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OpenPandora releases open-source hardware, case designs for handheld game system

OpenPandora releases open-source hardware, case designs for handheld game system | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it

The OpenPandora is a handheld, Linux-based game system with the guts of a low-power PC and the ability to emulate classic video game consoles. It’s based on open source software… and now the hardware designs are also open source.

Vivalist's insight:

"The upcoming DragonBox Pyra is a model aims to offer better hardware including a 5 inch, full HD display and a faster processor, among other things."

 

Glad to hear it...The keyboard begs for wifi capabilities enabling IM :)

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An A.I. Says There Are Six Main Kinds of Stories

An A.I. Says There Are Six Main Kinds of Stories | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
They collected computer-generated story arcs for nearly 2,000 works of fiction, classifying each into one of six core types of narratives (based on what happens to the protagonist):

1. Rags to Riches (rise)

2. Riches to Rags (fall)

3. Man in a Hole (fall then rise)

4. Icarus (rise then fall)

5. Cinderella (rise then fall then rise)

           6. Oedipus (fall then rise then fall)

Their focus was on the emotional trajectory of a story, not merely its plot.
Vivalist's insight:
Kurt Vonnegut planted a seed and thsi computer bear the fruits
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Bart Sutton's curator insight, July 20, 2:00 AM
Close to Chrostopher Booker's "The Seven Basic Plots"!
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Stories-To-Go. Locative Entertainment Futures

Stories-To-Go. Locative Entertainment Futures | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
For the first time in technological history portable devices that are able to send and receive game/video media, are now location aware. This means big changes
Vivalist's insight:
the author explores, through many references,, the factors that contribute to the success of geolocalized experiences:

1- PLACE
2- STORY
3- SOCIETY

Anticipating that technology and habits are likely converging to make this form of entertainment move from niche to mainstream audiences.

References include the very interesting Shadow Cities https://youtu.be/oMBvInCvEjM and Tourality

And after Niantic scored a good first try with Ingress, then with Pokemon Go, it looks like location-based games are going to go beyond geocaching.

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The truth about 360° Videos

The truth about 360° Videos | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
When 360° videos make sense? How and where a 360° video should be applied and the significance of the all-round image for the storytelling aspect?
Vivalist's insight:
The author has obviously played around with all-round video production for quite some time. And even if most of the tips he mentions are common sense for whoever started playing in this field, it's good to articulate the knowledge as we are just scratching the surface in this field. 

"360° films almost exclusively consist of a sequence of a few sedately and consecutively distanced venues (scenes). The viewer needs time to discover the 360° setting. [and] are completely unsuitable for contents and stories requiring a fast change in scene, rhythm or the accurately controlled localisation of information and emotions through changes in setting dimensions."

"360° videos strive far more for authenticity than others genres are able to. 360° films already find their final form, their structure and their rhythm during their recording and not only in subsequent image processing."

"a 360° film would be the wrong medium whenever a viewer cannot visually capture and understand the contents, values or product benefits as an external manifestation at first glance."

"If graphics [close-ups], interviews or testimonials are relevant for the success of informational or emotional transportation, 360° films will reach their limits"

"In addition to the careful selection of the filming location and camera movements, contextually demanding 360° films also use the movement of people in front of the camera to stage the viewer experience. While moving the 360° camera and during movements in front of the 360° camera, the utmost care must be taken to ensure that the movements are always carried out within the safe, recordable corridor. The corridor around the 360° video camera indicates the area in which the subjects or objects in front of the camera are neither distorted (because they are too close to the camera) nor too small (because they are too far away) when filmed."

"Staging and storytelling in a 360° film can also be significantly supported at the sound level. [but] This is (still) impossible for Facebook, YouTube and Apps. In this regard, 360° videos currently still lack one of the most important tools for dramaturgical viewer guidance."

