Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Being a huge fan of gaming and coffee, I was intrigued by this fascinating infographic that says that if I gave up Costa for 25 years, I would be able to afford a deposit for a house. However, if I also give up my cheeky Nandos, Spotify and PlayStation Plus, I could get a deposit together much sooner… Food for thought eh?
Sources can be found at Just Mortgage Brokers
3D modelling and animation software programs combine the use of numbers and colours to create an amazing visual concept. You can bring your typical 3D model to life using an array of tools to enhance lighting, textures, backgrounds or add additional angles. Your stationary 3d model can be transformed into a rotating model, which can be viewed from a variety of angles, including the ability to zoom in and out to truly assess the effectiveness of certain features. There are many different 3d modelling and animation software packages on the market, some requiring paid subscriptions while others are free. Of those several packages on the market however, there are three options that really offer a superior level of performance.AutoDesk Maya
This is without a doubt the most comprehensive 3d modelling and software package. It offers the most extensive range of material and texture features including the ability to alter soft body dynamics, hair, skin and muscles. It really stands out for its superior animation features as it offers the ability to edit motion trails and track footage motions as well as other key features such as key frame animation, layering and pose blending. The GeoDex Voxel binding feature allows you to create top quality models very quickly. It is one of the most user friendly software packages too, and it is very easy to use. It can be run on all modern operating systems including Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista as well as MAC OS X. Because it is so comprehensive, you do have to really dedicate yourself to learning in order to really benefit from its full scale of features.AutoDesk 3DS Max
It might seem unfair to list two AutoDesk products in our top 3, but to leave out AutoDesk 3DS Max would be a travesty. This professional 3d modelling and animation software package has been around for quite some time and offers an excellent array of features. While it doesn’t offer quite the comprehensive list of advanced animation features in comparison with Maya, it is still a very powerful piece of software, and it is ideal if you need to develop content rapidly. It too is supported by all popular operating systems. The Perspective Match features makes editing backgrounds a dream as you can simply upload your background image and fit your model to suit. The ability to upgrade easily to newer versions allows a professional to consistently avail of the most advanced features in 3d modelling. The 2014 version also now supports the use of 2D vector graphics too.Cinema 4D
Maxon’s premium 3D modelling and animation software really can do just about anything a creative professional could desire from such a software program. It is specifically popular in the movie world where it has been used in the production of some huge movies in recent years including Spiderman 3 and War of the Worlds. That said, architects, engineers and product builders can find it just as beneficial. It has undergone consistent upgrades over the years and now can rightfully claim an equal standard of that of the two aforementioned AutoDesk products. It offers a completely customisable layout to allow for superior ease of use. It can alter bodily dynamics including hair and offer an animation toolbar for easy key frame management. It can render a pretty impressive 32 bits per pixel too. The latest version – Cinema 4D Studio R12 – even offers a visualisation library and a great picture viewer with RAM playback.
There are some great options out there in terms of 3D modelling and animation software, however these three really do serve as the cream of the crop.
Epic Games is staging a set of Unreal developer sessions right here in the UK to inform developers about the latest Unreal Engine tools and techniques.
Epic recently announced (at GDC) that the Unreal Engine 4 will be available under a new subscription service which gives developers access to the full engine, tools and C++ source code.
Anyone with an active subscription has been invited by the game maker to the Unreal Developer Day on April 17th, in Stafford. Developers can attend one of two half-day sessions designed for ‘ground floor’ members of the new UE4 ecosystem.
Throughout this event, Epic’s engineering, design and support team members will be onsite to provide insight into the toolset and technologies.
This exciting event takes place on Thursday, April 17th at the Epic Games Centre, Ruxton Technology Centre, Staffordshire University, ST18 0AD, UK. The tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis so get signed up quick.
Registration is for one session only and visitors are required to bring their registration ticket on the day or they might be denied entry.
Most people these days spend the majority of their time online on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter when they are not busy researching topics for schoolwork or doing business for their jobs. But when social media gets tired, people also love visiting the many websites that have fun, interactive games they can play to kill time and relax the mind.
