TUAW Origin Stories: FlipBook HD

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

I’m a bit of an animation fan, both finished works and the tools that make them. iOS devices can come close to the old methods of drawing, moving and capturing animation because they can simulate “touching” the objects and moving them around as your would on a light table.

FlipBook HD is as much like an old light table as possible with the addition of a handy timeline and digital drawing tools. I spoke to the creator, Josh Anon, about why he created FlipBook HD. Josh also wanted to point out FlipBook HD was developed by MartianCraft, after he had created the iPhone version. Either version provides a fun tool for discovering the basics of animation while creating some of your own.

TUAW Origin Stories: FlipBook HD originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 13 Jul 2012 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Aliens Colonial Marines: Early Announcement Was ‘Unusual’ – Pitchford

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, NDS

Aliens: Colonial Marines isn’t out until 2013 now, but Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has shed new light on why the project is taking so long. Full quotes here.


Aliens: Colonial Marines was announced in 2006 “before the ink was even dry on the paper” according to Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, who also explains that, “Usually we’d be very far along with a project before it’s even announced.”

Speaking with NowGamer, Pitchford discussed the status of the Aliens: Colonial Marines project and the new February 12 release date in detail.

“This is the first time we’ve really announced a date,” Pitchford explained, “There has been guidance (projected release windows and seasons), but if we had full control, none of that guidance would have even been mentioned, as it’s all speculative.”

Pitchford also explained that while development of some games are dictated by time or budgets, he confirms that Aliens: Colonial Marines is bound by vision and quality.

“That’s the approach we took with Aliens: Colonial Marines,” Pitchford continued, “When we did that, it meant that we were going to allow ourselves to be flexible with our schedule and our budget. 

“One of the last things I want to remind everyone of was when we the business deal was completed on the Aliens project, we hadn’t even written the first line of code yet.” 

“20th Century Fox and Sega got so excited that there was going to be this sequel to Aliens that they put out a press release before the ink was even dry on the paper.” 

“I think their aim through that was driven on the business side, but immediately this demand was created before anything was even made.”

“Usually we’d be very far along with a project before it’s even announced, but when Alien ships the development time will be the same as the original Borderlands.”


Minecraft Xbox 360: Patches, Features & DLC – Everything You Need To Know

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, Microsoft, Xbox

Minecraft Xbox 360 news as it happens, all in our regularly updated round-up. Bookmark this page to stay informed.


We’ll be updating this page with new Minecraft Xbox 360 screens, patch notes, rumours and trailers as they happen, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for updates.

Last Updated 11/07/12


10/07/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: 4J Talks Updates, Texture Packs, Custom Skins

4J Studios has continued to discuss its plans for Minecraft Xbox 360, with hopes for new features and content currently pinned on the future 1.8.2 update.

4J said it is “looking at texture packs”, will add the ability for guest players to be blocked from affecting your world, “will be adding new content” and may even introduce custom, player-designed skins “much later on”, despite there being issues doing that on the console “that get lawyers all excited”.

Check out the full quotes and details here.


04/07/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Patch 1.7.3 Adds New Skins DLC – First Images


On this day, 4J Studios revealed a batch of images for Minecraft 1.7.3’s new character skins. 

The Minecraft Xbox 360 Skin Pack 1 will add 40 new skins to the mix, and hans’t got a release date yet.

Some of the skins available in the pack include:


  • Creeper Man
  • ‘Splosion Man
  • Trials Man
  • Covenant Grunt
  • King
You can check out the skin pack DLC images in full here.




03/07/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Patch 1.7.3 Release Date ‘Within 10 Days’

On this day, 4J Studios announced it had submitted Minecraft Xbox 360 patch 1.7.3 to Microsoft for approval, along with some additional patch notes:



  • Added pistons.
  • Fixed clay generation.
  • Flint and Steel or redstone is now required to trigger TNT
  • Fences can be stacked.
  • Added Shears.
  • Redstone wire now will connect to a repeater
  • Shears can be used to pick up leaf blocks.
  • Shears can be used to shear sheep without hurting them
  • Sheep no longer drop wool from being punched, only from being killed when they are unsheared.
  • New textures for Cobblestone and Brick blocks.
  • Silverfish skin was added (for Beta 1.8).




27/06/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition To Have Trial Skin Packs, Maybe Server Rental


Minecraft Xbox 360 could offer players dedicated servers via similar rental system to that introduced in Battlefield 3.

Developer 4J Studios tweeted that discussions for dedicated servers “so far are around a rental” – a similar solution to Minecraft on PC.

Meanwhile the upcoming Skin DLC packs will feature ‘trial’ versions with some skin unlocked, according to the studio.



21/06/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Open Servers, Skin Packs Detailed, Update 1.8.2 In The Works


Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition will support paid-for skin pack DLC when the 1.7.3 update launches in July, developer 4J Studios confirmed.

