Types Of 3D Games

3D-Games-wallpapers-20Gaming experience has never been as rich and vivid as it is today. From 2D to 3D, the evolution of gaming technology makes it popular not only among teens but also among adults alike. So what makes 3D games attractive not only to gamers but also to the general population?

Sense of Immersion

The advancements in technology resulted in 3D where the features allow gamers to experience realism resulting to better gaming experience. This is due to the fact that games that are made in 3D caters to the human senses such as the senses of sound, sight and touch. Sports games are quite popular since these have more activities, and the gamers do the action live especially for games developed for Wii.

Types of 3D Games

One of the popular 3D games genres is sports since most players are into extreme sports. Sports such as basketball or baseball allows gamers to experience the actual play without being physically in the field. Aside from sports, shooting games are also popular. In shooting games, it usually opens with a mission that allows players to catch bad guys or other targets and advance in the gameplay. These games usually have realistic locations allowing for a more immersed gaming experience.

Mental games are also becoming popular not only for avid gamers but also for use in many educational institutions. Updated versions of many mental game plays include 3D versions where depth and dimension are added to help make the game lifelike.

For people who love racing, racing games are also fast dominating the 3D world. Many are interested with these types of games because of the exciting graphics as well as the thrill of winning the race(s). Aside from car racing, one would also encounter animal racing, boats and even planes.

Simulation games have also been gaining popularity among players. Simulations allow players to assume a character or a role and finish their missions. Examples of these can be starting their own farm, becoming a crime boss or even having a virtual family.

Sense of Depth

As human beings, we are accustomed to seeing things in a 3D perspective and as such, it is hard for some to play games that are developed in 2D platform. In 3D games, players can play more easily because of the 3D perspective. They are able to visualize maps, graphs and other game designs/backgrounds as all the game features have a sense of depth that humans are familiar with.

Pros and Cons of Online Gaming

online-games-650x0More and more people are addicted to playing online games. With plenty of new and exciting games to choose from, people of all ages are now looking into great online games. Today, there are online gift cards you can purchase to buy the games you want to play. These cards can even be used to buy your favourite songs, movies, and TV shows. Experts shared some of the pros and cons of online gaming.

Advantages

You can try it before buying – Online gaming systems offer demos made for gamers so they can try playing that possible purchase as well as decide how much they would want prior to investing. Moreover, you can also buy games right then and there, without the need to rush out to the store.

Access to exclusive content – This one of the best reasons for choosing to play online games. You get to have access to the exclusive content for whatever it is that you are playing.

Communicate with other people – Online gaming will allow people to interact while playing, assisting people to maintain great relationships by communicating with family and friends all around the world. Certainly, this will be very helpful for gamers. Team building skills will be reinforced. Also, more tactical and strategic elements will be added to game-play. In turn, this can help increase your memory as well as develop lateral thinking.

Competitive – It allows you to compare your playing against different players. There will certainly be a feel good factor in knowing that you are a far better player than somebody else. Being aware that you are not against artificial intelligence will install more competitiveness. And since you are not always going to be the best, you will learn how to display good showmanship.

Disadvantages

System updates – If you are about to download the game you want or perhaps play online, there will be a time when a system update suddenly pops up and delay your game-time. You need to wait for it and then reboot.

Server issues or glitches – Glitches are viruses in game causing it to run irregularly. This is actually an issue with all game types; however, they are more common to online games. You may experience a series of server difficulties that are very frustrating for gamers.

Piracy – There has been incidences of breaching copyright laws, scandal, and letting users to pirate games illegally. And these situations have presented a big problem for the world of online gaming. In fact, the scandal caused plenty of controversies so there are some games that were shut down.

When playing online games, consider knowing some of the pros and cons involved in it. And if you have finally decided to engage into it, know that there are affordable gift cards you can buy so you can purchase the games you want.

Super Mario For Brown Kid

As a brown kid, it was tough to find media where I felt like I could relate. As I grow older, it’s become slightly easier to come to terms with this; but it’s very much a continuing struggle.

