Архив: January, 2011


Our MMO-centric sister site Massively received a whole mess of gameplay details and screenshots from Bigpoint’s promising browser-based MMO, Battlestar Galactica Online. Players will be able to choose between the Human and Cylon factions, will be able to create their own out-of-ship avatars, and will progress through individual quests and story-based missions exclusive to their own factions. For instance, Cylons might be tasked with preparing a fresh slice of toast. (Because Cylons look like toasters. Obviously.)

For more details, check out the info Massively managed to glean from Bigpoint. For visual images you can see with your eyes, check out the gallery below.

JoystiqBrowse these new details and screens from Battlestar Galactica Online originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 23 Jul 2010 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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”The heroes in the Gen Y world are the guys who start a small business in the garage or the friends who start an eBay-like business online. The generational group portrait which paints Gen Y as having an increased sense of entitlement has a flip side that seems to be leading to increased entrepreneurial activity in this age bracket. A social researcher, Mark McCrindle of McCrindle Research, which studied Australian entrepreneurial activities with 1000 Gen Yers aged between 18 and 25, found a quarter of them wanted to run their own business, which is much higher than the national rate across all age groups, which is not even one in 20.   ”It’s not the old Amway of door-to-door sales – that’s not the model I am using,” she said. Mylie Dantier, 25, a former IT account manager living in Balmain, gave up her office job and now sells about $35,000 to $40,000 a month of Amway products to her online network of between 500 and 600 people, who come to her for recurring sales of toothpaste, protein shakes, vitamins and dishwashing liquid – products they would go to the supermarket to buy. ”The whole future of online social media goes arm in arm with direct selling which is why it is popular with a younger tech-savvy sales force,” he said. Direct selling companies report an increasingly younger sales force and are changing their product range accordingly: Avon has introduced a skincare range for the under 20s to target university and high school student sellers and Amway has introduced protein shakes and vitamin supplements to attract a younger clientele. ”It’s not daggy like it was in the past to sell products such as Amway and Avon,” Mr McCrindle said. ONE in four Gen Yers expect to be self-employed at some time in their working life, according to independent research which has found an increasing number of under-25s are selling door-to-door style products such as Avon, Amway and Tupperware. Gen Yers use their online social networks to sell Amway products and organise Tupperware parties. But instead of leaving the catalogue in the letterbox, it’s more likely to be in your email inbox. ”Our brand seems to be speaking to a younger age group again who are using the internet as a gathering tool,” she said. Tracy Pratt, of Tupperware Australia & New Zealand, says recent research found the bulk of its sales force (49 per cent) were under 34, making Australian Tupperware sellers the youngest in the 100 countries in which its products are sold. Scoring the job at the big Fortune 500 company is not the status symbol of success like it was in their parents’ day.”

John Holloway, the executive director of the Direct Sellers Association of Australia, whose members sell $1.6 billion worth of products annually in Australia, says a 12.5 per cent sales rise in the past three years has been driven largely by online sales in the under 25 age group.

You’ll definitely want to watch this gameplay clip of inFamous 2. Not only does it show off Cole’s new look, it highlights the revamped graphics engine, improved “in your face” camera . .. and best of all, a new power.

Continue reading Video: inFamous 2 gameplay, now with more cyclones

JoystiqVideo: inFamous 2 gameplay, now with more cyclones originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 03 Jul 2010 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Irrational Games invitation

We don’t know much about “Project Icarus,” the still-codenamed and much-anticipated new game from Irrational Games, the Boston-based dev behind BioShock. While BioShock 2 has come and gone out of spinoff 2K Marin, and we’ve already gotten our hands on 2K Marin’s followup, XCOM, we still don’t have a shred of information on what Irrational’s been working on over the last three years.

