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Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield: How Developer Neil Jones Made His Way Into the Games Industry

Some time ago, after years of searching for a job in games and never finding a real opportunity in the industry, I felt like I wasn’t good enough or there was something wrong with me, I wanted to give up. Before I did, I decided to give it one more shot, on my own and put everything I had into one last project. With the idea that if people liked it, I would keep going. If not, then I would move on.

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield

I set some guidelines for myself like, making sure the game would be something “younger me” would love, making the game feel cool, no filler, keeping it the length of an action movie so people could complete it in an afternoon. Making it as fun to watch as it is to play. Lastly, I would only give myself 15 months. With the rules now set, I just had to figure out what I was actually going to make.

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield

I wanted to pick a mechanic that would be familiar to people while also picking something that hasn’t been done in a while. Giving me room to experiment and tweak the gameplay to really make it my own. I landed on this “Narrative Runner” concept that I’d had always wanted to do that incorporated a full story, cutscenes, being more dynamic and welcoming to players that might not have been able to grow with the past games in the genre. After the first few months, I had a really rough working prototype. It wasn’t much but it gave me a good idea of what worked and what didn’t, from that first pass.

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield

Over the next year, I had completed almost half of the game. About 6 levels while constantly having friends playtest the game giving me feedback and suggestions. This was very important as every level was handcrafted with every obstacle being hand placed rather than using procedurally generated content. At that point, I went to my friend Dan who had done all of the music for my projects to the score for the game. I knew I wanted to mix two different genres of music, but the first few attempts didn’t feel right. After a few months of back and forth, we came up with a chill but exciting mix of hip-hop and classic jazz. We came up with a really interesting workflow where I would do some art and give him plot details about the level and he would use that as a guild of how the songs should feel.

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield

At this point, the title of the game went through a few iterations before I landed on “Never Yield” I felt it was the perfect description for both the characters’ trials as well as my own. I then added my Tag “Aerial_Knight” to the title. The name I’ve gone by online since I was a kid. I wanted to let people know that there wasn’t a large studio or big team that put this game together but just a guy who couldn’t find an opportunity in the games industry and tried to make his own.   

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield

Shortly after the game was featured in a few showcases which gained the attention of the Germany-based publisher Headup who offered a lot of the opportunities I have available now. This game would not be what is now without the help I received from them as well as the support gained from people all over the world who have been supporting the growth of my game. Thank you all so much!

Xbox Live

Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield

Headup

2
$ 11.99 $ 10.79
Xbox One X Enhanced
STORY Take the role of Wally. A mysterious character that has recovered what was taken from him. Hopefully, you’re fast enough to outrun your enemies. Expose the truth and try to uncover the mystery of what happened to them. With an average runtime of an action movie (about an hour and a half on Normal), a first run of this action-packed adventure can be enjoyed in an afternoon. Afterwards you can improve your score. GAMEPLAY Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is a 3D side-scroller that plays much like a classic endless runner. The game has an interesting story that keeps players always in motion. Run, Jump, Slide or “Dash” for acrobatic variants leading to dope combinations and avoid the challenges that await. Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is being built for players who love to speedrun games while being an experience that casual players will enjoy as well. SOUNDTRACK This Soundtrack for Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is being done by “Danime-Sama” A Detroit artist with vocals from artists from all over the world. NOTE FROM THE DEV This project began as just a passion project I started on my own to create something familiar but new for this generation of gamers while highlighting aspects of a culture that is often overlooked. I really hope you enjoy the game once its released and follow my journey to create new and interesting games – Aerial_Knight

Author: Neil “Aerial_Knight” Jones, Developer, Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Review: Aerial_Knight's Never Yield – A Super Stylish Yet Straightforward Runner

If there’s one thing that Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield has got totally nailed down, it’s a seriously funky sense of style. This is a super cool side-scrolling runner from Neil “Aerial_Knight” Jones that really does look and sound the absolute business. However, it’s also one that’s somewhat lacking in the gameplay department, making for a rather fleeting experience that, with a few tweaks here and there, could have been so much better.

In Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield, players assume the role of Wally, a citizen of a futuristic Tokyo-style Detroit who’s on the run from authorities after uncovering information that could forever change the fate of the metropolis he’s now attempting to flee through. Gameplay is straightforward here, with colour-coded obstacles rushing towards Wally that he must either jump over, slide under, parkour through or simply smash to pieces by sprinting.

Depending on which difficulty you choose to play at, the game will aid your escape to varying degrees. Choose to run normal mode, for example, and time will slow down generously before each obstacle, giving you a moment to prepare your button presses, hard mode does the same but with a slightly shorter slo-mo window, and insane difficulty removes slow motion entirely whilst also throwing in a bunch of extra obstacles for good measure.

There are thirteen short levels in total to blast through and a full playthrough on normal mode took us somewhere in the region of around 90 minutes, which is fine given the added challenge of harder modes and the game’s budget price point. However, the main problem with Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is that the core action is just far too repetitive. Yes, this is an endless runner and repetition is part and parcel of the genre, but there really is very little change in how things play out from start to finish here, with heavily reused assets across all stages and just a few different obstacles to get your head around in total. Jumping though a fence, over a car and under a landmine is all well and good the first handful of times you do it, but come the hundredth time seeing the exact same procession of assets and obstacles headed your way? It’s hard to stay entirely interested in all honesty.

To be fair, there are a few twists here and there — one level sees you run vertically, another switches things so you’re doing everything backwards and there’s an early doors boss battle that injects a bit of sorely needed variety — but none of this masks the fundamental fact that there just isn’t enough thrown at you in terms of barriers and obstacles to keep things interesting. In fact, we’d go so far as to recommend you play this one on insane difficulty from the get-go just for the extra bits and pieces it slams into stages, as that’s the closest Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield gets to feeling as though it’s properly going to take off and challenge your skills.

There’s an outstanding soundtrack here from Danime-Sama — honestly one of our favourite soundtracks of the year so far — and the cel-shaded, comic style graphics are a perfect fit for the vibe of the whole thing, but the relative simplicity of the mechanics really does drag it all down. It feels like it’s missing something, feels like it’s lacking bite. There’s no way to pull off satisfying combos, no scoring system (outside of besting your own times) to get to grips with, no attempt to merge the game’s amazing audio with the action happening onscreen at a mechanical level and, in the end, the challenge never rises to a point that results in the zen-like flow achieved by the very best this genre has to offer.

We would have loved to see some online leaderboards incorporated into the action here to give the whole thing a little more longevity too as, besides challenging your own times and unlocking a bunch of outfits for Wally, there’s no real incentive to keep coming back for more. In the end, this is a passion project that exudes cool in its presentation and audio — it really is one of the coolest looking and sounding runners we’ve ever played — but one that also, sadly, fails to deliver the goods in terms of its gameplay. We also ran into some niggling framerate issues, most noticeably on insane difficulty, that need ironed out in order to allow for smooth traversal of the game’s super stylish take on future Detroit.

Conclusion

Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is very obviously a passion project that’s had a ton of love poured into its super stylish aesthetics and excellent soundtrack, however, it’s also one that’s rather sorely lacking in the gameplay department. Wally’s runs through this futuristic take on Detroit needed more in the way of challenge and variety in order to keep things interesting — more obstacles, more twists and turns and opportunities to show off your skills as you improve and take on higher difficulties. As things stand, this is one slick looking and sounding game that just doesn’t manage to provide an incentive to keep playing for very long.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

'It's never quiet in my head' Phillip Schofield opens up on suffering with tinnitus

This can make people think there is a noise when, in reality, there is none.

“It’s constant,” said Phillip. “It’s never silent in my head”, describing it as a “high-pitched noise”.

Sometimes the noises go by themselves, said Dr Nighat, other times it might require treatment.

Answering a phone-in query from the public who also suffers from the condition, Dr Nighat said cognitive behavioural therapy might be helpful.

