Thursday, June 28, 2012

Atari 40th Birthday

Before Halo, before Call of Duty -- heck, even before Mario -- there was Atari.

While the video game itself might have been invented before Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney decided to start the company, it was Atari that effectively launched the video game industry. And it was on this date 40 years ago that Atari began its march toward history.

Five months after the company opened its doors on June 27, 1972, it introduced the world to Pong, and the way America (and the world) played games changed. Five years later, the company would launch a new revolution with the introduction of the Atari 2600 home gaming console.

The company has seen a number of famous alumni, including both Steve Jobs, who had his first real job at Atari after dropping out of college, and Bill Gates, who was actually fired from the company after his project got stalled.

Both, of course, went on to much greater things. But Bushnell likes to think that the experience both had at Atari gave them the confidence to launch Apple and Microsoft.

"Atari showed that young people could start big companies," he says. "Without that example it would have been harder for Jobs and Bill Gates, and people who came after them, to do what they did."

Bushnell and Dabney had just $500 between them when Atari was founded. Within 10 years, the company was collecting $2 billion in annual sales.

For Bushnell, things came to an end as abruptly as they took off, though. Desperate for research and development funding as it created the 2600, Bushnell sold the company to Warner Communications (better known today as Time Warner) in 1976 for $28 million. By November of that year, he was forced out due to in-fighting.

The 2600 took off and the company was a technology leader, but in 1983, a deluge of poor quality games -- including the infamous E.T -- led to the crash of the video game industry. And no company fell harder than Atari.

The company has been shuffled around a number of times since then. Today, it's owned by a Paris-based holding company. Bushnell avoided the company for decades, focusing on other ventures (like founding Chuck E. Cheese), but in 2010 he returned to the company that set him on his path, serving in an advisory role.

"The brand is still powerful, and it's not just a retro thing," he says. "It has a whole bunch of really important intellectual property, and a lot of people still think of Atari as a company of innovation."

In honor of the company's b-day, here's our favorite ridiculous old Atari commercial. Buckle up!

Monday, June 25, 2012

PS3 Games for Kids That'll Spark Creativity

Because the holiday trips will definitely be here before you realize it, parents are going to need anything to keep their children engrossed by having something that's academic. Soon there will be a lot of affairs to carry out like gift buying, fixing up your home, and also prepping for the seasonal entertainment.

The little ones could be kept occupied simply by accommodating them via recommended Playstation 3 games for youngsters that contain zero coercive or erotic material. The outcome would certainly be hours of enjoyment relished that includes games which offers creative imagination as well as discovering hence making PS3 games a beneficial venture amid spare time.

A worthy game for kids that enhances children's creativity would undoubtedly be Create by Electronic Arts. The rating is E which makes things totally suitable for young children in contrast to additional PS3 games. Technically, it is certainly a huge sandbox through which kid's are able to make varying Rube Goldberg style formations. The main mission of the game is to become innovative by producing contraptions or frameworks working with sandblocks.

A couple of alternative PS3 gaming alternatives that come strongly acclaimed with respect to children is without a doubt Monopoly Streets and Family Game Night. They're also on offer throughout additional gaming systems which includes the Nintendo Wii as well as the Xbox 360.

Monopoly Streets is without a doubt a very fun game that can be played smoothly on a console without having missing out on the fun from standard Monopoly. Traditional Monopoly could be a little bit prolonged and extended at times but the PS3 edition keeps you locked in wishing for much more.

Surely, teens would undoubtedly consider Gran Turismo 5 as one of leading Playstation games due to the fact that absolutely nothing exceeds the anticipation of electing from among the loads of rides that comes along with the game. It is truly still looked upon as one of the top driving replica games that delights thousands of players globally.

In the event that your youngster is a dreamer who prefers to eventually be an engineer someday and also get their hands on putting together their own automobiles, Mod Nation Racers perfectly meets the bill.

The game is a platform-jumping title and a kart-racer constructed out of old fashioned styles. Having said that, components pertaining to the game must not be challenged considering that teenagers will have the ability to apply these instruments that can be utilized to institute their own individual courses, characters, and vehicles.