Part 3 on documentation will be available in English next week.
(It is available in German only for now) https://filmpuls.ch/wahrheit-360-videos-3/
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Haunting Music Created With Two New Instruments

Haunting Music Created With Two New Instruments | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it

The artist-designer, Martin Molin of Wintergatan just built two new instruments and recorded a video where he uses both to perform an original composition titled All Was Well.

Molin has also started releasing additional videos that explain how he built the music box https://youtu.be/Lf5Qw1kTbzY

Vivalist's insight:
Wintergatan's musician-craftman Martin Molin is back with 2 instruments and the song that goes with them.

In case you missed the marble machine, it's worth checking out:

He also publishes videos showing how his creation actually work.
Paper Pulling Machine: https://youtu.be/Lf5Qw1kTbzY

And the band he plays with has a website full of this music boxed pop electro music. I love how every video seems to be end with the 'making of' the machines and systems :)

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360 Google Spotlight Story: Pearl

Set inside their home, a beloved hatchback, Pearl follows a girl and her dad as they crisscross the country chasing their dreams. It’s a story about th
Vivalist's insight:
Despite the basic 3d graphics, the "vibe" is there. This is a very moving piece and there are interesting gimmicks addressing the editing-in-VR issue.

In the meantime, Allumette from Penrose Studios seems to be carrying lots of emotions while addressing the graphics issues, adopting an art direction that takes into consideration the computing capacities of our time period AND serves the story.
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Ingenious Rube Goldberg Machines Built from Magnets and Marbles

Ingenious Rube Goldberg Machines Built from Magnets and Marbles | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
YouTube user Kaplamino has a channel where he shares inventive chain reactions or tricks using
Vivalist's insight:
Having a "thing" for both rube goldberg machines and magnets, The video editing from start to end creates a great pacing. I don't know how long this video was, but I could watch this for hours.


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Interview: Vertical film, "a new form of storytelling" - MIPBlog

Interview: Vertical film, "a new form of storytelling" - MIPBlog | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
There’s no denying that video is increasingly consumed in vertical, rather than horizontal format — think smartphone apps like Snapchat — to the dismay of some purists. “There is a question about vertical video’s potential,” says Aubert. “People are consuming on their phones, so they could be looking for vertical content. But content is distributed on all screens now. Every kind of creativity is interesting, it’s a new form of storytelling.
Vivalist's insight:
As a videographer, I've always been "opposed" to vertical video for the very reason mentioned in the Vertcical Video Syndrom PSA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt9zSfinwFA

But as video players adapt to this new way of filming the very same way they slowly but surely switched from 4/3 to 16/9, it invalidate the letter boxes issue, making it a legit form of narration by framing. The IMPACT video perfectly illustrates this point.
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How ClickHole Crafts the Web’s Most Hilarious Adventure Games

How ClickHole Crafts the Web’s Most Hilarious Adventure Games | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
ClickHole, the Buzzfeed-parodying offshoot of The Onion's satirical news enterprise, has, improbably, become a small haven for funny text-based games.
Vivalist's insight:
"But even within the awkward constraints of the slideshow, ClickHole’s writers have figured out how to do some complicated things. Due to the length and complexity of the ClickVenture—each one might run anywhere from one to a few hundred slides, and a new one drops every Thursday—each is assigned to a single writer, who carries it from conception to a finished product with little oversight."
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PENS & other Game Design Strategies

PENS & other Game Design Strategies | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
There are a number of theories and frameworks traversing the world of game design theory, but little progress is being made to help unify these frameworks. By locating crossover territory between MDA/MMDA, PENS, Flow Theory, and Intensity/Engagement Curves, we’re able to see a new theoretical network:

Rough ideas beget MDA/MMDA aesthetics
Each MDA/MMDA Aesthetic begets a PENS axis distribution
Each PENS axis is developed through Flow, the mental state of optimal experience
And each Flow channel is built through an Intensity/Engagement curve
Given the fractal nature of intensity/engagement curves, this progression then continues recursively until the mechanical workspace of the designer is too minute to effectively adjust. And while the exact execution of the intensity/engagement curve are still left up to the creative minds of designers, we can begin to construct a more consistent, procedural way to create sustained engagement from even the simplest game ideas.
Vivalist's insight:
I discovered this 2013 article and think the intent is pretty interesting. The author tries to unify different theoretical game design framework that stood up: Flow, MDA/MMDA, PENS...