READ MORE: You cannot delete NHS Covid-19 app even when restrictions end

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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The Apple Designer You’ve Never Heard of Is Making Noise

Stringer says the Cell Apha is only the first of what will be a broader product line. For now he’s convinced that Cell provides unique value because it delivers a dimension of sound that others haven’t even thought of. To move beyond our current soundscapes and enter the world of spatial audio, he argues, we must move beyond the monophonic and stereophonic into—wait for it—triphonic. Yes, that’s a word Syng made up. “That had to happen,” says Stringer of the triphonic era he just invented, “because we’re trying to establish the stable special standard that prevails. We think we have the only technology that fills the bill.”

Stringer is referring to the coming age of mixed reality where sound—not just music, but everything we hear—will have to match or exceed the ambient sources of sound in the physical world. A multicellular configuration of his speakers can present music, or even a theatrical performance, in a way that replicates the experience of a live performance. Essentially, he’s creating the soundtrack for the holographic concerts that you just know are coming. (If only we would have had those holographs and Cells before lockdown.)

Stringer also showed me some tricks that aren’t part of the initial release, but highlight Syng’s possibilities. One demo involved a specially recorded version of “Eleanor Rigby” by a string quartet where Stringer’s team was able to isolate each musician. Using the slick Cell app, they showed me how you could drag and drop each instrument as if moving the actual instruments to different parts of the room—violin on the couch, cello near the kitchen door. In another demo, Syng staff acoustic engineer Elisabeth McMullin showed me how the system could integrate sounds from a recording (in this case, a Radiohead song) with other songs, or even sound effects like footsteps, birds, or sirens. In these cases, Syng is essentially providing the equivalent of a soundboard in a recording studio, where you can lower or raise the volume on each track. But instead of making the track louder or quieter, you’re moving it in space.

Syng, located in Venice, California, now has about 50 employees, and funders have invested $ 15 million so far. It’s a tribute to Stringer’s appeal that his investors include both the lawyer representing Apple in that patent suit and the opposing attorney as well. He reports enthusiastic responses from top musicians and producers (whose names he won’t reveal). “For three years now I’ve been giving demo after demo because my heart is to stir the passions of creators,” he says. “These people need tools like this to get to the next level of creativity. We’re hearing a lot about how there’s just not enough space in stereo to do what they want.”

Stringer himself has never been so stirred. At Apple he’d always been in the background. He says that he was fine with it, perhaps because of a life-long reluctance to engage in public venues. But now, as a 56-year-old CEO (albeit one who looks like he just emerged from a reunion of Laurel Canyon singer-songwriters) he feels rejuvenated. “I just knew that there was something else I had to do,” he says. “It really had to be outside. To put out a solution that you want to stand behind, you need to be participating throughout the entire process. You can’t just be a step in a journey. It just had to be this, you just had to make something. It’s when you’re comfortable enough to get uncomfortable.”

I hear him.

Time Travel

Christopher Stringer was on Apple’s design team in 2001 when the company released its hit music player, the iPod. In July 2004, I wrote a Newsweek cover story documenting how the product had become a cultural artifact of its own:

Author: Steven Levy
This post originally appeared on Business Latest

Never been a PM like it! Brian Cox staggered at Boris 'losing his cool' – 'extraordinary'

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Mr Johnson hit back: “I’ve given him the answer and the answer is I have covered the costs and I think most people will find it absolutely bizarre.

“Of course the Electoral Commission are investigating this and I can tell him that I’ve conformed in full with the code of conduct, with the ministerial code, officials have been advising me throughout this whole thing.

“But I think people will think it absolutely bizarre that he is focusing on this issue when what people want to know is what plans a Labour Government might have to improve the lives of people in this country…”

Prime ministers are provided with an annual allowance of up to £30,000 of taxpayer’s money to contribute to costs of maintaining and furnishing the four-bedroom flat, which is grade one listed.

However, there has been speculation over who picked up the tab for the PM’s £200,000 renovations over the past week as an investigation has now been launched into the matter.

