Yuppie Gamers Team

Thursday, 26 March 2009

A Real Time GAME TV

Bored watching G4TV? This is just what you needed!Of course is Justin TV!

According to a BusinessWire news report ( read the excerpt below ) Justin.tv is the largest online community for people to broadcast, watch and interact around live video.
Based on global network traffic, Justin.tv attracts 41.4 million monthly unique visitors, more than Hulu (28.1 million) and Veoh (22.5 million). In addition, according to Google Analytics, Justin.tv’s year-over-year traffic has grown by 1,800 percent2.
Justin TV is also broadcasting a live videogames channel:

Watch live video from It's Game Time on Justin.tv

Here's part of what BusinessWre is reporting today:

"Following are the current Quantcast3 metrics for Justin.tv (as of March 25, 2009):

* 41.4 million monthly unique visitors
* 412 million monthly page views
* 751 million monthly impressions (embeds + page views)

In addition to being the largest live video site on the Web, with more than 428,000 channels broadcasting live video and 1.75 million hours of video watched per day4, Justin.tv is also leading the growing trend of engagement around online video. When looking at the most discussed video of all time on YouTube, the rate at which viewers engaged through text comments, video responses and ratings was only one in five5. The rate for Justin.tv’s network is one engagement for every two video views6. Beyond basic video comments and ratings on other static video sites, Justin.tv enables its viewers to engage in live, real-time chat about the content that they are currently viewing.

Justin.tv's live video platform scales to support massive audiences by measuring demand in real-time and intelligently replicating streams to additional servers to meet that demand. Constructed by a team of MIT and Yale graduates, the Justin.tv platform pushes more than 177 Gbps of video at peak usage – the equivalent of 16,946 standard DVDs per hour7. "

P.S. on Quantcast:
Quantcast directly-measures traffic for more than 10 million Web destinations through its Quantified Publisher program.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

OnLive: Phantom's plan B

We guess everyone out there is still laughing at Infinium 2002's Phantom announcements about
a "revolutionary game on demand service designed to direct-download gaming content through a broadband internet connection instead of using discs and cartridges"

Of course neither a small nibble of such announcement has been brough to reality and Phantom's console shown itself for the marketing fake that probably would have ever been since its beginning ...here's some press to deep dive the (old) news:
The Inquirer: Phantom console disappears
ExtremeTech:Surprise! Phantom Delays Game Service Again
Spong:Infinium’s Kevin Bachus Accused of Lying to US Courts
Ars Technica: True Infinium stories: the $73 million (and counting) Phantom disaster

But GDC P.R.s look like some memory fault is going on and a news has just break over there: a gaming on demand service that will allow you to play tons of best of breed videogames without buying expensive CDs or DVDs ( or BluRays to talk about something not belonging to Jurassic era ) but simply connecting to a game service datacenter through a broadband connection...sounds familiar isn't it?
This time the idea has been brewed by OnLive and this is "how it works":

Onlive plans look like Phantom's buried ones.
Anyway we wish to OnLive the best luck and congratulate with them for their bravery in launching a service during these tough times.

We believe that a good improvement to videogames lifestyle and market should come from Internet broadband's traditional services, such as DSL or WIMAX connections provided at lower prices to those users that mainly access such connections to play online...but that nothing online ( or offline ) could let us switch from our preferred GameStop shop to a download service.

Wanna loose some weight? Ask EA!

At Yuppie Gamers we're not so big fan of WII gear and there's not much software of such platform that has make us fall in love ( besides that cool piece of code that "No More Heroes" is )
But Electronic Arts looks like has made some practice with its magic wand and after a videogames milestone like Dead Space, they've finally developed something that could bring our thumbs ( or our legs in that case ) on WIImotes again: EA Sports Active.

As professionals and hard-workers we don't have the time to join any gym or fitness club ( at least stealing some time to family affects and/or videogames...shame on us only for thinking about! ) and the EA code seems to be the right choice to clean some dust on our WII and start moving our fat asses at the same time!