Further, their creations could be placed on the internet so various members have the ability to provide feedback. With respect to that are just starting to play Playstation 3 games, I'd strongly recommend The Sly Collection as an incredibly good choice when it comes to PS3 games for youths. It'll allow them to effortlessly control the character which contains platform-jumping plus stealth. It is simple yet thrilling which prevails as another highly ideal Playstation game for youngsters.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to Be an Animator in the Video Game Industry

When kids play video games they concentrate on how to win the game, whereas when many adults play the games they are constantly commenting on what they would have done to make the game better.

Years ago hours would be spent by individuals interested in games on designing and dreaming up the ultimate games. Although back then, it was mostly board games as computers were basic. The majority of these plans when by the wayside and were soon forgotten. Although some of the famous board games of today got their start in this very same way.

Now with the age of technology and interested individuals in games it is most likely leaning towards the video game as they are the in thing and all the rage. It is intriguing, as it seems there is a lot more to designing and producing the video games most of us play.

First, there are now individuals who strictly specialize in game development. If you are interested in producing then these are the places that you want to get into, get a few years experience, and learn the ins and outs of the industry. On the other hand, if you are not really looking at it as a potential career but just as a hobby then seek out some mods and join their team. You should find enough excitement taking this route to satisfy your interest and curiosity.

Getting back to career aspect of it, you are going to need some skills to begin with and this refers to a combination of both artistic skills where you at least know the fundamentals, in combination with computerized based art skills. There is no way that having one or the other is going to land you a job as a video game artist.

Now once you have mastered the requirement to this point, you have to realize there are many facets to being the artist. You could end up in any one of the categories such, texture artist, character modeler, animator or even a concept artist. So what happened to the just plain old video game artist? Your ultimate goal is still here, you have just specialized within the field.

Knowing all these different areas should now entice you research each one of them and see which one peaks your interest the most. The reason you want to do this now before you get into any formal training, is so you will know what direction you are headed.

No education in the world is going to take the place of practice and more practice when it comes to art. The next thing to remember is when you are learning about 3D arts you are going to be exposed to lots of animation software. Do not get caught up in the most expensive ones because you figure they are the best. Choose a reasonable one and concentrate on mastering it.

The important thing to remember that there is no just jumping in and becoming a video artist. There is much to research, much to learn, much to do and a whole lot of practice.

I hope you've enjoyed this article and learnt something from it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mobile Games Development Trends

Mobile games and its development is now not a restricted territory. With the help of open source platforms, game developers are bringing in fantastic and interesting ones. Though the iPhone games rule the roost in terms of sheer classiness and operability, the Android and Symbian counterparts are not too far behind. One of the earliest games was the "Snake" which was launched in 1997. With the advent of sleeker platforms and consistent enhancements, the processing capabilities of today's average mobile phone are much better than the processing capabilities of the costliest phone launched a decade back.

Nowadays, smart phones include a wide range of games which can be played easily by any age group. Android is one of the most popular operating systems and platforms today. It has a Java based environment and most of the apps are developed using Java. Even amateur tech lovers can tweak their applications easily by referring to relevant gaming sites. Each and every mobile application platform has a software development kit which does have all the necessary ingredients needed to make a fantastic interactive app or a game. One can start on with Android app development using the Android SDK (software development kit).

Development of 3D apps and mobile games is very much in demand today, much like the demand for Xbox games and PlayStation games. Most analysts agree that in the near future, an average user would be able to have much more interactivity and fun within the mobile itself. Though the 3D gaming experience is at a nascent stage, do not be surprised if 3D games get found in most smart phones in the near future.

Some of the trends related to gaming include:

Java is the most popular gaming platform which is ruling the roost today. But with subsequent competition with other platforms, the trends might change rather drastically.

Multiplayer apps like chess and poker are preferred by the online audience, especially those who frequent on social media. The common gaming platform allows people of a group to compete with absolute strangers too.

Mobile games are also used in many promotional and advertising campaigns wherein the user can play games and even shop from their favorite merchandise.