‘He never left his seat!’ Youngster sends baseball fans wild by effortlessly beating player to viral catch at first game (VIDEO)

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

A young baseball fan enjoyed a dream first game in the stands by making a fantastic catch during the MLB meeting between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Atlanta Braves.

Diamondbacks star Kole Calhoun was attempting to meet a foul fly ball, but found himself having to battle with a 13-year-old supporter of the home team Braves who had brought his own mitt. 

The youngster, Cord McLerran, made the catch, but rather than get irritated by the play that helped the Braves, Calhoun could only show respect through a warm fist-bump in a touching moment.

The Trust Park crowd – and many more online – was sent into raptures by the highlight of a 5-4 win for the hosts, after which, the Fan of the Night was interviewed by local media.

As a pundit bigged the boy up as a “celebrity” with the “coolest glasses I’ve ever seen”, McLerran revealed that Calhoun told him: “You caught that one, let me catch the next one.”

“At first when I saw it I was, like, ‘That can’t be coming to me,'” he explained, when starting to tell the story of the event.

“Then I realized it was and I didn’t know whether to stand up or sit down. So I just went for it. And once I saw it was in my glove, I felt so good,” McLerran went on.

Asked what he was going to “tell the guys at school” about his feat, the boy answered: “Well first I’m going to brag about how close to the foul line I was. Then I’m gonna say ‘Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m famous in Atlanta, Georgia now’.” 

Replying to the clip on Twitter, his mother Samantha remarked that she “would have really loved to have gotten his baseball signed, but Kole Calhoun was so awesome to my son!!!”

“It was Cord’s first ever MLB game!,” she added.

“What a great memory for your family and [a] classy move by Kole. Hope your son’s second favorite team will be the Diamonbacks!,” another MLB enthusiast commented.

Golf social media stunner Paige Spiranac also approved, dropping a simple “I love this” message alongside a welling-up-with-tears emoji.

Also on rt.com ‘I need it to make money’: Golf babe Spiranac hits back at critics telling her to cover up and admits her ‘job is on social media’

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RT.com

Tom Jones admits he ‘booed’ Winston Churchill as a child: ‘My father never forgave him'

Author
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

“I say that it’s because I don’t want to trip over, if I hit the floor, it’s harder for me to get up now than when I was young.”

Tom went on to address how he is feeling while preparing to release his first album since his late wife Linda’s death.

Sir Tom divulged in reference to the upcoming album: “It’s the first one without her so it’s very important to me.”

Linda tragically died of incurable lung cancer in 2016. 

Sir Tom told The Sun that recording the album has been helpful in his grief recovery process and he is now looking forward to performing his new songs on tour.

iPhone owners will NEVER lose their keys or wallet ever again …for a price

Apple has announced a small tracking gadget known as AirTag, which will be available later this month. The small device – which is about the size of a Galaxy Minstrel chocolate – can be attached to your wallet, keys, sunglasses, or anything else. These items will then appear in the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad. Nifty, eh?
Apple already uses Find My to allow customers to track their Apple-branded gadgets, including the iPhone, AirPods, MacBook, and iPad. The Californian company recently opened up the app to third-parties, with electric bike manufacturers – like the award-winning VanMoof – jumping at the chance to add the ability to track their bikes from within the same app.

And now, you’ll be able to keep tabs on your keys from the same app too.

Each round AirTag is built from polished stainless steel. There’s a built-in speaker, which can play sounds to help you locate a mislaid AirTag, while a removable cover makes it easy for users to replace the battery when it runs out. AirTag uses the same setup experience as AirPods – just bring AirTag close to your iPhone and it will connect and pair to your Apple Account, where it will be accessible from all of your Apple devices.

During the set-up, you’ll be able to assign AirTag to an item and name it with a default like “Keys” or “Jacket,” or provide a custom name of their choosing. There’s also some fun icons to help differentiate between your tracked items visually too, with small illustrations of keys.

