David Hyman demos his latest dream project: Chosen. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Note: Chosen is available for free right now but the ability to sing and judge is invite-only for now. As a special treat for Cult of Mac readers, however, the first 500 folks that enter the code 313 into the app after downloading it will be able to get in and participate.
David Hyman is no stranger to the music business, having sold MOG to Beats when the headphone company wanted a music subscription service. He was the CEO at Gracenote before that, and the director of ad sales at music blog Addicted to Noise before that. Hyman even served as interim CEO at Neil Young’s PonoPlayer.
At the Game Developers Conference this March, Hyman sat down with Cult of Mac to show off his latest music project: Chosen, a new game that marries the idea of fan-made YouTube music videos with the American Idol-style competition television, all on your iPhone.
We sat down with Hyman at the chic Hotel Zetta at the beginning of March in San Francisco, where he demoed Chosen, Hyman’s latest foray into making music accessible to all of us.
Peter Dijkstra (right) and Jeroen Van Hasselt, two of the devs of creepy arena game, The Flock. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
SAN FRANCISCO — When I went to meet Peter Dijkstra, the business guy at Dutch game developer Vogelsap, I had to wait in line to see the small, indie team’s new horror game, The Flock. I wasn’t too upset, though, as the guy in front of my was none other than famed Doom and Quake developer, John Romero.
Dijkstra’s The Flock is an upcoming horror multiplayer game that takes place in one of three different arenas. Playing the game with three other people Monday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco brought back memories of those long-ago sessions of Quake Arena, as well as more modern examples of asymmetric multiplayer like Left 4 Dead and Evolve.
But not all video-game devils have redeeming qualities. Here are four demonic bad guys so devious, difficult and/or annoying that it’s not enough to defeat them in the game — you will wish you could rip them out of your screen and smack them until they can’t damn straight.
New comics app Midnight Rises introduces Charlie (left) and Cromax, a hyper-evolved Cro-Magnon and chief engineer on the science spaceship Joplin. Photo: Mike Choi/Industrial Toys
Mike Choi, a talented, experienced comic book artist, was drooling.
We were talking on the phone about Midnight Rises, a new digital comic app that explains the rich sci-fi backdrop of Midnight Star, an upcoming first-person shooter for mobile devices from Industrial Toys.
Choi had just had some teeth pulled, and was still kind of loopy when we got to chat with him and two other Industrial Toys execs, President Tim Harris and CEO Alex Seropian (you may know him as one of the co-founders of Bungie Software) about their first iOS app, a re-visioning of what visual storytelling can do.
Most digital comics are just a reformatting of traditional print comics to fit on a touchscreen. Midnight Rises goes further, using the tricks of video games to tell a comic-book style story.
“We hate motion comics,” said Choi. “This was way more work than just turning the canvas on its side.”
This bread has legs. No, not really. It’s a metaphor. Photo: Bossa Studios
Yeah, you read that right – this is a video game where you play as a piece of bread on an epic journey to become an actual piece of toast.
I Am Bread has been out on Steam Early Access since December of last year, and now the developers at Bossa Studios have let it slip that the game will indeed come out on iOS, as soon as they finish up the PC/Mac version.
If you’ve seen the massively viral hit game Goat Simulator, you’ll immediately have a sense of how this one plays out. You’ll hit various keys on your keyboard or buttons on your controller, and move a slice of oddly movable bread around, trying to find some way to toast yourself. Here’s a quick video to visualize it.
They’re gonna cancel my insurance! Photo: React/YouTube
The Grand Theft Auto series is known for its violence; you’re usually cast as a thug or criminal of some sort, and set loose on a rampage across an open world landscape, able to steal cars, beat up civilians, and even gun down the cops.
Watch as these older folks do just that in Grand Theft Auto V, reacting to the crazy violence with fear, loathing, and a little bit of evil joy.
Lose yourself in a city of your own making. Photo: Electronic Arts
I launched SimCity: Complete Edition last night at around 8 p.m. I played around with my new city, getting a feel for the controls, zoning for residences, commercial ventures and industrial centers.
I zoomed in and out to get up-close and bird’s-eye views of my own private Idaho (well, Squifton, if we’re being literal). I checked out the various data views, gave my city police buildings and power, water and fire departments. I added parks, more residential areas, roads and even created a neighboring city — a sleepy little hamlet that purchases power and water from the main city. Just a quick little foray into a game that I’ve been itching to play.
When I glanced up at the clock, it was three hours later.
Now you can join in the fun on console or Mac/PC without a monthly fee. Photo: Bethesda Softworks
The Elder Scrolls Online is a massive online role-playing game that lets you join up with your friends to explore the vast realm of Tamriel, the world featured in various high-fantasy games like Oblivion and Skyrim.
Bethesda Softworks has just dropped the subscription model from its award-winning massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, and is bringing the massive virtual world to current-generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as updating the PC and Mac versions of the game to The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.
Hollywood types are lending more than just voices to the latest crop of video games. Photo: Activision
It’s true — Hollywood has fully exported its heroes to the newest media kid on the block, video games. It wasn’t enough for Martin Sheen to play the chain smoking Illusive Man in 2008’s Mass Effect 2 , or Kevin Spacey to turn in a star performance in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Now John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan and Jon Bernthal lend their voices and likenesses to the sci-fi-tinged military shooter for the new Exo Zombie mode that comes with the new downloadable content pack “Havok,” available January 27.
Now all you need is a wrist strap for your iPhone. Photo: Anuj Tandon/Rolocule Games
To get the fun of virtual bowling without a Wii, look no further than Bowling Central, a magical iOS app that lets you swing your iPhone around to send a virtual bowling ball slamming into all the pins at the end of the lane.
The game is powered by Rolocule Games’ motion-tracking technology, called “rolomotion,” which lets you swing your iPhone like a Wii remote. The gaming company’s two founders wanted to create a Wii Bowl-style experience, only with an Apple TV and an iPhone, and they won a 2014 Edison Award for their solution.
“We worked really hard to get the motion gaming controls right,” Rolocule’s Anuj Tandon told Cult of Mac in an email, “and getting the perfect controls took time. Not only … can you give accurate direction to the ball, but by twisting the wrist, the ball can be given a spin, just like real bowling.”