iPhone 4, Gaming, and You: Whirling and Twirling with the Gyroscope

This is the third of a multi-issue expose about the iPhone 4, iOS4, and the impact both may have on gaming on Apple mobile electronics (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad). Today I’m going to talk about what affect the gyroscope will have on gaming.

iPhone 4Another feature that Steve Jobs announced for the iPhone 4 is the gyroscope. If you wondered what the heck a gyroscope is, the simplest answer is that a gyroscope determines your orientation. Unlike the accelerometer, which measures out how fast your are going and can therefore determine which direction you’re facing, the gyroscope adds in measurements for pitch, roll, yaw, and turning around a gravitational axis.

Apple linked the accelerometer, the gyroscope, and the compass together. This means that in total your iPhone will now sense motion around six axis rather than just three. They also created new CoreMotion API calls (the API used to make calls for the directional aspects of the iPhone) so that developers can create applications using the gyroscope.
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June 30, 2010 · Posted in Games, General   
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X3: Reunion has rebirth as native port

X3: ReunionNot satisfied with the Cider port of X3: Reunion released last year, Virtual Programming has gone back to the porting drawing board and reissued a native port of the FPS space trading and combat game. Announced earlier this month, the latest version is now available as a free update to current users, and as a cheaper version to new players.

X3: Reunion takes place in a far-flung future where humans have long since lost contact with Earth, which is now considered nothing more than a myth. Players slip on the spacesuit of Julian Brennan, who travels the 161 sectors of the X Universe undertaking dangerous missions, hauling resources along trading lanes, and battling hostile forces, including nefarious pirates and the deadly, enigmatic Kha’ak.

Players can follow the main storyline as much or little as they want, while maneuvering between the unstable relationships of the game’s five main races: Argon, Boron, Paranid, Split, and Teladi,

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X version 10.5.8 or better
  • 2GHz Intel processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 128MB video card (Nvidia GeForce 8600 or ATI Radeon X1600 or better)
  • 4GB of hard disk space
  • Internet connection forproduct registration

The new version of X3: Reunion can be purchased now at Deliver2Mac as a digital download. Pricing is US$19.95, €19.95, £14.95. Gamers who own the previous version of the game can download the new one for free. There are some specific instructions for doing this, so visit the Deliver2Mac site for details.

BTW, if you are interested in more games of this type from Virtual Programming, or maybe you want to see them go in a different direction, you have an opportunity to tell them what’s on your mind right now. Virtual Programming is hosting a survey of Mac gamers and their desires. There’s not account to create or name to give. You just tell them the genre’s you like and any specific games you’d like to see them bring to the Mac. As easy as that.

June 30, 2010 · Posted in Games   
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Get chatty July 7th on 3DChat

3DChat3DChat LLC has announced the launch date of 3DChat, an immersive 3D virtual world, set for July 7th. Built upon the Gamebryo engine, 3DChat is a mature virtual world, social networking environment, and proprietary identity verification service all wrapped into one.

Players can roam the streets of the 3D world, interact with each other, dance at dance clubs, and chat through social chat rooms. An example of what there is to offer can be seen at a 3D virtual intro room on the main site. In this flash-based introduction to the world of 3DChat, a hostess introduces you to what the world of 3DChat will have to offer while you can interact with most everything in the room, including a set of x-ray vision glasses that allow you to see said hostess in her unmentionables.

The game is slated to have a version for the Mac available by the launch of the game. I’ll be doing a walkthrough of the game and social network this week and can provide more details before launch date.

June 29, 2010 · Posted in Games   
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What do OnLive and Harry Potter have in common? An iPad!

OnLiveOnLive, the digital gaming service that streams games to your computer no matter whether it’s a PC or Mac, has launched its first contest to stimulate the seething masses of founding members flooding the service. And that contest will get you a free iPad…but you have to beat Harry Potter first.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 will launch just after midnight tonight, Tuesday, June 29th. And apparently OnLive members get to play the game first, regardless of which platform they are playing on.

To commemorate this, the first OnLive member to make it all the way through LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 will win an iPad, and the next five OnLive members will win an iPod Touch. To win, players must do the following:

  • Have a PlayPass for the game to participate in the contest. OnLive recommends that you log in at 12:01AM to be sure your Marketplace list is refreshed and all PlayPass options appear for the game.
  • Collect all 200 Gold Bricks in the game and become Lord Voldemort. To prove it, you will have to take a Brag Clip video.
  • Alert OnLive via email as soon as you have completed the game. Entrants will be ranked based on when OnLive receives a properly completed email.

The deadline for the game is July 6, and the decision will be made on or about July 7. You can review the complete list of rules for more info.

June 29, 2010 · Posted in Contests, General   
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Fantastic Arcade: where film and video collide

Fantastic Fest, a genre film festival begun in 2005 and considered one of the best film festivals in the country, has expanded their focus this year to include video games. This past month, they have introduced Fantastic Arcade, an independent game festival which will run concurrent with the film festival in Austin, Texas on September 23-26, 2010.

The Highball Ballroom will be converted into an arcade room complete with modern indie games retrofitted into traditional arcade consoles for play. The Fantastic Arcade will include juried and audience awards for indie games, as well as a huge number of other events.

