Tuesday, 13 October 2015

RomboGames Unite Vintage BoardGaming with Technology, Creates Augmented Reality TableTop Game 'Publish or Perish' for Kids. Now on Kickstarter!

Human emotions confuse me. Together they breed the seven sins and quite evidently, time and again have led to fall of men, nations and kings and yet their is but one sentiment that outdoes the collateral damage of all the cardinal vices combined, Curiosity. From the gobmacked epiphanized faces of Newton and Einstein as they witnessed the forces of nature on the gravitating apple and the magnetized compass to Peter Higgs fighting his tears as Super collider experiment confirmed the existence of his fabled 'god particle'; human curiosity has been the true spoke in the wheel of evolution of human race and yet our education system fails to embrace it to the fullest extent. Children are innocent, they are in void of the harmonal distractions as their brains are busy learning and adapting to this new world. They are simply curious and it is our responsibility to fuel their imagination with fun based education rather than having them cram facts and pass tests; And visually engaging educative videogames that employ hands-on approach are the best way to do it which is exactly where Rombo Game Studio's new game, 'Publish or Perish' comes in.

Publish or Perish is a language independent, next generation boardgame that simulates sub-particle research by leveraging the power of augmented reality. Board games have been around for centuries primarily because they are an easy and awesome way to spend unhurried, friendly and family time together plus they stimulate brain to improve basic reasoning, deduction & strategy while teaching core values like good sportsmanship, playing fair, keeping patience and most of all, collaboration. Publish or Perish leverages the swag of boardgames and amalgamates it with the latest technology amping up the fun factor by making it a more visual experience which in-turn stimulates spatial learning in brain thereby allowing brain to retain more information. Almost reminds me of college! When we used to 'stimulate' our brains by getting 'high' and mighty, lie under the starry skies and contemplate the meaning of Jaden Smith's tweets.

Yes, I will have what he is smoking

Alright so what is 'Publish or Perish' about? Basically after the CERN's successful particle-smashing-accidental-superhero-breeding experiment in the massive LHC, the Large Hadron Collider that confirmed the existence of Higg's Bosom.. I mean Higgs Boson, it turned out that this super expensive experiment was just the tip of the iceberg and we just stumbled upon one of the many. "This spawned new colliders to appear all over the world. Searching for the missing particles of the Standard Model became a race between research centres in Europe, The Americas, Australia and Asia." explained Helena from Rombo Games as her cat gazed into my soul with dis-trustful eyes. Seriously though everything aside, LHC, the fire-womb of the god particle is one beast of a machine whose utter badassery will put tony stark and batman combined to shame. This beast can generate temperatures more than 100,000 times hotter than the core of the Sun, costed £2.6bn and to build that required a total manpower of more than 10,000 scientists from more than 60 countries who apparently had some idle time on their hands to make the infamous LHC rap video to explain you what the hell is going on.

The game is based on an abstract property of each particle called the hypersymmetry factor and it will be upto our team of little scientists to turn their 'sherlock' on and work together to figure out what each particle's secret attribute is. "Bah! The game's all bells and whistles as it seems" interjected Gary, the evil potato. Gary you're gonna knocked out! Publish or Perish gameplay is carefully orchestrated by professionals to make sure that the game is scientifically accurate while at the same time being engaging and fun. Education however is still the prime focus and game sneakily yet effectively teaches your kid that science can indeed be fun. Alright so how does it work? You start off by picking up two particles of your choice: a Lepton and a Quark maybe. Alright, now what? Well Publish or Perish comes along with a free iOS and android app for your device that lets you harness the power of augmented reality, essentially converting your device into a particle reactor! The power of the Large Hadron Collider is now in the power of your hands but beware of unseen consequences like the overheating reactor or the stumbling across the rare prophesied graviton or the god particle itself that can turn tables at any moment!

Nevertheless, the particles are on a collision course and as they smash against each other in full force, sparks fly and their secret ingredients spills out. Appearances and theatrics aside, as the children will do these experiments, take note of the results, deduce and repeat, they are essentially following the basic rules of scientific experimentation and as they do so, they will automatically learn about most of the sub-atomic particles and their properties as well such as an electron has an negative charge or that only the particles with opposite charges interact with each other thereby coming in terms with the basics of particle physics. Particle facts aside, the boardgame is essentially at core an deductive puzzle and solving it requires a thinking moustache, reasoning and math and all this while don't forget that the clock is ticking. Time is very crucial parameter in Publish or Perish and the young scientists will to learn to manage it while cooperating with each other if they want to win the ultimate reward of the game, the Nobel Prize!

