Video Games

Apple’s Doing Mac Game Developers No Favors

Posted In iOS
Mac Games
Ever since the first Mac appeared in 1984, Apple has nurtured the idea that its products are so new, so slick, that anyone who used them was cooler than everybody else. So as the popularity of ever-faster, ever-more-realistic games climbed, it seemed like a sure bet that the Mac was going to be a prime field of competition. And then… Nothing really happened. It’s an issue that has dogged Apple for years. The products known for leading-edge graphics and sound… continue…

Less Spending, More Playing: Gaming on the Cheap

Posted In Living in Tech
Video Game Woman
We love video games. We love them so much that in 2011 we spent nearly $25 billion on games, hardware and accessories, according to the Entertainment Software Association. And by “we,” I mean consumers in the United States alone. Of course, one reason we spend that much is because gaming is expensive. A new game for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 can cost as much as $60, and you can expect to spend more than $50 for a new title for Sony’s… continue…

An Ale That Celebrates Pac-Man’s Legacy

Posted In Living in Tech
8-Bit Beer Thumbnail
Remember Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Space Invaders, or the raft of other 8-bit video games you were fiercely devoted to back in the day? They cutting edge circa 1979 but today they provoke sweet nostalgia for the folks who were weaned on them. Now, whether you’re reminiscing or discovering them for the first time, you can pay tribute to those champions of gaming by lifting a pint of 8-Bit Pale Ale. The brew is the brainchild of Jeff Gill, who… continue…

Navy SEALs Disciplined for Video Game Work

Posted In Living in Tech
EA medal of honor warfighter
Seven U.S. Navy SEALs received letters of reprimand and had their salaries reduced for two months for spending two days as paid consultants on Electronic Arts’ single shooter game Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The men were all members of the elite SEAL Team Six, and one of them was said to be on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.  Unfortunately, they broke with military policy by not following the chain of command and asking permission before agreeing to participate… continue…

Has Sony’s PlayStation 3 Finally Been Hacked For Good?

Posted In Living in Tech
Redesigned Sony Playstation 3
Sony’s PlayStation 3 has had its share of security meltdowns, of course, but a recent development might mean that the aging console is hacked for good. In the past, PS3 security has been something of a cat and mouse game. Sony’s had to deal with a range of piracy-enabling firmware and USB dongles, not to mention Geohot’s release of the “metldr” root key. The release of firmware 3.60 largely patched things up and security systems were implemented to keep those… continue…

How to Use Match-Three Mechanics for Great Games

Puzzle Quest
Web games and smartphone apps have been using the match-three mechanic for a few years, but recent games have carried it beyond the obvious Bejeweled-style titles. The mechanism — where a player matches up three or more tiles to make them disappear — is quite extensible, with varying starting positions and possible outcomes. Most games use an 8 x 8 grid, but other sizes work. The beauty of the match-three mechanic is that a skillful and quick-thinking player can win against a more… continue…

Cool Skin: A Game Artist and Her Tattoos

Posted In Living in Tech
Kathryn's Tattoo
Kathryn Greenbaum has a cool job in games, but we’ll get to that. First let’s talk about what’s on her skin. Specifically her four tattoos, all in black ink, one on each arm, two on her torso. We talked about her arm. I like the intimacy of the piece. Tell us the story behind it? My younger sister is an incredibly talented artist and had never designed a tattoo before, so I asked her to do some sketches of horse… continue…

Review: Lewis Pulsipher’s ‘How to Design Epic Games’

Lewis Pulsipher’s name should be very familiar to game players of the past 30 years. He’s had several games published, including Britannia — ranked in the top 100 games — as well as Dragon Rage, Valley of the Four Winds, Diplomacy variants, RPG material and others. He also teaches college-level game-design classes in North Carolina. More recently, Pulsipher published Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish. This 260-page paperback is focused solely on a topic that isn’t well-covered elsewhere. The… continue…

Sony’s New PlayStation 3 Will Be a Tough Sell

Posted In Living in Tech
Sony Playstation 3 Thumbnail
Sony has lifted the lid on what might be its least exciting console-related grand unveiling to date – the redesigned PlayStation 3. Give credit where credit is due: The updated PlayStation is 25 percent slimmer than the previous version, and 50 percent slimmer than the portly first generation model. It looks good, but it’s still a PlayStation 3 that rehashes an almost decade-old piece of gaming equipment. Meanwhile, Nintendo has a new console ready to roll, and Microsoft is putting… continue…

Pac-Man Goes Online as Open Source

It’s possibly the most famous arcade game. Pac-Man, launched by NAMCO Bandai in 1980, took the world by storm, generating a wide following, a top-10 hit single and an animated television series to boot. It’s also the world’s most recognized video game character, though I’d be surprised if maybe Mario doesn’t come close nowadays. Now, there’s an unofficial open source clone in HTML5/JavaScript that stands out from the crowd as a historical tribute and accurate remake. It can be played online… continue…