TUAW Origin Stories: Elphi

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Sadly this origin story ended before it began. While at WWDC we spoke to the creators of Elphi, a smart, remote-controllable AC outlet. Last night their Kickstarter project ended almost $30,000 shy of their goal. It’s a shame, since this looked like a really promising product that would have been quite useful to a great number of people. We wrote it up almost immediately, to no avail.

Check out the video below to learn more (here’s hoping they can try some other method of funding?). Also, check back on Fridays for more TUAW Origin Stories, where we talk about why developers create their apps.

TUAW Origin Stories: Elphi originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 29 Jun 2012 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monster Hunter 4 Announced For 3DS With Spring 2013 Release Date – Trailer

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, Nintendo, Wii

Capcom reveals one of it’s biggest franchises will return in 2013, when Monster Hunter 4 launches for Nintendo’s 3DS.

Capcom has confirmed that Monster Hunter 4 will launch for Nintendo’s 3DS in Spring next year.

The news (via Silconera) came during the publisher’s Game Jam event in Japan.

Monster Hunter 4 is the sequel to Wii-exclusive Monster Hunter Tri/3, and will support the 3DS Circle Pad Pro peripheral.

Check out the first Japanese trailer below:

Wii U Won’t Feature Xbox Live-Style Online Subscription – Nintendo

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, Nintendo, Wii, Xbox

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata confirms Wii U’s online component won’t come with an additional cost.

Wii U owners won’t be charged additional fees to access online services, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has revealed.

Iwata said during a shareholders presentation (via Andriasang) that he wasn’t against subscriptions, but felt a free service was best-suited to the Wii U.

Free access will also encourage Miiverse users to engage and promote the service, and in turn the console, Iwata suggested.

Nintendo previously confirmed Miiverse won’t integrate Facebook or Twitter, and plans to police messages between users.

We’re almost certain that Wii U will launch on 23 November, but an official release date has yet to be confirmed.

iPad app teaches Photoshop CS6 in an engaging manner

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

I’ve been debating jumping to Photoshop CS6 for awhile. I’ve had every version of PS since version 1 way back in the distant past and have really looking for someone to show me what the differences between CS5 and CS6 were in an easily understandable way.

To help solve my dilemma, I grabbed a copy of Learn Photoshop CS6 Quickstart edition for the iPad. It’s a US $5.00 video tutorial with about 2 hours of videos covering Camera Raw, the new Content Aware tools, HDR, black and white conversions, and the new blur and lighting filters.

French landscape photographer Serge Ramelli is an engaging teacher, and I find I learn more from a video that reading a book. Ramelli keeps it simple, although sometimes he assumes a bit more knowledge than a new user might have. In addition to the videos, you can download the files used in the tutorials and try the techniques yourself.

I learned quite a bit in a short time, and the app answered my questions about whether or not I should upgrade (I should). While my new iPad screen has the very sharp Retina display, I found that I really wanted a larger presentation. Apple AirPlay to the rescue! The videos look great on my 46″ LCD screen via the Apple TV.

Ramelli has other video tutorials, including learning HDR, Photoshop CS5, and basic landscape photography. There are also some free previews available to download and sample. I’ve looked at some of these videos, and they are consistently high value in terms of content but they don’t get too technical. It’s pretty easy to walk away with new techniques you might have never discovered.

All these Ramelli tutorials are universal apps, but I think the iPhone screen is just too small for worthwhile viewing. The CS6 Quickstart is a 333 MB download and requires iOS3 or greater.

Gallery: Photoshop CS6 Quickstart

iPad app teaches Photoshop CS6 in an engaging manner originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 28 Jun 2012 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Secret World Dev Making New Lego MMO

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players

Funcom in the early stages of developing a “family-friendly” MMO based on Lego Minifigures.

Lego Universe may have shut down just 14 months, but Norwegian studio Funcom is hoping it’ll be second time lucky for a Lego-based MMO – the Secret World and Age of Conan developer has announced it is starting work on a brand new MMO based on the Lego Minifigures franchise.

“Whether it is a knight in shining armor, a brave firefighter or just an oddball in a gorilla suit, these figures breath life into elaborately constructed cities, castles and even space stations around the world,” reads the PR.

The game will “focus on maximum accessibility” and be “family-friendly” according to Funcom.

“The market for family-friendly online experiences intended for children and youngsters is brimming with potential,” said Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas. “This is source material we all know and love and we simply cannot wait to get started working with the Lego Group on realizing this exciting project.”

No release date or format has been set – Traveller’s Tales’ Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes is currently flying high on the UK chart.


Get a head start on creating iOS 6 Passbook apps

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Some early adopters of the iOS 6 beta have complained that the vaunted Passbook app leaves a bit to be desired right now. Like any application that requires content, Passbook is nothing but a splash screen without passes that have been created by companies. Never fear — some developers have now come up with a way of creating your own test passes so you can give Passbook a try.

The guys over at iPhone Hacks have published a post talking about the PassSource website, a location where you can roll your own test passes. If you are running the current beta of iOS 6, point your browser to passsource.com where you’ll be greeted by a list of faux passes (my favorite is the boarding pass for Oceanic Airlines) that you can customize and then open in Passbook.

