UConn Today: DMD Professor’s ‘Blackhaven’ Game Lets Players Unravel Mysteries of the Past. “The lingering mysteries of America’s Colonial past are the subject of a historically-themed video game, ‘Blackhaven,’ a historically-themed video game being released in late July on the online gaming platform Steam by a new professor in the Digital Media & Design (DMD) department. James Coltrain joined DMD as an assistant professor of Game Art and 3D Modeling last fall and with his studio, Historiated Games, uses documents, images, and artifacts to develop historically accurate narrative titles.”
Mike Shouts: Italy Has A Mobile Game To Promote Italy’s Cultural Heritage. “Published by Italy Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ITALY. Land of Wonders aims to bring the cultural heritage and wonders of Italy to the rest of world. While it has the young people its sight, the game is targeted both children and grown ups. The game is officially released on July 19 and available for both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets through Italy MFA’s new portal dedicated to Italian culture in the world.”
The Verge: Facebook brings cloud gaming to Apple devices with a web app. “Starting Friday, Facebook is bringing its nascent cloud gaming service to iPhones and iPads through a web app people will be able to add to their homescreens like a native app. The site will let you play simple web games like Solitaire and match-threes and stream more graphically intensive titles like racing games.”
The Verge: Google’s new Tokyo Olympics Doodle is an homage to 16-bit video games. “The 2020 Olympic Games are currently still on in Tokyo, Japan — against all odds — and in celebration of Japanese culture and sports in general, Google is debuting a new interactive Doodle on Thursday with art from Japanese animation house Studio 4°C. The new Doodle, called Doodle Champion Island Games, is actually a series of Olympic event-themed 16-bit mini-games that you can play, contributing to the scores of four teams Google will track on a global leaderboard.”
Mashable: From kitten gifs to Minecraft modding, these online games make coding fun for kids. “Coding games also give kids an opportunity to improve critical thinking and creative problem solving, and the latest spate of coding platforms is designed to appeal to kids with varying interests. There’s text-based coding for creating art and animation, and puzzle games instructing a robot to move crates.”
Android Police: Google celebrates the Fourth of July with an AR fireworks game straight out of 2005. “We here in the United States are sliding into a holiday weekend, with Independence Day falling on Sunday this year. Google has designed a new AR game to celebrate the occasion, combining fireworks, national landmarks, and Guitar Hero into one odd experience.”
Tech Xplore: Facebook to launch NetHack Challenge at NeurIPS 2021. “Due to its unforgiving nature requiring players to start an entire game over in a new dungeon once their characters die, many regard NetHack as one of the most challenging games out there. In fact, even at the expert level, successfully completing the game requires an average of 25-50 times more steps than a typical StarCraft II game. Furthermore, as players’ engagement with their environment and related objects are wholly intricate, users must often think outside the box or consult an outside source such as NetHack Wiki in order to win.” Been playing this game on and off for ~30 years and I’ve yet to win.
Make Tech Easier: A Guide to Emulation with RetroPie. “Emulating video game systems and computers is one of the things that the Raspberry Pi has always been good at, right from the start. You can do this with your own Raspberry Pi using RetroPie emulators. RetroPie is easily one of the best all-in-one plug-in-play retro gaming solutions. Even with systems that don’t work flawlessly, it’s not too difficult to tweak them to work right.”
BBC: EA: Gaming giant hacked and source code stolen. “The attackers claimed to have downloaded source code for games such as FIFA 21 and for the proprietary Frostbite game engine used as the base for many other high-profile games. News of the hack was first reported by news site Vice, which said some 780GB of data was stolen.”
Screen Rant: Disney’s Toontown Is Being Preserved By Fans For Its 18th Birthday. “Toontown Rewritten’s Preservation Project serves as a fan-made online time capsule for the beloved game in conjunction with the playable modern remake, Toontown Rewritten, created by the same team of fans by repurposing original assets and redeveloping servers. While Rewritten was successful in recreating the original charisma and wonderfully colorful visual style of Toontown, this project seeks to archive the history of the production and culture of the MMO. The archive lets fans explore photographs of special-edition Toontown merchandise, newsletters, concept art, and even previews of web pages from the original Toontown site.”
PC Gamer: The latest Google Doodle is a stylish jazz swing rhythm game. “I’m a bit of a rhythm game fanatic, always looking to sink my teeth into a new musical experience. So imagine my surprise when I saw that the latest Google Doodle was, in fact, a rhythm game. The doodle celebrates swing music and the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, an iconic venue during the swing era and one of the first public spaces in the United States to be racially inclusive with a no-discrimination policy.”
IGN: The Fighting Game Glossary Is an Incredible Resource for New Players. “Members of the fighting game community have revealed The Fighting Game Glossary, a new website that explores, defines and breaks down fighting game terminology for old and new players alike…. Per [fighting game community member] Infil, the glossary includes, ‘Over 650 terms carefully explained with 200+ video examples and Japanese translations. Easily search by term or game, share links to terms with your friends, and explore related concepts without losing your place’.”
The Guardian: Can you solve it? Are you smart enough to opt out of cookies?. “Today’s puzzles are taken from Terms & Conditions Apply, a free game in which you are bombarded with pop-ups and must get to the end without signing up to cookies, T&Cs, newsletters, or any other data-extraction device. The game is a send-up of the tricks used by websites to get you to things you don’t want to do, setting the player tasks including word challenges, logic puzzles, dexterity tests and optical illusions.”If you want a hair-pullingly frustrating game to show you the danger of dark patterns, look no further.