompuServe” instead of “Internet”, mailboxes instead of social websites and when there was 1on1 dial-up modem multiplayer instead of MMOs you may recognize those cool quotes you could hear while playing Duke Nukem 3D in single player or the ones you could say to your multiplayer opponent… there’s a list of many of them:
“Uh, Uh, Uh. Where is it?”
Small games that simulate real-world physics are just fantastic – I already wrote about a very similar game but this one has far more options 🙂
“This sandbox contains a variety of elements which the player can scatter at a mouse-click. Ice, water, fire, the titular “powder” (which serves as the sand). The heart of Powder Game is the way these elements interact. Water that touches ice will freeze. Ice that touches fire will melt. Drop a seed onto some powder and a plant will sprout. Water the plant and it will grow. Touch a flame to it and it will catch fire and burn.
The other key element that defines Powder Game is wind. Powder stacks in neat piles, but a click of the mouse (a right click by default, but this can be changed) sends it spiralling into the air. Currents coalesce, rub against each other, create eddies in the air. Fire creates wind, as does exploding gunpowder. Wind turns ice into snow, creates rivers of particles in the air. When the background effect is set to “BG-shade,” it becomes entrancing to watch.”
There is even a whole website around those physic games:
You may have heard about Levelhead – an augmented reality game made by Julian Oliver – if you did not hear about it? No problem:
“Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data. At present, most AR research is concerned with the use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and “augmented” by the addition of computer-generated graphics. Advanced research includes the use of motion-tracking data, fiducial marker recognition using machine vision, and the construction of controlled environments containing any number of sensors and actuators.”
So – Augmented reality mixes the reality and the computer graphics and creates a new reality for you. That’s a lot of theoretical…so let’s talk about Levelhead:
It’s a game where you have to move plastic cubes with printed-on patterns in front of a camera – the computer now renders a new world inside of the plastic cubes – when you move the cube, the world inside the cube moves too… it looks like this:
“levelHead uses a hand-held solid-plastic cube as its only interface. On-screen it appears each face of the cube contains a little room, each of which are logically connected by doors.
In one of these rooms is a character. By tilting the cube the player directs this character from room to room in an effort to find the exit.
Some doors lead nowhere and will send the character back to the room they started in, a trick designed to challenge the player’s spatial memory. Which doors belong to which rooms?
There are three cubes (levels) in total, each of which are connected by a single door. Players have the goal of moving the character from room to room, cube to cube in an attempt to find the final exit door of all three cubes. If this door is found the character will appear to leave the cube, walk across the table surface and vanish.. The game then begins again.
Someone once said levelHead may have something to do with a story from Borges.. For a description of the conceptual basis of this project, see below. “
If you are not amazed now? You should watch this:
The thing is – this cool game and technology will be available at the end of this month as full open-source. I suggest to check Julians site back at the end of the month at last.
It’s really a piece of art with only 256 pixels space – it’s the remake of the Defender game you won’t be able to play in Full HD:
To be clear: This is not a joke – it’s an actual game… the size of:
You would need:
- an old yet powerful enough notebook to play MAME games
“MAME is an emulator application designed to recreate the hardware of arcade game systems in software, with the intent of preserving gaming history and preventing vintage games from being lost or forgotten. The name is an acronym for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.”
- an IKEA RAMVIK sideboard
- go to the homepage of the project to get the details how to build it 🙂
It’s not as many of those fance company-blogs like gizmodo have written: not the Xbox Media Center project (which makes XBMC for Windows, Linux, Xbox 1 and OSX) renamed itself – infact only the fork of OSXBMC renamed itself to PLEX.
“The one name that stuck was Plex. I like it because it evokes “cineplex” and the suffix means “comprising a number of parts” which the application certain does. In mathematics, you use the suffix to mean “ten to the power of the number” (e.g. oneplex = 10).
