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Original author: 
Cyrus Farivar

Aurich Lawson / Jonathan Naumann / Joi Ito / Stanford CIS

Fifteen years ago, I was living outside Geneva, Switzerland, spending my lunch hours screwing around on the nascent Web a few dozen kilometers from where it was created. I popped into chat rooms, forums, and news sites, and I e-mailed family back home. I was learning French and getting my dose of tech news by reading the French-language edition of Macworld magazine. (Génial!)

I returned Stateside mere months after Ars began, reading more and more about the people behind many of the technologies that I was becoming increasingly fascinated with. I consumed just about every book I could find describing the history and personalities behind graphical user interfaces, networking, the Internet itself, and more.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through all that, it’s that most people involved in technology continue the Newtonian tradition of humility. The most iconic innovators all seem to readily acknowledge that they stand on the shoulders of giants. In fact, when I met Vint Cerf and thanked him for making the work I do possible, he was a predictable gentleman, saying, “There were many others involved in the creation of TCP/IP, not just me.”

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These are some concrete examples to illustrate how randomness influences player experience. It is a companion post to the previous post: "Emotions and Randomness - Loot Drops"

Includes Ni No Kuni, Castlevania: SotN, WoW, Demon's Souls, Binding of Isaac

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jones_supa writes "Shawn McGrath, the creator of the PS3 psychedelic puzzle-racing game Dyad, takes another look at Doom 3 source code. Instead of the technical reviews of Fabien Sanglard, Shawn zooms in with emphasis purely on coding style. He gives his insights in lexical analysis, const and rigid parameters, amount of comments, spacing, templates and method names. There is also some thoughts about coming to C++ with C background and without it. Even John Carmack himself popped in to give a comment."

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Kimber Streams oculus rift stock

A breakout Kickstarter success, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has the support not only of its many backers but of gaming industry greats like John Carmack. From homemade prototype to finished product, you'll find every step of its journey here as soon as it happens.

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Just another day in the pixel mines.

Queasy Games

Music games can generally be divided into two broad categories: games that ask you to take part in making the music, and games where the music drives the gameplay. Sound Shapes straddles the line between those two types of games while layering an incredibly satisfying, abstract take on 2D platform games on top as well.

As you know if you've read our previous coverage, Sound Shapes turns you into nothing more than a small, sticky circle, caught in a world full of simple, abstract shapes rendered primarily in stark, solid colors. The goal is to roll and hop around to collect floating coins dotted around the game's rooms while avoiding enemies and their attacks, which are helpfully highlighted in a deadly red.

It sounds simple, and it is, as far as the gameplay is concerned (though the designers do a good job of stretching the simple concept as far as it can go, with levels that force you to make smart use of the jumping and sticking mechanics). But what makes the game really stand out is the way that each coin you collect activates a note that gets layered into a constantly evolving, mesmerizing backbeat that follows you from room to room.

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[Video Link] The upcoming SimCity looks cool. It uses something called the GlassBox Simulation Engine to run the simulation. I won't pretend to understand how it works, but here's Maxis' Andrew Willmott's GDG 2012 "Inside Glassbox" presentation that goes into detail about it.

Inside GlassBox

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Waiting For Horus

As the sole programmer behind Polytron's widely-acclaimed Fez, Canadian game developer Renaud Bédard had his work cut out for him in creating a perspective-shifting 3D world using his home-grown Trixel engine. But for his next project, he's teaming up with Montreal-based audiovisual artist Aliceffekt and Henk Boom of Phosfiend Systems to create a very different (but also familiar) game experience.

Waiting For Horus is a work-in-progress from the group, and it immediately evokes the raw, cathartic glee of fast-paced mutiplayer arena games like Unreal Tournament and Quake 3. It's a genre we haven't really seen much of lately, with most modern shooters like Call of Duty relying on realistic theme park-style set pieces and Ramboesque,...

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Developer Nigoro broke a months-long silence today, revealing that a PC version of its La-Mulana remake has entered testing, and that development is almost complete.

Nigoro also expresses uncertainty regarding the long-delayed WiiWare version of La-Mulana. Though it premiered as a downloadable Wii title in Japan almost a year ago, a localized version of La-Mulana has yet to appear in North America or Europe.

"The master data for NOA and NOE was handed to our publisher, Nicalis," Nigoro notes. "After that, we haven't received any reports. So, we have no idea when the release date is determined."

Nicalis previously published an upgraded WiiWare version of Cave Story after numerous delays, and recently announced that it will produce a Wii U remake for the XBLIG platformer Aban Hawkins & The 1000 Spikes.

Given that consumer demand for new Wii releases has cooled significantly since La-Mulana's initial announcement, Nicalis could be delaying the release to coincide with the Wii U's launch. Nicalis has not commented regarding its current publishing plans, however, nor has it issued a firm release date.

Nigoro itself plans to handle worldwide publishing duties for the PC version of La-Mulana, and assures that an overseas release is in the works.

[via @andore7, @VonRosceau]

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