Monthly Archives: March 2014

Monster Madness Online Logo

Monster Madness Online: Battle for Suburbia 2014 is utterly insane!

It’s Halloween madness as you destroy vampires & werewolves galore!

Hardcore gamers won’t be able to contain their excitement when they get their hands on Nom Nom’s summer MMO RPG release, Monster Madness Online, Battle for Suburbia. I was lucky enough to get a preview of their open beta at this year’s GDC 2014 and it did not disappoint. The fast action gameplay made it almost impossible for me to keep up, but just as important, for a first person shooter, you will not get bored for a second.

The team at Nom Nom have created their own multiplayer online service called Playverse. The service enables users to chat in real time, see those whom you are playing with, invite players to parties, support achievements, add friends, go between sessions with them, integrates leaderboards and all of it supports either a mobile, Linux, Web browser, IOS, Android, Steam experience.

Beat back the invasion with rapid fire gameplay

Think of it as Halloween on steroids! The kids of Monster Madness Online— Zack Fowler (the Nerd), Andy Gomez (the Skater dude), Jennifer Sweeney (the Cheerleader), and Carrie Rosenberg (the Goth) — are on a mission to beat back this insidious invasion, block by block, and then take the fight to the enemy’s mother ship and beyond. Nothing but vampires, ghouls, werewolves, and more to destroy.

You assume any number of characters, acquire as many weapons as you can, and choose to either go out on your own or support your team as you destroy monster upon monster. Even cooler, the game supports streaming technology. Users will barely notice the upgrades as the game downloads continually without disruption to gameplay.

Characters have access to a ton of different weapons from chainsaws to grenade launchers to shotguns to magic spells, all of which are customizable. The depth of gameplay is through the roof with very detailed weapon stats, including total ammo, how fast a weapon refires, precision targeting, to name but a few. Lots of consumables as well as you proceed through different levels.

Pros: Pure adrenaline rush for those in love with first person shooters. Lightening fast gameplay and unique online multiplayer service that will certainly attract gamers. Available on just about every gaming platform possible. Streaming technology for uninterrupted gameplay.

Cons: None (with the exception of pricing, which we won’t know until the game is commercially released)

Nom Nom has a hit on their hands and I encourage all hardcore gamers to give this one a try when it launches later this year.

Monster Madness Online screenshot
Monster Madness Online – Battle for Suburbia
Monster Madness Online screenshot - Escaping lava
Monster Madness Online screenshot – Escaping lava
Monster Madness Online - Battle for Suburbia
Monster Madness Online – Battle for Suburbia
Monster Madness Online Battle for Suburbia screenshot
Monster Madness Online Battle for Suburbia screenshot

 

Monster Madness Online screenshot - crumbling school in Battle for Suburbia
Monster Madness Online screenshot – crumbling school in Battle for Suburbia

 

Monster Madness Online Logo
Monster Madness Online Logo
Oculus Rift

Facebook swallows Oculus Rift: Zuck & Luckey derided by fans

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift

The Oculus community is up in arms about the latest news that Facebook will purchase Oculus for $2 billion. Read the latest Oculus blog post about the acquisition. It is a near uniform wall of discontent. Oculus fans can’t stand the fact that after going to the public at large with their very successful Kickstarter campaign that the company would sell-out to a major corporation, and worse, sell-out to Facebook. The comments speak for themselves:

“Pack it up, the dream is gone.”  “Sellout DICKS. You should refund every dollar.” “This a big disappointment.” Yet none of these Oculus fans have read any of the fine print about this acquisition. None of them have reviewed the deal spelling out how Facebook will enable Oculus to realize its vision of creating the next generation VR headset that will fully realize the potential of VR, tantalizingly suggested oh so many years ago by the likes of such pop ephemera as ….Lawnmower Man.

Just as important, let’s examine some of the issues surrounding this deal. Why did Palmer Luckey succumb to the lure of Facebook? Was it because he realized the sudden competition brought on by major players, Sony and Microsoft, would require a great deal more capital than his company had already raised? Sony recently unveiled its own PS4 virtual reality headset called Project Morpheus. PS4 is set for release this November. Next up is Microsoft, which is also working to bring a virtual gaming experience to its Xbox lineup, according to a Wall Street Journal writer, Ian Sherr.

Sherr writes, “At least one iteration of Microsoft’s technology was based on a concept known as ‘augmented reality,’ which often superimposes animation on a display along with images of the real world, people familiar with the project have said. Devices like the Oculus Rift, by contrast, show only computer-generated images.”

Now when you’re faced with competition that has millions at its command, the only way to fight the onslaught is by fighting back with millions more. Luckey must have felt that even with the millions he’s raised from KickStarter and the SDKs already sold, he didn’t have enough capital to outpace Sony or Microsoft. Why don’t any of the Oculus fanatics see this?

Zuckerberg is no idiot. He also realizes that in order for Facebook to survive and thrive in the 21st century it’s going to take more than just reliance on his social networking platform. Usership among teens has declined for Facebook. There’s no guarantee that Facebook will not one day be replaced by another social networking platform. Zuckerberg needs to explore other verticals to create new channels of profitability. Zuckerberg has stated that FB users spend about 40% of their time playing games, and about 40% on social communication. Sony and Microsoft do not have a social media platform of their own that rivals Facebook. Zuckerberg believes his platform can infuse Oculus with the vitality needed to overcome the competition by Sony and Microsoft.

