‘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.

Smart Lighting Market To Increase $20.98 Billion By 2023

light-bulbs-1875384_1920

The smart lighting market’s worth it going to grow to $20.98 billion by the year 2023 according to a report by MarketsandMarkets.

The growth comes as a result of the modernization and development of the smart lighting infrastructure to transform cities into smart cities, along with the reduced cost of LED’s, and the need for low-cost energy systems.

With growing interest in smart lights for use in cities, services will play a major role before and after installation of these smart lighting systems. Installation services, monitoring services, and more will be involved with the upkeep of these systems, while also reducing the cost of energy within the city.

Indoor usage will hold a larger share of the growth in smart light usage, with businesses, residential and office settings adopting the lighting solutions at a quick pace.

Offices will use these lights to better optimize energy costs by turning off lights when they’re not being used, wirelessly, or reducing the level of light to match the needs of each office or room.

The largest adopter of smart lighting solutions is in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) with increased construction leading to the installation of smart lighting solutions.

The report says that rising government expenditure is largely the reason for the increase in installation of smart lighting, with increased adoption rates due to a need for energy-efficient solutions for public infrastructures.

 

Southwest Airlines To Partner With Nintendo To Launch Super Mario Odyssey Promotion

 

contest_southwest_odyssey_sweeps_img.jpgSouthwest Airlines is partnering with Nintendo to provide a sweepstakes awarding contest winners with Nintendo Switch Prize Packs and more to celebrate spring and summer travel.

From now until March 16, fans of Nintendo and Southwest Airlines alike will be able to enter for a chance to win several prizes, with a grand prize of a round trip for four, a $1,000 Starwood Preferred Guest gift card, and a Nintendo Switch prize pack.

“Super Mario Odyssey is all about travel, exploration, and that feeling you get when you discover something new and exciting,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We’re excited to partner with Southwest so our fans can have memorable journeys in-game and in real life.”

At the end of the sweepstakes, a total of 29 runner ups will receive a Nintendo Switch prize pack.

To enter and view official rules, visit Southwest.com/Nintendo.

Will AI Replace Journalists?

WILL AIREPLACEJOURNALISTS?

In the rapidly growing field of Artificial Intelligence, it’s hard to determine exactly what AI is capable of, but we know it is capable of many complicated and advanced tasks.

Just recently we witnessed the AI human who got Saudi Arabian citizenship and who claimed to want to kill the human race in an interview.

Some routine or simple jobs are already being replaced by the new technology, easing up simple manual labor but also putting some white-collar workers at risk of layoffs.

When it comes to journalism, writers tend to think they are safe from the clutches of artificial intelligence, but that may not be the case in the future.

Recent progress in AI has seen the increase of natural language generation (Think Alexa, or Google Home) and this type of technology could eventually help artificial intelligence write hundreds of articles a day.

UK news agency Press Association already uses this technology to create 30,000 localized news stories every month.

Unlike Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, this news based AI works together with humans to create articles based on data that is fed to it.

The Press Association project is known as RADAR – Reporters and Data and Robots – and relies on data sets from government, local authorities, and public services.

No news office can handle writing 250 localized, but this automation technology could handle it, and without taking any journalists job.

Human journalists are still very much needed in the still growing field and as journalism transitions to being mostly online based, humans are needed to make crucial decisions in the article writing process.

The hope for this technology, which is set to be available to other local UK news organizations, will mostly be used as a building block to creating local content.

Local journalism has taken a hit recently as online journalism becomes the standard, but without local journalism, who will keep local authorities responsible for their actions?

That is the idea behind this artificial technology, not to take jobs, it is meant to be a savior for local news organizations who have refused to adapt to technological change.

Rest assured, journalists are safe for now.

 

Environmental Awareness: A look into Video Game Environments

Imagine, a player loads up a game called The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim for the first time and after a short stint being greeted by flames and smoke in an area not far off, you are greeted by an expansive land of snow and ice.

It’s not that easy to describe, however, the player is greeted by more than the land before them, they are greeted by the animals weaving in and out of trees, curiously afraid of the armored figure. They are greeted by the wailing snowy wind, and the distant roar of a dragon, sat atop a mountain in the distance, and they are greeted by an atmosphere that they are free to explore in its entirety.

33885jucffux

It is this atmosphere that make games what they are, even when players don’t realize it.

The sounds and sights of the world players engross themselves in is what makes players stay. It is captivating and when done well, it can alter the players mind in ways that can induce fear, wonder, and amazement.

Gameplay is important, of course, but without good sound design, environmental art, and sound lighting, the game will fizzle out.

What made games like Dead Space and Resident Evil so terrifying was their sound design.

In Dead Space, a popular survival horror game set in space, players will hear the hiss of pipes, the creaking of the colossal metal ship they are walking in, and the skittering noises of enemies nearby.

dead-space-2_11-02-14_19-26-52-57-1024x576

Without these atmospheric tones and well-timed sound effects, the game would feel no different than The Sims. It is this sound design that draws players in and makes their heart pound as they creep through dingy hallways littered in torn limbs and gore, not just the graphics.

