Monthly Archives: May 2016

Video Game News and the Industry Built Around Them

No one can deny the fact that the video gaming industry is now one of the most prolific industry on the globe. There are so many things happening, and each new day brings new events that determine the video game news area to expand and keep up.

This industry was born in the 70s, when computers first appeared. It began as a hobby for those who used computers for playing games. Then, more and more people began having their own computers, and video gaming grew as well. By the end of the decade, computer games started to attract more and more attention.

In 1974, a magazine took the liberty of covering this rising industry. Its name was Play Meter, and it included information about the entire industry. But the first magazine that covered just news from the video gaming domain appeared in the UK in 1981, and it was titled Computer and Video Games. After it, the US launched its own version, called Electronic Games.

The Internet has helped this industry grow even more by giving people access to online gaming websites. People could store more data on CDs, and even download games for their kids and themselves. And this is how the gaming industry became more than just a hobby. When an industry receives more attention, the information related to it needs to be covered in order to reach the people interested.

Nowadays, companies like Disney, Sony, Nintendo and many other are extremely popular in the world of video gaming. Not coincidentally, the gaming industry represents a big part of economy. For example, can you believe that Grand Theft Auto 4 got a larger income than Spiderman 3 in the first week of launch? How much you ask? How about $500 million? This information and other similar ones can reach people only by way of news.

There are lots of online websites that cover everything that happens in the gaming world. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about tax evasion or price discounts. This helps the interested people remain updated about the latest gaming apps, software, tools or everything new that enters the market. Video games companies can successfully use such websites to better understand the market and develop more efficient strategies for expansion.

The Internet is indeed one of the best sources of news in video gaming. Lots of social networks and gaming portals offer such news a great deal of importance. The rapid evolution of the gaming news industry is based on them due to the space offered to users to comment and express their opinions related to various gaming related topics. This is a great way to support the system and encourage growth.

 

Flappy Bird Is Fun and Exciting – But It Also Teaches You Several Lessons!

Did you ever think that there could be a game which could teach you several lessons apart from giving you a really entertaining time? Well, Flappy Bird is one such game. This impossibly easy and yet difficult game had caught the world’s attention due to its simple game play yet incredibly tough game objectives. The objectives are quite clear.

You have to score points by making your bird pass through the obstacles. For passing 10 obstacles, you get a bronze medal, for 20 you get a silver and for 40 you get a gold. There is also a special platinum medal which can be won by really experienced players. But one has to admit that once you get addicted to these Flappy Bird games, they make you give up everything else in an attempt to beat the game. And that exactly is the first lesson that the game teaches you – perseverance.

Flappy Bird also is an extremely tough game. Therefore, when you play it again and again, it hones your time management skills really well. It requires a lot of skill and dexterity to time the flaps of the bird just right so that it is able to change its altitude in accordance with the openings in the pipe like obstacles which come at different heights. One also has to have really sharp reflexes because the obstacles come in faster and with lesser and lesser distance between them as the game progresses. In fact, it is only after the first ten obstacles are crossed that the game really starts speeding up. Flappy Bird games make sure that your concentration powers increase manifold. The game play is so intense that the player is totally sucked into the game. And if his attention varies for even a second, his bird would crash into the obstacles. As the game moves forward, the stakes get higher. Each time that you cross more than half the number of obstacles that you crossed the previous time, you feel anticipation that this time you might beat your past record. It is a nail biting scenario as your bird flies faster and faster and the obstacles whirl past as you try to beat either your own high score or your friends’ high score. If you are able to beat it, there cannot be a more exhilarating feeling. And if you are not able to beat it, you can just pick yourself up, dust off and start over. So, the game only teaches you not to be afraid of the obstacles which you face in life too and to pick yourself up and make a fresh start every time.

And finally, the most important and amusing lesson that the Flappy Bird games teach us is not to get so addicted of any one particular thing to such an extent that you can’t let go of it. For example fans got addicted to Flappy Bird and then it was taken away from them. Life can also deal us such blows but we must not let them take us down.

