html5

Snapchat launches Mario Party-style multiplayer games platform

Posted by | Advertising Tech, Apps, Bitmoji, Gaming, html5, Mobile, snap inc, Snapchat, Snapchat Games, Social, TC, ZeptoLab, Zynga | No Comments

Snap is unlocking a new revenue stream while giving you something to do between chats and Stories. Today Snapchat debuts its Snap Games platform that lets you play real-time, multiplayer games while texting and talking with your friends. The platform is based on Snap’s secret late-2017 acquisition of PrettyGreat, an Australian game studio with talent from HalfBrick (which built Fruit Ninja). That team built Bitmoji Party, a Mario Party-style mini-game fest, to show off the platform that includes five games from developers like Zynga and ZeptoLab. The games are rolling out worldwide on iOS and Android starting today.

To monetize the platform, Snapchat will let users opt in to watching six-second unskippable commercials that reward them with a power up or bonus in-game currency. Snapchat will share revenue from the ads with developers, though it refused to specify the split. It could be a little weird watching ads to more easily beat your friends. But down the line it’s easy to imagine Snapchat selling cosmetic upgrades via in-app purchases akin to Fortnite.

Snap announced the new Snap Games platform at its first-ever press event, the Snap Partner Summit in Los Angeles, where it also announced an augmented reality utility platform called Scan, an ads network and a way to put its Stories in other apps. “We wanted to build something that makes us feel like we’re playing a board game with a family of over a long holiday weekend. Something that makes us feel like we’re sitting with friends, controllers in hand, looking at the same screen,” says Snap’s head of gaming, Will Wu. The Information’s Tom Dotan and Amir Efrati first reported Snap was building a gaming platform and Cheddar’s Alex Heath reported it would end up launching today.

Snap Games could be considered a real-time spin on Facebook Messenger’s Instant Games platform, which has focused on porting to HTML5 well-known asynchronous games like Pac-Man and other arcade titles. Similarly, Snap Games don’t have to be downloaded separately, as they’re piped in from the web. Users can browse available games by tapping a new rocket ship button in the chat bar.

You’re invited to Bitmoji Party 🎉#SnapPartnerSummit pic.twitter.com/WBTntkqZil

— Snapchat (@Snapchat) April 4, 2019

With Bitmoji Party, your avatar competes with up to seven friends simultaneously in a series of mini games where you have to stay balanced on a giant record as a DJ scratches it, or avoid getting knocked in the pool. You also can have another 24 friends spectate and rotate in. Winners earn coins they can use to buy dances to stunt on their competition. And with an ever-present chat bar, users can use text or voice to talk trash.

Rather than port in known IP, Snap recruited developers to build games exclusively for its vertical, real-time multiplayer format. These include:

  • Alphabear Hustle from SpryFox – a fast-paced word puzzler
  • C.A.T.S. (Crash Arena Turbo Stars) Drift Race from ZeptoLab – a cutesy racing game
  • Snake Squad from Game Closure – a reimagining of the classic Snake game set in outer space
  • Tiny Royale from Zynga – a top-down battle royale shooter game that feels like a Game Boy version of Fortnite  top-down battle royale game
  • Zombie Rescue Squad from PikPok – a zombie shooter

Snapchat’s partner games (from left): Tiny Royale, Snake Squad, C.A.T.S. Drift Race

Snap’s game platform has huge potential to boost time spent in the app and the ads views that generates because gaming is perfect for its demographic. “In the United States, Snapchat now reaches nearly 75 percent of all 13 to 34-year-olds, and we reach 90 percent of 13 to 24-year-olds. In fact, we reach more 13 to 24-year-olds than Facebook or Instagram in the United States, the U.K., France, Canada and Australia,” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel revealed today. This is the age group with the free time and dense social graphs to make use of multiplayer real-time games.

The big question is whether Snap’s reward-incentivized video ad views will generate enough cash to keep developers coming to the platform. If not, a limited line of titles could get old quick. Snap has entirely avoided in-app purchases since shutting down its Lens Store in early 2016. There’s understandable concern that kids could rack up huge bills on their parents’ credit cards. But given how Fortnite has normalized paying for no-utility cosmetic upgrades for this same demographic, with the right controls Snapchat could do the same to make itself and its partners a lot more money. And given you’re always playing with your friends, not strangers, there’s an even deeper urge to buy funny costumes and dances to impress them.

