I'm seriously considering! :D
"How can you be sure [the patient wasn't alive] Doctor?" "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar." Read the rest
From Alana Jones-Mann, a baker, culinary artist and DIY enthusiast in Brooklyn, cupcakes that look like miniature cacti. They're so cute, they're even planted in crushed graham cracker soil.
I have no words to describe this.
When you bought your Wii U, it came with one set of terms-of-service; now they've changed, and if you don't accept the changes, your Wii seizes up and won't work. That's not exactly what we think of when we hear the word "agreement." Read the rest
Swestar has released a new mech into the wild. It answers to the name “Guardian” and it’s pretty dang cool. But I especially love the atmosphere he has going on in the base/hanger in which he introduces the Mech. The presentation is just about perfect.
Because law-abiding citizens have nothing to hide and so on, hm?
If your phone is designed to be secure against thieves, voyeurs, and hackers, it'll also stop spies and cops. So the FBI has demanded that device makers redesign their products so that they -- and anyone who can impersonate them -- can break into them at will. Read the rest
The company expanded the "ex parte temporary restraining order" so it could stage one-sided, sealed proceedings to take away rival businesses' domains, sometimes knocking thousands of legit servers offline. Read the rest
So here are some harsh figures that will make you cancel your ad spending for your indie game.
In the last 8 days my figures show me this…
For every 100 visits to my index page for D3, 48 people will proceed to the register page. Of those, 11 will hit the buy button, of those roughly 1 will buy the game. That earns me about $22.
so the maximum cost per click that makes sense is $0.22, or £0.13, which is practically unachievable.
So how can ads make sense?
The beauty of ads is that the person who comes and buys the click is just one factor in the equation. There are many other factors, and the problem is they are hard to quantify. Here are the ones I think matter and the rough guesses.
So if we add that up, we get 0.3 + 0.2 + 0.1 + 0.33 + 0.25 = 1.18, so an extra 118% of income generated by that sale. In other words our 0.22 is really 0.48. That *is achievable, although still not easy. What should be immediately obvious is that we have a LOT of fuzzy numbers and guesses in here that really cannot be tracked. Putting hard numbers to some of them would help a lot.
Looking at it the other way, we have to take into account the fact that a big chunk of site visitors are not ad related but coming from reviews, portal links, tweets etc. Ideally I need to deduct that traffic to get a better picture (which would make my figures much worse).
So for now, lets assumed that we break even at $0.48 per click, what are the possibilities for making an ad-based strategy work?
Fun fun fun…
The evergreened interior is going to be insane, when it's all done (as it's pretty insane already) :o
The future bullies its way into the traditional European countryside in German artist Jakub Rozalski's dystopian paintings. (more…)
Michał Kaźmierczak has built several large dioramas, and they all keep getting bigger and better. His epic rendition of the volcanic world of Mustafar from Star Wars captures the fiery landscape and the realistic texture of the lava. The diorama rests on a footprint of 35 large gray baseplates. Here is a photo with the builder for perspective.
The microscale imperial shuttle in this photo really shows off the scale of this massive display.
In 2012, Finland introduced a modification to its national constitution which allowed the public to provide input into the kind of laws being put in place.
The changes, which allow citizens to put forward legislative proposals for Parliament to vote on, came at a time when restrictive copyright was already under the spotlight.
As a result the citizen-drafted ‘Common Sense for Copyright’ initiative quickly gathered momentum. It was hoped that the proposals would influence updates to copyright law being prepared by Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture.
The draft, the brainchild of the Open Ministry nonprofit, calls for reduced penalties for copyright infringement and current penalties to be applied only in cases of a commercial scale. Fair Use provisions would also be expanded, alongside exemptions for those wishing to backup purchased media and time-shift commercial content.
In July 2013 the initiative made history after reaching the required 50,000 signatures. It was submitted to Parliament in November 2013 but now the future of the proposal is in serious doubt.
Much to the disappointment of its backers, the Finnish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee is recommending that Common Sense For Copyright should be rejected.
European Digital Rights (EDRi), a group which defends civil rights in the information society, reports that the Committee concluded its handling of the initiative yesterday as expected.
“In its report, the Committee notes that the initiative suggests several ambitious amendments, but that it considers it impossible to propose, based on the initiative, even partial changes to the existing copyright law,” EDRi notes.
“The report states that the initiative includes internal contradictions and that many of the amendments it suggests are too significantly incompatible with the current legislation.”
