Saturday, 11 April 2015

Prepare to dye


Nintendo’s riotous territorial online shooter is preparing to make an indelible mark on the genre. By Matt Clapham

Every year, Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano goes fishing for squid. It’s a common enough pastime in his home nation, the creatures’year-end spawning and subsequent migration north across the Sea Of Japan for summer creating ideal conditions for the sport. Yet despite the grin on his face as he announces this, we get the impression the break might have been less restful than usual lately. Wind back to circa 2013 and his then-new project, a four-versus-four multiplayer game full of squid, was in trouble. In trouble with Nintendo's higher-ups.

Apple Car

apple car

Are Apple’s Automobile Plans Smart or Crazy? by David Averbach

Since its invention in 1886, the automobile has held a special place in the public’s imagination. Perhaps no product elicits as strong an emotional response as the car, which could explain why upon hearing rumors of Apple entering the market, I immediately wanted to see how Apple would meet the challenge.

According to Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, the idea of building an Apple car is not entirely new. Isaacson found that Apple had briefly explored developing a wide range of products, including a car, even before deciding to develop the iPhone. When I first read Isaacson’s book in 2011, I figured Apple executives must’ve briefly discussed it during a wild brainstorming session but that it was too crazy for them to have seriously considered the possibility. As it turns out, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, not only did Apple seriously consider the idea, it also currently has hundreds of employees working on turning that idea into a reality. According to Bloomberg, Apple could release a “Tesla competitor” as early as 2020.

Intel Edison

Intel Edison

Caught on the hop by the popularity of the Raspberry Pi, is the Edison Intel’s ticket to winning over the maker and hobbyist crowd?

The launch of the Raspberry Pi was something of an epiphany for Intel. Long the dominating force in mainstream computing, Intel had ignored the maker market until the Pi came along and started selling its ARM-based hobbyist boards in the millions.

In an attempt to break into the market it had long ignored, Intel’s initial approach was somewhat scatter-shot. It partnered with CircuitCo to launch the open-hardware MinnowBoard, then the more powerful MinnowBoard Max. At the same time it launched a new chip, the Quark, within a makercentric development board dubbed the Galileo.

Beyond Eyes

Beyond Eyes

A missing cat gives rise to a game about seeing sound

Sherida Halatoe’s Beyond Eyes aims to help sighted people understand what it’s like to be blind – but in a more innocent sense, it’s about celebrating the marvel of perception. Each of the game’s environments is void to begin with – a gleaming pearly expanse, empty save for your character Rae, who stands in a small circle of visible terrain.

As you guide her forward, everything she hears or touches takes shape as a flourish of watercolour, gradually populating the whitebox with trees, walls and brooks. Though vulnerable and slightly comic in her white dress and wellies, Rae is a god creating the world in the act of sensing it. “I thought watercolour was the perfect medium for that,” explains Halatoe. “Because when you drop it onto paper it kind of flows out in all directions, and I liked that as a metaphor for her mind-mapping the world around her.”

The Flame in the Flood

The Flame in the Flood

For this indie game, salvation lies at the end of the river

Once as thin on the ground as crops in the wake of a nuclear blast, survival simulations are now all the rage. The Flame in the Flood hinges on many of the same ideas as popular competitors, like Don’t Starve or State of Decay: fast-depleting character resource bars, a fearsome depth of item creation systems and wounds that may kill even if you manage to emerge from a scrap victorious. Fun times to be a gamer, eh?

Canon EOS 7D MkII

Canon EOS 7D MkII

Building on the performance of its popular predecessor, the Canon EOS 7D MkII is even faster and more powerful than before. Andy Luck puts it to the test

It’s hard to believe that it is the best part of five years since the original workhorse, the APS-C format Canon EOS 7D, with its remarkable 8fps shooting rate, was first introduced. That’s a long time for a camera to remain on the market unaltered, and testament to the 7D’s strengths, perhaps.

Its successor, the EOS 7D MkII is big, chunky and fully weather sealed – more in line with a full-frame pro DSLR than an APS-C format camera. It is almost as large and heavy as Canon’s full-frame EOS 5D MkIII, a camera with which it shares an almost identical control layout.