If Zuckerberg allows Luckey to create the VR headset of his dreams and not FUCK IT UP, then the current batch of Oculus haters will turn back into Oculus fans and apologize to Luckey for making the smartest decision of his young professional life.

Family Guy mobile game artwork

Family Guy mobile game sneak peek preview pics

Family Guy mobile game artwork
Family Guy mobile game artwork

I was lucky enough to get some advanced game pics from the upcoming Family Guy mobile game. If you’re a fan of the hit show, than I don’t think you will be disappointed.

The animations are pulled from in-game content created by TinyCo, in collaboration with 20th Century Fox.

Family Guy mobile art work
Family Guy mobile game artwork
Family Guy mobile art work
Family Guy mobile game artwork

 

Quagmire - Family Guy mobile game artwork
Quagmire – Family Guy mobile game artwork
Sergei Brin, Google Glass founder

Was Sarah Slocum being a glasshole?

  • Google Glass
    Google Glass

Sarah Slocum: why did you think bringing your Google Glass to a bar was appropriate?

Pete Pachal in his latest Mashable column made the point that if there is anything to learn about the sad saga of Sarah Slocum and her being accosted by bar patrons for wearing her Google Glass it is what does it tell us about the future of wearables? We are now saturated with the idea that we must share everything about ourselves. Privacy, while something that most Americans claim to value and cherish, seems to be the first thing that gets tossed out the window when sharing our lives to the extent that we do when accessing the Internet. Wearables now make it possible to record and/or photograph while having something attached to your body. It is public. And people don’t know when you are in the act of recording with your wearable.

Google Glass: The future of wearables

Now to make matters worse, Google Glass comes along enabling the wearer to capture photos and/or video with the slightest touch of a finger. You don’t need a conventional camera or video player. This wearable, as seen on your face, makes it known to anyone watching you that you could be recording at any given time. I remember when I took a camera into a bar one night. This was many years ago. I started taking random photos of people drinking and cavorting with their friends. I didn’t get too many evil looks but the bartender or manager eventually came over to me and politely asked me to stop. He made it abundantly clear that I was being overly intrusive on other people’s privacy and was making them feel uncomfortable. I stopped taking photos and that was the end of it. I was not accosted and there was no brouhaha that made it into the news or a Mashable column.

  • Sarah Slocum
    Sarah Slocum

But in reviewing Sarah Slocum’s incident, what strikes me the most is her plain naivety. I think the Molotov bar patron who is quoted in this video is correct. Sarah showed no tact in wearing and/or bringing Google Glass into a bar.  It doesn’t justify her being accosted by any means but it does explain why some felt that she was being provocative and disapproved of it.

Why do I want to wear something on my face?

One thing that consistently strikes me about Google Glass  is this idea that I even want to wear something on my face. Why did I get LASIK surgery? I was tired of wearing something on my face. These are called glasses. Why would I want to wear Google glass if I need to wear glasses on my face? Yes, if sunshine is blinding my eyes, I will want a pair of sunglasses. Otherwise, I like having my face free from any device. How is Google Glass supposed to work without the need for glasses?

Are there environments not appropriate for wearables?

Sarah Slocum loves her Google Glass. She thinks Glass is the most incredible wearable technology to come along since….whatever preceded it. I’m glad she’s so enthralled with her Glass. What I’m wondering is, what will Sarah learn from this experience? Is she going to nestle into her own viewpoint and stand by the fact that she was accosted and for no reason whatsoever? Because if that is all she takes away from this unfortunate experience, I think she’s missing the boat. Google Glass is disruptive wearable technology. It’s not currently being mass marketed and is still a product in search of a problem. Do we need Google Glass?  No, we don’t. Google co-founder Sergey Brin funded its creation. He is wealthy beyond measure and had plenty of time on his hands to develop a new technology. The rest of the working class does not have Google Glass on its mind. Disruptive technology always gets a cool reception.

If Glass eventually finds its niche, I believe Slocum’s experience will soon be a minor footnote to history. On the other hand, Glass won’t find a mass market any time soon. Pricing needs to come down considerably if Sergei Brin expects to sell bunches of Glass to the consumer market. Right now, it exists for a privileged few to experiment with and come up with uses for. I firmly believe Google Glass is a product looking for a problem to solve. Although I am told that current uses for Google Glass being explored lie in such areas as medicine, school, assisting blind people, journalists and/or filmmakers, disabled people, etc…)  Far cry from the bar scene!

I believe Sarah Slocum was being a glasshole. I don’t think it was her intention to be one when she went to Molotov that night. Her wearing Google Glass did not justify her being accosted. The bar patrons cannot defend their behavior simply because Slocum wore her Glass with her friends. What it shows is Slocum’s incredible naivete in thinking she would be warmly received in such a setting by wearing provocative wearable technology.  That alone justifies my describing her as such. If you read this, Sarah, I’m happy to dialogue with you further about this incident. I’m happy to do so with you even wearing your Google Glass. I just ask that we don’t meet in a bar. I’m happy to meet you in Golden Gate Park.