Steno Hero might make transcription tolerable

There are many reasons a writer might resort to fabulism. None of them are sufficient justifications, but some are more understandable than others. Chief among these reasons, one imagines, is the undeniable fact that transcription is miserable, tedious work. Steno Hero, with apologies to Donald Trump but mainly to its creators, aims to make stenography great fun again. Talk about an uphill battle. It’s like karaoke, only instead of belting out lyrics to songs, you type them in sync with the music. Good luck with that. Mechanically, Steno Hero is Guitar Hero with words instead of notes. (The name may…


Drum machine manufacturer offers a more sensible take on Guitar Hero

TR-REC is basically Guitar Hero by another name, and it seems unlikely that any of the parties involved could object too strenuously to this characterization. The game is an exercise in conflating genres and media forms. The self-described “pattern sequencing game” is made by Roland, a company more commonly known for its synthesizers, production tools, and drum machines. TR-REC is a digital facsimile of the latter, asking you to tap out a variety of sick-adjacent beats. This, in the digital world, might also be called drumming. Beat sequences are denoted using scrolling dots on the screen of your iPhone or Android device.…


Cadence lets you engineer musical architecture in 3D space

Music games and music creation tools tend to be a one way street, running straight forward from front to back. Each step of a sequencer lights up and then dims after the beat hits. And Guitar Hero is a forward scroll with no backsies. But Cadence is an intriguing music puzzle game and music generation tool that asks what if music could be plotted to any point in 3D space. It will probably help to click play on the video right about now, but the idea is that you can hang nodes in space and connect them to produce musical…


Skylanders is a billion-dollar franchise. Is this the beginning or the end?

Skylanders, the evolution of the Spyro the Dragon series that merges action-figure collecting with video games, has proven to be a huge success for Activision Blizzard, a company with a stable of them already. The series’ debut in Christmas 2011 outsold all expectations; few thought a package requiring the purchase of additional figures to unlock in-game content would spark such a feverish response from children and adults alike. And so a sequel, Skylanders: Giants, was released one year later, and a third entry, subtitled Swap Force, has been revealed for this fall. With the news last week that Skylanders finally…