PassSource was created in order to get businesses to start thinking about how they’ll use the technology, without waiting for Apple’s Pass Kit APIs to ship. With iOS 6 expected in the Fall, we’re hoping that businesses jump on the bus and get their passes ready to replace the plethora of cards and tickets we now use.

via ZDNet

Get a head start on creating iOS 6 Passbook apps originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 27 Jun 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Black Ops 2: Treyarch Clarifies How Player Choices Impact Multiple Endings

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, PS3, Xbox

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 players will be able to affect the outcome of the game in multiple ways, Treyarch has confirmed.

Black Ops 2 developer Treyarch has clarified exactly how players of the futuristic Call of Duty sequel will be able to have an impact on the game’s conclusion.

When Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was announced, it was revealed that players would be able to experience different endings – but how each ending differs has been a source of some confusion.

We reported on how each Black Ops 2 ending would be presented with “different Geo-Political wrappers”, but Trearch has now confirmed to NowGamer that possibilities for a distinct ending actually go much deeper.

Black Ops 2 aims to tell the players story, and will feature key moments in the game where players can influence what happens in that story, Treyarch told us.

Characters – including key figures – can live or die depending on the choices players make. Black Ops 2’s story is made up of multiple arcs, with narrative threads such as those followng the main character, villian and world stage, all affecting the conclusion of the overall story.

The outcome of Black Ops 2 campaign’s Strike Force missions will influence the world stage portion of the overall story arc, Treayarch confirmed, and how well you do in Strike Force will shape the outcome of the overarching cold war.

Black Ops 2 is set to hit PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on 13 November – Treyarch is widely expected to show the game’s multiplayer modes sometime ahead of release.

RuneScape: Evolution of Combat Adds New PvE, PvP Options, Beta Now Live

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, NDS

The RuneScape Evolution of Combat beta has commenced for just 50,000 lucky testers, Jagex has confirmed.

RuneScape’s next update, The Evolution of Combat, is the “biggest change” to the long-running MMO so far, Jagex has revealed as the update’s invite-only beta begins.

“The Evolution of Combat update is the biggest change we’ve ever made in RuneScape’s long history and we’re incredibly excited to finally let our players take part.” said lead designer Mark Ogilvie.

“We really wanted to make our conflict game play more about the actual art of combat, so we’ve added amazing abilities which will give the player a wealth of choices to use in PvE and PvP combat, and the way those abilities relate to each other will bring a completely new sense of tactical depth to the game. We’ve also made huge improvements to the look and sound of combat, meaning the entire game has become a far more gritty, visceral and adrenaline pumping experience.”

New features include the ability to dual wield weapons, action bars, abilities which unlock during battle, buffs and weaknesses which can be cast on allies and opponents, critical hits and new character animations. 

“In addition to the initial 50,000 Beta entrants, all RuneScape players who have been members for the last 12 months and have signed up for access will automatically qualify to take part, and all other members will be able to access the Evolution of Combat Beta during members-only open weekends,” Jagex’s press release confirms.

Look out for more from NowGamer on Runescape’s The Evolution of Combat update as the beta continues.

Daily iPhone App: The Act combines great cartoon art with iOS gameplay

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

The Act is, I will say, probably one of the most interesting experiments I’ve ever seen show up on the App Store. I don’t know if it’s entirely successful, but even at the current price of $2.99, I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It does some very interesting things with interactive storytelling and animation that have to be seen to be believed.

The Act is a game by React Entertainment, a company that has at least one famous 2D animation vet in its background. As you can probably tell by the screenshot above, it’s a game that’s been entirely hand animated, and the art is just plain beautiful — the characters pop off of the screen like a Disney movie. There’s no dialogue at all, so the story is told strictly through animation and music, and yet it all comes across very well.

The interactive part of the game arrives in certain sections, where you need to swipe to the right or left on the screen to keep “the act” going. This is perhaps the biggest fault of the “game” — all of your cues come from the on-screen animation, so it’s often hard to tell exactly what you’re supposed to be doing and when. But the game does get clearer as it goes on — by the third interactive scene or so, I had a pretty good idea of when I was doing it right and when I was doing something wrong.

Even with those issues around feedback (the game definitely could have been a little more designed for accessibility), The Act still respectably takes some bold moves with its gameplay, and again, that animation is just gorgeous. If you’re a fan of games or good old fashioned hand-drawn animation at all, definitely check this one out.

Daily iPhone App: The Act combines great cartoon art with iOS gameplay originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 26 Jun 2012 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Team Fortress 2: Pyromania Update Brings New Map, Mode, Meet The Pyro

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players

New Team Fortress 2 content has launched with the long-awaited ‘Meet the Pyro’ video hitting this week.

Team Fortress 2 has been updated with the Pyromania event, which has brought a new bit of content – the Doomsday map (and mode) which pits Red and Blue against each other in a race to launch Monkeynaut Poopy Joe into space.

Want a more detailed explanation? Hit up TF2.com for more. You’ll also get achievements, and more content in the build up to the Meet the Pyro premiere on Wednesday.