Have you ever played call of duty? The last time I logged in a COD multiplayer server, I got absolutely 'rekt', destroyed and 360-noscoped across the screen by the sheer multitude of aggressive sugar-rushed teens that were in-game swearing and cussing on top of their voice. Children are by nature playful and research shows that violent competitive videogames are breeding grounds for aggression in kids. Quite on the contrary, Cooperative, not competitive gameplay is at the heart of 'Publish or Perish' which quite honestly wasn't on the agenda in the humble beginnings of the project. Marcin, founder of Rombo Games shares the ordeal of how they came to this realization "I designed this game with the idea of the 'Publish or Perish' in mind where only the best scientists survive. The competitive rules of the game dictated that players should play against each other to see who could publish some research first. I thought this was a great idea until the first testing session with kids came along. The children automatically started cooperating with each other, showing each other what they had found and deduced! We previously designed our cards so that they could be hidden with ease. Imagine my surprise when I found them face up on the table, being shared along with the results of the experiments. After repeated testing the fact seemed indisputable. The game changed and became the cooperative game you can see." Further more study shows that cooperative gaming elicits pro-social behaviour. So if your kid is the former call of duty berserk-fragger, I'd strongly recommend you to get on the 'Rombo' train.

Publish or Perish is on Kickstarter right now and really needs all your love, support and backing to see the light of day. More than 70 people have already backed the project and pledged more than $4k at the time of this writing out of a total goal of $20k. Why $20k? Marcin explains "We’ve researched all the production and shipping charges and know that we can deliver the game at this price if we’re able to raise our goal of $20,000. As such, we’re only asking for as much money as we need to print and ship the game - because all the work behind it is done!" You can pledge a minimum of $5 that gets you a personalised thank you, an HD wallpaper and science e-book on sub-atomic particles for kids to $999 that scores you a visit to an all expenses paid trip to CERN, large hadron collider in Switzerland! Awesome right? So check out the kickstarter page for yourself and back these awesome guys for rest assured, your pledge will be worth every penny. Also, let us know in the comments below or on twitter / facebook what you think about it. Tag us @dominantwire_ and @rombogames in your tweets. We'll be waiting!

Meet the developers:

Meet Rombo Games, an indie game studio based in UK and Poland. Augmented reality games are their strong suit and children their demographic. Marcin, Juan and Hubert make up the three men development team that share a unique skillset in the domains of game development, engineering and design to create magic, not to forget Helena, their very talented and cute community manager. Making use of AR, sensors or BLE devices they create immersive environments that bridge the gap between videogames and boardgames while making sure to maintain the ambience of the game without breaking the player experience with a technology overload. Publish or Perish is their fourth title after the 'Third eye', 'Hungry Monsters' and 'Roar'. You can stalk these guys on twitter and facebook

- Kaushal Kapoor

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Huemory Review: Groove While You Improve With This Fun Brain-Train Mobile Game

My brain is a jerk. It can contemplate the mysteries of the universe, the interstellar infinity and ponder over the meaning of consciousness while I take a shit but draws a complete blank when a cute girl smiles at me. Correct me if I am wrong, this thing chilling inside my head is amped up on a total storage capacity of more than a million gigabytes, its wired to a billion neurons firing at the speed of light and is more powerful than all the world's supercomputers but goes 'dafuq-you-talking about?' when I try to remember where I put my bloody keys at!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Stolen Valour in Video Games! Troll Submits Game to Steam Greenlight Without Developer's Consent

The trolls are at it again! This time valve's famous crowdfunding platform, 'Steam Greenlight' was in crosshairs of the scammers with a troll breaching past valve's defences and submitting two games onto Steam Greeenlight without the consent of the original developers way before their go-live date making it the first ever case of "stolen valour" in the indie videogame industry.

Courtesy: Flickr, Eirik Solheim

Now while indie developers are usually considered to be the swaggy-anarchipsters of the videogame industry it isn't exactly unicorns and rainbows when comes to videogame development without a publisher. Videogame development is the ultimate test of endurance, self-sacrifice and not to forget endless marketing. Right from visualising the idea, to documentation, asset development to prototype development, Testing and finally delivering a full fledged game requires at the very least, years of dedicated hardwork, financial investment, perseverance, team work and endless publicity and promotions. Now imagine yourself having to go through all that arduous journey only to have some random stranger from the internet steal it from you and upload it on a platform stealing all your credit of development. Frustrating right?

