Our Latest Posts
by Liz on November 26, 2013
As the season of giving thanks kicks into full swing, we at The Tap Lab wanted to take a moment to thank you - our players, supporters, fans and friends - for being an incredible audience and a constant inspiration.
Thanks to your amazing feedback, Tiny Tycoons is now bigger and better than we ever thought it could be!
Thank you for being awesome!
Today we released our holiday update jam-packed with good cheer, fake beards and snow-capped trees to keep things festive through the holiday season! Keep an eye out for a hilarious event in a few weeks that'll make you rethink sweater-parties forever.
In light of the season of giving, we do have one request.
Mind giving us your nomination in our pursuit to be crowned the Best App Ever?
Just click that button, tap 'Nominate' and bask in the warmth of our eternal gratitude. Shades sold separately.
Thank You, Tycoons!
by Liz on November 4, 2013
This weekend, 50+ gamers gathered at Intrepid Labs (our co-working space) to play videogames and support the Boston chapter of Extra Life, an amazing national campaign that raises money for the Miracle Children's Hospital Network.
We rocked out in the retro room with Smash Bros. for N64, tried out Aaaaaculus and Disco Dodgeball on the Oculus Rift, mastered more than a few new board games donated by Boston Indies and the MIT Board Game Club, and had a blast with awesome multiplayer titles like Hokra and our new favorite (and/or only) Ouya game, Towerfall.
Our Boston Indies group surpassed our goal this morning -- together we've raised $2,037 for Boston Children's Hospital!
The Intrepid Labs Extra Life group is just $150 short of our $1,000 goal. If you can make a contribution -- or share our page with someone who can -- $10 enters you into a Prize Raffle, and $20 enters you into the Grand Prize Raffle for an awesome Indie Bundle and more! Donate here!
Thanks to everyone who made it out this weekend -- and if you didn't, we'll see you next year!
by Liz on October 28, 2013
Virtual reality, crowd-funding, designing for emotion – the first ever Gaming Insiders Summit was all about looking ahead.
Gaming Insiders has been a resource for gaming’s inner circle for a while now. This year, informal dinners and meetups formed the first ever Gaming Insiders Summit in San Francisco, CA. Our CEO, Dave, headed west to meet up with the industry’s best.
Virtual is Now a Reality
Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe made an exciting announcement at the Summit: the Oculus Rift will not make you nauseous! The company has worked hard to eliminate the biggest critique of the new gaming headset, and now claims that when the Oculus Rift launches in 2014, it will not cause motion sickness.
The Oculus wasn’t the only virtual-reality story vying for attention last week. Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson premiered the CastAR, a project they took with them when they left Valve this year. Dave had a chance to try it out, and was blown away by the product, which the team is calling ‘the most versatile AR & VR headset.’ Check out their kickstarter here!
A Changing Business
Rovio has been very outspoken about their focus on building the Angry Birds brand. Few other studios have devoted as many resources to promoting original IP. As far as John Riccittiello, former CEO of EA, is concerned, more mobile games need to build long-lasting brands – and not just by selling more stuffed toys. He urged for mobile game studios to think strategically about growing their brands in innovative ways.
Brian Fargo, founder of InXile, says successful members of the industry should consider it their duty to support crowd-funding campaigns.
After successfully Kickstarting Wasteland 2, Fargo is a big proponent of the concept, and he shared his insights on how to launch a powerful campaign. His tricks included leveraging the crowd to design your Kickstarter before you launch, and crowdsourcing audio for your games to build community support.
Feel Something New
Game design powerhouses Jenova Chen and Ken Levin both emphasized the important of emotion in videogames. They recognized the challenges of designing for inspiration – such as replayability, breaking genre restrictions – but their talks were effortlessly inspirational.
Chen, co-founder of thatgamecompany, gave a great talk about building games that inspire different feelings and emotions for players as his team did in both Journey and Flower. Levine spoke on game design and narrative, saying we “need to find a way to build stories so we don’t just play them once through.”
Til Next Year!
The summit was topped off with a line of food trucks out back and wine supplied by the awesome folks at The Winery (where the summit took place). Dave won’t stop talking about the coca cola pork sandwich he had from The Chairman food truck. If you have a chance to try it, let us know how it tastes!