Should We Kill the CAPTCHA?

Do you like CAPTCHAs? Don’t lie, of course you don’t. On the fun scale, you rank them right up there with dentists and IRS agents. However, as an intelligent web designer or developer, you understand that they are a necessary annoyance. But wait, are they really? Given the collective talent and intelligence of the web design community, is a fuzzy string of letters really the best that we can up up with? If users hate these things so much, why not come up with something new? Let’s explore this idea and see if we can inject some fresh ideas into the conversation. Are CAPTCHAs Evil? We’ve all been there before. You’re trying to log into a website or fill out a form and you’re thrown a piece of text that looks like it was hit by a tornado and informed that you have to decipher it in order to go Read the full article…

Testing Made Easier Via Framework Minimalism And Software Architecture

Testing Made Easier Via Framework Minimalism And Software Architecture Testing Made Easier Via Framework Minimalism And Software Architecture Ryan Kay 2019-08-22T13:00:59+02:002019-08-22T11:05:42+00:00 Like many other Android developers, my initial foray into testing on the platform lead me to be immediately confronted with a demoralizing degree of jargon. Further, what few examples I came across at the time (circa 2015) did not present practical use cases which may have inclined me to think that the cost to benefit ratio of learning a tool like Espresso in order to verify that a TextView.setText(…) was working properly, was a reasonable investment. To make matters even worse, I did not have a working understanding of software architecture in theory or practice, which meant that even if I bothered to learn these frameworks, I would have been writing tests for monolithic applications comprised of a few god classes, written in spaghetti code. The punchline is that Read the full article…

Bringing A Better Design Process To Your Organization

Bringing A Better Design Process To Your Organization Bringing A Better Design Process To Your Organization Eric Olive 2019-08-21T13:30:59+02:002019-08-22T11:05:42+00:00 As user experience (UX) designers and researchers, the most common complaint we hear from users is: “Why don’t they think about what I need?” In fact, many organizations have teams dedicated to delivering what users and customers need. More and more software developers are eager to work with UX designers in order to code interfaces that customers will use and understand. The problem is that complex software projects can easily become bogged down in competing priorities and confusion about what to do next. The result is poor design that impedes productivity. For example, efficiency in healthcare is hampered by electronic medical records (EMRs). Complaints about these software systems are legion. Dr. Steven Ugent, a Boston-based dermatologist and Yale Medical School alumnus, is no exception. Since 2010, Dr. Ugent has used two Read the full article…

LA-based gaming company, Scopely, expands in Spain and Ireland

The Los Angeles-based gaming company Scopely is expanding its geographical footprint in Spain and Ireland. The company is building out its Barcelona offices, tripling its office space and planning to significantly expand its 100-person-strong team in the city. Meanwhile, Scopely is also planning to invest heavily in expanding its strategy-focused game studio, DIGIT, in Dublin. Scopely didn’t say how many jobs it would be adding in either location. The company has now hit lifetime revenue of more than $1 billion across its franchises and recently launched “Star Trek Fleet Command” and “Looney Tunes World of Mayhem.” Scopely also has licenses to develop games for World Wrestling Entertainment and The Walking Dead franchise. “We are thrilled to expand our European footprint to accommodate our exponential growth,” said Javier Ferreira, co-CEO of Scopely, in a statement. “I am excited to further lean in to the Barcelona market, which has top-quality talent. The same is true Read the full article…

YC’s latest VR bet is a team building a cyberpunk anime MMO

There are niche startups and then there are VR companies going after fans of the “cyberpunk fantasy anime aesthetic.” Ramen VR is one of only a few virtual reality startups that Y Combinator has bet on in the past few years and is only one of two in the company’s most recent batch of bets. It has a niche approach, but it’s hoping to build an MMO that can leanly grow alongside the slow-but-steady virtual reality market. Like any content play that’s hoping for VC dollars, Ramen VR wants eventually to be a platform. “Long-term, our goal isn’t just to create a game, but we’ve seen the issues of VR platforms that tried to be platforms before they had a meaningful use case. If you’re just trying to be a chat room or platform without any users, that doesn’t work,” CEO Andy Tsen tells TechCrunch. The company’s first title is Read the full article…

These are the games coming to Google Stadia

Google’s game streaming service isn’t set to launch until November, but the company kept the hype train going through the mid-August doldrums with a Gamescom Stadia Connect live stream. As promised, the online press conference was “all about the games,” featuring what looks to be a nearly complete list of launch (and some post-launch) titles. Here are all of the trailers from today’s Google Stadia announcement The games include some top names, like Cyberpunk 2077, Final Fantasy XV, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Mortal Kombat 11. It also enlists a number of top publishers, including Bethesda, Square and Ubisoft. A number of key publishing partners have opted to keep their lists under wraps until closer to (or at) launch, however, including EA, Capcom and Rockstar. As previously noted, the service will run $10 a month, including access to games and discounts on purchases. A base version of the service will also Read the full article…