Because there are no four-letter domain names left (seriously, try to find one!) we decided to square the plex, so to speak. Think of either plex^2 or plex squared (the beta logo below tries to connote the word “plex” inside a square that might represent a TV screen). The domain names are plex2.com, plexsquared.com, and plexsquare.com for good measure. They are not active yet.
In the coming days, we’ll be working on the rebranding process, including the application packaging, logo, web domains, etc. In the longer term, we have some exciting things in the skin department as well. Stay tuned, and thanks for all your support; we really are lucky to have such an great community.”
Along with the new name comes a new logo:
Blik just announced that they as of now offer official Nintendo game themed wall decals. I was sold with the first picture I saw of it – I know it’s a bit pricey but hey – it sure looks great.
Actually they have more than this Super Mario Bros. 1 theme – they even got the “New Super Mario Bros.” theme which is more of a 2.5d than 3d version of the brothers.
“In late 1985, Super Mario Bros., created by the highly revered Shigeru Miyamoto, came to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) making a splash by ending the two year slump of video game sales in the US. As of 2008, it is the highest selling video game of all time – 40 million copies to date. Its theme music is recognized by gamers and non-gamers alike.
Made with blik Re-Stik™, these movable and reusable decals are based on the same 8-bit graphics from the original Super Mario Bros. game. This is an official Nintendo licensed product.”
Did I mention that it has the official Nintendo seal?… Yeah I did.
In the newest Firmware update of the Playstation 3 there’s support for “Trophies” – which plain and simple are a copy of the Achievements available on the 360.
Create your own Achievements with the Achievement Generator.
The thing with the current XBOX 360 dashboard is that there’s obviously more unused space than there is really used space… there are now and for some time rumors that the user interface will be revamped completely…
Now there are people who know how to do it and they just made a mockup of what a dashboard with more used space would look like:
What do you think of it?
“”Zak McKracken: between time and space” is an unofficial sequel to the adventure game “Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders” released in 1988. We, the “Artificial Hair Bros.” have devoted our time to create a worthy follow up to this all-time-classic. Capturing the mood and of the original game and creating something new nonetheless.
It’s been a while since Zak’s last adventure. People have forgotten all about our hero who saved humanity from enslavement. His five minutes of fame went by way too quick and the money he earned with his award winning book went down the drains when Zak decided to get his own newspaper off the ground.
But now Zak has to prove his worth once again. Stumbling into his next adventure, Zak gets yet another chance to show the world what real heroes are made of…
Why a sequel to ZakMcKracken?
Zak McKracken is one of the few adventure games that never got a proper sequel. There are no high-res backgrounds and no sweeping soundtrack, this left us with a lot of freedom when we started working on this game.
Handmade backgrounds, elaborate cut-scenes
We think that hand-drawn backgrounds made some of the old adventure games something very special. This is why we decided to keep the gameplay stricly 2D. But Zak:btas isn’t just a pixel-adventure, we have created the scenery and characters in our own graphical style and added 3D cut-scenes to add some diversity.
How long did it take to develop this game?
Work on the project began in 2002. In the beginning starting out as an amateur-game, we soon found ourselves reaching higher levels of quality step by step. By the time we are done 5 years of hard work will lay behind us.
What problems had to be solved when making this game?
One of the biggest challenges has been recruiting a team one could rely on and keeping the members of the team motivated to work on their respective parts. Unfortunately not everyone is motivated and passionate enough to work on a project for free over such a long period of time. But we were lucky enough to find reliable members for each part of development. You really do need a good working team to master a project like this.”
If you ever were into egoshooter / games you would come across the different game engines that are used to create games. One of them is the Quake engine which in fact is one of the most successful. This is the “family tree” of the Quake engine:
“Most games rely on enhanced versions of the original Quake engine with better lighting, more complex model support, better netcode and other modifications.”
Besides my own project called “Forzaclans.com” (which is on hold right now) there are several other cool projects available for the forza community. One of which is the International Forza Club Association.
The most (in)famous action-flick of movie history now has its third sequel, but nowhere a company producing a proper first-person shooter? It’s kind of strange that nobody seems to be interested in picking up a worldwide-known character.