Well, this is exactly what happened with the developers of the game "Red Alliance" and "Cartoon Fighters" where allegedly their respective games were uploaded onto steam greenlight without any consent or prior notification by a steam user by the name of 'sundry foot' who as his profile states is from Turin, Piemonte, Italy and is 13 years old. "This is not very nice what this person did. He has uploaded this on steam greenlight without asking me, without notifying me.." mentions Roman Agapov lead developer of Red Alliance in a video he uploaded on his channel explaining what the whole mayhem was all about to his rather confused fans. Demoralized Roman further goes on to express his disappointment and frustration in the video citing "..this is pretty bad because I was meant to do this, I was going to upload to steam greenlight....now i don't know if i can do that any more"

Red Alliance is an Indie horror FPS game that has been in development for over three years by a team of four developers. In conversation with the developer of Red Alliance, Roman Agapov who has since then reported the incident to Valve asking for an immediate page takedown and filed a DMCA takedown notice for the fake greenlight page "I received a comment on my video saying that somebody posted RA on Greenlight. I checked it out and it turned out to be RA indeed. There weren't a lot of hate comments on that page back then, but then I commented on it saying why did he do that and asking to take it down and that i am the owner of the project. I added the guy on steam and messaged him but received no reply, i told about this incident to most of my dev friends, and the next day I made a post about this on my Facebook page, a lot of people responded at that moment and reported the guy's page. Same day i submitted DMCA report asking to take page down, and now waiting for reply" replied Roman on being asked about how he came to know about the illegal upload. Further when asked about the troll, 'sundry foot' Roman adds "I hope at one point this kid will actually realise how bad it is what he is doing right now".

Furthermore, Red Alliance wasn't the only game targeted by sundry. Cartoon Fighters, a MUGEN game was found illegally uploaded onto steam greenlight as well on 16th of June 2015. For those who don't know, MUGEN is a freeware open-source 2D fighting game engine designed by Elecbyte. The MUGEN community spanning thousands of members create the content like characters and sprite animations by themselves for their street-fighter-styled fighting games through active collaboration and since the fighters are mosty derived from popular fiction, they are already copyrighted however since MUGEN games are meant to be mere fan-games, no one gets sued. That being said, now that Cartoon Fighters has made its way through steam greenlight courtesy of our troll, you can almost taste the copyright infringement claim in the air. 

Consequently the same page has now become an philosophers ground on copyright-infringement-for-dummies with several steam users criticizing, threatening and repeatedly suggesting the developer to take it down asap. For instance this disgruntled steam user, Proud Pepperoni  "Take this Off if you don't want to get Sued. If you don't have the Permission/License you will get sued, since this is copyright infrinment also don't try to sell Mugen with some Custom Characters". But little do the people know that alleged "developer" is a 13 year old troll who doesn't give two f*cks if this gets escalated while the original developers are unknowingly going to get dragged into the line of fire. 

This incident is reminiscent of the infamous fake crowdfunding scam of Dimension Drive's kickstarter where in 2Awesome Studio was trying to raise €30,000 for its game Dimension Drive, the campaign had almost failed if it weren't for the  €7,000 pledge during the final day of the campaign. The team cried in joy as they celebrated the success of their campaign however their celebration was shortlived as kickstarter caught on to the fact that the €7,000 pledge was fraudulent. Kickstarter's automated system dismissed the pledge at the very last moment and the team was back to square one. They had been heartbreakingly trolled. Now although disappointed and demoralized, the whole incident turned out to have a silver lining afterall as the news began doing rounds on the internet and did the much needed publicity and marketing for their game as a result of which their second kickstarter turned out to be smashing success.

Comments on the Red Alliance Fake Greenlight Page

Talking of silver linings, as the greenlight trolling issue gained traction, the game fans and indie community came together to help a fellow indie in distress and since then the fake greenlight page has garnered a lot of comments criticizing the troll. Someone was able track down and get hold of the what is believed to be the troll's youtube account as well as you can see below. You too can help by heading over to Red Alliance and Cartoon Fighter's steam page and reporting the game and the troll, 'sundry foot'. 

- Kaushal

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Mad Snowboarding Reinvents Extreme Sports for Mobile with Open-World Maps, Ghost Multiplayer and Level Editor

So reportedly, snowboarding as a sport took off in early 1960s but our-totally-not-madeup copy of president's book of secrets says that this "invention" was made way before by a pooping pre-historic snowman who was tripping his balls off after he stumbled down the cliff and fell on an unsuspecting-life-contemplating polar bear. The pre-historic pooper then rode the bear down to the river looking majestic as f*ck leaving a brown trail down the mountain. He was however later disbanded from the tribe after he was found farting in smoke signals. Thanks, Obama!

