How would you like to pay for that, ma’am?

August 30, 2012

Conventional wisdom has it that when someone wants to buy goods, they go to a retailer, purchase a product at a predetermined price, and then become owner of that product. We don’t often think of different ways for this transaction to take place.

But what if there was another way?

Read the rest of this entry »


Caine’s Arcade

April 13, 2012

What an amazing kid! which games company is going to snap him up?

I love the calculator authentication bit…

The Fun Pass is an awesome deal!

 


Shake dat ass!

March 7, 2012

I’m here in San Francisco for GDC ’12. Yesterday was the Independent Games Summit – lots of really interesting and inspirational talks by some of the big figures and innovators in indie games.

The clear highlight so far has to be a game called ‘Dog The Wag’ – an ingenious invention by Douglas Wilson of Die Gute Fabrik, the creator of Johann Sebastian Joust. It pretty much involves tying a PlayStation Move controller to your butt, getting down on all fours and shaking it around as much as possible, while other ‘dogs’ try to beat you up (or at least wrestle you to the ground and press a button on your controller). Hilarious, slightly awkward and nothing short of amazing. The game certainly goes a long way towards his rhetoric of embracing the flaws in new technology rather than fighting against them.

(Image courtesy of Joystiq.com)

Watch the video here.

Today is the Social and Online Games Summit – so I’ll try to post something vaguely more sensible. It will probably have something to do with leveraging the synergies of low-hanging fruit on Facebook and very little in the way of booty shaking. Which is sad.


3D projection mapping combined with a multiplayer game

January 31, 2012

Really great to see these technologies being combined together, the result is quite beautiful. Nice work from B-Reel London.


Fuel your gaming addiction while getting fit

January 17, 2012

Being a gamer myself there is always that point where I could go and do exercise or I could finish that next level and then usually I end up not going to the gym.

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Now there is a solution for my first world problem. BitGym has created a control system for playing iOS games while you are on your favourite exercise equipment. Right now it is a racer (that looks a lot like Outrun) and you control the cars steering with you head and your acceleration is based on your exercise rate.

Check out the video:

nifty little tool, but I am not sure if the movements you have to do to get through the game are good for your posture Smile

@maniac13


Title Scream

October 12, 2011

Simple and cool idea, a collection of 8 and 16-bit video game title graphics.

Title Scream

@danKrause


PETA helps promote Super Meat Boy?

December 3, 2010

Team Meat, the team behind the brutally unforgiving platform game Super Meat Boy got some unexpected free publicity this week when they became the latest target of animal rights group PETA.

PETA, apparantly objecting to Super Meat Boy’s meat-themes launched it’s own ironically-bland parody game called Super Tofu Boy. Made in Flash, the game attempts to duplicate the gameplay of Super Meat Boy, but instead it’s the Meaty guy that’s the bad guy this time as he exacts bloody, vengeance because his girlfriend has decided that she prefers tofu. Or something.

More after the wall-jump. Read the rest of this entry »


Will it go dot.mum? (the real adnews article)

November 25, 2010

A new phrase has entered the building – dot.mum. It was blurted out (as these things normally are) in a creative brainstorm the other day, ‘I like it, it’s a great idea, but will it go dot .mum?’.

At the time, it came out as shorthand for ‘the mainstream’. The incomplete thesis behind the mumbling was once you’ve gone dot.com you then need to go dot.mum, which means you’ve pretty much got yourself into every household (pretty much – an incomplete thesis as I said).

As the presumed ruler of the household purse, Mums have long been the targets of some pretty one-dimensional strategies (we’ve all seen it before in this industry; food = fear, toilets = pride, etc) and, of course, the terrible advertising that accompanies it. There is a lot more to dot.mum than meets the eye though (now that I’ve actually bothered to explore my mind fart) the truth of the matter is that actually dot.mums are changing the nature of what the mainstream is.

The Entertainment Association of Australia quietly released a study last month which predicts mums are set to overtake teenage boys as the new gamers (ask anyone at Facebook and they’ll tell you they’ve already seen it happen). Their study shows that 46 per cent of the Australia’s gamers are now female, with the average age 30 years.

