Kelly and Peter Cohen – TMO Daily Observations 2020-02-27

· Kelly Guimont · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Kelly sits down with Peter Cohen to discuss the Mac App Store as a way to get apps, Twitter polls, and how the App Store ranks as a service.

New App ‘Rainway’ Brings Cloud Gaming to iOS

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

A new app called Rainway lets you play PC games on iOS devices. It supports controllers like the PlayStation DualShock, Xbox One Controller, MFI controllers, and robust touch controls. To get started you’ll need an iPhone or iPad running iOS 8 or higher, and a Windows 10 PC running Rainway. For the best performance use a physical Ethernet connection on a 5GHz router.

Our mission is to enable PC gamers around the world to have the gaming experience they desire on any screen. Rainway for iOS is the first of many new products and features we have planned in the pursuit of our mission.

App Store: Free

New App ‘Rainway’ Brings Cloud Gaming to iOS

What Google Stadia Means for the Future

· Andrew Orr · Link

Alex Cranz reviewed Google Stadia, a game service where games are streamed to you instead of you loading them onto your device.

With Stadia, you can slip into a game typically found on a PC or console using almost any device. It makes you wonder why we’ve tethered ourselves to hardware for so long when the internet can give us all of that power at a considerably lower cost (and smaller energy bill). The problem is that Stadia rarely works perfectly. Instead, it offers us a glimmer of the future before crashing back down into the muddy present.

”It makes you wonder why.” Here’s why we’re still tethering ourselves: Because arguably you own physical copies of media like games, books, and movies. The “future” that Mr. Cranz’s headline alludes to is the Ideal Corporate World in which no one owns anything because it’s all a subscription.

‘Settlers of Catan’ Could be Niantic’s Next AR Game

· Andrew Orr · Link

Niantic has had two popular AR games on its hands in the form of Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. What possibly be next? Maybe Settlers of Catan.

Late last month, the company behind Catan said during a board games conference in Germany that it was working on a “upcoming massively multiplayer location based game” (albeit with no mention of Niantic). Called Catan: World Explorers, they noted that it “transforms the entire Earth into one giant game of CATAN”.

The AI 'AlphaStar' Becomes a Grandmaster in StarCraft II

· Andrew Orr · Link

DeepMind’s AlphaStar AI has recently become a Grandmaster in the game StarCraft II.

StarCraft requires players to gather resources, build dozens of military units, and use them to try to destroy their opponents. StarCraft is particularly challenging for an AI because players must carry out long-term plans over several minutes of gameplay, tweaking them on the fly in the face of enemy counterattacks. DeepMind says that prior to its own effort, no one had come close to designing a StarCraft AI as good as the best human players.

Wanderlust Travel Stories is About 'Slow Gaming'

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Wanderlust Travel Stories is a new game that you can pre-order today, and it’s about “slow gaming.” You play at your own pace, exploring the lives of modern travelers each with their own desires, hopes, and fears. Every story is a journey, and on this travel, you are both the tourist and the guide. Take the role of various modern travelers, live their adventures and shape their stories. Choose your own pace, this title is meant to be taken in, experienced and felt. Relish in discovery and awe, longing and hope as you journey from Africa to Antarctica, from Europe to Asia. Wanderlust is a digital travel experience. Perfect when you’re traveling — or wish that you were. You get a 10% discount along with other goodies when you pre-order it today for US$17.99.

Genki Covert Dock for Nintendo Switch is Portable

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Genki Covert Dock is a Nintendo Switch charger that also functions as a dock. Each Switch comes with a dock so you can hook it up to your TV. But it’s not very portable when you want to take your Switch on the go. It’s easy to use: Just plug your Switch into the charger, then plug the Switche’s HDMI cable from the charger to your TV. The Kickstarter campaign says it uses a chemical compound called Gallium Nitride (GaN). “By using the latest GaN technology, we get incredible efficiency gains that run cooler enabling us to surpass the limits of last generation silicon chargers.” Although it was designed for the Nintendo Switch, the campaign says it works with a variety of other USB-C devices. You can pledge US$59 or more to get the early bird special (81 left of 1,500 backers). Estimated delivery is December 2019.

Play the Original Diablo in a Web Browser on Your iPad

· Andrew Orr · Link

The developers at Rivsoft made it possible to play the original Diablo game using a web browser. Someone on Reddit also got it working on their iPad.

Like the newer Diablo games, the original is an isometric top-down dungeon crawler with multiple character classes, tons of loot, and hoards demons to fight. The version of Diablo on Rivsoft’s site is the Shareware build — in modern times, we’d call this a demo. You can play the first two dungeons of the game with one of the game’s three character classes.

For the past several weeks I’ve been playing Diable III on my Nintendo Switch. I should give the original a play, too.

Here's How to Watch the Fortnite World Cup Finals

· Andrew Orr · Link

If you didn’t know that Fortnite World Cup Finals was a thing, don’t worry because I didn’t either. But if you’re interested, Melissa Locker tells us how to watch it.

