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rAge: Home coding is hot

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The global video games market is worth almost $100 billion, making it a great reason for local indie studios to develop their own games and showcase them at rAge.

With the global video games market worth almost $100 billion, and Africa, Europe and the Middle East contributing $23.5 billion to the pot, it’s clear that gaming is good business. This alone is a great reason for local indie studios to develop their own games and showcase them at rAge, via the popular home_coded stand. They’re doing it with heart too, because some of the local developers are not only interested in their sharing passion for gaming, but are also giving back to some seemingly unlikely local causes.

Mattador Starfish is a local game development studio focusing on bringing sustainable change to people’s lives. The company will be showcasing its first game, Codex Knights. It’s a 3D action-RPG/puzzler designed to encourage and promote reading across all ages, but it’s particularly aimed at kids and teenagers. Codex Knights is being designed to immerse you in the worlds of fantastical books, where the participants can explore these worlds and interact with the characters and events in the book. Exciting news is that one of their first books is focused on a South African classic – Jock of the Bushveld.

Another exhibitor, Givit Game Studios, will be officially launching its first commercial release at rAge, titled The Adventures of Sam Carlisle: The Hunt for the Lost Treasure. Two years in the making, and featuring the musical talent of Pieter Smal and the voice of South African actor Deon Coetzee, this game raises awareness on Alzheimer’s, as the main character suffers from the disease. As the game progresses, he can’t distinguish between reality and fiction. The developers will be donating a portion of earnings from the game to a relevant charity.

home_coded veterans Celestial Games will once again be at the expo. Exciting news for visitors is that this year Celestial will be doing “live game development” on their stand. Visitors will be encouraged to participate in an experimental and innovative approach to game jamming, which will involve audience engagement platforms such as an active hashtag and a suggestion wall for visitors to draw, write and scribble on. Visitors can contribute ideas, criticisms and content that will potentially feature in the game. This interactive model facilitates a “living game”. You’ll be able to track its progress and evolution throughout the weekend, and the game will inevitably change and adapt as audience contributions are implemented.

Another local developer bringing the awesome to rAge is Robot Wizard. The company recently had a successful trip to Gamescom in Germany, and now the time has arrived for local fans to get their hands on Jengo! For the first time on African soil, Jengo’s Gamescom demo will be playable at rAge, which will also give attendees the opportunity to share their thoughts on the game with its developers. In addition to this, rAge visitors will also be able to audition for a chance at becoming the voice of Jeff, the game’s protagonist, when Robot Wizard launches #FindingJeff at the show.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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