Looking for a great way to get away from it all right at your desk and feel like a kid again? Then continue reading because below is a list of five of the most fun online games that you can enjoy when you simply wish to kill some time.Candy Crush
Candy Crush made it big in 2013 as more and more people got turned onto it through Facebook, where they could compete against one another to see who could pass the most levels most quickly and where they could also help each other by sending along extra lives and moves. This puzzle game becomes increasingly challenging as you make your way from one level to the next, but unless you purchase more lives, you are given a limit of only five lives at a time to get through as many levels as you can. This is a good thing, though, as it will prevent you from wasting an entire day attempting to get through this game.
Bejeweled Blitz is yet another hugely popular game that Facebook users have become addicted to. The goal is to match the jewels as quickly as possible within one minute’s time in order to score the highest points possible. Scores reset weekly and you can play against your Facebook friends to see who the best is.
Looking for an exciting first person shooter game that is intense and allows you to play with others right on the Internet? Begone, which is appropriate for those aged 13 and older because it is quite graphic, involves a shootout between teams and is fast-paced so you never get bored. Also, while you can play with others, you also have the option of playing on your own.
Looking for a great online game that is a combination of exciting slots and classic Bingo? Then Slingo is your best bet. This game has been around for many years, so those who have been playing it online for a long time will certainly remember it and will notice the upgrades that have been made to the interface since it was first released. This game is fun for people of all ages and will certainly help you pass the time.
Everyone loves a good game of Bingo, but it is even more fun when you can play it online. Some sites even allow you to gamble with play money or real money during every Bingo game that you play, upping the stakes and making the game that much more exciting. Check out these top 10 Bingo tips to stay on top of the many opportunities to take advantage of this simple yet surprisingly fun game online.
Now that 2013 is finally over, it’s time to analyze a particular trend we’ve seen a lot in the last 12 months. Believe it or not, last year was pretty great for women in video games. They had leading roles and they managed to make their presence felt without looking too provocative. Don’t get this the wrong way; men are still ruling the industry, but to some extent it’s great that some developers paid more attention to a woman’s role as well in a video game.Tom Raider was successful because it was led by a female
That’s right! Tom Raider might have had great mechanics, design, and visuals, but we have to admit that it attained success because it was operated by a female character-player. It was definitely a refreshing move and it brought an air of freshness to the whole gaming experience. Previous versions of the game were additionally based on a female character – namely Lara Croft – but this time the makers really managed to focus on other characteristics too, not just on the sexuality of the character-player.
Although the young Lara Croft we’re used to is definitely an appealing virtual female, her looks and general appearance haven’t overshadowed the most important aspects of the video game. She’s not getting any special treatments in the game and she’s not afraid to get stabbed or shot just to attain her goals.
Game developers have finally realized that female characters in video games can be sexy without looking too provocative. That’s exactly what the makers of Tom Raider did; they created a good-looking Lara Croft whose one tough character, but she doesn’t have to look too naked just to draw some attention.
We’ve grouped “The Last of Us” with “BioShock Infinite” because they use women the same way into the game. Some have catalogued these two as the best of 2013, and to some extent that’s true. Both Elizabeth and Ellie have a special connection to the male character as they’re successfully waiting to be rescued.
“BioShock Infinite” and “The Last of Us” are being led by male character-players and the way women are integrated into the gameplay converts them into assets and not liabilities males have to constantly keep safe. In BioShock, Elizabeth is perfectly capable of taking care of herself, so you don’t have to worry that her life is constantly in danger. As a matter of fact, at some point she will help you take down the bad guys.
In The Last of Us, you’ll be surprised to see how tough Ellie can be. She’s directly involved in the combat and she’s capable of taking down the bad guys by herself, without additional help. In spite of the fact that the women in these two games have to be rescued, they’re well-rounded characters able to fight back.
Beyond is a game you either hate or love. It is one of the most disruptive video games of the year that focuses its gameplay on a woman, played by real-life actress Ellen Page. Story-driven by an extremely intriguing plot, beyond centers on Jodie Holmes, and it’s up to you to decide if she lives or dies.