Skin packs will likely cost players MS points, 4J confirmed on Twitter and will contain “40+ skins per pack”, as well as some free skins per pack.

Although the 1.7.3 patch has yet to launch, 4J also confirmed it is already working on the next Minecraft Xbox 360 update – which will most closely resemble the PC beta version 1.8.2 – the Adventure Update.

Meanwhile, 4J also said that the adding open servers to the game was “in discussion”.



18/06/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition 1.7.3 Update Coming In July With Skins DLC

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition will be updated to version 1.7.3 in early July, as confirmed by 4J Studios. The developer also announced that the update would launch alongside a new skins DLC pack.

4J Studios also confirmed it would update the game to 1.7.3 then aim to jump to Beta 1.8.3 then bring Minecraft up to par with version 1.2.3 of the final code.


13/06/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Update Expected In July, Adds Autosave, Multiple Fixes

Minecraft Xbox 360 developer 4J Studios revealed some the contents of its first patch on this day, including auto-save features and more. Here are some of the revealed patch notes here:

New additions:



  • Added an autosave, and the ability to turn autosave off, or set it from 15 minutes up to 2 hours in 15 minute steps.
  • Split the sensitivity controls into an in-game sensitivity and an in-menu sensitivity.
  • Added an Interface Opacity slider in the settings for plasma screen users.
  • Added a gamertag display in splitscreen, and the ability to enable/disable it in the settings.
  • Added an option in the settings menu to enable/disable in-game hints.
  • Added an option in the settings menu to enable/disable tooltips.
  • Added a co-ordinate display to the in-game map.
  • Added new sections in the How To Play on Multiplayer, Sharing Screenshots, and What’s New.
  • Added a warning message when attempting to place lava near the spawn area.




  • Fix for the leaderboard crash when toggling between filters/leaderboards.
  • Fix for server disconnect message appearing when offline or in leaderboards.
  • Fix for issue where posting a screenshot to Facebook caused a back out to the main menu.
  • Fix for clay generation.
  • Fix for ‘Awaiting Approval’ showing all the time on some signs.
  • Various crafting menu fixes.
  • Fix for being able to stand on sugarcane.
  • Fix for intermittent crash on saving.
  • Fix for duplication bug with the furnace.
  • Fix for not being able to place water near the spawn area.
  • Fix for intermittent problem on entering the Nether putting the player above the Nether world.
  • Fix for frame-rate drop around the edge of the world.
  • Fix for intermittent problem where some achievements were not being awarded.
  • Fix for graphical issue with stairs.
  • Fix for issue with enemies spawning inside a house when they shouldn’t.
  • Fix for Zombie Pigmen not being counted for leaderboard scores.



25/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Played More Online Than Black Ops

This was the news on this day, following Xbox Live figures published by Microsoft. More people played Minecraft Xbox 360 than Call of Duty: Black Ops. That’s a big deal indeed.

Check out the full story here.


24/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Update To Include ‘As Many PC Features As Possible’, says 4J Studios

4J Studios explained that it was trying to implement as many Minecraft PC features as it could into the first Minecraft Xbox 360 update. Here’s the studio’s quote:


“We are working with Daniel Kaplan at Mojang to define what is going in to the Xbox version”, 4J’s Paddy Burns explained, “But the aim is to include as many of the PC features that make sense on the Xbox as possible. The game isn’t Minecraft on the Xbox, it is Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, so it isn’t really a direct port of the PC game.”

See the full story here.


23/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Microsoft Refunding For SDTV Split-Screen Issues

Minecraft Xbox 360 owners running the game on standard definition TVs quickly found themselves unable to play the split screen version of the game. Microsoft quickly released a statement on the issue, and refunded anyone affected.

The statement read:


“We updated our pre-sale notification to inform customers that an HD screen is required for the split-screen multiplayer feature on Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition,” the publisher said in a statement.

“If a player does not have an HD screen and purchased this game prior to the notification update, they are eligible for a full refund through customer support.”


Check out the full story here.


16/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition Update Coming ‘This Summer’

Mojang tweeted that an update for Minecraft Xbox 360 would be coming in the summer. Here’s the quote:

“A lot of people are asking about the next Minecraft Xbox update. All I can say is it’s planned to be released “this summer”

Check out the full story here.


15/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Sells Over A Million Copies In Launch Week, Says Microsoft

Just a week after launching on Xbox Live Arcade, Microsoft revealed that Minecraft had sold over a million downloads. 

Check out the ull Minecraft Xbox 360 sales statement here.


11/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: How To Survive Your First 5 Days

NowGamer’s Adam Barnes and Dave Cook play through five days in Minecraft, and teach newcomers how to survive, create necessary tools and how to fend off the evil Creepers in a series of ace video guides.

Check out our guide – Minecraft Xbox 360: How to survive your first five days – here.


