WeChat could get a lot more fun outside China with global mini games
- WeChat, China’s ubiquitous messaging and payments platform, is now opening up its mini games platform to developers worldwide — meaning that WeChat outside of China could soon get a lot more interesting.
- The mini games platform is a tab inside the WeChat app where users can enjoy basic games like Tetris, and it’s part of what makes WeChat so addicting within China.
- WeChat’s press release only mentions two developers outside China that have taken advantage of the platform so far — and perhaps surprisingly, Google is one of them.
- The other game on display, also announced in November, is called Linsane Hoops: you can tap to control NBA star Jeremy Lin and aim at hoops to score as many slam dunks as possible, in order to win different hairdos and outperform your WeChat contacts.
Valve redesigns Steam game library, adding Steam Events
- Valve is making some big changes to Steam in the coming months with the addition of new features like Steam Events and a redesigned look for your game library.
- Kroll showed an example page that displayed a user’s most recently played games at the top of that homepage, with the intention that a Steam user would be able to easily jump into one of their most played games.
- Just below the section of the Steam library page that listed recently played games was a section titled “Your game updates.” As examples, Valve showed a new character update for Don’t Starve Together, a new hero for Dota 2, and the new Danger Zone game mode for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
- The rest of the redesigned Steam library page listed friends activity and a user’s complete collection of games, with filters to help sort and display them.
Valve spruces up the Steam store with better social features, networking, and reach
- He said Steam operates on some simple values, such as wanting players to experience the best possible version of a game surrounded by a rich set of features and services.
- Valve also wants developers to have low friction access to powerful tools and the freedom to manage their games on Steam directly, Giardino said.
- Kassidy Gerber said that Steam is also making its network for games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to developers who have games on Steam.
- Steam developers have pushed 11 billion game updates to players, and Valve does not require certification for those updates.
- Valve tackles problems like operating costs, local customer support, alternative payment methods, and other things that the developer doesn’t want to handle.
- Uy said that in Japan the company found that players want to pay for Steam games with Steam payment cards that they can pick up at convenience stores.
Using npm's `ls` command for Fun and Insight
- If you're not familiar with npm ls, it's a command available with the npm CLI that will list dependencies that have been installed to node_modules.
- Additionally, it will return a non-zero exit code if the dependency tree that's resolved in node_modules is not what should be resolved from package.json.
- This particular feature is incredibly useful to me, as one of the most common ways that you'll introduce security vulnerabilities is through your dependency tree (rather than directly introducing them in package.json).
- Being able to surface all instances of a specific module you know is vulnerable is extremely useful, and this command makes that super simple.
- In a recent discussion in the Node.js Package Maintenance team, usage of npm ls in CI/CD environments was raised as a possible best practice to ensure that the dependency tree that's being resolved by npm is entirely valid and will be able to run.
Apple reportedly acquires Stamplay, Visa API development contest winner
- API integration developer Stamplay isn’t a household name, but that’s the type of company Apple tends to acquire: a small business that could enhance or expand its existing offerings.
- Italian publication 24 Ore reports today that Apple has purchased the Rome-based startup, which notably won a contest to make the best use of new Visa APIs. Apple’s specific interest in Stamplay isn’t clear, and it generally describes its small acquisitions with a blanket statement that it doesn’t intend to discuss their purposes.
- But it’s noteworthy that this startup has experience in the financial payments industry, a sector that Apple entered with Apple Pay, and is expected to expand upon with a self-branded credit card next week.
Live Streaming from GDC 2019: Bringing the Player’s Voice into the Game
- Yesterday Alexa evangelists Memo Doring and Amit Jotwani joined me for a full day of live streaming from the Alexa Twitch channel to discuss how to build voice-first games using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).
- The stream began with a recap of what we covered at Alexa Developer Day at GDC.
- We see this in skills that feature Echo Buttons or reconstruct traditional board game mechanics to incorporate voice.
- We then overviewed the capabilities of in-skill purchasing (ISP), using Yes Sire as our primary example, and how to gracefully incorporate upsells and purchase flows into your voice interaction.
- For the second half of the stream, we programmed an Alexa skill to be paired with the popular board game, Avalon.
- In the skill, we featured complex logic to handle all of the possible combinations of the board game characters.
Nintendo is open to more indies getting the Cadence of Hyrule oppurtunity
- Nintendo and indie gaming’s relationship is going so well that the House of Mario is willing to let Crypt of the Necrodancer studio play with The Legend of Zelda license, one of Nintendo’s most important properties.
- His Twitter bio calls himself the “Nintendo indie (Nindies) guy.” Katie Casper, Nintendo’s specialist of publisher and developer relations, and Scott hosted Wednesday’s Nindies showcase, which included the announcement that former Microsoft exclusive Cuphead is coming to Switch.
- Sure, larger companies like Namco and Capcom have helped Nintendo developer some big titles (Capcom even worked on Zelda games itself, including Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons for Game Boy, and The Minish Cap for Game Boy Advance).
- The spring release of Cadence of Hyrule gives Nintendo a way to put even more Zelda on the Switch, and this time with a concept (rhythm-based gameplay) that the series hasn’t focused on before.
Updated Tutorial: Build a Monetized Fact Skill with the Premium Facts Sample Skill
- Many developers have created a skill using our fact sample skill template because it’s an easy way to get started in the world of voice.
- The premium facts sample skill (available in Node.js or Python) is similar in that it is an easy way to learn how in-skill purchasing (ISP) works.
- Using this sample skill and the monetization tool in the Alexa Developer Console, anyone can start building a monetized fact skill.
- In this sample, we made the ISP design decision that customers can use either a one-time purchase or a subscription to access the same premium content.
- Note: While this premium facts sample skill is a great way to get started with ISP, we recommend using it to practice building monetized skills.
- As you’re exploring the premiums facts sample skill, I’d like to leave you with this question to consider: How should you organize your skill’s in-skill products?
Independent Games Festival begins with emotional talk about Christchurch
- It happened to be the first major public gaming event after the tragic massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand last week, with thousands of people in the audience.
- Wallick introduced Meg Jayanth, who won an award in the past for the indie game 80 Days from Inka Studios.
- She was the host for the IGF awards at GDC 2019 in San Francisco, and she made clear how she felt about the killing of 50 Muslim immigrants in New Zealand by a shooter who referenced video game culture and streamed the killings in a live video.
- She called for unionization of the industry as well.
- He also made a joke about unionization.
- During the evening, the game developer group gave special awards to Amy Hennig, creator of the Uncharted series, and Reiko Kodama, lead producer and director at Sega Games.
- Instead of learning Lisp to become a better developer, you can learn a language which is actually in use and will improve you as good as Lisp does.
- From a NodeJS perspective, Rust can be used to create web server applications and services.
- After the compiler gives you a green light you are 98% sure your application will run safe and fast in the years to come.
- Picking a systems language like Rust gives you strength and opportunities for many years to come.
- Once mastered, Rust lets you jump up and down the stack, explore Computer Science concepts first hand and build tools in your free time other then the next CRUD application.
- Follow my series on "Practical Web Development with Rust" and build with me a shiny web application in the next few months.