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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!

Curse (New) > MegaDrive:
Curse (New)

Title : Curse (New)
Publisher : Micronet
Game Type : Shoot Em Up
Console : MegaDrive

Price : £29.99

Strangely compelling horizontal shooter in the R - Type mode. Vivid use of colour and jammed with all manner of foe, the cover warns appropriately of the disturbing contents inside. Incidently this fine cover is from the team who designed the inlay for the Mega CD title Third World War.

via GenkiVideoGames.com - All New Arrivals

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The Way of Stones (Cart Only) > GameBoyOriginal:
The Way of Stones (Cart Only)

Title : The Way of Stones (Cart Only)
Publisher : Ascii
Game Type : Puzzle
Console : GameBoyOriginal

Price : £3.99

A rather neat puzzle title where shapes must be matched up in fours with the top score (and some fine visual pyrotechnics to celebrate) being reached via matching up all seventy two shapes. Different options on offer in terms of shapes to use for those spooked by the traditional stones.

via GenkiVideoGames.com - All New Arrivals

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Game Analytics 101 Part 2: Basic Definitions - by Dmitri Williams:

This post is part two of a five-part series on analytics in the gaming industry. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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8 tips for a smooth launch to your indie game - by Jesse Attard:

8 essential tips to ensure that you have a smooth launch during the exceptionally important initial phase of your indie game’s release. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Are Dynamic Goals the next step in innovating Achievements and Trophies? - by Gabriel Cornish:

Thoughts on the benefits developers can get by tailoring in-game goals around achievements and players unique styles of play. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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The Four Types of Metafiction in Videogames - by James Cox:

Like most elements of story-telling when put into videogames, metafiction takes on a slightly different form. This post list the four classifications of metafiction in videogames along with an index of examples from games. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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4 gamification lessons from the arcades - by Andrzej Marczewski:

When I was young, one of my absolute favourite things in the world were arcades! When ever my parents took me on holiday, I would pray that nearby would be an arcade. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Recursive Level Generation - by Jared Failor:

A post covering an approach to procedural level generation. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Inside Star Citizen's grey market:

"Kane" won’t tell me how much he’s made as a Star Citizen middleman. Like so many Spaniards affected by the economic crisis, he was recently made redundant, but the bills keep on coming. "These transactions are helping me in these difficult times," he says.

These days, the second-hand sale of virtual goods is a tired story. But what makes Star Citizen’s grey market special is that in many cases the spaceships that are bought and sold can’t be used in the game yet. They’re just £1000 ideas, the promise of that most base fantasy: exploring the galaxy in your very own - and very exclusive - spaceship. Kane is just one of many making money out of a grey market fuelled by that promise - and it exists underneath the covers of Star Citizen’s gargantuan success.

Star Citizen is one of the more fascinating video games in development right now. It’s a hugely ambitious space simulation driven by a massively multiplayer online persistent world with a first-person shooter portion and a single-player story bolted on. It’s also a poster child for graphics-card-melting PC gaming, looks the business and is made by one of our favourite sons: Mr Wing Commander himself, Chris Roberts.

Read more…

via Eurogamer.net

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Why Elegance Matters: The Lifecycle of Games - by Fabian Fischer:

Even highly replayable games of skill aren’t infinitely interesting. But when does the fun stop? When does the player decide to stop playing? This article takes a closer look at this decision process in the context of elegance, depth and efficiency. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Unity: King of the Web, Teacher of Children, Betrayer of Men - by Brady Fukumoto:

Unity is an amazing game development engine but it has a spotty history when it comes to supporting new tech. In the high-stakes field of educational games, can it we count on it to keep its promises to schools or will it leave our children hanging? via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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Volfied (New) > MegaDrive:
Volfied (New)

Title : Volfied (New)
Publisher : Taito
Game Type : Puzzle
Console : MegaDrive

Price : £22.99

Also known as Ultimate Qix, players must complete small circuits on the gaming area in order to make them safe. Alien adversaries can be ensnared within these compounds, but players are vulnerable when drawing a new circuit. A simple concept but still exciting and compelling to the point you will be leaning in your seat to try and speed your player home when under pursuit from a nippy alien.

via GenkiVideoGames.com - All New Arrivals

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The Cameraman (New) > PlayStation:
The Cameraman (New)

Title : The Cameraman (New)
Publisher : D3
Game Type : A Bit Special
Console : PlayStation

