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Hey! You're looking at the front page of recorder.sayforward.com which is a temporary storage place for articles I didn't read/evaluate yet. I also use this platform to prepare new content to post sayforward.com where audio/video/image material is hosted completely on my server. On the recorder instead, media is loaded from external sources, so don't get mad if some of them don't work anymore.

Please note that the content posted here is explicitly intended to help me remember certain things, i.e. it is not intended to entertain you in any way (although you certainly will find stuff that fulfills this criteria).

Now: Happy Browsing!

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of video games. Our company has created, licensed and acquired a group of highly recognizable brands that it markets to a growing variety of consumer demographics. We are seeking individuals who will participate and contribute to our growth, and who will enjoy our fun, dynamic and highly focused business environment.

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111

If you’ve been reading Viceland for a while, you’ll remember the absurdly popular blog that Alex Hoban wrote about Battleship Island, the abandoned island of high rise buildings which was once the most densely populated place on earth. Well, that was about two years ago, and people are still leaving comments on the article and visiting it in their thousands. From this we’re deducing that the general public will be hyped about Atlas Hoods, the new travel column by the same dude. Beneath are some reminders of his previous work, tomorrow Atlas Hoods (it was his choice of name, I think it sounds like some DJ on Ninja Tunes) begins in earnest with part one of a visit to Transnistria, Europe’s fake nation.  (...)
Read the rest of ABANDONED JAPANESE ISLANDS AND BEYOND (329 words)

© Alex for Viceland.com, 2011. |
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Click here to read 16-Year-Old Confesses To Killing Mom Over PlayStation

Philadelphia teenager Kendall Anderson confessed in court to murdering his sleeping mother after she confiscated his PlayStation. And if you don't like crime-related video games stories with terrible, sickening endings, don't go any further. This one is perhaps the worst. More »

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Trying to derive from benefit from my recent Rock Band binge, I examine the gameplay mechanisms that make Rock Band fun.

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Members of the Colombian Navy stand guard on top of a seized submarine built by drug smugglers in a makeshift shipyard in Timbiqui, department of Cauca, February 14, 2011. Colombian authorities said the submersible craft was to be used to transport 8 tons of cocaine illegally into Mexico. (REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga).

Reported in the Colombian (Spanish-language) paper El Tiempo here:
The sub presents the use of advanced technology seen for the first time in this country, and its construction must have cost the narcotraffickers more than 4,000 million pesos, according to the Naval police of the Pacific.

There's a related MSNBC article here.

More photos below, because who can get enough of a hundred-foot-long homemade cocaine sub?

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Luis Robayo / AFP - Getty Images

Colombian soldiers guard a homemade submersible in a rural area of Timbiqui, Colombia, on Feb. 14, 2011. A submersible has the capacity to transport eight tons of cocaine, and it can sail from Colombia to Mexico. The Colombian Army said they found the sub on the southwestern coast of the Colombian Pacific Ocean.

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Robert Hood says: I was a passenger on a U.S. Navy submarine and few years ago, and I was completely overwhelmed by how complex and dangerous a submarine is. So many things can go wrong at any time. It seemed to me that the submariners’ well-practiced skills and professionalism are the only things that prevent tragedies from happening every day. It’s difficult to imagine a drug smuggling organization approaching that kind of skill and organization. Maybe we underestimate them.

El Tiempo Newspaper reports:
Officials were surprised at the advanced technology used to make the 100 ft. long vessel, which allows for complete submersion, making it virtually undetectable.

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<b>Fun Bits Interactive</b> is a fun and professional Video Game Studio based in downtown Seattle, WA. The company's leaders have worked for some of the world's most innovative, successful and respected entertainment companies; Blizzard Entertainment, Namco, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Snowblind Studios, Lionhead Studios and Pandemic. The company has recently released <b>Fat Princess: Fat Roles</b> on the PlayStation3

<b>Fun Bits</b> is actively looking for talented gameplay programmers. We are seeking self-motivated programming professionals who love what they do for a living and enjoy an open team atmosphere. The ideal candidate would work alongside Design and Art, implementing gameplay mechanics and functionality.

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Truly, words can not justify what you are about to witness, but I'll give it a whack anyway: A brilliant mashup trailer of 80s teen movie moments all smoothly tied together into a video game character love story. You're going to nostalgia so hard, you have no idea.

