April 29

Future of Gaming Virtual Reality and Other Trends

g12With the advancement in technology, it’s not very difficult to realize what the future of gaming is. In the past few decades, gaming has reached a whole new level. Starting from 2D games, today our video games are getting closer to reality. And video game consoles are focusing on that.

With that idea, comes virtual reality devices like Occulus Rift and Project Morpheus. Occulus Rift is owned by Facebook while Project Morpheus is owned by Sony. These devices are targeting to give users the premium experience of gaming by allowing users to interact all around them in the gaming world. You can experience flying, walking, dancing, shooting like never before, in virtual reality of course.

Keeping Virtual Reality aside, there are gesture recognizing devices like Leap Motion. While their focus is not Virtual Reality, Leap Motion allows users to play video games or even work on their computer using only hand gestures. This also allows a rich experience of users working or gaming.

Apart from that, there is a rise in online gaming with popular platforms like Steam. And platforms like Google Play Store, Appstore and such is constantly seeing significant growth in mobile gaming. And with Google Glass, there is a major possibility of augmented reality (AR) gaming. More on that later.

In this article, we’ll focus on the future of gaming – with devices like Occulus VR, Project Morpheus and Leap Motion. We’ll also talk about online gaming, mobile gaming and augmented reality (AR).

Virtual Reality For those who doesn’t know, Occulus Rift and other such Virtual Reality devices are head-mounted devices, which allows you to look around in a virtual world.

Occulus Rift is the new buzz in the gaming world. With everyone excited about Virtual Reality, the question is, will Virtual reality live up to its expectation? Will it be the next big thing? Well, we like to think so.

If we rewind back in time, it seems unbelievable that we had Virtual reality devices and 3D glasses decades ago. They never succeeded back then because of the high cost and the unavailability of resources. But now, the time is different. Technology is getting more affordable each day and we have the resources for such devices to succeed.

There is a whole new prospect for futuristic gaming gadgets because demand in consumer market in increasing. And with devices like Occulus Rift and Sony Prometheus, the foundation appears stronger. While they’re not completely out in public, they will succeed once they are out.

Motion detection through hand gesture Leap Motion allows us to work and play using only hand gestures. You just have to plug in the Leap Motion device in your Mac or PC USB port and you’re done. After an easy setup and synchronization, you are ready to play video games through hand gestures or even draw using you’re hands. Leap Motion allows accuracy up to 1 cm when designing or drawing. And the device handles gestures fast and smooth.

Leap Motion even has its own app store. It’s called the Airspace Appstore. Although Leap Motion is at its early stage, developers have started to work on apps for it already. And you’ll find a lot of amusing apps on the app store. Currently, it only costs $99.99.

Online gaming Popular online games such as Dota 2 and World of Warcraft is regularly played by a huge audience. What’s amazing about online based games is that they regularly add more and more modifications to it, which makes it never ending and ever improving. Well, if the developers decide to continue. And what’s really exciting is that you’re playing against all real life players, an experience that everyone wants.

For all those benefits, online gaming keeps on getting popular. With most major games coming out with multiplayer online option, the future of gaming seems to be based around it. And all you need is a good internet connection.

Augmented reality (AR) While augmented reality, you are part of a physical world interacting with non-physical entities. In virtual reality, the virtual world is simulated. In augmented reality, the player remains in the real world, while non-physical objects on the device are placed accordingly using motion detection, object detection and other AR technology. While there are few apps on AR, there isn’t really a huge game database.

With Google Glass, there is a whole new possibility. This eye-wearable device can be used as the perfect AR equipment. Augmented Reality video games in Google Glass can be played very smoothly as Google Glass is worn on your eyes. Developers have already started working on AR apps for Google Glass. So, expectations are that we’ll have some fun and exciting new AR games to play as soon as Google Glass comes out in general. Currently Google Glass is out for $1500 in beta.

There are many scopes for the future of gaming. It could turn in any direction, or in many directions. All of these gadgets add new dimensions to gaming. So exactly which one of them would turn into a major medium is impossible to tell. It all depends on the speed of development, availability and user experience.

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April 20

Some Tips And Tricks To Save Money On Your PSN Card Purchases

g11As an avid PS gamer, you are probably always up-to-date on the latest games released and the ones that have yet to be released. And since it seems that there’s a new PS game every month, buying them will definitely eat a chunk of your money, even if you allot some cash for this endeavor.

Aside from cash, you can also choose to use your credit card to purchase PS games and other apps. Unfortunately, you will incur some charges with this option. And there is always that risk that your sensitive banking information can fall into the hands of unscrupulous hackers.

