Adobe Creative Suite 6 Kicks!

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If you’re doing anything at all creative with your computer, you’re likely aware of the excellent suite of creative tools from Adobe (coincidentally called the Adobe Creative Suite).

Well earlier today, Adobe announced a huge upgrade to the suite, Adobe Creative Suite 6 — CS6 — which contains a lot of new features to all products within the suite and is also designed to drive Adobe users to their new subscription-based (and also announced today) Creative Cloud service

Aimed at the serious creative hobbiest or professional, Adobe Creative Suite has long contained many of the industry-standard creative tools including Photoshop and Illustrator.

Creative_Suite_6_Design_Standard_mnemonic_RGB_300px.jpgAnd if you’ve been using an older version of Adobe Creative Suite, here’s some of the new feature you’ll find in CS6.

  • Content-Aware image retouching tools
    Retouch images with stunning results in Photoshop Extended. Use the Remix tool to move a selection with auto-recompose and blend. Content-Aware Patch lets you control patch samples.
  • Fluid grid layout for mobile devices
    Design and develop confidently for mobile devices with advanced tools in Dreamweaver CS6, including CSS3-based layouts that scale responsively to virtually all screen sizes and form factors.
  • Global Performance Cache
    Create more in less time with unprecedented 64-bit Performance. This revolution “under the hood” makes After Effects CS6 fast and responsive by taking full advantage of the power in your computer’s hardware.
  • Extraordinary image editing
    Use the Mixer Brush and Bristle Tips in Photoshop CS6 Extended to explore lifelike, naturally textured painting. Add dimension to your imagery with 3D extrusions using Adobe Repoussé technology, and make precise image selections with Truer Edge technology.
  • Interactive documents and presentations
    Create memorable documents and presentations with interactivity, motion, sound, and video in InDesign CS6. Enhance layouts with rich media using motion presets and support for FLV and MP3 audio file import to engage your audiences.

As with previous CS releases, Adobe has bundled tools into various configurations and pricing. According to Adobe’s news release, CS6 and Creative Cloud will be available within 30 days — we’ll update this post when we have precise details on their arrival and pricing at Future Shop.

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A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer

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Three exciting games were released for iOS devices in the last week and a bit. One was from a well-established computer and console development juggernaut. One was from a (now) blockbuster company that made their name on the iPhone and iPod Touch. And the final one from a small but respected Canadian design house, is currently taking the iTunes App store by storm – becoming Game of the Week on launch day. And if you’re planning to pick up an iPad 2 tomorrow, you might want to make these your first downloads :smileyhappy:
Continue reading “A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer”

Emotionally gaming your Twitter stream?

I’ve been watching the development of Littlecosm, a new Twitter client with excitement as it’s one of a new breed that is applying sentiment analysis to derive a result — in this case your disposition in a game.

Emotion plays a huge part in Littlecosm.  Littlecosm analyzes your tweets and figures out if you’re in a good or bad mood.  If your tweets are mostly “bad”, your character will turn out “bad” (you can see some “bad” characters in the screens above) – and vice versa.

But wait, there’s more!

Littlecosm isn’t only about disposition or sentiment, it’s also about memories:

Every memory you collect in Littlecosm has nostalgic value.  I think about how much fun I have talking to my friends about retro games, 80s music, tv shows from bygone eras, hypercolor tshirts… and the strange sense of discovery I feel when we talk about these things that we have already experienced.  That is the exact feeling I want to get from players of Littlecosm.
“Good” characters will be able to find good memories more easily.  “Bad” characters will be able to find bad memories more easily.  Time of day also affects the type of memories you can collect.  Players who want to get the full collection will need to trade with each other.
When?
Looks like the game is on track to launch in January, 2011.  But if you can’t wait, there’s an opportunity to get involved with the project:
Want a seat in the last spaceship leaving earth? Donate to Littlecosm on the fundraising page below and you’ll get game tester access AND be written into the earth ship’s manifest as Crew, Pilot or Admiral!

All About Littlecosm

Littlecosm is launching in January 2011.
I haven’t given much information about the game mechanics so far, so here goes.
What you need to know before reading this: the world of Littlecosm is shaped by your emotions.
Also, Littlecosm is played in real-time.  When it’s day in your world, it’s day in Littlecosm.  When it’s night, it’s night.
About the Twitter Client
On every screen is a Twitter client showing your latest tweets.  One of my first goals was to create a Twitter client that I would actually use, so I experimented with various interfaces.  I had the panel sliding out, I had the tweets in speech bubbles – none of it felt “right”.  In the end, I wanted my tweets on display at all times.  So I could leave Littlecosm in the background and come back to it at any time and see new tweets (it updates seamlessly without reloading the page).  That’s what I’ve built and I think it works rather well 🙂
Here’s a short (soundless) video of the game running – you can see the Twitter client at the bottom of the screen:
A lot of people have been asking me what type of “game” Littlecosm actually is…
About the Game
Emotion plays a huge part in Littlecosm.  Littlecosm analyzes your tweets and figures out if you’re in a good or bad mood.  If your tweets are mostly “bad”, your character will turn out “bad” (you can see some “bad” characters in the screens above) – and vice versa.
The first, most obvious game mechanic was to make a game where good players could fight bad players.  This would have an undoubtedly viral effect (@player_x just killed you! fight back?) but I just wasn’t comfortable with the concept.  I didn’t want to make a fighting game.
So I went back to the drawing board.  The goal was to make a game that resonates with people like me – people who actually don’t play a lot of social games, because they are spammy or because they are based on themes that we don’t particularly get excited about (growing plants on a virtual farm, for example).
My conclusions can be summed up in this great scene from Season 1 of Mad Men.
Along with being a game powered by emotions, I wanted Littlecosm to be emotive.  I turned to nostalgia.  This is the intro story to the game:

A ship carrying a great treasure has crashed on a planet far away. The treasure: every object, thought and memory that mankind ever created during its short history. The little inhabitants of the planet curiously collect things from the crashed ship and try to learn as much as they can about this place called “earth” and what has happened to it.

Littlecosm is a game about collecting memories.
Below is the map screen.  You can see the crashed ship half on land and half in the sea.
Every memory you collect in Littlecosm has nostalgic value.  I think about how much fun I have talking to my friends about retro games, 80s music, tv shows from bygone eras, hypercolor tshirts… and the strange sense of discovery I feel when we talk about these things that we have already experienced.  That is the exact feeling I want to get from players of Littlecosm.
“Good” characters will be able to find good memories more easily.  “Bad” characters will be able to find bad memories more easily.  Time of day also affects the type of memories you can collect.  Players who want to get the full collection will need to trade with each other.

Of course, there’s a video of the game in action — a silent movie — seems appropriate.

Some cool retro posters

The following post is a QuickHit(tm) — an article or post I found online and thought was important enough to share directly with you. Of course, you’ll see my thoughts or opinions prepended or appended to this post, otherwise I’m just scraping content, and that’s not the intent.

It seems today my online path was crossed with many cool posters – like Dug from Pixar’s UP.

via erictanart.blogspot.com

Or this Battlestar Galactica retro

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…more


You’ve just read a QuickHit(tm). Thanks! And don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments.


How to make your WordPress blog mobile friendly

Earlier this week WordPress.com (the free blog hosting site) announced that they’re including two new mobile friendly templates in their offering.

This is absolutely awesome. I say this from the perspective of a iPod Touch owner who often surfs blogs on the device.

The more mobile friendly websites get, the more people will be able to find what they’re looking for, when they need it, wherever they are.

In fact you’ll find that this blog (yes the one you’re reading now) is mobile enabled (has been for months) using the same theme. – WPTouch by Brave New Code.

As a stand-alone mobile theme, it’s quite powerful:

  • User-selected theme toggle
    (between WPtouch view and your site’s regular look)
  • iPhone-like application appearance, functions
  • AJAX, jQuery & effects in only 56kb
  • The ability to turn advanced javascript effects & ajax on/off
  • Full WordPress search, pages, archives, categories, tags and links support
  • Theme native social bookmarking support
  • iPhone/iPod touch native post e-mailing support
  • Ajax comments, posted in real time
  • Ajaxed pagination (users can browse posts like YouTube videos)
  • Admin selectable custom icons for pages, logo, bookmark icon
  • Manually edit your site’s title to fit WPtouch
  • Show / Hide post excerpts, customize style in different ways
  • Easily add your own icons to customize menu appearance
  • Admin inclusion/exclusion of site pages shown in the theme’s menu
  • Compatibility suite in admin to inform of add-ons, WordPress version support
  • Favicon fetch & conversion to .png for links displayed using the WP blogroll
  • Support for FlickrRSS plugin, Blip.it video plugin
  • Automatic Archives page layout (if you have or create a page called ‘Archives’)
  • Automatic Photo page layout with Flickr (if you have or create a page called ‘Photos’ and have the FlickrRSS plugin installed)
  • Automatic Links page layout with your blogroll links listed with their favicons (if you have or create a page called ‘Links’)

So, if you’ve got a WordPress standalone blog, browse on over to BraveNewCode’s site and grab this theme. If you’ve got a WordPress.com blog, do nothing, mobile themes are automatically enabled, though depending on the device the mobile user is using, you’ll either get the WPTouch theme, or a more general mobile theme:

When readers visit a WP.com blog from a “modern [mobile] web browser” (i.e. with a iPhone / Android device), they will now “get easy access to posts, pages, and archives” along with “fancy AJAX commenting and post loading.” Visitors accessing WP.com sites with other/older mobile phones will be greeted by the WordPress Mobile Edition, which aims to load the site quickly and in a mobile-friendly format.

In a future post I’ll take a look at some of the features of WPTouch that I use here.

Cool & free Space Race icons

I found these nifty free icons while surfing this morning, and am thinking they’re the perfect complement to some of my space themed desktop images I use.

If you’re interested, here a quick list of my desktop image posts:

And check out these icons at The Icon Factory. Windows and Macintosh.