That’s all likely to change on August 11th when Ken Levine and company are holding an event in New York City. We received the above invitation today and, while it’s short on details, it promises that “details and formal email invitations” will be arriving shortly. Until then, peruse the above image for any hidden secrets it might hold. New York City, is that a clue? August 11th? That’s the 223rd day of the year but what does it mean? It’s Hulk Hogan’s birthday … are you seeing what we’re seeing? It all makes sense now!

JoystiqIrrational Games event on August 11th in NYC, game reveal probable originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 24 Jul 2010 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Our preview of Hydrophobia from E3 2010 covered what we saw in the first installment of the planned trilogy; however, if you want an idea of what to expect in the next installment, we got a better idea by checking out the game’s “Challenge Rooms,” which unlock only after the player finishes the main campaign. What’s tucked after the break may be considered spoiler-ish, so click on through if you’re willing to take the plunge.

Gallery: Hydrophobia

Continue reading Hydrophobia’s ‘Challenge Rooms’ test powers slated for its sequel

JoystiqHydrophobia’s ‘Challenge Rooms’ test powers slated for its sequel originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 23 Jun 2010 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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‘Halo: Reach’ video game invasion begins

Halo: Reach launches in Australia today. Photo: Supplied
The first title, “Halo: Combat Evolved” was released in 2001 and the franchise has attracted a cult following and inspired novels, action figures, comic books, and clothing. More than 2.7 million players participated in a “Halo: Reach” multi-player online test of the videogame beta in May, according to Microsoft. AFP “Halo: Reach” is a much anticipated prequel to a hot video game franchise billed as a pop culture phenomenon by Microsoft Game Studios, the publisher behind the title made for play exclusively on the company’s Xbox 360 consoles. The trigger fingers of “Halo” lovers worldwide are twitching ahead of the release today of the latest installment of the acclaimed science fiction shooter video game. The latest installment is set before the main “Halo” trilogy, which focuses on a super-soldier called “Master Chief” and his artificial-intelligence companion battling to save humanity from an alien alliance called the Covenant. More than 34 million copies of “Halo” video games have been sold according to Microsoft. “We’re delivering on our promise to redefine blockbuster entertainment experiences and ultimately help make this year the biggest ever in Xbox history.”

The video game goes on sale a minute into Tuesday local time in more than 25 countries. The prequel tells “the tragic and heroic story” of a group of soldiers making a stand against Covenant forces on a planet called Reach. Tens of thousands of shops signed on for a “midnight launch” expected to attract millions of the franchise’s devoted fans. Special “marquee” launch events were planned for London, Oslo, Stockholm, Seattle, and New York. “When it comes to the size and scope of a franchise and especially the dedication of the fans, no game is bigger than ‘Halo’,” said Game Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer. The “Halo” franchise is the creation of US video game studio Bungie.

Preview: NHL 2011

Perhaps it’s my Canadian roots and the fact that I am one of two staff members that enjoys sports games but NHL 10 was one of the best titles released last year. After a shaky start in the current generation of consoles, the team at EA Canada has transformed the NHL brand into the premiere video game sports franchise.

Not content with adding a few adjustments to last year’s winning formula, EA Canada is making drastic changes to NHL 11 – the 20th anniversary of the longstanding sports franchise. Unfortunately, of the gameplay changes I’ve seen, there may be some cause for alarm.

Gallery: NHL 11

Continue reading Preview: NHL 2011

JoystiqPreview: NHL 2011 originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 30 Jun 2010 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Internet safety advocate Robyn Treyvaud said when she asks a class of year 4 students if they are on Facebook, most put up their hands. POLICE and teachers are warning parents that children as young as eight are at risk from cyber bullies and online predators because they are flouting Facebook website age restrictions. Whilst this is not strictly a school matter, we are very concerned about internet safety”. “Kids who are 10 don’t want to be 10 online. “Evidence shows the greatest harm comes from their peer group, not the dodgy online stranger or predator.”