Price : £17.99

In Genki’s humble opinion the finest title to ever grace the PC Engine, lovingly updated for the PSX. The boy moves along the side scrolling screen watching out for hazards that need jumping over or avoiding. At the same time you have to keep your shutter focused on events in the mid distance to capture exclusive snaps in order to please your boss. Such events include appearances of ET, skirts blowing up Maryln Monroe style, rollerbladers falling flat on their chins… But don’t get too snap happy as film is limited. Its often worthwhile to have a shot at seemingly innocent people just to see what happens…. Gekisha Boy, we salute you. Also known as ‘Photograph Boy’.

via GenkiVideoGames.com - All New Arrivals

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Pop Breaker (New) > GameGear:
Pop Breaker (New)

Title : Pop Breaker (New)
Publisher : Micro Cabin
Game Type : Puzzle
Console : GameGear

Price : £14.99

A puzzle shooter well suited to the genre with players vessels having to break out power ups by shooting through the Break In style walls, then using the power ups to take down the remaining enemy ships. The ability to bounce shots around and use deflections adds to the puzzle element of gameplay. Not over ambitious and as such works well on the Game Gears dimensions.

via GenkiVideoGames.com - All New Arrivals

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Robotic solutions inspired by plants:

Researchers are demonstrating revolutionary robotic techniques inspired by plants, featuring a 3D-printed ‘trunk’, ‘leaves’ that sense the environment and ‘roots’ that grow and change direction. via Artificial Intelligence News — ScienceDaily

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Why pursue a PhD: Philip Guo provides three practical reasons on why it’s worth pursuing a PhD. Worth considering if you’re hemming and hawing …

Tags:

via FlowingData

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Europol Predicts First Online Murder By End of This Year: An anonymous reader sends this story from The Stack: The world’s first “online murder” over an internet-connected device could happen by the end of this year, Europol has warned. Research carried out by the European Union’s law enforcement agency has found that governments are not equipped to fight the growing threat of “online murder,” as cyber criminals start to exploit internet technologies to target victims physically. The study, which was published last week, analyzed the possible physical dangers linked to cyber criminality and found that a rise in “injury and possible deaths” could be expected as computer hackers launch attacks on critical connected equipment. The assessment particularly referred to a report by IID, a U.S. security firm, which forecast that the world’s first murder via a “hacked internet-connected device” would happen by the end of 2014. Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




via Slashdot

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Das Wachstum der Online Casinos als Infografik:

Eine Infografik zeigt, wie rasant sich Online Casinos entwickelt haben. Der relativ junge Markt musste viele Hürden nehmen, um sich das Vertrauen der Kunden zu erarbeiten. Außerdem ermöglicht der Fortschritt der Technologie in Sachen Mobile- und Social Gaming der Branche viele neue Möglichkeiten. via gulli:News

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Paul Pope's Aurora West: a new Battling Boy book:

Paul Pope’s Battling Boy was one of the strongest YA comics of 2013; now he’s surpassed it with the sequel, The Rise of Aurora West. Paul Pope has graced us with some notes on Aurora West's creation story, along with a long, gripping excerpt, courtesy of publisher Firstsecond.
Read the rest via Boing Boing

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Open Invention Network Grows Despite Patent Troll Death Knell: snydeq writes Membership in the Open Invention Network, a software community set up to protect Linux against patent aggressors, has grown dramatically in the past year just as the tide seems to be turning on patent trolls. “Why all this interest in OIN? It offers little protection against nonpracticing entities — patent trolls who are organizationally small companies, even if the threat they pose is expensive and large. But it does offer protection against an equally insidious threat: big trolls,” writes Simon Phipps. “The big corporations show up with their giant patent portfolios, threatening legal doom if royalties aren’t paid. Attaching royalties to product or service delivery is a serious issue for companies, reducing margins long-term — especially in business models where the monetization is separated from the product. But OIN neutralizes that strategy for those building with open source, as the big corporations in the network both license their patent portfolios in and commit not to litigate against the open source software in the Linux System Definition. The bigger it gets, the better it protects.” Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




via Slashdot

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1 Aerospike server X 1 Amazon EC2 instance = 1 Million TPS for just $1.68/hour:

This a guest post by Anshu Prateek, Tech Lead, DevOps at Aerospike and Rajkumar Iyer, Member of the Technical Staff at Aerospike.

Cloud infrastructure services like Amazon EC2 have proven their worth with wild success. The ease of scaling up resources, spinning them up as and when needed and paying by unit of time has unleashed developer creativity, but virtualized environments are not widely considered as the place to run high performance applications and databases.

Cloud providers however have come a long way in their offerings and need a second review of their performance capabilities. After showing 1 Million TPS on Aerospike on bare metal servers, we decided to investigate cloud performance and in the process, bust the myth that cloud != high performance.