In video games, this has always been a bit difficult. One of the games that captured my imagination (as it did most people) was Super Mario 3 for the NES. I remember that the game excited me but also kinda scared me (Why was the sun so angry at me?). Its style made sense to my infant mind, but more importantly did not exclude me as an Asian kid. I believe this is because of two things. Firstly, the limited graphics of pixels meant that it was difficult to capture skin colours so most characters were generically white. While this has some obvious implications (Eurocentric), it actually meant that skin colour was reduced to a few pixels. Mario was white and European, did it matter? No. Was he really Italian? I guess he was. But the point is this wasn’t really a representation of the struggles of an Italian plumber. This was fun. There was a target to get to, and you just had to do it to the back drop of some fantastical graphics. Mario and Luigi were such bloated stereotypes it was difficult to take them seriously. When I played as Mario, I was Mario.

Secondly, as a Japanese game (which I didn’t really think of at the time) all the referents where alien in the west. It wasn’t quite a “white” world because culturally speaking all the referents were not there in the West. Tanooki suits? Goombas? It meant nothing to us, it just looked great and meant as a brown kid I didn’t feel excluded. In fact, I felt very much part of this fantasy world, and was glad to spend hours scouring it for secrets (and still do!).

It’s actually the final irony of video games that as graphics in games are now more “realistic” they end up reproducing real world discriminations. I am way more likely to come across stereotypes of brown people in video games in full HD, than I ever was as a child (not to say there were none in the pixel period). This is a real shame, and I feel that as games attempt to capture the “Hollywood” movie feel (for bigger returns) it will simply duplicate the same problematic issues that the cinema has been criticised for.

All About Nvidia Shield

More and more with the integration of different technologies, gamers are searching for one way to play all of their PC and Android games on one system without miles of cords and hours of frustration. Nvidia is looking to level the playing field with the Nvidia SHIELD, a three part system that supports portable gaming across a variety of platforms.

SHIELD Tablet
Already well known for producing high quality graphics cards used worldwide by gamers, Nvidia now makes an 8″ tablet with a Tegra K1 mobile processor and full HD 1080p screen. The speakers are front facings and it comes with a cover that doubles as a stand. This tablet is designed to be used with the Nvidia SHIELD wireless controller to play all of your PC games. You even have the ability to stream your games via Twitch. On top of what it does on its own, it is capable of plugging directly into the TV, negating the need for you to invest in a second 42″ flat screen for your computer.

SHIELD Portable
Complete with state of the art rendering and precision control, Nvidia’s SHIELD Portable is an all-in-one device for the travelling gamer. Built with a Tegra mobile 4 processor, a 5-inch 720p touch screen. It comes preloaded with optimized games but can run any popular emulator. With online capability, the Portable also serves as a high-quality entertainment device able to stream Hulu and Netflix as well as download any type of media from Google Play.

SHIELD Wireless Controller
Made to work with both tablet and portable, Nvidia’s SHIELD Wireless Controller is the first-ever precision controller designed for both PC and Android streaming. Its wireless capability uses Wi-Fi Direct to reduce latency and increase performance in comparison to the Bluetooth controllers. Each controller also utilizes an integrated microphone to access voice commands and search functions. Other features include a headphone jack, touch-pad, dedicated buttons for Android navigation and volume controls.

Undoubtedly designed by gamers for gamers, the Nvidia SHIELD line up is the next step in game integration. By creating products that make accessing and playing your PC games easier combined with stellar quality of both picture and sound, full gaming systems will soon be on the way out. This ease of use and portability means that PC gaming is quickly going to become the dominant way to play video games. Accessibility and Convenience is was makes the Nvidia Shield a viable component in mobile gaming.

Lessons From Flappy Bird

Did you ever think that there could be a game which could teach you several lessons apart from giving you a really entertaining time? Well, Flappy Bird is one such game. This impossibly easy and yet difficult game had caught the world’s attention due to its simple game play yet incredibly tough game objectives. The objectives are quite clear.

You have to score points by making your bird pass through the obstacles. For passing 10 obstacles, you get a bronze medal, for 20 you get a silver and for 40 you get a gold. There is also a special platinum medal which can be won by really experienced players. But one has to admit that once you get addicted to these Flappy Bird games, they make you give up everything else in an attempt to beat the game. And that exactly is the first lesson that the game teaches you – perseverance.

