Monthly Archives: December 2017

Star Invasion Mobile Game Review

Thirty years ago Space Invaders made its first debut in the arcade and since then no game has ever been more popular. Space Invaders was the best thing that hit the gaming industry and as time rendered it obsolete it disappeared into the archives, forgotten by a new generation of gamers.

Now the legend is back in the form of Star Invasion. The game has a new facelift. It sports the most incredible graphics and sound. It has the same addictive gameplay than its predecessor. The story is identical. Aliens from outer space send fleets of ships to destroy the human race. You play the role of a pilot defending the earth against these ruthless villains who seem hell bent on killing off the human race.

You wipe out wave after wave of alien gun ships as they approach earth and you get power ups as you proceed. You can acquire a shield to protect you against their lasers, and also get more powerful guns for your ship. Make no mistake, this is Space Invaders all over again but with a new make-up. This time you can target enemy ships with tactical radar, instead of shooting blindly as they approach.

The enemy ships have new colors and look more attractive and the different colors allow you to identify different threats. If you shoot down a blue ship the resulting explosion will destroy all enemy ships horizontally in line with it. Take down a green ship and the same thing happens to all ships vertically in that line. Its new additions like these that make Star Invasion look and feel like a new game.

The game feels fresh and exciting and you will never guess it was first released 30 years ago. Regardless of time, shooting down enemy ships gives you the same exhilaration and fun it gave gamers 30 years ago.

It seems that we have been conditioned that if we ever make contact with aliens they will be hostile and we will have to fight them. If they are friendly, the human race will be greatly disappointed to miss a fight. It makes one wonder who is more ruthless and murderous.

Marketing Techniques for Mobile Apps

You’ve put in the hours of work to create something wonderful. First of all, congratulations! It wasn’t easy, no doubt. Now all you need is an audience, right? Therein lies the problem, though. That coveted audience can be hard to find. Very hard, in fact. Your app can easily be buried in the slush pile that is the self-published markets, dismissed as not being worth the time, or worst of all: not seen at all! If you’re certain your only problem is that you lack an audience-that your product is perfect-then this guide to free marketing will, no doubt, be of some help.

If you’ve ever taken more than a peek at the mobile game marketplaces (Google Play, App Store, Windows Store) then you’ve seen the clones that occupy it. Each title is a synonym for Clash, Legend, Runner, or has a bird or an animal of some kind in it; the icons are usually a screaming person, a close up of food, or a rehashed classic in neon colors. While it would be wise to avoid these clichés, the takeaway here is that it’ll be difficult to stand out. So, to begin with your marketing campaign, start local. Build a base there; then expand.

Of course, tell your family and friends. Then-

Print out flyers with rip tabs at the bottom. Each tab should have the URL of your app printed on them. Interested consumers can pull off these tabs to help remind them to download it later. You can find free bulletin boards to post your flyers at most Laundromats and a lot of grocery stores. University campuses also typically have quite a few bulletin boards. Word of mouth is a good start, so think of each tab pulled as a new speaker, who’ll then tell friends around the world, who might in turn spread the word even further. Plus, consumers will often be kinder and more likely to write a positive review if they believe it’ll be helping someone in their circle-even if that circle happens to be the entire town. Loyalty works for sports teams; it can work for your app.

Create business cards to hand out whenever your app ever comes up in conversation. A custom bumper sticker or car magnets are a good way to make every drive you take an advertisement excursion. Avoid placing flyers under windshield wipers as this is more likely to annoy than cultivate interest. A custom made T-shirt with your app name, imagery, and where to download it is another good way to passively advertise while walking around large local events (balloon races, rib cook-offs, farmer’s markets).

After you’ve marketed locally, move on to the internet. Here you’ll obviously find a much larger potential audience. To start, make blog posts on your personal website(s) about your app or game. Also, create a YouTube game play video and video trailer to showcase your work. Also, as you’ll be sending out some emails, create an automatic signature with your name and links to your app or game.

Forums are a good place to find an audience. SlideDB, ModDB, IndieDB, and Penny Arcade allow you to submit a post about your game, as well as updates. Reddit is a hugely popular website with subreddits (smaller groups of particular interest) that welcome posts about indie games. /r/IndieGaming and/r/freegames are two such subreddits with a lot of followers, but a simple search can lead you to many more. The development software used to create the game also has related company forums, in which you may share your game. Beyond this, utilize social media. Post to Twitter, being sure to use hashtags such as #indiedev #gamedev and those more specific to your app or game, in order to get views beyond your followers. Tweet at indie game reviewers with your app information. Post to Facebook to connect with family and friends and keep them updated; and Instagram as well as Pinterest, again using tags to reach new markets. You can create a press release and submit it to press release websites in hopes of journalists picking it up to write a story, or submit the press release directly to local newspapers or magazines.

