6 Proven Ways of Engaging Your App Users

Photo by Luke Porter on Unsplash Getting people to download your mobile app is one thing, keeping those people engaged is another thing. One is hard, the other one is even harder. So, how do you keep your users engaged once they have downloaded your mobile app? It’s not that people hate using apps. Research shows that nearly 90% of mobile media time goes to mobile apps as compared to mobile web. But you know that social media giants like Messenger, Twitter, and YouTube might take the leading roles on mobile devices leaving your app with a really small number of engaged users. So, in order to overcome this issue and to get more and more engaged users, here are 6 proven tactics you could try. 1. Making onboarding as awesome an experience as possible Your onboarding experience is your first conversation with your users. You need to set a tone and be as Read the full article…

Discord Bans Servers That Promote Nazi Ideology

A popular video game chat service with over 25 million users announced today that it had shut down “a number of accounts” following violence instigated by white supremacists over the weekend. Discord, the service “which lets users chat with voice and text, was being used by proponents of Nazi ideology both before and after the attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia,” reports The Verge. “We will continue to take action against Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate,” the company said in a tweet. From the report: Discord declined to state how many servers had been affected, but said it included a mix of old accounts and accounts that were created over the weekend. Among the affected servers was one used by AltRight.com, a white nationalist news site. The site’s homepage includes a prominent link to a Discord chat which is now broken. The company said it does not read private messages Read the full article…

Can ‘No Man’s Sky’ Redeem Itself With Its Third Free Update?

An anonymous reader quotes Engadget’s new article on No Man’s Sky: Developer Hello Games has gone some way to giving the people what they’ve wanted Friday with the third major update since the title’s launch. “Atlas Rises” (aka update 1.3) adds the beginnings of real-time multiplayer to the space exploration game, though admittedly, “interaction with others is currently very limited.” Thanks to the update, up to 16 players can now exist together in the same space. Fellow pilots will appear as floating blue orbs moving about the terrain, and proximity-based voice chat will allow players to plan their next jump together. That’s pretty much it, but Hello Games calls it “an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky.” Meeting up with other explorers should be a bit easier with the new portal system, which allows players to travel between planets instantly, including to random Read the full article…

Elon Musk + AI + Microsoft = Awesome Dota 2 Player

An anonymous reader quotes the Verge: Tonight during Valve’s yearly Dota 2 tournament, a surprise segment introduced what could be the best new player in the world — a bot from Elon Musk-backed startup OpenAI. Engineers from the nonprofit say the bot learned enough to beat Dota 2 pros in just two weeks of real-time learning, though in that training period they say it amassed “lifetimes” of experience, likely using a neural network judging by the company’s prior efforts. Musk is hailing the achievement as the first time artificial intelligence has been able to beat pros in competitive e-sports… Elon Musk founded OpenAI as a nonprofit venture to prevent AI from destroying the world — something Musk has been beating the drum about for years. “Nobody likes being regulated,” Musk wrote on Twitter Friday, “but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that’s a danger to the public is regulated. AI Read the full article…

Blizzard Starts Drive To Recruit More Women and Ethnic Minorities

An anonymous reader shares a report: The company behind games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch has started a drive to recruit more women and ethnic minorities. The information is in a leaked internal email from Blizzard’s CEO, seen by the website Kotako. It claims 21 percent of Blizzard’s employees are women, and although that’s similar to the rest of the gaming industry, it says it wants to do better. The company claims the initiative will focus on finding more female employees and getting them to stay on longer. At the moment women are leaving at a higher rate than men but it says it’ll fall short of setting “quotas.” Read more of this story at Slashdot. Read the full article…

Blizzard and DeepMind Turn StarCraft II Into An AI Research Lab

Last year, Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind said it was going to work with Starcraft creator Blizzard to turn the strategy game into a proper research environment for AI engineers. Today, they’re opening the doors to that environment, with new tools including a machine learning API, a large game replay dataset, an open source DeepMind toolset and more. TechCrunch reports: The new release of the StarCraft II API on the Blizzard side includes a Linux package made to be able to run in the cloud, as well as support for Windows and Mac. It also has support for offline AI vs. AI matches, and those anonymized game replays from actual human players for training up agents, which is starting out at 65,000 complete matches, and will grow to over 500,000 over the course of the next few weeks. StarCraft II is such a useful environment for AI research basically because of Read the full article…