Fast forwarding to present day, snowboarding has made its debut in the videogames industry big time and while the sport has improved both in terms of technique and equipment, mobile games haven't evolved one bit. Rather than bringing out and using the true potential of the sport to their advantage, devs sadly continue to milk the age-old formula of platformers and endless runners like subway surfers, mix it up with the customary tricks and stunts and splat the "impressionistically yum" spaghetti they call a game onto your plate. It's called an extreme sport for a reason! What's extreme in swiping left and right FFS!? Right now if you were to search android market or iOS appstore for snowboarding games you'll be "avalanched" (pun intended) with the multitude of snowboarding games that are on the market right now and not one worth playing. Until now.

Mad Snowboarding [Free] is a third person open-world snowboarding game built in Unity 3D which in true sense is a refreshing refinement and reinvention of snowboarding for mobile platforms. It absolutely nails how a snowboarding game should look and feel, making it ad-infinitum replayable, and my current get-stoned-as-f*ck-and-play game. Mad Snowboarding rather than testing the speed of your right-left swipe reflexes focuses more on player enjoyment and freedom which is evident from the vast, open-world maps the game houses that don't quite hold your hand as to which direction you should go in next like most other racing games do, instead it lets you explore, experiment and choose your own path to the end.

The Internet is reminiscent of the fact whenever humans acquire new means of visual expression, it is weaponized to draw dicks. With that being said, the game features an in-built level editor that lets players create and share their custom maps with the community. In conversation with the developer of Mad Snowboarding, Denis Lapiner who is an avid snowboarder and skateboarder himself "I think with far over 500 community levels in Mad Snowboarding after less than a year, you could say that Mad Snowboarding's level editor is a feature that makes the game stand out compared to other snowboarding games." Denis replies as his grumpy cat photobombs a middle finger in the background.  "Level creation in Mad Snowboarding has become collaborative thing. Sometimes people often upload their unfinished levels, for example, just a terrain. Other people then would download those unfinished levels and improve them. For example, place some ramps, trees, rails and other obstacles." Talking of collaboration, the same level editor asset has been made available in the Unity Asset Store for a ridiculously low price. NSFW maps incoming!

But with this great power, comes a great kick-to-the-nuts. Mad Snowboarding is challenging. I've been all over this game for last two days and it has got me "rage-hooked" which got me thinking of the last game that got me this addicted. Then it got me thinking of 'kittens' because i have a attention span of a potato. Potatoes can't fly for shit and neither can the goddamn flappy bird! As it turns out, Flappy Bird has had a bit of influence over here as well. "I wanted to make players restart the level often, until they made it, so that they get a good feeling of "yeah I beaten this stupid level"! I wanted to make a game that would be really rewarding. Like I said in my eyes this was the best part of Flappy Bird, just getting furious because of all that stupid pipes and this stupid bird not doing what you want. I have played it a few times and I have often rage quitted it, but I always came back after a while." clarifies Denis while opening a beer with his moustache.

Mad Snowboarding also features asynchronous multiplayer mode that lets you go head-to-head with your friends online, even when they're not gaming. This 'Time-shifted multiplayer' lets you race against the 'ghosts' of your friends. Pretty cool, huh? This way the player can fight the recorded replays of other players in real time. Mad Snowboarding allows to compete for highscores with players world wide. Additionally, each highscore can be replayed, this way players can see the best route in each level.

For a videogame to be a truly immersive, the audio and the visuals must come together cohesively to make one interactive experience and in a extreme sports game as Snowboarding, music is the best way to establish mood and to add fire to the gameplay. Denis proudly credits music composer, Jesse Valentine for the game's amazing audio. You can check out Jesse's music here and contact her via mail. By the way, Denis really misses Jesse. So Jesse, if you're reading this, please holler back at Denis or whatever.

Mad Snowboarding is available for free on Android, iOS and Windows so go ahead, check it out, take it out for a spin and if you like it or not or just drop us some love, put a comment down below and let us know what you think of the article and/or the game and while you'e at it check out the official website for more awesome games. 