Flappy Bird also is an extremely tough game. Therefore, when you play it again and again, it hones your time management skills really well. It requires a lot of skill and dexterity to time the flaps of the bird just right so that it is able to change its altitude in accordance with the openings in the pipe like obstacles which come at different heights. One also has to have really sharp reflexes because the obstacles come in faster and with lesser and lesser distance between them as the game progresses. In fact, it is only after the first ten obstacles are crossed that the game really starts speeding up. Flappy Bird games make sure that your concentration powers increase manifold. The game play is so intense that the player is totally sucked into the game. And if his attention varies for even a second, his bird would crash into the obstacles. As the game moves forward, the stakes get higher. Each time that you cross more than half the number of obstacles that you crossed the previous time, you feel anticipation that this time you might beat your past record. It is a nail biting scenario as your bird flies faster and faster and the obstacles whirl past as you try to beat either your own high score or your friends’ high score. If you are able to beat it, there cannot be a more exhilarating feeling. And if you are not able to beat it, you can just pick yourself up, dust off and start over. So, the game only teaches you not to be afraid of the obstacles which you face in life too and to pick yourself up and make a fresh start every time.

And finally, the most important and amusing lesson that the Flappy Bird games teach us is not to get so addicted of any one particular thing to such an extent that you can’t let go of it. For example fans got addicted to Flappy Bird and then it was taken away from them. Life can also deal us such blows but we must not let them take us down.

Pro Gaming Products Facts

Being a pro gamer is not a cheap thing to achieve. There is plenty of equipment to purchase and it is not the cheapest, but also not too expensive. You are getting your moneys worth for what you pay for. In my detailed post I mentioned gaming equipment, I am going to go into more detail on the different equipment a pro gamer should have. First things first is a controller. Now you can use just a standard controller or you can use what most pros use and that is a Scuf controller. You can either buy a Scuf controller and add some customization to it our you can mail in your own controller and customize it and have it mailed back to you. By customization I mean adding a skin design to the controller, adding grip, changing the kind controller stick, and or adding paddles. Now the skin design is just what covers the base of the controller, so instead of having a plain black controller you could have a red and black controller. It just makes the controller look cooler. The grip is just so you have a better grip on your controller, so it does not slip out of your hands.

There a two kinds of controller sticks you can use; concave and domed. Concave is where the center of the stick is caved in and the domed is where the stick is in the shape a dome. They do not necessarily make you play better, it is just your preference for what you would want to use. The paddles are designed for button mapping. By this I mean having the paddle replace a button so you do not have to use that button.

These go on the back of the controller. For example let’s say that the A button is used to jump, when customizing the controller paddles you can assign one the paddles the A button. So instead of always having to press A to jump you can just push the paddle instead. Now the paddles can be assigned to any button you want, just do what fits your style of play. You can have up to four paddles, which means you can have four buttons remapped for the paddles.

The next thing you will want to get is a gaming headset. The top two companies are Turtle Beach and Astro Gaming. These headsets allow you to hear game audio and chat audio in the headset. It is up to you to figure out what levels you want each audio at. Each person has their own preference but majority of the pro players use Astro gaming. Also, each person will say that one is better than the other based on what headset they have. I have had a Turtle Beach headset before but now have an Astro Gaming headset. I personally think Atros are better because they are designed better, and I think they have better quality.

You want to have one of these brands because they will help you in-game. It will help you hear things at a distance and it helps you hear people coming up behind you. Do some research, look at reviews, and talk to your friends about them and buy what you think is best. The last main thing you will need is a monitor. There are a lot of companies who make monitors, just like headsets each person has their own preference of what brand they use. Major League Gaming uses BenQ monitors. They even have a specific monitor that is used by the pros at events. You can find these by just Googling them. These have the best quality and the lowest lag response time. The picture is so clear, colorful, and is nice because there is no lag which means everything that happens, happens in real time with no delay. Another thing that I would recommend is a recording a device to record your gameplays. You can get an El Gato or and Hauppague HDPVR.