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy — the first 20 minutes are gorgeous

PREVIEW: Sony’s Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is one of the prettiest games you’ll play this fall. The game debuts as an exclusive on the PlayStation 4 on August 22. We’ve played through the game and thought that the first 20 minutes of cinematics and gameplay would be a nice treat for players who can’t get enough Uncharted. This is the first Uncharted without Nathan Drake, and it stars Chloe Frazer. The opening scene is quiet, and it tells us more about the woman who Chloe has become since we saw her in the previous games. Her kindness shows as she befriends a lone girl in the bazaar. As that scene plays out, you’ll shake off the memory of the thieving and selfish Chloe from the past, and consider that she may be more empathetic than before. Above: Chloe gets searched in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Image Credit: Sony And as she makes Read the full article…

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy review — for good and bad, it’s not Nathan Drake

REVIEW: Sony’s Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is one of the big exclusives on the PlayStation 4, debuting on August 22. The Naughty Dog game is full of familiar puzzles, action sequences, and plenty of climbing, but the female lead characters take the series in an intriguing new direction. It is the first Uncharted without Nathan Drake, and it started as a simple downloadable content (DLC), a side story that grew up into a full-fledged game of its own. Sony now calls it a stand-alone Uncharted adventure, and it stars two women, Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, who have replaced Drake and Sully as the heroic thieves on a grand treasure hunt. It is time for the women — a treasure hunter thief and a mercenary — to show what they can do with the franchise. That is good because every new Uncharted game should walk the line between the fresh Read the full article…

Nielsen dives into esports market research

Nielsen made its name measuring the TV and media business, making it measurable for advertising. Now it is announcing Nielsen Esports, a new business focused on competitive gaming. The esports industry is expected to generate $696 million in 2017 (according to market researcher Newzoo), but that is far smaller than traditional sports. One of the big differences between esports and traditional sports is broadcast revenues. And one of the keys to boosting broadcast revenues is measuring the reach of the broadcast properly, said Greg Richardson, CEO of esports Team Dignitas (owned by the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team), in an interview with GamesBeat. Nielsen’s entry into this business is part of the quest for esports to reach greater legitimacy and higher revenues. New York-based Nielsen will provide sponsorship valuation, fan insights, custom industry research and consulting services to rights holders, media platforms and brands around the world that are moving the esports market. (Nielsen Read the full article…

AR/VR Weekly: CCP Games has found one solution to the VR drought

Studios are dealing with the so-called VR drought. And it looks like CCP Games is taking an alternative route to dealing with the doldrums as companies wait for VR to hit critical mass. Strip the VR from your game. Today, the Icelandic company launched a version of Eve: Valkyrie, its flagship VR starfighter game, that ditches the virtual reality. You can buy it now on PC or PlayStation 4 and check out the space combat without needing an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or a PSVR. I’ve seen a number of games I’d like to play outside of VR. Eve: Valkyrie is one of them. I’d also enjoy Inxile’s The Mage’s Tale without VR. I find that I start to feel antsy after wearing a VR headset for more than 10 minutes — I just don’t like being unable to see my surroundings. I wouldn’t be surprised if, this evening, I buy this Read the full article…

The First Tree explores family bonds and beautiful forests on its September 14 PC launch

When you play as an animal, you might expect the game to be all about survival: the brutal long winters, the predators stalking through the tall grass. The First Tree is more of a contemplative take. It’s a third-person exploration game where you’re reuniting a fox with its family, and it’ll be out for PC and Mac on September 14. “Stories that focus on the domestic are what interest me the most, probably because that’s the part of my life which is most important,” said David Wehle, The First Tree’s lone developer and designer, in an email. “The premise of The First Tree is juxtaposing an ancient, epic story of finding the first tree on Earth with a more humble story of an estranged father and son.” As you guide the fox through gorgeous colorful forests and snow-covered fields, another story unfolds in parallel between a son and his estranged Read the full article…

