Toca Boca is a game that has taken the game industry by storm with about
23% market share of the paid apps on the Google play store. Toca Boca has
been downloaded over 150 million times. The reason that Toca Boca is so
popular even though it’s not free, is that it is stress-free. Instead of
fierce competition, timers, bomb blasts, laser shots, and keeping
score, it’s just about having fun building your own adventure.
Kids can create a vacation of their choosing, cruise ship, airplane, or even
ride a train across Europe! Backpacking in the mountains, surfing along
a beach, putting together a band and making music, creating robots, or even
designing or playing within virtual worlds. It’s all possible with just
clicking the mouse button.
Toca Boca is a game development studio focused on child-friendly applications
for tablets and smartphones. Toca Boca was founded from Bonnier’s Research and
Development back in 2010. CEO Bjorn Jeffery is the man that came up with the idea
of open-ended, interactive games that are just fun to play. No guns, no swords,
no blood, just clean fun for kids!
Everyone that has ever played a video game, especially the combative games, has heard
the tremendous music in the background. That music actually makes the game more exciting
and more suspenseful. A video game without that great music is like black and white TV.
Imagine the movies Star Wars or Superman without background music! No thanks!
Creating background music for video games is no small task. Hundreds of new video games
come on the market every year and it’s not one tune throughout the game; there are dozens
of different ‘moods’ that need to be created. And those moods need to fit different players
around the world. There are over 750 million online game players in China alone. Another
32 million in Vietnam. And over 150 million Americans are playing online games. They
all need music tailored to their cultures.
With so many new games and such a diverse audience, there is most certainly a shortage
of online game music composers. The qualified composers that write music of movie
sound tracks are too high paid to bother with online games and the same with those
artists that write hit songs.
So where will the new composers come from?
One place is Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. One class in
particular titled: Advanced Scoring and Implementation for Video Games is being
taught by Professor Watt. How does he teach music composition?
Recently while teaching a class, Professor Watt played a clip of music that has a
‘marching off to war beat’ then asks the students to write four bars of something
similar, in the key of F minor.
The students turn to their piano keyboards, grab their headphones, and get to work,
summoning snare drums, string sections, and a bunch of French horns.
“Work quickly,” Watt quips. “Then you can take more gigs and make more cash.”
An army of new bright composers is coming!
Megan McCann, just 20 years old, placed a $30,000 bet on 12 horses across four races and
won one million dollars, but Bet365 is refusing to pay claiming that Megan was financed by a
third party which is against Bet365’s terms and conditions. Exactly how Bet365 knew where
Megan got the money has not been revealed.
Ms McCann has filed a lawsuit against Bet365 claiming that she won the bet fairly and that
the “third party” condition was buried deep in the terms that are difficult for normal people
According to the Daily Telegraph, Ms McCann was actually congradulated for winning the bet
by Bet365 in live chat on the Bet365 website. The next day, Megan was told that the money
would be processed within 48 hours, but minutes later, her account was suspended and then
closed for cheating.
Ms McCann has retained legal counsel which in turn have contacted Bet365 with
the following message:
“Our client’s case is very straightforward. She placed a bet with
your client. She won. She is entitled to her winnings”
Bet365 has confirmed that the incident took place and that there was an investigation
that led to their findings that the bet was not payable.
Zealot Digital International Corp, a mobile game developer, said it lost about
$32,798 over two weeks in May after a sophmore in high school hacked its servers.
The young student, Mr. Jie, is to be charged with violating the Act of Obtaining
Property by Threats according to police.
The hacker sent an email threatening to shut down some of the firm’s game servers
if they didn’t pay 0.0163 of a bitcoin, (about $10). At first, the firm thought it
was just a prank since the threatening email only asked for $10 in bitcoin, but then
they noticed some of their servers were down!
At this point, the firm’s security supervisor called the police and the hacker was
identified by the IP number embedded in the email headers. When interviewed by the
police, young Mr. Jie said that he purchased a malware kit for $10 online and that’s
why he demanded the small payment from the game developer.
Asked why he hacked the server. Mr Jie said that he was angry because his father was
addicted to the Zealot Digital International’s games. He hoped that by interrupting the action,
maybe his father would “wake up”.
Most people, like me, probably think the online gaming began when the first IBM clone
accessed the World Wide Web and developers programmed games for that market or maybe
some think that it started with consoles even before the WWW.
There were some games online even in the 1950’s, but they were limited applications. The
first full featured online game platform came online in the 1960’s and it was called PLATO,
(Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations). PLATO was created by by the University
of Illinois and Control Data Corporation for educational purposes.
PLATO was not particularly powerful in those days, but what made it special was that it
included chat rooms, message boards, touch panels built into the screens, emoticons,
animations, virtual economies, and more.
A few of the games available on PLATO were:
Empire (1973) A 30 player Star Trek-themed game where players could steer their space
ships through galaxies fighting each other or transporting armies for the ultimate
The Game of Dungeons (1975) A single-player RPG where players could select their
difficulty level, check their stats, and stash loot.
Spasim (1974) A 32-player networked space sim and it is one of the direct ancestors of the
modern MMOs of today.