In the past year or so, crowd-funding websites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have become a really popular way for individuals and companies to gain upfront funding/support for their projects from the people who would be interested in buying the end-product.
If successful, this method of funding means that these creative people can concentrate on producing their product rather than chasing around trying to gain funding from other sources such as banks and investors…therefore we all get to see their cool end-products much sooner than we might otherwise!
With that in mind, one of our very own writers here on Zath; Serena Obhrai, has launched the Elysia Kickstarter project for a brand new 300+ page sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel that she’s created with her illustration partner, Jennie Gyllblad.Continue reading »
The Think Visibility conferences are all about helping to you to “get more from your website”, no matter how you use it or what type of business you have.
Think Visibility 9 was the 5th anniversary of this impressive online marketing, social media and SEO conference based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. I’ve personally attended all but one of these events for a variety of reasons including the quality of the speakers, the location, the other attendees that it attracts, but also for the fact that #ThinkVis isn’t like just any other conference, it’s well different…Continue reading »
The RBS 6 Nations Rugby Championship is now well and truly underway and now thanks to their collection of apps for various platforms, you can keep up-to-date with the very latest team news and live scores whichever of the popular smartphones or tablets you might have.
However, in addition to just doing the usual job of providing live game information and news between games with their standard app, the RBS 6 Nations Live Challenge App takes watching the live game on TV to a whole more interactive experience!Continue reading »
In an age of smartphones, tablets, transformers, ultrabooks and retina displays, Google’s Chromebooks – a series of cloud-centric laptops – are probably the least appealing of the bunch. The common knowledge that you’ll be purchasing an underpowered machine that’s almost entirely dependent on the Internet is enough to ward off even the most open-minded of tech enthusiasts. Add in a high price tag, combined with other noticeable limitations of Google’s browser powered laptops and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Google’s genius had gone missing on this occasion. But actually, Chromebooks aren’t as bad as they sound – honestly!Continue reading »
A couple of months ago I bought myself a Samsung Galaxy S3 (which was a rather pleasant and substantial upgrade over my iPhone 4), so when I was offered the chance to attend a preview event of the WIRED Pop-Up Store, I was certainly looking forward to seeing what kind of technology a respected magazine publisher and Samsung could assemble into a temporary high street space in the run-up to Christmas!
The whole idea of this collaboration is to present the concept of the “New Industrial Revolution” – where creative thinking is meeting new technologies to inform new manufacturing techniques, product customisation and SMART business innovations – and give a glimpse into the world in 2013.Continue reading »
If you have you been shopping around for a laptop lately then you will have almost certainly noticed the name “Ultrabook”, a name which numerous computer manufacturers seem to be applying to their laptops lately.
Now although the name Ultrabook may not be truly imaginative or catch consumer attention for the right reasons (marketing folk’ tend to overuse terms to draw consumer eyes), there is a genuine reason that the Ultrabook name is cropping up everywhere currently.
If you are confused about what an Ultrabook actually is, I aim to try to explain this, the best I can in this article. If you are shopping around online for an Ultrabook and already know what one is, then this handy Ultrabook buyers guide should help you out a lot. Read on to find out what makes a laptop an Ultrabook.Continue reading »
So back at E3, a couple of weeks ago, I was delighted to get the chance to sit down with an industry veteran, Christian Allen, who’s now becoming responsible for bringing the hardcore tactical shooter back to the market, where more casual shooters have left a large subsection of the gamer audience clamouring for more depth, more realism and better tactical gameplay. Project Takedown reached its Kickstarter funding goal back in the beginning of April, and the team at Serellan is now getting stuck into the development, working to reintroduce the genre, eschewing certain elements of modern FPS design that have begun to compromise the shooter experience, in favour of a more old school approach.Continue reading »
DayZ, Dean “rocket” Hall’s zombie survival mod for Bohemia Interactive’s Arma II, has exploded over the face of the internet’s games community. This is not just ‘some zombie game’ to add to the pile of industry’s most ubiquitous theme – it’s what everyone, from the word go, has been asking for from a zombie game: open-world realistic survival.
Still in alpha, as its creator is eager to stress, DayZ is drawing an inordinate amount of gamers into its harsh world simply by providing a large open island filled with villages and towns, Chernarus, a selection of scavengable weapons, medical supplies and food, scattered throughout the empty buildings and 30-50 other players, who may or may not be willing to try to survive alongside each other. With 1:1 time, food, drink and blood meters along with the occasional need for realistic first aid treatment and full-on unrestricted PvP, DayZ’s vision of the zombie apocalypse is bleak and satisfyingly simple in its realism.Continue reading »
Bohemia Interactive released Arma 2 three years ago, and thanks to its expansive open world and realistic design, space for player creativity and extensive mod support, it’s still going strong if sales and the activity of the community are anything to go by; which they are. BI’s approach to to its sequel, I’m assured by Jay Crowe, Creative Director, is that of building upon that solid base, developing new innovations and features that can latch onto their powerful in-house Real Virtuality engine.
While Arma 2 excelled in its vast landscapes and incredibly realistic ballistics, it lacked a little in some of the finer details. Arma 3 has gone to lengths to fix that. NPC animations have been updated to look more natural and to take the surrounding terrain into account, the whole world is more colourful and more detailed and the inventory has been revamped (it was really needed) with a tab system that looks infinitely more usable.Continue reading »
It’s been a while since Sony Online Entertainment released the original Planetside – nine years to be exact. It was a great idea, and an admirable one, but it was launched way before its time. Now Planetside 2 is well on its way to release, being shown for the first time at E3.
