Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why You Should Still Choose Flash Ahead of Mobile for Branded Games


It's easy to get blinded by whatever is perceived as the current trend, but making mobile devices your number one priority isn't necessarily the best way to go with branded games.
If your budget allows, of course mobile is a great option for increasing reach with your branded game, but don't rely on it. Use mobile as a secondary source of exposure to reach a wider audience. A web based Flash game should still be the first choice for a number of reasons:

Flash is the best way to get guaranteed exposure
The biggest issue with mobile games is making your game stand out from the crowd. Unlike Flash, where it's relatively easy to distribute a game to a huge number of players, without a considerable budget for marketing the game itself, it's difficult to get a mobile game noticed. It's likely to just get lost in a sea of apps on the mobile app stores. Putting all your eggs in the mobile basket is a huge gamble that could end up with no significant return.
Flash doesn't have this problem. There is a huge existing network of gaming websites willing to host and drive players to a Flash game. Plus, it avoids the risk of only having your game available in one place (the appropriate mobile app store). Flash gaming sites have a huge existing user base ready and waiting to play your game.
Flash is more cost effective
Flash games target one common web based player, so there's none of the fragmentation you get with mobile devices. Trying to target all available mobile devices adds considerably to development and testing time, which means increased cost. This makes Flash much more cost effective and a better starting point for businesses with a modest budget.
A Flash game can be used to promote the mobile version
Having a web based Flash version of your branded game can be a great tool to drive traffic and downloads of a mobile version. Because Flash makes it easier to get your game in front of players, you can harness this exposure and drive traffic (through links in the game) to the mobile version on app stores. This is why it's always best to treat the Flash web based version of your game as the foundation and add a mobile version only if the budget allows. You can use the Flash version to promote the mobile version of your game, but NOT the other way around.
What about using HTML5 to target desktop and mobile devices at the same time?
There are currently a huge number of compatibility issues with HTML5 that make it a poor choice for web based games. You would end up with a far inferior end product to both a native mobile application and a Flash game. But the main issue is that there is no way to package and distribute HTML5 games in the same way that you can with Flash. So you're essential left with having the game in one place only and the same promotion problems as with having only a native mobile app.
If you do choose to produce a mobile version of your game in addition to the web based one, Flash is now capable of publishing as native apps anyway. So as long as your game is designed with this in mind from the start, it's relatively easy to create the mobile version of your branded game alongside the Flash web based version, minimising additional costs and time required.
Flash First, Mobile Second
When considering a branded game as part of a marketing campaign, you should only consider JUST a mobile version if:
  1. You have a decent budget to promote the finished game, or...
  2. You are willing to take the risk of hardly anyone playing your game.
If you want to guarantee good exposure for your branded game, always choose Flash first. Then if your budget allows you can start to look at mobile as an option.
Simon Walklate is a professional Flash games developer who provides custom branded web and mobile solutions.



4 Advantages of Business Simulation Games



The routine process of logging into the office, slogging throughout the day and logging out makes the life of an employee boring and stressful. To break the monotonous cycle, companies take the help professional event providers who conduct team building and other informal activities. However, with the passage of time, those activities become run of the mill without any changes. Enter Business Simulation games, the new variety of team building activity that challenges team members to think out of the box. They recreate real world scenarios and the participants are required to find logical solutions which will propel the company forward.
Five benefits of business simulation games:
1. Realistic experiences
Most of the activities proposed for strengthening team bonds are at a kinder garden level and way too simple. Participants may get bored very soon. Business simulation games are complex and involve scenarios and simulations found in the real world. The knowledge and experience gained in the corporate life can be experimented at these games. The employees will get a deeper understanding of the work they do and the purpose of their work.
2. Increases collaboration
Business games increase collaboration between the team members. For finding solutions for complex issues, a single individual needs to collaborate his ideas and opinions with others. This is because the simulation is not limited to a single function or department. Each player can utilize his or her strength and accordingly help the team win. Team spirit and cooperation is fostered with the help of such activities.
3. Effective learning
Companies are looking for ways where the employees can relax as well as gain insightful knowledge.Business simulation programs make way for effective learning as the employee gains the insight on how a company functions on a holistic level. These games make a good tool for corporate training. No wonder many companies are signing up for such simulations as they are worth the time and money spent.
4. Leadership pool
As employees work hard to solve simulation problems, you will come across talented individuals who take the initiative and gets ahead of the others. You will get a chance to identify the cream layer of talent. In normal situations, such individuals may take a backseat. Business strategy development activities bring out the inner logical thinking of an employee and force him to take initiative. You can be rest assured that the company's future is in good hands because of the new pool of leadership talent. Once identified, you can train them further with the help of corporate training program.
The above four advantages show why business simulation games are coming into the forefront of team building activities. Get on the bandwagon and transform your employees. You will be surprised at the results.
Padmaja Singh is a prolific Mumbai-based freelance writer who writes on numerous topics including Team building games, Motivation, Success tips and Leadership training to name a few.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Finding Video Game Tester Jobs Online