Here's a video asset you should check to see how a WII can be easily transformed into a GYM:

Let's begin to sweat out there!!!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Left 4 Recycled

Need for some thrill but don't like to check the Resident Evil 4 porting? ( of course i meant RE5...but let me comment on such "conversion" in another post )..all you need to do is to grab a copy of the latest zombi-based game, switch off your room's lights, ask to your wife ( or your husband ) to take care of the kids just for half an hour and slip the game dvd into your Xbox 360....just the time the game loads and you'll be asked to impersonate one of 4 characters and shoot to (second)death any of those freakin' rotten meatbags running and screaming toward you.

Game's name is "Left 4 Dead".
Wanna know more? Let's take a look at the pictures here:


Take a look at some actual Left 4 Dead pictures here:

What happened here? The explaination is pretty simple and the procedure that brough Left 4 Dead in shops is commonly used at any industrt r&d dept....it's called "recycling".
Here's what is needed to recycle a videogame like "City of the dead" and get a fresh videogame ready for the masses:
- a diying game studio ( Hip Interactive )with a 80%-ready game to be sold as scrap
to the best-offering
- a horror movies testimonial ( Tom Savini )
- a sales contact at Valve ( where a little army of project managers and coders
are ready to re-shape the code of City into Left )

As paying consumers you should avoid to buy "Left 4 Dead" for that only reason...but if it wasn't enough, keep in mind that Left 4 Dead has been brought to shops as multiplayer testing code and that any single run of such game in single-player mode will let you feel as it something is missing ( do you remember Pandemic's Star Wars Battlefront "fake multiplayer feeling"? Same thing here ).

Good as gift for the R&D dept. of your company...with a post-it stuck on it saying "Be serious!don't do this to our products please!"

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Path Available!

If you've already got some news about Tale of Tales you should know that this small, independent game factory based in Belgium is the homeland of some really weird pieces of software such as "The GraveYard" ( a game where all the fun is to drive an old lady through her path into a graveyard, 'til she finally sits on a bench ).

Today,a new game has been released with the name of "The Path"

and it really promises to be a truly thrilling experience.

According to Tale Of Tales informations "The Path is a short horror game inspired by older versions of Little Red Ridinghood, set in modern day. The Path offers an atmospheric experience of exploration, discovery and introspection through a unique form of gameplay, designed to immerse you deeply into its dark themes. Every interaction in the game expresses an aspect of the narrative. The six protagonists each have their own age and personality and allow the player to live through the tale in different ways. Most of the story, however, relies on your active imagination.
The Path is designed with accessibility in mind. There are no ticking clocks or monsters to defeat. No hard puzzles will ever halt your progress. Most activities in the game are entirely optional and voluntary. The player has all the freedom in the world to explore and experience. The Path is a Slow Game."

UNITY : A Game Developer Tool

Game developer wannabe? You can't miss to attend Game Developers Conference ( whether or not the main GDC held in S.Francisco or one of the "children" editions arranged around the world ).
As GDC is about to kick-off ( 23-27th March 2009 ) some fresh news have just been released and brought to you by Yuppie Gamers...right in time!

As you might already have heard about UNITY game developement platform ( a sort of advanced game programming RAD-tools melted together in a client-server software architecture ) the good news breaking now is that is finally available for Windows OSes, while 'til today was MacOS only.

This new release should make even more accessible the game development for those studios and/or single professionals that couldn't afford a state of the art collection of software tools ( i.e. 3d game engine, import tools, shaders dev. toolkit...etc...)

Unity provides all what is needed to brew a good game...a good example of its features is available here:

Unity could be the right tool of the trade for those young companies or individuals who want to start developing for iPhone ( one of the most amazing iPhone games , Zombieville has been release thorugh Unity Please also find here the complete P.R. announcement:

"SAN FRANCISCO-Unity Technologies, provider of the revolutionary Unity development platform which enables console-quality games for the Web, iPhone and Nintendo® Wii, today announced the availability of Unity 2.5 for Windows. Now Unity 2.5 can be used for development under Windows Vista, XP and 2000 with 100% feature parity and interoperability with Mac OS X.

The Unity 2.5 development tool has been rebuilt to look, feel and function identically on both operating systems, each running the same underlying engine. Unity on either platform can build games for either platform - cross-platform development in the truest sense.

