Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Droplet Series 2 Vinyl Toy Launch Party



** SO WHAT'S THIS EVENT THEN? **

It's the launch night of Gavin Strange aka JamFactory's vinyl toy named 'Droplet'. It's the 2nd series of designs, with the launch night being the first place in the world for people to get their hands on the new toys!

To accompany the toys, there's also a showcase of customised blank Droplets from a huge variety of artists from toy hero Pete Fowler to animation legend Nick Park! They'll come in all shapes and sizes, with the artists customising them however they like!

As well as that there will be a special edition t-shirt and tote bag available too, plus goodie bags for the first 50 purchases on the night.

Throw drinks & cupcakes into the mix and it should make a fun evening for all!

** WHERE/WHEN/WHAT? **

Saturday 6th February
6pm - 9pm

-at-

Fifty Fifty Store / Gallery
http://www.5050store.com/
8 Park Street
Bristol
BS1 5HR

For more info: http://www.jam-factory.com/droplet/

** WHAT'S A DROPLET? **

It's 2.5" vinyl toy, designed by JamFactory and produced by Hong Kong toy company 'Crazy Label'.

It was the debut vinyl toy from JamFactory and Series 1 was released on 1st May 2008, which were available online and in toy stores all over the world, including Urban Outfitters in the US!

They're on their 2nd series now, which encompasses 5 different designs, each having it's own unique colourway and 'little droplets'.

They are 'blind boxed' meaning all colours are packaged in the same style box, it's a lucky dip which design you get! Each colourway has a different ratio, with the purple & gold crown Droplet being the most sought after! (of course, he's a king!)

After the launch they'll be available online (JamFactory's online store, Crazylabel online store plus other online retailers) and in stores!

** WHO'S THIS 'JAMFACTORY' THEN? **

Gavin Strange is a 27 year old jack of all trades; Senior Digital Designer at Aardman Animations by Day and a designer going under the alias JamFactory by night. Originally from the midlands but now firmly calling beautiful Bristol 'home'

Working in the field of Web & Graphic Design primarily but also character design, illustration and photography. Gavin has created pretty things for the BBC, Channel 4, Howies and Hemingway Design aswell as giving talks at Apple Stores around the UK.

When he's not doing all that Gavin is organising the Xynthetic creative collective (which he founded) or out on his fixed gear bike filming for his bike movie 'BÖIKZMÖIND' (http://www.boikzmoind.com/)

For more info: http://www.jam-factory.com/

Thursday, 7 January 2010

PS3 to get Real3D games and movies in 2010

Sony demonstrated WipEout HD and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue in spectacular Real3D at a pre-CES event.



A Sony representative told Ars Technica that the PS3 display is “a look at what 3D could look like if Sony dedicated to move in this direction”.

Users will be able to enjoy 3D stereoscopic games and movies, when viewed on a compatible 3DTV, by updating their PS3 system with the supported firmware updates. Details of the firmware updates will be announced when they become available.

James Cameron's Avatar will bow on Blu-ray disc with the promise of a Real3D edition. So, before you don those goofy glasses, download my free PS3 Settings Guide (HDMI) eBook (PDF)!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Inside Mac Games: Reviews & Previews eBook

In the summer of 2003 I joined the online writing staff at Inside Mac Games (IMG). Inside Mac Games was founded in 1993 as a floppy disk-based magazine. Since its inception, IMG has been at the forefront of the Mac gaming scene, providing news, previews, and reviews to hundreds of thousands of readers throughout the world.

Today IMG is published on the web and to subscribers via the MacGames DVD. With an installed base of over 100,000 readers and 350,000 unique visitors per month, IMG is among the most popular gaming sites on the Internet. Sponsors include Aspyr Media, Inc. and Feral.

Since I left IMG, much has changed in the Mac gaming world: The iPhone and iPod touch were launched and Apple has broadsided competitors with its vertically integrated App Store. If anything, the desktop environment is no longer as important! We’re witnessing a paradigm shift towards mobile as the dominant platform of the future.

Over the following pages you can read my previously published video game reviews, and previews, which were written during my tenure at IMG.

Download my free eBook (PDF).

Monday, 4 January 2010

Final Fantasy creator plans game for iPhone

Famed Japanese game designer, game director and game producer Hironobu Sakaguchi has announced plans to develop a new game for iPhone and iPod touch.

The following extract is taken from the Mistwalker blog.



"Happy New Year.
2010 is the year of my long-awaited new blockbuster project.
I'm putting my heart and soul into this production. I'm taking a full swing and making this the best project.
Oh, by the way, We are also working on a project for iPhone.
This should be released soon as well.
We will put our efforts together and do our best!
I'm sure you'll Love it."


Sakaguchi is best known as creator of the classic Final Fantasy series. This is in addition to working on several monumental games of the era such as Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Xenogears, and Parasite Eve.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

From the Moon to Pandora

2009 has witnessed another prolific year in the fantasy and sci-fi genre on the big screen - much of which I will have to revisit in 2010 by way of LOVEFiLM.

As Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Terminator Salvation collapsed into an incoherent mechanised mess. Moon, Star Trek and James Cameron's Avatar were in the ascension...

Much has already been written about these films. So, I'll try not to reprise what other critics have already said, nor are there any spoilers per se. Think of this more as an end of year review haiku.

Moon was a love letter to the sci-fi cinema and television I watched as a child. And James Cameron's Avatar, predictable out of necessity, invited audiences to 'discover and explore' a beautiful, immersive and mesmeric digital 3D world. Tantamount to seeing Star Wars for the first time; I left the cinema yearning to return to the moon of Pandora.