Is it too much guilty pleasure? Too much far-right, political incorrect or just old-fashioned? Maybe it’s the lack of box-office in the US. Or simply no licence is available.
Anyway, back in the Reagan-era these concerns didn’t exist.
The 1985-game with a well-known score by Martin Galway was a huge bestseller.
The standard nerd knows: physics is fun. Even better: When you play with gravity and friction and water an what-not in a sandbox. Now there are several tools available that allow you to do just that: Play with physics.
The first tool is called “phun” and is Windows and Linux only. It’s a small tool that allows you to draw circles, boxes, springs,… and when you finished: press the “play” button to start the simulation. You can interact all the time with the objects and the simulation by draging and manipulating everything.
There’s even a video available of phun in action:
It’s serious fun…that phun tool… yeah I had to write that, you know?!
The second tool I want to write about is called “Chipmunk” and is available for OS X only. To be fair: this is not a real drawing tool like phun – it’s more or less a game physics engine that cames with several samples in sourcecode that you can play with if you can… You need XCode and some Objective C knowledge.
So now go and play!
Source 1: http://www.acc.umu.se/~emilk/index.html
Source 2: http://wiki.slembcke.net/main/published/Chipmunk
Major Nelson announced this weeks Xbox Live Arcade game: N+. Because this game evolved from a former Flash game you can also get the “original version”:
“play as a ninja trapped in a world of well-meaning, inadvertantly homicidal robots. version 1.4 includes tons of levels (500), organized neatly into 100 unlockable episodes, and features 50 levels made by fans of N!”
If you are – just like me – still using the very good and always updated Xbox Media Center for your slightly hacked XBOX 1 console you should take a look at the new XBMC.org website:
Not only that these guys a making a great job creating the best Media Center that I’ve ever was allowed to use, they are even porting it to different platforms:
“It’s currently being ported to both Linux (x86 Ubuntu 32bit) and Mac OS X. Team XBMC is looking for talented developers to help with this effort.
Official XBMC software application names:
- XBMC for Mac OS X
- XBMC for Linux
- XBMC for Xbox “
That means: If you have a OS X or Linux box, you should visit the site too and take a look at the (early) snapshots of XBMC for your platform.
It has been the most awaited game of the year – Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed”. The official plot deals about a member of the legendary assassins, an organization of … eh, yeah… assassins. Your mission as player is to kill nine different persons because they destabilize the peace of the hole Middle East with their actions. So far, so political correct.
I say this is bullshit.
The historical assassins had been a bunch of fanatical and ideological blinded killers who dreamt of establishing a strict theocracy (think of Iran). This sounds very familiar with what islamic terrorists are doing these days, doesn’t it?
Just imagine a few changes:
– change of time: not the Middle Ages, but the present
– change of scenery: not Akkon or Jerusalem, but Bagdad or New York
– change of armament: not the dagger and poison, but AK-47 and explosive belts
– change of mission: not a hidden single killing, but casualties as many as possible
The rest remains the same.
What about escaping after the kill? Not historical. Assassins didn’t run away – they accepted their death and now you know where the modern suicide assassin is descendent from.
This is of course only a game, but with an interesting setup.
Die aktuelle Ausgabe des Kultur-Spiegels hat eine gewisse Jade Raymond auf dem Titel, ihres Zeichens Spiele-Designerin bei UbiSoft in Montreal, Kanada.
Diese Frau ist ein Star in der Szene. Warum? Erstens weil sie eine Frau und zweistens auch bei Tage ganz ansehbar ist.
Für viele sabbernde PC-Nerds ist sie wohl der Inbegriff einer perfekten Frau: Sie weiß nicht nur, wie man einen Computer anschaltet, sondern kann überdies programmieren und versteht Spielen nicht als Zeitverschwendung (wenn man dem aufgegriffenen Klischee im Kultur-Spiegel glauben darf…).