David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies said, “Starting today, Windows users can finally get their hands on our tech which has been used to create dozens of hit games and is being used by thousands of developers on the Mac. We have huge expectations of how far we and our community can go.”

Unity 2.5 includes:

* Even easier-to-use tools allowing rapid play, test and improvement of work
* A tabbed interface
* Precise navigation and placement of tools - new flythrough controls
* Information at a glance - detailed rendering stats of meshes; waveforms of audio clips; model file previews and much more
* Drag and drop 3ds Max support in addition to existing support for Maya, Blender and all other 3D apps
* Completely extensible toolset

The Unity tools have been hailed as revolutionary for democratizing game development in being used by big players like EA®, Cartoon Network, and Funcom, as well as thousands of indie developers, startups, hobbyists and students. Hundreds of commercial games have been developed with Unity, and more are launched every day.

Unity 2.5 will be on show at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco from 23-27th March 2009. Stop by booth #5110 for a full demonstration"

More informations here:

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Fast & Furious mobile game

Fresh news for all fast n' furious addicted out there!...you'll be playing this on your mobile for sure!
I-play launches Fast & Furious mobile game to coincide with new Fast & Furious movie

Here's what PR are screaming loudly :
"Today, I-play, Oberon Media’s publishing division announced the global launch of Fast & Furious across all mobile devices. Developed in partnership with Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group, the new Fast & Furious game is the sixth title to be released in the #1 best selling mobile racing franchise in the world. The Fast and Furious mobile game will launch across all major carriers 24th of March in support of the new Blockbuster movie from Universal pictures, which brings back the original cast of the first film and premiers April 3rd."

Some screenshots available here:

Some more, about the movie:

"Fast & Furious which arrives in theatres on April 3rd in the US and April 10th in the UK see’s Vin Diesel and Paul Walker reteam for the ultimate chapter of the franchise built on speed. Heading back to the streets where it all began, they rejoin Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster to blast muscle, tuner and exotic cars across Los Angeles and floor through the Mexican desert in the new high-octane action-thriller."

The Fast and the Furious mobile game will be available to download from all global mobile carriers 24th of March 2009.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

BioWare Announces Mass Effect 2

You love RPG but you don't have time to play so long? Mass Effect should be the right pick for you then! A cool plot and a triple-A engine bring to life a wonderful world ( no...not the Armstrong's one ) to explore....even in small pills as your time lets you free to sit in front the ( hopefully forever green ) ring of Xbox 360.

Prior to this, you have to rush to play the first Mass Effect...you have "only" one year to get done with it and buy the 2nd take of such a masterpiece: Electronic Arts Inc. has today officially announced Mass Effect™ 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the multi award-winning 2007 hit, Mass Effect.

The teaser trailer, provided to you as "real time news" by YuppieGamers, is here for the joy of your sight:

Mass Effect 2 is coming to PC and the Xbox 360 video game system in Early 2010.
And...yes...the game contains mature subject...so please take your children away from that evil piece of damnation

Sitting in a queue...a Darkfall report

At the end of February the hordes of hardcore PVP MMORPG fans have been delighted to put their hands on Darkfall, the long awaited title from Aventurine. Players have spent years (8) reading the forums of the game hoping one day to see the final announcement indicating their dreams come true.

The release of the game encompassed all the drama that gamers are used to associate to the launch of a title of the genre: crashes, shutdowns, bugs, exploits and all the paraphernalia that typically  infests the infancy of a MMORPG. What was unexpected is the inability of buying the game...yes, you can't put your shacking hands on the game that you have been waiting for from the time of un-trammeled UO because it is just not on-sale!!

The interest for the game was so big that the small Aventurine (an handful of smart guys at their first MMORPG release leaving in Athens...) have been forced to close sales to avoid their single (yes, single...) application cluster to go down under the unexpected load. People starved for additional licenses of the game and prices for one of them on ebay went insanely high. Interest peaked so intensely that Aventurine opened the door a little to sell some more accounts during the following weeks creating one of the biggest mess that I have experienced in my life as an on-line gamer.