The emergence of portals which are selling games is on the rise too. The games are quite affordable to the average user and the demand makes it a win-win situation for the buyer and the developer. Different mobile games based on different genres like action, adventure, racing, puzzles etc. are available online.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Plants vs Zombies for Apple's iOS Platform

Plants vs Zombies Screen Shoot

Let me just say that I really like zombies. I mean, I doubt I'd be saying that if (and, let's face it, when) they rise up and start looking to munch on our juicy innards, but for now they're a-okay in my book. I never met a film or game zombie that I didn't like, and despite the fact that the game was made for a smartphone, Plants vs. Zombies for Apple's iOS platform is one incredibly addictive playing experience.

Plants vs. Zombies is a typical tower defense game. Here, your house stands on one side of the screen and the encroaching zombies are on the other, separated only by your lush green lawn. To keep the undead from waltzing in, you have to set up plants which will effectively combat the various enemy types that appear on the screen.

It might sound a little boring on paper, but it's actually quite fun. What an interesting mash up of differing worlds: zombie apocalypse and gardening! The plants at your disposal act almost as characters themselves. They each serve a differing purpose (some peashooters are like machine guns while some plants sit idly waiting to reach out and eat a nearby enemy) but the cartoonish design gives them a personality that makes watching them get eaten by a stronger zombie almost sad. Also, players have to be on the lookout for drops of sunlight which must be collected in order to grow new plants for when a horde of last minute zombies comes shambling toward the house.

The first few levels are more introductory, so fending off attacks isn't all that difficult. But, that just makes some of the later levels all the more challenging when you find yourself suddenly attacked by zombie pole vaulters who can jump your walnut blockades, or old newspaper-reader zombies who rush at your plants once they start taking damage.

The environments offer some nice variety, too. The action starts on your lawn, but then shifts to nighttime (when it's harder to collect sunlight), then to the backyard with its pool and a different set of water-based enemies, before finally winding up on the roof, where the angle of the playing field and lack of soil make things like corn on the cob catapults and flower pots a necessary consideration. Everything leads up to a rooftop boss fight pitting you against a really big baddie.

The game is a blast. And the music that plays walks a nice line between fun and slightly sinister. Honestly, if I hear that music playing in my house someday, I'll probably bob my head along with it while going to check all the windows for undead quarterbacks or zombies wearing traffic cones on their heads, just like in the game.

Plants vs. Zombies does nothing to sway me against the oncoming zombie apocalypse. If anything, it's reassuring to know that when I have to defend myself against zombified quarterbacks and undead disco dancers, I can do so from the relative safety of my home with little more than a few lily pads and giant walnuts.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What’s Ailing The Video Game Industry?

Things aren't rosy for those hoping to make big bucks in video games.

Five years ago, the idea of a 29 percent year-over-year decline would have sent shock waves throughout the industry. But when NPD reported that shortfall a few weeks ago, publishers, gamers and investors shrugged briefly, then promptly forgot about it.

But the problem isn't going away. Sales of traditional video games are clearly suffering. Game studios are closing left and right. Even game makers who used to print money are backpedaling. Monthly sales numbers at brick and mortar retailers have declined steadily for the past seven months, and while apologists argue that digital distribution is making up that gap, the numbers don't back that up.

The NPD Group recently issued updated sales numbers for the first fiscal quarter of the year, folding in digital sales, used game sales and rentals. That raised the number from $1.5 billion to $3.4 billion — which sounds like a nice jump, until you realize that in the first quarter of 2011, that number was $5.9 billion.

Investors in the industry's publishers aren't happy. BMO Capital Markets' Edward Williams says shareholders believe the industry "is in a secular decline." That might be a bit dire, but things truly aren't good.

So what's wrong? And is there a turnaround in sight?

Many point to the fact that we're experiencing an unprecedented gap between new console generations. With the current console cycle in its seventh year (the Xbox 360 was released back in 2005), which is considerably longer than what previous consoles have faced, consumer fatigue has set in. Gamers are simply growing a little bored with their devices.

While the industry tends to focus on software sales, the hardware numbers of late have been dreadful. Despite routinely outselling its rivals, the Xbox 360 has seen its sales fall year-over-year for 10 of the past 12 months. PS3 sales are down nine months in the past year. And the Wii… oh, the poor Wii. Since January 2009, it has only recorded year-over-year gains eight times. That's 34 months -- nearly 3 years -- of declines.

