What the OUYA is going on!

ouya

What is OUYA?

Ouya is a compact Android powered games console. You can use it to download a range of games.

It like taking your smart phone and making it into a miniature games console.

Now Ouya will let you try these games for free before you buy them which I think is a great and novel idea, we are all getting used to free apps and once you get to like them you then buy the extra levels well this is a play on this system and should work well.

Ouya downloads its games directly storing them on its own built in 8GB storage which is expandable by USB stick, which I like as my children are always losing discs or scratching them so they are no longer working (very expensive to replace).

You do get a controller with the console but you can also use a mobile phone to control the characters on the screen and play the game. (great for that friend that pops in and wants a go)

As Ouya states it plays all your apps on your TV, it can even stream shows, movies and music directly through your TV sound system. They have already paired with Twitch.tv, Crunchyroll, iheartradio, TuneIn, XBMC, Plex and Flixster and are continually adding more to the list.

It also comes with free developer tools to create and build your own OUYA games, so if you ever had that great game but just didn’t know how to create it here is your chance.

Specs on the OUYA

1GB RAM

8Gb Internal Storage –expandable by USB

1080p Via HDMI

USB 2.0

Conclusion

For the price of £99 you get a great gaming system which is actually so much more than that and this is for a consul you can not only play games on but also develop for. I’m definitely in. (although I will have to get passed my kids first !!)

New NARR8’s ‘STORYBUILDER’ Editing tool.

NARR8 STORYBUILDER3

If you haven’t yet heard of NARR8, allow us to introduce you. 

NARR8 is a free mobile app available on for iOS (iPad and iPad Mini), Android 4.0+, and as of Mon. June 24, Amazon Kindle Fire. A digital publisher of motion comics, interactive novels, and educational nonfiction series in a slew of genres, NARR8 boasts stories for all tastes: horror, mystery, action, science fiction, and more, bringing all original content to life with fluid animation, HD effects, interactive and gamification (games within the digital content) elements and full music soundtracks.

 What’s most exciting about NARR8, however, is that as of early June, NARR8 is allowing you, the reader, to write the stories. Enter StoryBuilder, NARR8’s new user generated content editor tool allows for anyone – indie artist, aspiring writer, hardcore fan, to create his or her very own fan fiction with the help of a single tool. A web-based program with supplied graphics, animations, word processor, sound effects, and more, StoryBuilder is easy-to-use, designed to allow users to focus on the assembly of their very own masterpiece. Soon, StoryBuilder will allow artists to upload their own graphics, as well!

 NARR8 STORYBUILDER2

Once complete, user stories will face a review period of up to 72 hours (things such as unnecessary profanity, lewd or crude content will not be admitted). After the review period, users creations will be uploaded directly to the NARR8 platform, alongside NARR8 original series, shared with the app’s 800,000+ users.

 “It has always been important to NARR8 to be able to assist talented artists and creators, most importantly our readers. By implementing ‘StoryBuilder,’ we are allowing our creative fans who wish to share their stories with our 800,000+ users all over the world. We’re excited to continue evolving the NARR8 product and look forward to what this great addition will bring,” said Founder Alexandr Vashchenko.

 StoryBuilder will also include a payout for the user, eventually. NARR8 shared with Geeks Have Landed that although user generated content will be available for free, their eventual plan is to license popular fan fictions to their platform, giving creators a cut of the proceeds once monetization of the series begins (monetization will begin if and when the user title reaches over 1,000 downloads).

 StoryBuilder is available to all registered NARR8 users, who will need their account login information to access the website.

 As mentioned, NARR8 is free to download, and can be downloaded on the Apple Appstore, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore.

 Check out the StoryBuilder tutorial videos.”

NARR8 STORYBUILDER1

If you love Puzzles you will love the free app “Can You Escape”

can you escape

If you love Puzzles you will love the free app “Can You Escape”

It’s available for Iphone, Ipad and Android users which will keep everyone happy.  This is currently a free app with constantly updating rooms.

