The Deep Mind of Demis Hassabis - "The big thing is what we call transfer learning. You've mastered one domain of things, how do you abstract that into something that's almost like a library of knowledge that you can now usefully apply in a new domain? That's the key to general knowledge. At the moment, we are good at processing perceptual information and then picking an action based on that. But when it goes to the next level, the concept level, nobody has been able to do that." (previously: 1,2) [more inside]
Skyrim optimized for a netbook changes the look of the game to something completely strange and different. [more inside]
Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
"This is a project I've been working on for six years - a replica linking book from the video game Myst." [more inside]
The ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on, discussing what became 80s Britain's most popular home computer and gaming platform, despite stiff competition from the technically superior Commodore 64.
Leisure Suit Larry is a series of adventure games written by Al Lowe and published by Sierra from 1987 to 2009. The main character, whose full name is Larry Laffer, is a balding, dorky, double entendre-speaking, leisure suit-wearing (but still somewhat lovable) "loser" in his 40s. The games follow him as he spends much of his life trying (usually unsuccessfully) to seduce attractive women. [more inside]
2K Games and Gearbox Software have announced that Duke Nukem Forever will ship simultaneously for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PCs on May 3. (previously)
Four different shogi-playing software programs combined forces to "aggressively pursue" and defeat female champion Ichiyo Shimizu in 86 moves. (previously)
Cow Clicker is a Facebook game about Facebook games. It's partly a satire, and partly a playable theory of today's social games, and partly an earnest example of that genre. [more inside]
Computation doesn't require complicated electronic circuitry. It can be done with mechanical gears, fluids, marbles, tinkertoys and dominoes, even the human eye. Recently folks have been building computers inside of virtual realities. It's been done with Minesweeper, Little Big Planet, and perhaps most ambitiously, a complete 8-bit computer built within Dwarf Fortress.
The Wired Vaporware Awards, an institution since 1999 has taken some heavy hits this year, and has had to resort to some pretty naked padding to make a list (products in late beta whose release date has merely slipped? come on) – however, if there is anything that remains constant in these uncertain times we live in it is that one game rules the list, debuting in the No 2. slot in 2000, it then latched on to the top spot, with only editorial edict able to to shift it. Ladies and gentlemen, Duke Nukem - FOREVER.
Wanna play the first two Fallout games for totally cheap? Good Old Games is now open to the public. Via Blue's News, some interesting discussion there about "DRM Free" claims and whether or not Freespace 2 is really "free."
Ken Levine, creator of Bioshock, gives a funny and inspiring speech about growing up geek before the internet and the era of 'geek chic'. (SLGV, and annoying age check)
Will Wright's PC game Spore was released yesterday. The 'Sim Everything' game from the creator of Sim City and The Sims takes the player from cellular growth to space colonization with several stages in between. Reviews are in, and the consensus is that it's good but not as legendary as its scope (and multi-year development cycle) would suggest. The game's 'draconian' DRM has sparked controversy, causing Amazon users to bomb it with one-star reviews.
Using OmniFocus to manage a 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons character sheet. Nerds. Dungeons and Dragons. Obsessive overuse of Mac software.
95% of degree courses in video gaming at British universities leave graduates unfit to work in the industry, according to Games Up?, an organisation set up to address the UKs video games skills shortage. Maths skills are a particular weakness.
The History of Computing Project is a collaborative effort to record and publish the history of the computer and its roots. The site includes a chronological timeline, biographies of computing pioneers, a look at computing hardware through the years, as well as software and games. [more inside]
Three columns on technology and eduction by Robert Cringely: the clash between those who grew up with computers and those who didn't in War of the Worlds, Amish Paradise looks for learning models in unexpected places and Ozzy knows best talks about how important digital games, not video games, could be to education. [more inside]
"Once you've constructed your Hexapawn opponent, it's time to start playing against it... If you play this game repeatedly ... you'll quickly notice that your matchbox opponent plays better and better until it is unbeatable!" Martin Gardner created a game called Hexapawn, and also devised an artificially intelligent opponent you can build yourself out of matchboxes and colored beads. Bonus link: An interview with Martin Gardner.
Worldbuilder (no relation to the old Mac adventure game toolkit) is an excellent way to start off the week by completely crippling productivity. I've played many games from these guys before, and they're always great. I envy the independent game designer that gets to work with Lego so often. Via GTA.
this childs game (java applet) is so complex you could use it to construct a computer. the original paper (postscript), is heavy going - if you're not a compter science student but would like to understand more try this wonderful book by one of the authors (example pictures).
Computer gaming ,which once seemed in danger of being entirely trounced by the popularity of console games, now seems healthier than ever, with new game engines taking advantage of speedier processors and the improved capacities of the new age 3D cards. A mere week after the launch of the demo, the PC game Unreal Tournament 2003 has gone gold. Also being launched in the US is "The Thing" which picks up on the story from the John Carpenter movie of the same name. Gamers are also eagerly anticipating "Thief 3," "Doom 3," "Unreal 2," and "Deus Ex 2"
Relive all your favorites from the demoscene. This project, headed up by nearly all of the team that maintained the old hornet.org demoscene archive, is committed to bringing those old classic demos ... to a DVD player near you. Now you no longer have to fret because you gave up your Gravis Ultrasound and DOS! Can I get a w00t from ya? I knew I could.
Some of you may remember Gorilla for QBasic, well here's a modern refresher course, but with tanks. Only a tiny shareware game yet very addictive, I'm even tempted to buy the full version.
The giant list of classic computer programmers takes you back to a time when one person could realistically author a computer game and have it published. Of course most of the people on this list will have worked on small teams to produce games, but the diversity of the games on these people's resumes is awesome. In particular, I notice Michael Cranford (responsible for The Bard's Tale I and II, the Centauri Alliance, and ports of Donkey Kong and Super Zaxxon) and Robert Woodhead (Wizardry 1-5). As an interesting sidenote, Robert Woodhead went on to Animeigo, a japanese animation publishing company in the US. What memories of these old sk00l games do you have?
Adventure games! They seem to be "old school" in this world of Quake shooters and real time strategy but does anyone remember the halcyon days of King's Quest, Maniac Mansion, and even ... Leisure Suit Larry?
Myth III: The Wolf Age Gathering of Developers announced today that Myth III is not only in production but will be sold in November 2001! Anyone else counting the days?