Attention Spans Are Short: Here’s How to Hook Users

A goldfish has a longer attention span than you do. Let that sink in for a moment. Now, what are you going to do about it? As a designer, it is your job to create something that people will stop and interact with. It takes a design and user experience that will hook visitors and keep them clicking and tapping. Combat short attention spans with smart design. Make It Fast Everything about your design should convey speed so users don’t feel like they have to wait for information. This includes ensuring that your website or app loads quickly and creating a sense of movement in the design. Streamline load times by ditching unnecessary features and loading animations that signal a wait. Just a three-second delay can increase the chance of users abandoning the design before they even see it. Design for motion. Whether you employ visual techniques in a still design or add video or animation, movement can make a design appear to move faster. There will feel like less of a wait and there are things that will grab a user’s attention (for a couple of seconds anyway). Consider a video loop that moves at a fast-forward type of…

Twitch will sell video games on its site starting this spring

 Amazon-owned video game streaming site Twitch announced this morning that it will now sell games directly on its platform – a not entirely surprising expansion for the service where developers are already taking advantage of the site’s social community to get the word out about their games, and engage fans. Games will go on sale this spring, says Twitch, but did not give an… Read More

Amazon-owned streaming giant Twitch to start selling video games

Twitch is adding an e-commerce element to its game streaming platform. The Amazon-owned company announced today that it will sell video games directly on its site, which is already used by nearly 10 million daily active users. “Twitch has always been the best place to watch, share, and play games,” wrote Dallas Tester, developer programs manager, in a blog post. “Soon, it will be the best place to sell your games as well.” Starting this spring, “Twitch Games Commerce” will allow viewers to purchase a game that’s being live-streamed on Twitch. Streamers who have partnered with Twitch will receive a 5 percent revenue share for each purchase; viewers will receive the game, which is played through the Twitch launcher, and “a randomly generated reward like an emote, badges, or Bits for Cheering.” Twitch is partnering with several game developers like Ubisoft, Telltale Games, and more at launch. “We believe there is tremendous potential in our community-first approach to game discovery and sale,” Tester wrote. “It allows streamers to play and promote games they authentically enjoy and be rewarded for helping fans find new content. The community will love supporting streamers they watch by shopping local, right from the channel page they’re already…

Playing Snake on the Nokia 3310

A funny thing is happening at this year’s Mobile World Congress: a show defined by its future-facing announcements and innovations essentially ground to a halt to gawk at Nokia rewinding the clock a decade and a half with its launch of the Nokia 3310. The 2017 edition of that true classic of a mobile phone stays faithful in almost all respects to the original. It’s devastatingly simple, adding only a handful of useful functions — like a calculator, flashlight, media player, and camera — to the basic capabilities of texting and making calls. Oh, and it plays Snake.
Snaaaaaaaake!
Okay, that’s the wrong Snake. But seriously, this Nokia nostalgia trip is one of the highlights of this year’s MWC, so being the responsible journalist that I am,…

Continue reading…

The Middle-earth: Shadow of War teaser trailer is like a Lord of the Rings bestiary

Following an early leak yesterday, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith have officially announced Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, with a new cinematic trailer.
Like the first game, Shadow of War is set between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It will be picking things up right where Shadow of Mordor left off, with Talion and Celebrimbor forging a new Ring of Power to fight against Sauron. The trailer shows some of the new enemies Talion will have to face, including a Balrog, the Nazgûl, and of course, lots and lots of orcs. The game will also feature an expansion of the Nemesis System from Shadow of Mordor, with an addition of new “Nemesis Fortresses” and “Followers.” …

Continue reading…

Twitch will start selling games and giving its streamers a cut

It already dominates video game streaming, but Twitch is now getting into a new market: video game selling. The company will start selling games and in-game content through its service this spring, it announced today, allowing viewers to buy titles from publishers both big and independent through its streamers’ channels.
The move opens up a new revenue stream for Twitch, but it should also benefit its legion of broadcasters, too. Partnered streamers will get 5 percent of the sale originating on their channel, the company confirmed, while 70 percent goes to the game’s creator. That makes it an intriguing prospect for both big and small publishers alike, who could get thousands — if not millions — of eyeballs on their games with an easy…

Continue reading…

HTC unveils Viveport Arcade software to power virtual reality arcades

HTC hopes to give virtual reality a boost with its new Viveport Arcade software that makes it easier to run VR arcades. PC-based VR systems are pricey now, but VR arcades are popping up around the world to give people an idea of what a 360-degree experience is like. HTC believes that adoption of VR is going to come just as much through engagement in these public environments as in the home. Companies, such as theater chain IMAX, are putting VR in theater locations, as are operators like Leke in China. The Viveport Arcade is HTC’s proprietary content management and distribution platform for location-based entertainment, said Jenna Seiden, head of content acquisition for Viveport, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We can track usage and playtime directly and share that with the operator,” Seiden said. “The operators get a library of VR content that they can use.” Commercial arcade operators can download the software to their venues, allowing them access to a library of legally acquired content, which they can configure across their Vive stations via a centralized host client tool. Through the backend, HTC accurately tracks usage and shares the revenue received from operators with the developers. “The commercial operators are like traditional arcade owners or those…