If you can’t resist the temptation of buying the latest releases of PlayStation but don’t want to use your credit card and still want to save some money in the process, consider getting a PSN card. A PSN card contains a code that you can use to buy items from the PlayStation Store using any of the suitable devices.

One of the advantages this card offers is that it allows PS users to unlink their credit card from the PlayStation store and still buy or download games, movies, and other apps they are interested in. Also, with this card, you can also purchase other items from the brand’s entertainment network store.

This option also offers buyers the opportunity to save some money. How? Read these tips and tricks below:

Be on the lookout for promos. Online and brick-and-mortar merchants offer discounts on PSN card purchases from one time to another. These promos include discounts that come with buying a certain number of cards or as a reward for being a loyal PS user. It’s easy to find out which merchants offer these promos since you can simply go online to search for this information. These promos though usually last for a limited time only so you have to be quick in snatching them up.

If the game you want to buy has a time-trial demo, test it before making the decision to buy it. This will help you avoid wasting money on a game that you won’t even like. If you get bored playing a game within an hour, you have no obligation to buy it.

Lastly, before buying a game, always double-check the final checkout price. There may be some extra charges that can be added at the last-minute and you don’t want to be surprised with this. Also, this will give you some time to discontinue your purchase if you don’t want pay for this additional charge.

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April 13

Augmented Reality Introducing to the Gaming World

g10If you are looking for an augmented reality development company, then you may want to first have a review over the below article.

If you are searching for an augmented reality company, then you may have some interest in the following sections where we shall describe a few helpful ways that you can use in order to shop for such companies. In addition, we shall also discuss some of the more notable attributes of augmented reality.

Over the past couple of years or so, there seems to have been a slight shift in the gaming world. Essentially, the emphasis has moved from gaming consoles to mobile applications and games. One reason can be related to pricing and another can be convenience. A console may require you to purchase actual tangible discs that need to be inserted; it just seems like an extra step which can be avoided. Secondly, there is the cost factor. The average price of a game may run anywhere from say $40-$90 whereas many mobile and Smartphone games are free. One thing to note here however is that a number of games across the mobile platform may start out as free but if you wish to continue deeper into the game, there may be a small fee involved. It’s a very plausible speculation that this type of shift is the reason behind the declining sales when it comes to console gaming.

If you have any intentions to create and develop an app, then you may require the services of an up and coming technology company. But how can you best go about searching for a reliable and proficient company? First off, it’s interesting to note that many corporations that produce gaming technology are located in under developed countries. What’s more is the great deal of experience and innovation that they can boast of. For instance, a trending concept is one that is described as augmented reality. This is an essential part of playing roles and first person shooting games, or FPS. Augmented reality allows you to either view just a part of the figure or just the whole screen itself. This is key particularly for smaller screened devices like tablets or Smartphones for example.

Another reason as to why the popularity of these augmented reality studios is growing, rests on the fact that the demand for these types of games remains very high. It is a matter of fact that these FPS or first person shooting games is the ones that seem to be sold out fastest. And when I mention games, I’m referring to them being played over consoles and not over mobile platforms.

when searching for the right augmented reality development company, be sure that you are selecting the one that has the most years of experience. In addition, it would be helpful that you research some of the credentials that the staff and team members have. Artistic ability, design backgrounds, and architectural skills are all essential components to have in this type of company. And like I’ve mentioned earlier, even though the majority of these corporations and studios are located in that section of the world, their customer service aspect seems to be exceptional. Communication and customer service is a large part of their success. Final points that i would like to stress are related to the multi-platform aspect in conjunction with variability when it comes to software applications and programs. For instance, augmented reality, aside from its benefit in the game engines, can also be useful in other programs such as adobe, 3d design applications amongst a variety of others.

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April 5

Failed Brother of Minecraft Scrolls

g9Mojang, the studio who was valued at $2.5 billion dollars by Microsoft in 2015, the studio who is responsible for sweeping hit Minecraft, which has shipped over 70 million copies is also responsible for another game. That game is Scrolls, one that Mojang would likely rather forget.

The lost brother of Minecraft, Scrolls could not have had a more conventional start to life than its big brother. It was designed with a specific plan in mind, for a specific market, by a well-funded development studio and with an already eager audience awaiting any chance to play it. Minecraft lacked all of these advantages. So why was Scrolls such a failure?