The details make it. And it's weighted down with them. Enjoy!

[Video link] Thanks for making me cry tears of joy, Dannel!

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Interview with a Ketamine Scientist

There are medicinal chemists who work on an unseen side of the pharmaceutical industry. Like their legally sanctioned counterparts, they work to synthesize drugs they hope will produce therapeutic effects in their users. But they do not work with billion-dollar budgets or advertising agencies; doctors are not bribed to distribute their products with ergonomic pens or fine terrycloth beach towels. Their advertising comes solely from word of mouth and semicautionary articles like the one you are about to read. 

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Flick Ninjas is available now in the App Store!! In Part 4 of my series on Flick Ninjas development, I discuss the pixel based collision detections system that I designed to allow for my completely arbitrary level designs.

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Der Movie Blog ist eines der größten Portalseiten für Links zu aktuellen Kinofilmen. Die Filme liegen aber nicht dort, sondern werden bei RapidShare & Co. gespeichert. 2009 wurden dort täglich 100.000 Seitenaufrufe getätigt, Tendenz steigend. Zumindest bei Alexa liegt die Webseite deutlich über dem Portal der Süddeutschen Zeitung und anderen Printmedien. Die Filmwirtschaft ist wenig begeistert.

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Excitebike 64

Title : Excitebike 64
Publisher : Nintendo
Game Type : Sports
Console : Nintendo64

Price : £17.99

Some excellent courses both indoors and out to rip up and some with jumps to give even Evel Knievel sweaty palms. In true Nintendo style hidden extras are unlockable including extra courses such as the sand dune endurance race to put out ten fires within the time limit or playing football on the bike. But the biggest treat is the previous release of Excitebike is hidden away there too.

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 The World's Best Autodesk Art

ELEMENTAL 3 is created in collaboration with Autodesk to showcase digital art created from their Autodesk software.

The gallery of art featured is breathtaking. 246 images are selected from over 1800 entries, with contribution all over the world. I can only imagine the difficulty it is to pick the one top Master piece among each category.

The categories included are Architecture Exterior and Interior (Public & Residential), Architecture Reconstruction, Environment, Characters, Creatures, Robotic/Cyborg, Transport, Product Design, Still Life, and Abstract.

About half of the book are on architecture and interior design renders. They are absolutely beautiful, more so than some of the architecture books I've seen. It will be a fantasy to be able to visit the houses and cities as shown in the book.

The other half is mainly on characters, still life, vehicles and other scenes. Every piece is visually stunning. There are some pretty cool concepts but this isn't a concept art book dedicated to any particular category. At times, you'll wish that there's more included in the category.

ELEMENTAL 3 is a wonderful showcase of artistic creativity, technical execution and, of course, a good look at what Autodesk can do - actually other software are also used.

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This is a review copy sponsored by Basheer Graphic Books. Readers in Asia can get this book from them.

It's also available on Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP | CN)

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

 The World's Best Autodesk Art

Visit Amazon to check out more reviews.

If you buy from any links on the blog, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books to feature.

This book is available at:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.co.jp | Amazon.cn | Bookdepository.com | Bookdepository.co.uk

Asia readers can get the book from Basheer Graphic Books. For enquiries, visit www.facebook.com/BasheerGraphic or email them.

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Konkreet Performer is a music control and performance instrument for the iPad. Its unique and intuitive multi-touch interface reconnects the musician’s
 actions directly with the music.




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SpiderMonk Entertainment has immediate positions available for game programmers.
We are located in the Dallas area, and working on established IP and original game content. We are looking for programmers seeking more creative control and working on smaller teams.

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13

I am a girl. If you are also a girl, you’ll doubtless have been offered plenty of useful tips for life. Tips on things like how to hook Mr Right and not get into unmarked taxis, how to juggle both a family and a career and how to halve your vagina-age. But, good as that stuff is, (and it is great), has anyone ever taught you the basic Ys and Ns of getting high? Probably not, and that’s why most of us are worse at it than boys. (...)
Read the rest of A BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO DRUGS FOR GIRLS (1,035 words)

© Alex for Viceland.com, 2011. |
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Designing websites for kids is a fascinating, challenging, rewarding, and exasperating experience: You’re trying to create a digital experience for people who lack the cognitive capacity to understand abstraction; to establish brand loyalty with people who are influenced almost exclusively by their peers; and to communicate subjective value propositions to people who can only see things in black-and-white. Fortunately, it’s possible to create a successful registration process for these folks with an understanding of how their brains work. Debra Levin Gelman explores how to design effective registration forms for kids based on their context, technical skills, and cognitive capabilities.

