Design Trend: Using Authentic Imagery and Photos

The virtual world has to be authentic to captivate users. Childish imagery or clip-art just won’t cut it. But there are still so many websites out there that use over-the-top stock photos, or images that don’t resonate with readers. It’s a problem. To connect, you have to feel realistic and use authentic imagery and photos, so that users feel something when they interact with the website. It has to feel real. Join us as explore this trend, and share how you can use it to best effect! What Does An Authentic Image Look Like? A great image is a critical part of getting users to interact with your website design. Many designers rely on a variety of image sources to create a website or app, and not all of the images are designed to draw users in. But they should be. Using images that look and feel authentic to your Read the full article…

20+ Best Facebook Cover & Post Mockups

If you’re a social media manager or a small business owner looking to supercharge your Facebook content strategy, then you’ve come to the right place. Developing high-quality content for Facebook can be tough when you’re managing everything by yourself. It’s easy for big corporations with big budgets to design unique and beautiful content to grow their Facebook pages, but how can you afford the time to craft each post? You don’t need to spend hours creating awesome content for your Facebook page. Try these Facebook mockup templates and you’ll be able to easily create a proper content strategy for your Facebook promotions without even having to hire a graphic designer. Facebook Page Mockup 2017 This is one of our favourite Facebook page mockups, as it’s super up-to-date (at the time of publishing!), contains plenty of different elements to customise, and has a pixel-perfect design. Exactly what you’d expect from Anthony Read the full article…

The Angry Birds Movie profits help Rovio double revenue as IPO rumors grow

Rovio Entertainment reported that its second quarter revenues grew 94 percent as revenue from both games and The Angry Birds Movie roll in. That’s good news for Rovio, considering rumors are rife that the company will have an initial public offering sometime soon. Bloomberg reported that the Finnish game studio could raise $400 million from a stock market listing at a $2 billion valuation. (We’ve confirmed that an IPO is a possibility, but Rovio itself is not officially commenting on it). Such an IPO would be a big boost for the industry and a big gain for Finland’s growing game economy. Revenue in the second quarter was 86.2 million euros, or $101.2 million. That was up from $52.2 million a year ago because of the strong performance from The Angry Birds Movie and the games Battle Bay and Angry Birds Evolution. The film debuted in May 2016, but payments come Read the full article…

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Battle.net is called Battle.net again, just like it always was

Enlarge / A new logo for an old brand name. (credit: Blizzard) Remember last year when Blizzard announced it would be “transitioning away” from the 20-year-old Battle.net moniker for its online service in favor of “Blizzard Tech.” You’d be forgiven for forgetting because both Blizzard and Activision were still using the Battle.net name heavily this May when they announced Destiny 2‘s move to the service. This despite the fact that the rebranded “Blizzard Launcher” was months old at that point, even though no one was really calling it that. Apparently, Blizzard recognized the confusion and is now reverting back to the Battle.net branding it never fully abandoned. In a blog post yesterday the company explains its online service will now be called “Blizzard Battle.net” going forward: When we announced that we’d be transitioning away from the Battle.net name for our online-gaming service, we suspected that the shift would be challenging. Read the full article…

Echo: Ex-Hitman devs bring machine learning to stealth games

Enlarge The reference books that line the shelves of developer Ultra Ultra’s modest Copenhagen office offers insight into the aesthetic of its first game, Echo. There’s a book of 19th Century Interior Design, and a book of Venetian photography. Prometheus: The Art of the Film and Star Wars provide sci-fi reference points, while Metal Gear Solid, Blame! and Neon Genesis Evangelion—all three of which are represented in some form on the shelf—provide the inspiration for character design. Echo is made up of many familiar parts, but parts that are remixed in a way that makes them feels new. This is fundamental to Echo not just aesthetically, but also mechanically. Unsurprisingly, given Ultra Ultra’s staff of ex-IO Interactive Hitman developers, Echo is a stealth game. It learns from your actions to figure out how you play the game. This causes you to second guess your tactics regularly, almost like playing chess Read the full article…

Trump can block people on Twitter if he wants, administration says

Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images) The administration of President Donald Trump is scoffing at a federal lawsuit by Twitter users who claim that their constitutional rights are being violated because the president has blocked them from his @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle. “It would send the First Amendment deep into uncharted waters to hold that a president’s choices about whom to follow, and whom to block, on Twitter—a privately run website that, as a central feature of its social-media platform, enables all users to block particular individuals from viewing posts—violate the Constitution.” That’s part of what Michael Baer, a Justice Department attorney, wrote to the New York federal judge overseeing the lawsuit Friday. In addition, the Justice Department said the courts are powerless to tell Trump how he can manage his private Twitter handle, which has 35.8 million followers. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments Read the full article…

