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Category Archives: Games

About Return of Space Simulation Games

Although it was a delight for me to experience all the latest games that are going to hit the market eventually, the one that truly turned my head and left me speechless was ‘No Man’s Sky’. This game literally beggars all description as no one has ever attempted to build or even conceive a game of such scale. This is basically a procedurally generated massive game, which may sound simple, but, as the saying goes, you got to see it to believe. The mesmerizing vistas and the bizarre environment teeming with unique flora and fauna on a seemingly alien planet are just the beginning of the story. This vast exploration game takes you on the journey to explore countless planets, and the best part is: you get to have your own space ship to fly off into space and back into different planets. How big is the size of the world you ask? Well, would it impress you if I were to tell you that every single player will be starting off on a different planet of his/her own? Can you now imagine the scale of this game? Besides the expansive universe, the vibrant visuals and dynamic environments are just sight of sore eyes.

What happens when you marry the genre of space simulation with first person shooter? You get a game called ‘Dreadnought’. This free-to-play action space simulation game is just what the E3 had been missing all along. We have all played fast paced action games where little thinking and more reflexes are required. We have also seen previous space simulation games where your little pea sized craft sometimes gets into a pathetic situation with a gigantic mother-ship of some kind, and you die wishing that only if you had one of those humongous ships at your command. To fill this void in your little world of gaming, ‘Dreadnought’ fills right in. This free-to-play massively online game puts you in a team battle where you fight off against the enemy ships using skills and tactics (not reflexes). Ever played ‘World of Tanks’? If so, then you will know exactly what I am talking about.

These are just a few titles of space simulation games that are going to leave a good long lasting mark on this genre; however, a game that will not only revitalize the genre to the backbone, but also revolutionize the gaming industry itself is ‘Star Citizen’. Star Citizen is the largest crowd funded Kickstarter project to date. With Chris Roberts, the chief developer of ever green titles such as Freelancer and Starlancer, at the helms, Star Citizen is on its way to becoming one of the largest PC exclusive game in the industry. The reason why this game is PC exclusive is quite simple: the consoles just cannot handle the demand of the graphics that are being run on this game. Using modified Cry Engine 3, this game is set in an open universe with tons of exploration to be done, battles to be fought and places to be conquered.

Mobilising Games to Go Global

A stationary stone gathers moss

The driving force behind any business is profit. The gaming world is no different. This is a highly competitive world and the gaming market is killer. To survive, evolve, and bring home the bacon, apps and games need not just to be entertaining to the boy-next-door: they need to capture new platforms and markets. And they need to be fast and furious about it or fall by the wayside.

How can they do this?

Internationalistion and localisation
This two-step process is what enables a game to adapt to different regional and linguistic cultures. It must include:
Reviewing the language and regional settings which will determine which localisation is used as well as the date, time, and number formats.
Adapting the user interface
The code must handle multi-language text
Locale (not the language) settings must drive data formatting as multiple countries might use the same language, as also the same individual travelling across different countries.
User interface must be ‘mirrored’ while using right to left languages; the only exception here would probably be phone numbers.
It is also necessary to test the internationalized app or game to detect auto-layout problems and strings that are not part of the internationalization-localisation process.

Enjoyment MUST be stress-free
Gaming is for enjoyment; the gamer cannot be subjected to a confusing, frustrating experience. There is no place, either, for being culturally and politically improper or downright offensive. Game localisation must also ensure that the translated, internationalized, localized version be faithful to the original.

Many gamers take their gaming very seriously. Game localisation, including those on mobile platforms (iOS localisation or Android), should enable players to immerse themselves completely. The whole enjoyment in gaming is to transport the player to a world of fantasy more appealing than reality, where lives can be replenished in battles with strange creatures in exotic lands unknown! Nothing should interrupt this ‘willing suspension of disbelief.’

Localisation must be from the word GO
Game localisation cannot be an afterthought and game developers would benefit from shedding the ‘let’s see’ attitude. Successful developers have understood that video game localisation is an integral part of the development cycle along with coding, designing, or writing. In the very early stages when games were designed and played on limited and limiting platforms, this ‘afterthought status’ might have been acceptable. But with the proliferation of mobile technology, and the increasing demand for games across linguistic, cultural and geographical borders, video game localisation has come into its own.

Localisation- NOT translation
It must be amply clear by now that game internationalisation and localisation is not just about language. It encompasses cultural symbols, costumes, ethos, environment… everything that goes up to make civilisations, in fact!

There are many pitfalls to be avoided:

Concerns of piracy and the importance of timely capturing of markets may drive translations on incomplete games. Context must be clear while translating text whatever the stage of game development. The complete picture should be kept in mind.