Being a Hard-Core Gamer – The Social Benefits of Video Gaming

This would perhaps be a debate forever – the talk supporting the ill effect and that advocating the positive impact of digital games on a person’s psychology and social behavior. But, as much as the dark side of video gaming has come into the limelight, we cannot keep away from noticing the benefits of such addictions, as well.

Such attempts strengthen a person’s cognitive skills.

Modern-day technology has enabled developers to come up with high-end games carrying better resolutions and smoother user interfaces, most of which are also devoted to preaching violent content. However, contrary to the expected detrimental backlash, improvements in the cognitive capabilities of players have surprisingly been noticed. A hard-core gamer can imagine an object in a three-dimensional spatial arrangement more vividly than a non-gamer. Further, the former has a better hand-eye co-ordination, sharper memory, perception and reasoning capacity than the latter. It is interesting to note how a huge chunk of people who excel in the fields of science, engineering, technology and mathematics, are also big fanatics of video gaming.

The enthusiasm seems to have only doubled.

The conventional notions that have remained intact all these years suggest how such endeavors make a person lazy – both physically and intellectually. He almost becomes an alleged antisocial element, less supportive of the general ways of society. But, differing from this statement, scientific research and studies stand to prove how gamers are better problem solvers, strategy builders and role players than most other people. This is a potential plus point for their professional lives. Also, talking about creativity, it only gets better, more enhanced, with every such attempt.

And, most importantly, speaking of the anti-social behavior of gamers, it is only a myth now. A recent study suggests how youngsters, who suffer from attention-deficit disorders have been permanently cured with a daily dose of such fun activities. Also, with social networking becoming a mania, people are using the virtual world more to connect with fellow-gamers. Such mass participation is proof enough that no gamer goes into social isolation today. In fact, he or she advocates a better civic engagement, is only double enthusiastic about the entire connecting idea and does it with all heart and soul.

Gamers are more stress free and relaxed than others.

Such an attempt is a great way to free oneself of stress and strain. It is a superb mood and anxiety controller. It also keeps one away from evil, harmful thoughts and is the harbinger of emotional stability. It is one way of learning how failures are the pillars of success. Thus, the earlier notions that suggested how such attempts lead to depression and development of antagonistic, hostile natures, can very well be ignored.

Despite carrying a bad reputation, video gaming is a healthy, fun activity which can also behave as an educative medium when followed correctly. Such an attempt is a good confidence booster and helps players learn how to tackle challenges in their lives. In fact, it is an activity which resembles any other day-to-day activities happening in people’s lives. Yes, it is as simple as eating a pizza. Only, having a balanced perspective is important to see it as an advantage. But, of course, too many pizzas can end up upsetting the tummy.

3D Games Online – Why You Should Let Your Children Play Them

New digital technologies have simply revolutionized the world of gaming. These days you can even play 3D games online. In most cases, you will not even need any special graphic cards to enjoy the gaming experience.

The graphics of 3D games are crystal clear, where the characters, cars, buildings, and other objects look almost lifelike. They come with better picture resolutions, and easy user interfaces. You will be able to follow the simple instructions, and understand the game in a matter of minutes.

Parents on the other hand, are usually apprehensive about their children spending long hours on gaming online. They fear that extensive exposure to digital games, could impact their social behaviors and psychology in negative ways.

Instead of completely restricting your children from playing 3D games online, what parents can do is fix a proper timetable for them to enjoy the games. Stopping them from playing completely might not be a good idea, because there are many benefits of gaming that you might want to know about.

Improvement of cognitive skills:

While playing the games on computers, you will need to have fast moving fingers and eyes. With time, you will see a significant improvement in your hand and eye coordination.

In most of the games, you will have to remember a lot of things in order to make the decisions that can help you in completing the missions. Such skills will help you in improving your reasoning and memory power. They are the very skills that can help your kids in learning mathematics, engineering, science, and technology.