10/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Became Profitable After An Hour On Sale, Says Notch

The day after Minecraft Xbox 360 launched, Mojang founder Notch revealed that the game made back its budget in just over an hour.

Check out the insane sales figures and Notch’s response here.


09/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 Gets Rave Reviews, Notch Hints At Positive Sales

Following Minecraft Xbox 360’s release, we collated all of the major reviews and scores out there online into one handy article. Notch also spoke out about the game’s superb success and hinted that the game was hitting stunning sales figures. 

Check out our Minecraft Xbox 360 review round up, and Notch’s quote here.


09/05/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 – The official NowGamer review!

We reviewed Minecaft on Xbox 360 in full, giving it a great score and revealing tons of new information of 4J Studio’s superb port. 

You can read our full Minecraft Xbox 360 review right here.


07/04/12 Minecraft Xbox Gets New Screens Ahead of Release

Minecraft Xbox 360 got another huge batch of new screens, courtesy of 4J Studios and Mojang. The new images show off Creepers, dungeons, snow environments, giant lakes and much more.

Check out this batch of Minecraft Xbox 360 images here.


06/04/12 Minecraft: Mojang ‘Keen For Xbox 360 Exclusive Content’

Minecraft Xbox 360 developer 4J Studios revealed that Mojang was keen for the game to grow in a different direction to the PC version.

Find out what that means in our article here.


05/04/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Rebuilding Notch’s Masterpiece For Consoles – Interview

NowGamer spoke with Minecraft Xbox 360 developer 4J Studios about the responsiblity of porting such an epic game to Microsoft’s hardware, and disucces at length how the game would grow through future patches.

It’s a big interview rammed full of interesting facts, and you can read it all here.


04/04/12 Minecraft Xbox 360 gets its debut trailer, and tons of new information

4J Studios and Mojang released the debut trailer for Minecraft Xbox 360, showing off four player split screen mode, button prompts and much more. Watch the full trailer here.


22/03/12 Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Gets May Release Date, High Price

As part of Microsoft’s ‘Arcade Next’ season, Minecraft was dated for Xbox Live release on 9 May, at a lofty 1600 MS Points, or £13 to talk in real money terms.

See the announcement here.


05/03/12 Minecraft Xbox 360: Castles, Dungeons, Enemies – Screens

Minecraft Xbox 360 got its first batch of gameplay screens, courtesy of Scottish developer 4J Studios. The initial shots show off a recreation of Edinburgh Castle, which is found in Scotland’s captial. Animals, plantlife and dungeons were also shown. 

Check out the big batch of screenshots here.


13/06/11 Minecraft Xbox 360 Kinect is optional, Notch confirms

Notch confirmed that while Minecraft Xbox 360 supports Kinect play, it is entirely optional. This was good news to anyone who isn’t a fan of the Kinect hardware.


06/06/11 Minecraft Xbox 360 is confirmed, along with Kinect support

The Minecraft Xbox 360 saga began as Microsoft announced that Minecraft would be making its way to Xbox Live Arcade, during its pre-E3 2011 conference. Check out the announcement here.

Daily iPhone App: Photo Mapo turns your photo into a postcard-style map that you can share

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

The next time you go on vacation, you might want to install Photo Mapo from Ripe Bytes on your iPhone before you head out. The app is more than just a photo frame. It’s a photo-mapping app that will take your photo, display it on an attractive map and allow you to share the resulting composition with your friends and family.

The app lets you take a photo or use an existing image from your camera roll. It pulls the GPS data from the shot and finds the location on a map. You can customize the style and the zoom level of the map, add a description and then combine them both with your photo. In the end, you get an eye-catching composition that you can send to a friend. Photo Mapo has a fun, touristy feel that makes you want to go on vacation just so you can use it.

Photo Mapo is available for free from the iOS App Store.

Daily iPhone App: Photo Mapo turns your photo into a postcard-style map that you can share originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 11 Jul 2012 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Minecraft Xbox 360: 4J Talks Updates, Texture Packs, Custom Skins

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, Xbox, others

Mincraft XBLA_0.jpg

All the latest on 4J’s plans to update Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition with new content and features.

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition will soon be getting the 1.7.3 update with a “full list of additions, changes and fixes,” set to be revealed later this week.

4J has continued to discuss its plans for the console port of Mojang’s indie classic however, with hopes for new features and content currently pinned on the future 1.8.2 update.

Update 1.8.2 will include sprinting, dispensers and more, while the developer also confirmed that when Skin packs hit the game players new looks will be visible to others whether they own the associated skin pack or not.

Looking to the future, beyond both the 1.7.3 and 1.8.2 updates, 4J is “looking at texture packs”, will add the ability for guest players to be blocked from affecting your world, “will be adding new content” and may even introduce custom, player-designed skins “much later on”, despite there being issues doing that on the console “that get lawyers all excited”.