Localisation must be a consideration early in game development as cultural concepts must be clear from Day 1. For example: scantily clad female characters may be an issue in some countries. If this is not considered early in the design cycle, it could turn into a costly, untreatable headache when the game has to move to more socially conservative markets.

Games must evolve with current events. Consider the example of how a spate of pedophilia cases in Belgium discouraged the use of the word ‘pedometer’ in a game on weight-loss because of the negative connotation such a prefix had.

Separate text files make the game moddable and the translated versions can be pasted on the localized version.

A text-freeze or cut-off date for text changes is a very good idea to control translation costs and keep game development on schedule.

Be aware of cultural issues, taboos and sensitivities from the very beginning.

Accents are important for voice overs. A cowboy with a Texan twang is ludicrous in a video game meant for the Chinese market.

Who does the localisation?
Game developers pour millions into game development. So, it makes no sense to cut corners when it comes to video game localisation to make inroads into new markets.

Cheap translations aimed at cost control may result in a complete flop show and make the developer an international laughing stock.

Whether it is artwork, translation, marketing, packaging, or bridging the cultural gap, it is very skilled work which is the domain of trained and talented professionals.

Wits and Wagers Original Edition

In order to win in inferior Trivial Pursuit, you not only must get a question in each category correct, but your pawn must be on the one correct space on the board that earns you a tiny plastic pie piece. Games end in a near stalemate in which players try to hop back and forth on spaces near their worst category until finally the planets align and they get an easy question while in the right place. Wits and Wagers, on the other hand, is a trivia game where you don’t have to know trivia to win.

It can help, yes, but the questions are deliberately designed so that no one at the table likely knows the exact answer. Questions are often based around statistics: How many cups of coffee does the average American drink in a year? How much did a three-day Woodstock ticket cost at the gate on the first day? What was the lowest temperature every recorded in Hawaii in degrees Fahrenheit? How many Americans were injured in bathtubs or showers in 2001?

For some questions, your knowledge may help you. You may be able to guess when the first American newspaper was established if you know old a paper like the New York Times is. On other questions, no one could every be expected to know. This aspect may frustrate some, but for me, it is what makes the game fun for the whole group rather than just a few people. Even a quiz master like Ken Jennings might not win a game of Wits and Wagers. Players do score extra points if their answer was closest, but a player could go the whole game without getting a question right and still win due to how scoring works.

Let’s do a sample question together so that you can see the mechanics. We’ll use the following question as an example: Over the 5-year period from 1999 to 2003, what percent of the U.S. recording industry’s dollar sales were to consumers under 30 years old?

Let’s say people guessed as follows:

Tom: 22%

Laura and Adama: 50%

Boomer 72%

Saul 77.14%

Mike: 80%

Kat 92%

Feel free to guess along; I’ll put the answer at the end of the post. Players write their name and their guess on a mini white board and simultaneously reveal them. Answers are put on the board in order. Then players may bet (with chips, not real money of course) on which answer they think is closest without going over (sort of making this like a board game that is like The Price is Right). Players have a lot to consider when betting.

+Cards that are farther away from the center pay out more; This is easy to see in an image, but if if Kat’s answer is right, it pays out 4 to 1.

+Boomer might not be worth betting even if you think she has a good chance of being right: a bet on Boomer’s answer is betting that the answer will be in the narrow range between 72% and 77.14%.

Pick Good Minecraft Servers

Type of Gameplay

You should go for the best gameplay type. Moreover, the tags or the descriptions of the server will let you know what the server is about. Maybe you are familiar with the majority of tags or descriptions, especially if you have played your favorite games on some of the most popular servers.

The population

The majority of lists show the number of players that are logged into a specific server. How can you choose one? If you are in search of a server to play small games, we suggest that you check out a server that has a minimum of 100 people signed in. Aside from this, if you have been in search of an intimate community, we suggest that you prefer a server with around 50 people logged in.

Grief protection

The majority of players prefer this feature. The reason is that grief protection makes it harder for other players to take down your items and buildings. Typically, survival servers have this thing mentioned in the description. But you won’t find this information on every online server.

Technical information

You may also want to check out technical information as well. At times, you may get this information from the server description. Alternatively, you may look at the tags used by server lists in order for organizing the servers. But if you can’t find the information at any of these places, you may want to go to the website of the server.

Server website

You should browse the server site as well. Once you are on the site, you should examine it to find out if the web pages or forum posts are great to look at. Can you find the information related to the community, staff, features and server rules? Actually, good servers give importance to their site, making it informative and user friendly.

Explore the server

Lastly, you may want to explore the server. As a matter of fact, trying the server out is important if you want to know more. Actually, good servers always have moderators and administrators online to help people answer their questions. They are there to tell you the server rules and features.