From the site:

Other Fantastic Arcade highlights include a live game demos by their authors on the big screens at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, a machinima film competition judged by Red Vs. Blue creator Burnie Burns, video game art installations featuring work by Cory Arcangel, live chiptune music performances, games showcases and demos from major game publishers, game design guest speakers, screenings of popular games culture films, a Starcade game-show competition, a light saber dance party and more! Among other topics, the panels will explore the crossover and differences between the visual story-telling mediums of the film and game worlds.

There are many more events that will be added as the date for the event gets closer, as well as build-up events before the formal Arcade begins.

This sounds like a great event! Passes for Fantastic Arcade start at $15 and go on sale this week, July 1 at noon CST.

June 29, 2010 · Posted in General   
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Buy Anyware let’s you buy anywhere without losing your game

ETA: Buy Anyware is two words, and I updated the site to reflect that. My apologies to Plimus for the incorrection.

Ever find yourself in an intense game and discover that some dude has a must-have item but when you click on the purchase link to buy it you get bumped out of game to a website storefront and find yourself screaming ARGHHHHHHHH! Yeah, me too.

Today Plimus has introduced a solution to your problems in the form of the Buy Anyware API. This so-called E-Commerce 3.0 solution is intended to provide a “frictionless” e-commerce experience within the application itself. No more chucking you out of game for that vital Cloak of Awesome Good Looks.

I spoke with Simon Jones, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at Plimus, to get more information about this new API. Developers can use Buy Anyware to control the customer experience at any level, and to almost any degree. Read more…

June 28, 2010 · Posted in General   
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iPhone 4, Gaming, and You: The Hardware You Game With

This is the second of a multi-issue expose about the iPhone 4, iOS4, and the impact both may have on gaming on Apple mobile electronics (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad). Today I’m going to see how the iPhone 4 hardware can affect your gaming habits.

iPhone 4The iPhone 4 has gone through several hardware changes from previous iPhone versions, thus earning it the moniker “This changes everything. Again.” But do the hardware modifications really change everything for the better for gaming?
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June 25, 2010 · Posted in General   
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iPhone 4, Gaming, and You: iAds and Interactivity

This is the first of a multi-issue expose about the iPhone 4, iOS4, and the impact both may have on gaming on Apple mobile electronics (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad). Today I’m going to delve into the depths of iAds.

iAdsiAds, the centralized mobile ad network that Apple revealed earlier in the year, will be turned on July 1st. This feature gives developers the ability to integrate HTML5-based ads in their apps. The real question for us gamers is that with the interactivity that HTML5 provides, what kind of an impact will iAds have on iPhone gaming?
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June 24, 2010 · Posted in General   
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Pangea updates in wake of iPhone 4

Pangea Software has announced an update to all of their iPhone games to support the new iPhone 4. The updates add native support for the new iPhone 4’s retina display, so each game plays at the native resolution of 960×640 pixels.

These free updates do not stop the games from running on older models of iPhone. Games that have been updated include:

  • Enigmo : The best selling game for the iPhone in which the player diverts streams of falling droplets to solve complex puzzles.
  • Enigmo 2: Takes Enigmo into the 3rd dimension by adding three-dimensional puzzles and new puzzle elements.
  • Cro-Mag Rally: Caveman racing where the player drives an assortment of stone-age vehicles and races in ancient environments.
  • Bugdom 2: The award winning action-adventure game where you control a grasshopper as he explores the areas in and around a house.
  • Otto Matic: Play robots vs. aliens in this amazing action-adventure game based on 1950’s sci-fi B movies.
  • Nanosaur 2: Pilot a flying, time-traveling, dinosaur from the future and do battle with an assortment of weapons.
  • Warheads: A modern take on the classic Missile Command style game.
  • Antimatter: A very unique puzzle game in which the player bounces particles of antimatter off of cosmic strings while gathering power-ups.
  • Billy Frontier: An action-arcade game with space cowboys and aliens. It’s a new twist on the spaghetti western where you duel other gunfighters, outrun a herd of stampeding Kanga-Cows, and hunt down outlaws.

You can grab any of these games from the App Store, and update your copies for free today.

June 23, 2010 · Posted in Games   
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Going Rogue coming in August

City of Heroes: Going RogueGoing Rogue, the latest expansion from the MMOG City of Heroes, now has a release date. Come August 17th, CoH fans will be able to download the new expansion that turns a black and white battle of good vs evil into a grey-scale battle of the mind. The second paid expansion for City of Heroes, Going Rogue now means that moral choices that players make will effect gameplay.

Characters can walk the line between good and evil, fall from grace and become villains, or even redeem themselves to become heroes (no, not like LeChuck…then again….). Players can also enter Praetoria, an alternate universe with new missions, zones, and costume sets. They can also fight new villain groups and play with new power sets, including Demon Summoning, Dual Pistols, Electric Control and Kinetic Melee.

This second expansion completes the trinity of the original City of Heroes and the first expansion of City of Villains, turning the MMOG of CoH into a full-fledged RPG of actions and consequences, linking the good and the evil, and everything in between. You can pick up the pre-order of Going Rogue for $29.99.

June 23, 2010 · Posted in Games   
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