Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Amazon Studios Launches its First Pilot Episodes

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Leave it to Amazon to come up with something a little different. The company has developed 14 new pilots – 6 for kids and 8 for adults – and they want the public to vote on their favorites. Translation – what would you like to see become season-long shows. Currently they are available for live streaming on Amazon.

The crowdsourced Amazon Studios looks like it is trying to compete with web-based original content producers such as Netflix. Obviously not all of the pilots will make it and be turned into multiple episodes. Among the adult titles are: “Zombieland,”(Four survivors are killin’ zombies and searching for a home), “Betas,” (Four friends think they’ve cracked the code for Silicon Valley success), “Dark Minions” (Rules, reports, a Galactic Overlord … just another day at the office) and “Browsers” (Fresh-faced interns face the music, and sing along with it).

Let us know which ones would you vote for?

So You Want to be a Web or Mobile Developer?

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Here’s some great advice for new developers from Justin Searles of Spinnakr in this short video posted by Devsbuildit. For those just starting out he list the three biggest challenges as – the huge number of developers who have entered the field since the advent of mobile and web development became ‘sexy,’ figuring out the best way to make your app responsive in the mobile world and keeping up with the constant technological changes.

He encourages new developers to understand that bugs are part of the development process – don’t get discouraged – stick with it and you will make it work.

Take a few minutes to listen to Justin’s ideas and then let us know what you think.

Cartoon Brew Adds a Podcast for Your Listening Pleasure

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Now you can get all your favorite animation industry news via podcast at Cartoon Brew. Animation Forum’s, Joel Frenzer and Alan Foreman, are bringing their own unique and irreverent view of the animation world right to your favorite podcast device.

Frenzer and Foreman deliver their unique know-how to you each month through in-depth interviews with world animation leaders, tips and technical animation advice, surprise “radio games” and personal tales of tragedy and triumph.

They are introducing a new, fast-paced half hour format and may also take their show on the road. Have you heard of them before? Share your favorite episode.

Beyond Kickstarter in Crowdsource Funding

Friday, April 12th, 2013

So Project Awakened didn’t reach its Kickstarter funding goal. Now what? In the case of Phosphor Games, the company decided to see if they could find investors through their website and a founder’s program – which looks suspiciously like the Kickstarter format.

While the potential to reach their fundraising goal looks remote – 29 days left to raise $150K – they are trying to listen to their fans and provide the game experience fans say they want.

In this article by Penny Arcade, Justin Corcoran, CEO of Phosphor Games, talks about their Kickstarter experience and the steps they took to breathe new life into their project. Equally interesting are the comments made by the readers about the game and chances for success.

Do you think this is a viable option for failed Kickstarter campaigns?

Getting Your App to Market: Tips from Papaya Marketer

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Join Justin Mauldin, Director of Marketing at Papaya Mobile in this Application Developers Alliance interview.

He talks about the need to understand your niche audience, the importance of engaging influencers in the pre-launch period and how to stand out among the million other apps on the market. Learn the steps you need to take to avoid becoming a zombie app.

Check out the video.

BioShock Infinite, A Worthy Sequel

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Sequels can often be a disappointment as the next in a series cruises on the coattails of the original. Sequels have the reputation for lacking imagination and a unique story. They stick to the tried and true and fail to explore new territory or character growth.

Using BioShock Infinite as the example, Games Radar uncovers eight lessons all other sequels should learn in order to avoid the sequel blahs.

Anyone played the game yet? What are your thoughts?

Here’s a Sneak Peek at Disney’s “Planes”

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Here’s something for all our animation fans.

Top Gun meets crop duster? Let’s see what the little guy can do. When it becomes a Disneyland attraction, can’t wait to go on that ride.

In typical Disney fashion, the trailer shows off great character development and ‘feel like you’re part of the action’ scenery.

Check out the trailer.

Set to hit the movie screens in August, do you think this film will give Pixar’s “Cars” a run for its money?

New Degree Program Game Design & Development

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Jerome Solomon, appointed Director for the new Game Design & Development bachelor degree program

Cogswell College announced the offering of a new degree program, Game Design & Development. Students will have the option of majoring in either Game Design Art (GDA) or Game Design Engineering (GDE). Each specialization focuses on one of the two sides of game development: art and content development or game design programming and software development.

“The creation of this new program presents a strong opportunity for students to make games in a more realistic industry environment,” says Jerome Solomon, assistant professor of Cogswell’s new game design program. Solomon is a film and game industry veteran, and currently sits on the National Committee for ACM SIGGRAPH.

While most of the classes are not new to Cogswell’s curriculum, creating a separate degree program around them gives the college more flexibility to adjust course offerings to keep up with current industry trends. The new degree program also allows graduates to emphasize their specialized skill-set on their resumes.

“Typically, games are created by multidisciplinary teams” Solomon continues. “Cogswell is one of only a handful of schools that bring together all of the elements of game development. We have students and faculty with expertise in art, engineering, design, audio, and entrepreneurship that work together on teams. This is exactly like the composition of game development teams in the industry.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for software developers will grow 30 per cent by 2020, equaling approximately 1.1 million new jobs or 14 per cent of all occupations in the U.S. economy. This demand is fueled by the gamification of everything from law enforcement to education to healthcare, which requires skills in game design, art, animation and programming and constitutes a significant portion of the projected 1.1 million jobs.

Last week’s Game Developer’s Conference was held in San Francisco. Thousands of hopeful game design and engineering graduates and job seekers flocked to the Career Pavilion that housed over 50 booths including Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts and WB Games along with various schools and recruiters.

Solomon visited the pavilion on behalf of the college and was encouraged by the positive reception to Cogswell’s new program from the industry exhibitors.

“Game development companies are either looking for an artist or an engineer,” explains Solomon. “Larger studios look for very specific skills; smaller studios look for those with multiple skills. The employers we met with were extremely receptive to the fact that we have every component of game development here at Cogswell, which creates a real-world, industry work environment for our students.”

The Worst (And Weirdest) Music In Gaming History

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Image Credit: Resident Evil Director's Cut

Sound effects and music play an important role in making a game fun – or not – to play. The right music and sounds pull you in seamlessly and add to your game play enjoyment.

The wrong soundtrack pulls your attention away from the game and makes you wonder what were they thinking? The worst game soundtracks are so annoying that you just can’t take it and either turn off the sound or stop playing the game.

Do you agree with the opinions in this Game Informer article? What games would you add to the list?

Design Your Game for the Player and Money Will Follow

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Lots of decisions go into making a game that makes players feel good about their choice.

Game designer, Shane Neville, believes you can have the best of both worlds – a game that makes money and happy game players – but it requires a healthy dose of respect for the end user.

According to Neville, the game should be designed and balanced for three different types of players: players who have high skill, players who are willing to spend time and players who are willing to spend money. Neville said that if designers want to “keep their souls,” the team must refuse to think of players as things to be monetized.

Shane Neville from Ninja Robot Dinosaur Entertainment and designer of Shellrazer shared his thoughts on ethical game design at GDC 2013 in San Francisco. Click here to read Game Industry’s coverage of his remarks.

What do you think of his analysis?