Multiple Games

That is not Nintendo’s only celebrating mascot, much like Disney, Nintendo thrives on their variety of characters. They have Link a sword wielding hero from “The Legend of Zelda” series, Star Fox a brave space pilot from the “Star Fox” series, Samus an alien fighter from the Metroid Prime series, Donkey Kong a giant ape from the Donkey Kong series, and many more. It is insane how many characters that Nintendo does own and to this day they are still creating more. All of these characters have been in multiple games and multiple mash-ups that show them competing with one another. These mash-up happened years before the Avengers hit movie theaters, showing that Nintendo is ahead of their game in more ways than one. They have been releasing new consoles at around a 5 year span going from the Nintendo Entertainment System, to the Super Nintendo, to Nintendo 64, to Gamecube, to Wii, now finally to the Wii U. Each experience has been different and fresh letting the players play the games in a brand new way.

The games were fantastic and the consoles were improvements over one another. It is fun to describe the consoles and talk about the games, but the only way to actually understand all of this is to play a Nintendo console. Years after the release of the first Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo is still hitting homeruns to this day. They are fun to play, families will get together around a television set just to play some of their favorite mascots. This is something that cannot be said about the competitors. If Nintendo keeps this innovations going they will be creating games for the next century and onward when we are finally introduced to fully interactive 3D worlds. Do not be surprised if Nintendo is behind this innovative technology.

Virtual Pets a Game Changer

Different Options and Opportunities

Today, entertainment and learning options for kids are very different and significantly wider. There’s a whole market dedicated to children apps so they can play great games and broaden their knowledge without even realizing it. Apps can even help take care of their health. The last group is probably the most important one – busy parents can stop worrying because their kids’ smartphone app can remind them when to take their medication.

Are the “Modern Kids” Missing Out?

Pets usually are one of the greatest childhood memories. Having a living being that grows up alongside you and loves you no matter what is an irreplaceable experience. But that’s not just a one-way street – pets teach you what it’s like to care for someone and worry about other people’s needs.

Virtual pet games really changed this. Your kid can simply download one or several different pet games and play with them on the screen. This new experience can be confusing and many parents are in two minds when it comes to virtual pets. Despite many studies and research, the question of the quality of life the “new age” kids have still remains unanswered and we often wonder whether the little ones are missing out nowadays.

Actually, It’s the Other Way Around

Yet, it appears that not all the games are bad for the kids, or at least not in their entirety. Has anyone ever told you how much he or she wanted a pet but the parents couldn’t afford one or the living arrangements didn’t allow for it? Thanks to smartphone apps, every child can have a pet. We’re not talking just about cats and dogs now, but fictional pets like dragons and even protected species like pandas, as well.

If you give them a try, you’ll realize that some of these virtual pets tend to be more serious than what you might have expected. When it comes to most of them, you do need to take care of a virtual pet like you would of a real one in order for it to be happy. So, feeding it, taking it to the bathroom, and playing with it are a necessity for a virtual pet to be happy.

Next Generation Console

The PlayStation 4 is the most technically advanced of all three consoles. It is able to play in 1080p, 1080i but is not set up for the rarely used upcoming 4k resolution. The Xbox One on the other hand can’t always do 1080p but is set up for the 4k resolution. The 4k resolution is an resolution that hasn’t quite been used in TVs (due to the expense) but are used in movie theaters. As of now though the PlayStation 4 has the best graphics of all three systems (if only by a small margin). PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both have about the same amount of exclusive games as well. Nintendo overall due to its long running history has the longest list of exclusive games to its console.

The Xbox One was designed for an overall entertainment console and entertainment hub. It also has many services, such as Twitch and upload studio so that gamers can upload their gaming clips and sessions to the internet much easier. Both the Wii U and PlayStation 4 both have a lot of these applications as of now as well. All three have a number of entertainment and social media applications such as Facebook, Netflix and Hulu as well.

The Xbox One has the best motion controls of all three systems, with no peripherals needed like the other consoles. It has also been greatly improved upon over the last Kinect motion control system, with a much better video capture and voice capture system. With the new Wii U gamepad and Wiimotes the Wii U does have a unique motion control system but not quite as advanced as the Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 does have motion control and voice control similar to the Xbox One and are also developing a Virtual Reality prototype called “Project Morpheus”.

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

Start Small. Many Dungeon Masters want to create their own worlds and narratives, but crafting elaborate adventures and campaigns is an immense task early on and a rudimentary understanding of the rules can hinder the momentum necessary to drive a complex story and result in a disheartening first experience.

Whether running the introductory adventure The Lost Mine of Phandelver – found in the 5th Edition Starter Set – or an adventure you’ve made yourself, it’s important to start small and allow yourself plenty of room to make mistakes.

