Subject: General Tech, Mobile | October 1, 2014 - 03:17 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Kickstarter, Firefox OS, web, chromecast
When Google released the Chromecast, it was a surprisingly clean solution for streaming video (my apologies if solutions existed before it). Just plug it into HDMI and connect to it with a PC or a mobile device to use the TV as monitor for content, and it is cheap. I figured that the open source community would like one of their own, but I did not think it was going to be done. Now there is a Kickstarter up, with FirefoxOS.
I constantly struggle with whether to discuss crowdfunding because, on the one hand, you never know if something will tank. On the other hand, is it really any less sketchy than pre-release information for computer hardware or video games (especially pre-release news for video games)?
In this case, I found out that it was promoted by Mozilla on their Hacks blog. It is based on a Rockchip 3066 SoC with 1GB RAM, 4GB of storage and 2.4 GHz Wireless-N. As stated earlier, it runs FirefoxOS which means that apps are websites. The SoC has a Mali-400 GPU that is capable of OpenGL ES 2.0, so it might even be able to support WebGL if the software and drivers are certified. Don't expect jaw-dropping 3D graphics, though. The GPU is rated at about 9 GFLOPs. For comparison, the Tegra K1 has a peak compute throughput of about 365 GFLOPs; alternatively, it is fairly close to later-model Intel GMA graphics (not Intel HD Graphics... GMA). Still, it might allow for some interesting 2D (or simplistic 3D) games.
Just a day-or-so in, it is already at over 150% funding.
Subject: General Tech | March 26, 2014 - 02:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oculus rift, Kickstarter, john carmack, facebook
You've heard by now that Facebook has purchased Oculus and you likely have an opinion on the matter. There are quite a few issues this sale raises for the technologically inclined. For the Kickstarter backers, the question of the propriety of Vulture Capitalists benefiting monetarily from a project which began in part because of their donation made on Kickstarter; which still did net them a device. For those hoping that Oculus was going to be a project designed and lead by Palmer Luckey and involving John Carmack with little oversight or pressure from a company that wants an immediate return on their investment. For some the simple involvment of Facebook is enough to sour the entire deal regardless of any other factors.
KitGuru offers some possible benefits that could come of this deal; Facebook cannot afford to slow development as competitors such as castAR will soon arrive, nor can they really push Carmack around without risking his involvement. Before you start screaming take a moment to think about everything this deal involves and then express your opinion ... after all you don't get reality that is much more virtual than Facebook.
"I know guys. I know. I’m mad too. I’m sad, disappointed, even betrayed, but these are all things I’m feeling and I bet you are too. We’re having an emotional reaction to two companies worth multiple billions of dollars doing a business deal and though I can’t help but wish it hadn’t happened, I know that if I look at it logically, it makes sense for everyone."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nvidia takes on Raspberry Pi with the Jetson TK1 mini supercomputer @ The Inquirer
- GNOME 3.12 Seeded by GNOME OS Projects @ Linux.com
- Meet Microsoft's latest Windows Server reseller – come on down, Google @ The Register
- SSD penetration rate bound to rise in 2014 @ DigiTimes
- Rosewill RGS-108P POE Gigabit Network Switch @ Modders-Inc
- Windows 8 BREAKS ITSELF after system restores @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | July 3, 2013 - 01:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: syndicate, Satellite Reign, Mike Diskett, Kickstarter, kick ass, gaming
Syndicate and to an extent the sequel Syndicate Wars, have a golden reputation among gamers, some of whom were not old enough to have played it when it was originally released but ended up playing it on an emulator. In these games you tried to take over the city using whatever methods you could, from the agents you controlled to the persuadatron along with a good overall strategy. Mike Diskett, who originally designed these games is now back with a new twist, in Satellite Reign you are trying to take down the Syndicates, though the interview does hint that you might have a chance to rule the city if you don't bother to recruit citizens to your cause and only use them as meat shields. Check out the interview at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN which dives deep into the world, the trailer is below but what you should do is head to Kickstarter and help make this game incredible.
