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  Second Life Machinima Contest  
 
 
Posted 2004-07-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Second Life's "New Moves for a New World" contest takes full advantage of the massively-multiuser environment's newly-added custom animation feature, and invites animators to compete for fame and fortune. Prizes include a $500 gift certificate to Turbosquid, a custom avatar created by Linden Lab staff, and honourable mentions worth L$10,000 each.

Of note is the focus on creativity, and while the contest page doesn't specifically request Machinima, it does state: "Extra consideration will be given by the judges for creativity and originality and animations featuring more than one person. Recreate famous scenes [*cough*Machinima*cough*], play a game, perform theater [Machinima], tell a story [Machinima], create a fantasy world, feature unusual avatars, vehicles and builds. Use your imagination to show Second Life’s possibilities." Obviously Linden Lab is fishing for some future showcase material here as well as getting some cross-promotion in the Machinima world.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Famed Alphaville Herald Broadens Coverage  
 
 
Posted 2004-07-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The controversial and much-covered Alphaville Herald has changed its coverage and its name: It's now called The Second Life Herald, and according to this official post, hopes to expand its scope to include not just Second Life, but MMOGs in general. In fact, it seems that the site's using the phrase "Second Life" in reference to any online alternative to Real Life. This should give Linden Lab's trademark lawyers something to think about, since brand-dilution can occur as a result of mainstreaming trade names (just look at what happened to Kleenex(R) or Jell-O(R)).

Continue reading: Famed Alphaville Herald Broadens Coverage
 
     
 
   
 
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  Girls Advance Games  
 
 
Posted 2004-06-25 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
If any significant change is going to sweep over video games, it'll likely be as a result of greater involvement from women. If more women were recruited by game developers, games might not be so painfully nerdy. But what choices would female game developers make?

According to Ludonauts.com, a camp for grade-school game designers resulted in a fifth-grade all-girl team coming up with "Dr. Evil Stinky and the Poison Cake... a light-hearted game that involved communicating with aliens through barter and compromise to achieve the desired result." Evil and stinky? Count me in! On the flipside, a team of fifth-grade boys come up with the uninspiring Virus Fighters: The Defeat of Juppa, where "...Juppa was a direct threat to the player, a villain who went around defeating people with viruses. There were a few different main characters to choose from, including two females who were both described as 'bad-tempered.' Everyone had a sword..."

Let's hope the first ever Women's Game Conference this fall can inspire the industry and bolster female developers. I'd really like to see Dr. Evil Stinky and the Poison Cake get made some day.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Bungie.net’s Halo-rama  
 
 
Posted 2004-04-13 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Originally responsible for the beloved Marathon and Myth series for Mac and Windows-based computers, then known for jumping on the Xbox bandwagon with Halo, long-lived game developer Bungie has revamped its Web site. The new incarnation is Halo-heavy, and will feature regular updates from behind the scenes of the upcoming Xboxer Halo 2. Currently there are screenshots, concept art pics, storyboards, renders and more available for browsing.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Battlefield Vietnam:  Politics, Race, Game Play  
 
 
Posted 2004-03-18 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I picked up a copy of Battlefield Vietnam (BFV) yesterday, and was able to get about two hours of game play in. BFV is the follow-up to the excellent online team-based shooter Battlefield 1942. While I can stomach playing war games set sixty years in the past, BFV is a little too close for comfort. I'll scrape the surface of the socio-political angle first, and then get into the game play and technical details for you gamers.

Continue reading: Battlefield Vietnam:  Politics, Race, Game Play
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Toontown Impressions  
 
 
Posted 2004-03-08 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I opened a trial account with Disney's Toontown to check out this kid-friendly massively-multiplayer game. It's been mentioned by both Liam O'Donnell and Jos as worthy or examination. In a nutshell, Toontown is a 3D environment populated by human-controlled avatars and AI-controlled characters. It was designed to be 100% safe, which means communication between avatars is done using pre-set phrases (actual chat is reserved for real-life friends who exchange some kind of code). Even the name of your own avatar must be approved by moderators if it is not generated using pre-set name components.

Continue reading: Toontown Impressions
 
     
 
   
 
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  Review:  “Journey to the Center of the Earth”  
 
 
Posted 2003-11-27 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
"Journey to the Center of the Earth" (PC)
Publisher: Viva Media
Developer: Frogwares
Game Web Site: Click Here
Retail Price: $19.99 US
ESRB Rating: E

Ratings
Style:
40%
Substance: 30%
Longevity: 20%

This game probably should have been called "Escape from the Center of the Earth," because your "Journey" to the center of the earth consists of a sudden fall down a dark Icelandic hole.

Continue reading: Review:  “Journey to the Center of the Earth”
 
     
 
   
 
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  American Idol, The Video Game  
 
 
Posted 2003-11-12 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Somehow Simon is managing to smile over this one, as he, Paula, and Randy all make appearances in the upcoming American Idol game for PS2, Game Boy Advance and the PC.

Here's my Simon-style preview of this one: You look terrible, you're not really showing us anything new, and your whole vibe is just bloody awful. Go home.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Halo Hits Stores  
 
 
Posted 2003-09-30 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Halo is in stores today for Windows-based PCs, retailing for $74.95 CDN. Although originally intended for Mac and PC before its developer was bought out be Microsoft, Halo has been an Xbox exclusive since the console debuted. Halo for the PC supports up to 16 online players and features some new content, including the all-new Rocket Launcher Warthog and flying Banshee. There are 19 multiplayer maps, which include 6 all-new maps.

Of note is a "Halo PC Editing Kit" said to be in the works, which will allow the creation of new game content. The kit is said to be arriving shortly after the game appears in stores.
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  Review:  TRON2.0  
 
 
Posted 2003-09-01 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 

TRON2.0 (PC)

Publisher: Buena Vista Interactive
Developer: Monolith
Availability: August 26, 2003
Price: $69.99
ESRB Rating: Teen

Ratings
Style:
95%
Substance: 75%
Longevity: 65%

Disney's TRON broke ground in 1982 as the first feature film to make extensive use of computer-rendered 3D animation. TRON presented a stunning, imaginative look inside the world of the computer, giving shape and personality to programs, bits, and bytes. The movie's Game Grid with streamlined Light Cycles and frenzied Disc battles became the inspiration for 1980s video games from arcade to console. TRON's cubist, luminescent computer world is arguably responsible for our concepts of "cyberspace" in the 1990s, touching authors like Cyberpunk-genre king William Gibson, influencing computer environments in movies like Hackers and The Matrix.



Continue reading: Review:  TRON2.0
 
     
 
   
 
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5224 comments
on 4159 entries

Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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