Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

11 Times ‘The Simpsons’ Predicted the Future of Technology

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

With 25 season of comedy under its belt, American’s favorite TV family has poked fun of and spoofed almost everything related to pop culture. They’ve even predicted some of today’s technological advancements.

From heavy hinting at potential NSA snooping to goofier predictions of future video phones, Mashable has rounded up 11 times that The Simpsons imagined the digital future with eerie accuracy. Have you seen the scenes referenced?

Cogswell’s Project-Based Learning Receives Praise from Visiting Students

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

On Thursday, April 10th; 20 students from Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), an Entrepreneurial School in Austria, came to visit Cogswell.  Most of the visiting students are studying Art & Entrepreneurship, and were fascinated with Cogswell’s Project-Based Learning classes and studios.

The MCI students were amazed with the work they were able to see, and that it was all “made from scratch”.  From character sketches & 3D models made from clay, to digitally rendered creations brought to life; the MCI students were completely in awe. They also got the opportunity to learn about the process that a piece of art will go through to become part of an animated film or game. Cogswell’s own Digital Audio Technology students then add music to the digital projects to create a completed work of art done entirely by students.

Cogswell’s Project-Based Learning classes are the foundation of the education provided here; they help to create strong, T-shaped individuals that are prepared for careers in a variety of industries.

Top 10 Games we’d Love to Play in Virtual Reality

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The next chapter of gaming and entertainment is almost here; virtual reality. As Sony prepares ‘Project Morpheus’, a virtual reality prototype for the PS4; the realism that virtual reality games will be taken from concept to completion is approaching quickly. This new technology will deliver a sense of presence, where you as the player actually feel like you’re inside the game and your emotions feel that much more real.

With the knowledge that this will soon be available to the masses, CraveOnline made a list of the Top 10 Games We’d Love to Play in Virtual Reality. Although we think that practically any game in existence would be insanely cool to experience through virtual reality; this list really gets the imagination going at the idea of experiencing these games in a seemingly real environment. Take a look at their list and see for yourself!

What games would you love to experience through virtual reality? Comment below!

‘Old’ Movies Whose Special Effects Still Hold up Today

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Some of the movies we grew up on are great for so many reasons; and a big part of that was the special effects that went into them. Remember how real the dinosaurs in ‘Jurassic Park’ looked? Or how jaw dropping it was when the White House was obliterated in ‘Independence Day’? While we may laugh at some of the effects in past movies compared to the insanely real visuals in today’s movies; some can still be classified as ‘Awesome’! Visit this article for a list of 8 ‘Old’ Movies Whose Special Effects Still Hold up Today, as well as the most notable parts in the movie (complete with video)!

Which major flicks did they leave off the list?

The 100 Best April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Tricks, and Pranks, and Hoaxes…OH MY!

Has someone ever ambushed you with falling water, or saran wrapped your car doors shut? Are you plotting your revenge as we speak? Well, consider those child’s play next to the Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time. The pranks are judged by notoriety, creativity, and number of people duped.

From the BBC convincing viewers of a booming season for spaghetti trees, to Burger King announcing the new addition of the Left-Handed Whopper to the menu; these hoaxes are sure to make you chuckle. What’s most impressive about these hoaxes, is the sheer amount of people that fall for them! We can’t blame them, though, the planning and execution of these appear to be flawless.

If that list isn’t enough inspiration for you today, get your fix by checking out the April Fool Archive for even more, well executed pranks!

Have a prank you want to share? Leave us a comment below!

10 Most Influential Games of the 80s

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

It’s no secret that video games were a great deal different back in the 1980’s; from classics we still see today to the games that didn’t live to see the next decade. Remember the original versions of SimCity (1989), The Legend of Zelda (1987), John Madden Football (1988), and Super Mario Bros. (1985)? What about the always classic Pac-Man (1980) and Tetris (1987)? One component we can all likely agree on, however, is the fact that the ghosts of gaming past have paved the way and made a huge impact on the gaming industry we see today. This Yahoo article gives their picks of the 10 most influential games of the 1980s, but we’ll let you be the judge on which games were the most impactful from that decade.

What would you add to their list? How would you rank the games? Give us your two cents below!

Sound Design Student Brings Animated Clip to Life

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Sound Design student, Maya Rybold, left her culinary arts dreams for Cogswell’s Digital Audio Technology degree program. We asked Maya to talk about her creative process while adding sound to an animated clip for a class project. Watch the video below for a peek into what it takes to bring an animated clip from the movie ‘Ratatouille’ to life with the implementation of music and sound effects.

Have a comment or question for Maya? Submit responses below.

Free-to-Play Games on the Rise

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Many experts in the game design industry predict that the rising trend in free-to-play games will continue during 2014 and the foreseeable future. Insiders and outsiders alike are of the opinion that free-to-play was just for mobile and browser titles, but that’s not the case.

Some high quality offerings have become available over the last couple of years and with the success they’ve experienced, more are planned. Full games such as Team Fortress 2, League of Legends, PlanetSide 2, and Star Wars: The Old Republic have all launched on the free-to-play platform.

There are definitely pros and cons to free-to-play. On the positive side, people can try the game and play for extended periods of time before spending money. Casual gamers can enjoy playing without paying monthly fees. It offers a cheap entertainment alternative.

The flip side is that free isn’t free in a lot of cases, and it’s difficult to tell when you first start playing how much it will cost to maintain interest or stay competitive because many players will choose to add options. Some options give players a competitive advantage, hence the allegations of “pay to win,” and many players are willing to buy anything and pay any price to win.

How game designers make money with free-to-play games

It seems counter-intuitive that a game designer would make money for a free game, but they can actually make more money if done correctly by offering it for free rather than a pay-to-play model.

Through micro-transactions, (generally $1-$5) game designers make options available to enhance the player’s experience. Some purists decry this as “pay to win,” but many of the things you can buy in the cash shop are cosmetic options to differentiate players from each other.

Free-to-play games also monetize through advertising. Many have ads that pop up during breaks; in-game advertising banners placed throughout the game simulate advertising at sporting events. In-game adverting affects the game as little as possible.

It’s estimated that the free-to-play version of Team Fortress 2 generated 12 times the revenue of its subscription counterpart. So if it’s done well, game designers will find the free-to-play platform very lucrative.

As a consumer, do you use free-to-play games, or spend a little extra to enjoy an ad free gaming experience?

Who Says Physics is Tough?

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Demi checking homework

Apparently physics is so simple even a dog gets it. Well, to be fair, this is not just any dog.

This particular eight-year old, Hungarian Vizsla named Demi belongs to Zachi Baharav, Director of Cogswell’s Engineering Program, so she might have absorbed the knowledge thanks to living in such a brainy environment.

In the photo, Demi is reviewing the AP Physics and capacitors homework of Zachi’s son who is a senior at Gunn High School in Palo Alto. From Demi’s expression it looks like he may have to revise some of his calculations.

You may want to check problem 4

Favorite Film Noir Bad Guys

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Everyone loves to hate the villain. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary a noir film is: a type of crime film featuring cynical malevolent characters in a sleazy setting and an ominous atmosphere that is conveyed by shadowy photography and foreboding background music.

Here is a list of the top 5 film noir bad guys from Pretty Clever Films.

Who would you add to the list?