Meet the Developer:

Meet Denis Lapiner, a part-time adrenaline junkie, game developer by day, Batman by nigh..(shit..) nevertheless..an awesome full time indie game developer with 9+ years experience in games industry having worked in several high budget games like Might & Magic X: Legacy at Limbic Entertainment. Denis has been snowboarding and skateboarding since he was 12 and still goes shredding the snow every winter. Denis left Limbic Entertainment four years back and since then has gone full on Indie for about one year now. He has since then made three games: "Freebord The Game", "Mad Freebording" and "Mad Snowboarding" all of which have been huge successes. You can him find on facebook or you can contact him by mail.

- Kaushal Kapoor

Monday, 9 March 2015

How to Solve : Android SDK Manager Won't Start / Open in Eclipse

So i boot up eclipse one day and the Android SDK won't open up and instead i am greeted by this error message in the console (see below) and so googled the error, checked out forums, spent (almost) the whole night trying to solve this, finally did solve it but also saw that a lot of developers were facing the same problem and there was no proper universal solution since most of the fixes given on the internet were unfortunately not working for the many, including me. So now that I finally successfully solved it, here's a proper guide to troubleshooting this seemingly prevalent problem so that no other developer has to waste any more of his/her productive time on this and can quickly get on with their business.

Courtesy: JD Hancock, Flickr

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Action RPG Indie Game, CrossCode Revives the Retro Swag of Old School in the Most Nostalgic Way Possible


So I've spent about a day or so playing Crosscode while my cat watches on (abusing me in his little head) and i've got to admit, the game has got me hooked by my "balls". This indie game is more polished, sensible and immersing than all EA games I've played so far, combined and scores a perfect ten across all fronts of action, mechanics, gameplay and graphics. While AAA game companies continue to compensate gameplay with graphics and story with DLCs, fortunately indie studios like RadicalFishGames understand that the devil is the details and that graphics are meant to complement the gameplay and not compensate for it.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

List of All Best and Badass Sci-Fi CGI Animated Movies That You Absolutely Must Watch

Real life sucks. There's nothing interesting about it, which is why since the advent of cinema, in order to quench our thirst for adrenaline we have been resorting to sci-fi movies, video games and anime. However it wasn't long when a new genre of movies emerged from the fiery pits of imagination that fused the three into one jaw-dropping combo. These movies have hyper realistic animation quality with pumped out action and story of an anime. With that being said enjoy these awesome titles I've personally handpicked and reviewed for sons of bitches like you.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

How to Get Started with Android Application Development Using Eclipse on Windows

Android development is the next evolutionary phase in the ever-expanding world of the mobile development market. Being skilled in android development gives you a major leverage over your competition and it looks impressively eye-catching on resume. Further, Android is Open Source. So you don't need to pay any licensing fees to develop, experiment or deploy your software. With such features and the ever-expanding userbase it is imperative for students and veterans alike to know android development.

    Courtesy: Johan Larsson, Flickr

Friday, 29 November 2013

Top 15 Awesome Comic Book Android Apps for Tablets and Phones

Comic books are one of the few surviving remnants of the old generation that under the undying support of its readers took a technological leap by going digital and continues to thrive and flourish into a full grown culture. Now with an android in every other hand, getting access to your favorite comics is even more easier and awesome than before with that being said check out the top 15 best comic book android applications.

Courtesy: Gonzalo Díaz Fornaro, Flickr

Sunday, 24 November 2013

How to Solve ADB : 'Device Not Found' Error in Android [SOLVED]

Android Development Bridge, ADB driver is particularly useful for android troubleshooting and development. ADB : device not found error is the most basic and common error that all android users / developers face at some point while trying to interface their android device with their computer. Fortunately, it is very easy to solve it. How? Read on..

Thursday, 14 November 2013

11 Ways to Check if a Company or a Job Offer is Fake or Genuine

Fraud is rising. Every year thousands of innocent students, unsuspecting businessmen and investors are duped by fake companies, scam placement agencies and fraud investor centers. In times like these it is imperative that we learn to make the full use of the resources of the internet, save our time and money and prevent us from getting cheated.  How? Read on..

Courtesy: Douglas Palmer, Flickr

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Step by Step Guide on How to Install Java on Linux [with Pictures]

Java is the most basic requirement for any computer to have no matter what operating system it is running. Same goes for linux as well. However linux is not so user-friendly and can be brutal to newbies. Well we've taken care of that because with this guide atleast installing java will more of a learning experience than headache. Follow this hassle-free, step-by-step guide to installing java on linux and learn a few useful commands on the way. 

Courtesy: Steve Winton, Flickr