While we’re fighting some female marketing stereotypes, I’d like to include a side point of clarification here: In the same way that mums aren’t fear-driven, pride-seeking, FMCG buying machines, when women play games they do not necessarily want teddy bears and shopping apps.

A study undertaken in 2006 by the Australian Catholic Univeristy no less (their misspelling not mine… Given this, perhaps we should view all results as indicative at this stage) found that female gamers find mental stimulation, creativity, interesting story lines and superior graphics more important than anything else (more important than dolphins and flowers for example).

Once you’ve put your copy of Ad News down go and check your analytics for some genuine insight. When we launched our paper plane game (check it out – it’s fun) we found out that the majority of the users where female (55%) and since then we’ve taken specific learnings into a number of campaigns. One implication is the fracturing of engagement (mum’s are very busy people) so we need to make any content bite sized, flexible and something they really want to return to.

Make no mistake the dot.mum phenomena has its downside. Is something still cool if it has gone dot.mum? Just ask Dido. And then there is the question of where dot.mum finishes? Once the chick chick boom girl appeared on sunrise her cache evaporated. So where does Sunrise fit and should we include Sunrise in our media plans for dot.mums? That really is the stuff of sleepless nights.

So guess what, games are increasingly a mass marketing channel and women aren’t idiots. No, there is much more to it than that. Going dot.mum is important, it is the future of the mainstream, a future mainstream we must connect with and, in order to do so, ultimately understand. If we can’t get that far let’s at least make sure we don’t fall back on some of those bad marketing assumptions.

Now you’ve read this rubbish, go and check out some serious gamer girls here – girlgamers.com.au, thumbbandits.com or womengamers.com (the latter of which is now 11 years old btw).

Ben Hourahine is Strategy Director at Amnesia Razorfish – @benhourahine

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Published in Adnews – ‘Dot.mum is the new mainstream’ – 19.11.10

This is the original version before the re-edit, my name is also spelled correctly here too 😉

 

Once you’ve put your copy of Ad News down go and check your analytics for some genuine insight. When we launched our paper plane game (check it out – it’s fun) we found out that the majority of the users where female (55%) and since then we’ve taken specific learnings into a number of campaigns. One implication is the fracturing of engagement (mum’s are very busy people) so we need to make any content bite sized, flexible and something they really want to return to.


Mini get-away: Virtual reality game from Stockholm

October 29, 2010

I love this game. The rules are simple but the game is not easy. You download the iphone app. Find the virtual mini and you ‘take’ it if you get within 50 metres of it. Then comes the tricky bit … you have to keep other players from taking the mini from you. Keep hold of it and you win a real life mini. Nice.

Watch this space for mash-ups from every agency going 🙂

From here

@handypearce

 


Kitty criminal – the viral story of CatBinLady

August 27, 2010

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I was walking home from work and saw this cat wander out in front of me. I don’t know what came over me, but I suddenly thought it would be funny to put it in the wheelie bin, which was right beside me.

Happens to the best of us, eh? This is how 45 year old Mary Bale from Coventry in the UK described the bizarre lapse of judgement that has catapulted her to global interweb fame in the space of a few days.

Lola the cat’s owner, Darryl Mann, heard her piteous yowling inside the wheelie bin outside his home fifteen hours later. Unluckily for Mrs Bale, her random act of kitty cruelty was captured on Darryl’s security cameras and promptly uploaded to YouTube by his wife, Stephanie. It wasn’t long before the resourcefulness of crowds tracked her down, and now she’s news from the Washington Post to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Her name, address, manager’s phone number have been posted online; there are at least 8 Facebook pages denouncing her villainy (not counting ‘Death to Mary Bale’, removed by Facebook). The Sun newspaper in the UK has published a Flash whack-a-mole game (renamed Whack-cat-woman) allowing users to smack Mary’s wicked head as it pops out of wheelie bins.

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Back on YouTube there’s a video entitled ‘Cruel Cat Dumps Woman In Bin (Revenge of Cat)’ in which the tables are turned – a man in a Sylvester the Cat suit dumps an old lady in a wheelie bin.