Some hold out hope that Nintendo's Wii U, due out later this year, will turn things around dramatically. But while the system could give a small boost to sales numbers, most analysts predict the real turn of the tide will come following the launch of the next Xbox and Playstation. Few expect the Wii U to perform anywhere near as well as the Wii (and considering how well the Wii has sold over its lifetime, that's not exactly a shocker).

Then there are the problems with games. New intellectual properties rarely launch at the end of a console's life cycle. Publishers, instead, roll those out when new consoles hit the market, since buyers are more open to them at that point. That has led to the bout of sequel-itis the industry is currently mired in.

And while it's always nice to play a new installment in a beloved series, players are getting a little tired of the same old franchises.

In addition, publishers have severely cut back the number of titles they're releasing in the past few years. Major triple-A releases are still coming out, but the mid-tier titles that used to be released regularly (to moderate sales) have dried up.

"We believe there are few new intellectual properties to reinvigorate interest in the games sector," says Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. "Consumers have been offered a never-ending series of sequels, and have been offered fewer choices each year for the last several years, with the result being waning interest in new software purchases and an unprecedented three years of software sales declines."

"The poster children for limiting consumer choice are Activision, Electronic Arts and THQ, with each company offering 50 percent as many titles as they offered several years ago, with only one new intellectual property launched among the three companies over the last year," he says.

There's some good news on the horizon, though. This holiday season is packed with potential hits, which could at least stanch the bleeding -- and the expected release of games like Grand Theft Auto V, Bioshock Infinite, Dead Space 3 and Crysis 3 early next year could return the industry to positive territory, at least temporarily.

"We continue to believe most of the months for the balance of this year could be down double digits," says Arvind Bhatia, of Sterne Agee. "That said, declines in Nov/Dec may be less severe. … [and the first quarter of] calendar year 2013 has the potential to see year over year growth."

And while some investors might view the numbers as imminent signs of a second industry implosion (the first coming in the heyday of arcade games and Atari), industry observers say they don't think that's happening. Instead, they say, it could be an evolution of gaming into the next stage of interactive entertainment.

"It is unlikely that gamers are abandoning their passion in favor of other forms of entertainment, and inconceivable that if packaged goods sales have declined, people formerly playing games are now doing something unrelated," says Pachter.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Benefits Of Gaming

Health And Well Being Benefits Of Gaming

We all heard from our parents that gaming is bad for our health. This holds true in some cases, especially when a gamer spends all his day and his life sitting on the sofa playing his favorite game. However, there are games that provide more benefits. There are a lot of recreations that even promote good health, which is not impossible with all the advanced gaming equipments available to us.

Playing activities like racing, war simulation, and first-person shooting matches improves the reflexes, the ability to plan ahead, and adjust to situations instantly. These are the things that a person needs in order to successfully dominate the game, and will be improved gradually as they continue to play these kinds of schemes. Although some of these activities may promote violence, the risk will be eliminated with proper guidance from parents.

I know that no one will oppose when I say that educational games have tons of benefits. However, this is an article that discusses the benefits of playing games, so I decided to include them. Puzzles, problem solving, and academic skills of our children are enhanced with the help of these games, even adults are learning something new while playing these education exercises.

Playing games these days no longer needs a player to sit all day on the sofa. In fact, using the Motion Plus controller of Nintendo Wii requires a player to physically move in order to play games. This will not only enhance the gaming experience, but will also help them burn fat and calories.

So, before you go with the saying that games are bad for your health, think again. Some activities may be bad for you, but with these new games on board, playing pastimes are becoming more beneficial. More than a source of entertainment, gaming is slowly shifting in to becoming a source of good health, fitness and well-being.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Favorite Xbox Kinect Games

Here are the top 10 kinect games; now that Xbox kinect has been around for a while there is a definite list of the most popular games for kinect.

Kinect has taken the gaming world to another level, you are the controller with a hands free body motion controller and you have so much fun with your family and friends or if you just want to play on your own, you can.

The top kinect game and top kinect sports game is Kinect Sports plays soccer, beach volleyball, bowling, table tennis, track and field, and boxing, it's so much fun playing on your own, setting yourself goals, but when I competed against my friends it was so exciting. Kinect Sports really adds a nice dimension to your video game experience.

