Google opens Maps to bring the real world into games

about X hours ago from
Google opens Maps to bring the real world into games

Pokémon Go and other games that use real-world maps are all the rage, but there's a catch: they typically depend on semi-closed map frameworks that weren't intended for gaming, forcing developers to jump through hoops to use that mapping info. Google doesn't want that to be an issue going forward. The search firm is both opening its Maps platform's real-time data and offering new software toolkits that will help developers build games based on that data.

PlayTable combines blockchain and board games for peak nerdery

about X hours ago from
PlayTable combines blockchain and board games for peak nerdery

Whether they're taking over a section of your local Target or dominating the list of Kickstarter's highest grossing projects, board games are booming right now. And, while traditional board games still have their place, plenty of companies are trying their hands at augmenting tabletop play with websites and apps, or building products that incorporate physical pieces into video games. Blok.Party's PlayTable takes all of that a step further by building a giant tablet to serve as the game board and letting users create their own RFID-enabled pieces that incorporate blockchain tech for a truly personalized gaming experience.

Valve’s new ‘Dota 2’ subscription adds an in-game coach

about X hours ago from
Valve’s new ‘Dota 2’ subscription adds an in-game coach

Dota 2 is a completely free-to-play game, with all the MOBA's heroes available to new players from day one. Valve makes money by selling different in-game cosmetics, announcers, HUDs, etc. When major tournaments roll around, the house that GabeN built also puts out time-limited "Battle Passes" that add challenges, co-operative game types, fantasy leagues and other things that encourage your participation in exchange for special effects and the latest hero skins. That's how it's worked in the past, but this year Valve is trying a more consistent approach to monetization with the new Dota Plus subscription.

A cloud service for mobile gaming isn't as dumb as it sounds

about X hours ago from
A cloud service for mobile gaming isn't as dumb as it sounds

We're reached a point where cloud gaming finally makes sense. The technology that exists now is beyond what was available to famous failures like OnLive and many others you could say were ahead of their time. Servers, the consoles and computers we have in our homes, and the speedy internet connections that feed them are now capable of mimicking the experience of playing a game stored on your local machine. Big companies like Sony and NVIDIA have gotten involved over the past few years for just this reason, and one upstart believes it's spotted an unfilled niche in the market. What Spotify has done for music and Netflix for TV, Hatch wants to do for mobile gaming.

Deezer can provide the soundtrack for your Xbox One games

about X hours ago from
Deezer can provide the soundtrack for your Xbox One games

You don't have too many options for large, on-demand music services that will stream in the background of your Xbox One games. Now that Groove Music is no more, Spotify is the main game in town. Thankfully, Deezer just gave you a viable alternative. Its newly launched Xbox One app gives you all-you-can-hear music streaming regardless of what you're doing on your console, including background streaming while you play.

SteelSeries' Arctis Pro is a high-res headset for discerning gamers

about X hours ago from
SteelSeries' Arctis Pro is a high-res headset for discerning gamers

High-fidelity audio is typically meant for the most extreme music geeks -- people who have expensive DACs (digital-to-analog converters), huge speakers and crazy headphones. You've probably seen (and rolled your eyes at) those folks extolling the virtues of 24-bit audio on message boards and comment sections around the web. With its latest gaming headphones, the Arctis Pro line, SteelSeries is hoping to aiming to make that high-end audio experience something everyone can enjoy.