Virtual Reality, a tech geek dream for decades, was long hobbled by high latency, clunky hardware, and perennially absurd reports on network news. That all changed in 2011, when Palmer Luckey, then 18, built the first Oculus Rift prototype in his parents' garage with iPhone repair money. Awed by its powerful sense of presence, developer John Carmack became a fan and demoed it at E3. The ensuing Kickstarter campaign shattered all fundraising goals, and Facebook controversially bought the rights for a whopping $2 billion -- alienating erstwhile partner Valve Software, the iconic creators of Half-Life/Portal/Steam. A Cambrian explosion of headsets followed: Morpheus, HoloLens, Google Cardboard, Gear VR. But perhaps most interesting is Valve's own counter-project: a breathtaking "room scale" VR set-up with Tron-like "Chaperone" and tracked motion controls called the HTC Vive. With this week's commercial launch of Rift and Vive bringing us to the threshold of a new interactive medium, look inside for guides, notes, and killer apps for this, the stunning arrival of consumer VR. [more inside]
In Sweden, a Cash-Free Future Nears - "Few places are tilting toward a cashless future as quickly as Sweden, which has become hooked on the convenience of paying by app and plastic." [more inside]
While Ello burns out and MetaFilter goes 2014, tilde.club appears as a defiantly old school minimalist blogging platform. What is tilde.club? It's a community developed social network, initiated by MeFite ftrain. As described, "The only goal is for tilde.club to be a place where you can make weird web pages that you might not want to put anywhere else." Community activity involves the updating of home pages, sometimes to creative effect, discussions and thoughts on historical Internet culture, working on teccie stuff and donating towards costs via new methods and old. Live for several days now, the cultures of established and new users are differing, while interest means there is currently a new user waitlist. There is also a web ring.
Knytt Underground is the latest indie platformer by developer Nifflas. If its anything like the other Knytt games, Knytt and Knytt Stories, its a gentle Metroidvania that emphasizes exploration and movement over combat. Knytt Underground is out for the PC and, unlike his other games, for the PS3 and Vita.
For your Flash Friday consideration, I offer a quirky platform game with a physics engine to challenge your dexterity and puzzle-solving ability. In Box Clever, you take on the role of the Blue Blob, who searches for the exit in a succession of side-view platform worlds and is rewarded by gentlemanly attire. [more inside]
Having previously been disappointed by the information available on the topic, this is my attempt at categorizing different ways to implement 2D platform games, list their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss some implementation details.
Loved is a flash platform game about choice by Alexander Ocias that features multiple endings. (via/mini writeup: RPS)
Thursday flash fun: Hue Shift - an addictive endless action platformer. You are controlling a pixel that can shift its color to red, green and blue. Climb as high as you can by matching your hue to the color of the platforms. Beware, only platforms with your color are solid! (via Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
Friday Saturday Fun: Paradox Embrace is a platform puzzler similar to the Shift trilogy (2 & 3) but in COLOR! You shift between three space-times to negotiate the levels collecting keys and such. In game tutorial makes learning the game pretty quick. Deceptively simple at first but gets quite difficult.
After over eight months of beta releases, Spelunky version 1.0 has finally been released. If you missed it previously, Spelunky is a exploration platform game with random levels, so it plays different each time. Its random layout, interesting interactions with items, destroyable scenery, and robbable shops have earned it comparison with Nethack, the classic roguelike game. Currently Windows only, but announced for XBox Live Arcade.
The coolest entrepreneur in the coolest part of the coolest city in the world right now is walking towards me, but you wouldn’t know it. Meet Blaise Bellville the proprietor of Platform. [more inside]
Holdover is a difficult but compelling exploration platform game. Marie must escape from an abandoned scientific research installation, with no assistance other than recordings left by her father decades ago. Makes extensive and very good use of the "hold your breath" mechanics found in many such games. Available both in Japanese and bad English. A more reasonable English translation can be downloaded from the IndieGames weblog and dropped into the game's folder. [more inside]
The Aphrodite Project : both an homage to Aphrodite and her prostitute-priestesses as well as a practical tool for the contemporary sex worker. Or, GPS platform shoes for street hos. Check the demo.
"Knytt" is a little pixel platform game that has a suprising amount of ambience in it's simple presentation. You play the Knytt, who was abducted by an alien, and is trying to repair the UFO to get home. Also by the same person, Nifflas, is "Within a Deep Forest" which features "...challenging gameplay, beautiful music, an evil doctor, infinite cuteness, and a deep forest." [more inside]
Platform Security It’s time for a helpful primer on platform security. Also, our good friends at MoFi want to remind you: don’t buy anyone’s C.R.A.P. Always sound advice, except for you coprophiliacs out there. You guys are on your own.
What Linux Really Needs: Non profit, public service announcements by a foundation formed expressly for that purpose. Whether you keep up with the OS fray or not, what a neat idea really. Trolls: Slashdot is burning! You're needed over there.