Could Candy Crush Saga be a gateway to gambling?

Candy crush saga cheats - Emily, a 30-year-old economist, became so addicted to Candy Crush Saga, a free iPhone game, that she would lie awake at 1am imagining her finger swiping across the screen to line up rows of brightly coloured lollies.

Three in a row would deliver a satisfying squelch as they burst and moved the ­Melbourne mother-of-two closer to the next level.

Candy Crush Saga is a simple game but the hold it has over its devoted followers is complex and incredibly strong. They are reminiscent of gamblers who can’t help but feed another $20 into a poker machine or take one more spin of the roulette wheel.

For Emily, the urge to play Candy Crush Saga was so strong that she would drive to work in the morning and before getting out of the car would squeeze in a few games.

“It had completely taken over my life,” says Emily, who asked that her real name not be used. “It was taking my mental energy and interrupting my ability to go to sleep.

“I would be playing instead of interacting with my children.”

However, her low point was yet to come. Walking along, with her phone out in front, fingers swiping and her gaze fixated on the screen, Emily fell down a flight of stairs. A bruised hip and smashed iPhone screen later, she went cold turkey and deleted Candy Crush Saga from her phone.

“I was pretty horrified,” she says. “I thought, ‘I’ve definitely got a problem.’ ”

Months later, enough time has passed for Emily to see the funny side of her obsession. And there’s some small comfort in her knowing she wasn’t alone in her enslavement to Candy Crush Saga.

Almost 100 million people played it in 2013, a staggering number of players only exceeded by the equally eye-popping $US1.54 billion ($1.65 billion) in revenue the game generated for its developer, King ­Digital Entertainment.

While Candy Crush is free to download, King makes its revenue from users who buy new lives and extra features.

Still, most of these developers are one hit wonders, which explains the disappointing debuts of such companies as King and Zynga on Nasdaq. Zynga developed the widely ­popular Facebook game Farmville, where people can pay to tend a virtual farm.

Now developers such as King and Zynga are being challenged by new entrants into social gaming: poker machine game manufacturers, such as Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure and global gaming giant IGT.

TENDING A VIRTUAL FARM

When Aristocrat was founded in 1953 no one would have imagined that 60 years later the company would earn money from Facebook users. But social gaming is proving a natural extension of the pokies business for those companies that have built billion dollar empires by hooking in punters.

As Aristocrat’s head of strategy Craig ­Billings notes: “At first blush as a society, because it’s so new to us we [are] a bit incredulous that somebody would pay to tend a ­virtual farm or that they would want to play a pokie without winning a prize. But these games are consistent with the needs and desires of completion, competition and engagement.”

Social gaming is proving a natural ­extension of the poker machine game ­business for those companies, who are well familiar with player addiction.

Aristocrat, a $2.7 billion company, does not break down what it earns from this new business of social gaming. It intends to give more detail on that segment when it delivers its full-year results next month. A good ­indicator, however, of how it might be doing is rival IGT’s performance.

The United States’ International Gaming Technology is the biggest poker machine game manufacturer by market share, and it paid $US500 million for Facebook casino game developer DoubleDown in January 2012. After adding its pokie games into the DoubleDown platform, IGT’s average rev­enue per user “sky-rocketed” 60 per cent to US40¢, says Citi analyst Michael Goltsman.

Not to be left behind by IGT, Aristocrat bought a rival Facebook casino game maker Product Madness for $10.6 million in late 2012. As with IGT, Aristocrat’s customers now play digital versions of the company’s famous titles on the social network. The players still feed in money like they would to a Queen of the Nile or Big Red machine in their local pub or suburban RSL.

But, crucially, there’s no jackpot on offer on these Facebook “social casino” games.

It was a small investment for Aristocrat to buy Product Madness but potentially a big pay-off when you consider that total revenue in the social casino market hit $US2.8 billion in 2013. Goltsman expects the market to grow to $US4 billion by 2016, at which point he estimates it will account for 24 per cent of IGT’s revenue and 7 per cent for Aristocrat.

“When you look at the demographic of who’s playing social casino games, it’s the same as the core slot-machine gambler,” he says. Pokies are known in the US as slot machines.

“Who has got the best content for that gambler? It’s the poker machine makers.

“It’s a new distribution channel for these companies.” For candy crush saga tutorials and tips click this link.

Gaming News – Space Case: Galactic Civilizations III is a 4X Work in Progress

Friv online games – When you launch into the Galactic Civilizations III alpha, you get a disclaimer imploring you to “please be aware that the game isn’t actually, well, fun yet.” Stardock isn’t kidding with this statement:

GalCiv III is truly in alpha state right now, and it’s more a preview of coming attractions than any kind of functional strategy game. Anyone considering paying for Early Access to this alpha should set aside any illusions that they will actually be playing the game. GalCiv III will eventually be a 4X space strategy game. Its alpha is a 3X, at best.