Very interesting read.

Check the massive (and mostly free) online resources by Immersyve, creators of the PENS theory and Self-Determination Theory

On the carot & stick approach, this article is also a great account of applied PENS study
"In fact, our data indicates that there is a very important point to keep in mind when developing carrots – they are most motivating when they specifically enhance the player’s experience of competence, autonomy and relatedness."
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Orion | Leap Motion Developers

Orion | Leap Motion Developers | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
Completely reengineered for virtual reality, Orion takes VR to the next level. Download the early access beta, reach out, and see what you’ve been missing.
Vivalist's insight:
Leap Motion the company behind the sensitive hand tracking hardware have unveiled a new system in the form of a hand tracking engine that has been specifically designed for use in virtual reality applications.

Named Orion the new virtual reality hand tracking engine has been constructed from the ground up specifically for VR and builds on the original hand tracking device the company unveiled a few years ago.

It could lead the way to non-obtrusive&clumsy interface for hand interaction in VR. Promising.
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The Sulon Q has insane mixed reality ambitions

The Sulon Q has insane mixed reality ambitions | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
"There's a spatial processing unit inside," he said. "It actually maps the world by itself and is not sensitive to sunlight or any lighting changes [...] That's innate within the system. That's its heart."
Vivalist's insight:
This sounds great as VR/AR would considerably enlarge the potential for mind blowing experiences as well increase safety.

And on the other hand, it could well be yet another PR coup because aiming for late spring release when you cannot show a working version of your gear at GDC seems ballsy - epic crunch ahead!

Announced Tech Spec:
2560 x 1440 pixel OLED display with a 110-degree field of view. AMD FX-8800P processor supported by Radeon R7 graphics together with 8GB RAM and 256GB solid state disk (SSD) storage.
Other features include support for connectivity via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the inclusion of 3D spatial audio.
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OpenLedger and MUSE bring blockchain benefits to music industry

The MUSE platform is a brand-new third-generation blockchain based on the Graphene Toolkit and specifically tailored to meet the music industry’s needs. It can be viewed as a membership organisation in the cloud that acts as a global database for copyright-related information. It is designed for all music-related payments – including royalties, music sales, merchandise and concert ticket sales. 


Via jean lievens
Vivalist's insight:

"One [interesting] feature worth mentioning are the Tokens: limited and tradeable tokens that artists can use to give fans a VIP pass into their world, offering anything from discounts on merchandise to concert tickets and backstage passes, and even advertiser give-aways. Tokens are a tool that helps the undiscovered artist gain exposure while helping the already discovered artist engage with his or her fan base."

 

more on the future of Blockchain technology (and it's development backed by Big Bank and Silicon Valley VCs) in this article referring to Aite reports 

http://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/whats-the-future-of-blockchain/

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Entric Bruce Leroy's curator insight, February 14, 11:27 PM

Keeping the rights to your music and licensing are even more important now a days. The amount of old music used to sell things and present other forms of media are at an all time high I feel.

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Borne VR à remonter le temps installée à Paris.

Borne VR à remonter le temps installée à Paris. | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it

C’est ce que proposera désormais la ville de Paris, à travers sa première borne VR à remonter le temps. Son aspect vous rappellera sans doute les jumelles que l’on trouve sur les points de vue de nombreux lieux touristiques, pour admirer de plus près le paysage. Ici, point de grossissement de l’environnement réel mais une plongée dans les méandres du passé, à travers une reconstitution immersive en 3D. Les lunettes fixées sur la borne s’apparentent aux casques VR que nous évoquons quotidiennement sur ce blog. Elles permettent de visionner un film à 360°, développé par un studio parisien sur base d’illustrations et de plans d’époque.