Some other notable games centered on the presence of female characters were Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Their role was not that notable, but at least they were present and they didn’t have a provocative purpose in the games, which was surprisingly interesting. At last game developers have started to use female characters for different purposes in video games, and from what we’ve seen so far 2013 was definitely a great year for women in the virtual environment.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year (or are just not interested in console gaming) then you’re probably aware of the ongoing console war between Xbox and PlayStation, with the release of the Xbox One and PS4 going head to head in the run up to Christmas! But if you’ve only recently purchased a PS3 or have spent all your hard-earned cash on console games, you might not be able to afford the latest next-gen console for yourself or your kids for Christmas.Trade it in
Just as you can buy pre-owned consoles and games, you can also trade in or sell your games and consoles, which will give your cash flow a boost and let you buy the newest games or even invest in a new Xbox One or PS4. There are a number of ways to trade in or sell your gaming kit – here are some of the most popular:Online – auction sites and other websites where you can trade in your games and consoles for cash are a great place to start On the high street – shops such as Game will give you cash or points for pre-owned games or you can swap them for money off new titles Classified ads – probably the most time consuming way to sell your games or consoles, but if you have a stash and time to spare, you could write a classified ad in your local paper or online to sell your items
The Latest Technology
Technology is evolving at a pace that’s often hard to keep up with – after all, that’s how the manufacturers make their money! Whilst you don’t have to keep pace with changing technology, when it comes to games consoles, you’ll quickly find your old games are obsolete, particularly if you spend a lot of time playing online with friends. Buying a new, next-gen console for the New Year is a great way to ensure you don’t get left out when it comes to gaming online. There are sure to be games lying around that you don’t play anymore, and you can make extra money by selling these to fund the purchase of a new console (or accessories, if you already have a console).Demanding Time
It seems that kids today always want the latest and greatest toys, and many mums and dads struggle to keep up with demand – particularly at Christmas. There are always new gadgets and toys around that seem to cost the earth, but there’s no point in worrying how you’re going to afford to buy the kids a new gaming console when you could raise some extra money by selling things you no longer use! You’re not just limited to selling games online – you can also sell DVDs, CDs and books on many sites such as MusicMagpie and this is a great way to raise some extra cash to buy them what they really want this Christmas.Next-gen Consoles
Whether to opt for an Xbox One or a PS4 is a personal decision – some people like both, whilst others are loyal to one camp rather than another. Many feel that the PS4 console is more attractive than the rather bulky Xbox One, but again it’s a personal choice – in the run-up to Christmas, it looks like the PS4 has become the UK’s fastest selling console, with 250,000 sold in just 48 hours! But quite often the decision will come down to which games are available that you want to play. Some games will be an Xbox One or PS4 exclusive, whilst others will be available on both consoles, so it’s important to look at games releases before purchasing your new console.Purchase Pre-owned
Whilst there won’t be many next-gen consoles available pre-owned at the moment, this could change after Christmas, when many people will sell unwanted gifts online. So it could be a good idea to wait until the New Year if you’re purchasing a console for yourself. This way you could pick up a pre-owned console at a discounted price and some pre-owned games too, making substantial savings. It’s important to always read the listing properly when purchasing pre-owned games or consoles, so you know exactly what condition the item is in before you buy. Many pre-owned consoles from major retailers will come with a 6 month warranty (some even boast a 1 year warranty), so it’s really not that much different to buying new!
So give yourself or the kids something to look forward to in the New Year with the latest games consoles – whether you buy pre-owned or sell existing consoles and games to raise money for your purchase, you can look forward to many hours of entertainment and some of the hottest new releases around in 2014!
The most powerful tool in the logo designer’s toolbox is often the symbol. Defining the identity of the company is crucial when creating the visual face of the brand. The designer must carefully contemplate on how the logo defines the identity and how others will perceive it.
A strong logo will embody the company’s identity and allow the customer to form a bond of trust with the brand. However, if you are a designer you will understand the exactly what gives a logo its strength so that you can keep on delivering quality works of art for your client. To a designer, a symbol is a mixture of graphic components that can be in the place of words. Remember the phrase a picture speaks a thousand words. Well the symbol should be chosen with telling the brands story in mind. That is why it is such a tricky task. Therefore if you are a logo designer, understanding how you can use symbols in the correct way to avoid any misunderstandings is crucial. If a symbol is used incorrectly the consequences can be disastrous and you can end up with one very unhappy client.Symbols – the impact they have on logos
Today, a company is remembered for what they stand for and what they represent. This is often seen as more important when compared to who they actually are. If a consumer is to trust your brand and come to rely on it for their regular purchases of a certain item or service, it helps if they can identify with what the brand stands for. Consumer psychology often advocates a consumer will be attracted to a brand who portrays an image they feel is in line with their personality and helps display this externally to their social peers. Furthermore if you want your brand to be something people want to associate themselves with, you must use the right symbols in the right way.
