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Round-Up: Mobile  Hominid , Game Characters Book, Media Bistro

Round-Up: Mobile Hominid, Game Characters Book, Media Bistro

May 31, 2005 | By Nich Maragos

May 31, 2005 | By Nich Maragos
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Today's round-up includes an IGF winner going mobile, a new book about video game characters, and a brand new venture from the original creator of Pong, as well as the latest product news and job posting information.

- Alien Hominid, a much-discussed independent game success story of 2004, with almost 10,000,000 downloads of the original Flash game, and three awards for the console version at the CMP-run Independent Games Festival, is coming to mobile phones in Europe. Tuna Technologies handled development of the mobile phone version, which is published by Player X. Rather than the side-scrolling run-and-gun design of the original Flash game and subsequent console releases, the mobile version of Alien Hominid consists of 4 minigames based around the original storyline. The game, released on May 23rd, is available now.

- HarperCollins has announced that it is publishing The Art of Game Characters, its follow-up to The Art of Game Worlds, which will examine the creation of iconic videogame characters. Author Leo Hatas's book will feature both art as well as text on the creative process for some of gaming's most well-known characters, including Mario, Lara Croft, and, to judge by the book's cover, Nina Williams. Interviews with original character artists will be included, as well as advice for aspiring artists. The Art of Game Characters will be in bookstores on June 14th.

- Nolan Bushnell, creator of Pong and founder of the Chuck. E. Cheese restaurant chain, is about to try out a new restaurant concept with Media Bistro, according to a recent New York Times article. Each table will feature touch-screen monitors that will allow diners to place their orders and play games while they wait for the food to arrive. The restaurant walls will feature projected images and video clips, which could be commercial video or simply nature scenes. "There will be media everywhere, interactivity everywhere," said Bushnell. The first Media Bistro is scheduled to open in West Los Angeles this fall.

- Also updated today: product news including a new Microsoft-approved game testing vendor, and the voice recognition technology included in the Xbox 360 SDK, as well as the latest job postings on Gamasutra, including fresh jobs from Amaze Entertainment, Eidos, Firaxis, Gameloft, Microsoft/Xbox, THQ, Factor 5, Insomniac, Liquid Development, and Stormfront Studios.


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