‘Jurassic Park Alive’ Brings Dinosaurs To The Real World

Augmented reality games are taking mobile app stores by storm this year as franchises like Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, Maguss, and now Jurassic Park.

Players will assume the role of a Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG) member tasked with saving dinosaurs from a second extinction.

Unlike other AR games that require the user to travel in the real world, ‘Alive’ will let players send out a drone to collect DNA samples.

The game will take on a realistic approach to collecting dinosaurs with players using location-based technology to track and observe dinosaurs habits in their natural habitats.

Users Collect rare and powerful breeds of dinosaur by flying a virtual drone in-game, and collecting DNA samples to maintain a full roster of dinosaurs in hand.

Battles will take place between dinosaur ‘strike teams’.

Collectible items will come in the form of supply drops which will contains in-game currency or things like battery life for the drone.

The game is set to release this spring according to a trailer released by Ludia, the developer of the game.

Interested dinosaur wranglers can pre-register here.

Advertisements

How Virtual Reality Could Change The Face Of Film

virtual-reality-2874659_1920.jpg

Imagine, a young moviegoer buys his ticket, gets his popcorn, and claims his seat in front of the screen displaying ads for snack bundles, movie ticket discounts and local commercials.

Instead of watching the screen, however, the young man puts on a helmet, straps into his seat and dives into the world of the film in virtual reality, or VR.

The scent of grass wafts through his nostrils as he arrives in the grassy plains of what seems to be a prehistoric age area. In the distance he can see dinosaurs chewing leaves from trees, enormously long necks and some smaller creatures prancing through the tall grass.

He can hear the sounds of the dinosaurs all around him and he swears he can feel the vibrations of their footsteps echoing in his head.

34d3d3a5-5823-36a4-82ae-a54dc9758b5c.jpeg

Suddenly, the shadow of a larger dinosaur casts over him. He turns his head to look at what it is thats looming over his virtual body, there a Tyrannosauraus Rex, jaw wide, teeth dripping in saliva stares at him nearly eye to eye.

He turns his head, hoping the creature will go away, and when he turns back, the creature is gone, distracted by the characters of the film driving away in a Jeep as it gives chase.

This could be what film looks and feels like in the next couple of years thanks to the millions of dollars invested in virtual reality across the world of media.

The new technology could change the face of film, putting viewers directly in the movie, instead of posing as an outside viewpoint to the events unfolding on-screen.

Short films already utilzing this technology have been released on mobile devices and at several film festivals, and have been recieved well.

Filmmakers using this new technology have seen that viewers felt closer to the characters and developed stronger emotions during the film.

With this technology in the hands of educated filmmakers and studios, it could provide amazing new experiences in Hollywood, essentially opening a new era of film.

Since 1895 when the first film was shot and shown in paris, Cinema has allowed viewers the opportunity to epxlore unknown worlds, different planets, and even see personified emotions residing in a young teens head.

The cinema world is changing though, virtual reality is taking the stage and it is happening soon.

Marketers, journalists, and artists all make use of this rising technological marvel and cinema will be the next victim to the spectacle that is VR.

News publishers have already begun to report using 360-degree cameras and utlizing VR to help viewers witness things like the battles in Syria as if they were there themselves.

This type of technology is game-changing, quite literally.
Since the beginning of the era of film, seeing movies was an experience unattainable at home. Theaters contained speakers, projectors, and other technology that was meant to draw viewers in and keep their attentions wrapped around the film and its world.

In the era of VR, consumers want more, and film-makers want to feed that fire growing in the consumer market.

As VR becomes a more affordable product, huge changes are being made to the VR market. Headsets such as Oculus Rift, or the Samsung Gear VR, while originally meant for gaming, are opening doors to cinematic experiences opening doors to cinematic experiences unseen anywhere.

3afc5395-3624-31ce-a2ab-cc54e57fafed

Fox Searchlights Pictures launched a three-minute 360-degree film called “Wild” back in 2014 and studios are pouring thousands into VR firms and workshops to learn and utlize the infant technology to achieve films that could allow viewers to experience a whole new type of movie.

Of course, with VR headset prices drastically declining, home sales will increase, pushing theaters to jump on and adopt the new technology or fail and allow home sales to overtake the market.

Previously, movies could only be viewed at a fixed angle decided by the director and camera crew. With VR, the consumer can choose what angle to view the film in. If they want to turn away from the horrific killing of the main character, they can, or if they want to escape the gaze of the evil creature stirring in the dark, that is also a possibility.

This technology immerses the viewer in the world that the director and screenwriter are trying to portray.

