Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

‘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?

How One Man Built a Video Game to Pop the Question

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

What happens when guy video gamer meets girl video gamer and they fall in love? The guy, Robert Fink, makes a video game to ask his beloved, Angel White, to marry him. In this article in Yahoo Shine, he said that the task took about 5 months to complete and he discovered that the hardest part was keeping the project a secret.

In the game, dubbed “Knight Man,” a dashing white knight attempts to save a princess by completing a series of challenges. Each successful challenge helps him build a golden ring that, in turn, unlocks the castle, where the princess is frozen in a crystal.

Try out the game here and let us know what you think.

Sony Kicks Off New Visionaries Campaign with “Just Imagine”

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

In a campaign is designed to drive consumers to see and experience the Sony 4K TVs, the company brings creative innovators together, pairs them with new Sony technology and encourages them to unleash their imaginations.

According to the report in CG World, “the spot sets several important milestones, as it is among first commercials to embrace true 4K both in production and delivery (with a companion piece being shown in 4K at retail locations), utilizing the technology that raises definition by four times that of your standard HD television. Additionally, the spaceship created by VFX company MPC is the largest asset ever created for TV.”

This first production was directed by Garth Davis (co-director of Top of the Lake) and shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda ( Life of Pi), and imagines the limitless potential of Davis’ vision, as realized through the new 4K Ultra High Definition TV.

Check out the video of the commercial.

What do you think about the commercial and the potential for the 4K technology?

Looking for a Challenge During Winter Break – Try the New Rubik-style Cube

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Thought you were pretty smart and solved the basic Rubik’s Cube?  Well, here’s a new challenge to keep your minds and fingers busy! Brando developed an IQ cube with a roulette wheel.

This Geekologie review says, “The Most Complicated! OR, The Most Fancy!? This IQ Cube Challenge of IQ Brick, common in 6-Surface Cube, 6-color surface… means (that you) not only need to accomplish each surface color, but the ROULETTE Color and Sequence Number! Rotating in each Roulette Surface, Moving IQ Cube in each Direction, Different Solving Skills.”

Let us know if you solve the puzzle and how many hours it took!