I refuse to select any of the above as my genre film of the year 2009! That accolade goes to a film from 2007. Cheating? Well, maybe of a sorts. But, this post is about the fantasy and sci-fi films I saw, for the first time, this year. For its life-affirming, and poignant, narrative, Bridge to Terabithia is my choice!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

N.O.V.A: Halo meets Metroid mashup for iPhone

Gameloft's coding elves have been busy in the run up to the holiday season!

Not content with releasing Driver (iTunes), The Settlers (iTunes) or the epic James Cameron's Avatar (iTunes). N.O.V.A - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, a quintessential first-person shooter (FPS) in the making, arrives with a media fanfare rivalling AAA releases on home consoles.

Much has been written about N.O.V.A (iTunes) since it was announced. Comparisons with Halo and Metroid are inescapable and justified. The lush look and feel conjures up those celebrated franchises.



In spite of the fact that it's all too easy to accuse Gameloft of possible plagiarism, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending you download N.O.V.A now!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

24 HOUR Avatar IMAX 3D Fan-a-thon

To usher in the opening of James Cameron's Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience, there will be HOURLY giveaways plus Avatar facts and missions found on the IMAX fan page.



The Fan-a-thon starts on December 18th at 12:01 AM EST and will run for 24 hours! Fans can enter to win exclusive Avatar IMAX 3D prizes EVERY HOUR!

In related news. Avatar is now available on the App Store and is garnering rave reviews for pushing the technological limits of the iPhone and iPod touch. You can download the video game here.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Google Chrome for Mac: is the circle complete?

Following months of developer builds. Yesterday Google released its much-anticipated, and hyped, Chrome browser (not to be confused with Chrome OS) for Mac. However, it only runs on Intel-based machines running Mac OS X 10.5 or later. So, PowerPC users are left out in the cold.

Currently in beta (what Google product isn't?), Chrome for Mac almost matches the Windows version point-to-point. The main omissions are bookmark management and extensions! This isn't a potential deal-breaker, and Google assures users that a future update will add these features.

As would be expected with a browser based on WebKit (see Safari), Chrome is lightweight, nimble and silky smooth. Firefox (my current default browser), in contrast, is slow and resource-hungry: so much so that leaving too many tabs open, for long periods, results in system-wide unresponsiveness (that's certainly been my experience).

View Google Chrome for Mac as a sandboxed trial for now. Go play...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Download December Duet on iTunes

It took over a decade (the original Star Wars trilogy appeared on DVD before it)! Now, thanks to an afternoon spent in my Panasonic VHS to DVD transfer suite, for your viewing pleasure, is my video major 'December Duet' (1996).

I co-wrote (with novelist and friend Nick Smith - 'Milk Treading'), produced, directed and edited (non-linear for the final EDL) 'December Duet' (shot on Beta SP format), which was the culmination of the (BA Hons) Media Production course at the University of Bournemouth.



This 10 minute drama starred Bob Sessions, who has appeared in numerous films including Clive Barker's 'Night Breed', 'Hackers' (starring Academy Award® winning actress Angelina Jolie) and portrayed Batman/Bruce Wayne in BBC Radio One's, episodic audio adaptation, 'Knightfall' (1995).

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

December Duet (iTunes) is also available for playback on portable devices such as iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod touch, iPhone and Sony PSP!

Subscribe to my podcast in iTunes and download it directly onto your mobile device!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

MiFi plus iPod touch is game-changing!

Earlier this year I was contacted by 3mobilebuzz to trial the INQ1, which was hailed by critics as the phone for the Facebook generation! The lack of a built-in Twitter client was lamentable, but, for a first generation product, the INQ1 showed great promise within the social media space. Free Skype calls wasn't bad either.



Thanks to 3mobilebuzz I'm now trialling 3's newly released mobile broadband - MiFi - over the next 7 weeks (or so). MiFi is your very own Wi-Fi hotspot - no need to search for an internet café! And, as part of a consumer panel, I'll be providing feedback on the following three subject areas:

1. Shopper experience
2. Set-up and getting connected for the first time
3. Where and how MiFi is being used

For the purpose of this trial I acted as a mystery shopper and purchased MiFi on PAYG from a 3Store. The in-store point of sale display was informative and helpful staff were on hand.

MiFi was clearly explained and its benefits over a USB modem dongle - no software set-up required out of the box: simply and securely connect a Wi-Fi enabled device such as an iPod touch, Nintendo DSi or Sony PSP. Instant gratification.

MiFi could replace home broadband. At time of writing, I live in an area where 3 mobile coverage is weak and this was pointed out by the sales assistant who asked me whether or not I wanted to proceed with the transaction. 3Store offers excellent customer service and compares favourably with Apple Store.

As a regular commuter between the South West and East of England. The compelling combo of MiFi and an iPod touch could be game-changing, and maybe all the mobile kit I'll ever need! Certainly this would've enabled me to 'tweet', from a mobile device, during a recent visit to Channel Four.

I've begun field testing the MiFi and iPod touch combo and am impressed with the reliability of the connection (where available). However, it maybe prudent to invest in a carry case for MiFi! The pack-in doesn't include one and the device is liable to become scratched and isn't that robust. It's worth observing that the function buttons are cumbersome - it's easy to accidentally disable Wi-Fi - and a single standby button would suffice.

From today you'll be able to buy a MiFi + iPod touch bundle from any 3Store or online here. Pricing for the bundle is £23 a month for a 2-year contract.

I'll be tweeting my MiFi usage during Christmas and the New Year. Looking forward to using MiFi at festive Tweet-Ups and seeing how it copes with more than one device connected.

You should follow me on Twitter here.