While it still has a few years before it reaches a price friendly for the majority of consumers and filmmakers, it is a product that is likely here to stay and will likely change the way that we interface with technology.

Review: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition

It is a true wonder when a mobile game impresses the gaming community, but that is exactly what happened when Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition was released on mobile devices just a week ago.

What began as a ‘do we really need this’ became a ‘this is truly a great portable edition of Final Fantasy XV’.

Honestly, who knew that the gaming community needed a 3DS-like ‘demake’ of an already great console (and now PC edition) game but it proves to be a great option for those who haven’t played Final Fantasy XV or those who just want to play through the game again portably.

GAMEPLAY

One thing players will notice about Pocket Edition is cutscenes are nearly perfectly recreated, though now in the ‘chibi’ graphic style.

unnamed2

Players of the console edition of the game will feel right at home, with dialogue between characters copied word for word, complete with voice acting for nearly every text bubble.

Banter between characters is still funny and an important piece of the story and atmosphere.

Movement has been reduced to just tapping or holding onto a point on the screen but somehow it works, especially in battle.

unnamed3

Though simplified, the battle system in Pocket Edition feels right. Attacks are automatic once you target an enemy with Noctis’ warp ability returning, and the having the camera facing down, you can see exactly what you are doing at all times, which is a breath of fresh air fom the hectic camera system in FF XV.

unnamed1

Areas of the game are fairly large for a mobile game, though it certainly isn’t open-world.

Outside of battles players will explore areas looking for barrels to smash, or sand piles to grab items out of. Exploration is still fun, with features like camping returning.

Of course, Ignis’ cooking sessions have returned as well.

The first time I saw Ignis snap his finger and exclaim, “I’ve come up with a new recipe,” I smiled, knowing I was about to embark on another adventure with Noctis and gang.

GRAPHICS

The game is still beautiful, though everything has been shrunk down to ‘chibi’ size.

With graphic settings set to high, light blooms seep onto the scene, colors are deeper, but even with settings set to low, it feels like playing a 3DS game, which is an amazing feat for mobile.

unnamed4

Battles are still action packed with effects and characters all working flawlessly.

I experienced almost no lag, though there were a few slowdowns in some areas when transitioning from one place to the next, though it isn’t always noticeable.

The game runs in 30fps by default but I found playing in 60fps was a more enjoyable experience personally.

SOUND

Everything is nearly identical to the console version in the sound department. Music, sound effects, dialogue, its nearly perfectly adapted to the mobile edition.

unnamed5

Hearing ‘Somnus’ play on the main menu when opening up the game was a nice touch, and instantly made me want to play through the game again.

One noticeable difference is right in the beginning scene. When Noctis and the gang are pushing the car along the road, I expected ‘Stand by Me’ to start playing but instead another song began to play, with no lyrics.

It’s a small complaint but the only noticeable one during my playthrough of the game.

SUMMARY

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is a great feat for mobile gaming. It is a true Final Fantay experience that feels just like a 3DS remake of FF XV, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

It doesn’t feel like mobile game. I never once thought, ‘I’m playing on my phone right now’. Most of the time I was too engrossed in the game to worry about what device I was playing on.

Essentially, they recreated the entire game for mobile devices. Everything is intact, including cutscenes.

It is certainly an enjoyable experience for the price and definitely worth the investment.

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is available to try for free. The full game is $19.99 for all 10 chapters.

New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer Confirms Monsters, Inc. World

In a new trailer, developer Square Enix finally confirmed another Pixar world that will be in the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts 3, Monsters, Inc.

Complete with monster forms for each of the main characters, Sora, Donald, and Goofy can be seen meeting Sully and Mike and their little human friend, Boo.

Also in the trailer are reveals and hints towards a renewed Organization 13 and a glimpse of Vanitas approaching Sora in a cutscene from the game.

The game is supposedly still on track for a 2018 release with rumors panning the game towards a Holiday 2018 release, in time for the 13th anniversary of the titular series.

Tile: No Longer Just For Floors

Lost or misplaced items are a hassle.

They have been known to make people late, stressed out, and they can, in severe cases, be life-altering. But now you can keep track of those important items with a platform called Tiles.

Tile-Pro-Series.jpg

The app is designed to be paired with small “Tiles” using Bluetooth technology, which can be tracked directly from your Smartphone. Simply attach a tile to whatever you think might become lost and forget about it, literally.

The Tile app, when triggered, will send a signal to the specified tile which will then emit a beeping sound. It can be a revelation to those who can’t keep an eye on their keys, purse, anything you occasionally misplace.

1.png

Since the app and corresponding Tiles use standard Bluetooth, you’ll have to be within 100-200 feet to trigger the beep.