... oh, and change your Ubisoft password.
"Satellite Reign is a new open world cyberpunk city RTS from the lead progammer of Syndicate Wars, yes, but it also another chance for man who has been embittered by the worst aspects of our industry’s commercial ferocity. In picking up a gauntlet forged in the 1990s, he found the grit to fight back. Help him. Do it now."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ubisoft admits major hacking breach, advises password change @ The Register
- Company of Heroes 2 Tested, Benchmarked @ TechSpot
- Remember Me @ LanOC Reviews
- Chocks Away: World Of Warplanes Beta Opens @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Hot Drop Into Interstellar Marines Early Access @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 22, 2013 - 06:16 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Kickstarter, oculus rift, Virtuix Omni
Even if you no-one watches you game, this device would probably be difficult to store in a closet.
Team Fortress 2 is a fun game and one of the first with support for the Oculus Rift VR headset. But why stop there? The Omni is an omnidirectional treadmill which allows users to move within the device and have that motion translate into computer input. This means that running, strafing, and apparently jumping in your containing vessel will control a videogame character.
How the heck they expect to Scout double-jump? Beats me.
The company is currently in preparation for a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. Under the assumption that no trickery is going on, this could be a leap forward for VR.
Perhaps a small-business arcade might like to get a few gaming PCs set up? To me, it sounds like an interesting novelty previously reserved for theme parks and traveling mall demonstrations. If it works as planned, it might even be a better technology.
Still no word on price or predicted availability, but I expect that will come soon.
Subject: General Tech | October 3, 2012 - 06:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Kickstarter, kick ass, Nexus, Nexus 2, gaming
The original Nexus: The Jupiter Incident can be hard to explain to those who believe the only RTS game style involves a base and focuses on harvesting resources in order to produce masses of cloned troops of different styles and tiers. It is similar to Homeworld in that it involves fleet battles and races with differing technologies and spaceships but that is where the similarity ends. There is no mothership nor do you collect resources to spawn more ships, instead you start with a set amount of ships and equipment to outfit those ships at the beginning of the mission and if you happen to lose a ship to enemy fire that ship is gone; if you are lucky you might get a replacement next mission. The ships can be outfitted with a variety of weapons and equipment, from shield destroying beam weapons to hull destroying missiles to close support fighters, your choices are limited only by the supplies available not the amount of money or resources you collected. The pace is much slower but then the missions are unforgiving and simply having a ship out of place could spell disaster for your entire squadron. At $10 on Steam if this sounds even slightly interesting you should pick it up!
The reason it is worth mentioning this 8 year old game is that the Most Wanted Entertainment and most of the original dev team have launched a Kickstarter program to fund the creation of the sequel, Nexus : The Gods Awaken. Keeping the original feel, as they put it "a game for Admirals, not Project Managers", and updating the game to modern specifications with the use of the Unreal Engine, perhaps not an exact match to the two tech demos released over the past few years, in fact perhaps even better. Ship design is planned to be modular which will allow greater customization of your task force as well as enabling the inclusion of larger, better designed space stations and capital ships. You will get full control over the design of your fighters, bombers and gunboats, which may make watching them die while protecting your ships a more personal experience than in the first game. You can also expect to see familiar faces and two new alien races, not to mention the one you already went up against but only if they get enough money to get this project off the ground.
Kickstarter is quickly becoming a way for game companies to finance the creation of a game without needing a large publisher behind them and when tied with a release on Steam it also reduces the need for a distributor. Many will loudly scream that this will lead to a fragmentation of the gaming industry as not everyone will hear about the release of a game, as well as leading to the release of games not destined to be blockbusters. You can safely ignore them, another Halo game should come out soon and they will stop paying attention and let those who like a game for what it is and not what the advertising says get on with supporting projects like this. If you feel the same, head to the Kickstarter site and toss them a few coins!