We examined a variety of Amazon instances and just discovered the recipe for processing 1 Million TPS in RAM on 1 Aerospike server on a single C3.8xlarge instance - for just $1.68/hr !!!

According to internetlivestats.com, there are 7.5k new tweets per second, 45k google searches per second and 2.3 Million emails sent per second. What would you build if you could process 1 Million database transactions per second for just $1.68/hr?

via High Scalability

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Part 2: The Cloud Does Equal High performance:

This a guest post by Anshu Prateek, Tech Lead, DevOps at Aerospike and Rajkumar Iyer, Member of the Technical Staff at Aerospike.

In our first post we busted the myth that cloud != high performance and outlined the steps to 1 Million TPS (100% reads in RAM) on 1 Amazon EC2 instance for just $1.68/hr. In this post we evaluate the performance of 4 Amazon instances when running a 4 node Aerospike cluster in RAM with 5 different read/write workloads and show that the r3.2xlarge instance delivers the best price/performance.

Several reports have already documented the performance of distributed NoSQL databases on virtual and bare metal cloud infrastructures:


via High Scalability

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MixRadio Architecture - Playing with an Eclectic Mix of Services:

This is a guest repost by Steve Robbins, Chief Architect at MixRadio.

At MixRadio, we offer a free music streaming service that learns from listening habits to deliver people a personalised radio station, at the single touch of a button. MixRadio marries simplicity with an incredible level of personalization, for a mobile-first approach that will help everybody, not just the avid music fan, enjoy and discover new music. It’s as easy as turning on the radio, but you’re in control - just one touch of Play Me provides people with their own personal radio station.
 
The service also offers hundreds of hand-crafted expert and celebrity mixes categorised by genre and mood for each region. You can also create your own artist mix and mixes can be saved for offline listening during times without signal such as underground travel, as well as reducing data use and costs.
 
Our apps are currently available on Windows Phone, Windows 8, Nokia Asha phones and the web. We’ve spent years evolving a back-end that we’re incredibly proud of, despite being British! Here’s an overview of our back-end architecture.

Architecture Overview

via High Scalability

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Strategy: Change the Problem:

James T. Kirk’s infamous gambit in Starfleet’s impossible to win Kobayashi Maru test was to redefine the problem into a challenge he could beat. 

Interestingly, an article titled Shifts In Algorithm Design, says something like the same gambit is the modern method of solving algorithmic problems.

In the past: 

I, Dick, recall the “good old days of theory.” When I first started working in theory—a sort of double meaning—I could only use deterministic methods. I needed to get the exact answer, no approximations. I had to solve the problem that I was given—no changing the problem.

In the good old days of theory, we got a problem, we worked on it, and sometimes we solved it. Nothing shifty, no changing the problem or modifying the goal. 

Today:

via High Scalability

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How Twitter Uses Redis to Scale - 105TB RAM, 39MM QPS, 10,000+ Instances:

Yao Yu has worked on Twitter’s Cache team since 2010. She recently gave a really great talk: Scaling Redis at Twitter. It’s about Redis of course, but it’s not just about Redis.

Yao has worked at Twitter for a few years. She’s seen some things. She’s watched the growth of the cache service at Twitter explode from it being used by just one project to nearly a hundred projects using it. That’s many thousands of machines, many clusters, and many terabytes of RAM.

It’s clear from her talk that’s she’s coming from a place of real personal experience and that shines through in the practical way she explores issues. It’s a talk well worth watching.

As you might expect, Twitter has a lot of cache.

Timeline Service for one datacenter using Hybrid List:

  • ~40TB allocated heap
  • ~30MM qps
  • > 6,000 instances

Use of BTree in one datacenter:

  • ~65TB allocated heap
  • ~9MM qps
  • >4,000 instances

You’ll learn more about BTree and Hybrid List later in the post.

A couple of points stood out:

  • Redis is a brilliant idea because it takes underutilized resources on servers and turns them into valuable service.
  • Twitter specialized Redis with two new data types that fit their use cases perfectly. So they got the performance they needed, but it locked them into an older code based and made it hard to merge in new features. I have to wonder, why use Redis for this sort of thing? Just create a timeline service using your own datastructures. Does Redis really add anything to the party?
  • Summarize large chunks of log data on the node, using your local CPU power, before saturating the network.
  • If you want something that’s high performance separate the fast path, which is the data path, away from the slow path, which is the command and control path. 
  • Twitter is moving towards a container environment with Mesos as the job scheduler. This is still a new approach so it’s interesting to hear about how it works. One issue is the Mesos wastage problem that stems from requirement to specify hard resource usage limits in a complicated runtime world.
  • A central cluster manager is really important to keep a cluster in a state that’s easy to understand.
  • The JVM is slow and C is fast. Their cache proxy layer is moving back to C/C++.