Announced in early March of 2011, Scrolls was described by the creative minds of Mojang as a blend of ‘collectible card games‘ and ‘traditional board games‘, something that they saw as missing from the market. In early December of 2014 it left the Beta development phase, and was officially released. Then only six months later in 2015, Mojang announced defeat. They revealed that active development on Scrolls would be ceased, and that they could not guarantee that the servers would run past July, 2016.

So where did Mojang go wrong? On the surface Scrolls had everything going for it, from a development studio literally awash with money to a massive audience who were excited to try whatever Mojang could produce. It should have been a surefire success. Yet what we have seen is evidence that regardless of the backing, no development project is an assured success.

The development behind Scrolls was extended for a game of it’s size, not an overly ambitious project it still spent four years in development or ‘beta’ before being considered ready for release. The release itself perhaps gave a clue that the game was not experiencing a perfect start to life. The release date was suddenly announced by Mojang on the 10th of December, 2015. Foregoing any build up period, they chose to release it only one day later on the 11th. At the same time they reduced the price down to just $5 dollars. Usually the price would go up, or at the very least stay the same with a move out of beta…

Then there is the much publicised lawsuit with Bethesda over the trademarking of the word Scrolls. Obviously this is not necessarily a sign of poor development, but it again demonstrates issues with planning and development behind the scenes. It certainly would have been an unneeded strain on the management team.

Ultimately though the issue that caused the failure for Scrolls is simple. They did not have enough players to sustain the game. As the post describing their decision to stop development states “the game has reached a point where it can no longer sustain continuous development“. This is a clear indication that their player base, along with any profit being generated was not enough to justify continued expenditure on the game.

The sudden decision to release the game reinforces this theory, as their hope would have been to generate interest in the game with the announcement of a shift out of beta. But as seen by the announcement half a year later, it did not provide the outcome they hoped it would.

We do not have any concrete numbers on how Scrolls sold, other than a tweet from developer Henrik Pettersson that it had shipped 100,000 copies on the 21st of July 2013. This is during the beta period of the game, and we can only assume that it grew by release. But is 100,000 copies enough to support what is essentially a multiplayer board/card game?

Assuming a very rough one week retention rate of 15%, based on figures for PC games from here. We would be looking 15,000 players continuing to play the game after one week. After several months the figures are described as a retention rate of 3-5% players. So optimistically we would be looking at 5,000 players playing Scrolls for more than a few months. Obviously this is a percentage taking from one game, vastly different from Scrolls and so the rates are likely very different. Still, it demonstrates how 100,000 copies does not necessarily mean a healthy player-base.

A multiplayer game requires enough players for easy matchmaking around the clock, and at the time of writing the online player count is hovering around 25. This is not dissimilar from when they announced the cessation of development. The number of copies sold for Scrolls could have been considered a success for a single-player game, but ultimately for an online game like Scrolls the active number of players is more important. Unfortunately this number was just too low.

The lack of player retention and overall low player-base can be contributed to several things, firstly whilst Scrolls received mixed to reasonably positive reviews from critics, it was plagued by problems with balance and missing or otherwise lacking in aspects that for many made it a less than enjoyable experience. The released content patches such as ‘Echoes’ were designed to some extent to fix this, but came too slow or were lacking themselves.

Secondly, a lack of clear communication from the developers and leadership in taking the game forward. Minecraft being a very open-ended game, one that thrived with a single-player mode and a player led multiplayer did not require developer leadership, it grew organically with players creating mods, creating servers and creating adventures themselves. Yet Scrolls being a multiplayer and semi-competitive strategy game meant that the developers had to take a different approach, something they perhaps were not experienced with or expecting.

Thirdly, it did not receive the extensive marketing it required as a multiplayer strategy board game. Minecraft was a game that went viral, for a long time it was the game on YouTube and as a result Mojang never had to market it. On the other hand Scrolls did not receive this free marketing and Mojang was not prepared for this. They did not anticipate that to sustain a constant supply of new players for an online game you must market it. Hearthstone, a very similar game from far more experienced Blizzard is still heavily marketing with advertisements, something that Scrolls always lacked.

Finally Scrolls was a strategy game, a competitive game. Mojang perhaps expected the large community of Minecraft to sustain Scrolls without marketing, but the communities largely did not match. The initial success of Scrolls came from excited Minecraft players giving it a try, but what they found was a very different sort of game. Scrolls needed a different audience, but Mojang did not seek this audience out.

Scrolls was not necessarily a bad game, and it has found a small but devoted fan base dedicated to keeping it alive. Maybe they will. In the end though, what we have seen is a studio not appreciating the full scope of what must be done to produce a successful multiplayer game. Maybe to make it free-to-play would have been the way to go…

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