Posts Tagged ‘Inspired’
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Can robots have muscles and brains like we humans do, and how would…
Video Rating: 5 / 5
This is the 3rd in Colin Furze’s series of homemade X-Men abilities (formerly: Wolverine claws and Magneto boots). This time he made Pyro’s weapons, efficient in shooting 12-foot long flames from the wrist. Definitely not the kind of homemade superpower you ‘d desire when you’re trying to hold your penis stable at a urinal. * please don’t believe about fire, please don’t consider fire, kindly do not– WHOOOOOSH! * Great, now my penis resembles a hotdog that fell in between the grate of the grill. “You should sit down when you pee.” I most likely should. Regrettably, I have a little life policy about NOT TAKING ADVICE FROM STRANGERS STANDING BEHIND ME AT THE URINAL. Keep choosing a video demo.
This is the Cthulhuian font style developed by DeviantARTist StapletonMcTavish. You can in fact download the font style as a TTF file RIGHT HERE (link on the far ideal) and utilize it to kind and print out puzzling messages to your roommates. “Hi there GW– what’s this one state?” It states buy even more chocolate milk. “And this one?” Always remember garbage day is Fridays now. “What about this long one?” I’m going to murder you and grill your heart as a sacrifice to the Great Old Ones. “Seriously ?!” Hell no brother, I simply pounded my head on the keyboard for awhile– relax. “But … the knife in you hand.” HAIL CTHULHU! * stab stab stab * Thanks to c-note and Alexandra, who only key in wingdings.
Philadelphia’s Dock Street Developing Business has actually just announced Dock Street Walker, a 7.2 % American Pale Stout brewed with goat brains. The beer was crafted to celebrate the 4th season ending of The Strolling Dead, and will just be offered in the brewery’s bar starting March 30th, although you can purchase growlers to go. Me? I’ll stay with the beer I’m drinking now. “Which is?” I have no idea, check out the label. “It states nail polish remover.” It’s really f *** ing me up.
To provide the beer a subtle smoky taste, Dock Street chose smoked goat brains (which from a zombie’s perspective most likely aren’t as delicious as human ones, however walkers cannot be choosers). Cranberries were also contributed to the mix to offer a little bit of tartness and give the beer a bloody red hue.
So, who wants to attempt it? And, more significantly, can you choose me up a growler of any beer but that one while you’re there? I indicate, I’m daring as the next individual (I ventured six blocks away from my home today!), however I don’t do brains. You resemble, consuming memories. What if you dream the memories of the brain you ate? I don’t wish to dream I’m a goat, I wish to dream I can fly. Which, OMG– are you thinking what I’m thinking? “Kill and eat Superman?” I’ll get the Krypton. Thanks to Marcus, who informed me he resides in the area and is going to attempt it. So obviously this is how the zombie apocalypse begins.
Philadelphia’s Dock Street Brewing Company has just announced Dock Street Walker, a 7.2% American Pale Stout brewed with goat brains. The beer was crafted to celebrate the 4th season finale of The Walking Dead, and will only be available in the brewery’s pub starting March 30th, although you can buy growlers to go. Me? I’ll stick to the beer I’m drinking now. “Which is?” I don’t know, read the label. “It says nail polish remover.” It’s really f***ing me up.
To give the beer a subtle smoky flavor, Dock Street chose smoked goat brains (which from a zombie’s perspective probably aren’t as tasty as human ones, but walkers can’t be choosers). Cranberries were also added to the mix to provide a little bit of tartness and give the beer a bloody red hue.
So, who wants to try it? And, more importantly, can you pick me up a growler of any beer but that one while you’re there? I mean, I’m adventurous as the next guy (I ventured six blocks away from my apartment today!), but I don’t do brains. You’re like, eating memories. What if you dream the memories of the brain you ate? I don’t want to dream I’m a goat, I want to dream I can fly. Which, OMG — are you thinking what I’m thinking? “Kill and eat Superman?” I’ll get the Krypton. Thanks to Marcus, who told me he lives in the area and is going to try it. So apparently this is how the zombie apocalypse begins.
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In the race to create a better battery, scientists have gazed longingly at silicon, prized for its ability to hold copious energy during charging. The material has a significant drawback, however: it likes to expand during said charging, causing it to eventually crack and become useless. However, scientists at Stanford’s SLAC laboratory have developed silicon electrodes that repair themselves, inspired by — of all things — the latest research into robotic skin. They created a silicon polymer with weak chemical bonds which attract each other when the material cracks, allowing it to regain its shape in a few hours (as pictured above). The team managed a respectable 100 discharge cycles with a battery that used the material, a promising start but still far from their goal of 3,000 cycles for an electric vehicle. You can add that to the growing pile of promising battery tech that may amount to something, some day — but at least the odds keep getting better.
Once in a while a game comes along that blends gameplay and aesthetic design to such a degree that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other starts. It was true of Limbo, and it also describes exactly the experience of Monument Valley, a forthcoming iPad title from London design studio, ustwo, which uses the perception-bending drawings of Dutch graphic artist MC Escher as its jumping off point.