Consider publishing to platforms outside the mainstream ones such as GooglePlay. Other such publishing platforms include: SlideME, GameJolt, and NewGrounds. Video Reviewers are also a good idea to help create buzz. ArcadeGo is one such promoter, but countless others can be found by searching for ‘gameplay videos’ and following the game reviewers back to their account pages where you may find and contact them by email requesting a review.

Free App Reviews websites are another way to get seen. Submit your app to all the app reviewers you can find and a good number of them should accept your game or app if it’s of high quality. App reviewers include: The Great Apps, Indie Game Dev, AppsZoom, AppBrain, AppZoom, Indie Game Hunt, and Super Game Droid.

League of Legends Game Boosting

First, how about a bit of information on this game, League of Legends, that is all the rage. League of Legends (or LoL, for short) is what is known in this digital era as an MMORPG (massive multi-player online role playing game). The basic objective in the game is to use various strategies to wipe out your opponents’ turrets and, eventually, their home camps (known as the nexus) before your opponents wipe out your turrets and nexus. To start with, you can choose your character (or champion) from a wide variety of options as well as back up units and different items that will help your character accomplish the game objectives. You also have the ability to choose to play alone or with a team as well as which difficulty level you want to play at. That is the bare basic idea of how League of Legends works.

As with any game of this nature, part of game play is to advance through the ranks and get as strong as you can. And, of course, the stronger you are, the better your rewards for advancement and the easier the game might become. But, what do you do to advance in the ranks when you just do not have the time to devote to the process or you are just too darn frustrated to continue for a while? You might look into league of legends elo boosting to take care of this problem!

Basically, games boosting means hiring someone to run your account for you and work on gaining your advancements while you are unavailable, or using a games boosting service. If you hire someone privately, all of the terms, such as how much you will pay and how long the player will use your account, would be settled between just you and whoever you hire. You could talk to a friend or family member that plays LOL for a private games boosting arrangement. With a service, you are likely to be working with people you do not personally know but, the service will have a variety different packages available with preset prices and a whole team of other players that you can choose from. Either way you go, privately or through a service, the purpose for it is to let another player play your game and earn advancements for you.

A word of caution though. Giving your account information to anyone, for any account, can be risky so make sure you can trust whoever you decide to work with for your games boosting endeavors! A good hacker can use your one account to get into all sorts of other information related to you so do please be careful when looking for games boosting help. You might check reviews from other users and there might even be a listing with the Better Business Bureau. This sort of information can help you understand which services are trustworthy and which are not. As with anything online, it is always “better safe than sorry”.

What Is a Game?

We probably all have a pretty good intuitive notion of what a game is. The general term “game” encompasses board games like chess and Monopoly, card games like poker and blackjack, casino games like roulette and slot machines, military war games, computer games, various kinds of play among children, and the list goes on. In academia we sometimes speak of game theory, in which multiple agents select strategies and tactics in order to maximize their gains within the framework of a well-defined set of game rules. When used in the context of console or computer-based entertainment, the word “game” usually conjures images of a three-dimensional virtual world featuring a humanoid, animal or vehicle as the main character under player control. (Or for the old geezers among us, perhaps it brings to mind images of two-dimensional classics like Pong, Pac-Man, or Donkey Kong.) In his excellent book, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, Raph Koster defines a game to be an interactive experience that provides the player with an increasingly challenging sequence of patterns which he or she learns and eventually masters. Koster’s asser-tion is that the activities of learning and mastering are at the heart of what we call “fun,” just as a joke becomes funny at the moment we “get it” by recognizing the pattern.

Video Games as Soft Real-Time Simulations

Most two- and three-dimensional video games are examples of what computer scientists would call soft real-time interactive agent-based computer simulations. Let’s break this phrase down in order to better understand what it means. In most video games, some subset of the real world -or an imaginary world- is modeled mathematically so that it can be manipulated by a computer. The model is an approximation to and a simplification of reality (even if it’s an imaginary reality), because it is clearly impractical to include every detail down to the level of atoms or quarks. Hence, the mathematical model is a simulation of the real or imagined game world. Approximation and simplification are two of the game developer’s most powerful tools. When used skillfully, even a greatly simplified model can sometimes be almost indistinguishable from reality and a lot more fun.