With that in mind, let’s learn more about how Redis is used at Twitter:

Why Redis?


via High Scalability

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Getting Things Right: A Look at Centralized vs Decentralized Systems Through the Eyes of Instant Replay:

Three baseball umpires were sitting around a bar, talking about how they make calls on each pitch: First umpire: Some are balls and some are strikes, and I call them as they are. Second umpire: Some are balls and some are strikes, and I call them as I see ‘em. Third umpire: Some are balls and some are strikes, but they ain’t nothin’ until I call ‘em.


    AT&T’s Global Network Operations Center


    MLB’s Instant Replay Bunker


    NHL’s Situation Room

    It’s fun to look at how concepts we think of as belonging primarily to the domain of computer science play out in other fields. One intriguing example is how Instant Replay reflects and even helps shape the culture of a sport by how replay is implemented: decentralized or centralized.

    Lucrative TV deals have pumped huge sums of money into professional sports. With so much money in play, sports have shifted from being pure entertainment to wanting to get things right. The price of making a bad call is just too high to let the human element decide the fate of titans.

    Getting things right is also a much talked about subject in computer science. In CS the language of getting things right uses terms like transaction, rollback, quorum, optimistic replication, linearizability, synchronization, lock, eventually consistent, compensating transaction, and so on.

    In sports to get things right referees use terms like flag, penalty, by rule, ruling stands, reset the clock, down and distance, line to gain, the whistle blew, ruling confirmed, and ruling overturned.

    Though the vocabulary is different, the intent is much the same. Correctness.

    Intent is not all tech and sports have in common. As technology evolves we are seeing sports change to take advantage of the new capabilities technology offers. And those changes should be familiar to anyone in software. Sports have gone from a completely decentralized system of officiating to where we now see the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL, all converging on some form of a centralized system.

    The NHL were the innovators, starting their centralized instant replay system in 2011. It works something like this…officials sit in a war room located in Toronto that looks a lot like every network operations center ever built. Video feeds from all games flow into the room. When there is a controversy or an obvious review-worthy play, Toronto is contacted for a quick review and judgement on the correct call.  Every sport will implement their own centralized replay system in their own way, but that’s the gist of it.

    We’ve seen the exact same transformation as federated services like email have been replaced with centralized services like Twitter and Facebook. It turns out sports and computer science have some deeper similarities. What might those be?


    via High Scalability

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    Gamification: Pervasive User Centric Design - by Andrzej Marczewski:

    At its heart, is gamification Pervasive User Centric Design? Is it the cross over between real and virtual worlds? via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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    Ludum Dare 30 winners announced:

    via IndieGames.com

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    Why Day 7 Retention is just as important as Day 1 - by Mark Robinson:

    In the F2P game market a lot of attention is paid to Day 1 retention, the fraction of players that return a day after install, and rightly so. In an age where it may cost $1 or more to acquire a player in the first place, focusing solely on day 1 rete via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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    The Connected Worlds Of Ludum Dare: Superdimensional:

    The latest Ludum Dare passed me by but the helpful tweets of a little bird in the guise of Tom Francis directed me toward the highest rated submission, Superdimensional. He described Superdimensional as being “like the most stylish possible Flappy Bird”, specifying that the tweet was meant as a compliment. I expected some delicious visual […] via Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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    Strange Animals:


    @Strange_Animals is a recommended twitter feed for fans of Boing Boing’s Delightful Creatures tag. (more…)

    via Boing Boing

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    The Dark, Ironic Branding Drug Dealers Use to Sell Heroin: The Dark, Ironic Branding Drug Dealers Use to Sell Heroin

    The collection of glassine heroin bags in Graham MacIndoe’s photos have been emptied of their product, removed from context and treated to professional studio lighting but are still total haunting.