People may say that the logo itself is a symbol. However it is not the case. A logo is a symbol for the company and its identity and concurrently employs former symbols to achieve this. The designer holds a powerful tool in their hands therefore as the symbol when used in the right way, can trigger on a subconscious level different emotions and desires within the target audiences minds. So thinking about what a symbol stands for is absolutely crucial.
To create a memorable brand, they need to connect to the community and world around the consumer. It is an important part of social life and can contribute to the overall experience of how we live from day to day. To understand this psychoanalytically, when a brand is created it links to gaining a deeper insight into how a human communicates with the world and expresses their emotions to others. It is simply knowing how we communicate as humans to gain satisfaction. So when using symbols in logos, make sure they:
1. Tell a story By doing a good amount of research, you can ensure the symbols you include not only look good but have a deeper significance and display distinctive representations
2. Appeal to an international audience Symbols should not only be looked at from your cultural perspective, but wherever you are marketing to you must consider your audience. What one symbol may represent in one culture may mean something completely different in another.
3. Are clear and can be understood Conflicting symbols and communication can complicate and confuse the message you are trying to send to your audience. So ensure your symbols all merge neatly with the typefaces, shapes, language and colours you use.
4. Are consistent with the communication Every logo should send a message. The logo should also be in line with your other marketing communication so consistent campaigns can be built. This is when your marketing strategy takes flight as your customer can see how different messages connect and see the bigger picture.
In the wake of the release of GTA5 we have all been transported into a world of extreme, cutting edge video game graphics. Sharp, clear and as real as you can get. You only need to watch the trailer for Call Of Duty Ghosts and you will see it with your own eyes. However, many of us will remember the days when our video games were pixelated, fuzzy and slow – but that was the beauty of them wasn’t it?
As with everything, fashion, music and art, the current gaming graphics will evolve ad it won’t be long before they are outdated. We will start off by moaning about them and eventually, in 30 years, we will enjoy them once more for their ‘vintage’ appeal. Part of the issue with modern gaming graphics is that they are built to look real. Let’s face it, Space Invaders or PacMan were definitely not based upon realistic graphics; part of the reason they have kept their appeal for longer. Mobile app games and instant play casino games are some of the few gaming technologies that continue to display these type of simple graphics, albeit more stylized. At the end of the day, games that rely on the latest technology for their graphics are not going to retain their looks for as long as those that poses a blend between stylish graphics and the latest technology.
Tomb Raider is a great example of this. The ultimate 1990’s adventure game was built between artistic graphics and the latest technology. It looks retro due to its pixelated presence and let’s face it Lara Croft never moved in a realistic way. However this game was created using cutting edge technology. This is one game that has stood the test of time through the clever use of graphics and design.
Heading back either further, to the birth of a generation, the 1980’s really was the moment that shaped the face of video game graphics. This was the era when graphics definitely took a backseat to the gameplay. Maybe this was to test the water or it was simply because the primitive computers could only handle so much. Either way, it was far either for developers to create a simply strategy game than it was to create an RPG full of twist and turns. This was the age when the PC was considered a machine for work purposes rather than the entertainment hubs that they have become.
Any game that grew out of the 80’s was caught in a battle between artistic brilliance and the constraints of the consoles. The Commodore 64, released in 1982 was one of the most powerful systems of the decade, but it still couldn’t cope with high level, wire frame graphics. Games designed for the Commodore 64 could always be recognised due to their brightly coloured graphics, and simple translucent characters. Although it was a powerful arcade console, the games were still simple in their approach compared to the capabilities of modern day consoles.
In short, video game graphics have moved as the technology has. Creative development and freedom is now one of the most important aspects to games, but they will soon be as dated as their predecessors. As they are so realistic, they may not fare as well in our fast paced world as some of the 30 year games we know and love.Related articles