Blatant clone or marketing hoax? The curious case of Tokyo 41 and Tokyo 42 [Updated]

Alleged footage from an emulated version of Tokyo 41. Update: Mode 7’s Paul Kilduff-Taylor owned up to the marketing stunt in a blog post this morning, and explained the reasoning behind it a bit. “It’s incredibly hard to get attention for a smaller game these days, especially for a new platform release of something which already exists, so I felt like I had to push the boat out a little bit,” he writes. Original Story The game industry isn’t a stranger to accusations that a new game is just a lightly reskinned clone of another title. But there’s that, and then there’s the “cloning” debate surrounding Tokyo 42 and its alleged inspiration, a 30-year-old ZX Spectrum and PC game called Tokyo 41. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments Read the full article…

Elon Musk’s Dota 2 AI beats the professionals at their own game

OpenAI takes on Dendi. Last week was the high point of the Dota 2 competitive year: it was the week of The International, Valve’s biggest tournament. On Saturday, Team Liquid walked away with more than $10 million after defeating Newbee 3-0 in the grand final. Right now, one of the requirements to be a good Dota 2 player is that you’ve got to be a living, breathing human. The game does include some basic computer-controlled bots to practice against, but any seasoned player of the game should have no trouble prevailing over these bots, even on their hardest “Unfair” difficulty (though the Unfair Viper bot is a legendary jerk that’s utterly miserable to play against). Last Friday, however, we got a hint of a new, altogether more threatening kind of computer-controlled player: an AI-controlled bot built by Elon Musk’s OpenAI. The OpenAI bot took on a number of professional players Read the full article…

Microsoft’s smaller Xbox Wireless Adapter mysteriously delayed until 2018

Microsoft announced its smaller Xbox Wireless Adapter earlier this month, allowing Windows PCs to use an Xbox One controller wirelessly. It’s 66 percent smaller than the older version, and just looks like a regular USB stick. Like its predecessor, the new adapter supports up to eight controllers at the same time, as well as four regular chat headsets or two stereo ones. The new Xbox Wireless Adapter was supposed to go on sale last week for $24.99, but Microsoft has now delayed its release until January 2018. In an unusual move, Microsoft is releasing the adapter in some countries ahead of January, but delaying its launch in the US market. Windows Central reports that it looks like Japan will get access to the adapter first later this… Read the full article…

Blizzard revives Battle.net and admits it made a mistake with rebranding

Blizzard Entertainment’s meandering approach to rebranding its well-known Battle.net service has taken another turn, as the company now plans to revive the name and attach the word “Blizzard” to it. Yes, that’s right — the game company’s storied online platform and storefront shall henceforth be known as “Blizzard Battle.net.” The company says this move should help respect the “shared history” of the service while also allowing Blizzard to align its corporate marketing and branding under a unified name. “Battle.net is the central nervous system for Blizzard games and the connective tissue that has brought Blizzard players together since 1996,” reads the company’s statement, which was posted this afternoon to the company’s blog. “The… Read the full article…

The Ultimate UX Design of: the Credit Card Payment Form

You’re reading The Ultimate UX Design of: the Credit Card Payment Form, originally posted on Designmodo. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+! The Peak Point of eCommerce and SaaS – the Credit Card Payment Form If you’re selling something online, you know it’s not the easiest thing to do. You need to find a prospective customer, present your product in a good light, drive her through a process full of forms and finally… collect her money. At […] Read the full article…

Wolfenstein 2 & Kicking Nazi Ass in Pop Culture

During a Wolfenstein 2 panel at E3 this year, I asked Bethesda’s VP of PR and Marketing at Bethesda Softworks Pete Hines why people loved shooting things in the Wolfenstein series so much. I was immediately corrected by Hines, with notable urgency, that people don’t just love shooting ‘things’ in Wolfenstein, they love shooting Nazis. It was a common sentiment sprouting from Bethesda and Wolfenstein developer MachineGames throughout their E3 showing, and it’s reflected in the first several hours of the game itself. In Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus you slice, chop, mangle, and dessicate Nazis in bold, brilliant relief. As American super spy B.J. Blazkowicz, you’re not surviving the Nazi regime, you’re absolutely brutalising it. Read the full article…