GOT a new Amazon Echo speaker? It's tricky to know what to ask Alexa at first, but it's great once you learn all of the hidden secrets. We've rustled together a list of the best Alexa skills, tips and tricks to make the most of your new smart home assistant. Useful Alexa skills "Alexa, give me a chocolate brownie recipe" – This uses the Allrecipes skill to provide detailed cooking instructions for chocolate brownies. The recipe can also be sent to your phone, if you need to pop to the shop for ingredients. "Alexa, play music for sleeping" – Your Amazon Echo will play gentle music as you drift off. You can even tell Alexa to stop playing music in half an hour, so she turns off once you've entered the land of nod. "Alexa, start a 7-minute workout" – If you're not keen on forking out for a gym membership, Alexa can provide you with a narrated workout for free. Just don't get mad at her if you're feeling sore the next day. "Alexa, what's on BBC 1 tonight?" – The … [Read more...] about Best Alexa skills, tricks and tips for your new Amazon Echo smart speaker
Google home easter eggs
Back when I was 17, I took a chance on a CD single I found in a record shop where I'd wait for my bus home from sixth form. The song was called Birthday and it was by a band called The Julie Dolphin. No, you won't have heard of them. I was an awful indie kid. The mid-90s was the golden age for kids like me. We were emboldened by the rise of grunge and Britpop was about to explode. I say 'we'. Truth is, I lived in the countryside outside Ipswich and few of my friends were into music, which meant that my music lived entirely between myself, what the NME told me to think, and the few CDs I could afford. But I was fiercely protective of a taste I'd cultivated for nearly a whole year. So, knowing The Julie Dolphin were extremely obscure and finding Birthday (an enthusiastic blend of My Bloody Valentine (who I'd yet to listen to) and Pixies (a friend wore their T-shirt)) pleasantly jangly, I ordered a copy of Lit, their first and as it turned out only album. I was so proud. I'd discovered a … [Read more...] about Can you discover games for yourself in the algorithmic age?
In case there was any doubt, Ernest Cline is a massive geek. Ready Player One is an ode to some of the nerdiest (and best) movies, video games, and more from the ‘80s and beyond, and its author is every inch the fanboy you’d expect him to be. What’s clear when I sit down to talk to him about his book being turned into a movie, is that he’s just really into geek culture and wrote a book about everything he loved growing up. He still can’t believe his story about a young boy from Oklahoma, who cares more about a virtual world than the one he was born into, is being turned into a huge blockbuster. Much less by Steven Spielberg! It would be a dream come true for any author, but for Cline it feels like more than that. It feels a little bit like fate. “Ready Player One would have been a different story - and I might not have written it at all - if I hadn’t grown up watching Steven [Spielberg]’s movies.” He tells me. “I was … [Read more...] about Ernest Cline reveals how his “unfilmable book”
Rockstar might not have officially announced Grand Theft Auto 6, but there’s no doubt that it’s in development. Don’t expect official confirmation until after Red Dead Redemption 2 hits shelves on October 26, 2018, with GTA 6 unlikely to release until 2020 or beyond. As absurd as it might sound to speculate about the next Grand Theft Auto game, there’s solid historical precedent to build on if you apply the principles of a predictive technique called the Fermi problem – more on that later. We’ll use this article to provide you our best guess on GTA 6’s setting, release date, structure and more, with regular updates. What has Rockstar said about GTA 6 on the record? Rockstar North’s former President teased the next series entry back in 2013 in a four-part interview with Develop magazine, which got the online rumour mill started: “We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas,” said Benzies in the … [Read more...] about Everything we know about GTA 6 so far – and how predictive science might help us plot the future of Rockstar’s open-world series
Creating a coherent art style for your game can be difficult. There are lots things to consider: the color palette, the core assets, and the design of the characters and environments. Fourattic, the Spanish studio behind the action-adventure game Crossing Souls, knows this all too well. The team set themselves the challenge of creating a distinctly 1980s aesthetic for the game, achieving this through the use of reference materials, detailed environments, and color. Crossing Souls is out this week, and asks players to manage a group of five teenagers who discover a pink stone that allows them to travel between the realms of the living and the dead. Using each character’s unique abilities, players need to explore a bunch of settings inspired by '80s media, communicate with ghosts, and unravel a sinister government conspiracy in order to save your hometown from ruin. Using reference material Juanga Jaén, lead animator and artist on Crossing Souls, … [Read more...] about How Fourattic captured the ’80s with Crossing Souls ‘ art design