The purpose of the game is to break out of the room you are in.  This is done by solving the puzzles and finding the hidden objects which are used in the room to help you leave and advance to the next floor.

For instance in the first room you have to solve a picture puzzle which opens a cupboard to give you a handle for the draw, in the draw is a screwdriver to open the vent, behind the vent is a safe, solve the combination open the safe and there is a key to unlock the door to access the next level.

You get the idea, look around the room and click on objects to enlarge them and look for clues.

There are 10 levels at the moment with another 5 promised soon

can you escape room

Positives

  • Free to install and play
  • Fun and challenging game that will sharpen your powers of observation.
  • Increasing difficulty with each level.

Negatives

  • Not enough levels only 10 at the moment which is very quick to finish although more promised soon
  • Like most apps they are funded by adverts which I suppose if you can live with them lets you play the game for free (a payment of will remove the adverts) but it does give you the chance to try before you commit.
  • Adding more levels will also incur a cost but if you like the game this shouldn’t be too bad.

Overall an excellent and addictive app but they need more levels as it is completed quickly and once you have lost your players it’s hard to get them back. Candy Crush have the right idea keep the interest by having many levels although probably too many.

As its free give it a go if you like solving puzzles you will love “Can You Escape”

Android vs. iOS: 3 Reasons Why Android is in the Lead

Apple vs Android

Android vs. iOS: 3 Reasons Why Android is in the Lead

By Andrea Fisher

Remember the board game, Monopoly— where you buy different properties, charge rent and slowly watch your empire skyrocket and grow? The purpose of the game is to develop faster than the competition; ultimately taking over and…monopolizing.

For the past six years, since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, we have watched Apple make revolutionary advancements in digital mobile technology.  From Apple’s highly evolved processors and touch screen features, to their introduction of the iPhone App Store, Android and Windows phones simply couldn’t keep up.

There were cell phones and there was the iPhone—the only smart phone of its kind. But every winning streak ultimately comes to an end. For the iPhone, that time is now; and Android has slashed its way to the top.

Let me ask this, ‘What is an iOS device without its Apple name?’

Apple’s ingenious marketing campaigns keep them as a leading contender in the mobile world; however, they have become too cocky during their time at the top. User loyalty can last only so long— before being outweighed by competitive technology.

Already, according to http://cnet.co/14WXnBU, the number of Android devices activated outnumbers iOS devices— 750 million Android to 600 million iOS.

Mobile users are finally seeing the outdated methods of Apple— flocking over to Android devices for a customized and extensive user interface.

Let’s take a look 3 Reasons why Android is in the lead:

  1. The iOS 7  is mimicking features long used by Android’s Interface

Apple has recently released the new iOS 7 interface, which uses a couple of Android-like features in its latest design. An iOS Control Center, which is brand new to Apple mobile devices, has been long used on Android devices. It gives users fast access to Bluetooth/ WiFi settings, screen adjustment settings, and the rear LED flash as a flashlight.

The iOS 7 still has the same basic grids of shortcuts. The home screens, still all feature the same four docked shortcuts at the bottom. The bookshelf has been stripped away— the wooden bookshelf with books and magazines that you can fill is no more.

Instead, Apple gave their home screens a larger, flatter, less cluttered appearance. This new look aims to step up to the popular look of Android’s Jelly Bean interface.

2.  Widgets and Home Screens

It all boils down to cell phone customization. Do mobile users want to have more personal options or do they want standard features that are upgraded from time to time? Want options; choose Android. Want standard features; go the iOS route.

What is truly distinct about Jelly Bean is that widgets can be placed on the home screen—something that iOS still lacks.

Android operating systems are based on the idea of utilizing a fully customizable user interface. Wallpapers, widgets and desktops can all be modified to suit the individual. Android widgets, which are downloaded from Google Play, provide a flexibility that the iOS 7 interface cannot match.

These widgets allow important information (like social feeds, email, etc.) to be stored at the heart of the device. In the contrast, iOS 7 users must use Apple’s standard icons over the pre-designated desktop pages.

When forking over several hundred dollars on a mobile device, it might be nice to be able to place and locate items as you like— just a thought.