The second top kinect game is Dance Central will teach you how to dance the moves from the music videos and it will go fairly smoothly along a learning curve as well. The use of the technology is impressive and it is probably the best party game out there since Guitar Hero became known as a party game (Honestly this one is better, because anyone can just start dancing and having a good time). It works great among all ages and all backgrounds since everything is done with visuals and because of the no-controller feel anyone can easily pick it up and start playing (though don't get me wrong, it is not easy to master).

Number three is Kinectimals and this is the top kids' kinect game. A wide-eyed Bengal tiger cub cocks its head to the side and playfully peers at you. Memories of your first trip to the zoo come rushing back. Through the magic of Kinect that furry tiger cub is in your living room and about to become your best friend.

Number four kinect game is Dance Masters which features 30 tracks spanning club music classics, Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, and Techno, DanceMasters dancers can groove to their favorite songs, creating non-stop set lists and can also download new songs via Xbox live. The game also offers three game play modes for the ultimate dance experience: Dance, Lesson, and Status

Then the fifth on my list is Your Shape and Fitness Evolved. This game with the kinect technology puts your body into the game for the ultimate experience. You'll control the game intuitively with your voice and body as you create your desired fitness experience. Choose a personal trainer to help you meet your specific fitness goals, take a Yoga or Martial Arts class, or play fun, family-friendly mini-games.

Coming in at number six is Adrenalin Misfit. This game reminds me a little of Crash Bandicoot, but a lot more fun to it. You get thrust into 7 unbelievable fantasy worlds with exciting boarding battles in amazing environments. Compete in cross boarding action through freestyle, time and collection challenges against boss characters each with unique abilities. Battle Boss' from around the world growing your abilities and gaining more impressive boards each with their own special features. Win a race, steal that boss' board and do battle to collect all 60.

Now number seven the Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout is a very good workout, you will not need to go to the gym again, offers more than 125 exercise moves focused on upper body, lower body, cardio, yoga, and cardio boxing. Players can select from the exercise moves to create a custom fitness routine or choose from 10 pre-set fitness programs such as Belly Buster and Boot Camp.

The number eight top Kinect game is Joy Ride, combines wild kart racing excitement with the effortless fun of full-body gaming possible only with Kinect for Xbox 360.

Number nine is the top action kinect game, Fighters Uncaged. Charge head first into the vicious world of illegal free fighting tournaments, where you will use every muscle in your body to battle your way to the top. Forced into a secret tournament, Simon must use what he learnt from his father, an ex-boxing champ as he faces off against violent combatants who will brutally unleash a range of mixed martial arts attacks to take him down. No guns. No blades. Your body is the deadly weapon! Free the fighting machine in you.

The number ten kinect game is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Playing as Harry, you are on the run from the opening sequence, fighting for survival on a desperate and dangerous quest to locate and destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes. There are no more lessons, no more training. This time the danger is real. It's time to fight your life.

Hope you have enjoyed my list of the top 10 kinect games, there are some exciting games coming up in 2011, like Star Wars, Michael Jackson's- The Experience and Child of Eden that all look fantastic, please check out the link below to see the videos of the top 10 kinect games.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Video Games Industry

Video games come with a distinctive appeal that draws legions of followings. Proving its dominant drawing power, global video game purchases reached a staggering 500 million in 2010. The industry continues to serve one of most lucrative markets with gamers collectively spending 3 billion hours each week playing the said platform.

Investigative findings by The Association of Psychological Science reveal that gaming in general is considered as the ideal platform for players to take on the characteristics of their "ideal self." Video games offer gamers the opportunity to play an ideal role or virtually adopt a new identity, bringing about feelings of enjoyment of the massively social and interactive gaming experience and satisfaction at each victory.

A Formidable Industry

In 2008, the video game industry - covering all video games in all video formats - made more money than all Blu-ray and DVD movie releases combined in terms of product sales. Video game sales were at $32 billion, up by 20 per cent from 2007. Hollywood film sales dropped six per cent, fixed at only $29 billion.