 Where you can find the highest paying        video gamer jobs online
Have you been playing games for a very long time and wish to start getting paid for it.Maybe your actually really good at them and strive to beat every new one you get and unlock every achievement .Do you find yourself playing a game over and over just because it is so fun.
Then you might be a good candidate for a position as a video game tester in the field of quality assurance.
As a game tester you can get paid to play hot new games while they are still on the assembly line.Top video game developers are looking for gamers of your caliber to make sure their games meet or exceed current standards.

How to land a video game tester job

But these jobs are usually hard to acquire and you get discouraged because their is never an opportunity close to home that you can apply for,trust me I know.
The unemployment line is where I had ended up because I got laid off.I had no choice but to hit the "black top" and start looking for another job.So of course the first jobs I looked for was online because it's just so much easier to find local jobs.
I submitted applications to a few companies that I had experience in in the field with and since that was going to take a few hours or days I decided to mess around and look for jobs where you can work online.
I actually got one of my first jobs as a gamer online, two years ago.Back when I applied though it was a little difficult to find a great company to work with and i didn't have the skills to create my own video game just yet, so I searched and searched until I came upon Video Game Tester HQ
There is a constantly updated list of jobs gamers can apply for online and you can also join the community and stay updated on fresh positions and even video game news.
I have been a member and personally know the webmaster and he is even a game tester himself,so if your having any problems or would like to get his educated response about a question you've been wanting to ask make sure to check it out.

"They laughed when I said I was going get paid to Play Games until they saw my first check"


Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000 in 2014

Gaming Laptops For Under $1000

If you're looking to get your hands on a new laptop that's destined for gaming and are on a budget, you might want to consider a few factors before making this decision.
The best gaming laptops under $1000 are configured with the best hardware available and will act as decent desktop replacements if you intend to work on them.
As a general rule of thumb, any of the top gaming laptops you consider buying must have a powerful processor, at least 4 GB RAM, plenty of hard disk space, a mid-range to high-end dedicated graphics card and a very good display with killer audio and graphics.
So let's get a bit into the details of a good gaming laptop. If it's created for gaming then it must have good hardware installed. Like other high-performance portable computers, it will be a bit less portable than standard laptops. This is because it will integrate a lot of hardware to be able to take on all the latest games.



Some Important Factors

What are the factors to look for in gaming laptops? Well, starting at the processor level, a good gaming laptop that's under $1000 will carry a dual-core or even a quad-core processor. This can be the Core i5 or the faster i7 processor. They are all good choices and will run any game very well as well as any programs you might want to run.
The system memory amount will determine how well everything runs. You need to make sure that your gaming laptop comes equipped with at least 4GB of RAM. Some of them will have an 8GB minimum, but you should remember that 4GB is the lowest limit and you shouldn't even consider purchasing a laptop which has a lower system memory than this.
Next item on the list would be the graphics card. Now standard laptops will carry standard "integrated" GPUs. These use available RAM and typically will slow the system when graphics power is needed. The best gaming laptops carry only dedicated graphics cards. This is because dedicated graphics cards come with their own memory, so they don't have to take away from the available RAM and the system will run much better.
The screen is also an important factor. The screen size will determine not only how much you see, but also the resolutions you can display. Supported resolutions can vary a lot over the same size screen. Some manufacturers create screens with a much higher pixel density than others. It's even a common thing to find standard 15.4inch laptops which can run 1080p Full HD resolutions.
Let's have a look at a few top gaming laptop models.