    The post The Dark, Ironic Branding Drug Dealers Use to Sell Heroin appeared first on WIRED.




    via WIRED » Raw File

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    Video: maker of incredible working model engines:

    Retired naval mechanic José Manuel Hermo Barreiro makes incredibly intricate models of engines like the V-12. (via Devour) via Boing Boing

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    The Future According To Stanislaw Lem: An anonymous reader writes “The Paris Review has an article about SF author Stanislaw Lem, explaining Lem’s outlook on the future and his expectations for technological advancement. Lem tended toward a view that technology would infect and eventually supplant biological evolution. But he also suggested an interesting explanation for why we haven’t detected alien civilizations: “Perhaps … they are so taken up with perfecting their own organisms that they’ve abandoned space exploration entirely. According to a similar hypothesis, such beings are invisible because technological ease has resulted in a ‘Second Stone Age’ of ‘universal illiteracy and idleness.’ When everyone’s needs are perfectly met, it ‘would be hard, indeed, to find one individual who would choose as his life’s work the signaling, on a cosmic scale, of how he was getting along.’ Rather than constructing Dyson Spheres, Lem suggests, advanced civilizations are more likely to spend their time getting high.”“ Share on Google+

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.




    via Slashdot

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    An Hour Of Japanese Indie Games From Comiket 86:

    Comiket is a yearly three-day dōjinshi fair held in Tokyo in which over half a million people gather to sell, buy and share a love for self-published works. That normally means manga comics, but also includes Japanese indie games which are often unavailable to buy anywhere else. A similarly yearly tradition is shmup developer Edelweiss‘s […] via Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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    Converting a Mobile Platformer into a Good PC Platformer - by Amir H Fassihi:

    This articles describes some of the challenges we are facing in order to convert our mobile platformer, Shadow Blade, into a respectable PC game in the same genre. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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    Rewarding Difficulty in Game Design: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic - by Josh Bycer:

    Rewarding someone through playing comes in two types: Intrinsic and Extrinsic which require unique considerations and design. Today’s post examines these methods using the updates to Diablo 3 and Payday 2 as examples. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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    Super Momo Tarou Dentetsu > PCEngineHuCard:
    Super Momo Tarou Dentetsu

    Title : Super Momo Tarou Dentetsu
    Publisher : Hudson Soft
    Game Type : A Bit Special
    Console : PCEngineHuCard

    Price : £4.99

    Tongue in cheek take on the Momo Tarou of Japanese folklore. The name refers to the train element of the game (‘den’ from train and ‘tetsu’ from iron) rather than the usual densetsu (‘legend’.)

    via GenkiVideoGames.com - All New Arrivals

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    KGD - Avoiding Mechanic Traps - by Brandon Kidwell:

    My thoughts & opinions on Mechanic Traps.
    Mechanic Trap: A mechanic purposefully or accidentally designed to look beneficial to the player but doesn’t provide appropriate benefit. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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    Battlefield 4 monetization analysis - by Ethan Levy:

    Following an experience spending $100 on IAP content in Battlefield 4, I highlight shortcomings in the experience and propose methods that spending additional money inside the game could be improved. via Gamasutra.com - All Blogs

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    Meet the tech company performing ad injections for Big Cable:

    Firm says its ad product is an “unprecedented ‘eyes on’ communication medium.” via Ars Technica

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    Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014):

     The Winter Soldier

    “If you cause enough trouble, people will willingly give up their freedom for a more secure world.” — Dr. Arnim Zola

    Since 2008’s Iron Man, the main-on-end title sequence has taken on a dual role for Marvel Studios films. Not only do these finely crafted pieces provide the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies with one final flourish of action and one last injection of branding, they also keep the audience glued to their seats until the all important post-credits coda rolls.

    Sarofsky’s minimalist main-on-end titles for Captain America: The Winter Soldier exemplify the newfound function of the end credits. Perfectly distilling the essence of the Russo brothers’ action-packed potboiler, the sequence plays up familiar superhero iconography and pares down the themes and characters to their most basic elements. Stars and stripes, shields and skulls, gears and tentacles, a grand conspiracy unfolding as heroes and villains battle it out in silhouette. Given the morally complex and uncertain world in which the film operates, the stark black, white, and red palette of the sequence provides an unexpected, contrasting backdrop.

    With nods to both the graphic stylings of title designer Saul Bass and the innovative work of Silver Age comic book artist Jim Steranko, the Winter Soldier title sequence is one of Marvel’s boldest efforts to date.

    A discussion with Main Title Director ERIN SAROFSKY of Sarofsky Corp.

    Give us a little background on yourself and your company.

    I started out in 2001, right after I finished grad school at the Rochester Institute of Technology. I immediately landed at Digital Kitchen just as they opened up their Chicago office. I began as a designer and, over the course of many years, became a creative director.

    In 2006, I moved to New York to work as a creative director at Superfad. It was a wonderful experience, but I missed Chicago. So in 2008, I decided to move back…

    RSS & Email Subscribers: Check out the full Captain America: The Winter Soldier article at Art of the Title.

    via Art of the Title

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