Read the rules found in the Player’s Handbook, pick an environment, choose a setting, read up on one or two types of monsters, and send your adventurers on a short quest that requires them to traverse this environment in order to interact with these monsters in this setting. Give them some gold and one or two pieces of equipment if they successfully complete the quest.

Leave Room for Improvisation. It’s impossible to prepare for everything that your players are going to think up. Time spent fleshing out intricate backgrounds for the good people of Daggerford is wasted when your adventurers decide that they don’t want to go to Daggerford, but instead would rather sleep in the woods on the outskirts of town. In order to save yourself from wasting hours, or even days, of preparation, you should avoid going into too much detail when creating non-player characters, locations, monsters, etc.

Give every non-player character you make a name and one or two defining features (such as a big scar on their right eye or six fingers on their left hand) so that players can easily identify them, but let the finer details come out while you’re actually playing the game. Once a character, location, monster, etc. has shown up in your game, keep an index card with their name and key features – as well as what happened to them in the game – on hand for later sessions.

Stop. Collaborate and Listen. Often times new Dungeon Masters confuse their role as a litigator with that of a tyrant, but Dungeons & Dragons is a collaborative storytelling experience, with both the DM and the players contributing to what’s happening in the narrative. Being responsible for creating the entirety of the world that your players inhabit is intimidating, but remember that you are all gathered together to play a game and have fun – yes, even the Dungeon Master.

Get into the habit of asking your players questions about their characters, such as “Having been here before, what’s your impression of Baldur’s Gate?” and “Have you fought bugbears before? If so, how did that go for you?” This gets players in the mindset of thinking about the world from their character’s perspective and allows them to contribute to the world-building, taking some of the load off of you.

If you’re really comfortable with your group, you can even field them questions like “What’s a good name for a nervous shop owner?” and work together at the table to come up with a non-player character’s foundation. The more you include your players in your world, the more invested they will become.

Slot Gaming Machines

Classic Slot Machines

The classic slot machines have 3 reels and only one payline. The machines are the traditional machines used in playing the traditional games. They first appeared in land based casinos. While you will find unique symbols in the machines, you will come across common symbols such as oranges, cherries, and melons.

Some of the popular games that you can play with the machines include: wheel of fortune, cash wheel, deluxe, diamond solitaire, and triple Zesty Hot Peppers.

Bonus Machine

These ones have bonus features such as bonus games. Other special features that you will find in these machines include gamble features and free spins. For you to play the game, the bonus game has to be triggered by 3 bonus symbols. To reveal the prizes you should select 3 items on the second screen.

There are many bonus games that you can play using these machines. The modern games that you can play include: winning bid, Neon nights, terminator, monopoly and top gun. If you like fishing games you can play Bearly fishing.

Loyalty Machine

They operate on the popular theme and you will find them in both land based and online casinos. For you to play the game you have to collect 5 pink star symbols. Every time that one of the star symbols lands on the reels, one of the greyed out rectangles at the top of the reels is illuminated. When all the symbols are illuminated you will have won a loyalty jackpot.

Real-Life Pokemon

Created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori, Pokemon (originally called “Pocket Monsters”) were adapted from real-life animals in the early 1990s. In the original video game, the player must capture Pokemon using specially design Poke Balls, and use them to fight fictitious competitors, collection various specialty badges with every defeat. Pokemon taps into our human instincts of companionship, competition, and journey. As a result, Pokemon became one of the largest pop culture trends throughout the work in the 90s.

Millennials grew up playing Pokemon video games, watching its cartoons, and playing its card games. As technology advanced, Nintendo, which publishes Pokemon, updated versions of the video games to play on advanced hardware. As smart technologies progressed, Niantic, a San Francisco Software company specializing in augmented reality, worked to create one of the most successful smartphone applications in history: Pokemon Go. Tapping into the public’s nostalgia of this cultural phenomenon, combined with new technologies, Pokemon Go allows users to catch their own Pokemon in their community through their smart phone.
Although Pokemon Go integrates novel technology to create a fundamentally unique experience for users, it has more than just software to thank for its success. At the core of its appeal to consumers is its connection to human psychology. Humans have always had an affinity for animals because they have shared our spaces since the development of our species. Because of this, our ancestors told stories and created mythologies around animals and the symbols they represent.

If we skim through history, we will discover countless interactions between humans and animals, and stories based off of them which relayed important cultural messages. For example, lions represent authority, power, and dominance; lambs and snakes are often symbolized in religious texts, and eagles are seen as heralds of freedom.
One culture that was particularly influenced by animals was ancient Greece, which based a large portion of their religion on mythological creatures. One of the most famous storytellers of Ancient Greece, named Aesop, was famous for incorporating animals in his anecdotes which were used to convey important moral tales. These were used by politicians, religious leaders, and teachers to explain to audiences life-lessons in easy to understand ways.