The U.K. games industry storms this year’s GDC

SPONSORED: Presented by the U.K.’s Department for International Trade The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the world’s largest professional game industry event, attracting over 27,000 programmers, artists, producers, game designers, and others who represent the future of interactive game and virtual reality development and shape the course of the industry. The rapidly expanding U.K. games industry will have a formidable presence at the GDC (see below for a sample of companies in attendance). The U.K. boasts the third largest game industry in the world when it comes to developer success and sales, and is home to some of the world’s most successful video game franchises, including Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto, Fable, Colin McRae Dirt, and Total War. “We love playing games in the U.K. and we love making them too” said Dan Rutstein, Regional Director for the U.K.’s Department for International Trade (DIT).  “The U.K. games industry is one of the fastest growing  in the world where hungry early adopters, a deep talent pool, and investment into R&D have helped create an environment where developers and publishers thrive.” And innovation abounds. Companies like Simul are inventing game technology that develops virtual weather systems to mimic real-world environments. Improbable is launching…

Samsung updates Gear VR with new accessory: a handheld controller

Enlarge (credit: Samsung) There haven’t been many major updates to Samsung’s Gear VR headset since its debut in 2014. But at MWC in Barcelona, Samsung announced an updated version of the headset that includes an all-new handheld controller. Equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetic sensors, the controller will let users interact with VR content without fumbling for the headset’s onboard controls. According to the announcement, Samsung worked with Oculus to make the device. In addition to the round, clickable touchpad at the top of the controller, there are also home, back, and volume buttons; a trigger; and an included wrist strap. The controller isn’t rechargeable; it takes two AAA batteries that you’ll have to replace occasionally. According to a report from Engadget, at least 70 new controller titles are in development for the Gear VR. The controller doesn’t seem as intricate as those accompanying the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, but simply placing crucial buttons in the user’s hand will make it much easier for them to control in-game experiences. Samsung is likely playing catch-up to competitors like Google’s Daydream headset, which already comes with a handheld controller. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

7 essential tools for game design and development

The world of gaming is fast-paced and hugely exciting, especially with the ongoing developments and projects being created using virtual reality applications. But this can be a daunting environment if you’re thinking of building your own experience. Thankfully, there are a number of tools and resources around to help make your game or app a success. Here are some of the best around to get you started… 01. Visual Studio Microsoft’s developer tool suite Visual Studio is a popular choice among designers and developers Visual Studio, Microsoft’s developer tool suite has been around for 20 years this year, which is a clear indication of just how popular the software is among designers and developers. A fully featured integrated developer environment (IDE) for Android, iOS, Windows, web and cloud, Visual Studio offers productive development tools and powerful services. 02. Assembla  A highly efficient and capable project management tool with built-in code repositories, Assembla is quickly becoming the resource of choice for teams to build the latest video games. Boasting a number of incredibly handy features, Assembla allows individual developers and teams to manage every aspect of a project, from ideation to production, coding to communication, all in one place.  Assembla is…

How the BBC builds websites that scale

In 1948, the Olympic Games was broadcast live on television for the first time. Somehow, in post-war austerity with scarce resources and little money, the BBC broke technological boundaries. Live coverage came from two venues in North London, in what was at the time the largest outside broadcast ever made. It was a milestone in sports coverage. The beginning of a revolution, you could say, into the limitless sport on TV and online today.  28 outstanding examples of CSS 68 years on, we at the BBC continue to push how we can bring the Olympics to the UK and the world. And today, of course, it’s more than TV. A wide range of Olympic content is offered over the BBC’s websites and apps, and it’s phenomenally popular. Over 100 million devices accessed our Rio 2016 site. Offering a great online service to over 100 million devices is not easy. High levels of web traffic puts huge load on the underlying systems. Fortunately, we were prepared. We knew the summer of 2016 was going to be our biggest ever, and made sure we had a website that could scale to handle it. This article explains how we did it. 01. Caches…

Nintendo Switch, Zelda, phones, tablets, and more phones in the week ahead

It’s only Monday but we’ve already been very busy with the 2017 Academy Awards and Mobile World Congress (MWC). If you’ve fallen behind on our coverage then be sure to check out the appropriate Storystream below:

The big MWC show will remain in the news all week as we get to test all the phones, tablets, chromebooks, laptops, and wearables on display in Barcelona. We’ll also learn about the latest developments in 5G networking as companies like Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung vie for commercial dominance, and risk a repeat of CDMA vs. GSM incompatibility.

The other major news event this week will be the worldwide release of the $299 Nintendo Switch on Friday. Soon you’ll learn our final judgement on the new gaming console, including our…

Continue reading…