Saturday, 8 November 2008

FreeRealms



Via a piece of Sony (SOE) spam today I was having a quick look at their upcoming new online game - FreeRealms. There are some very interesting ideas in the game, making it all very approachable and destined for multiple platforms etc. The relationship you have to all the classes looks odd, but could work - it is a whole collection of games really.

Here are a few images from the CheatCC site which show the kind of graphic feel the game is going to deliver. If it does run through a browser then it will inherit all those limitations as well. If the game is approachable and flows naturally, then the feel wont be an issue. I like the number of mini-games, it makes it more of a hub rather than a game - an interesting approach.


[Screenshots from FreeRealms via the CheatCC site]

Check out the trailer-like vids on the main website or the gameplay one on youtube below to get a much better feel for everything...

Friday, 7 November 2008

Plantbot

I like this little robot pot which moves about with intent to deliver more sunlight for the plant it holds. There isnt alot of info that I can find, but there are some great images of it on the Play Coalition site. I really like the blend of technology and more craft-based construction...


[pot plant robot from the Play Coalition site]

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Camara Modelling Pitt

I was having a little poke around the Pixologic site at the new ZBrush and ended up at Alan Camara's Blog where he has images of all manner of his character modelling projects. He lists several apps as his tools of the trade, that said it is his ZBrush modelling (high and low poly) that are pretty inspiring.

Check out his work for the Comicon Challenge where he modelled up Pitt.


[Pitt image from Alan Camara from his blog site]

The image below shows how the sculpt in ZBrush evolved - it is an interesting process starting with those funny looking ZSpheres. Definitely check out the full set of posts and comments on the Comicon Challenge site - there is lots to learn and it is great to see the progress.


[Pitt WIP images from Alan Camara from the Comicon Challenge boards]

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Ryan Church Concept Work


[Ryan Church concept art for Star Wars from his site]

I was looking at some of Ryan Church's Concept Art at stages in during the session. I really like the image above from his work on the Star Wars films. This is a great example of an image that conveys so much about the idea and also takes the ideas further and further. The fungi-inspired architecture that crawls around the huge trees before leaping free are my favourite.

His site has heaps and heaps more imagery to inspire of course - here are a few more:


[concept art images from Ryan Church's site]

animators survival kit - ANIMATED


[dvd set of the Animators Survival Kit Animated - image from the main site]

Richard William's Animators Survival Kit is a super book and is something of a classic in the animation field. The book was a powerful tool for professional and starter animators alike - now we have the animated version on a set of DVDs which is such a better medium for the work.

The website for the Animator's Survival Kit Animated has several clips and details of what is in store. Here is a Youtube version of one of the animated logo clip (watch in high quality or directly off the original site:


I will have to see if UNSW Library will be getting this baby in...

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Falcon Northwest Kit


[Advertising image from the Falcon Northwest site]

There are a bunch of hardware manufacturers who target the extreme end of gaming and 3D graphics for us. Alienware and Dell are probably the big boys in Australia for this caper, but there are others. Poking around Engadget I thought it worthy to check a little closer at the grunty boxes made by Falcon Northwest.

Engadget have coverage of several pieces of kit from Falcon Northwest, including a nice big review of their blazing new Mach V gaming desktop including a suite of images. Featuring Intel's new chips (nicely liquid cooled), a pair of ATI Radeon 4870X2 graphics cards with RAM to burn and a host of other grunty components - there is plenty to drool over. The case is cool and the gaming results something we all want to see, I really want to see a rig like this pumping out 3dmark06 scores like the 26649 that they pulled from the machine - awesome.

Here are a few images from that review - check out more in the Gallery on the site:


[Gallery images of the Falcon NorthWest Mach V from Engadget]

Also worth a good look is their portable FragBox, which is quite like my old Asus Espresso desktop from a few years ago now. It doesnt weild anything like the firepower of the Mach V, but it is a fair bit more luggable.

Their laptops are an interesting bunch as well, the FragBooks as they are known sport good components and the usual hefty pricing. They can even feature a pair of SLI 9800m GTX beasts under the hood of the 17" DRX models - whew!! Check the site for more specs and pics...



[Images from the Fragbook Gallery on the Falcon NW site]

Check out more in the shootout on the ExtremeTech site where these machines again score big or the summary of things again on Engadget.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Back in WoW


Yep, I have ventured back into WoW again after a break while I did my COFA courses for session 2. I like the way things change and evolve in games like this, that there are new places, spells and gameplay elements from the last time I was in there.
I have a greater appreciation for the music as well - its a bit expensive on iTunes, but maybe one day. Even though the graphics arent state of the art, they are just so much better than the SL spaces and the movement through them so much smoother...

Oh and Mojopogo the Shaman is enjoying his respec to enhancement...

SL, Grid, Unis and more from those Digital Urban guys

Looking a touch more in Second Life and noting that Linden Labs have a conferencing grid built atop SL, combine this with a web presence and more from Rivers Run Red and things are getting a little more interesting. I popped into one of the Universities that the site mentions using the concept and it was interesting to look around. It is all very SLish and to me not particularly attractive. It was all very empty and still trying very hard to be 'physical' and not take any great strides in virtuality.


[some shots of me in the Stanford slice of Second Life]

The navigation, quality and immersion could really learn alot from computer games in their current incarnations. The whole experience feels like something from the 'early days' of 3D gaming in most areas...

Anyhow, there are people doing cool things in there and the Digital Urban guys are one of the best for my money. In some of their latest forays they are engaging with the grid software amongst other things to achieve things like this - their GIS in Second Life (SIMGIS as they call it)