  1. Non-Market  Apps

 Adding to Android’s flexibility, its users have the freedom to download and install apps from virtually anywhere. Android may as well be synonymous with word choice; the opposite seems to be the case with iOS devices.

iOS only allows self-made apps with a developer’s license or those that have been evaluated by Apple’s App Store censors.

Apple has helped shape and mold today’s smart phone; however, it also sparked a digital mobile race— one which drives Android to constantly step up and utilize innovative features. Apple has had a good run, but if they don’t address some things soon, they will fall further down the wayside.

All in all, Android platforms have come a long way since 2007. Their fast operating systems, boundless apps, and their individualized interface are nothing short of astonishing. In the race to catch up to the iPhone, Android devices now lead—taking the forefront.

 

Guest contributor Andrea Fisher is an online marketer and content specialist for  Detection Security Systems.

 She is a published journalist & blogger with an English degree and political science minor from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

 

Geeks Have landed Interview: EnGeniux’s Derrick Samuels, Creator of EVO and OTON

If you recall, I did an article previously regarding a new console called the OTON X that apparently has the ability to self-generate games. I’ve been finding it hard to believe that something like this could be a legitimate product and I’ve doubted its quality, but my recent interview with CEO and Founder of EnGeniux Derrick Samuels has made me a believer.

So Derrick, how long was OTON in development?

First, thanks for giving us this opportunity to discuss OTON! The idea for OTON has spanned over 4 years off and on in various developmental stages. From day one I was intrigued and excited about the concept. To this day I still have the same fire and passion as the system slowly takes form.

You’ve claimed the OTON X has the ability to self-generate games. I’m sure you can understand the hesitation a lot of readers may have, considering it sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. How exactly is this little console able to do what huge teams of educated developers and programmers do?

Great question. I can understand the shock and awe idea of a console that can self-generate games. I want people to understand that with 10 years in the gaming space I have gained a tremendous amount of experience. It was trial and error to develop the innovation behind OTON. I developed an algorithm with my development team that does most of the heavy lifting to create games. It’s not a matter of just education and huge development teams but a desire to truly do something new, innovative and revolutionary to compete with the big 3 consoles. Similar to Red Hat Linux, I had to change the battlefield to suit us and not play the tradition console business model which would surely spell doom for a start-up.

Isn’t there a worry of a lack of originality in some of these games the OTON will be producing? Does the OTON really have the ability to create an FPS (first person shooter) game then turn around and make a completely different style of game like an RPG (role playing game)?

I hear gamers saying current games lack originality, but with OTON we dig deeper into what makes a game a game. Short answer . . .OTON works on the principal of the attributes of games like the character, the goals and level challenges and so on. So I think we can get a mix of many different configurations. FPS and RPG games are doable with OTON as we expand the platform.

How much responsibility do you credit the announcement of the OUYA (and its record breaking Kickstarter campaign) in the decision to move away from the Android console to something entirely unique?

I think Ouya is a great console for its designed purpose. I give the Ouya some credit toward pushing me toward going into OTON development full time. We had no choice in the matter once Ouya arrived. What some people don’t know is our EVO 2 Android console was announced maybe a full year before Ouya http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EVO_Smart_Console or just search for EVO 2 press release.

We had people saying we copied Ouya with OTON, but the fact is OTON is an entirely different type of console. There is no respect or pride in copying someone else’s work. Everything I developed was created and designed by me. So yes . . . Ouya was the catalyst that triggered the birth of OTON. I wanted to show the industry peers we may be small and from Alabama, but our passion to create something exciting and new is what we live by.

EVO 2 (Press Date)
Published on Tuesday, 14 June 2011
http://www.droidgamers.com/index.php/game-news/hardware-a-devices/1766-envisions-opens-up-gamebox-service-offers-a-free-evo-2-android-gaming-console

You’re also the creator of the EVO console we all remember from four or five years back. A successor to the console was in the works last year but has since been cancelled if I’m correct. One intriguing aspects of the EVO 2 was its Android compatibility. With mobile platforms on the rise, will OTON have that same Android compatibility upon its release?

