Monthly Archives: August 2011
|This is epic beyond words…|
Should you ever, EVER find yourselves driving through Iowa, and should you happen to encroach into the town of Riverside, you night find something interesting, as Madolan Greene did. As she was in said circumstance, she took this photo that shows a monument acknowledging that future Starfleet Captain James Tiberius Kirk, son of George and Winona Kirk, will be born here in roughly 217 years from now. Illogical? I think not!
[Thanks Madolan Greene]
|Can ya’ see it?!? Can ya’?!? CAN YA’?!?|
This, if you indeed CAN spot it, is the Keret House, designed for Isreali writer Etgar Keret. This structure is so incredibly slender building that is planned to be built within a crack between two existing buildings in the Wola district, Warsaw, Poland.
|AUURGH!! ZOMG!! ZOMBIES!! OH NOES!!|
|TAKE THIS!! AND THAT!! AND ONE OF THESE!!|
What we have here is Bodycount, developed by Guildford Studios and published by Codemasters. The story involves a former American soldier, named Jackson, who is recruited by an mysterious organization referred to as “The Network”, who has regularly resolved conflicts between the States where even the United Nations itself were unable to handle. At a later time, Jackson arrives at the conclusion that the wars were actually caused by some enigmatic group of individuals.
|We like BIG BOOM!|
Bodycount is an science-fiction/action FPS that features a destructible environment. This means that nearly everything within the maps (or levels) in the game can be destroyed in a realistic fashion. Since the player has the option and ability to create a dynamically-changing playing environment, this opens up new paths to completing mission objectives. By scoring kills against the enemies (who have a fairly difficult, yet manageable A.I.), the player can start multipliers to obtain more points (i.e., The Club and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand; not FPS’s but third-person shooters, or TPS’s) and unlock power-ups, like air strikes, that would further decimate the map’s environment.
|Peek-a-boo, I see you!!!|
From the moment I started playing, I noticed that the controls are buttery-smooth (a’la TimeSplitters and the CoD: Modern Warfare series) and the buttons are mapped well for easy finger-maneuvering with the 360 controller. As I kept playing, I noticed that at times the screen got pretty busy with enemies, HUD graphics/notifications, and just the action in general. Just be sure to stay focused on the objectives and checkpoints that lie ahead (if you can find and keep track of them during all of the action). It’s easier to keep track of your objective markers once the action slows down. Speaking of the oft-cluttered screen, make sure to pay attention to the tip prompts that appear on the screen at certain points during the demo, as they provide some strategies on how to use the variety of weapons and other options at your disposal. Also, remember this golden rule in Bodycount: cover is you best friend. Don’t go all in with guns blazing (to borrow a quote commonly used — as well as a phrase seen on the back of the box for Black; also, the team that made Bodycount is the same studio that made Black). There is plenty of cover available, from the dilapidated and makeshift buildings, vehicles, barricades, etc., and there’s always a place to use for cover; plus, the player will have near complete freedom while in cover. Be warned though, most of the cover areas are useful for only so long because enemies can destroy it should they find you; remember the environmental destructibility I mentioned earlier?
|See, I told ya’!|
Bottom line, the demo played very well and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with it. I’m not sure that I’d personally purchase Bodycount upon release (as other gaming related things have caught my eye; I’m looking at you Uncharted 3 and PlayStation Vita), but based on the demo, this game may be a good soon-to-purchase for FPS fans looking for a change from the “usual suspects.” Check out the demo on Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network and see for yourself!
I suppose you can call this “Part II” of my Architectural Series of buildings erected for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. I had an earlier post about the recyclable arena almost two months ago. I will say this though: I cannot guarantee a “Part III;” which kind of sucks because I’m a sucker for a trilogy.