As late as last week, Electronic Frontier Finland (Effi), the Finnish Pirate Party and the Open Ministry submitted complaints to the Chancellor of Justice over the way the Education and Culture Committee has been handling changes to copyright law.
The complaints allege that drafting has been carried out in secret, contrary to the Committee’s obligations under the Finnish Freedom of Information Act. Furthermore, the criteria to be applied in web-blocking cases had not been made available.
Parliament is expected to vote on the citizens’ initiative next week but after the Education and Culture Committee’s recommendations the odds are stacked against it.
Any rejection of the key points will come as a big disappointment to the 50,000+ citizens who supported the initiative. Many had signed following widespread outrage provoked by a police raid on the home of a then 9-year-old girl whose Winnie the Pooh laptop was confiscated after an allegation of file-sharing. The case was later settled for 300 euros.
Here you have an advance of the first paint layers on the head (using the salt technique) and the work with the 7 led circuits covered with a see-through posterboard. More detailed info in our site :) moviekits.net/star-wars-at-at-148-scratchbuilt-2
SWtG is awesome 8)
Tumbler schmumbler, if you’re an old fart like me then there can be only one true batmobile, and that’s the one from the super-camp 60’s TV show starring Adam West and Burt Ward! As many of you know, this year marks the 75th anniversary of Batman, and than means we’ve seen a lot of new LEGO sets and fan builds celebrating the Batman franchise. Including one rather disappointing attempting by the LEGO company to create an exclusive “chibi” batmobile for ComicCon. So many thanks to Orion Pax for rectifying the situation with this super-accurate version!
And you can check out the full gallery of images over on Mr P’s website here.
So, my little side project (not so little any more…) showmethegames has been converted to wordpress. You probably can’t tell, it looks exactly the same, but what this means is…
All of these are GOOD THINGS. For those new to this blog, SMTG is my indie-promoting site that acts as a database of cool, high quality indie games you can buy direct from the developer. You can get almost all of them from Steam or GoG too, but we like competition, so we support multiple payment options for gamers.
What I need is… MORE GAMES. The requirements are pretty simple:
If your game fits all those criteria and it isn’t already on there, email cliff AT positech dot co dot uk with this…
And I’ll add it. What’s in it for me? NOTHING. I just like supporting indie games. What does it cost you? NOTHING. How much traffic will it generate? err…some, but it will be veyr targeted and high quality.
If you are looking for something else to read now, go read dans summary of adventure games on the site.
"Think of the children" and "NINE ELEVEN NEVER FORGET!" are my two favourite excuses for all the stupidities on Terra. Or not.
Attorney General Eric Holder, the US top law enforcement official, said it is "worrisome" that tech companies are providing default encryption on consumer electronics. Locking the authorities out of being able to physically access the contents of devices puts children at risk, he said.
"It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy,” Holder said during a Tuesday speech before the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online conference. “When a child is in danger, law enforcement needs to be able to take every legally available step to quickly find and protect the child and to stop those that abuse children. It is worrisome to see companies thwarting our ability to do so."
Holder's remarks, while he did not mention any particular company by name, come two weeks after Apple announced its new iPhone 6 models would be equipped with data encryption that prevents authorities from accessing the contents of the phone. At the same time, Google said its upcoming Android operating system will also have default encryption.
Regular blog readers might know that I published a game by a third party indie developer called The Tiniest Shark which produced Redshirt, the sci-fi comedy social-networking life sim game, which you can buy HERE. I enjoyed taking on the role of indie publisher, for all kinds of reasons I’ve talked about before. And lo, so it came to be that I was pitched another indie game that I’d love to see made, and it’s called Big Pharma…
Big Pharma is being developed by another UK studio called Twice Circled, and designed and coded by Tim Wicksteed, whose blog you will find here. We also have a bare-bones facebook page for now for the game here and an actual website for it (with some very early images) here. In terms of genre, it’s a strategy game based on running a large pharmaceutical company, that is part biz-sim, part isometric factory/lab building sim, and it looks like this…
I LOVE the design and idea behind big pharma. I want to play it right now. It scratches that itch you get from games like Anno 2070 about laying out production lines, without having to use uplay or wait 40 minutes for the game to load. It’s also a proper biz/management game, which is obviously right up my street. It *is* quite early to be announcing this game, by positech standards. We normally wait much later, but the reason to announce now is that YOU CAN PLAY IT if you come down to the Eurogamer expo in London this coming weekend. Big Pharma will be there, alongside Gratuitous Space Battles 2.