The current build of the game lacks three huge features that haven’t been implemented yet, and without them, it’s hard to say just how well GalCiv III will end up coming together. First, the AI is non-responsive, and there is no diplomacy system to foster interaction anyway.

They will occasionally build ships (more by happenstance than design) and they’re quite eager to colonize every planet under every sun. But there’s nothing you can do with them except conquer them, and that will prove very, very easy.

Second, ship customization is missing, and that’s really a key component of how technology works in GalCiv. In fact, the tech tree is designed around the assumption that you’ll be making modular improvements to ship designs. Right now, you just have to forge blindly ahead until you unlock a new per-existing ship template.

But don’t worry about it too much, because not only is the AI unfinished, but there is no combat system, either. Everything is auto-calculated and in dozens of fights, I’ve lost just one single ship.

None of this is to say GalCiv III is a bad game because, from my point of view, it isn’t a game at all yet. This alpha is a system test. It’s the frame of a house that’s still under construction. What the final product will look like, and how good it will be, is largely down to the job developer Stardock does of filling in all these gigantic blanks.

Still, there are causes for optimism and causes for concern. Galactic Civilizations III is, unsurprisingly, a lot like its immediate predecessor. That’s understandable: it’s Stardock’s most successful game of all time, and it’s definitely a “if it ain’t broke…” situation.

On the other hand, GalCiv has always placed an emphasis on the sheer size of space. That’s great for evoking the sweep and majesty of a space empire, but it also makes for a formidable managerial workload. Even playing on a small map with no opposition to speak of, I found that there were always a ton of little things that needed my attention. Given the pace of technological change, a build queue only gets you so far.

On the other hand, GalCiv at least gives you some interesting rules regarding building placement. Each planet only has so many slots for buildings, and a lot of buildings and terrain types have special synergies, so it becomes quite the puzzle figuring out how to get the most of out a given planet.

One with ancient ruins is a perfect place to build a network of science centers, but you still need factories to help build those centers and a population to work them. The challenge of min-maxing each planet, with its unique geography and bonuses, makes management a lot more interesting than just going through rote build orders.

I’m still struggling to wrap my head around the tech tree a little bit, and that’s partly down to the same sprawling scope that creates such a heavy managerial workload. GalCiv III’s tech tree fans out in a ton of different directions, and it’s difficult if not impossible to pursue them all.

That’s good insofar as it forced me to reappraise my priorities with each new technology, but it also made it harder to see where it was headed. It seemed like the choices were a bit too stark, with each technology equating roughly to “more money, more guns, more industry, or more research.” My concern is that, with so little overlap, that technology could end up feeling like more of the same thing as the game continues.

Missiles 1, Missiles 2, etc. It might also privilege a research track a little too much, since the scientist civilizations will be able to make strategic shifts a lot more nimbly that someone who is all-in on weapons and industry. On the other hand, that dichotomy could make for some great asymmetry, as warmongers race to cripple other civs before their advantage is undone by progress.

That’s all stuff that will become clear in the final product, though. If the AI and battle systems can pull their weight, Galactic Civilizations will be a terrific new edition for one of the strongest space 4X series around. But as all strategy gamers know, AI and combat are big “ifs,” and they’re easy to get wrong. Galactic Civilization III has a good foundation, but the hardest part is what comes next.

friv game news – Titanfall Beta Sign-Ups Not Yet Available, Developer Warns

friv – The rumored Titanfall beta may have been confirmed, but registrations have not yet begun, Electronic Arts has confirmed, meaning any websites claiming to offer access could be attempting to scam gamers.

This warning comes by way of Titanfall community manager Mathew Everett, who wrote on Twitter, “We have not announced further details for the Titanfall beta at this time. DO NOT SIGN-UP at random sites claiming to be the official Beta.”

Following an apparent retailer leak suggesting a beta would be kicking off in February, Respawn Entertainment yesterday confirmed a beta is coming for PC and Xbox One. Specifics, including dates for when sign-ups or the beta itself will begin, have yet to be announced. However, Respawn boss Vince Zampella has said that details will be made available “in the coming days.”

There has been no word as of yet regarding a beta for the Xbox 360 version of Titanfall, which we learned yesterday is being developed by Bluepoint Games. If you enjoy playing online flash games then please have a look here juegos friv.

Latest Business News – IAG announces Airbus A320 orders

business opportunities – International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns British Airways and Iberia, has announced orders and options for up to 220 Airbus A320 aircraft.

IAG said up to 120 of the planes were for its Spanish airline Vueling, with 62 firm orders and 58 options.

The planes ordered have a list price of about $5.4bn (£3.5bn), although IAG said it had agreed a “substantial discount” on the list price.

IAG also has options on 100 A320s which could be used by any of its airlines.

IAG said that the new planes would enable Vueling to “replace some of its existing A320 fleet and expand its business”.

