Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Much Different Interview: Man vs Machine





The world of multiplayer gaming is about to change and you are invited to be part of it! On January 29th 2012, 16.00 CET, Swedish tech-company MuchDifferent is asking you to join in on a world record attempt. The goal: a once-in-a-lifetime event. One battlefield, One thousand players, in an in-browser FPS game.

Gamers and game developers will have a chance to face-off against each other in a massive carnage. Since there will only be 1000 players, secure your place by buying a ticket. These can be found on the Engineers Without Borders - Stockholm organization’s website (Here), so all the earnings will go straight to them.

Never before have so many players fought each other in an FPS, on one battlefield, in the browser. And never before has so much time been spent on a game only to be played once. Don’t miss it!



 

Why?
Three years ago MuchDifferent was looking for a big technical challenge. Friends at CCP, Dice and other gaming companies told us that the hardest and most difficult challenge they were all facing was the scalability of virtual worlds. Not only did we solve the problem, but we also offered a solution that may revolutionize the way games are made, as well as have an influence on other consumer web areas.

How?
MuchDifferent has created a dynamic traffic router/load balancer, PikkoServer, that divides the battlefield between the game servers and glues the result together for the clients, multiple times per second. Although Man vs Machine is based on the Unity Engine, any modern game engine could easily be retrofitted with the technology to create something similar in a few months time.

During the development of this technology, MuchDifferent has created a range of related tools, the UnityPark Suite, that provide a full backend solution for Unity developers, released for the public on January 2nd 2012.

I’m really impressed with the product suite that MuchDifferent is offering. It’s an incredible piece of technology that I’ve seen running. The amount of time and money developers can save from using this software is immense and it kinda makes me wish I was developing on their technology.”
(Minh Le, creator of Counterstrike)

Who?
MuchDifferent is a non-profit organization that not only develops tools that change the way online games are made, but is also a leading technology provider within the field of signal processing. The organization has its headquarters in Uppsala, Sweden with a team of 24 people. However, they are also present in South Korea, Belgium and Iceland.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Plantronics GameCom 367 Closed Ear PC Gaming Headset




Luke Wickett here for the review of the plantronics 367 closed ear headphones! Let me start by saying these headphones aren’t new to the market, they came out in 2009 but to be fair I’m pleasantly surprised. These headphones are in the shall we say “Cheaper” sections of the gaming headset, priced at around £20 but let me say these headphones don’t feel that cheap at all! 

When initially putting the headphones on for the first time I felt a certain comfort and belonging that I simply wasn’t expecting, they grip in the right places but seem to just perch on your head like a smooth plush velvety hat, which to be fair is a pretty nice feeling I must say. The padding on the sides of your head whilst wearing this headset have a smooth texture giving a soft and luxurious feel and seems as though they will stand the wear and tear of the average Joe’s head. (*Joe’s heads are known for the average head shape, size, density etc etc*) Along with the padding on the rim which are of equal quality to the side pads. These bad boys are also surprisingly light, which was quite the shock! Going by the pictures i assumed they would be a heavier, Which to me means reliability, much like a gun and if that heavy gun doesn’t work you can always throw it at them... Which you could not do with the 367’s I’m afraid. But then again this isn’t a review of how deadly they would be if they were to be if thrown, But if you’re curious I’m sure they wouldn’t be. So the “Plush hat” feeling comes from the light weight feel along with the overall comfiness of the 367’s. 

The overall quality of these headphones are next to none! They’re as sturdy as they look. I’ve given them a medium nudge and pull with very positive results. The 367’s really do feel pretty tough for me, although they aren’t really to be compared with the so called ...“quality” of average Skull Candy's. They would definitely should stand the wraith of the average gamer even at high rage. The cables are very nice as well, I was expecting thickness of an normal set of earphones but these are much thicker and of a different material, Which is pleasantly robust.

The mic has a secret hiding place for secret hiding times! I really like this feature.. For no reason it’s just.. Well...Cool. It folds back it to the headset eager to be used again. Whilst talking there is next to no background noise although at times the mic seems to fade in and out, which my ready friends is a damn shame! This makes me quite the happy chappy. It can be quite quiet mind!

Now my gentle saplings it’s time for the most important part! The sound! Well to be fair the sound Isn’t bad at all. I find there is a slight lack of bass but it’s not terrible, but really It’s my only beef with the 367’s, because other than that i can’t really fault the sound quality at all. It’s definitely loud enough and the sound you get is very clear, Don’t get me wrong there can be a bit of a buzz when at full volume, which is expected for the price. Despite the lack of bass and the occasional buzz these will make you feel fully immersed. So overall I’m happy with the sound, especially for the price. 

Although this isn’t the kind of headset you’d want to be seen in walking down the street mind. They were not wrong at plantronics labelling them with a “Military-style”. They’re very big and bulky looking, But to  be fair they are meant for gaming, not for the looks. They seem to resemble helicopter headsets from a distance. 

I have added a voice sample of me using them. I quote from the back of 367's box.

video

Conclusion time. If you’re looking for a decent headset and you’re on a budget then hell yeah i would recommend these. They’re comfortable, tough and high quality at a good price.

Luke Wickett