Snapchat’s overarching strategy right now is to build an orbit of time-wasters surrounding chat. What began with Stories now includes Discover publications, premium Shows, augmented reality toys and now games. It may never become a favorite with the 35+ age group. But since messaging is the top mobile behavior, Snap can use it to keep people coming back and then distract them while they’re waiting for a reply or need a social alternative to small talk.

 

Powered by WPeMatico

Kristoffer Lawson talks about a future where you zoom into work

Posted by | computing, Gadgets, HTML, html5, Startups, TC, technotopia | No Comments

 Kristoffer Lawson created one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while: Solu, the social computer. His tiny device uses a unique UI and UX to allow you to connect with friends and collaborate using an icon-based OS that lets you zoom in and out of work. Lawson and I spoke about the future of computing and how his ideas – and the ideas of other OS thinkers – will change the… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

The future of books is coming, but it’s coming slowly

Posted by | computing, HTML, html5, hyperlink, Information technology, Mobile, TC | No Comments

e-books shutterstock This week on Technotopia I had the opportunity to speak Laura Dawson, an expert on all things publishing and the future host of a podcast dedicated to ISBNs. To say that she has her finger on the pulse of the publishing world is an understatement.
Dawson knows the ins and outs of the big houses and she understands how they think. Interestingly, almost every publisher is well aware of the… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Autodesk’s Amar Hanspal talks about the future of manufacturing

Posted by | autodesk, computing, Gadgets, HTML, html5, Startups, TC | No Comments

Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President, IPG Information Modeling & Platform Product Group, Autodesk Imagine a world where manufacturing is no longer geographically mandated, when you can print custom parts in minutes, and anyone can build anything. That’s the world Amar Hanspal, Autodesk’s SVP or Product, wants to live in. I talked to Hanspal while he was at a future of manufacturing conference and we talked about all of the pitfalls of future manufacturing, the improvements… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

WeVideo revamps its online video editor for HTML5

Posted by | Flash, html5, Mobile, Startups, TC, Video Editing, wevideo | No Comments

wevideo WeVideo has rebuilt its browser-based video editor using HTML5 instead of Flash. For many of you, the whole debate about HTML5 versus Flash may seem like a weird flashback to 2010. But Flash is taking a while to die completely — Google Chrome, for example, continues to phase out Flash gradually. CEO Krishna Menon said that in the case of WeVideo’s new editor (which launched… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Novelist John Sundman talks CRISPR, genetics, and logic bombs

Posted by | autoplay, CRISPR, Gadgets, HTML, html5, TC, Virus | No Comments

61+tk+GPfML._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ Novelist John Sundman is a national treasure. His best work, Acts of the Apostles, predicts CRISPR, advanced genetic engineering, and chip-based Trojan Horses and his writing is at once dense and thrilling. I got the chance to talk with him this week for the Technotopia podcast.
Sandman lives on Martha’s Vineyard and has been a tech contractor as well as a volunteer fireman and carpenter. Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

360-degree camera maker Jeffrey Martin talks about what it takes to film for VR

Posted by | Column, Gadgets, HTML, html5, martin, TC, Virtual reality, VR | No Comments

0b7b5dd5c5701577148e91251cbc4d6a_original This week on the Technotopia podcast I interviewed Jeffrey Martin, the creator of 360Cities and the maker of the Sphericam. Martin is a skilled 360-degree camera operator and has created amazing panoramas of cities around the world.
“I’ve been working with VR since the days of CRT monitors,” he said as he explained the challenges and changes coming to us thanks to new… Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

George Lucas, Ken Williams And The Practical Magic Of Pragmatic Visionaries

Posted by | Column, Gadgets, George Lucas, html5, Ken Williams, operating systems, Startups, TC | No Comments

6496342083_da15b8c563_o Popular Science was one of my favorite magazines as a teenager. I was amazed by the inventions of mere mortals, and wondered if there was some sort of genetic mutation that allowed a select few to see the future more clearly than the rest of us. Secretly, I hoped to be a visionary someday. Read More

Powered by WPeMatico