Look out for more as we get it. Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition 1.7.3 update is due out during July.

Cocos2D 2.0 available now

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

After months of testing, the team behind the latest version of the extremely popular Cocos2D game engine for iOS has released version 2.0 of the framework, and it’s available for download right now. The framework isn’t completely compatible with version 1.0, so devs currently using the previous version on a big project might not want to upgrade in the current build. But the new version is quite fast, includes support for OpenGL ES 2.0, and much simpler code for setting up and maintaining lots and lots of on-screen sprites.

Cocos2D is probably the number one open source engine for iOS game development. It sits inside Apple’s Xcode software and allows developers to easily and quickly prototype and develop 2D games and apps. This new version of the software should allow for even easier and more powerful development, leading to even better games and apps for end-users.

Cocos2D 2.0 available now originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 09 Jul 2012 22:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GTA 5 Behind Closed Doors, E3 Rumours Persist – Report

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, Sony

Forum post thinks GTA 5 info is incoming in July, while behind-the-scenes conversations suggest Rockstar has already shown the game.

All’s quiet from Rockstar on GTA 5 these days, but a recent forum post on the official GTA forums seems to believe more information is incoming.

Most interesting is the revelation that Forum user bud23 – who claims to be a freelance writer for what seems like a number of European magazines – has been speaking to people that might have seen GTA 5.

The forum post talks of a journalist at E3 2012 who, behind closed doors with “the boss of Sony in an european country,” discussed GTA 5. The Sony representative claims to have seen GTA 5 in action.

The post then mentions that three major magazine publications -GameInformer, OXM and PSM – who already have previews of GTA 5 ready. 

The thread post then speculates that GTA 5 will receive some information in July, with a release date of October 2012.

There’s a lot of decent points made here, though admittedly most of it is speculative and without any real conclusive evidence – it’s certainly worth reading if you’re hopeful for an October 2012 GTA 5 release date, or indeed any details whatsoever.

Take it all with a pinch of salt, of course, there’s no real facts here.

Activision Teases Marvel-Themed Reveal From Transformers Dev At Comic Con

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players

High Moon Studios and Activision have a Marvel-themed game in the works, set for a reval this weekend.

Marvel’s big name superheroes such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and Thor could well be set to star in a new comic-themed game from Activision, with the publisher teasing a new announcement for San Diego Comic Con 2012 at the end of the week.

The Marvel video Games panel will include more on Gazillion’s Marvel MMO, Ubisoft’s Avengers game and “an announcement from Activision and High Moon Studios that is sure to be a hit!” according to a schedule posted by Activision blogger Dan Amrich.

High Moon Studios recently revealed it’s intention to launch Transformers: Fall of Cybertron earlier than planned.

Minimalistic weather app does a few things very well

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Ah, yet another weather app. There are so many, but Weather Neue is free, and rather than having a thousand features, maps, and animations, it does what it is does in a very clean, minimalistic way.

When you start the app, it grabs your location. Then it spins up your current conditions and a four-day forecast. That’s it. No radar, choice of multiple cities, cloud maps, front depictions, or fancy background graphics. You get your temperature, sky conditions, humidity, wind speed and direction, plus the prediciton.

It uses an attractive Helvetica font, and the only settings are metric or US, and a choice of 4 background colors.

After using the app for a few days I’ve grown to like it. It’s to the point and gives me what I need in a quick glance. I have other apps that will warn me of imminent storms, flooding and other weather woes, but Weather Neue does the basic job in elegant style.

The app is not universal, and an update is coming to fix a bug that prevents it being installed on an iPad 1 or 2. The app requires iOS5 or greater.

Gallery: Weather Neue for iPhone

Minimalistic weather app does a few things very well originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 09 Jul 2012 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Black Ops 2: Declassified Developer Could Be Activision Leeds – Report

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, Xbox

Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified hasn’t had an official developer announcement, but it could be Activision Leeds, according to a new interview.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified is heading to PS Vita at some point this year, and gamers have been speculating over what studio is developing the title – But it could well be Activision Leeds.

In a VideoGamer interview, Andy Payne - chairman of trade body UKIE – explained the studio’s role within the Call of Duty franchise.

Payne explained, “Activision are like a machine. I have to be careful what I say about these guys because I know them so well and they’ll cane me.”

“But Activision are a machine. They’re very good, and you know what, what people don’t realise with Activision is, the two studios working on the Call of Duty franchise are collaborative studios. That’s unheard of. All the assets are reusable, so they’re not wasting time.”

“Those assets are also going to be starting to be used by the mobile team, which is going to be based in Leeds.”

Payne also explained that Activision leeds would be developing “all handheld versions, iOS versions of Call of Duty”, which suggests the studio may have a hand in Black Ops: Declassified.

We’ve asked Activision for comment.