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5 Tips for Finding Success as an Indie Game Developer

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. While being an indie designer remains a gamble, experts prove the right tools and mindset can make a difference. The car-soccer game Rocket League’s beta version launched in April 2015 with low expectations. Rocket League was a seemingly ill-fated sequel to a title that developer Psyonix released seven years earlier  —  the unruly titled, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars (2008), which had limited success. To prepare for Rocket League, Psyonix had its servers ready to handle up to 10,000 online players simultaneously. But when 180,000 joined the game, their servers…

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The nuclear power of Fallout’s wartime kitsch

This article is part of a collaboration between Kill Screen and Art of the Title, celebrating videogame title sequences and the artists who made them happen. “FALLOUT.” One word in block letters, set against a black background. The crackle of a needle dropping on a vinyl record starts up; a black-and-white animation emerges from the wavering void of an analog TV signal. We see propaganda broadcasts rendering the apocalypse in determinedly cheery tones. Then the camera pulls back, the TV still going, to reveal the blasted-out husk of an American metropolis. The record starts to skip on the word “maybe”…

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Smart tracking technology aims to build a road block for human trafficking

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. When their aunt was abducted and traded into a pipeline of human trafficking while crossing the Mexico-US border, sisters America and Penelope Lopez turned to Internet of Things (IoT) technology to find a way to help other women. Human trafficking is a humanitarian crisis that affects nearly 21 million adults and children worldwide, according to recent statistics from the International Labor Organization (ILO). These victims are usually coerced into forced labor or become victims of sexual exploitation. They work for non-existent or slave wages and feel trapped, with seemingly…

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How AI is shaping the future of interactive games

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. In the 2013 film Her, protagonist Theodore plays a videogame where he is surprised by a wild, swearing artificially intelligent cartoon character. The foul-mouthed little alien launches into a conversation with Theodore, remaining stubbornly unhelpful. Realizing it must be a test, Theodore curses back in a verbal brawl that ends with the alien showing him the way forward. Her is science fiction, but that human-like interactive game featured in the movie may be closer to becoming real. Created by game designer David OReilly, the Alien Child game offers a…

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The technology behind Kubo and the Two Strings

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. A frightened woman crosses a storm-swept sea in a tiny canoe as black strands of windblown hair hit her face. Rain pours down her kimono as her fingers clutch a three-stringed Japanese shamisen. A massive wave looms over her canoe, impressing on the viewer how small and human she looks. The woman strums the shamisen, conjuring a magic flame that cuts clean through the wave. The opening scene in the stop-motion film Kubo and the Two Strings — created by animation studio Laika and released in August — demonstrates…

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The greatest technical feats in No Man’s Sky

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. A veteran explorer, low on supplies, lands on an uncharted alien planet with a cyan ocean and ruby-red grass. Enormous, dinosaur-like creatures with horns graze nearby, but at least there doesn’t appear to be any acid rain, unlike the last place. After some scavenging, the explorer hops back onto her spaceship to tackle another one of the 18 quintillion planets ahead. The space exploration game No Man’s Sky, released in August 2016, is already famous for its singularly beautiful digital world. But it’s also an unprecedented technical marvel, one…

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Netflix’s new horror movie is what you should be watching for Halloween

There are a lot of horror movies on Netflix. 99% of them are awful*. So it makes sense, in terms of Netflix’s long-term plans to provide half of its own content, that they would want to remedy this situation themselves. Better curation? Okay, yes, but in lieu of that we have I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, a new movie starring Ruth Wilson (Luther, The Affair) from director Oz Perkins. It’s curation-via-creation; creating the content you wish to see in the world. And to be honest, the faith placed in Perkins as an auteur is heartening for what it says about Netflix…

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Internet communities help beginners build computers

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The PC modding community turns building computers into a social art form that people of all technical skillsets can enjoy. Constructing a computer from spare parts sounds intimidating, but it’s not just for hardcore geeks anymore. PC modding, the term used for customizing or “modifying” a computer, is going mainstream, and the online PC modding communities are happy to share the craft with newcomers. “I truly believe anyone ages eight and up could learn to build a computer with no problems due to the abundance of information available on the subject online…

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Robot Sports bring man and machine together

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. From cage matches to laser tag, artificially intelligent machines are opening a new world of sports competition. The finale of the Syfy Channel’s 2013 Robot Combat League was one for the history books. Never before had competitive sports fans witnessed one-ton robots, towering eight-foot high, face off in a mechanical death match. The two competitors, Crash and Steampunk, banged chests as sparks and smoke filled the arena. Just outside the ring, each robot was controlled by a team consisting of a robo-jockey wearing an exosuit that controls the robot’s arms…