#1 - Acer Aspire V3-771G-9809 17.3-Inch Laptop

This is perhaps one of the best gaming laptops under $1000, because it features a grand screen of 17.3 inches, which is above the average 15.4 standard you currently find in laptops.
It also comes with a 3rd gen Intel Core i7 quad core processor which can run up to 3.2GHz using the Turbo Boost Technology.
The laptop has the Windows 8 operating system installed, the latest in the series and the best performing OS from Microsoft.
The graphics is another high point in this laptop. It integrates an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics card with 2GB of dedicated VRAM. This is one of the top graphics cards today and it will allow you to play all the best games today.
The 8GB of system memory will ensure you can run all the latest software programs without any glitches or system halts.



#2 - ASUS N56VJ-DH71 15.6-Inch Full-HD 1080P Laptop

This is another tough contender in the top gaming laptops under $1000 list. It comes at the standard 15.6 laptop size, but it features a Full HD 1080p resolution capable screen.
It also incorporates an Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4 GHz quad-core processor which is great for running a lot of programs and awesome if you like to multitask.
There's 8GB of RAM installed, so everything should run nice and smooth without any problems whatsoever.
The 1TB hard drive will allow you to install all the software programs you need, along with all your games, store media files and still have enough spare space for anything else you might decide to add later.
The graphics is another high selling point in this laptop. It comes with a dedicated NVIDIA GT 635M graphics card with 2GB of dedicated video memory. This card will pretty much rip through most games graphics and allow you to run them at full quality settings.
The OS you get is Windows 8, which is the best operating system so far from Microsoft.



#3 - Dell XPS 15.6-Inch Laptop

This is another top choice I made based on brand. Dell is widely known as providing top quality when it comes to computers. This laptop is proof of just that.
It has a 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3230M processor which runs at 2.6GHz. This is a great processor for any games that you might like to play and any programs you would like to run.
It also comes with 6GB of system memory installed which will help a lot to switch from one application to another seamlessly when you're multitasking. This amount of power will help you run pretty much any game that comes out.
On the graphics side there's a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT630M with 1GB of GDDR5 video memory. This is a top notch graphics card that's great and you'll find it a lot on the recommended system requirements list for most modern games.
The system comes with Windows 8 pre-installed so it will run straight out of the box.



Asus Republic of Gamers Laptops

Now I'm a fan of Asus and their ROG line of laptops. ROG stands for Republic of Gamers and it's a series of laptops configured for gaming purposes.
Everything from the processor, to the amount of RAM, graphics card, display and keyboard type has been put together to create a powerful and portable high-end gaming laptop.
If you'd like to view a few of these laptops, you can visit a list I made with my favorite Asus ROG laptops.
You can watch the video below to get a feel of what these laptops bring to the table in terms of installed hardware and performance capabilities.


ASUS ROG G74 Gaming Notebook

Best Gaming Laptop Brand Profiles

There are a few brands which come to mind when gaming laptops are concerned. They create a lot of high quality models they do this consistently.
Asus has it's very own line of high performance laptops called the ROG (or Republic of Gamers). Aside from the streamlined design, these portable machines integrate everything needed to run modern games as smooth as possible on maxed out settings.
Another brand, or more exactly co-brand, is Alienware. They are derived from Dell and their laptops will stand out in a crowd. Their logo (the alien head) lights up and can be distinguished quite easily. These too are some top performing machines and are known to even carry dual GPU configurations.
Toshiba, with the Quosmio line is another line worth of mentioning. These laptops are thought of more like entertainment solutions, but they perform outstandingly when games are concerned. 


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Best RTS Games: Upcoming Games in 2014

Upcoming Games in 2014

With the dawn of a new year, it is time to set up a wish list of all the new RTS games coming out this year. Tired of playing the same RTS games like Command and Conquer, Age of Empires or Supreme Commander? Then look forward to some of these games.