These are the only two that I know of, but I am sure there are more. Before purchasing one these make sure your computer or laptop reaches and or exceeds the specifications of the device. These are not necessary to be a pro gamer, but it is nice to record your gameplays and makes videos out of them and post them to YouTube. Basically every pro player makes YouTube videos from their games. You can get fans to watch and subscribe to your YouTube channel. This is not necessity but it is a nice thing to have to show to others. These are the products that players in general and pro players use. I highly recommend looking into all of these. Theses would be an investment, a one time purchase that would last a very long time. I hope that these help you guys out. Happy gaming.

Selling a Spectrum Game

Let’s face it, graphics were not the selling point of a ZX Spectrum game. It wasn’t often someone would pick up a cassette box and shout out “WOW, look at the graphics on this game!!” – Spectrum gamers knew what kind of graphics they were probably going to get even before flipping to the back of the box.

What made it worse was that a lot of the times on the back of a box the publishers had provided screenshots of not only the Spectrum version, but alongside them screenshots from the rival Commodore 64 version, and even the Atari ST and Amiga versions which were streets ahead with graphics capabilities. Some cassette inlay’s took it a step further with a complete disregard for false advertising as they showed screenshots from a completely different system (one of the ones with the much better graphics) and decided not to show any Speccy screenshots at all! Admittedly, there were times I would look at these comparison screenshots and think “Why can’t my game look like *that*”. I’d still buy the game anyway, because I knew what to expect and of course I could always use my imagination to make the game better. No matter what version of screenshots I was shown, I had a feeling of what was going to be fun. But what made the Spectrum owner pick up the box in the first place?

In a time without YouTube or the internet, and television advertising for games was unheard of; it was the cover art that had to grab your attention. Yes there were Spectrum magazines filled with screenshots and reviews but when you turned the page to reveal a full page colour advert for a game, it was dominated by incredible game cover art, and only a few small screenshots of the game (if any at all) usually subtly placed at the bottom with the other unimportant stuff.

When I’m talking cover art, this was not computer designed 3D CGI at the standard seen these days; these were beautifully drawn or hand painted – this was real talent, and time and effort spent – nothing computer aided or digital. In some cases you could see the felt tip pen strokes, brush marks or pencil lines. This was real art. Walking in to a computer shop and looking across the shelves at a sea of cassette boxes, each one with their own cartoon cover, painted hero scenes, or movie poster style art – you knew you were in for a treat, even if the treat was the time you spent in the shop looking at them. There were titles you had never heard of, title’s that didn’t even show a single screenshot on the back of the box! But this added a mystique to the choice of this week’s game purchase. Even without screenshots, the cover art told you it was worth taking the gamble as you stared at the picture on the front of the box on your bus journey home (..sometimes the gamble didn’t always pay off, though.)

These sometimes breathtaking illustrations would pull you in, and they tempted you. Like the art on the cover of a book, you wanted to open the pages and dive in to the story to be the character emblazoned on the front; the cover set the tone for the incredible adventure you were about to embark on… which of course ended up being a number of basic looking pixelated shapes awkwardly moving around a screen to the soundtrack of a few bleeps and white noise, but that’s not the point.

Today graphic artists could simply take a frame from the photo-real texture mapped game sprite and place them in any position or pose, and that alone would be enough to sell the game. However, in the days of the Spectrum, in it’s place would stand an actor in action poses dressed up in full costume as characters from the game! I, of course, refer to the very memorable cover of “Barbarian”. It gave it an extra dimension of realism to the point of sale rarely seen today – oh, and boobs. Protesters focused so much on the risqué (although not by today’s standards) cover art, that nobody pointed out that in the game you chop peoples head’s clean off with a sword, for it to be then kicked across the screen! To be fair, the type of person to make complaints about a girl wearing a bikini on the front of a computer game box, probably didn’t know how to load the game up in order to be outraged by the beheading.

Grand gestures and attention grabbers were needed in the early days of computing, of course this was mostly to counter the incredibly unrealistic game and sometimes pitiful gameplay of a title – usually the movie-licenced ones, to be fair.

