Here’s why Amazon pulled the plug on its first big budget video game ‘Crucible’ shortly after launch

(Crucible Image)

Amazon Game Studios and Relentless Studios’ online third-person shooter Crucible will be taken offline. An entry labeled as a “final update” on its official development blog went up late on Friday afternoon to inform fans and beta testers that work on the game would be discontinued.

Crucible had been in development since 2014 when it launched on May 20, and was heralded as Amazon’s big attempt to break into the video game market. It was initially free to play and download, with a number of in-game purchases that offered new character costumes, additional currency, and other extras.

However, Crucible quickly ran into a host of problems, including server issues, lukewarm reviews, and criticism over its “freemium” pricing model. A little over a month later, on June 30, Amazon yanked Crucible from digital storefronts and returned it to a closed beta.

Since then, Crucible‘s primary developers at Seattle-based

Read More
Read More

Fruit Flies Plug into the Matrix

Bugs and fish don’t play video games or attend teleconferences, but they can still explore virtual reality—complete with visual effects, tastes and smells. A new system called PiVR—named after the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer that runs its software—creates working artificial environments for small animals such as zebra fish larvae and fruit flies. Developers say the system’s affordability could help expand research into animal behavior.

PiVR’s purpose is not to get these creatures plugged into the Matrix. Rather it lets scientists measure an animal’s behavior in real time while it responds to a controlled environment. The technology both provides the environment and tracks the animal within it using cameras and other sensors. This approach is useful in experiments aiming to learn more about how an external stimulus spurs the brain to perform an action. “What the tracker allows us to do is know what the animal is currently doing and then

Read More
Read More