If none of the new games manage to excite you, going back to older games can always be an option.Planetary Annihilation

The first game is Planetary Annihilation by Uber Entertainment. Let’s hope their game will be just as awesome as their companies name.
The game looks and feels similar to Supreme Commander. Not surprisingly, some of the members on the team have indeed worked on Supreme Commander. Other have work on Monday Night Combat, Super MNC, Demigod, Total Annihilation and Battle for Middle Earth. Needless to say, these guys know how to make a game.
Planetary Annihilation will allow you to colonize entire solar systems and crush entire worlds. The developers want to take the genre to the next level with this game by allowing players to control thousands of units at the same time.
From mining planets and asteroid belts for resources to fuel your economy to constructing planet-destroying weapons, this game will keep you busy for a while in both Multiplayer and Singleplayer. Games can have up to 40 players, resulting in all out free-for-all’s in multiplayer or small scale Skirmishes in Singleplayer.
The developers have promised to implement many feature to make modding easy; allowing you to create new units, different game types and build your own maps.
Their Kickstarter campaign shows that many people are already excited about this game. Instead of the requested $900 000, they managed to collect $2,229,344 with 44,162 backers.

Universum: War Front

Next up is Universum: War Front, a game that tries to combine RTS and FPS game play. Although this has been tried before, it is rarely pulled of successfully. Let’s hope Universum can.
At any time in game, this indie game will allow you to control a single hero unit. You will be able to fight on the ground, in the air, underground, in open space or underwater, either as infantry, a vehicle, mech or alien creature. Besides that, the environment can change between 7 different planets ranging from “Tulla”, with an average temperature around -40 degree Celsius to “Lavra”, with average temperatures of 45 degrees Celcius with peaks up to 10,000 degrees.
The initial production of this game was all done by a single guy called Cyril Megam, who left his job to dedicate his life to Universum. However, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, where he managed to crowd source over $20,000, he has decided to hire a few extra guys to help him finish the game.

Meridian: New World

Thirdly is Meridian: New World, another game made by a single person called Ede Tarsoly, who spend the past two years of his life working on this game. The new world in question is Meridian, which you get to explore and shape with every decision you take and with the dialogues with your crew.
It will have traditional style RTS game play with a focus on strategy where every choice has an impact and you can gain XP for your commander profile and unlock special combat abilities. It will also come with a full level editor to allow players to create their own campaigns.

Etherium

Last but not least is Etherium by Tindalos Interactive, a French company who also made Stellar Impact.
In this game you will side with one of the three playable empires to fight over Etherium, the main resource in this science fiction game. This might sound a little familiar but many great games have come from this basic concept.
Each empire will have its own characteristics with corresponding strengths and weaknesses, technologies and special skills. To finish it all up, every Empire will also have its own “Colossi of War”, to rage havoc with.
Another nice feature is the weather system; each of the seven planets in game will have different weather conditions which will give players strategic opportunities, by performing a sneak attack by crossing a frozen lake or hiding in a sandstorm as strategic retreat.
The Singleplayer campaign will be non-linear, giving you influence on the progression of the story and multiplayer will be up to four players

Nothing You Like?

Conclusion

Many great games away us in 2014. Not all of them are completely original but will definitely be nice additions to your games collection. We also see the rise of Kickstarter as a way to fund new projects and people singlehandedly creating an entire game. A lot of developers are also putting emphasis on making it easy to mod their game, which is sure to please many players across the genre.


Great Christmas Board Game Gift Ideas for Kids in 2014

7 Board Games Your Kids Will Love for the Holidays

As a Father of four kids we have a tradition where each kid in our family gets a new board game each Christmas. Some of these board games get played through the next year and for years after while others continue to sit on the shelf.
In 2014 there's a lot of games that both parents and kids can be excited about. In this post I'll share with you a few of my favorites broken down by category.