If a movie was a big hit, any kind of game of any standard would do – sometimes with no actual relevance to the plot of the movie, and forget screenshots – not needed! 
Get the license to publish a game of the worldwide epic movie “Jaws”, put the famous Shark on the front emerging up toward the swimming girl; then it’s going to shift a considerable amount of units. Oh wait, what about the game? OK just swap the X’s and O’s for Shark Fin’s and Girls Face’s in a game of sharky Tic-Tac-Toe – that should do it! (That wasn’t the game version of Jaws, by the way, I just made that up for an extreme example – the actual game was *much* less relevant to the plot). The point being, as long as it had the big Hollywood cover art, then it was going to sell by the bucket load no matter what. Gamer’s did feel let down however, and through the years would become wise and double check the screenshots and reviews of movie-licensed games, just to make sure they weren’t being conned.

There were good games, and bad games, correct screenshots, deceiving ones, and no screenshots at all; but one thing was certain when you purchased a Spectrum game – you were going to have a new experience (good or bad) that started the moment you set eyes on the cover art.

In the 80’s and early 90’s, when graphics were not the greatest, how did a game grab your attention when sitting on the shelf? The cover art! Filled with personal experience and humor, this article takes a subjective journey in to a time when the screen shots on the box were not always that of the system it was being sold for.

Nerds and Technology Are Walking Together

Throughout my years of movie watching and electronics sales, I have noticed one trend that I find kind of amusing, and might help explain how we *cough* “know” who the Nerds are… Technology. Say what you will about Nerds, nerds and technology are almost interchangeable terms. Regardless of whatever else they are fans of, nerds LOVE their technology, and are often the first to embrace the newest technological advances.

People, (and by people, I mean in general and not in specific), foster a love/hate/fear relationship with technology. When we first get a new technological device, we love it. We love our cars, computers, cell phones, tablets, cameras, and all our gadgets and chirpy little doodads that go along with modern life. Once our device doesn’t work *exactly* as desired, we get angry. We fear life without them, and fear life with them. People often take out their frustrations on innocent pieces of electronic equipment. (I once threw my cell phone across a room when I was fighting with my then-boyfriend. The phone miraculously survived).

In the 1,000+ films I have watched in my life, a common theme arises. Even in some of the oldest films made, the “Fear of Technology” is a prevalent theme. In the first science fiction film, Metropolis (1927) a fem-bot destroys the city. In Modern Time s (1936) Charlie Chaplin, a factory worker, has a nervous breakdown because of his high-stress technological job. In a gamut of more recent films like the Terminator series, Transformers series, and I, Robot (2004) just to name a few, technology is a menace. Technology rises up against the fleshy creators (or mere humans) and destroys society.

Humanity in these films are also partially saved by technology. Terminator’s John Conner is repeatedly rescued by technology as it seeks to destroy him. The Deceptacons, usually military and non-automobile robots, cause massive amounts of destruction on Earth while we are saved by Optimus Prime (an 18 wheeler) and his Autobots (A variety of cars, trucks, and forms of Civilian transportation). This also shows a slight fear of military invasion, a worry that war has ruined our society.

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons we fear technology is that technology removes our necessity in the workplace- people are replaced with machines, causing less people to be necessary to perform the same functions. What use do we have of real live babysitters when we can have a robot nanny? In I, Robot society has become adjusted and inured with the overabundance of robots: they do all the work we people don’t want to do for ourselves. Robots are constrained by rules to protect us, until they turn on humanity because V.I.K.I, the central ‘brain’ of the robots has determined humanity cannot take care of itself.

But what does this have to do with Nerds, You ask? Let me explain.

In films, and in real life, Nerds embrace technology and make it their own. Nerds are the first ones to take-on new technology like computers, the internet, ereaders. Cellphones are an exception, but mostly because of the expense of the earliest cellular phones.

In the Revenge of the Nerds films, nerds perform computer-based music. In Weird Science, nerds build a perfect woman (although she wreaks havoc, the Nerds were the ones with the know-how to do so) because of their inability to approach girls. They are not truly trying to replace women, but to learn how to talk to them. In Growing Pains the nerdy Carol Anne Seaver once dreams of getting a modem. On the TV series Chuck, the “Nerd Herd” works in computer repair. Hackers are really just a bunch of nerds using their superior nerd knowledge to ‘hack’ into governmental databases. While heroic in the film, the threat of hackers and people stealing our information off the internet is very real. Even Tony Stark Iron Man is a Nerd with Money: the comic book fan’s dream of being Rich with all the Tech and skill to build himself into a superhero role.