How Dota 2 stability helped new blood succeed at The International 2017

Enlarge / Liquid captain “KuroKy” hoists the Aegis of Champions for the first time. (credit: Valve) 2017 was a year of firsts for The International Dota 2 Championships (TI). It was the first time a defending champion didn’t participate. It was the first time fan-favorite team Na’Vi failed to qualify or garner a direct invitation from Valve. By the end, it was also the first International with a clean, 3-0 victory across the best-of-five grand finals. It is said that Dota 2‘s “meta”—the call-and-response tactics that govern how players react to each other, especially at the pro level—has never been more stable. But it’s clear that the expectations regarding who wins, who loses, and which players you’d even recognize on The International main stage are very much in flux. With that instability, however, there was plenty of room for new teams and players to carve paths at this year’s event, Read the full article…

Apple going all-in on original programming, to the tune of $1 billion a year

Apple Music on iOS 10, with Senior VP Eddy Cue. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) As the battle to create original content for online video services continues, we get a glimpse into Apple’s plans for the coming year. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple has a budget of $1 billion to spend in 2018 to “procure and produce” original content. The iPhone maker could acquire and produce up to 10 shows next year with this money, which will be largely left in the hands of new Apple hires Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. Erlicht and Van Amburg are former presidents from Sony Pictures Television that moved to Apple in June to oversee video content strategy and production. The $1 billion budget signals how serious Apple is about boosting its original programming, the newest of which lives on its Apple Music subscription service. This is Apple’s first major push into original content, but it’s $1 billion less than the money spend on Read the full article…

These 3D-printed Switch adapters allow one-handed gamers to play Zelda

The versatility of the Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Con controllers is one of the console’s greatest strengths. An engineer named Julio Vazquez has taken that idea even further to create a 3D-printed Joy-Con adapter that lets disabled gamers play with only one hand. The creation was first spotted by Eurogamer. Vazquez developed the adapters for his friend Rami Wehbe, who lost the ability to control his right hand in a cerebrovascular accident, but still wanted to be able to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Vazquez ended up with two designs for the Joy-Con controllers. One resembles Nintendo’s Joy-Con grip, but it pushes the controller halves together to make it easy to reach across to the other side. It also adds two… Read the full article…

Free Flash alternative is here

Poor old Flash was a lot of fun in its youth, but then it became old, slow and susceptible to infections. It was doomed from the moment that Apple decided not to support it on the iPhone, and yet we all kind of miss it a bit, right? Well now there’s a new open-source editor called Wick that looks like the Flash alternative we’ve all been waiting for. Created by Zach Rispoli and Luca Damasco, Wick is a free web tool for creating games, animation and everything in between for the internet, and it’s entirely browser-based. Wick is a free and easy-to-use alternative to Flash Your creations will work on any device with a web browser, without the need to download any extra software. Inspired by tools such as Flash, HyperCard and Scratch, Wick is a hybrid of an animation tool and IDE, and first came about when Rispoli’s eight-year-old Read the full article…

Pinterest’s new logo says goodbye to script text

Since 2010 Pinterest has been helping other people to discover the things they love, but it appears the catalogue of ideas has decided to focus on itself for a change as it settles on a new wordmark. That’s right, the platform preferred by craft-lovers has retired its distinctive script font in favour of an altogether more hard-edged wordmark (above). This change is the first update to the Pinterest logo since 2011. Back then, Pinterest settled on the ligature-heavy font as a deliberate contrast to its boxy pinboards. The result is a bizarre combination of two fonts. In the Pinterest badge you can still see the script lettering, but this sits awkwardly next to the new typography – which the clever folks at Brand New have figured out is a slightly modified version of Neue Haas Grotesk in its Black weight. The old Pinterest script was used from 2011 onwards The Read the full article…

Gradients in Web Design: Trends, Examples & Resources

You’re reading Gradients in Web Design: Trends, Examples & Resources, originally posted on Designmodo. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+! The gradient trend started with web 2.0 and has advanced quite a ways since then. Modern gradients can be designed purely in CSS3 so it’s easier to build them into buttons, backgrounds, and even typography. Let’s delve into this trend of gradients in modern web design to see how they’re advancing and where they might go in […] Read the full article…