Small things make a big difference

Modeling my new schnazzy glasses

This week was a tough one, packed with lots of things to do.

On Monday, I had a I had an essay due. I rushed to finish it and arrived to class only 5 minutes late.

On Tuesday, my project partner didn’t show up to our early morning meeting. I presented the idea/focus statement on my own to the class.

On Wednesday, I had 7 hours of classes. I had some readings to do, a major project proposal due, and talked live on college radio.

On Thursday, I had a really nerve-racking presentation in the morning … that was being filmed!

A gift from DracSigh. I made it through. Thanks to friends I can rant with and the power of positive thinking … and the good mojo I got from my friend Drac in Pigg who gave me this fabulous pair of glasses.

Thanks, Drac.

Good friends can really make a difference. So, don’t waste your time with crap ones who take and never give. Those aren’t friends; they’re leeches.

– AF

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PiggBook: New social network for Pigg players

Park in Pigg

The end of Ameba Pico has brought the rise of Ameba Pigg. Many Pico users have migrated to Pigg, hoping to recapture some of the social aspects that endeared them to Pigg.

It was relatively easy to get around and meet people in Pico. Players had the ability to switch the game menu to Chinese, Vietnamese, and a few other language … and World Community Parks made it simple to find other players who spoke your language (Arabic, Bahasa, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese).

Since Pigg is complete in Japanese, it makes things more difficult. It can be isolating and make the simplest tasks difficult.

Indy Étoile (Pigg ID: indyon) is hoping to change that. Today, Indy launched PiggBook, a Facebook-like social networking site for Pigg users. What a novel idea!

PiggBook logo; © indyetoile.com

What PiggBook has to offer is posted on Indy’s Facebook fan page:

PIGGBOOK! THE NEW SOCIAL NETWORK FOR PIGG USERS. A DOMAIN FOR IT IS COMING SOON. CURRENTLY ON http://indyetoile.com/

I’ve joined up … as well as more than 40 other people. Will you?

– AF

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Repost: Games.com’s Most Bold Predictions for 2013

Image courtesy blog.games.com

By Joe Osbourne, 01/04/2013
Source: Games.com blog

With 2012 well behind us and the greatest games of the year accounted for, it’s time to look forward, lose weight and all that good stuff that comes with a new year. More specifically for us at Games.com, it’s also time to make bold predictions for what 2013 will bring. And by bold, we mean 72-point Comic Sans bold. Why, you ask? Well, to test our industry intuition, of course. That and it makes for fine fodder for laughing at ourselves come 2014. On with the crystal ball-gazing.

Image courtesy blog.games.com

CityVille 2 doesn’t survive

Zynga’s city-builder sequel started strong, thanks to flashy 3D graphics, an interesting storyline with funny characters and tons of cross-promotion to boost its numbers. But after players were left to play the game to their own devices, they were met with a buggy, laggy mess that has lost 8.8 million players in the last week alone, according to AppData. It’s almost impossible to make progress in CityVille 2 without spending money. There are few other games (aside from maybe Pioneer Trail) so dependent on spamming friends with requests. Even building most homes requires materials. Without homes, population never grows. Without population, you can’t unlock crafting buildings. Without crafting buildings, you can’t complete quests. It’s a cycle that Zynga needs to fix fast, or else. – Brandy Shaul

Image courtesy blog.games.com

Social, F2P explodes on next-generation consoles

While details about Microsoft and Sony’s next generation consoles are scarce rumors at best, it’s a safe bet that gamers will have two new options this fall or winter. With online surely to play an even bigger role in both consoles, it only makes sense to see the biggest names in social and free-to-play games get comfy on the “Xbox 720” or “PS4.” And it’s not as if both companies haven’t already expressed interest in the idea. Sony purchased Gaikai in 2012 and has a free-to-play shooter on the way in Dust 514, and Toylogic released fantasy, free-to-play romp Happy Wars over Xbox Live last year. – Brandy Shaul

Image courtesy blog.games.com

The “Steam Box” lands

Steam, Portal developer Valve’s years-old online game store and community for PC and Mac, often experiments with massive sales adored by cheap gamers everywhere and compelling features, like cross-game items and trading. With its newest feature, Big Picture Mode, Valve hopes to attract console gamers to Steam. Controller support and a custom, easily navigable interface, tether Big Picture Mode to laptops or desktops connected to HDTVs. But for those who keep computing separate from gaming, all signs point to Valve’s plans for a gutsy–yet sensible and timely–move into the living room. A “Steam Box,” a compact, console-like PC engineered for gaming and shipped with Steam installed, is said to be Valve’s next big project. If it pans out, Valve’s peerless ecosystem will compete for space in your entertainment center this year. – Cameron Faulkner

