Silly Hats, Serious Zookeepers: Team Xbox Builds for Good
Troy Barnes wore a furry yellow-and-white monkey hat into battle last Thursday night. His five-man team, all Microsoft employees, all of them wearing animal-themed hats promoting Zoo Tycoon, had taken LEGO up on its challenge to build for good. LEGO’s Build For Good contest played out at Seattle’s EMP Museum Thursday night. Seven companies (among them Amazon, Expedia, and Nordstrom) were tasked with using LEGO’s Mindstorms EV3 to build robots that would address everyday problems. Barnes and company built a working, automated, and 3D version of "Zoo Tycoon." Their display featured robots ZETA and ECHO (Zookeeper Extraordinaire Technical Assistant and Exhibit Crate Hauling Overseer, respectively) dropping exhibits into place and ensuring the animals were all pellet-fed.
The Music of Super Time Force
If you’ve caught any videos of Capybara Games’ upcoming "Super Time Force" — a time-bending, side-scrolling shooter with some of the most beautiful pixel art this side of the 1980s — you’ve almost certainly heard the music of Jason "6955" DeGroot. The Toronto-based musician’s hypnotizing soundtrack forms the backdrop for "Super Time Force's" frenetic action, adding a warped, wobbly layer of psychedelic frequencies to the proceedings. “Everything is based around NES sounds — simple pulse/triangle/noise waves,” says DeGroot, speaking to us from his Toronto studio.
Building for Good: The Xbox Way
Star Wars’ Galactic Empire never got the message: Build for good. But Microsoft and six other Seattle-area companies did. Seattle’s EMP Museum played host to LEGO’s “Build For Good” charity event late last week, where seven five-man teams were challenged to create something beneficial for humanity using only LEGO Mindstorm EV3 kits. The souped-up LEGO kits sell for $350, and have electronic components that can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks such as grasping, traveling along paths, and sensing objects via infrared. It was this Mindstorm EV3 kit that inspired 12-year-old inventor Shubham Banerjee to build a Braille printer he dubbed “Braigo.” And, in turn, Braigo inspired LEGO to challenge companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia, and Nordstrom to use its toys to promote an appreciation for the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) disciplines and conjure creative solutions to everyday problems.
Gamer of the Month: Wayne Brady
Wayne Brady is a busy man. The comedian and actor first rose to fame in 1997, when he became a standout performer on the hit comedy series “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and has since become a prolific star of both screen and stage. After winning two Emmys for “The Wayne Brady Show,” he starred as Billy Flynn in the Broadway revival of “Chicago” and made some classic cameos on “Chappelle's Show” (hilariously subverting his “nice guy” image). In 2008, he released the Grammy-nominated album, “A Long Time Coming.” Now he’s got his hands full with not one, but two TV shows, a new version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and a reboot of the classic game show “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Titanfall for Xbox 360 Launches in Asia
Following the launch of “Titanfall” on Xbox One in March, “Titanfall” for Xbox 360 launched in Asia on Tuesday. In celebration, Xbox Taiwan partnered with Asia’s famous graffiti artist, AHDIAONE, to bring the game to life by creating a giant graffiti image of a titan on a 15-meter climbing wall at the Neihu Sports Center in Taipei that surprised and delighted local fans. This particular climbing wall is ranked the second hardest in all of Asia and, according to AHDIAONE, was the first time the team has ever used a climbing wall as a canvas.
Five Things We're Loving About Kinect Sports Rivals
"Kinect Sports Rivals" launched this week, bringing competitive, action-packed party sports to Xbox One in the form of wake racing, target shooting, rock climbing, bowling, tennis, and soccer with super-powered makeovers. Here are five of the coolest aspects of "Kinect Sports Rivals" that have us excited about the game's debut. Your Crazy-Cool Digital Face: When you first fire up "Kinect Sports Rivals,” the game asks you to get in close to your Kinect, so that it can get a good look at your beautiful mug. Then it scans and digitally rebuilds your face right in front of you -- creating an awesomely accurate, custom Champion. But what's even more fun is customizing your Champion to express your own individual style . Be whoever you want to be!
Free Update Adds Long Beach Circuit to Forza Motorsport 5
Starting April 10, the famed Long Beach circuit is coming to the “Forza Motorsport” franchise for the first time in “Forza Motorsport 5.” Available for free as part of the latest “Forza Motorsport 5” content update, delivering tight turns and blindingly quick straights, Long Beach is surrounded by the sun-drenched beauty of southern California. Long Beach in “Forza Motorsport 5” is packed with stunning detail, with the entire track and surrounding area recreated with obsessive precision through laser scanning, thousands of photos, and hours of video. From the angles of each unique palm tree along Shoreline Drive to every nuance of the track’s surface, this circuit is a racing experience unlike any other.