All Posts In » 2011 » May » 10

  • 10May

    Mircosoft buys Skype for 8.5 Billion

    Microsoft has purchased Skype for $8.5 Billion. Making it the highest priced acquisition for Microsoft. Skype will now become it’s own division in Microsoft reporting to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The price does seem high and brings the question if Microsoft overpaid. I know many people use Skype for podcasts or meetings, but how many people use the paid portion of the service? It is a large, well-known brand and that does come with benefits to Microsoft. Also, it will be interesting to see if there is more integration with Windows Phone, Xbox 360 or Kinect. It would be great if a Skype customer from any of these platforms can communicate with another Skype customer on any platform. No confirmations on announcements of products that will support Skype. Time will tell if Microsoft overpaid, but in the short term, it looks to be a strong brand addition that can help

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  • 10May

    Twisted Pixel debuts players’ reactions to the ’2 Girls, 1 Controller’ mode of ‘Ms. ‘Splosion Man’

    Twisted Pixel has done something positively crazy (but in the funny way) and added a new mode to Ms. ‘Splosion Man that is a bit of a callback to an interesting (?) Internet meme. The 2 Girls, 1 Controller mode of the game allows you to control two Ms. ‘Splosion Man characters at the same time, triggering an explosion for each using the Xbox 360 controller’s shoulder buttons. It sounds pretty frustrating (or at least challenging), so I’m not too surprised at this reaction video, which is also another meme callback. This is the first of four videos — the others are being revealed daily at the official site. (If you think I’m being a bit too vague, it’s because the original thing in question is so gross I don’t want to remember it.) Follow

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  • 10May

    Zumba sequel on soon to be announced console

    Majesco has announced a sequel to the motion fitness game, Zumba. I have the original on the 360 for Kinect and it is an amazing workout. Ramps up in difficulty, but by the end you are soaked in sweat. Because it’s just like dancing, it doesn’t feel like a work out and you learn how to move those hips as an added bonus. In an odd move though, Zumba Fitness 2 will launch on the Wii this holiday. No mention of a launch for Kinect, but there is mention of a launch in 2012 on “another soon to be announced platform”. This could allude to the Project Cafe but if that is true, the date of 2012 is interesting. “We’ve seen an overwhelming demand for the next iteration of the franchise and I can promise you that Zumba Fitness 2’s new and improved features will challenge Zumba enthusiasts and entice

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  • 10May

    National Endowment for the Arts officially recognizes games for 2012 grants

    No matter what any critics think, games are now officially art. Well, they are if the National Endowment for the Arts has any say in the matter. The Fiscal Year 2012 grant guidelines now state that in the now-expanded “Arts in Media” category, “all available media platforms such as the Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, digital games, arts content delivered via satellite, as well as on radio and television” are now eligible. Grants are available to media projects that “can be considered works of art,” which now includes interactive games. If you’ve been looking to make an artsy game, this might be the financial boost you need — grants typically range from $10,000 to $200,000, so that might be enough to keep an indie studio going for a while. Applications are due September 1, 2011 — I hope to see that a game or two makes the cut. Follow

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  • 10May

    Activision Blizzard earnings call reveals ‘Diablo III’ beta for Q3 2011

    If you’ve been waiting for Diablo III like I have, information revealed during yesterday’s Activision Blizzard earnings call is definitely worth getting excited over. Mike Morhaime stated that Blizzard is currently looking to launch a public beta for Diablo III during the third quarter of 2011. This is after a staff-only alpha that is presumably going on now, according to slides accompanying the call. Despite this, don’t expect the game to release this year. The same slide displayed information stating the Blizzard is “driving hard” to get the game released in 2011, but you know Blizzard. It’s done when it’s done. (And my husband and I will play the heck out of it at that point.) Follow

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  • 10May

    Family Vacation on iPad

    Family Vacation – California is a new hidden object game for iPad. It was  designed by Meridian4 and developed by Ocean Media, Family Vacation offers a unique alternative with the goal of this hidden-object game is to find the fun in a family adventure.   Family Vacation breaks the hidden object mold. From the story and gameplay right down to the art style. Casual gamers will enjoy the addictive one-click action they and a lighter and brighter style subject matter. You play as Barb, a woman who never thought she’d win anything, but she did.  She is on her way to be a contestant on the game show; ThePriceisNice! She and her family have adventures going to sunny California.  The scenes deal with packing, getting to the airport on time, boarding the plane, and getting to their hotel. Once at their destination, you’ll see the beach, a ballgame and Playland Theme Park,

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  • 10May

    Interview: Quinn Dunki of One Girl One Laptop

    Quinn Dunki, code writer, game developer, mobile enthusiast, and not just mobile gaming gives us this interview today. She has worked on Trucks and Skulls for iOS with Appy Entertainment lately. Quinn is the founder of her own company, One Girl One Laptop. Geek Woman: I was told that you are a code Goddess. What is code and what do you do with it? (yes this question might sound stupid, but there are people who don’t know ;)) Quinn Dunki: Well, “writing code” is shorthand for computer programming. It’s basically just text in an editor with a bunch of syntax rules that allow the computer to convert (“compile”) it into a binary format that it can execute. That’s the really short explanation. The long explanation… well…  there’s a reason people go to university for four years to learn this stuff.  Seriously though, there’s no magic to it. The great thing

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  • 10May

    PAX East 2011: How ‘Brink’ made me reevaluate everything I know about myself (and my relationship with the FPS genre)

    About ten seconds in, my first foray into the world of online FPS multiplayer hit a bit of a brick wall. I was probably about 15, I was with my boyfriend, and we were playing Counter-Strike at an early version of an Internet café specifically for gaming. There, it was a LAN party all the time, and people didn’t really play anything that wasn’t Counter-Strike at that point, either. You know, the old one. Where, if you die once, you’re done for that round. I might have gotten five minutes of play during the hour I sat there. It was my first FPS, and it permanently turned me off to online multiplayer. Well, at least I thought so. This was before Brink, and before I got my hands on the game at PAX East this March. I hadn’t seen a lot about the game beforehand, and that’s mostly my fault,

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