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The final –and probably unnecessary- part of an argument for minimizing cutscenes as story-telling devises.

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Nice guys finish Helghast.

As the saturation point looms, the first-person shooter pie has been sliced increasingly thin in recent years. The difference between some games is only a few crumbs wide and players have become connoisseurs almost by default, able to discern the subtle shift in flavours between games that, to the untrained eye, are practically identical. We've become fussy gourmands, favouring a Call of Duty or a Medal of Honor based on tiny changes to the recipe.

All of which makes the games that serve up a distinctive taste even more polarising. Killzone 2 was one such dish. I loved its streamlined and ruthless construction, which dipped you into one long, aching push into the Helghan capital to confront and capture Emperor Visari. Where other games hopped between locations and storylines like a hyperactive child, Killzone 2 was all about life as a foot soldier in a crappy situation. The scenery rarely changed, the weapon set remained largely the same and the enemies varied little.

Despite its sci-fi trappings, it felt like a real military campaign where your goal was never more lofty than simply reaching the next objective, traversing a fortified bridge or circumnavigating enemy artillery. Movement was heavy for the genre, as if you were weighed down by the alien atmosphere. It felt muscular and foreboding, a conflict where traditional gung-ho videogame heroics were a quick way to get killed.


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Tips for staying productive when making indie games at home

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Games as a medium have many wonderful uses outside of just entertainment.  At The Game Prodigy we like to cover the designs of games that are not only fun, but explore new kinds of core experiences that games can create. … Continue reading →

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Click here to read Man Steals $12 Million In Online Cash From Farmville Creators

British hacker Ashley Mitchell thought it would be a hoot to steal $12 million in online cash from Zynga, the creators of Facebook games like FarmVille and CityVille. And it would have been! If he hadn't been caught. More »

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[In the latest in our "Road to the IGF" series of interviews with 2011 IGF finalists, Mike Rose speaks with Frictional Games' Thomas Grip about the multi-nominated Amnesia: The Dark Descent.]

Founded in 2006 by Thomas Grip and Jens Nilsson, Swedish indie developer Frictional Games first entered the survival horror gaming scene with its Penumbra series.

Last year saw the developer really step up its game with the release of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, now nominated for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Technical Excellence and Excellence in Audio awards at this year's IGF.

Gamasutra talked to Frictional Games Co-Founder Thomas Grip about the development of Amnesia, and what it takes to rouse fear in the mind of a player.

What is your background in making games?

I am pretty much a hobby games programmer that has succeeded in doing it as a full-time job. The only professional experience I had before starting Frictional Games with Jens four years ago had been two smaller freelance jobs.

It's crazy how little my workplace, work times and such have changed since I started out making hobby games fifteen years ago.

What development tools did you use to develop Amnesia?

We mainly used Visual Studio, Maya and Photoshop to make the game. Added to that are internal tools for level, entity and material editing. We use SVN to do all of our source control and asset sharing.

How long did your team work on the game?

It took exactly (to the day!) three years from when we started work on the game until we released it. The first year or so was mostly engine and tool development and then we slowly started building the actual game.

How did you come up with the concept?

The basic concept for the game was something that changed throughout development. It actually started out as a bite-sized action-oriented horror version of Super Mario, but we slowly realized this was a bad idea and changed the direction.

Some basic concepts, like the fear of the dark, have been in since the very start. Other things were quite late in development, not being added until the last year or so (the sanity meter for instance). So the final design was something that slowly emerged over the entire development period.

A concept / theme that was a major driving force for the latter part of the project was the exploration of human evil. We wanted to make a game where players would feel not only uncomfortable with the environment but also with themselves, and question what sort of things they were capable of. This was a huge factor in shaping the final game's atmosphere.