Most notably it’s free to play – this is going to be a red flag to people, especially fans of the original; but from what we’ve been told so far the pricing structure looks promising. Cosmetic changes make up the bulk of ‘Station Cash’ purchases, along with a few limited upgrades and weapons (which can also be bought with in-game resources). Obviously, getting the right balance here is absolutely critical, and success in this area is the difference between pay-to-win games that fall by the wayside and hugely popular games like Blacklight: Retribution or Tribes: Ascend.Continue reading »
Crytek was kind enough to let us get a hands-on preview of Crysis 3 today and opened by telling us that Prophet will be the main character – apparently he didn’t die in Crysis 2. Why? How? You’ll have to wait and see, we are told. On that note I was dropped into a New York cityscape invaded by the elements, sprawling with jungle plants and trees from street level to skyscraper and the CryEngine (with a bit of help from some very expensive computers we were playing on) had made it look stunning.
After having been sealed under a dome by the Cell Corporation, New York has become rather steamy and different sections of the city have been transformed into different types of jungle environment including canyons and swamps.Continue reading »
Today, amidst the E3 show floor madness, I got the chance to check out a hands-on preview for Arcane Studio’s new action RPG Dishonored. First up Harvey Smith, lead designer on the now legendary Deus Ex, ran us through a demo set in a brothel, the Golden Cat, showing the variety in gameplay, first running through stealthily and unseen, then bounding in spraying weapons this way and that.
As revealed before, our supernatural assassin protagonist, out for revenge after being framed for the murder of the Empress, has a number of extraordinary abilities: a kind of force push, a short range teleport, time stopping, character possession, dark vision (see guards through walls) and the ability to summon a swarm of rats to strip victims of their flesh. Seeing these abilities being used in conjunction with each other is the real joy.Continue reading »
Ubisoft have apparently spent the last two years developing this game and packing in as much content as possible, we are told. At E3 they are focusing on the single player campaign and showing off the new and returned features that Sam Fisher’s newest global conspiracy has to offer.
The demo we see, described to us by lead level designer Matt West, is set on the Iran-Iraq border. Sam, disguised as an insurgent enters in an enemy camp pretending to have a wounded teammate. After a few men are efficiently capped in the head, Sam sticks a knife in the leader’s chest and interrogates the suspect. At this point we are told that this Splinter Cell is going to be all about the choices, as the player is given the option to kill or simply knock out the enemy – how these choices will affect the game, we are not told.Continue reading »
Having been suitably impressed by Ubisoft’s showing at the pressers yesterday I went in to get a better look at what Assassin’s Creed 3 had to offer and how the franchise is innovating in small, but important ways. The first thing to notice is that the graphics are looking sharp as hell – the engine upgrade has certainly had its effect. But the additions are more than skin-deep. Almost every facet of the game has been improved.Continue reading »
Nintendo’s Press Conference
This morning Nintendo rounded off the cavalcade of E3 pressers. Anticipation was high with rumours of ‘Nintendomination’ flying about. Unfortunately the whirlwind of Wii U announcements everyone was hoping for was nowhere to be seen. In its place, however, were some relatively solid titles – New Super Mario Brothers U, in HD with four player co-op and Pikmin 3, comically announced with industry legend Shigeru Miyamoto, which makes use of motion controls and supports an army of up to a hundred pikmin.Continue reading »
It’s here. Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012, better known as E3, has kicked off in LA, and being the games industry’s yearly D-Day, the announcements have already started rolling in, even though the show floor has yet open. Zath will be giving you daily summaries of all the news of the day as well in-depth game previews and interviews over the next 3 or 4 days, and we’ll begin with a summary of the various press conferences of the day.Continue reading »
Thatgamecompany is back with their third game, Journey, which sees the player travel across a strange and beautiful land to their ultimate destination, with other real players accompanying them along the way. While the gameplay and visuals are unique, the ethos and atmosphere behind Journey harks back to the wonderful worlds of both flOw and Flower. And much like its predecessors, exposition is a visual experience, left for the player to interpret.
The player is given control of a small, robed and hooded figure who can run, jump and slide and that’s about it. Beautiful in its simplicity, the game naturally introduces its salient features and mechanics through player discovery. Anyone seeking a complex platforming system and an arsenal of special moves may be disappointed because that is the very antithesis of Journey.Continue reading »
Finally, I hear some of you say. It was only 18 months ago that Joe Danger was released on the PSN so it’s good to see its release on Xbox LIVE. I have to be honest and say I’d only played a little bit of the game on the PSN and enjoyed what I saw. So I was definitely interested in getting my hands on it again when I heard the Special Edition was being released on Xbox LIVE.Continue reading »
Naughty Dog have really set the bar with the Uncharted franchise, starting with Drake’s Fortune and the critically acclaimed sequel in the form of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The storylines are like Hollywood blockbusters and the gameplay is second to none. So people were yet again expecting something special with Drake’s Deception. But have Naughty Dog been able to deliver yet another classic?Continue reading »
If you’ve been reading my posts over the past few years on a regular basis, you’ll know by know that I’m a self confessed audiophile. My iTunes library is full of lossless tracks that I’ve ripped from my growing CD collection (yes, until I can download music losslessly, I will continue to buy CDs and vinyls), but until now I haven’t had a truly great pair of speakers that can do all of those tracks justice.
The Bowers and Wilkins MM-1s caught my eye a few months back, with their promise of great sound and technology taken from their studio speakers, not to mention the incredible design work that is clearly present in every aspect of the units.Continue reading »