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Mary’s even got a fake twitter account in her name, CatBinLady, which has her tweeting pathological random acts of weirdness as she goes through her day: “Just kicked the head off next door’s gnome. For a joke. Who’s laughing now though? Not me. Not me.”

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In short – she’s gone VIRAL! In just days.

While notorious Mary is barricaded at home, pilloried by the world’s media, menaced by crowds outside her house and expecting to lose her job, you’ll be pleased to hear that Lola has recovered from her ordeal purrrfectly.


The Machinarium Pirate Amnesty

August 9, 2010

Amanita Design, the independent Czech game developers behind the fantastic little point-and-click adventure game Machinarium are offering pirates a chance to redeem themselves if they didn’t pay for the game the first time around as they hold a “pirate amnesty sale” offering the game for just $US5.

Machinarium was released in October 2009 with critical acclaim but without any form of DRM – something that many seem to have taken advantage of. Amanita claim that from feedback they have gathered, they believe that only 5-15% of people playing the game actually paid for it. A crying shame, too as it really is a funny, endearing and puzzling little game. $20 is totally worth it and $5 is a steal.

Amanita are quick to add, on their site, that they don’t think that people buying it now necessarily pirated it, so don’t feel like you’re being judged.

It’s an awesome little game that you really should check out if you still have room in your heart for whimsy. The promo image on the site is also fantastic. I hear it’s a bit familiar to some people but I wouldn’t know anything about that.


Original 1979 Pac-Man Drawings

June 25, 2010

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Toru Iwatani created Pac-Man. He still carries top secret documents with him to game conferences. No, really.

Iwatani was a speaker at the recent Festival of Games. To the surprise of the conference’s host, Iwatani was carrying the original Pac-Man sketches with him.

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via Kotaku


Indie Game Bundle – Choose Your Own Price

May 5, 2010

Everybody likes finding a good bargain, and that’s exactly what this is. Wolfire Games is an excellent indie game developer, with a couple of wins tucked under its belt. All five games are cross-platform (Win/Mac/Linux) and DRM free. This is a sales model that’s becoming established, and I like it – more on this after the jump.

The games they’re bundling are:

Read the rest of this entry »


Blizzard announce StarCraft 2 release – Korean economy to crumble on the 27th of July

May 4, 2010

Blizzard announced in a press release overnight that StarCraft 2 will be released world-wide on July 27.

Why is this a big deal? Because even 12 years after the release of the original StarCraft, it’s still one of the most played online games in the world. In fact, in Korea it’s pretty much their national sport with multiple national leagues with matches broadcast on cable TV.

Watch for a severe dip in the Korean economy when the “StarCraft 2 Flu” hits the workforce in July.


Super Mario Crossover – Your Friday Afternoon Fun

April 30, 2010

First off, you’re going to need to look at this picture, and think about how awesome it is. If only for having one of the best old school Nintendo super teams ever formed, lined up there at the bottom.

Super Mario Crossover

Now consider this, you’re about to play through some good ol’ Super Mario Bros – which of those characters would you choose to play through with? Honestly, I need look no further than Mega Man (or Rockman for you purists) – but you might have a different opinion.

The final step here, is to find Super Mario Crossover (which I have helpfully provided a link to) and then go fulfil your nerdy dreams.

The developer has done a really fantastic job here, with Mushrooms and Fireflowers providing perfectly adapted powers for each character. Can’t recommend this enough as a nostalgic, Friday afternoon time waster.

@tali3sin

[Source: Buzzfeed]


Online retailers handing out StarCraft 2 beta keys

April 29, 2010

Hey StarCraft fans… 12 years. Yep. Been waiting TWELVE YEARS for StarCraft 2 and it’s nearly here. Blizzard kicked off the closed beta for this in February and since then, access keys have been highly sought after.

This week a bunch of online retailers made things a whole lot easier and started offering beta keys for preorders. Sure, you need to put deposit down on a game that still has no official release date, but you get instant access to the multiplayer beta.

Aussies can get it locally at EB Games or GAME , but you’re looking at paying crazy Australian prices. You can always order it from Amazon, but you’re looking at about 40 bucks postage.