So, for those thinking of putting it on the collar of any pesky dogs, think again. However, since the app uses a proximity indicator telling you when you get closer, maybe that’s not such a bad idea after all.

If, by chance, someone finds themselves out of range and unable to track their tagged possessions, they may still be in luck. By using “crowd GPS”, a function that utilizes virtually all phones which have downloaded the app, a user can report the lost item and any nearby user’s app will send an anonymous update to the item’s owner. Scavenger hunts may never be the same.

The Tiles associated with the app can be purchased as single units for $35 or $60 for a pack of two. Batteries within the Tiles cannot be replaced but, according to past users, they typically last for a year.

2.jpg

Existing users can take advantage of the ReTile program, where one can send out their depleted Tile and receive a new one for $25.

If those car keys won’t stay put, that purse likes to go missing, or you just want to make a preemptive strike to keep prized possessions where you know where to find them, this might be the ultimate app for your smartphone.

Mario Kart Mobile Game Announced

In a short announcement on twitter, Nintendo of America revealed the next game in their line of mobile games planned for the next few years, Mario Kart Tour.

No details have been revealed other than the games release date, which Nintendo has touted for the fiscal year ending in March 2019.

With Nintendo slowly learning the ropes for the right amount of content in a mobile game, this could be great, or a disaster.

All hope is on Mario Kart Tour being a preview of what is to come to Nintendo Switch.

https://spark.adobe.com/video/k7PdhruO5GyLj/embed

New Pokémon GO Feature Makes the Game More Realistic

In what was an unexpected update, Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go, revealed the newest game update will bring more realistic augmented reality to the game, thanks to Apple’s ARkit development software.

That’s right, android users are getting left behind for now as Niantic works to develop a feature exclusive to Apple devices.

This new feature will begin to implement ARkit, apples new flagship development kit for developers to utilize AR more fluently.

For example, according to Niantic, Pokémon GO will use the new technology to make Pokémon occupy a fixed point in space, allowing players to walk up close to The Pokémon and observe it from all angles instead of The Pokémon just floating around in the air.

Beyond cosmetics, players will now be able to essentially sneak up on Pokémon and gain a greater amount of experience and chance to catch The Pokémon depending on their awareness level.

Awareness level is a new feature inside battles. It is represented by a bar at the bottom that raises if the player gets too close to The Pokémon during the battle, or makes too many quick moves.

Niantic said players will have to be careful trying to sneak up on Pokémon like Charizard but will find it easier to sneak up on Pokémon like Snorlax.

After testing the new update, I can personally say it is somewhat buggy. Pokémon appeared on top of objects as an overlay and didn’t quite look like they were sitting on the ground like I imagined.

“This is our first step toward making AR capabilities in Pokémon GO even more awesome, opening up the framework for greater AR experiences in the future.”

Overall, the new feature adds a layer of depth to the game, even if it is just cosmetic in nature.

Replacing a laptop with an iPad, is it possible?

To begin, I’ve always had nasty luck with laptops. I’ve had everything from HP to Acer, and everyone of them was either slow or sluggish with even menial tasks or would crash, such as my most recent laptop.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy an iPad with hope it could completely replace my laptop while I finish off my degree at school. I currently now have been using the iPad 2017 edition, the other option beyond the iPad iPad Pro which I just couldn’t justify for its price.

It has now been two weeks since I replaced my laptop with the iPad and I have had a wonderful time. I do not miss my laptop in the slightest but there are still flaws I have encountered while living with my iPad. There are some things that you just need a laptop for, but only slightly. Luckily my school has a fairly nice computer lab where I can complete those assignments that are incompatible with the iPad.

I am a journalism major. For what I am tasked to do on a daily basis, the iPad works for me 90% of the time. Simple screenshots, downloading stock images, writing articles, it all works flawlessly on the iPad and I can write from anywhere and continue on the computer if I need to.

One flaw I have found is photo editing. Of course, I can take pictures from my phone and transfer them over to use in Lightroom, but when it comes to photos from my DSLR, there is really no way for me to transfer my photos unless I get to a computer and have Lightroom sync to my iPad.

Another flaw, some websites required for classes or otherwise just don’t work correctly on the mobile format. I have found workarounds, but sometimes the inconvenience is enough to make me look for the nearest computer to complete what I’m doing.

The only other inconvenience I have found while working with the iPad is the screen size. I often have to look closely at the screen or zoom in when reading things online or writing depending on the text size, but that may just me needing glasses.

In short, it is quite possible and even feasible to replace your laptop with an iPad, especially the iPad Pro if you can afford it.