If you own an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, Apple will offer some pretty precise directions when tracking an AirTag. You’ll get a direction on-screen that points you in the right direction and an estimated distance to the item. So, whether you’re hunting for your keys inside the house, or looking for a wallet that fell out of your pocket in the park… you’ll be able hold your iPhone in front of you and know the exact distance and direction to your misplaced belongings.

If you don’t have a newer model of iPhone, you won’t have these turn-by-turn directions. Instead, you’ll be able to see the lost item on a map (provided by Apple Maps, naturally).

And don’t worry about your keys falling into water. AirTags are designed to be IP67 water-resistant. That certification means it’s able to survive (and continue broadcasting its location to your iPhone, so you can retrieve it) for around 30 minutes in up to a depth of one metre. Apple fans can also ask Siri to find their item, and AirTag will play a sound if it is nearby.

If AirTag is separated from its owner and out of Bluetooth range, the Find My network can help track it down. The Find My network is approaching a billion Apple devices and can detect Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag and relay the location back to its owner, all in the background, anonymously and privately.

Users can also place AirTag into Lost Mode and be notified when it is in range or has been located by the vast Find My network. If a lost AirTag is found by someone, they can tap it using their iPhone or any NFC-capable device and be taken to a website that will display a contact phone number for the owner, if they have provided one.

AirTags will cost $ 29 in the United States, with UK pricing coming soon. Apple will also sell a four-pack of its AirTags – as let’s face it, we’ve all got more than one item that we’re constantly searching for before we can leave the house – for $ 99. AirTags will be available on April 30, 2021.

Apple lets you customise the design with emojis at check-out too. Like other engraving options available from the online Apple Store, it’s completely free.

“We’re excited to bring this incredible new capability to iPhone users with the introduction of AirTag, leveraging the vast Find My network, to help them keep track of and find the important items in their lives,” said Kaiann Drance, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing. “With its design, unparalleled finding experience, and built-in privacy and security features, AirTag will provide customers with another way to leverage the power of the Apple ecosystem and enhance the versatility of iPhone.”

Apple also used the event to announce a redesigned iMac powered by its own custom-designed processor, a new colour for the iPhone 12, and a new Apple TV set-top box.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

I Called Off My Wedding. The Internet Will Never Forget

“I think it’s an even stronger statement than that,” Seyal said. “If we solve the problem you describe, the user doesn’t necessarily come back more, but we might have solved what’s a terrible experience on the internet. And that in itself is enough.”

Pinterest hadn’t really solved it, though. The new tuning feature I saw in their offices felt like little more than expanded menu options, a Facebookian revision of settings. In early 2021, Pinterest was still suggesting “24 Excellent and Elegant Silk Wedding Dresses” to me.

That day, leaving Pinterest and walking back to my office, I realized it was foolish of me to think the internet would ever pause just because I had. The internet is clever, but it’s not always smart. It’s personalized, but not personal. It lures you in with a timeline, then fucks with your concept of time. It doesn’t know or care whether you actually had a miscarriage, got married, moved out, or bought the sneakers. It takes those sneakers and runs with whatever signals you’ve given it, and good luck catching up.

All along there was the option to go nuclear. The big delete. I could trash all my old photos in Apple’s and Google’s apps, obliterate accounts, remove widgets, delete cookies, and clear my browser cache again and again. I could use Instagram’s archive tool, tell any and every app I no longer wanted to see their crappy ads until they got the hint, and quietly unfriend and unfollow. I could turn off On This Day notifications in Facebook and untag my ex’s face.

I managed to do half the work. But that’s exactly it: It’s work. It’s designed that way. It requires a thankless amount of mental and emotional energy, just like some relationships. And even if you find the time or energy to navigate settings and submenus and customer support forms, you still won’t have ultimate control over the experience. In Apple Photos, you can go to Memories, go through the collage the app has assembled for you, delete a collage, untag a person or group of people, or tell the app you want to see fewer Memories like it. The one thing you can’t do? Opt out of the Memories feature entirely. Google’s options are slightly more granular: You can indicate that there’s a time period from which you don’t want to see photos, in addition to hiding specific people. Which works, I suppose, if the time period you’re considering isn’t eight years.