Gamers are comparatively more relaxed:

Most of the games will get you on the edge of your seats, but over a period of time, you will learn to handle the stress in a much matured way. You will be more relaxed when facing even the toughest situations in the game. This attitude can help your child in various aspects of life as well. It will have them in staying cool and composed, while making sound decisions.

Doubles your enthusiasm:

Contrary to the popular belief that gaming makes you physically and intellectually lazy, it actually works the other way around. Studies have shown that kids who indulge in gaming are never short of enthusiasm and energy. Moreover, it makes them better strategists and problem solvers.

Makes them the go-getters:

Some of the missions in the online games are really tough, and sometimes it may more than 10 to 20 attempts before cracking them. The gamer will have to be fully determined, because the frustration of losing so many times, can make you want to quit. Good gamers are normally the most determined people, and they never rest kill they achieve their goals.

Our advice to parents would be to let your children play 3D games online, but you will need to monitor them closely, so that they cannot neglect their studies or health.

We offer some of the best 3D games under various different categories. Please feel free to visit our website to register for an account to get started.

What Is a Game?

We probably all have a pretty good intuitive notion of what a game is. The general term “game” encompasses board games like chess and Monopoly, card games like poker and blackjack, casino games like roulette and slot machines, military war games, computer games, various kinds of play among children, and the list goes on. In academia we sometimes speak of game theory, in which multiple agents select strategies and tactics in order to maximize their gains within the framework of a well-defined set of game rules. When used in the context of console or computer-based entertainment, the word “game” usually conjures images of a three-dimensional virtual world featuring a humanoid, animal or vehicle as the main character under player control. (Or for the old geezers among us, perhaps it brings to mind images of two-dimensional classics like Pong, Pac-Man, or Donkey Kong.) In his excellent book, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, Raph Koster defines a game to be an interactive experience that provides the player with an increasingly challenging sequence of patterns which he or she learns and eventually masters. Koster’s asser-tion is that the activities of learning and mastering are at the heart of what we call “fun,” just as a joke becomes funny at the moment we “get it” by recognizing the pattern.

Video Games as Soft Real-Time Simulations

Most two- and three-dimensional video games are examples of what computer scientists would call soft real-time interactive agent-based computer simulations. Let’s break this phrase down in order to better understand what it means. In most video games, some subset of the real world -or an imaginary world- is modeled mathematically so that it can be manipulated by a computer. The model is an approximation to and a simplification of reality (even if it’s an imaginary reality), because it is clearly impractical to include every detail down to the level of atoms or quarks. Hence, the mathematical model is a simulation of the real or imagined game world. Approximation and simplification are two of the game developer’s most powerful tools. When used skillfully, even a greatly simplified model can sometimes be almost indistinguishable from reality and a lot more fun.

An agent-based simulation is one in which a number of distinct entities known as “agents” interact. This fits the description of most three-dimensional computer games very well, where the agents are vehicles, characters, fireballs, power dots and so on. Given the agent-based nature of most games, it should come as no surprise that most games nowadays are implemented in an object-oriented, or at least loosely object-based, programming language.

All interactive video games are temporal simulations, meaning that the vir- tual game world model is dynamic-the state of the game world changes over time as the game’s events and story unfold. A video game must also respond to unpredictable inputs from its human player(s)-thus interactive temporal simulations. Finally, most video games present their stories and respond to player input in real time, making them interactive real-time simulations.

One notable exception is in the category of turn-based games like computerized chess or non-real-time strategy games. But even these types of games usually provide the user with some form of real-time graphical user interface.

What Is a Game Engine?

