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Tokyo Disneyland: An Example of Great Theme Park Design

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A couple of months ago, my wife and I went on a trip to Japan. Between walking the streets of Akihabara, Harajuku, Osaka, Kobe, and much more, it was truly a trip to remember. However, before we explored the rest of Japan, our first stop on our trip was Tokyo Disneyland. We weren’t sure what to expect at Japan’s version of the famed theme park, so we went in with diluted expectations. What we found was very interesting… read on

My Choice for Most Creative Game of the Year: Stardew Valley

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2016 has now finally concluded. Many consider 2016 to be the worst year in recent memory. Not many good things came out of it. That’s why, to me, the video game Stardew Valley was a breath of fresh air when I discovered it Christmas week.

Stardew Valley is a video game. To be specific, it is a farming simulator video game. That may sound very boring at first, however, if you take a minute to review the game’s visuals or a video of the game, you will see the game world is full of beautifully vibrant pixel graphic charm and serene music. Stardew Valley looks like it was made for the Super Nintendo with its cute character and adorable animal sprites, however it’s a very recent game made for PC and Mac. As the player, you inherit a farm from your recently deceased grandfather. You get sick of your life working in a cubicle in the city and move to the old farm located in Stardew Valley. Once there, you turn an old dilapidated farm into a fully functioning farm that produces crops, animals, wine and other artisanal goods. While you do this, you can become friends with the other local residents of Stardew Valley. You can even get married and have kids. Stardew Valley also houses many secrets for you, the player, to uncover. read on

Shelter the Animation

Japanese animation (anime for short) is something I enjoy on occasion. Some of the most creative animation I have ever seen has come out of Japan. Whether you know it or not,  you have probably seen some anime yourself at some point (Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, Speed Racer etc… are all anime). Due to it’s popularity in the US, many American companies that produce cartoons have attempted to imitate the typical anime “style” of characters (such as big shiny eyes, small mouths, exaggerated reactions etc…). The results are hit or miss (usually more miss in my opinion), but recently a special video came to my attention. “Shelter the Animation” attempts to bridge that gap between Japanese and American artists. It’s a music video that was designed and animated with the help of a famous Japanese animation studio, A-1 Pictures (most notable for animating Sword Art Online, Fairy Tail, Black Butler and more). However, the brains behind the music video was a musician, Porter Robinson (who created the song “Shelter”). Porter, who is an American, worked with French musician, Madeon, to create the song. Porter—a massive fan of anime himself—spent a long time working directly with A-1 Pictures to create this incredibly beautiful video. This sort of collaboration on anime isn’t normal. Usually, the Japanese don’t work with Americans on anime or manga, but they were moved by just how passionate Porter was and decided he would be a great partner to work with. read on

Twitch.tv Announces Twitch Prime

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For over 4 years, I’ve enjoyed an entertainment website known as Twitch.tv. Twitch is a website for gamers to consume gaming related content—creative content such as costume making, game design, variety shows, coding, and even Social Eating. Gamers can either live stream their gameplay (or show) for an audience to watch on Twitch, or you can be one of the audience members and watch the live streamed content. Twitch offers streamers tools to interact with their audience to help them build a community. Viewers can chat with the streamer in real time while they are playing their games and also tip them money via paypal or Twitch’s own system called “cheering.” Lastly, if a Twitch streamer has enough of a viewership, they are asked to join the Twitch partnership program, which allows viewers to subscribe to the streamer’s channel for a monthly payment of $4.99. This offers the audience member various perks decided on by the streamer. Due to the monetary aspect of Twitch, many streamers stream as their full time job. read on

No Man’s Sky: A Game as Big as the Universe

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I’ve been curiously following the development of an incredibly ambitious video game called “No Man’s Sky” since its first appearance in December of 2013. Sony officially announced the game as a Playstation 4 console exclusive at E3 2014. No Man’s Sky has been described as a space exploration game with elements of crafting, space combat and ground combat. The main point of the game, though is to explore the universe and travel to its center. Players start with a spaceship on a planet at the edge of the game’s known universe and they have to slowly upgrade their ship and equipment to make it from star system to star system. They will run into danger along the way, as each planet is procedurally generated, and may have a toxic or radioactive atmosphere as well as dangerous terrain and wildlife. Players can also run into alien factions in space that may want to fight you in space combat. read on

Has Kickstarting Gone Too Far?

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Crowdfunding has become something somewhat normal over the past few years as sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become mainstream sites. Some truly amazing things have come out of kickstarter such as the Pebble smartwatch, the Reading Rainbow reboot, and a new Veronica Mars movie. This has caused a huge influx of crowd funded campaigns and some of the things being kickstarted these days are not exactly the most useful or remarkable things. I’m going to list a couple that have recently caught my attention and made me think, “has kickstarting gone too far?” Check out some of the most ridiculous projects I’ve found recently after the break.
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Say Hello to Masahiko Senda, Cardboard Master

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Source: Cinema Today

I’m guessing you probably throw away or (hopefully) recycle your cardboard. Instead of getting rid of it, why not use it to make breath-taking works of art? That’s what cardboard artist, Masahiko Senda does. He creates magnificent sculptures and figures out of simple paper cardboard. One of his latest projects was a scale model of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars fame, for Star Wars Day (May the 4th). The model took him two weeks to create—seven days to plan the build and seven more to actually build it. Check out his Facebook page for more incredible photos of his cardboard masterpieces. Below are some of my personal favorites.
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The Tesla Model 3 is Here

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On the evening of March 31st, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors, took to the stage one more time to reveal his company’s latest futuristic marvel. It was the long awaited Tesla Model 3. An electric car that is supposed to bring the technology to the masses due to its low price and high end features. From what I saw, I would say Tesla has delivered.

The Model 3 is, at first glance, a luxury vehicle that has wonderful sporty and futuristic design elements. To me, the coolest thing about the look is the single piece of glass that acts as the front windshield, roof and the rear windshield. Then, you get to the features. For $35,000 you get an electric vehicle that has a range of 215+ miles, goes 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds, seats 5 adults comfortably, sports a 15″ touchscreen control panel, has Tesla’s touted auto pilot features, is able to be supercharged and has a 5-star safety rating. This all comes on the base model. You will be able to add more features when the car is available for purchase.

You can reserve a Tesla Model 3 right now for $1,000 on the Tesla website. As of writing this, there have already been over 130,000 reservations for the EV. The Tesla Model 3 is going to be released sometime in 2017.

Wintergatan – Musical Marble Machine

I’m sure just about everyone has played with marbles at some point in their lives. Musical artist Martin Molin has gone quite a few steps further by creating an amazing machine that produces music using nothing but crank propelled marbles (ball bearings if we are being technical). The machine was constructed by Martin, and the song the machine plays was composed by him as well. Watch the video to see how it all works and be amazed.

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