Vivalist's insight:

ça paraît prometteur, surtout sur un site comme La Bastille que beaucoup de touristes s'étonnent de ne pas trouver à l'endroit indiqué :)

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Wise words from a wise man - Less is more... The Engagement Paradox

Wise words from a wise man - Less is more... The Engagement Paradox | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
Why a constant stream of content ends up reaching less people, not more.

Via Gary Hayes
Vivalist's insight:
Experience & puzzle designer Steve Peters (http://www.stevepeters.org/) reflects on the challenge of pacing digital content production and broadcast timeline in the light of the recent kickoff The Runner, an ambitious project by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck on July 1st.

It is said to air "Three times a day. Every day. For THIRTY Days." and viewers / layers "might" win prize money. Just watching the trailer, I particularly like the fact that Peters recenters the discussion on pacing:
'The first thing I thought when I heard about it was “Holy crap, I’m glad I’m not on that production team! It must be hell!” They need to assemble a new episode three times a day. Every day. For thirty days. The production schedule must be nuts. Nobody can be getting any sleep. It’s madness. Now, I’m going to set aside critiquing the game itself (and there’s plenty to critique, believe me) for the sake of this article, as I just want to look at this idea of pushing content three times a day. Every day. For thirty days

... to conclude:
"So do yourselves a favor, all you digital content creators out there. Don’t succumb to the “more is better” way of doing things. Not only will the quality suffer, but your audience will shrivel away under the onslaught. Be strategic with your pacing and audience engagement. Don’t pare your potential audience down to a small sliver right out of the gate by giving them more than they can consume. In short: turn off that goddamned hose!"
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Gary Hayes's curator insight, July 14, 6:09 PM
Quote "The Paradox Because here’s the paradox: The more often you give your audience new content, the smaller your active audience becomes. Sounds counter-intuitive, but here’s why: The number of people who can commit to watching once a week FAR outweighs the number of people who can commit to watching 7 times a week (or more)."
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Pokémon Go is doing what few apps can – driving real-world traffic

Pokémon Go is doing what few apps can – driving real-world traffic | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
“I think that, we hope to end up with a model where, potentially there could be a cost-per-visit type model where large brands and small brands, as well, could sponsor different elements of the game, with the end of interacting with players and really tapping into that enthusiasm of players,” he told the publication in 2014.
Vivalist's insight:
So Pokemon GO took the world by storm last week. The game is NOT Nintendo's creation as it is ex-Google's Niantic Lab that developed it and run the servers.

Niantic Lab was able to leverage on the Ingress IRL game that was already emphasizing on marketing potential (partnering with Jamba Juice for energy refill for example)

But, in addition to business opportunities, Pokemon GO has also a very positive effect on its players: they actually now have a reason to go out and enjoy themselves exploring the environment.

UPDATE: Vice started listing all the Rated-M real world encounters. That's what you get to see too when you adventure out in the world :)
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Bart Sutton's curator insight, July 21, 2:20 PM
Hmm, I guess the world needs a big brand  to get everyone doing what has been niche and experiment for the last ten years.
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Rodney Mullen Is Back With a 'Revolution'

Rodney Mullen Is Back With a 'Revolution' | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
one of the most anticipated video parts in the history of skateboarding is scheduled for a July 11 premiere on Vogue.com.
Vivalist's insight:
Rodney Mullen is one of the most influential and creative skateboarders of all time. He's been away for too long, and today he is back in a video shot by videographer Steven Sebring with his system made of 100 cameras.
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Buzz Osborne's guide to the greatest Melvins albums ever made

Buzz Osborne's guide to the greatest Melvins albums ever made | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
Since forming in Montesano, Washington in 1984, the group – rounded off by drummer Dale Crover and a constantly revolving door of bassists – have released a staggering 25 studio albums, 14 EPs, 12 live albums and 10 compilation records and have never settled on one idea for too long.
Vivalist's insight:
“I rarely know what people want but that doesn’t bother me too much”, says Osbourne. “The fact is, I would never have been happy doing the same thing over and over again. That wouldn’t have been me. Plenty of other bands could have gone down that line too, I just don’t think they had the guts to do it. But I’m not afraid. “You just have to keep doing what you’re doing and not concern yourself with the fact that maybe not everybody is on board with what you’re doing right now”, he adds. “If I started worrying about what people were going to like, I think I’d miss the boat; I’d be completely off base with what I was doing and I think it would be a complete failure. I’ve always thought that’s a mistake, and I’m certainly not going to change now. I don’t think I’m wrong either.”

