Pixel art has held a special place in the the world of Web 2.0. Most recently it reared its head at Adobe Systems' Engage event earlier this year, where attendees received a poster with pixel art characters using various Adobe products. The poster was professionally designed, but that doesn't mean you've got to go out and buy some special software or take digital art classes to have some fun making your own.
Yesterday social arts community and two time Webware 100 winner Deviant Art released a beautiful mobile version of its site that's been optimized for Apple's iPhone. I've been playing around with it this afternoon and it's a wonderfully simple way to explore the various art mediums that have made the community so popular. To access it, users simply need to navigate to DeviantArt.com on their handsets and they'll automatically be directed to the finger friendly version.
It shares a lot in common with Facebook's iPhone app, a design so successful that it's been featured in Apple's advertising for the device. However, unlike Facebook, DeviantArt's efforts rely more on a simple menu structure that lets you dig through its 1600 plus categories of art to explore only the bits that interest you. While simple and fairly fast to navigate (even over EDGE), once you get about four levels deep it gets a little cumbersome. Luckily, you're able to get to drill down to a specific category in about three menus. The real beauty is that you can hop back and forth between what's popular and what's new in any category you're in, and clicking on any item will open it up without taking you to a new page.
In addition to images and text items, DeviantArt has made available the entirety of its video collection. The videos can be played in full screen, and if you're logged in to your DeviantArt account you can bookmark them for later use. The same goes for any other content you come across. You're also able to visit user profiles like you would on the site, and browse through entire user galleries with just a few finger touches.
Coming in the future will be iPhone optimized versions of DeviantArts forums, news pages, and the the message center, which alerts users to new content submitted by users they've bookmarked. More shots after the break.
It looks like EA has made a turn-around in response to fan outrage at its plans for a complicated DRM scheme in two high-profile PC games due out later this year.
Word came out yesterday that Spore (from Sims-meister Will Wright) and the PC version of Xbox 360 hit Mass Effect would implement a new version of the Securom DRM middleware, which not only requires you to keep a game's DVD in the drive to play it, but would need to perform an authenticity check every 10 days, which would have required your computer to be online during that … Read more
It seems that the founder of Napster--no, not Seth Green--may have finally cashed in big time on one of his creations.
According to TechCrunch, Napster founder Shawn Fanning has sold his gaming social-media start-up, Rupture, to Electronic Arts for $30 million.
TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld reported Thursday afternoon that as part of the deal--which EA has not yet announced, "but is expected to do so soon," Fanning and Rupture co-founder Jon Baudanza will become EA employees.
For Fanning, this represents the big-time payday he's clearly been seeking for years. He never made much off of … Read more
Revoked NSL aimed at Internet Archive shows need for reform http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/ 20080508-revoked-nsl-aimed-at-internet-archive-shows-need-for-reform.html http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/07/211255
Zune to build copyright … Read more
Over on Techdirt Thursday morning, there's a report about some angry PC users of Electronic Arts games.
The gamers are upset, according to a post in the Mass Effect forums, because EA is apparently implementing a new Internet-based digital rights management system, known as SecuROM, that they find onerous, intrusive, and inconvenient.
Techdirt writes that a new version of SecuROM being employed by EA "is causing controversy due to an online verification system connected to its CD key. The system requires a connection to the Internet during installation to check (that) the CD key is valid, and then … Read more
Boom Blox is the first game to result in the collaboration between filmmaker Steven Spielberg and Electronic Arts. When we first got a look at the title back in February, we were impressed with the game's accurate rendering of real-time physics and unique gameplay. Now that we've had a few days to explore the final retail version of the game, we're proud to say that we're officially hooked.
The game has you use your Wii remote in a variety of game modes that involve everything from careful blox removal (essentially virtual Jenga), to smashing blox with a variety of different projectiles. Each mode has an "adventure" campaign you can play through, each level more challenging than the last. The game presents a list of goals in which you are awarded gold, silver, or bronze depending on your efficiency. All the levels vary and are quite satisfying and addictive--you'll even find yourself retrying them to reach a gold medal. There are close to 400 puzzles, so forget about blowing through the game in a weekend.
Boom Blox is certainly a technical achievement as its physics, while somewhat floaty, are dead on. Much effort has gone into the realism-factor, guaranteeing you'll never see a level play out the same way twice. But perhaps what is most attractive about Boom Blox is… Read more
Comcast mulling metered access, 250GB monthly bandwidth caps http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/ 20080507-comcast-mulling-metered-access-250gb-monthly-bandwidth-caps.html… Read more
NEW YORK--"We skipped the paparazzi," Eyebeam director Amanda McDonald Crowley said as she welcomed several hundred people to the digital art center's annual benefit on Tuesday night. "We've got a photo-taking duck."
That requires a little bit of context.
On display at Eyebeam's "Freedom and Creativity"-themed benefit, held at the organization's headquarters in the post-industrial West Chelsea neighborhood, were a number of commissioned artists' and fellows' projects. One of them was Taeyoon Choi's "Camerautomata," literally a robotic duck that skittered about the floor, Roomba-like, taking … Read more
Electronic Arts on Tuesday officially launched Boom Blox, the long-awaited first game under its partnership with Steven Spielberg. It is now available in North America, and EA plans to have it on shelves in Europe on May 8, in Asia on May 13, and in Japan on May 22.
The first details about the game, which is from EA's casual games unit, were released in February. Now, the game, which will be available only on Nintendo's Wii and on major carriers' mobile phones, is out and the world can finally see what happens when you put someone like Spielberg together with top-level game designers at a company like EA.
Boom Blox will task players with navigating nearly 400 levels of "strategic destruction."
In addition, players will be able to use the game's editor to craft their own levels. The best part of this sounds like it will be the way the editor lets players take existing levels and elements from the game--props, characters, blocks, etc.--and incorporate them into all-new levels. … Read more