Daher frage ich mich, warum eigentlich nicht mehr Frauen auf die Idee kommen, in der IT-Branche Fuss zu fassen. Wo sonst kann frau sich heutzutage noch prinzessinnenmäßig von so vielen willigen Männern bewundern lassen und muss so wenige andere Frauen als Konkurrentinnen fürchten. Und schließlich sind nicht alle Nerds dick, bebrillt und langweilig, oder?
BMW just released a free racing sim for your Windows PC. It’s based on the same GMotor 2 Engine that poweres GTR 2 and RFactor.
Die Koch Media GmbH sucht ab sofort Studenten und interessierte für Testvorführungen neuer Video- und Computerspiele:
“Wenn Sie bereit wären, natürlich gegen eine kleine Gegenleistung, die Entwicklung eines neuen Spiels (plattformunabhängig) zu verfolgen und zu beeinflußen und dies auch mehrmals in den kommenden Monaten machen würden, melden Sie sich bitte unter der Telefon-Nummer: 089-24245196.”
There was this update. My 360 died right after it. Well: Coincidence?
The support / repair experience is quite good so far – besides the fact that I have to get a coffin by myself and that they won’t add the lost Xbox Live Subscription Time to my account….
Now this is my second 360 that craps out. If you want to know what happened in 2006 to my first 360 go here.
“OLE Coordinate System is trompe-l’oeil interactive software that enables characters to wander along blocks and staircases in impossible ways. While M.C. Escher is famous for his “trick of the eye” works, this piece enables users to create and experience their own Escher-esque worlds. Examples of such animation expressions are: character movements based on a 2D interpretation of attached blocks which are not contiguous in three-dimensional space; falling motions on a single plane, etc. You don’t have to do anything special to create “trick of the eye” images like these. The user just clicks to position the block, staircase or character and change the angle.”
For a better understanding, look at the pictures and the video:
Source: OLE Coordinate System
Look what I got here:
Painted from scratch just with the original game as a guideline. I’ll put some of these up in the auction house soon. So keep an eye out for them… Any sort of comment is appreciated.
… it seems that there people at the Nürburgring do have a problem with tree decimation… the over one year old Project Gotham Racing 3 Nürburgring had significantly more trees…
This is the Forza Motorsport 2 Nürburgring:
… remember when I had the exact same location pictured before in Project Gotham Racing 3:
I did not write about that one time when Sony made the mistake to use a Project Gotham Racing 3 Screenshot in their advertisements for Gran Tourismo:HD (the PGR3 thing is a racing game by Microsoft exclusively for the 360 and GT:HD is the Sony exclusive racing game). They pulled it just hours after it went up and we all had a good laugh.
Oh… it looked like that:
Just today the car maker KIA decided to start his PS3 related marketing campaign. And guess what? Someone did it again. They used a PGR3 screenshot in a Playstation 3 advertisement.
Have a look:
There we have it: Two advertisements for the Playstation 3 doing all the same: Advertising the fact that you’ll better buy a 360. Priceless.
Do it again Sony, Kia, or whoever would like to make my day…
I was forced to do other things yesterday evening when my friends of FeM e.V. decided to take out their big-ass tv and play a some WiiSports on a house…
Of course that little game had a purpose: They wanted to test if the Sanyo projector is bright enough for the upcoming drive-in cinema season…
You can read more (in german however) on the official FeM blog.
Just about a month and Forza Motorsport 2 hits the shelves. I cannot wait!
This is the tv-commercial:
Video: Forza 2 TV spot
I wrote about geomerics approach on realtime radiosity lighting less than a year ago. They now have something to show and be proud of: Enlighten is there and they are working on porting it to the 360 and PS3.
Watch what’s possible:
There’s a free fan made Battlestar Galactica game available…
“Beyond the Red Line is a stand-alone total conversion for the award-winning Freespace 2 released by Volition and Interplay for the PC. It is based on the popular new tv-show Battlestar Galactica. No, not the one from the 70s.”
It’s free and available for Windows, OS X and Linux.