Image courtesy blog.games.com

Apple doubles down on gaming

Frankly, Apple doesn’t have to do much of anything more than it already has (or hasn’t) to keep raking in the big bucks on iOS and Mac App Store games. But with games consistently dominating the top-paid and top-grossing charts on the App Stores, the tech giant stands to benefit quite a bit from investing more heavily in gaming. With every product release, Apple inches closer toward a fully capable gaming ecosystem. Could this be the year that CEO Tim Cook and co. finally revamp Game Center and give The Big Three what for? Well, there wouldn’t be a better time than now. – Joe Osborne

Image courtesy blog.games.com

Facebook gets its first MOBA

Hardcore, core, mid-core or whatever-the-next-publisher-wants-to-call-it gaming is poised to have its breakout year on Facebook. More developers than ever seem interested in tapping this white space: Hardcore gamers with Facebook accounts that hate Facebook games. Plus, herds of online game makers are chasing the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) fad that Riot Games sparked with League of Legends. Considering the majority of upcoming MOBA games are free-to-play, the two movements are bound to cross paths–er … lanes. – Joe Osborne

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The Hobbit social game review by Mac Life

The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age promo image

A few weeks ago I posted about an upcoming mobile game based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s middle earth narratives: Kabam’s The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth. As of December 18, 2012 the game has been available to play on iOS and Android.

After reading Matt Clark’s review of the game for Mac Life I decided not to give it a whirl.


By Matt Clark, 12/06/12
Source: Mac Life

The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth Review

J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is a fount of inspiration, and beyond upcoming Hollywood blockbusters, there’s sure to be no shortage of tie-in video games. But considering the amazing reference material – a tale of adventure with dwarves and goblins – it’s a shame The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth is so unabashedly boring.

While Kingdoms of Middle-earth is set within the universe of The Hobbit, it relates back to the film in theme only. Sure, you’ll have the opportunity to assign “heroes” like Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins to watch over portions of your fledgling city. But Kingdoms of Middle-earth is in actuality a typical, free-to-play conquest sim with a veneer of Tolkien influence. Your primary goal is to build a secure city with a substantial level of might (troop levels) to fight back or conquer neighboring cities and their stash of resources. Better units require research into weapons, but the influx of troops will thereby require more farming to fill their hungry bellies.

Game screenshot; © maclife.com

Unfortunately, the wait-time to upgrade a building or train units can prove mind-numbingly long. And as there is essentially nothing else to do while waiting, Kingdoms of Middle-earth turns into a barely amusing distraction, rather than a game you’ll actively play. Just reaching a point where you can attack another city takes almost seven real-world days. Of course, you can always buy some mithril via in-app purchase to skip the wait (“$99.99: Best Value!”).

Alliances, or groups of players working together to dominate the game’s map, are Kingdoms of Middle-earth’s best feature, giving it a nice social edge. Conspiring to attack a rival alliance is rewarding, assuming you’re not squashed under the might of your enemy and lose all your resources.

The bottom line. While The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth is enjoyable on a social level, the overall experience feels like a horrid chore.

Mac Life rating for The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth 2.1

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RO80 Type Mag: a year in review

It’s been a busy year here at RO80 Type Mag. I created a Facebook fan page for the blog, and added over 100 new posts and uploaded more than 600 photos. And you read and viewed them. For that I thank you.

To give you a snapshot of the numbers behind the posts the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Have a Happy New Year!

– AF

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Merry Christmas, everyone

Merry Christmas 2012

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Pico-generated Facebook albums will soon be deleted

Camera function in Ameba Pico

Remember all those great moments you captured in Pico and saved to a Facebook album created by the game? Your entire album will be deleted by Ameba on December 28, 2012.

The announcement was made yesterday on the Facebook fan page … which will also disappear forever on the 28th.

Dear Pico users,  Thank you all for playing Pico World.  Although sadly our service is closed now, we really hope you all had a great fun and met wonderful people in Pico World. This fanpage will also be gone on December 28th (8:00 GMT) and at the same time, the Pico World Photo Album will be gone from your Facebook Album list. So please don't forget to save all your memorable pictures to your computer, before this date.  Thanks again for always loving Pico World.   Best, Pico World Staff

Make sure you download all of your photos … then re-upload to a new album that you create. It’s a pain, I know, but it’s the only way to save your memories.

– AF

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