So journalists…come…be our friends. We will shake your hands and talk enthusiastically about both games. You can have a go, and ask us questions. Big Pharma is NEW, nobody has played it yet, or heard about. Come and be the first to tweet/blog/write novels about your impressions of it. We dare you! And obviously come play Gratuitous Space Battles 2 as well. It is a sequel, but it has spaceships exploding, so swings and roundabouts…Plus we will have badges. Actual proper badges.
Me and Tim will be at the show all four days, so no need to book a time or anything. We will be in the indie area near prison architect. Oh, and if you like the look of Big Pharma, pls like it on facebook so we don’t feel lonely there…
Last month I made a new video of my ugly prototype for Heat Signature and put out an open call for artists and composers who might wanna work on it. When I did the same thing for my first game Gunpoint, around 30 artists and 40 composers applied. For Heat Signature, 81 artists and 232 composers applied. This was extraordinary and flattering, then daunting, then impossible, then exciting once I finally had my decision, then absolutely horrible when I had to tell everyone I hadn’t picked. You don’t really know how many ‘313 people’ is until you have to say no to 310 of them.
My deep, deep thanks to the amazingly talented people who applied, it meant a huge amount to me that people of your calibre were interested in my thing.
Here’s who I picked:
I said if composers wanted to make a sample piece for Heat Signature, they could have a go at both the peaceful music that will play as you fly around space, and the tense music that will play once you’re inside an enemy ship. Alex did a fantastic job of both, but his peaceful track in particular is just divine. Testing it in-game, as some of the first art started to make space look beautiful, it just perfectly matched the feeling of awe and serenity I wanted that experience to have.
Ivan didn’t try to match the sample tracks I posted, which I mentioned was an option. His full-length track captures a mood I didn’t know I wanted. It uses industrial sounds that evoke the workings of this large machine you’re aboard, and has this unusual rolling, clicking beat I can’t get enough of. In-game, lots of great ‘tension’ samples made me feel like I was in a dangerous place – Ivan’s made me feel like a dangerous person.
Several artists’ samples made me say “Wow” out loud, but I think John’s was the first that made me say “Holy shit!” Did we make the game already? I appear to be looking at several screenshots of a rich, meticulously detailed, satisfyingly chunky, gorgeous and completely finished Heat Signature. How does this already exist?
Apart from the crispness and vividness of the thing, what I especially love is the sense of solidity in the interior shot: I feel like I know how heavy these walls are, what the worn floor would feel like to touch. And it’s full of clever game-savvy touches: all the interactive things are picked out in white, and boundaries between solid and empty space are stressed by hazard lines painted on the floor.
Sharp observers might recognise John’s name: he was also responsible for the best art sample I got for Gunpoint, and therefore became Gunpoint’s main artist. Heat Signature’s style is radically different, but apparently he’s just incredible at everything. Several other people I’ve worked with before also applied for these positions, and I didn’t give them any particular advantage for that. But I also didn’t exclude them: the point of the open submission process isn’t to avoid previous collaborators, it’s just to make sure that if I do work with them, it’s because they’re the absolute best fit for this particular game.
It was tough getting there, but I think that’s what we’ve got, and it’s really exciting to see it take shape. Obviously it’s early days, but if you come and play it at Fantastic Arcade in Austin this week (free), or EGX in London next week, you’ll be able to see how some of this stuff is already working in-game.
When’s it out? Dunno! But if you’re on the mailing list I’ll tell you once it is.
Can I test? At some point! Again, I’ll tell the mailing list when there’s a way to do that. I only use it for major stuff like that.
Doom is awesome 8)
Well as long as we’re having a slow news day, I’ll use the opportunity to share the latest bit of rubbish that I threw together… Before Halo, before Unreal, before Quake, before them all, there was DOOM – the first person shooter that started it all. DOOM is now more than 20 years old, and still going strong! This is my homage to game:
Click here for tons of close-up shots. Or if you’re in the Seattle area next weekend, come see it on display – alongside a million other incredible fan-built LEGO creations – at BrickCon. But if you can’t make BrickCon, don’t worry, I created a little “fly-through” video for you:
In my opinion, no sane and moral person would work for MSFT. But I may be somewhat biased.