Good Board Games for Kids of All Ages

There are very few games out there that spark interest in not only kids of all ages, but adults as well. In 2010 two really good games in this category were released.
Spot It
Spot it is a game that my kids absolutely love. It's simple to learn and can be played many times without getting bored.
The basic premise of the game is for players to spot the match on the card in the middle pile which corresponds with the card they have in their pile. Whoever does it fastest gets the card. This works because between any two cards there is only one possible matching symbol.
Game manufacturer Blue Orange says that this game is for players ages 7 and up; however I have a 4 year old and 6 year old that beat me regularly to prove otherwise.
Final Thoughts:

Spot it is small, easy-to-learn, inexpensive, and fun. It's a perfect kids board game under or around $10 and is even great for road trips. Since its release Blue Orange has released several other versions of the game including a Junior Animals, on the Road, and Party board game and English editions released in 2014.

Hedbanz
Another great family game released in 2010 is HedBanz. This is another easy-to-learn game that's fun for everyone. Everyone puts on a plastic headband and then adds a card from the pile without looking at it. When it's your turn you have to try and guess what the card is before the time runs out.
In my family we typically ignore the time limit and just enjoy the fun of trying to figure out whatever in the world is on our forehead.
Alternate Versions are just as fun:
For a more adult board game version you can go with the Adult expansion or for kids consider the Disney version with Disney characters. Both are fun in their own ways, but the original is probably the better game for all ages.
Another slightly different version of the game, released in 2014, is the Act Up version which forces the people around you to act out what the card is on your head.
Overall:
Overall this is turning into a classic with our family. My kids love it and as a parent it's not something I get easily bored with.

Thinking Board Games for Kids

You shouldn't be afraid to purchase a board game which invokes thought and forces kids to use critical thinking skills. In addition, don't hesitate to buy games that you may think be slightly be above their age level. Kids pick up on things quickly and playing with Mom and Dad creates an even bigger challenge for them which, again, forces them to think.
Blokus
This game came out several years ago and is still a great option if you haven't played it. The game puts 4 different colors against each other that are trying to lay down as many pieces as possible.
Along the way you'll block off your opponent and find creative ways to lay down some of your more difficult pieces. Like the games I mentioned before it's easy-to-learn, but definitely more difficult to master.

Good Board Games for Little Kids

Look, we all love CandyLand, but there's only so much you can play of it. Keeping younger children involved with new challenges and new games helps them to expand their thinking processes at a young age.
The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
Kids can begin playing the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel game as young as age 3 and it'll keep their attention until their well over 6 years old.
The object of the game is to fill your log with acorns. Do this by spinning the spinner and seeing what you come up with. It's a good game for learning beginning math and even motor skills as you have to use tweezers to move the acorns.
It reminds me a little of Hi Ho Cherry-O, but in my opinion, just a little more fun for everyone.
Sequence for Kids
This is perfect thinking game for young children ages 4 to about 7 or 8. It's not overly challenging and does require them to use strategy against their other siblings and you in order to win.
Like games like Monopoly Junior its a simplified version for kids and one I'd highly recommend. 
Overall these games will provide everyone with entertainment and fun without being so simple that they bore you to tears.
What games are a hit in your family? Use the open discussion area below to let us know what you think.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Best Under $600 Gaming PC Desktop Computer Build 2014

Building a Budget Custom Gaming Desktop Computer Under $600 in 2014

Building a budget PC that can give you better graphics and a more functional experience than a console is easy to do. Even in our $500 PC build we were able to achieve that level of performance and with an additional $100 the options become even better.
If you're building a new PC for the first time, then hopefully I can help with your parts selection. I have a YouTube channel where we talk about the latest hardware, parts and gaming gear as well as a website dedicated to PC gaming. If you have any question about installing any of the parts I mention, then be sure to participate in the active discussion area below.

Choosing a Good Gaming Processor in 2014:


At this point we're able to get what I'd call a near end-game processor. That doesn't mean that there's not a better processor out there, but that this CPU will give you all the performance you need and won't bottleneck FPS when running even graphically intense games on 1080p.
I'm going to recommend you go for the newer technology in the i5-4430 processor here. This is Intel's fourth generation Haswell processor and as such, will need a 1150 pin compatible motherboard. If you already have an 1155 motherboard, then a processor like the Ivy Bridge i5-3470 here will give you a lot of the same performance and save you the cost of a new board. Otherwise, I recommend you go with the newer technology.
For Overclockers or Performance Power Users:
If you're an overclocker, then going with the i5-4670k unlocked processor may be a good idea here, but it doesn't fall within our budget. In addition, you'd want to go with a Z87 chipset motherboard for additional overclocking options. Alternately, you might be able to find an inexpensive Ivy Bridge i5-3570k and corresponding budget Z77 board that may fall within our budget.