The planes that have been ordered are due to be delivered between 2015 and 2020.

“Vueling has managed to successfully expand its business profitably by targeting both growth markets and those areas where weak competitors are reducing capacity,” said IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh.

The order is subject to approval by IAG shareholders. If you are looking for online business opportunities then look no further.

y8 games – Resident Evil 4 Came Out of the ‘Commercial Failure’ of RE: Remake

y8 games – In a recent IGN interview with former Resident Evil mastermind and The Evil Within director Shinji Mikami, the ex-Capcom employee spoke about the survival horror genre and why Resident Evil 4 became much more action-focused than he initially intended.

First, we asked Mikami to elaborate on how The Evil Within will return to survival horror’s roots. “Survival horror has become a popular genre, so a lot of people have been making games in that area. But survival horror has become more action-oriented,” Mikami said.

“To me, survival horror is a balance between a scary kind of gameplay and the challenge of overcoming that fear. You get a sense of achievement out of that. The fine balance between those two is what makes survival horror. We’re starting to see that kind of game less and less, so I wanted to go back and make what I think is true survival horror.”

But the survival horror genre has changed significantly over the last 17 years and has adopted more of an action focus. In a game like Resident Evil, limitations on items and ammo would create a roadblock for some players. Perhaps the reason the genre became more action-focused is just because a game of a certain budget needs a big audience – it needs a lot of people to be able to play it and finish it. Is there a way to balance that?

“One thing that I’ve been observing… I’ve been looking at the survival horror genre for a long time. I don’t think it’s specifically because developers want to appeal to a wider audience. I think they just want to make their games more fun, and if they’re reaching more and more in that direction, they’re naturally going to go toward more action,” Mikami explained.

“If you want to keep a great horror game franchise, you have to work with people who really like horror games. If you bring in developers from other places, you’re going to end up with a more action-oriented game. With Resident Evil 4, I intended to make more of an action game – 5 and 6 were outside of my responsibility, of course – but with Resident Evil 2 and 3, that wasn’t necessarily the intention I started with. You can play y8 right here.

They just naturally became more like action games. I suspect that Dead Space followed the same path. It naturally became more about action. When developers think about their players… I don’t think it’s the case that they were thinking, ‘Okay, if we want to go from two million units to four million units, we need to put in more action.’ It’s a more intuitive process than that.”

The Resident Evil remake, a Nintendo GameCube exclusive, was one of the last games made by Mikami that had limitations on movement, inventory, and camera. Can survival horror go back to that? “It’s possible that I could make that kind of game. The Resident Evil remake is actually one of my favorites of the series too. But it didn’t sell very well,” Mikami said.

“Maybe there weren’t many people ready to accept that. Because of the reaction to the Resident Evil remake, I decided to work more action into Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 4 would have been a more scary, horror-focused game if the remake had sold well.”

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Research Chemicals Latest News – Ion-Channels: Goals for Function-Oriented Synthesis

Research Chemicals – Ion channels provide a conductance pathway for the passive transport of ions across membranes. These functional molecules perform key tasks in biological systems such as neuronal signaling, muscular control, and sensing.

Recently, function-oriented synthesis researchers began to focus on ion channels with the goal of modifying the function of existing ion channels (ion selectivity, gating) or creating new channels with novel functions. Both approaches, ion channel engineering and de novo design, have involved synthetic chemists, biochemists, structural biologists, and neurochemists.

Researchers characterize the function of ion channels by measuring their conductance in samples of biological membranes (patch clamp) or artificial membranes (planar lipid bilayers). At the single molecule level, these measurements require special attention to the purity of the sample, a challenge that synthetic chemists should be aware of.

Ideally, researchers study the function of channels while also acquiring structural data (X-ray, NMR) to understand and predict how synthetic modifications alter channel function.

Long-term oriented researchers would like to apply synthetic ion channels to single molecule sensing and to implantat these synthetic systems in living organisms as tools or for the treatment of channelopathies.

You can buy research chemicals by clicking here. In this Account, we discuss our own work on synthetic ion channels and explain the shift of our research focus from a de novo design of oligo-THFs and oligo-THF-amino acids to ion channel engineering. We introduce details about two biological lead structures for ion channel engineering: the gramicidin β6,3 helix as an example of a channel with a narrow ion conductance pathway and the outer membrane porins (OmpF, OmpG) with their open β-barrel structure.

The increase and the reversal of ion selectivity of these systems and the hydrophobic match/mismatch of the channel with the phospholipid bilayer are of particular interest. For engineering ion channels, we need to supplement the single-point attachment of a synthetic modulator with the synthesis of a more challenging two-point attachment.

The successful function-oriented synthesis of ion channels will require interdisciplinary efforts that include new electrophysiology techniques, efficient synthesis (peptide/protein/organic), and good structural analysis.