I wish more musicians and artists in general had the balls to go down that road despite the fact that I've seen the Melvins many times - and once I got out of the venue pissed at them because I hated it. Then I went again anyway a few years later. It was then all punk intensity and I loved it, even though it wasn't what got me into The Melvins in the first place. They f*cking rock!
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First smartphone using Tango Depth-Sensing tech

First smartphone using  Tango Depth-Sensing tech | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it

The Phab 2 Pro is a smartphone with a big screen and a 3D camera that enables a set of virtual reality and augmented reality experiences by allowing you to scan your environment and mix digital items with your real-world environment, using Googles Tango technology

Vivalist's insight:
Lenovo just announced the release of the first smartphone using Google Tango's depth-sensing tech.

It is a very promising step toward more Augmented Reality features.

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How Tribeca 2016 Pushed Visual Storytelling Forward With ‘the bomb’ and More

How Tribeca 2016 Pushed Visual Storytelling Forward With ‘the bomb’ and More | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it

Via The Digital Rocking Chair
Vivalist's insight:
The film festival just ended with a custom show called The Bomb which blew some minds with live music and immersive screening.

Earlier this year at SXSW, I met Brazilian film director Ricardo Laganaro who worked on the beautiful semi-spheric experience at the Rio's Museum of Tomorrow. He was also convinced that VR headset were killing the social bond and that other directions integrating a common experience should be explored.


Adding live music is definitely a plus. For example, it really served the No Man's Sky during last year's Playstation Experience: A night under no man's sky
Adding VR-like 360° degree display to this would have been incredible :)

Finally, the film selection in the Tribeca's VR Arcade was great, helping to uncap the potential for this new media.
Among the creators there were Chris Milk and his VRSE as well as Standford Virtual Interaction Lab...
It might be a great place for VR and experential story telling in the future for sure...


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The Digital Rocking Chair's curator insight, April 26, 4:30 AM

 

John Fink:  "We discuss the thrilling multimedia documentary experience at Tribeca, along with select highlights from the festival’s VR arcade."

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A Survival Game Based On Actual Survival Techniques

A Survival Game Based On Actual Survival Techniques | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
We just had a review pop up a few days ago, and the reviewer basically opened by saying that he can be pretty finicky about survival games because he’s a wilderness survival instructor. He said our game models actual wilderness survival the most closely and accurately of anything he’s played. That’s great praise for me. That made me so happy, because that was the intent. When we hit it, people who know this stuff are like, “Whoa, I recognize this. They did it correctly.”
Vivalist's insight:
the game creator admit that they part from real survival techniques at times when it was necessary for design / entertainment reasons - yet this seems like a legit way to learn a thing or two while having fun.
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Toonz Software Used by Studio Ghibli and 'Futurama' Being Made Free and Open Source

Toonz Software Used by Studio Ghibli and 'Futurama' Being Made Free and Open Source | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
A complete and total gamechanger for the animation industry moving forward.
Vivalist's insight:
"With one announcement, the animation software game may have changed forever. Toonz, the software used by Studio Ghibli to produce films like The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises, will be made free and open source to the animation community beginning March 26, 2016."

in another article pointing to download link, the auhor accounts that
"OpenToonz has already generated tremendous interest from the animation community. A user forum launched in the past 24 hours already boasts hundreds of discussions, while a development forum is launching deeper discussions of how to build out the software. Animators have also launched unofficial resource guides like this one on Tumblr and have started posting basic video tutorials"
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Introducing Amazon Lumberyard

Introducing Amazon Lumberyard, a free AAA game engine deeply integrated with AWS and Twitch 

Vivalist's insight:
Lumberyard is a free and cross-platform game engine which offers developers tight integration with the cloud based Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform and with Twitch (now owned by Amazon).
The engine is based on Crytek’s CRYENGINE and currently supports PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms, with additional support for Mac/Linux and iOS/Android coming soon. 