Yes, not only will OTON self-generate games but it will support Android games, Linux games and 3rd party games. We cancelled EVO 2 after we realized we had to up the game stakes. You won’t last long in the business if you can’t have an innovative idea to challenge the big 3 consoles. So we decided to move forward with OTON and send emails to inform our community.

With such a strong interest in the mobile market, will OTON have a long life cycle similar to consoles or will owners be looking at more frequent cycles similar to that of smart phones?

That’s a great question. I would say a 3 to 4 year life cycle at this point, but this could change once we test and demo OTON chipset.

One of the more intriguing aspects of the OTON is its ability to project games onto any surface with the custom environment creation simulator. What led you to want to include laser projection into the OTON?

I come from an era of Nintendo with R.O.B the robot. The first NES is still fresh in my mind and the excitement and appeal of that system is something of an inspiration to me. With OTON we wanted to bring the fun, the excitement and wonder back to game consoles. To me . . . we keep getting the same stuff over with nothing truly new. Okay, you have pretty graphics, I understand that – but where is the value, the excitement? The strategy is simple. Give people value. When the console is not in use for games use it for a projector for movies or business. Value is the bottom line.

Motion and voice controls are something we’re all surprised to see this console. It’s no secret that motion and voice controls are becoming more popular as time goes on. Will the OTON have a separate camera/microphone accessory and will they come with the system at launch or be sold separate afterwards?

My vision, my hope is to integrate the rear projection and the front motion camera into the deluxe OTON unit. All this is exciting but we must have the audience on board to show the camera vendors we have a market. I’m excited and really hope we can achieve this goal.

So where do you think the console’s greatest competition will come from in the forthcoming generation?

No disrespect to the other consoles but OTON was designed to be a completely different type of console. I designed this console to compete with the market, but also to be strong enough to be a few generations ahead of the ball game. You see . . . I’ve been in this market for years and we have the battle scars to prove it. You will not be #1 in this market with short-term thinking and goals. The big 3 mean business and have a legion of fans. We have to earn that respect too, but more importantly you have to convince mom that your system is going to bring the most value. So with OTON I think we’ve done that, but look what else we did . . . we made it awesome for developers, gamers, retail and businesses to be successful with our platform. I see new consoles coming on line all the time, but they must overcome these challenges to survive.

Aside from this revolutionary OS, will the OTON bring anything else new to the table?

Oh yes. There is more to OTON! A lot more. I learned from watching many console launches and marketing that you better bring your “A” game to compete! I can’t say what else we have on the table until I unveil the OTON X console for our crowdfunding in a few weeks. I’m a bit hesitatant to announce new ideas because we had such an uproar over our system . . . it’s strange that people can’t grasp an autonomous console, but we have autonomous cars, robots, refrigerators and parking garages. If you can’t handle the console, you may want to step back because my next move will be game changer! Then I can truly say “Geeks Have Landed!”

I appreciate the opportunity to share our thoughts on OTON. Thank you.

Getting Real About the War on Drugs via Gaming

At GametheNews.net we turn news into games. In reflecting the world around us a singer might write a song, a filmmaker produces a documentary and a journalist writes an article, as games developers we express our interest via games. Just because our form of expression is through games doesn’t mean that we take the subject any less seriously. We’ve just released our latest newsgame called NarcoGuerra which looks at the War on Drugs. It’s an apt time to highlight the issue. Recently the Organization of American States launched a groundbreaking report exploring alternatives to the war on drugs.

If you are new to newsgames, they are a type of game that explores news and current affairs. The game looks at the ongoing conflict from the perspective of the Mexican authorities trying to stamp out the drug trade within that embattled country. In the game the player must attempt to retake Mexico’s regions from cartels while also dealing with corruption within the police force itself.

