Sunday, May 31, 2009

TechVibes Article

It's been a while since I've posted, but for good reason. We've been working overtime putting the finishing touches on the iPhone game we've been developing for the last nine months, and we'll be submitting it to Apple as soon as they get around to updating our account! (You hear that, Apple? You're impeding the enterprising businessman! It's stuff like this that's put the economy in the state it's in! Not to mention too many people listening to iPods while on the job! And another thi- ooh hang on, I love this guitar riff, Niew-niew-neener-braaakow!)

Sorry. Anyway we've posted another video on YouTube, now with much-updated art.

And we were also recently featured in the electrozeen TechVibes (thanks for the kind words, Henry!):

NeverBored Studios Set To Launch ThreadBound For The iPhone

Posted by Henry Finn on Sat, May 23, 2009 9:42 AM

Waterloo based startup NeverBored Studios is days away from submitting their debut title ThreadBound to the Apple App Store. The game will cost only .99 cents when it hits the app store yet provides unlimited entertainment with hours of game play, multiple challenges and even a level editor.

Unlike most games where players control a character, ThreadBound lets its users control the platform. In the insect themed game you control a 'stick bug' that assists a 'thread bug' trying to work its way across each level. You can also interact with several other elements in the games environment, for example; coat your 'stick bug' in honey to make it stickier or use it to swat away enemies.

ThreadBound offers a huge amount of value for its low price. The game is incredibly sophisticated for a casual iPhone title. For only .99 cents the game includes 54 levels with over 4 hours of game play, additional challenges for the hard core gamers and NeverBored has also included an option that allows users to listen to their own music while they play. Another innovative aspect of the game is the level creator. Users can create their own levels, submit them to NeverBored Studios and the best levels will be included in future updates.

NeverBored’s members Jimmy Ho, Thomas Ang, Orin Bishop, Morgan Hall, Steven Truong and Chris Killoran are primarily former University of Waterloo students working with several artists based out of British Columbia. The team has a great mix of talented individuals with some solid game industry experience. Jimmy Ho formely worked for Microsoft and Electronic Arts on Xbox and Wii titles. Thomas Ang another former EA employee gained experience developing sports titles and is responsible for ThreadBound’s physics engine. Orin Bishop brings a different kind of gaming experience to the team; he has been actively developing board games, including Nameless Island published by Steve Jackson Board Games.

If you enjoy gaming and own an iPhone keep your eyes peeled for ThreadBound’s launch.

NeverBored Studios
(and check us out on facebook as well)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Midi-chlorians: My View

Alright, so I realize I'm about a decade late, but as a geek and a Star Wars fan, I feel it my duty to at least voice my opinion on this divisive issue.

Now let me start by saying that I was quite young when I first saw Menåce des los Phantasms, but at the time the concept of midi-chlorians didn't really have an effect on me. I was old enough to understand it logically (to the extent that there is logic to be teased out from Qui-Gon's somewhat feeble explanation), but I guess I wasn't yet at the age where one needs to actively seek out wonder and mystery in the world.

Now that I'm a little older and wiser and jadeder, I believe I can understand some fan's ire at the concept of trying to explain a mystical and omniscient force away with microscopic organisms (though ironically if you turn that around, you get religion). It still has never got to me though. I agree that the midi-chlorians explanation is kind of lame, but it is also so hand-wavy that I find it impossible to be particularly disillusioned by it. In my opinion, the whole thing speaks to how quick we are to assume something is understood once we have applied a name to it. How does the force work? Midi-chlorians. Why do things fall? Gravity. Why am I afraid of chopsticks? Consecotaleophobia. How are the Rolling Stones still performing? Spackle. You get my drift.

The truth is that midi-chlorians explain practically nothing about the Force, they just raise more questions. Why do microscopic organisms in my blood allow me to send an object flying across the room? Do they send a telegram to it's molecules in the preferred format, politely requesting a relocation? Do they fly out of my hand in an invisible cloud and manually carry the object away? Do they all just wish really hard? No, I'll tell you how it works: Magic. The same way it has always worked.

Now I guess Lucas wanted to use midi-chlorians partly as a plot device, so he could explain why Qui-Gon was so insistent on bringing Anakin along, and also so he could explain Anakin's divine conception without getting sued by that guy who wrote the Bible. Personally though, I feel that the whole thing would have been better and more interesting if he'd instead had a conversation with Obi-Wan that paralleled and foreshadowed Vaders ominous talk with the Emporor in Strike-Back des los Impériosøs.

OBI-WAN: What is thy bidding, my master?

QUI-GON: There is a great disturbance in the Force.

OBI-WAN: I have felt it.

QUI-GON: I just met some kid -- Anakin Skywalker.

OBI-WAN: Yes, my master.

QUI-GON: He can race pods.

OBI-WAN: He's just a boy. I disbelieve his ability to race pods.

QUI-GON: The Force is strong with him. I totally believe he can race pods.

OBI-WAN: If he could be made a Jedi, he would become a powerful ally.

QUI-GON: Yes. Yes. He would be a great asset. Can it be done?

OBI-WAN: He will join us or else have to make Jingle All the Way 2, my master.