What is the most important element when it comes to rousing fear in the mind of the player?

To let the mind do most of the work.

I think the thing that sets Amnesia apart from most other horror games is that it starts so slow and generally uneventful. As players are not focused on doing some skill-required activity, they have time to think instead.

This leads to players noticing every little sound and finally starting to imagine things. It is almost a kind of sensory deprivation tactic, allowing us to slowly drive the player mad.

This is of course a bit risky, but the response so far has been great. It has worked far better than we thought it would.

While playing Amnesia, the player is made to feel as though they are constantly in danger, even when they are safe. Was this planned, or did it simply come as a result of the scare factor?

That was very much the plan. We found that when players stop seeing the game as a challenge, they can actually become more scared and immersed. This is a bit different from what you normally see in horror games, as classic titles often try to increase the challenge with limited ammo, save-points, etc.

But what we have seen is that when players do not approach it as a normal game, but rather an experience, they become much more prone to role-playing. I think this is really interesting and something that we are going to explore more in the future.

Added to this is also that, while players might be safe, they can never be sure. And this kind of uncertainty is crucial for building the right atmosphere. As a particularly scary man once said: the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

That said, this tactic does not work on everyone. Some people are unable to get scared unless they know that it causes some rule-related penalty. I believe some of these people can be won over by a few changes to the game though. For example, things like minimizing the repetition of enemy encounter can further increase fear in people.

Were there any elements that you experimented with that just flat out didn't work with your vision?

Tons and tons. As I mentioned, Amnesia started out as a very different game and most of the initial features did not fit very well as we changed direction. At the end of the project (last year or so) there was not any time for experimentation, so we just added stuff and hoped it would work.

We actually kept tweaking features, like the insanity meter, until a few days before release. So we're very happy that turned out as well as it did.

Have you played any of the other IGF finalists? Any games you particularly enjoyed?

I really enjoyed The Dream Machine. I liked how they dared to start the game in a slow and mundane way and then slowly build from there. Games normally start out so fast and intense, so this was really nice to see.

Speaking of mundane, I love how Dinner Date takes the most boring story ever and makes a very engaging experience of that.

I also played Desktop Dungeons a bit and think it is a fantastic concept. It is kind of like a hyper-advanced version of Minesweeper, and way bad for my productivity (I actually had to delete the cursed thing!).

What do you think of the current state of the indie scene?

I think the most positive trend these days is that small indie companies can actually become successful, and that without any help from a publisher. Ten years ago this just wasn't possible. Being successful back then was being able to do it full time at all.

Nowadays you have developers with enough money to set up their own funds and the like. That is really great and I think it promises for a bright future. Now that creating small, risky and innovative games can actually lead to viable business, it will hopefully lead more people to get involved.

In the end I hope this will help to take the medium in new, exciting directions.

[Previous 2011 'Road To The IGF' interviews have covered Markus Persson's Minecraft, The Copenhagen Game Collective's B.U.T.T.O.N., Alexander Bruce's Hazard: The Journey of Life, Nicolai Troshinsky's Loop Raccord and Chris Hecker's Spy Party.]

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Flash developer Tim Cooper explains how he transitioned from building web content for clients into a full-fledged game development studio, revealing hard data and hard truths about the change from working in one environment to striking out with his own games.

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Flash developer Tim Cooper explains how he transitioned from building web content for clients into a full-fledged game development studio, revealing hard data and hard truths about the change from working in one environment to striking out with his own games.

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Eidos Montreal's Mary De Marle reveals the tricks of the writing trade.

When it comes to role-playing games, few things are as important as story, choice and dialogue. But when it comes to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a game Eidos Montreal hopes will enhance the series' legacy, story, choice and dialogue are the most important things. This is where lead writer Mary De Marle comes in.

Speaking to Eurogamer ahead of the game's release, Mary reveals how videogame writers meet the challenge of the modern-day RPG, and dishes the dirt on how developers create spiralling conversation trees and simulate sophisticated player choice. She also discusses how conversation boss fights can be won and lost, and even leaves room for a word on Bill Gates and Richard Branson.


Read more...

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Teamwork, tactical thought, innovation, and sheer scale. I've been playing MAG for over a year now. Here's my thoughts on one of the most unique and interesting gaming experiences I've had in quite some time.