A case in point is Grand Theft Auto IV, which became a jaw-dropping success when it broke two entertainment industry records, hauling the biggest sales on a single-day and seven-day basis since its release on April 29, 2008. GTA IV sold 3.6 million copies or $310 million in equivalent sales within the first 24 hours of its availability. On the first week, the sales figures subsequently skyrocketed to over six million units or an equivalent of $500 million.

The GTA IV first-week earnings are comparable to giant movie releases. In a report by Reuters, the British-produced video game has outperformed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from Warner Bros., which raked in $394 million during its opening week in 2009. GTA IV also beat blockbuster Spider-Man 3 from Sony and Buena Vista's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which earned $382 million and $344 million, respectively, when they opened in cinemas in 2007.

On December 12, 2011, Modern Warfare 3 officially de-throned the number one movie of all time - Avatar, as the fastest entertainment media to reach the $1 billion mark. The former got its first billion dollar earnings 16 days after it was released while the latter for 17 days.

Exemplifying robust international business marketing techniques, video games have also amassed earnings from its European market, decisively pulling the limelight away from the movie industry. Regarded as "the most valuable purchased entertainment market," video game sales are four times more than cinema earnings, also trumping music and DVD sales combined.

Shedding light on the phenomenal video game following, UK paper The Guardian notes how video gaming pushes itself to the mainstream consciousness by stimulating the consumer's intelligence, appealing to their imagination and improving constancy in player involvement - something that Hollywood may not be very successful at.

A Glimpse of the Future

Industry research firm Gartner, Inc. has estimated that in 2011, global spending on the gaming ecosystem will reach over $74 billion, showing an increase of 10.4 per cent from $67 billion in 2010. Key transitions to gaming technology, business and software strategies are predicted to last beyond 2015, and by then, spending will jump to a whopping $112 billion.

The gaming ecosystem covers gaming console manufacturers Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft; software for platforms or game consoles like PlayStation 2 and 3, Wii and Xbox 360; portable consoles Nintendo DS and DSi, Game Boy Advance, and Sony PSP; PC or notebook software; mobile gaming, as well as online and social gaming.

Discussing gaming business and software strategies in general, marketing firm Zebra Partners representative Perrin Kaplan tells Gaming Business Review that gamers will tend to respond to new products, irrespective of how they are being packaged - console, PC, handheld or Internet. With new games mushrooming on various forms of media, the challenge for vendors in the video game industry is to adapt to what insatiable gamers want: to be continuously surprised and interested by a new type of fun and new technology that come with video gaming.

International business marketing, when paired properly with first-rate business and software strategies, can be a great tool for enterprise success. It has the capability to bridge gaps between an organization and its clients.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Nintendo New Wii U Controller Functions

Wii U Controller

Nintendo just couldn't wait for E3 to share some big news about the Wii U.

Scooping itself two days before its scheduled pre-show press conference, the company released a 30-minute YouTube video Sunday unveiling a revamped Wii U controller and divulging new details about its forthcoming game system.

The company will reveal the launch line-up and other details later this week.

The controller, now called the Wii U GamePad, if you'd like to be formal, has been tweaked since gamers first saw it a year ago, with analog sticks replacing the touch-sensitive circle pads and some adjustments to button positioning.

The changes weren't all cosmetic, though. The GamePad will also act as a TV remote --even when the Wii U is turned off -- and it will have near-field communications technology imbedded, potentially letting the controller interact with real-world objects.

Nintendo didn't go into the reasons for this, but near-field communications is a growing tool in game makers' arsenals. It was most recently used successfully in Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.

Also in the works is a Wii U "Pro" Controller, which "may be more attractive for longer, more intense forms of gaming," according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

As expected, current Wii remotes, nunchuks (as well as the Wii balance board) will be compatible with the Wii U. All Wii games will be playable on the system.

Nintendo, often criticized for its lacking online element, also used the video to showcase the social aspects of the Wii U. The "Miiverse" is a default tool that will let players communicate, get help when they're stuck and challenge each other to an online game.

A video shown during the feature showed a player engaging in a video chat with another fan of the game to get advice on how to beat a difficult level. Players can also track the Miiverse on their smart phones — the first time Nintendo has offered any integration with the platform.

Online chatting and smartphone access won't be available immediately, said Iwata. However, the 3DS will also offer access to the service, as will any Web-based device.