Technologists tell me this whole experience should improve over time. That is the nature of machine learning. Apple, Google, Facebook, and Pinterest all use artificial intelligence to suss out which photos should pop up in your memories or which pins should show up in your feed.

There are algorithms that identify when people in a photo are smiling or when someone in the group was blinking. Facebook has developed a framework called the Taxonomy of Memory Themes that informs the algorithms that surface On This Day memories. Facebook memories that contain phrases like “miss your face” are more likely to be reshared, but food-related memories, like an old photo of tacos, are quite bland in retrospect. Facebook, Google, and Apple have also trained their systems to spot photos of accidents and ambulances and to not surface those in memories.

“The machine will never have 100 percent precision,” Yael Marzan, from the Google Photos team, told me. “So for sensitive topics, we’re trying to do some of that. We know that hospital photos are sensitive, so when our machines detect that, we’ll try not to show it to you.” I couldn’t help but think of Marzan’s remark in the context of this pandemic year, and the trauma someone might feel if, a year from now, a photo from the hospital did flutter up on their phone screen.

But also, what if the photo from the hospital was of a birth, of uncomplicated relief? Would those photos also not appear? Shouldn’t there be some way to identify when a blue hospital gown is actually a happy moment and a white wedding gown is not? Or are the two impossible to distinguish or predict, in technology and in life?

Lauren Goode

This article originally appeared on Backchannel Latest

Why Iggy Azalea Has ‘Never Been Happier’ 6 Months After Playboy Carti Split

Iggy Azalea and Playboi Carti broke up in Oct. and although they are ‘cordial’ while co-parenting their son Onyx, she’s ‘would be open’ to ‘meeting someone’ new.

Iggy Azalea, 30, is loving being a new mom and isn’t spending time looking back on her previous relationship with her one-year-old son Onyx‘s dad, Playboi Carti, 24. The rapper is relishing her memorable moments as a first-time mom and focusing on that, but she’s still “open” to another relationship if the right person comes along.

Iggy has never been happier, becoming a mom has brought this deep sense of satisfaction,” one source EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife. “Iggy is open to meeting someone, but only the right someone. She has no time for BS. She has men throwing themselves at her but it’s a matter of meeting the right one. She doesn’t feel any sort of need to have a man. Her life is very full and happy. But if the right guy comes along, she would be open to it.”

Iggy Azalea, Playboi Carti
Iggy Azalea and Playboi Carti broke up in Oct. (MEGA)

Iggy’s joy about motherhood comes in the midst of her rocky breakup with Carti, which happened in Oct. She proved things weren’t the best between them when she took to Twitter to complain about the fellow rapper missing Onyx’s first Christmas in Dec., but it turns out she’s still being “cordial” with him for the sake of their son, who can be seen below.

“She does her best to keep things cordial with Carti because it’s about Onyx and not her,” the source explained. “But she really doesn’t talk about that situation at all. She’s very guarded when it comes to that. Ever since she went off on social media about him last Chrismas she’s made every effort to stay very private about it all.”

Iggy is concerned about being a great mother and concerned about her career,” a second source EXCLUSIVELY shared. “A man starts at option three at best but to say that, having a man in her life and to be in love would be amazing but it must be the right guy because he has to love her entire family. It is a package deal. That is a lot of trust to throw around especially since she is a celebrity, that adds a completely extra level to it all. She has her options, but she wants it to be right.”

Iggy‘s life in this moment is being a mom to Onyx and she couldn’t be happier,” a third source EXCLUSIVELY confirmed to us. “She takes each day as they come and has no plans one way or another in terms of a future relationship. She’s been engaged before and she’s open to the idea of getting married one day. But Iggy has been independent all her life and she’s not willing to settle for anything that doesn’t fulfill her or anyone that’s not going to put as much effort forward as she does. She is happy where she’s at right now and isn’t actively putting herself out there, but she’s also not opposed to dating if the right guy were to come along.”

Erin Silvia

This article originally appeared on Hollywood Life