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Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Emily Short: IF Demo Fair Announcement
"The IF Demo Fair will be running during PAX East (Boston, March 11-13), showcasing new and interesting demonstrations in the IF world. We welcome any demonstration that can reasonably be construed as relating to interactive fiction and storytelling."

Experimental Gameplay Project: ASCII in February
"In celebration of February being a cold and lonely month, your goal is to make a game around the theme: ASCII. No graphics allowed, other than the text you find in the ASCII Table. Any font is allowed."

GameSetWatch: Mount & Blade - With Fire & Sword Coming This Spring
"The newest release from TaleWorlds' engrossing medieval and open-world action RPG PC series Mount & Blade, is releasing with an English edition this Spring. The new game features fully customizable troops, siege options, a multiplayer Captain Mode, and an enhanced combat system that introduces firearms and explosives."

GameSetWatch: New Tumblr For Game Design Sketches
"Chevy Ray Johnston (Return of the Quack, Skullpogo) has started a neat new Tumblr blog collecting doodles, sketches, and scrap-paper designs by game developers around the world. Titled GameStorm, the blog has entries from indie designers like Jarrad 'Farbs' Woods (Captain Forever) and sketches from Vancouver's Global Game Jam event last weekend."

PlayStation LifeStyle: Journey Interview
"Journey promises to be unique from everything else thatgamecompany has created, which is quite the feat when every one of their titles have been unlike any other game created. To find out more about Journey, we spoke with Kellee Santiago, President and Co-Founder of thatgamecompany, as part of our PSN 2011 Preview Week coverage."

Uncommon Assembly: The Influence of Memory
"Feign, a Flash game developed by Ian Snyder, sends the player on a first-person journey through a 3D maze where positive and negative space are reduced to stark, solid shapes. Snyder spoke with us recently about creating the game’s unique environment."

Examiner.com: Interview With Crayon Physics Creator Petri Purho
"Petri Purho, creator of the smash indie game hit, Crayon Physics, has kindly granted us an e-mail interview disucssing the development of Crayon Physics. Petri also talks about piracy, DRM, life as an indie dev and much more."

Indie Games Searchlight: Indie Game The Movie Interview (video)
"The Indie Games Searchlight sits down with the filmmakers behind the upcoming film Indie Game: the Movie. We discuss the story behind the project, interesting stories of production, the ideas behind making the film, and a few game designers we can see in the film."

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After years of hard work and a rather lonely journey, I’m proud to present the first-release candidate of Maratis.

Maratis is a simple and visual game development tool designed for artists and developers. The Engine has been tested on Windows, Mac and iPhone, and can be virtually used on every platform. It is Free and Open-Source.

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Stop thinking about your game and starting thinking about what your players think about your game.

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Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (a book about how to be more happy and grateful, which I enjoyed very much) ran this list of Tolstoy's "10 Rules of Life" on her blog:

[F]or happiness-project purposes, Tolstoy is particularly fascinating -- both because he wrote so extensively about happiness and because he made and broke so many resolutions himself. Spectacularly... Tolstoy wrote these rules when he was eighteen years old:

Get up early (five o'clock)

Go to bed early (nine to ten o'clock)

Eat little and avoid sweets

Try to do everything by yourself

Have a goal for your whole life, a goal for one section of your life, a goal for a shorter period and a goal for the year; a goal for every month, a goal for every week, a goal for every day, a goal for every hour and for evry minute, and sacrifice the lesser goal to the greater

Keep away from women

Kill desire by work

Be good, but try to let no one know it

Always live less expensively than you might

Change nothing in your style of living even if you become ten times richer

10 "Rules of Life" from Tolstoy

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Toys is a zero-button game originally created by Christoffer Hedborg for submission to the Experimental Gameplay Project challenge, featuring twelve short puzzles to play through and using only your mouse for input (no keys or buttons). Each stage provides you with a set of cubes randomly placed in a 3D space, and your task is to move them around until every piece fits into their designated area marked by a non-moving square with a lighter colour scheme.

An iOS version of the game is currently in the works, but you can play the prototype build now at either Christoffer's site or Kongregate.

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I conclude my multi part look at Resonance of Fate with advance tips followed by my overall opinion.

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