The men (and some of the women) in the Big Bang Theory are nerds They are also cutting-edge scientists, studying String Theory, space, theoretical physics, things that confuse many laypeople like Penny, the normal. But, the men created things like a zero-gravity toilet.

Nerds are often the ones to *embrace* technology because they create it. Real Life “nerds” Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have had a tremendous influence in everyday life. It is the nerd who has the skill, know-how, and intellect to create, to think forward, to come up with new ideas and answers to problems that present themselves to society.

It is the nerd that fixes the technology. We turn to nerds when our computer breaks, when we can’t fix our cellphone, when we don’t know how to set up our new Television system. Now, I’m not saying that nerds fix automobiles, but Nerds do design automobiles and test them.

This embrace of technology is perhaps why stereotypical Nerds love Science Fiction genre: Science Fiction shows a world where all the hard work of Nerds has paid off.

Grand Theft Auto Characters

5. Lester Crest

Lester is the mastermind behind all the heists and although he suffers from a wasting disease which has gradually worn down his motor skills during his life and left him wheelchair-bound he is still no less of a threat. He excels best behind his computer screen and is not a person you would like to piss off.

At an unknown point in time, Lester met and became affiliated with Michael Townley and Trevor Philips, becoming a regular member of their heist crews since the start of their partnership.

4. Lamar Davis

Lamar is the best friend of Franklin Clinton they both went to Davis High School together when they were teenagers. Eventually, the two men became involved in crime. Now going about stealing (or “repo-ing”) cars for the dealership where they work. Lamar always has something intelligent to say, even if he doesn’t have the eloquence to really say it, and he shows that there is more to a small time gangster than meets the eye.

Fun Fact: Lamar was originally supposed to be the character that Franklin ended up being but due to a last minute decision by Rockstar his role was altered.

3. Franklin Clinton

Franklin is a small time gangster, working for a crooked guy who wants him to boost cars for a living. Franklin is the first playable character in GTA V (discounting the prologue) and is our first introduction to the sprawling world of Los Santos.

Franklin was born in South Los Santos in 1988. Following his mother’s death, Franklin moved in with his grandparents. Despite being constantly spoiled by his grandmother, Franklin had decided to take on the role of a street hustler. One of his first jobs was selling cigarettes with Bradshaw however, it isn’t until Franklin jacks Michael’s son’s car that he is promoted into the criminal world of high risk, high reward.

2. Micheal De Santa / Townley

Michael Townley used to be part of a big time gang, pulling off bank heists and getting into ferocious shoot-outs. After he is shot by the police, however, he decides to take the way out; witness protection in exchange for information.

Michael is a great character to balance the three protagonist structure. He strikes a balance between Franklin’s cool, collected attitude and Trevor’s crazy. Michael can be as reasonable as the next guy, but when he’s in a bad mood, he can almost be as manic as his old partner. Michael is about as far away from the stereotypical GTA protagonist as you could get, and it seems rather fresh to start off the game as a success this time round.

1. Trevor Philips

Who else could it have been? Rockstar’s newest psychopath is different because he’s also a protagonist. Trevor Phillips is wild and unhinged. His company, Trevor Phillips Industries, seems to only have two things on its business plan – kill everyone and sell some meth. As the story progresses, Trevor carries out torture, brutally murders people, takes a man’s wife hostage and continues his one man rampage.
Trevor is an unbelievably complex character, and will go down in GTA history as one of the wildest characters ever.

“This is my life’s work. I mean since I was a little kid I-I dreamt big. Y’Know, I’ve always wanted to be an international drug dealer and… weapons trader.”– TREVOR PHILIPS

Agree or disagree with this list? Then leave a comment down below about how you would have designed this list.

Next Generation Console of Tomb Raider

The Definitive addition of Tomb Raider has elevated a classic video game into the proverbial model of the 2016 game changer. The remastering of this video game on the Next Generation console has re-introduced this classic video game to a whole new generation, all the while still captivating veteran gamers. The effects are now in HD which makes the adventures more exciting and almost lifelike. The modifications to the weapons are ten times more powerful than the originals. The bow and arrows alone have changed the overall dynamic of her arsenal.