Amazon GameLift is another new service for deploying, operating, and scaling session-based multiplayer games. With Amazon GameLift, Amazon Lumberyard developers can quickly scale high-performance game servers up and down to meet player demand, without any additional engineering effort or upfront costs.

We start to see their strategy unfolding after Amazon got into entertainment and production: from AWS (cloud, work services and places) to game studios, TV/films and the recent acquisition of Twitch... They have ambition beyond renting goats :)
In addition to their core distribution business, they work both content production and infrastructures - which wll likely make them a very strong actor of the entertainment industry in the years to come.

More from the Man:



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Can Another Bushnell Revolutionize the Way We Play?

Can Another Bushnell Revolutionize the Way We Play? | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it
With $6.5 million of new investment, Two Bit Circus hopes to turn its STEAM Carnival into an entertainment empire
Vivalist's insight:
I had the chance to play two-bit circus games at a Bushnell party in SXSW Interactive a few days ago, and it feels like they are up to something there - reboot arcade, 21st century style.

I can easily imagine how this lo-tech creation could also help promoting high-tech experiences that porrly accomodate our homes: decent VR set-ups designed for REAL interactive immersion... 
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There’s now a drone racing league that feels like pod racing from Star Wars

There’s now a drone racing league that feels like pod racing from Star Wars | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it

“Today, the Drone Racing League (DRL) announced its inaugural racing season. The league hopes to be the Formula 1, NASCAR and MotoGP of drone racing, and has secured backing from venture capital firms and celebrities to make that a reality.”

Vivalist's insight:

I recently watched the XCD drone racing event highlights and have to admit I was rather disappointed. It failed to deliver the excitement of pod racing the way a Star Wars extravaganza could.

There, the only excitement came from pod crashing into neon lights that delivered trippy psychedelic visuals. Fortunately, technical difficulties provided countless occasion to enjoy crashes.

 

And to me, that’s where the potential for broadcasted drone racing holds: non lethal crashes for all to enjoy!

Joke apart, First Person View (FPV) videos of racing and freestyling drones are mesmerizing! Admittedly, as with VR, motion sickness would have to be addressed, but assuming image stabilization and overall definition will not cease to improve, this is only a matter of time before we can experience these races in Virtual Reality!

 

“Some of the biggest issues plaguing the fledgling sport right now are technical. The video feed between a drone and the video goggles needed to pilot is currently rather grainy. Higher quality HD videos cause the feeds to lag, which can lead to acute motion sickness for drone pilots and a sense that you’re watching a beat-up old VHS recording for the audience. The DRL’s solution to this problem is a bold one: Forget live viewing (at least for now).”

Live is crucial to compete for the increasingly volatile audience’s attention as well as other mundane activities such as betting, nurturing local rivalries and crunching stats for the sake of fantasy sports virtual competition.

 

And live video game streaming on Twitch proved to be key to trigger viewers’ engagement. But, there seems to be a number of people who enjoy eSports’ replay, walkthroughs and let’s play videos on demand while maintaining community engagement.

 

And although “First-person drone racing, where racers fly drones using video goggles connected through radio to the drone, is a burgeoning sport,” the DRL structure borrows to Formula One and downhill ski racing. And those fast paced and action packed races broadcasting doesn’t rely on one camera angle, it’s a mix of views so FPV is not the only thrilling option drone racing could consider.

Other sports broadcast such as rugby provide 15+ different camera angles to choose from.