The international Norton Online Living report found that 62 per cent of children aged eight to 17 have had a negative experience online, such as accessing inappropriate content, cyber bullying, giving out personal information and importing computer viruses. Ms Treyvaud, who advises schools on cyber safety, said the children are naive about the impact of sharing personal information online and are influenced by hearing older children talking about Facebook. trawling cyberspace”. “Parents will spend a fortune teaching their children to swim or drive but not any energy, money or emotional effort to teach their kids to stay safe online.” Ms Cooper wrote that some parents were

“unaware that children must be over 13 years of age to sign up… Childhood experts said these children have to lie about their age because users have to be over 13 to create a Facebook account. Mosman Public School principal Kate Cooper has warned parents in her newsletter about children signing up for Facebook. Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said children using social media was “one of the great unaddressed public health issues of our time”. They want to be the cool 18-year-old and the reality is they can be,” Ms Treyvaud said. Peer group pressure is forcing increasing numbers of primary school-aged children to sign up to the popular social media site without the knowledge of their parents. Senior Constable Michael Steele told The Newcastle Herald a 10-year-old boy told him he had been chatting online with a man in Queensland. One involved a year 3 student defaming a teacher. “We make assumptions that because the kids are tech-savvy and know how to sign up to Facebook accounts without mum and dad knowing about it, they can do all the navigation of the technology, but they are not equipped to navigate the sorts of negative experiences they have when they go online. He said children “do not really understand there are paedophiles… Police school-liaison officers in the Hunter have been invited to schools after incidents involving children on social networking sites.

Following its bare-bones announcement at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference, “Michael Jackson: The Game” has been dubbed Just Michael Jackson Michael Jackson: The Experience. The Experience will place players in the shiny shoes of Jackson himself, reliving some of his most iconic performances using the Wii, PlayStation Move or Xbox 360′s Kinect motion tech to dance along with an on-screen prompt. The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions will also include an option to sing along, using Kinect’s built-in mic or a standalone microphone. Additionally, DS and PSP versions of the game will feature Ouendan-esque rhythm-tapping gameplay.

According to Eurogamer, The Experience is due out in November, which should give us enough time to figure out the meaning of the name. Is it because we’re getting the full Michael Jackson “experience? ” Or, is it possible that the game includes an experience-based character progression system? If so, we’re putting all our points in the Toe Stand specialization tree.

JoystiqMichael Jackson game subtitled ‘The Experience,’ coming November originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 09 Jul 2010 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apps are ‘tracking’ users

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POPULAR mobile phone applications are sharing sensitive information about users, including their location, with advertising companies, a study has found. Of the 30 applications, 15 sent sensitive information, including the phone’s location, to several advertising companies’ servers. A group of computer engineers wrote a computer program called TaintDroid and installed it on a smartphone to monitor how 30 apps – mobile phone programs for the likes of social networking and downloadable games – were using sensitive information.

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The applications assessed included BBC News Live Stream, MySpace and Solitaire, which can be downloaded on smartphones using the popular Google-owned Android operating system. Do you know more? The study’s lead author, William Enck, who is completing his PhD at Pennsylvania State University, said: ”We were surprised by how many of the studied applications shared our information without our knowledge or consent.”

A spokeswoman from Google said on all computing devices, desktop or mobile, users needed to entrust at least some of their information to the developer of the application. nphillips@smh.com.au

  ”We provide developers with best practices about how to handle user data.”

Users were also free to uninstall applications at any time, the spokeswoman said. TraintDroid’s findings suggest that smartphones are becoming another outlet for advertisers to track people. Two also shared mobile phone number and sim card identifiers with random servers, whose owners could not be identified. Using a technique called ”taint tracking”, the researchers tagged sensitive information held within their test phone, such as the phone’s ID numbers and location, which can be traced when accessed by an application or if it leaves the phone via its wireless internet connection.
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Ten popular Facebook applications have been reportedly transmitting user IDs to advertising and Internet tracking companies.
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