Beacon Community Website - Home From Panzer To Draco: Yukio Futatsugi Speaks The world of the Panzer Dragoon games was a startling revelation for those that played them. While the first two games were unexpectedly rich and engrossing shooters, the third game in the series -- little played but much revered -- 1998's Panzer Dragoon Saga, expanded the universe to encompass an RPG, seamlessly, showing that the amount of attention given to world-building by the developers wasn't put to waste. The game also had some of the most believable early 3D environments in games. Now -- after working on the equally memorable and even more overlooked Phantom Dust for the original Xbox -- original Panzer Dragoon creator Yukio Futatsugi has reunited many of the developers he worked with at Sega's Team Andromeda to create Project Draco, a Kinect-based dragon-riding game for Xbox Live Arcade, at his new studio Groundling. Is this the same world as Panzer Dragoon? Yukio Futatsugi: No, it's a completely different world. Can you use a controller? The Kinect can sometimes have lag.
New To Games, A New Vision [In our second piece on the creation of Big Fish Games’ Drawn PC casual adventure game series, art director Brian Thompson explains how he married his personal artistic inspirations with his experience in and out of the game industry, while dealing with the unusual constraints of the projects. This follows our earlier piece on the design of the series by sr. producer Chris Campbell.] When I first sat down to write this article, I was struck by how hard it was to encapsulate the art style of Drawn. Over the past three years, the Drawn team has worked to create a game experience that's visually different and full of wonder. We saw a great opportunity to give players something that lived outside of the terms "core" or "casual" by focusing on creativity, art, and imagination. Drawn has become an interactive storybook adventure, at times a dark and haunting fairytale and at others a romp through a vibrantly painted dream. This is where the unique world of casual games really shines.
Reward Systems, An Excerpt From Level Design: Concept, Theory, and Practice [Gamasutra is presenting an in-depth excerpt from IGF nominated Dyson/Eufloria co-creator Rudolf Kremers' new book Level Design: Concept, Theory, and Practice, which was recently released by AK Peters. This extract, just part of the book's seventh chapter, looks at wish fulfilment and escapism occasioned by some of the best video game level designs.] If somebody holding carrots beats you with a stick it would be very satisfying if you were to wrestle the stick away from your tormentor and make him give you all the carrots. The previous chapter discusses many of the possible ways in which reward systems and structures can work, and, as importantly, what expectations people have from life. In this chapter we will examine some of them again, but within the context of level design theory. Even though it falls squarely within our responsibilities to do so, this is oft en forgotten, or worse, ignored. Both have many areas where they overlap, as covered in many chapters elsewhere in this book.
Revival Horror: New Ideas in Fear-Making As the emotional palette of video games expanded in the mid-Nineties, the horror genre flourished. It brought variation on the familiar themes of performance anxiety, adrenaline rush, and achievement that had been the interactive motor behind Mario, Sonic, Madden, DOOM, and Quake. Flipping the constant-adrenaline-feed model on its head, games like Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, System Shock, and Silent Hill put players in claustrophobic environments with controls that often made players feel helpless and vulnerable. In recent years, though, the horror genre has encountered some cultural drift. While some of the old franchises have succumbed to predictability -- the most lethal fault in works of suspense -- a group of newcomers have added much-needed inspiration to the genre. Tale of Tale's The Path invited hallucinatory dislocation into its gameplay, while several of Goichi Suda's games have mixed camp and gore in the Dario Argento mold. Dead Space
Game Artists: The Three Cardinal Rules [What guidelines do video game artists need to follow to succeed? Volition manager Self-Ballard draws from his experience to suggest three key traits of the best game art creators.] Last year, I was contacted by a professor from my alma mater, Purdue University. I and many other alumni have entered the gaming industry since graduating from the department. This is a topic that has interested me for many years now. As I learned new tools and techniques, I also developed an understanding of how to collaborate with peers and leads, resolve issues during production and work with a wide variety of truly unique individuals. At the same time, I also made mistakes in conducting myself professionally. In the intervening years, I've continued to be vigilant for these behaviors, both in myself and in others. The impetus behind all of this analysis revolved around a personal career change. To my surprise, I found very little on this topic. I spoke with art directors and producers from other studios.
Persuasive Games: Video Game Kitsch [Who is the Thomas Kinkade of video games? Writer and designer Bogost explores how mawkish sentimentality can be lucrative -- and how it applies to games.] Thomas Kinkade paints cottages, gardens, chapels, lighthouses, and small town street scenes. He paints such subjects by the dozens each year, but he sells thousands of them for at least a thousand dollars each. All are "originals" manufactured using a complex print process that involves both machine automation and assembly line-like human craftsmanship. Unlike most working painters, Kinkade's work doesn't go out to exhibition or collection, his most "important" works later being mass-produced on prints or mugs or datebooks for the everyman. No, Kinkade's work is mass-market from the get-go. "There's been million-seller books and million-seller CDs. For Kinkade, "an art they can understand" means tropes of nostalgia and idealism. Kitsch has a complex history. Are there kitsch games? And there's one more ingredient: production value.
NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile - SEN-12805 Description: This is the Mindwave Mobile from NeuroSky, an EEG headset that safely measures and transfers the power spectrum (alpha waves, beta waves, etc) data via Bluetooth to wirelessly communicate with your computer, iOS, or Android device. This headset can be simply slipped on to be able to see your brainwaves change in real time. With the Mindwave Mobile you can monitor your levels of attention and relaxation and even learn about how your brain responds to your favorite music. This headset is an excellent introduction to the world of brain-computer interface! The Mindwave Mobile is surprisingly simple consisting only of a headset, an ear-clip, and a sensor arm. The headset’s reference and ground electrodes are on the ear clip, while the EEG electrode is on the sensor arm, resting on the forehead above the eye. Features: Documents:
The Borderland Are the robots about to rise? Google's new director of engineering thinks so… | Technology | The Observer It's hard to know where to start with Ray Kurzweil. With the fact that he takes 150 pills a day and is intravenously injected on a weekly basis with a dizzying list of vitamins, dietary supplements, and substances that sound about as scientifically effective as face cream: coenzyme Q10, phosphatidycholine, glutathione? With the fact that he believes that he has a good chance of living for ever? He just has to stay alive "long enough" to be around for when the great life-extending technologies kick in (he's 66 and he believes that "some of the baby-boomers will make it through"). Or with the fact that he's predicted that in 15 years' time, computers are going to trump people. But then everyone's allowed their theories. And now? But it's what came next that puts this into context. Google has bought almost every machine-learning and robotics company it can find, or at least, rates. And those are just the big deals. But then, he has other things on his mind. So far, so sci-fi. Well, yes.
EIGG Island Going Green | The Isle of Eigg, the first of a thousand Green Islands Statistik: Om världen vore en by med 100 invånare | Lågprisflygbolag – och om livet bortom horisonten Om hela världen reducerades till en by med 100 innevånare och alla proportioner bibehölls så bestod byn av: - 57 asiater - 21 européer - 14 amerikaner (från Nord- och Sydamerika) - 8 afrikaner - 52 var kvinnor - 48 män - 70 ickekristna - 30 kristna - 89 heterosexuella - 11 homosexuella Endast 6 personer skulle inneha och nyttja 59 % av alla gemensamma tillgångar och de 6 personerna kom från USA. - 80 hade otillräckliga boendeförhållanden - 70 var analfabeter - 50 var undernärda, 1 döende, 2 föddes och 1 hade en dator. - 1 och bara en har en akademisk examen. Om man betraktar världen på detta sätt så påvisas nödvändigheten av samhörighet, förståelse, acceptans och utbildning för alla. Om Du vaknar i morgon, frisk och icke-sjuk, så är Du lyckligare lottad än 1 miljon människor som inte kommer att leva nästa vecka. Om Du inte har upplevt ett krig, inte upplevt hunger, fångenskapens ensamhet eller dödskampens smärta så är Du lyckligare lottad än 500 miljoner människor här på jorden. 1. 2.
30 traits of an Empath (How to know if you're an Empath) By: Christel Broederlow What is an empath? Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Empaths are often quiet achievers. However, they can be the exact opposite: reclusive and apparently unresponsive at the best of times. Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. Empaths are more inclined to pick up another’s feelings and project it back without realizing its origin in the first place. Without a doubt, this emotional withholding can be detrimental to one’s health, for the longer one’s thoughts and/or emotions aren’t released, the more power they build. Empaths are sensitive to TV, videos, movies, news and broadcasts. You will find empaths working with people, animals or nature with a true passion and dedication to help them. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
International Space Station Commander Opens Up About His UFO Sighting In Space Leroy Chiao, commander of the International Space Station in 2005 recently opened up about his UFO sighting from space. They were 230 miles above the Earth, and traveling at a speed of 17,000 miles per hour when Chiao spotted a UFO (Unidentified Flying Object). Chiao told the Huffington post: “I saw some lights that seemed to be in a line and it was almost like an upside-down check mark, and I saw them fly by and thought it was awfully strange. “I’m skeptical of claims that we’ve been visited by aliens from another planet or other dimensions, but I don’t rule it out 100 percent. A growing amount of evidence has emerged, especially within the past few years that has more people asking questions. Documents also reveal that UFOs are constantly tracked on ground radar, air radar, accompanied by visual conformation by military pilots who are scrambled to take a closer look. Agencies like the NSA have done the same, you can view examples here , here and here. Sources: Producing news is costly!