Graphically, a game can be amazing but if the environments lack life or atmosphere, they will ultimately fail to become a true game.

Skyrim makes use of all aspects of environmental design. Birds chirp, snowy wind whistles, the sound of a wolves footsteps behind the players character induce fear and panic as they try to figure out where the enemy is from within a patch of brush.

rpgskyrimscreenshots1

Of course, video games aren’t all about panic or inducing fear. Good environmental design can also induce wonder.

Most players that first step into the world of Skyrim agree that they were met with a feeling of wonder, and curiosity as they crept down the snowy mountainside, hearing the sound of every footfall and windy whistle and gazing at the beautiful environment created by the artists and designers at Bethesda, the developers behind the game.

Another game players recall feeling this exact emotion was Bioshock Infinite.

Players will find themselves thrust into a skytop city brimming with alternate universe American culture. Statues of George Washington and other founding fathers litter the world, american flags are hung everywhere, and the sound of bells and atmospheric chatter swiftly bring players into the world it is trying to purvey.

bioshock_infinite_34

These atmospheres sometimes take years to create. Certain games require teams to visit locations all around the world to record sounds or conduct research on the feel of the atmosphere of the area they are trying to create.

Assassin’s Creed developer Ubisoft sent teams to modern Egypt to get a feel for how things looked and felt before they set upon to create Assassin’s Creed Origins, the developers first foray into ancient Egypt.

ac-origins-ps4-pro-4k-screens-8-1024x576

For games that take on historical roots, accuracy is key. Researchers, designers, and artists painstakingly scour the internet, real-world locations and books to accurately portray the world or time period they are designing.

It is an amazing feat, especially for smaller development teams but the work that goes into the design of a games environment lasts the lifetime of the game.

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.

Review: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Opera Omnia

Even with a title that makes little sense and proves to be a mouthful, Final Fantasy Dissidia: Opera Omnia proves to be a shining title on mobile app stores just a week after its release in the United States.

The game features over 25 notable Final Fantasy characters so far with updates seeming to come at a fairly quick pace.

Dissidia-Final-Fantasy-Preview09.jpg

Like other mobile games of the same nature, it runs off of quests that allow for a 3 character party to bring into battle. Various spots on the world map open up at a time with more opening as the story progresses.

Each spot either contains a story progression spot, or just a random enemy battle, with bosses interspersed towards the end of each “island” on the world map.

The battle system is what really makes Opera Omnia shine, however, with a strategic and turn-based style with added flair.

Battles work like classic RPG systems, turn-based but Opera Omnia has added new twists.

Dissidia_Final_Fantasy_Opera_Omnia_5

The player will now have to deplete the enemies Bravery (brv) before they can inflict damage on the opponent. Once the opponents bravery has been lowered or broken, the player can inflict HP attacks, allowing for damage to be dealt.

The upside, players also have bravery, meaning enemies must first deplete that before characters can sustain damage, sometimes giving players an extra layer of protection against strong attacks.

STORY

The story follows a meager moogle (that’s a mouthful) and it’s mission to band together the best warriors from multiple universes to fight back against Torsions that have been opening across the games various islands. These torsions threaten the entire world, including the universes that each of the characters originally belong too, giving each character a motive to fight alongside strangers against the darkness brewing in the games universe.It’s not the most intricate or deep story, but nobody asked for a mobile game to contain a AAA story, it just has to be fun, and Omnia definitely is.

GAMEPLAY

Gameplay is standard fair for games of its type on mobile, there’s no open-world to explore. Instead you tap around on nodes on the world map to navigate to different battles or dialogue sequences.

The game mostly centers around battles with dialogue in between. Chat sequences of course either reveal a character or further the story. The balance of the two is well done.

maxresdefault1.jpg

The battle system is the main focus of the game. The refreshing new bravery system is nice and the strategy it adds makes the usual RPG fair exciting and fast.

SOUND

The usual Final Fantasy soundtrack can be heard in certain moments in the game. Gone is the prologue song usually played at the beginning of each entry, but an original soundtrack replaces it.

It does the job, its not as catchy or exciting as the soundtrack for Brave Exivus, but it does the job, and does it well.

GRAPHICS

The game isn’t beautiful by any means, but it’s nice to look at. The graphics are akin to 3DS graphics, with characters taking on chibi-like forms.

Light rays come from the top of the screen in grassy plains, and cutscenes are done well with characters taking on their respective traits, armor, and weapons.

OVERALL

Opera Omnia is a wonderful mobile experience, especially when waiting for Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition. It has all your favorite FF characters such as Cloud, Tifa, and Warrior of Light from FF1.

The gameplay is addictive, with co-op quests to participate in when you’re done playing alone for a while.

With planned updates and more characters added, Final Fantasy fans will enjoy the experience.

Overall, the game is a unique take on the typical RPG battle system with added features and graphics alike to a 3DS game.