Oh well, this is the Olympic Aquatic Center designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the next London Olympic structure to be completed. This building will house all of the swimming events (including diving and water polo), and will house approximately 17,500 spectators.
|Now that’s a heck of a view….|
The Olympic Aquatic Center is an aluminium-clad-steel-roofed building measuring around 525 feet long and 295 feet wide, a space-age ceiling, and an aerated ceiling over the training pool that casts interesting reflections on the water below. There are three concrete columns that support the 3,000 ton overhead structure, a double curvature parabolic structure resembling a wave, 850,000 tiles surface the all of the pools, changing facilities and floors. Plus, there are a group of concrete towers that include three meter springboards and diving platforms that were formed and cast on site. The building is also eco-friendly, as the excess pool water is designed to be channeled from the pool to the facility’s bathrooms, where it will be recycled as toilet water.
I first came across the independent video game Madris around this time last year; it was an entry in the “A Game By Its Cover” video game development competition. Madris is a puzzle game designed by Gary Dahl that is essentially a combination of architecture, “The Sims,” and some game called “Tetris” (**wink-wink, nudge-nudge**). The goal of the player is to take each block (which is either a room or a corridor), and to arrange them on the screen. Some of the room blocks will have people inside of them, so the main objective is to arrange the rooms and/or corridors so that the occupants can get to the proper room that will serve their immediate need (for example, the watercloset, a.k.a., the loo, a.k.a., the throne room, a.k.a., the commode, a.k.a., well, you get the idea).
Every time a character enters one of the room blocks that was indicated by their thought bubble, all interconnecting room blocks linked to that character’s destination are removed from the thought bubble as well. You can use the down arrow key to make a room/corridor block reach the bottom part of the screen faster (a’la “Tetris”), and keeping the down button depressed after said block is placed will then speed up the walking animation of the occupant.
Go ahead and check out Madris by clicking here (Windows, 9.34MB), downloading it, and give it a whirl. You’ll be playing the “A Game By Its Cover” competition build of the game. Enjoy!
|SMILE! You’re on Candid Cameraaaa!!!|
Crime doesn’t pays. It NEVER pays. Especially when you commit said crime in a large public area that has several security cameras installed and positioned to catch said crimes being committed. Also, don’t document and show off your five-fingered discounts in public or you’ll get caught on Twitter; like this moron.
Scotland Yard has been quietly developing facial recognition technology for use during the 2012 London Olympics. As the days go by, the number of arrests related to the recent UK riots have risen incrementally well after the riots concluded with approximately 1,635 total arrests and 940 people charged. The main unknown factors are that we may never know exactly how the software works (Scotland Yard is a government agency), nor to what extent the facial recognition technology is being used and its success rate (because, again, Scotland yard is a government agency). One independent group attempted to use facial recognition software and cross-reference it with profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter, but that project had some very flawed results, and subsequently fell apart. Various police agencies in the United Kingdom had uploaded photos of rioters to Flicker accounts and asking citizens to call in and identify any of the rioters and looters they recognize.
|He Just LOVVVVES To Accessorize!!|
Anyone remember “Whoa” by Black Rob? Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, you know you do! That song was HOTT!
Plus, it fits this latest announcement that’s currently circling the “interwebz” today: Google has just purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion this morning (yeah, THIS morning), and this could open the floodgates of awesome for Google for two reasons in particular.
One, Google could use Motorola to manufacture and sell “official Google phones” (a’la the iPhone). This move by Google puts them in a position where one part of their company can program and develop the Android OS, while another part of their company is responsible for manufacturing the hardware for said OS (making it possible that Motorola will be the primary maker of “official” Google phones, including their Nexus line). When you think about it, it’s not too different from from what Apple currently does.
Two, and probably the more advantageous of the two, Google might acquire any/all patents Motorola currently holds to defend Android from lawsuits and challenges from their main competition (namely Apple and Microsoft. The official press release states Google’s intentions of obtaining Motorola’s patents in the acquisition.
Like most merger/acquisitions of almost any size, this deal is still subject to approval by the FTC (“AT&T-Mobile,” anyone?), so nothing is final yet.