I’m tempted, but do I really want a beta key enough to pay that much when I can get it from CDWow for $50 delivered? I’ll be honest, I’m still considering it.


Street Fighter IV iPhone Covers are Win

April 27, 2010

If you’re reading this blog you’re probably a tech, or design nerd of some kind, and if you’re a nerd there’s a pretty high chance you’ve wasted (read: appropriately utilised) a good portion of your time playing Street Fighter in its various incarnations. Regardless of whether or not that’s a broad generalisation, these Street Fight iPhone covers are totally rad.

Street Fighter iPhone Covers

Click to see that exact same picture, but larger.

Oh, and enjoy this video.

Personally, if I wielded an iPhone in my daily life, I’d have a hard time not purchasing anything that made it look like Ryu. Got a favourite?

~@tali3sin

[Source: Capsule Computers Australia]


Valve Software is up to something. More cake likely.

March 4, 2010

It’s been a crazy week for fans of the Portal that have been following the gaming press. After last patching the game with minor fixes in June 2009, Valve have pushed two cryptic updates live for the game this week, both of which made changes to the game itself.

The first added several radios to the game’s levels in addition to the ones already present in the game. Usually these just play some fairly crazy, mexican sounding musak, but several forum-posters on various sites have found that placing these radios on the various red buttons scattered throughout the game as part of the game mechanics, causes them to broadcast a new series of signals.

Things only get crazier from there. Portal fans from a bunch of fan forums, bless ’em, have examined the transmissions and managed to decode them into morse code and images of security camera footage from Aperture Labs – the installation the game takes place in. The rabbit hole went further, though, as an MD5 hashed phone number for an old-school Bulletin Board Service was found in the images which itself had MORE cryptic images.

Kotaku‘s Michael McWhertor has a great write-up of the findings.

I love that Valve put this stuff out there knowing that their fans are crazy enough to do the work. I guess that’s what happens when you have to wait so long for sequel announcements! <cough>Episode 3</cough>

The second update to the game, which JUST went live actually changed the game’s ending – albeit very slightly.

I’m not going to spoil it for you, but if you HAVE finished the game, you can see the updated ending over at Giant Bomb.

All of this looks like it points to an announcement for Portal 2 at the GDC next week where Valve’s Gabe Newell is receiving the Pioneer Award for the Game Developers Choice Awards 2010.

One thing’s for sure. These points of data make a beautiful line.

Chatroulette: a game, a social experiment, or a site for voyeurs?

February 22, 2010

Picture 22Whatever it is, Chartroulette is both entertaining and addictive.

If you’ve ever Skyped with someone, then you are already familiar with the awkward experience that is synonymous with video chatting. Now imagine chatting with a total stranger, or multiple strangers, in rapid-fire succession. Sound like fun yet? Add a hint of speed dating drama and a pinch of chat room mischief, puree it together and you’ve got Chatroulette.

It is something that is both difficult to watch, yet hard to leave.

My past experiences on the site range from: strangers reading poetry, strangers asking me to flash them, strangers flashing me, familiar viral video feeds, occasional legitimate conversations, staring contests, and a lot of male anatomy. In fact, more than 25% of everything I stumbled upon would be rated XXX. Have no fear though, you can always ‘Next’ the crazy ones.

The site is a few months old and was created by Andrey Ternovskiy, a 17 year old in Russia. It currently has about 21,000 users from around the world it at any point in time, and seems to continually grow.

So if you’re an adrenaline junky, if you have a strong stomach, or if you just like meeting random people… test your luck and play a little Chatroulette. Be careful, you might poke your eye out!

Running Tally (out of 220 ppl):
Girls: 20 XXX: 55
Guys: 200 Real Conversation: 13
No Front Teeth: 1
Nothing special: 151

Orange friend-o-meter

November 13, 2009

An interactive quiz to promote the launch of the Motorola Dext (‘The Super Social Networking Machine’). This quiz connects to twitter, facebook and myspace and tests how well you know your friends by pulling data from their profiles and feeds.

Pretty cool ‘eh.

@handypearce

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