Gaming with Smith’s main objective is to help players transition from the original adventure into the explosive playing field of the new one. The character’s movements are completely different although a lot of the weaponry has changed. One of the goal’s accomplished by Gaming with Smith is the direction and explanation of the majority of these character movement’s. Once a gamer, has learned the basics, the transition is not only easier but the rewards and so much more gratifying than the original.

Tomb Raider will forever be a video game classic. Now with the addition of modern technology and the influence of a completely re-born gaming system, it is now prepared to take its legacy to the upper echelons of Video game history. From it’s surreal graphics to the unique story line, it is eons ahead of the majority of the games that are out there. The Next Generation Console has taken a huge step into the new gaming world and Gaming with Smith is an upcoming YouTube channel that will guide you through every step of the way.

Tips to Get a Game Server Hosted

First of all what are game server providers, GSPs, and why do I need one? If, like me, you love playing games with your other online gaming buddies you generally play together online. You and your team need a playground that will provide the online space for you to. How and where does all that information get processed? There are two main methods.

The first is peer to peer. Peer to peer is a well established protocol of information sharing between willing computers. In the case of online computer games this is where one computer acts as the host (master computer if you like) and all other players’ computers send their information to the master. This gives the player hosting the game a slight advantage in response time or lower ping and of course once that player leaves the game the server no longer exists as it was dependent on his connection, historically this has been referred to as a ‘listen server’.

Dedicated Servers. Some games companies like Activision and EA provide their own online “official” or “ranked” dedicated servers where they have their own machines in their own data centre hosting official servers that they control and admin. Console games generally also have their own dedicated servers provided by the developers or peer to peer solutions in some cases as with Modern Warfare 2 and 3. But some servers are provided by individuals who like to have personal control over how their game server is setup. These come in two options. Either the individual has a rented or owned machine and hosts the game server themselves. The second option is to rent a dedicated game server from a large list of GSP’s (game server providers) who for a small monthly charge can host your server for you 24 hours a day and have web based graphic user interfaces in order to start, stop, reinstall, edit configuration files, setup scheduled restarts, install mods and much more. This is in large part the most common choice as it is both cost effective and much easier to get started. Only basic knowledge is needed in order to host a server this way. That is why the GSP industry has grown to a 5 million dollar a year industry.

What are online servers?

A server is a machine running in a data centre (DC) with a high bandwidth connection to the internet and a redundant power supply to keep things online 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. This allows lots of players to connect to one place to all play together. GSP’s host their game servers on machines in a data centre.

What is ping?

Ping is just an ICMP command that checks the time it takes for a packet of information to travel from one computer to another and back again. Ping is measured in ms or milliseconds which are thousandths of a second. A game server that is hosted within 300 miles of your physical location should provide you with a good latency to your game server.

Full Dedicated Server

I have heard of dedicated servers. What are these?

You can rent a full dedicated server, this gives you root access to a Windows Server machine via Remote Desktop Connection. This is for advanced users as setting up a game server using steamcmd and configuring the firewall can be a time consuming process but for large communities and clans this is the only option. Full control over your game servers, root access to all of the files, something you will never get with shared game server hosting. It comes with a cost though, around the $100 per month mark so get those donations flowing to pay for the hardware.

Shared Game Server Hosting

Renting through a GSP (game server provider) is the most common and the best bang for your buck way to run a game server. You choose a provider from the many 100’s out there, choosing which provider to go with can be quite a daunting task. Here are the main points to consider.

· Price. Well price is king in most cases and a lot of gamers would have looked for the cheapest company in the top ten of Google and gone with them without even thinking about it. However choosing the lowest price is a haphazard way to choose any service, whether it be a plumber, an electrician or in this case a game server. You can choose the cheapest and take a punt, go for the most expensive and hope that translates into a quality service or if you’re like me go for the middle ground, not too cheap and not too expensive. I use this practice when choosing everything, from toasters to hotel rooms. But price isn’t the only factor to consider.