If you are new to the War on Drugs here’s a summary. In our research for the game we approached Transform Drug Policy Foundation and discovered that it’s not a war we can win because its not really a war at all. That was one of the things we wanted to explore with NarcoGuerra. What games can be good at is simulating systems such as the ebb and flow of the War on Drugs. What interested me as a games designer was the dynamic of the situation which meant that success created failure; if the police are effective in stopping the supply of drugs then the street price goes up because demand is a constant. But as the price goes up so more gangs enter the market because there is more money to be made.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W8LiYAR3hA?rel=0]

All we have done is place that dynamic into a game-simulation environment and allow the player to interact with it. We’ve challenged them to see if they can end this seemingly unending war.
Loads of games frame their interaction with a war/military type mode of play – we wanted to, well, play with that expectation. So we’ve created what will be a familiar framing for fellow gamers; a strategy game. To allow the gameplay a bit of leeway we also included a mode that does not have this dynamic linked up, where it is possible to win the War on Drugs. We felt it would be interesting to include a bit of the make-believe that some politicians and many others have been pushing for decades; that this is a war and that it can be won. After all, as the designer of a number of games set in fictional universes, I’m well versed in building black-and-white worlds of goodies, baddies and happily ever after. What is a newer experience for me, is to explore real world dynamics and I’d like to invite those same politicians who still think we’re in that make-believe world to join the rest of us in reality and start to explore solutions that acknowledge it never was a war and so can’t be won as such.

You can find out more about the game here. You can also find out more about the sources we used to create the game here.

Finally, a social network for your pets

Leo-on-YummyPets-2

With all the puppy pics and cat memes blasted over the Internet, it was a no brainer that the pet-only social network YummyPets would thrive. With over 150,000 users in France, it’s finally hit the UK so we can all be digital friends with our furry little helpers.

That’s right – you can create a profile for your pet and meet tons of other pet owners online. On a mission to take over the world with a wide community of animal lovers, YummyPets is already monetising with its own consumer magazine and pet services. There’s a clear market for pet owners and YummyPets founders Matthieu Glayrouse and Mathieu Chollon have already pooled in £1.3m in their 20-staff operation.

It’s a great upgrade from awkward pet-friendly apps like Catbook. Although I think we really need some better names here.

Sony SmartWatch Review

Sony_SmartWatch_Review7_300

Sony_SmartWatch_Review2_300

Sony_SmartWatch_Review

Sony_SmartWatch_Review3_300

The Sony SmartWatch is a wrist-ready Android device with a 1.3in OLED screen. So the SmartWatch really is like having a tiny smartphone strapped to your arm. We can’t help but notice how similar it looks to the iPod nano, launched two years earlier. The screen resolution is rather low at only 128 x 128 pixels, about half that of the iPod nano’s 240 x 240 pixel display.

Whether it’s an intentional copy or not, the SmartWatch looks undeniably cool with its rounded corners, silver metal edge and glossy black fascia.

However, the SmartWatch is quite bulky at 12.8mm thick, making it tricky to fit underneath some clothing. It’s lightweight at just 40g with the wristband.

You don’t have to wear the SmartWatch on your wrist, though. It’s got a clip on the rear so you can attach it to whatever you want. It simply clips to the supplied wristband which comes in different colours but its rubber material means it can get quite clammy. Sony does supply an adapter which means you can instead use your own strap.

The Sony SmartWatch is a cool and attractive gadget, one that you want just for the sake of it. However, it’s more than just a shiny touchscreen watch offering plenty of apps and functionality. The downsides are a slightly bulky design and the need to charge it up regularly.

Samsung Do Their Best To Murder Gangnam Style at Indian S4 Launch

Now that it’s been a while since it was released, and PSY has released a new song since then, Gangnam Style is slowly becoming less and less involved in our lives. So already, the idea that Samsung would choose to perform this song at their Galaxy S4 launch would raise some eyebrows, even more so when you find that they have reworded the lyrics to promote the S4’s key features. The finished product is exactly as you can imaging, two minutes of unbearable torture.

You might remember that at the New York launch last month, Samsung were criticized for several reasons, and while this probably isn’t as controversial, it certainly hasn’t made me want a Galaxy S4 any more than I did already.

Watch if you dare:

1 2 3 4 19