Over the course of three days this week (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), the world’s most elite Fortnite players will be competing in front of a live audience at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Duos final is set for Saturday with 50 teams of two competing, while Sunday features the Solo competition, where 100 players will battle it out over the course of six matches, with points awarded for match placement and number of kills. Winners of the Solo and Duo finals will receive $3 million each.

Nintendo Switch Lite Coming in September for $199

· Andrew Orr · Link

Nintendo unveiled its Nintendo Switch Lite today, coming in September and costing US$199.

Nintendo Switch Lite has integrated controls and is smaller than the flagship version of Nintendo Switch. It has no kickstand and, as a dedicated handheld gaming device, does not support video output to a TV. Therefore, it does not come with a dock or HDMI cable.

I love my Switch and its great to see a more affordable option.

WWDC19: Project Catalyst Could Help Revive Mac Gaming

· Andrew Orr · Link

Project Catalyst is Apple’s official name for what we now as Marzipan. It lets developers port iOS apps to the Mac. I think it can help revive Mac gaming, because presumably games will also be able to get ported. Apple Arcade will be available on macOS as well.

But the big news is clearly Catalyst. Details are still thin, and Apple will most likely share more information this afternoon during its State of the Union WWDC keynote.

Play Date is a Handheld Game Console With a Hand Crank

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Panic has made iOS and Mac software for over 20 years, like Coda, Transmit, and Prompt. They’re also the creators of the popular Firewatch game. Now they’ve decided to get into hardware with Play Date. To summarize it, Play Date is a black and white Gameboy with a hand crank and a game subscription. There aren’t a lot of details yet, but it sounds like the hand crank acts as a controller, rather than as a way to power the device. The console will cost US$149, ship in early 2020, and come with 12 games as part of “Season One” that will be included.

The games will be delivered over-the-air, once a week for 12 weeks, and they’ll be a surprise: when the new game light flashes, you’ll never know what you’re about to play. Panic recruited some of the world’s best game designers — some well known; others under the radar — to make games exclusively for our system.”

Play Date is a Handheld Game Console With a Hand Crank

EVE Online Makes it Easier for Mac Gamers Running Wine

· Andrew Orr · Link

EVE Online is an MMO where gamers can build and pilot spaceships and explore the universe. Today the company will start using direct upstream Wine versions for its Mac client.

On rollout, Mac users will no longer need to run a wrapper to execute a 32-bit client on their native 64-bit operating systems, which will allow the EVE client to make better use of system resources and resolve a number of long standing issues that pilots who are playing on Mac experience.

Using upstream Wine will also improve the speed at which updates will reach our pilots who’re playing on Mac, with a multitude of Mac compatibility improvements becoming available to all Mac users with this single release.

 

New Federal Bill Would Outlaw Video Game Loot Boxes

· Andrew Orr · Link

Under federal legislation proposed by Republican Sen. Josh Hayley (Mo), video game loot boxes would be prohibited.

Hawley’s proposed bill, outlined Wednesday, covers games explicitly targeted to players under age 18 as well as those for broader audiences where developers are aware that kids are making in-game purchases. Along with outlawing loot boxes, these video games also would be banned from offering “pay to win” schemes, where players must spend money to access additional content or gain digital advantages over rival players.

I think this is a good move. Companies like EA would have to make good games again, instead of relying on a player’s “sense of pride and accomplishment.”

Snap Games Launches With 6 Games

· Andrew Orr · News

Snapchat’s gaming platform called Snap Games launches today with six games. The feature rolls out today for everyone around the world.

Indie Games Get a Seat at the Apple Arcade Table

· Andrew Orr · Product News

Apple introduced Apple Arcade, a gaming subscription service focussed on original, creative games from big game studios and indie developers.

We Finally Have a Super Mario Party Update

· Andrew Orr · Link

Nintendo finally released a Super Mario Party update. It’s not a major update but it fixes an annoyance some players had with Online Mariothon.

Fixed an issue with Online Mariothon in which ranking data was not displaying properly.

  1. Connect the Nintendo Switch console to the Internet.
  2. Return to the HOME Menu and launch the game.
  3. The update will be downloaded and installed automatically.
  4. Once the update is installed, the newest version number will be displayed on the title screen.

Snapchat Gaming Platform to Launch Next Month

· Andrew Orr · Link

Reports suggest that a Snapchat gaming platform will launch next month, which is currently codenamed Project Cognac.

The new games initiative will be unveiled at Snap’s first-ever summit for content and developer partners in Los Angeles on April 4, the person said, adding that video initiatives like more original shows will also be announced. An invitation to the event that was seen by Cheddar includes the tagline, “Less talk. More play.” — a nod to the gaming platform.

Everyone seems to be trying to conquer gaming now. Facebook, Apple, Google, and now Snap.