 

And yet, being at the stadium adds to the experience: the chants, waves, live social interactions with perfect strangers, and the fact that wherever you are seated, you still have a rather complete look at the action (with more or less granularity). However, for large racing events such as F1 and downhills, being at one specific place provides only a glimpse of what the action is for each competitor. This can be frustrating.

 

Drone racing would allow both the experience of a live venue event while providing additional features to online (and possibly non-live) broadcasting.

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Keith Stuart on AI, acting and the weird future of open-world games

Keith Stuart on AI, acting and the weird future of open-world games | relevant entertainment | Scoop.it

What all of [the mentioned below] AI researchers agree on is that the future of open world game design is going to be less about lots of scripted stuff being fed to the player, and more about the player collaborating with the computer to create fresh, personal stories together.

Vivalist's insight:

'Michael Cook, a computational creativity researcher at Goldsmiths University, began development of ANGELINA, a computer program capable of designing its own games using assets drawn from image search engines. He thinks the future of this genre is about handing creative power to the machine itself.'

 

'Julian Togelius is a university professor who has spent the last five years researching the concept of procedurally generated content in games. In the Togelius infinite world, you'll be able to drive a car in one direction for several miles and find that the game has built a city at the end of the journey, just for you. What's more, that city will be populated with characters who act like real humans rather than bizarre automatons. It will be the player's interactions with these characters that creates the stories.'

 

'Jeff Orkin [thinks] "last year's Shadow of Mordor did a great job of producing memorable moments through their Nemesis system, which created randomised enemies with a memory of past encounters with the player that they could vocalise in their taunts. This is a step in the right direction. Contextual dialogue ties events together, and explains to the player what the NPCs are thinking, and how decisions made in previous encounters have led to the current situation. However, giving every NPC the ability to dynamically voice contextual dialogue is an intractable problem in an open-world game." [...]

Orkin explains, "by recording several gameplay sessions of each scenario, cross referencing them with other similar scenarios, and doing some tagging and clustering to associate semantic meta-data, we can generate a vast dialogue database to draw from depending on the context."

He also foresees a future of community contributed dialogue, with players able to record their own voice performances, which the GroupPlay system could add to the game.'

 

'Mark Riedl heads up the Entertainment Intelligence Lab at the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing. For the past three years he's been working on a project named Scheherazade, a crowd-powered automated story generation system, which creates its own interactive fiction by studying groups of plot lines developed by humans.'

 

'What both Orkin and Riedl are working toward then is a concept known as drama management, a program of interlocking AI systems that serve quests and narrative adventures to players - often via intelligent NPCs - within a dynamic open world. "This is a growing and exciting area of research," says Cook. "A lot of work is being done on making game worlds both rich and unpredictable, as well as making them more controllable by designers. At the Experimental AI for Games workshop this year we had a paper called 'Toward Characters Who Observe, Tell, Misremember, and Lie' by folks at UC Santa Cruz.

[...] For me this is a powerful new concept in AI systems - and it's a system, not a script. We're familiar with characters in games lying to us, but only when a writer or designer decides they should. This is a changing, malleable system that demands a new kind of thinking from players. Open world games are falling prey to over-scripting and over-design - they're more like really big closed worlds than truly open ones. We need these kinds of unpredictable and organic AI systems to add life back to our open world games."

[...] 

" a deeper system, combining the Nemesis concept with the Talk of the Town technology would provide a world filled with dynamic Machiavellian plotters. And that means a very different set of games.

"If NPCs possessed social reasoning, then open-ended action games can be about power dynamics," says Riedl. "They may support strategies in which the player forges and betrays lasting relationships with NPCs instead of just shooting. Think of an interactive version of The Wire, House of Cards, or The Sopranos. These TV shows are about the weaving and unweaving of complex interpersonal relationships as a means to an end. This provides new, complex strategies that may complement the action-oriented aspects of the game. NPCs with innocuous beginnings could become regular companions, or grow into mortal enemies. An indication of success would be the player having a strong emotional response to the procedurally generated actions of an NPC, or to the betrayal or demise of a favourite character."

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