Archive for the ‘2013’ tag

Battle: GDC 2013

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GDC13Photo Credit: Chris Liao

Every March, GDC–the Game Developers Conference, for the uninitiated–rolls around in San Francisco without fail. It is the harbinger of E3 and herald of the non-stop gauntlet of the summer convention/conference/tradeshow season. In contrast to its ritzy and manic infused cousin, GDC forgoes the smoke and bright lights and opts for intimate meeting rooms and extensive one-on-one showcasing of the magic that makes games tick. But make no mistake; a battle is taking place behind the seemingly calm landscape. The gaming world is undergoing a fundamental shift. Developers in droves are choosing to go indie, swearing allegiance not to a console or publisher but to their games themselves.

If the gaming world is a battlefield, developers are the warriors, and the consumers the proverbial spoils…GDC would be their armory. The only impetus guiding a developer’s weapon of choice: innovate or die. The newest, fastest, greatest and latest are shown on the expo floor. Ranging from graphics engines, processors, gadgets, and user interfaces.

There is no lack of cool, shiny new things to discover.  Case and point, Activision’s R&D team and the Unreal 4 Engine blew us away with their respective Real Time Demos–graphics in games are lunging headfirst toward the other side of the uncanny valley, where characters and animations are so realistic they are indistinguishable from reality. Nvidia with their Tegra 4 chips and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips are set to level the playing field between traditional consoles and mobile platforms.

And in the chaos of the rise of the indie developer and agnostic gaming, disruptive bleeding edge user interfaces, like the Neurosky Mindwave (a headset that can read your brainwaves) and Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift (a reactive 3D virtual reality) manage to stand out as a beacon of what’s to come.

2013 will no doubt prove that we live in interesting times, indeed. For a gaming industry in flux, we’re eagerly waiting to see how the cookies crumble.

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How To Make Your New Year’s Resolution Last Past January

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FE_DA_NewYearResolution_425x283Photo Credit: usnews.com

With the candid splendor and revitalized spirits of a “New Year” also come unrealistic expectations to conquer all and become the Ultimate Master of Resolutions. But as a conglomerate, we seem to be reaching for unknown galaxies and constellations when we can’t even see past the paint on our doorframes. There are plenty of reasons why 95% of all New Year’s Resolutions don’t work out; and as a former NYR dropout, I’ve lived through the vicious cycle that is the month of January. There are approximately five phases that the average NY Resolutioner goes through:

Phase 1 (January 1 – January 7): Honeymoon

We veterans refer to this as the “Honeymoon” phase because it’s damn near identical to the wave of emotions that overcome us within the first 1-3 months of a new relationship. Think about it. We’re excited about all of the new and exciting changes that accompany the beginning of our resolutions. At first, our resolutions to lose 15 pounds are desirable. Think about how great I’ll look in that polka dot bikini I never have the nerve abs to wear. We’re obsessed with the finish line before we’ve even begun the race. I give you, the Honeymoon phase.

Phase 2 (January 8 – January 14): Ninja

This is when we believe, against all odds and obstacles, that we are ninjas we have the power to accomplish all. There is no task to big or mighty for us to handle. And because we’re thriving off of the adrenaline rush we get from meeting all of our goals, we add more to our already-occupied pile. Our eyes become bigger than our brains and we search for more to handle. I ran that 1/2 mile so easily; 1 mile will be cake. In order to feel like we are sticking to the terms of our New Year’s contract with ourselves, we throw so much on our plates that we can’t find the fork and knife.

Phase 3 (January 14 – January 21): Anxiety

We’re going 90 mph, head first, into a cement wall…and boy does it hurt. All of our hopes and aspirations to be “Conqueror of the Year” are drowned by the pressure we’ve placed on our now struggling shoulders. Initially, our logic was skewed because our eyes were fixated on that beautiful, shiny prize. But by adding more and more responsibility to our workload, we realized just how far the finish line really is. We become overwhelmed by our expectations; and in turn, altogether succumb to the nature of the NYR beast.

Phase 4 (January 21 – January 31): Regression

Was past me really so bad? This is when we are faced with a choice. On our shoulders sit two very different figures. On the left is the post-resolution version of ourselves; the image we dreamt of at the very beginning of the year. Ah, but then our minds play a fun little trick on us and create an entirely new figure to stand on our right shoulder; a representation of each of our weaknesses. We’re stuck deciding between the cons of a delicious veggie cream-cheesed bagel and the pros of that 4th of July bikini. And truthfully, what sounds better: a quick chocolate fix or a quick mile-run? Nine times out of ten, we side with the devil, give up on our NYR completely, and revert back to our old ways, claiming we’ll try it again in a few weeks (yeah…right).

Phase 5 (February 1 – December 31): Acceptance

Ladies and lads, we have officially reached the point of no return. We could care less about those fantasies of promotions and physical fitness. All we want is to be happy; and if sitting through a Law & Order: SVU marathon beside a sleeve of Oreos every Sunday makes you happy, then you don’t worry your pretty little head about squats and overtime for one more minute! The mind is the most powerful weapon of all. When we use it for good, the world is our oyster. But the minute we start to doubt ourselves or lose even the slightest bit of confidence, we’re right back where we started–the land of complacency and comfort. But at least we have chocolate.

This year, before you try to tackle the world, try tackling that pile of dirty clothes that have been sitting in the corner of your bedroom since November 2012. Use all of that energy and motivation that the allure of a new year creates, but limit yourself to reasonable goals. Never forget about your passions, never forget about the person you want to be in 2013; oh, and the chocolate. Never forget about chocolate.

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Written by kcappuccilli
kcappuccilli

January 16th, 2013 at 7:31 pm