An agent-based simulation is one in which a number of distinct entities known as “agents” interact. This fits the description of most three-dimensional computer games very well, where the agents are vehicles, characters, fireballs, power dots and so on. Given the agent-based nature of most games, it should come as no surprise that most games nowadays are implemented in an object-oriented, or at least loosely object-based, programming language.

All interactive video games are temporal simulations, meaning that the vir- tual game world model is dynamic-the state of the game world changes over time as the game’s events and story unfold. A video game must also respond to unpredictable inputs from its human player(s)-thus interactive temporal simulations. Finally, most video games present their stories and respond to player input in real time, making them interactive real-time simulations.

One notable exception is in the category of turn-based games like computerized chess or non-real-time strategy games. But even these types of games usually provide the user with some form of real-time graphical user interface.

What Is a Game Engine?

The term “game engine” arose in the mid-1990s in reference to first-person shooter (FPS) games like the insanely popular Doom by id Software. Doom was architected with a reasonably well-defined separation between its core software components (such as the three-dimensional graphics rendering system, the collision detection system or the audio system) and the art assets, game worlds and rules of play that comprised the player’s gaming experience. The value of this separation became evident as developers began licensing games and retooling them into new products by creating new art, world layouts, weapons, characters, vehicles and game rules with only minimal changes to the “engine” software. This marked the birth of the “mod community”-a group of individual gamers and small independent studios that built new games by modifying existing games, using free toolkits pro- vided by the original developers. Towards the end of the 1990s, some games like Quake III Arena and Unreal were designed with reuse and “modding” in mind. Engines were made highly customizable via scripting languages like id’s Quake C, and engine licensing began to be a viable secondary revenue stream for the developers who created them. Today, game developers can license a game engine and reuse significant portions of its key software components in order to build games. While this practice still involves considerable investment in custom software engineering, it can be much more economical than developing all of the core engine components in-house. The line between a game and its engine is often blurry.

Some engines make a reasonably clear distinction, while others make almost no attempt to separate the two. In one game, the rendering code might “know” specifi-cally how to draw an orc. In another game, the rendering engine might provide general-purpose material and shading facilities, and “orc-ness” might be defined entirely in data. No studio makes a perfectly clear separation between the game and the engine, which is understandable considering that the definitions of these two components often shift as the game’s design solidifies.

Arguably a data-driven architecture is what differentiates a game engine from a piece of software that is a game but not an engine. When a game contains hard-coded logic or game rules, or employs special-case code to render specific types of game objects, it becomes difficult or impossible to reuse that software to make a different game. We should probably reserve the term “game engine” for software that is extensible and can be used as the foundation for many different games without major modification.

Clearly this is not a black-and-white distinction. We can think of a gamut of reusability onto which every engine falls. One would think that a game engine could be something akin to Apple QuickTime or Microsoft Windows Media Player-a general-purpose piece of software capable of playing virtually any game content imaginable. However, this ideal has not yet been achieved (and may never be). Most game engines are carefully crafted and fine-tuned to run a particular game on a particular hardware platform. And even the most general-purpose multiplatform engines are really only suitable for building games in one particular genre, such as first-person shooters or racing games. It’s safe to say that the more general-purpose a game engine or middleware component is, the less optimal it is for running a particular game on a particular platform.

This phenomenon occurs because designing any efficient piece of software invariably entails making trade-offs, and those trade-offs are based on assumptions about how the software will be used and/or about the target hardware on which it will run. For example, a rendering engine that was designed to handle intimate indoor environments probably won’t be very good at rendering vast outdoor environments. The indoor engine might use a binary space partitioning (BSP) tree or portal system to ensure that no geometry is drawn that is being occluded by walls or objects that are closer to the camera. The outdoor engine, on the other hand, might use a less-exact occlusion mechanism, or none at all, but it probably makes aggressive use of level-of-detail (LOD) techniques to ensure that distant objects are rendered with a minimum number of triangles, while using high-resolution triangle meshes for geome-try that is close to the camera.

The advent of ever-faster computer hardware and specialized graphics cards, along with ever-more-efficient rendering algorithms and data structures, is beginning to soften the differences between the graphics engines of different genres. It is now possible to use a first-person shooter engine to build a real-time strategy game, for example. However, the trade-off between generality and optimality still exists. A game can always be made more impressive by fine-tuning the engine to the specific requirements and constraints of a particular game and/or hardware platform.