The term “game engine” arose in the mid-1990s in reference to first-person shooter (FPS) games like the insanely popular Doom by id Software. Doom was architected with a reasonably well-defined separation between its core software components (such as the three-dimensional graphics rendering system, the collision detection system or the audio system) and the art assets, game worlds and rules of play that comprised the player’s gaming experience. The value of this separation became evident as developers began licensing games and retooling them into new products by creating new art, world layouts, weapons, characters, vehicles and game rules with only minimal changes to the “engine” software. This marked the birth of the “mod community”-a group of individual gamers and small independent studios that built new games by modifying existing games, using free toolkits pro- vided by the original developers. Towards the end of the 1990s, some games like Quake III Arena and Unreal were designed with reuse and “modding” in mind. Engines were made highly customizable via scripting languages like id’s Quake C, and engine licensing began to be a viable secondary revenue stream for the developers who created them. Today, game developers can license a game engine and reuse significant portions of its key software components in order to build games. While this practice still involves considerable investment in custom software engineering, it can be much more economical than developing all of the core engine components in-house. The line between a game and its engine is often blurry.

Some engines make a reasonably clear distinction, while others make almost no attempt to separate the two. In one game, the rendering code might “know” specifi-cally how to draw an orc. In another game, the rendering engine might provide general-purpose material and shading facilities, and “orc-ness” might be defined entirely in data. No studio makes a perfectly clear separation between the game and the engine, which is understandable considering that the definitions of these two components often shift as the game’s design solidifies.

Arguably a data-driven architecture is what differentiates a game engine from a piece of software that is a game but not an engine. When a game contains hard-coded logic or game rules, or employs special-case code to render specific types of game objects, it becomes difficult or impossible to reuse that software to make a different game. We should probably reserve the term “game engine” for software that is extensible and can be used as the foundation for many different games without major modification.

Clearly this is not a black-and-white distinction. We can think of a gamut of reusability onto which every engine falls. One would think that a game engine could be something akin to Apple QuickTime or Microsoft Windows Media Player-a general-purpose piece of software capable of playing virtually any game content imaginable. However, this ideal has not yet been achieved (and may never be). Most game engines are carefully crafted and fine-tuned to run a particular game on a particular hardware platform. And even the most general-purpose multiplatform engines are really only suitable for building games in one particular genre, such as first-person shooters or racing games. It’s safe to say that the more general-purpose a game engine or middleware component is, the less optimal it is for running a particular game on a particular platform.

This phenomenon occurs because designing any efficient piece of software invariably entails making trade-offs, and those trade-offs are based on assumptions about how the software will be used and/or about the target hardware on which it will run. For example, a rendering engine that was designed to handle intimate indoor environments probably won’t be very good at rendering vast outdoor environments. The indoor engine might use a binary space partitioning (BSP) tree or portal system to ensure that no geometry is drawn that is being occluded by walls or objects that are closer to the camera. The outdoor engine, on the other hand, might use a less-exact occlusion mechanism, or none at all, but it probably makes aggressive use of level-of-detail (LOD) techniques to ensure that distant objects are rendered with a minimum number of triangles, while using high-resolution triangle meshes for geome-try that is close to the camera.

The advent of ever-faster computer hardware and specialized graphics cards, along with ever-more-efficient rendering algorithms and data structures, is beginning to soften the differences between the graphics engines of different genres. It is now possible to use a first-person shooter engine to build a real-time strategy game, for example. However, the trade-off between generality and optimality still exists. A game can always be made more impressive by fine-tuning the engine to the specific requirements and constraints of a particular game and/or hardware platform.

Engine Differences Across Genres

Game engines are typically somewhat genre specific. An engine designed for a two-person fighting game in a boxing ring will be very different from a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) engine or a first-person shooter (FPS) engine or a real-time strategy (RTS) engine. However, there is also a great deal of overlap-all 3D games, regardless of genre, require some form of low-level user input from the joypad, keyboard and/or mouse, some form of 3D mesh rendering, some form of heads-up display (HUD) including text rendering in a variety of fonts, a powerful audio system, and the list goes on. So while the Unreal Engine, for example, was designed for first-person shooter games, it has been used successfully to construct games in a number of other genres as well, including simulator games, like Farming Simulator 15 ( FS 15 mods ) and the wildly popular third-person shooter franchise Gears of War by Epic Games and the smash hits Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City by Rocksteady Studios.