Why the developers behind PAX 10 game ‘Heartbound’ live stream their production process

(Heartbound screenshots) At first glance, Heartbound looks like a nostalgia trip. Its Steam page describes it as a “non-traditional RPG,” with hand-drawn pixel-art graphics and a jazzy, catchy chiptune soundtrack, in the spirit of weird ‘90s 16-bit games like Secret of Mana, Illusion of Gaia, and Earthbound. Jason Thor Hall, founder of Pirate Software. (Jason Thor Hall Photo) Once you actually play it, though, things get strange. Heartbound goes against the grain in a lot of ways, from the player’s path through its story to how it handles its UI to its development process. Whether you like it or not, it’ll give you a lot to think about, particularly if you’re at all interested in game design or production. Heartbound is one of this year’s picks for the PAX 10, a curated list of ten new indie games that will be shown at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle. The Read the full article…

Leaked setup wizard reveals Microsoft’s plan to turn Xbox One into personal xCloud game streaming server

The Xbox One X. Microsoft’s Project xCloud — a new cloud gaming initiative that will let people play high-powered Xbox titles on smartphones — has the potential to upend the gaming world. But one aspect of the project that has flown under the radar is the ability to turn an Xbox One console into an xCloud server that lets players stream all their saved games on a smartphone. Windows Central obtained screenshots of the setup process for turning on game streaming from an Xbox One to a smartphone. The new feature works through users’ internet connection, meaning they can stream games throughout the house but can’t go beyond the reach of the home network. The feature requires the Xbox console to stay on at all times during the streaming process. The new feature is expected to debut with the upcoming 1910 Update for Xbox One. Microsoft will begin public trials Read the full article…

Microsoft contractors have listened to voice recordings from the Xbox One

X-Box One S | Photo by Dieter Bohn / The Verge Microsoft contractors have listened to voice recordings captured by the Xbox One console, according to Motherboard. The practice dates back to the early days of the Xbox One when it could be controlled with voice commands directed at the optional Kinect camera accessory, and it continued after Microsoft added its more advanced Cortana voice assistant to the console. Motherboard spoke to several contractors who could listen to these Xbox recordings. Many of them were intentional, with users commanding the Xbox One to perform a certain function, but others were triggered accidentally by unknowing customers. Microsoft has already confirmed contractors have similarly screened voice recordings from Cortana (on Windows) and listened to Skype… Read the full article…

Ninja’s first book isn’t literature — it’s a brand extension

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images While I paged through Ninja’s first book — with its few words sandwiched between high-gloss promotional photos and charts — I got the distinct feeling that I was consuming something from the future. The book, Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming, is itself gamified; it has a progress bar, for example, near the page numbers that’s akin to the one under most videos online. The text is big and pops, as they say, and the pages are broken up with the kind of interesting graphic design that you used to find inside of books at Urban Outfitters. Scattered throughout are shoutouts to Red Bull, his main sponsor. As Ninja, the first celebrity gamer, Tyler Blevins has played Fortnite with Drake, made millions of dollars off streaming his gameplay… Read the full article…

Hearthstone Pros on the Improvements Coming to Grandmasters

I caught up with a number of Hearthstone Grandmasters during Masters Tour Seoul over the weekend, and quizzed them about how they liked season one of the Grandmasters program and what they think about moving away from the Specialist format and into a modified version of Conquest for season two. I’ve compiled their responses below, but bear in mind I spoke to Orange on his own, Viper and Tyler together, and then had a group chat with Feno, justsaiyan, FroStee and Fr0zen, so that’s why there’s some back in forth in some sections but not others. Read the full article…

Cyberpunk 2077 Multiplayer Still Being Researched, But Not Guaranteed

While Cyberpunk 2077 is a single-player game, CD Projekt Red does have a team “messing around with a multiplayer portion,” although its addition to the much anticipated title is not guaranteed. Speaking to Tom Phillips at Eurogamer during Gamescom 2019, CD Projekt Red senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers discussed how there is a small team testing out different types of multiplayer in R&D, but “there was no pressure to force something which did not feel right.” “We are doing R&D into multiplayer but we’re focusing on single-player experience, and that’s what you’ll get in 2020,” Jonkers said. “It doesn’t mean we’re saying no multiplayer, but it doesn’t mean we’re saying yes either. It’s still an R&D phase.” Read the full article…

No, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, We Happy Few Are Not Banned in Australia

Contrary to reports earlier this week, Warhorse Studios’ Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Compulsion Games’ We Happy Few do not appear to have been officially refused classification in Australia. IGN has been in contact with the Australian Classification Board and is awaiting more background on the matter but, since yesterday, the automated International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) game classification tool generated RC ratings for Kingdom Come: Deliverance and We Happy Few have both been amended and now reflect the same R18+ ratings that were earlier applied by the Classification Board itself. The recent RC rating for Kingdom Come: Deliverance has been changed to match the existing R18+ rating. Read the full article…