Choosing a Good Graphics Card Around $150

There's a lot of good cards out on the market today and in, fact, I think it's a lot harder to mess up with what you purchase than it used to be. Both NVIDIA and Radeon have cards that really shine at certain price points and in general, if a card is beaten, then the manufacturer will move it down in price to reflect the performance gap.
That being said there's always a way for you to get a little bit more performance out of your card if you know exactly what to look for at each price point. At the $150 price point, right now, two cards really stand out. The GTX 650 TI Boost for as low as $120 on rebate and the HD 7850 at around $150 after rebate. This has changed in the last few months as I'm a little bit more optimistic about the longevity and performance of AMD's cards.
Why We're Using Most of the Extra Budget on the Processor:
In my opinion, it's more important to nail down your CPU first as it can last several years while your graphics card will most likely be replaced regularly. That being said, you could certainly stick with a processor like the i3-3220 and try to jump to the GTTX 760 or HD 7870 if you need more FPS right now. Overall, it's probably a matter of personal preference.

A Good Under or Around $50 1150 Motherboard for 2014

Because we're dedicating most of our overall budget to the processor and graphics card there's little room for an expensive motherboard. That being said just because we have a low budget doesn't mean that we can't get a good quality board.
Micro ATX Is Probably the Way to Go for Low Budgets:
If you stick with something that's Micro ATX, you can find a reasonably inexpensive option like the 1150 Haswell compatible MSI B85M-P33 that should serve you well for years to come.

Good Mid Tower Cases Under $50

I recently wrapped up my post on the best mid tower gaming cases and that knowledge really extends to this selection. In the under $50 price category I really like two cases, the Elite 431 Plus and the Rosewill U3 Challenger. Both offer extensive features including USB 3.0 compatibility in the front in and out port as well as plenty of capacity for the longer 650 TI Boost graphics card.
While the Challenger will give you more fan options, the Elite 431 Plus has an attractive window side panel. Ultimately, either one of these mid tower cases is a good choice for under $50.

A Big Ram Upgrade

While 4GB of ram is good enough for many games, it's certainly not enough to future proof your system. One of the bigger upgrades I'm recommending for this build is to upgrade from 4GB to 8GB of ram. If you don't play games that are graphically demanding, then ultimately this not be necessary.
For most I feel like it is. I recommend you go with ram from a good manufacturer that you can also purchase on the cheap. For right now the best gaming ram price is with the Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB kit.
The CX500M is a good budget 80 Plus certified power supply with a modular cable system.

Power Supply

Unless you plan on overclocking you really don't need more than 500 watts here which is the minimum recommended for the HD 7850. I'm going to recommend you go with the Corsair CX500 which is a solid 80 Plus PSU that should save you money over the long-run.
This gives you a little wiggle room and will allow you to dedicate more of your overall budget to the parts that matter most. You might also want to consider the "M" designated version of this PSU which is modular. This will additional airflow in your case through better cable management.

Final Thoughts and Impressions

Hard Drive and DVD Drive
I'm allocating around $75 of the overall budget to the hard drive and DVD Drive. If you already have a hard drive or DVD drive, then you'll get better performance by using your old drives and allocating your additional money to your graphics card. Even a fast hard drive shouldn't affect your in-game performance much, and I find that a DVD drive in today's market, is rarely used.
Thoughts:
This is a good overall gaming PC that will handle anything you throw at it. As I mentioned in my recommendation for good BF4 graphics cards, this graphics card will more than cut it and should reach 60 FPS if you're willing to move your settings out of ultra. In BF3 it reaches 50 FPS even when using 1080p, 4xAA, and ultra settings and since Battlefield 4 uses the upgraded Frostbite 3 engine, we'll see pretty similar results.
Think you can build a better PC? I'd love to hear about it. Use the open discussion area below. Also, I'm regularly available for any questions you may have.

Best Gaming PC Builds 2014 - More from This Author