· Reputation. Reputation has an extremely strong influence in any decision on which service provider to use. There are game server companies that seem to of been around since the dawn of the internet age, and there are new unknown companies that have only formed in the past years. The older companies have seen it all before and maybe can get caught not putting the effort into the control panel functionality that a modern games and gamers demand. New vibrant young companies can be enthusiastic and energetic in their approach to both new game releases and support but they can also make mistakes and show a lack of experience in challenging support matters. The complicated nature of the newer indie games and steam early access games make it very difficult to get a smooth running game server so I would opt for the middle ground again, a company that’s not too long in the tooth but also old enough to have experience where it matters.

What else does a GSP offer then?

There are also some other factors to consider when selecting a GSP:

· Control Panel Interface. This is a Graphic User Interface (GUI) where you control your game server from. Here you can launch the game, change the rules, add server passwords, add bans, allows, add administrators and add mods. This should be fast and easy to use. The industry standard is TCAdmin 2, but many providers have custom created control panels to reduce costs as TCAdmin can be rather pricy for enterprise companies.

· Support staff experience. The support staff has experience to set up the game to make is easier to play as lots of games nowadays have complicated set up procedures. A good GSP will have a configuration editor already configured in the GSP control panel so that you do not need to go and research all the information to edit the file yourself. The key is the better the staff the less problems will go wrong with your server once you have it.

· Mod installers. Some GSPs have mod installers where you can, in one or two clicks, completely install a mod to a game with all the required files without the need to upload via FTP. Again this is a setup that your GSP would/should have made themselves.

· 24 Hour support. I play games into the wee hours of the morning and business hours support is no good to me. I want 24 hour support and I want someone to get back to me pretty quick so I can get on with my gaming. I don’t get a lot of free time and I don’t want it wasted on staring at a broken server, even if I did broke it myself.

· Instant Setup. Most GSP’s should have instant setup, in my experience this is not actually instant, instant start of the setup, not quite instant setup, the files need to download and some of these new games can be 20GB or more.

· Configuration editors. These are necessary for GSPs as many don’t want to give access to the root folders and modify the configurations and .ini files as the player slots are generally directly related to CPU consumption so the more player slots you require the more the server will cost. A good configuration editor will make the setting up of your game server easier. The complicated nature of some of the recent indie games like DayZ and Ark Survival evolved require attention to detail in order to get running smoothly. Make sure to check that the GSP is up to date with all custom configurations as updates for these types of games come quite often and can break an out of date configuration. So making sure the GSP staff are keeping up with games is a good indicator of a good GSP. Any good GSP should be able to answer detailed questions about their games and if they don’t what kind of support can you expect from them.

All About E3 Expo

Every year at E3 huge games developers come to show off their biggest and best titles to the point at which they’ve been developed. Some games are still in the very early stages of development and only a small part of them can be shown as it has been specifically perfected for the E3 event. Everyone from the gaming media industry visits E3 and records every detail they can in writing until they return home where they can write a full report. All of these details are important for readers of gaming magazines and websites, and much of the industry’s news is spread through this process of holding events and having journalists write about them.

E3 brings together the biggest names in games development and gives them a space from which to showcase the games they’re most proud of. In 2012 games such as the well-known Far Cry 3 and the first instalment in the new Halo trilogy Halo 4 were shown, giving games journalists a wealth of information simply from a few minutes of video footage. The advantage of playing a demo or showing a video at E3 as opposed to having one to one interviews with games journalists, is that everyone gets the same source information, but they need to interpret it in their own way.

Companies such as Sony and Microsoft also feature themselves at E3, not due to a game they’re developing, but more due to a new console which they are hoping to release soon. These two giants can set the stage for the rest of the exposition, with new consoles being announced alongside the games which will feature on them. The biggest and best E3 expositions are always the ones where new consoles are released, as the new games being made for them use better technology which creates games that are more advanced than anything seen in current generation consoles.

Ultimately the E3 Expo achieves a worldwide event for the gaming industry, an event which will set the tone for games to come in the current year and the first half of the year to follow. The job of developers at E3 is to amaze games journalists with their demos and cinematics of new games which are being developed for near future release. The job of games journalists is to then amaze the public by featuring videos and writing their views of them for everyone to read online and in their physical publications should they produce them.