Monument Valley’s tricks of the eye don’t just toy with you aesthetically but serve as subtle keys to unlocking the puzzles that make up each scene and segment the game into chapters. These chapters are named for the isometric landscapes they depict, such as The Garden (pictured below) or The Water Palace. Or else they hint at the gestures required to slip the puzzle’s knots and progress to the next level (e.g. GripRotate, Draggers).
These architectural landscapes – they are the title’s eponymous monuments – consist of a jumble of passageways, towers, stairs and so on. These passageways don’t immediately appear to connect up, and the character you control, a small lost-looking girl called Ida, has to make the links between what’s real and unreal to journey from one end of the scene to the other – rotating portions of passageway to bridge gaps, for instance, or flipping a set of stairs to climb.
Portions of the landscape that can be rotated or moved are signposted by handles, colour changes or bumps resembling the connectors on Lego bricks.
Normal rules absolutely don’t apply, with Ida able to press buttons allowing her to defy gravity and walk on a wall, or pass through one apparently disconnected tower door and appear out of another at the opposite side of the screen. Except when they do – Ida can’t just clamber anywhere she fancies; if there’s a wall, she needs a ladder to go up it. Or a gravity switch to flip her perspective.
The weird physics of the world is based on playing with spacial perception, allowing your eye to bridge gaps that could never be so traversed in reality. It’s a surreal and otherworldly experience, with a lonely protagonist who remains silent and leaves little trace as she progresses. The adversaries she encounters, called the Crow People, crop up as sporadic guardians of certain routes – marching up and down like automatons, allowing Ida to time her passage so she can slip by.
Monument Valley is due to arrive in Q1 next year but ustwo gave TechCrunch access to a preview of its latest build. I was testing the game on an iPhone 5 but it will be iPad-only at launch – and with the scenes often extending off the iPhone’s screen it’s easy to see why ustwo wants to make the most of the more generous screen real-estate offering by Apple’s tablets. That said, the studio confirmed to me that an iPhone version of the game is planned – although it will be iPad only at launch. Other mobile platforms are also factored into the roadmap, coming later.
“We’ve decided to go with the iPad as our leading platform as the screen real estate enables us to bring the fullest experience to the player. Every running river, every small crack in the architecture and Ida’s small movements feel enhanced on the bigger screen,” said ustwo’s Ken Wong, artist and designer of Monument Valley.
He describes the iPad mini as a “really optimal gaming platform” – with enough room for game designers to showcase their work and for the player to interact properly with it, but small and portable enough for a mainstream audience to buy in.
“Every detail in the game is given the absolute perfect framing which was one of our goals from the outset,” he added. “We wanted every level in the game to be a piece of art that you could literally print out and frame and it seems that we’re on our way to achieving that because we’ve already done a couple of print runs internally for people.”
How challenging is it to translate visual perception tricks into viable game mechanics? Conceptually easy but technically challenging, according to Wong. “As soon as you start arranging cubes in an isometric perspective, your mind is filled with possibilities. Doing the technology that allows characters to walk across constantly shifting impossible structures is a bit trickier,” he said.
“It’s been really fascinating setting up the rules of this universe based on peoples’ perceptions of what they’re seeing from a singled viewpoint of a scene. Escher’s work wouldn’t be popular if it wasn’t also beautiful with great attention to detail, so we’ve also been working hard at making the game look really special.”
ustwo has a portfolio of thoughtful and creative apps to its name already – including the psychedelic game Whale Trail, antisocial photo-sharing app Rando and minimalist puzzle game Blip Blub, to name three. Monument Valley looks like it will take up the baton as ustwo’s flagship property when it launches next year.
As well as Escher, Wong said the inspiration for Monument Valley came from art, architecture, and also the film Labyrinth.
“The work of M.C. Escher is great and popular because he found a way to describe geometric and spatial concepts through everyday elements like water, buildings and animals. I think what Monument Valley brings to the table is an exploration of how to bring an interactive, emotionally engaging experience to a wide audience through a set of simple mechanics and a world that feels at once familiar and fantastical,” Wong added.
Monument Valley will be a paid app, with a “premium” price-tag, owing to its focus on blending creative gameplay with high quality aesthetics. ustwo isn’t revealing how much it will charge as yet but says it has six people committed full time to the project, with a 12-month development span. ”We’re investing heavily into it’s production and will continue to do so post release,” he added.
Wong argues there is a “new wave” of premium apps hitting mobile devices, as developers seek ways to make their wares stand out from the freemium herd. ”In a sea of freemium powerhouses a few high quality premium experiences have popped up to disrupt the system and prove that there really is a market for players with absolute quality in mind. We’re aiming for Monument Valley to become the ‘coffee table book’ of iOS games – one you just have to show your friends,” he said.
To stay up-to-date about Monument Valley ahead of its Q1 2014 release you can sign up for updates here.