"The gameplay of Nexus is everything the discerning Space Admiral could desire. Alongside improvements and polish across the board to existing graphics and gameplay, there is also a wealth of new features to expand and enrich the gameplay to ever-greater heights.
The Psis are a new class of NPC, who can be added to the crew of certain ships. Each Psi has a unique power, allowing them to influence the course of battle, and turn a lost cause into a triumphant victory."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Borderlands 2 Gameplay Performance and IQ @ [H]ard|OCP
- Sleeping Dogs Gameplay Performance and IQ @ [H]ard|OCP
- Borderlands 2 @ LanOC Reviews
- Resident Evil 6 @ The Inquirer
- Tekken Tag Tournament 2 @ The Inquirer
- Borderlands 2 PhysX Performance Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Strung out on Borderlands 2 @ The Tech Report
- F1 2012 PC Review @ eTeknix
- Make Something Unreal Live Is “Genetics and Genomics” @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Feeding The Machine: Gas Guzzlers Demo @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- FIFA 13 PlayStation 3 @ Tweaktown
- FIFA 13 (PS3) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Mark of the Ninja Review (XBLA) @ Kitguru
- Resident Evil 6 Review (Xbox 360) @ Hardwareheaven
It's like Spore in space... even though that was in space too. Kinetic Void Kickstarter almost over but not at goal yet.
Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 02:18 PM | Scott Michaud
Kinetic Void is a PC single player space adventure game looking for funding on Kickstarter. They are currently at $47,000 out of their $60,000 goal with approximately 6 hours to go. If you have a 2GHz CPU and GeForce 8800 GPU or better and would like to back the project then do so like -- right now. You will only be billed for your pledge if they reach their $60,000 goal.
Update (5/30/2012): They're funded -- but if you want to keep donating to give them more development funds I'm sure they could use it.
Yet another awesome looking indie project is looking for crowd-funding.
There are probably a bunch of fans of space sims in our audience -- and I know there are a bunch of fans of PC games in our audience. Most of these games will only be possible with crowd funding and Kinetic Void is teetering on the edge of expiring. If you like it -- the next 6 hours is basically your last chance to back it so do not wait.
When I started writing this article it was at $46,000… so it’s possible. Hop to it if you want it.
The expected system requirements for the game is quite lean with just a 2.0 GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, and GeForce 8800 GPU needed to play. They recommend a multi-core CPU which is still very reasonable these days to say the least. It is not the prettiest game but that is not the point.
$10-or-more will get you the full game when it is launched in late 2012 or early 2013 -- or if you spring for $20+ you can get Beta access as well.
But only if it is funded… so go to Kickstarter if it seems interesting to you.
Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2012 - 03:39 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: origin, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, crowdfunding, pc gaming
EA wishes to foster independent game distribution on their Origin platform. Developers of games which are crowd-funded through a service such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter will receive 100% revenue share from the service for 90 days.
I need to give EA credit when they do something good.
The Origin online distribution system is not as appreciated as Steam has been but that does not stop EA from trying. The service was made a requisite for PC games such as Battlefield 3 which was an annoyance to gamers -- much as Steam was an annoyance to Half Life 2 players. Whether Origin was a good service or not was irrelevant as customers just do not like to be forced to use a service to access unrelated content.
Origin has decided to waive distribution fees for crowd funded content for 90 days -- wielding a carrot.
Maybe Warren Spector should crowd fund a small project at Junction Point -- publish on Origin’s Systems
It’d be like Tim Schafer, just more ironic.
Two main options for crowdsourcing projects are Indiegogo and Kickstarter. If you are one of our Canadian viewers than you are limited to posting your project on Indiegogo as Kickstarter will not fund projects outside the US; of course you can fund American projects on Kickstarter from Canada, just not create your own. With Origin you are then able to publish on an established platform and receive full revenue for the first three months.
Of course if you have licensed technology or assets such as Unreal Development Kit you are still obliged to follow those commitments. For the first three months EA will just keep their hand out of your pocket.