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4 months ago

Google temporarily undo game-busting Chrome change

Google have reverted a recent change to their Chrome browser which was intended to block annoying auto-playing sound and video on websites but had the knock-on effect of silencing many browser games. After outcry from developers, players, conservationists, and the ol' paper-shaking press, Google have temporarily undone the damage - but only temporarily. Google plan to reimplement the change later this year, saying the problem…

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5 months ago

Chrome’s autoplay update fractures web-game history

Every silver lining has a cloud. While much of the internet may be jumping for joy at Google Chrome's latest update disabling auto-playing video and audio by default, the new feature may have a rather nasty knock-on effect on many older sites, including a multitude of art and game-related projects and many newer HTML 5 pages being left partially broken. Many sites and some games…

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10 months ago

1 year ago

Blizzard and Google betray humanity with StarCraft 2 tools to train artificial intelligences

When the robots come for us, bad sci-fi has taught me, it'll be teenage whizzes who save the world. In light of that, I believe that Blizzard and Google's DeepMind Lab are taking the audacious and treasonous step of pre-emptively toadying to our future robot overlords. They've teamed up to release a machine learning API and toolkit to use StarCraft II [official site] as a…

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Google makes games to help teach internet sense, safety and positivity to kids

Google has announced Be Internet Awesome; a collaborative project focused around teaching children how to be safe online. There are a bunch of teaching resources for parents and schools but I'm posting about it because the Interland section [official site] is a suite of four colourful games each focusing on a different aspect of safety.

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Tilt Brush adds Sketches for non-VR browsing

Tilt Brush [official site] was, hands down, one of the best things in VR last year, but given the VR platform means a smaller potential player-base it's got that challenge of "How do I share any of this cool stuff with people not wearing VR headsets?" That's where the new Sketches gallery comes in, letting you peer at people's creations using a regular browser.

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2 years ago

Google teams up with MMO cloud platform SpatialOS

Today, on Tech That Sounds Kinda Cool But TBH What Really Matters Is Whether Games Using It Are Good But Hey Y'Like Tech Doncha Ya Funny Little Thing, comes news about SpatialOS [official site]. It's a server platform which boasts about using the mystical powers of clouds to host thousands of players in super complex simulations, and which is supposedly dead simple to build games…

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Quick, Draw! And have a neural net guess what it is

I've lost entire afternoon's to GeoGuessr, hitting the button again and again to teleport to a random place in the world in Google Streetview and then try to work out where I am from the scenery. Now I've spent a similarly long afternoon making Google do the guessing. Quick, Draw![ official site] is a sort-of game, sort-of web tool in which you doodle images upon…

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Feature:

Tilt Brush: A Closer Look At The Birds And The Trees

Over the weekend I decided it was time to dive back into Google's VR art project, Tilt Brush [official site]. I hadn't played it since a brief demo out in Seattle but I had an afternoon of waiting for a Sainsbury's delivery* ahead of me and access to an RPS Vive. That header image isn't mine, by the way - it's by Tristan Reidford! I'm…

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Autocomplete This: Guess What Everyone’s Googling

Google search's autocomplete suggestions offer strange and wonderful glimpses into what the rest of the world wants to know. It's trying to help us by guessing what we're after, but we're left with a giddy voyeuristic thrill wondering "Who is asking this and why?" Now there's a game based on those autocomplete oddities. idiots.win [official site] is a free browser game which starts asking Google…

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3 years ago

YouTube Announce Ads-Free Subscription Service

YouTube have announced a subscription service called YouTube Red. We've known it was on the way for a long time, but now it's official. In return for a monthly fee, you can watch YouTube videos without ads, save them offline, and gain access to a bunch of original content being produced by YouTube themselves in partnership with some folks you'll have heard of, including popular…

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YouTube Gaming Announced, Launching This Summer

When all the websites got together for their spring barbecue last month, so I'm told, YouTube had a little too much to drink and caused a scene. "Who's beer is that?" the website would ask, teetering over the booze table. "BIG DADDY VIDEO'S BEER!" It claimed everything it saw - the barbecue, the grass, the jazz quartet - and even kicked Buzzfeed out the paddling…

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Google Chrome Browser Update Disables Unity Plugin

If you use Google's web browser Chrome, you might notice that Unity games embedded in web pages no longer work as of the latest update. As they've planned to since 2013, Google have disabled support for the way the Unity plugin works. Unity 5 does support WebGL, which works without plugins, but for now that'll leave a whole load of browser games not working. You…

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4 years ago

Dream Stream: $1bn Google Bid For Twitch Rumoured

Streaming is big business. During peak usage times in the US of A, Netflix and Twitch.tv are two of the largest sources of internet traffic, as people across the country watch films, TV shows (or are they just 'shows' now, without the 'TV'?), live esports and other game streams. Little wonder then that Twitch is the target of a takeover, with multiple suitors, including Microsoft,…

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5 years ago

Doctor Whoodle

Doctor Who games have historically been far more Colin than Tom Baker, as assorted game-makers struggle to reinterpret a bloke with a fancy screwdriver and a silly outfit as something interactive. The trouble is they've always pursued stories and action and companions over the two fundamentals of the cosmic hobo: he can travel in time, and he can regenerate into a new body if killed.…

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7 years ago

Google Logo Is The Best One Yet, Gamey

This isn't PC gaming news so much as general internet nerding, but it's a lovely thing nonetheless. I have to admit that I haven't seen the Google homepage in months, so I wouldn't have realised that the current logo is an extraordinary interactive Google doodle game thing, had John not alerted me. How did he know? Well, there are a lot of tubes from all…

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NaClBox: Play Monkey Island In A Browser

That's my slightly sensationalist tabloid headline, but it's entirely true. So long as you own the game, etc. And via the burgeoning magic that is NaClBox. Which really does let you play Monkey Island, or indeed any other DOS game playable in DOSBox, in a web browser. If that web browser is Google's Chrome. I know it's true - I did it.

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