Unbearable server lag has forced the (still) independent publisher to limit the number of active connections thus creating immense access queues. Outrage and complaints have invaded the forums and people attached the nickname of "Queuefall" to the game. A normal play session requires at least a couple of hours of queueing and it is basically impossible to login during prime time.

Now, you may be asking yourself why bother, why stay in a never ending queue waiting for a slot to enter the Darkfall world? Because it is incredibly fun. I'm not going to give you a detailed review of the game (you can find very good ones out there written by real professionals :) ) but I can tell you that Darkfall is the most addictive thing I have had in my hands since UO, it doesn't compare with other titles (with, maybe, the exception of EVE) and makes you want to login as no other recent blockbusters have been able to.

My "paying customer" soul is revolting, it screams with nerd rage at the hours spent looking at a loading page only indicating a "queuing" status. The fact is I can't stop hoping to see the play button become red telling me that I've won the queue lottery and I'll be able to wtfpwnbbq my enemies for some exciting hours...well, at least until the next crash and the next queue... ;)

Public game information at: http://www.darkfallonline.com

Capcom Marketing Viral Movie

Capcom's marketing definitely kicks asses!
A Resident Evil fifth "viral" movie has been releases through Capcom's PR...that YuppieGamers is proud to show you as premiere here...even though is not clear why the hell the guy is taking a bath with his battle clothes on!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Boring Meeting? Try play Bored Meeting!

As "serious" professionals, we've been facing boring meetings every day...raise a hand who out there has had enough of drawing forecasts charts, fill spreadheet of revenue forecasts, report customer's account activities...etc...
A smart group of geeks ( Bumble ) has monetized all of such boring blah-blah-blah and brewed one of the most innovative and funny Xbox live arcade multiplayer games ever : Bored Meeting.

Also, as an official press release announces "due to Bored Meeting's positive reception both in the press and on the official Xbox popularity list, Bumble.bz announces a free online update under development to bring the smart, fun, and addictive game play into the Xbox Live arena - Gamers already enjoying Bored Meeting - or who purchase Bored Meeting in the interim - will receive the free online update through Xbox Live in the coming weeks."

Bored Meeting is available as a free trial and as a 400 Microsoft Point full version on Xbox Community Games.

Public game information at: http://www.bumble.bz/hive

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Videogames to boost Service Providers - CSMG Report

During this period, Telco business is struggling and the only innovation that have brought some fresh revenues to ISPs and Service Providers has been iPhone.
According to CSMG now looks like games can provide some new fresh opportunities to stagnant Telco market segment.
Please find some excerpts from CSMG Press Release

"Overland Park, KS – March 12, 2009 – CSMG, the strategy division of TMNG Global (NASDAQ: TMNG), a leading provider of management consulting services to the communications, media and entertainment industries, today released its report on the global video games market and its impact on mobile and fixed service providers, entitled: Playing Games: A Revolution In Interactive Entertainment.
Fueled by increased network access, faster broadband speeds, next-generation consoles and more capable mobile devices, the dramatic growth in the video games market presents tremendous opportunities for service providers to capture greater share of this market, according to CSMG.

The report finds that the global gaming industry is expected reach $40 billion in annual revenues by 2012. By comparison, U.S. gaming software sales reached $20 billion in 2008 from $9.4 billion in 2005. Mobile games represents the fastest growing segment with a 24.6% (CAGR) compound annual growth rate forecasted for 2007 through 2012. The average age of a gamer has increased to 33 years and female gamers now reach almost 50 percent across many types of games.

According to CSMG, service providers are well positioned to become a compelling digital distribution channel for video games given their existing assets. Carriers already have a scalable network infrastructure, established subscriber base, sophisticated billing systems and bundled product portfolios. Furthermore, service providers can leverage its network to offer value added services such as VoIP and IP chat to enhance the consumer experience and drive adoption.

The report is based on executive interviews with major service providers, gaming industry players and additional value chain participants as well as qualitative and quantitative strategic analysis of emerging trends and its impact on the gaming market.
To view the full report, visit www.csmg-global.com

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Today's fresh news coming out!EA starting an open beta program to let ganers check out the brand new online rts "BATTLEFORGE"

The announcement made by Phenomic™, an Electronic Arts studio, claims that starting today, all players will be able to enter the world of BattleForge and experience online RTS battles before the game goes live on March 24th, 2009.
The open beta players will have access to all 200 BattleForge cards and all maps in the game.

BattleForge is a mix of strategy and trading card games mechanicc combined in a dynamic online environment.
According to EA, players use virtual trading cards to build custom armies , combining the strategic, real-time gameplay of classics such as Command & ConquerTM with a fully enabled, online collectible community.

BattleForge features single-player scenarios and cooperative scenarios for 2 to 12 players, as well as Player vs. Player (PvP)
BattleForge production version release is planned on March 24th, 2009 for the PC. For more information, visit www.battleforge.com

Dealing with Game Magazines could be challenging.

Since the very beginning of gaming industry, some people have thought about making money by reviewing game titles.
Nothing wrong about that, money talks and any ( honest ) mean to gather some bucks is acceptable ( and so was, during the 80's, when reviewing a game for a magazine could make the day of a high-school student ).

Today, things are slightly different and reviewing a next-gen console flagship game such as "Kane & Lynch Dead Man" could also make your day...but not exactly the way you were thinking about before stick your straight-to-the-point opinion.

Some really bad things are waiting you in the dark out there if you, as magazine-collected-advertising-paid reviewer, are so dare to publish a review so close to reality as your sight and other senses are screaming at you about what is moving on the screen.
Dare you....and being fired would the last of your problem, out there!

As magazine's reader, something weird could happen to you if one day, before steppin' into your car and run to office to join the sales account team meeting, have this great idea to write down a heart-to-heart email to a 6-euros priced games magazine ( let's say magazine name is "Game Amateur" and assume is a southern Europe localized version of an UK videogames think tank ).

Really odd things will come for you , if you're so brave to make a criticism of a two-in-a-row "great" rank given to a marketing fake such as "Alone in the Dark" by the above mentioned game magazine.
Even worse nightmares are waiting for you if the sent criticism is also about a horrible audio dub performed by a publisher on a localized version of "Dead Space" and given as "value add", according from an article written in a "trade" column within the magazine ( if you're asking to yourself, Dead Space Italian dubbing was a regional accent, actually a funny roman accent....but totally out of game context...just to to bring to your ears the impact of such dubbing , let's just imagine one of the characters of Dead Space, Dr. Kyne, or any character you want of any game, as dubbed by BORAT:

Shame on you if you emphasize the fact there's no value add for a consumer in having a famous movie director's voice as dubbing for Dr.Kyne ( that's the owner of the roman accented voiceover ) and that if you mention that the game publisher is also hiring the daughter of the movi director as dubber for "Mirror's Edge"...shame on you twice...enemy of the gaming art!
In fact, it could turn out that, from game magazine editor's standpoint, you're a kind of snob and that you don't understand that reviewing a game is all about "personal taste" of the editor....and also that you're a nazist, but please don't ask us why.
Finally, the editor has his own marketing tagline about the reviews "they're not a consumer guide, but they're just a personal opinion".

Interesting to note that N'Gai Croal has already started a 4-parts thread on this topic:
A Symposium On Game Reviews

Today, gaming magazines like our fictional ( actually, not as fictional as we would like ) "Game Amateur" are one-man-band advertising sheets, where almost every review is a pre-scripted event built upon P.R. "avdertorials" provided by pusblishers...or worse.

Moreover, sometimes they're totally off any form of ethic management.
Eager of an example ?
Imagine the company's owner that translates contents for Game Amateurs ( let's give such company another fictional name...randomly kept from mythological culture such as "Hercules" ) be also part of the board of editors of Game Amateur...and imagine he's ( or she's ) also Editor in chief and Mail columnist & manager of the same magazine.
What we have at the end of the day is that the customer ( the magazine ) is also the vendor ( the content provider ), thus entire magazine is criticism-proof from outside and what the consumer will pay for will be just another marketing flyer.

In a SOX-dominated world, a severe segregation of duties has been put in place at any level of any industry and freaky organizational model like that are quickly disappearing from any org. chart.
If we like to see a robust-growing gaming industry we just have to fight this and let magazine's editors ear our voices...or stop buying their magazines, pick one.