Archive for the ‘ high tech ’ Category

Tardis computer

This afternoon we will have a new Christmas special for the Doctor Who. I hope I will watch it on BBC through an iPad app here in Italy. In the meantime I show you this computer forged inside an aluminium reproduction of the Tardis. It is an officially licensed product by BBC and it is a real computer. The price is not so low, it is sold for 1000 euros at least. It cannot travel through time, sorry.


Ludica Roma 2012: 3D printing

Have you ever heard of 3D printing? We have saw it in the making! Unterwelt is a small company in Rome that love open source technology and had a stand in Ludica convention. They use a kind of DIY plotter with vertical movement in addiction to horizontal one. It is technologically based on Arduino platform. Over a heated plate this plotter start to draw a plastic flux from the base of the object, going up, building the object layer after layer. The head of the plotter is like a syringe. A plastic wire, unwound from a roll, feed the syringe. A computer control the flux and the plotter. It is like built something by a microscopic tube of toothpaste. The plastic is melted by heat and after is firm up by ambient temperature. They use various plastic materials. One of them is that used for Lego bricks. The only fault is the slowness of the process, we are still in a pioneering phase, these are not industrial machineries that can built at enormous speeds.

On the photo you can see some objects that the machine created. In the making is a green foot. The parts of this plotter are partially created by another similar plotter. The machine replicate itself! The only necessity is to have a CAD project. The structures of the drone in the other photo are build with this 3D plotter! Drones build by a CAD project downloaded by internet! Moreover, if you have a 3D scanner you can replicate every kind of object without CAD programming. The kit to built this plotter is only 750 euro. Materials are cheap too. Ideal for professional modelling.

There is another company based on 3D printing services. It is called
Shapeways. They have a small miniatures catalogue, CAD draws that can become 3D objects. People design their pieces, upload them, and people can buy the final product. I have ordered a not so cheap 28mm Dalek miniature, just to taste the water. The future of miniatures production? Imagine: you need a specific piece and you want to give it an unique pose or aspect. 3D printing is the solution.


The first one was Gundam, a military giant robot utilised as a tank with legs and arms. Then Patlabor showed a world where giant robots were manned vehicles for a lot of purposes. They could be used in industry as special vehicles for constructions or as earthmover, for example. Moreover they had a police and military utilisation. Patlabor is composed by the words “patrol” (in the stories we have a police unit as main characters) and “labour”. They aren’t heroic metal divinities but simple everyday vehicles. All this only in manga and anime of course.

Then someone, Suidobashi Heavy Industries – in Patlabor we had Shinohara Heavy Industries -, build in 2012 a real size marching robot in the Patlabor style. It is called Kuratas and it is sold only for almost one million euros. Available in different customisations. It is a toy for rich geeks, but it is even a demonstration that a manned giant robot can be produced for specific purposes. Military ones too.


Lucca C&G 2012: computer fever

In Lucca Games there was the Miniature Island. Yes, we were on an island in the sea of Lucca Comics & Games (and Cosplay, remember). We were only an island in Lucca Games pavilion too. Boardgames had a larger space and importance because in Italy we have various publishers on the market. This means that more money is involved in this sector than wargames one. Roleplay games are another sector and it has a respectable market. Live roleplay is an obscure sector to me and it was located in another pavilion. But the videogames market rules upon us all.

To celebrate the release of the new chapter of the Assassin’s Creed saga, the third one, an entire pavilion was dedicated to it. A polite statement to say that Ubisoft bought it. They have got the money to do it.

Around the city you could see some projections of this videogame advertisements on the walls. More revealing was the reenactment event of the Saturday, the simulation of Bunker Hill battle (1775). Almost 200 reenactors and lots of gunpowder were involved. We play wargame battles with miniatures, videogame industries play wargame battles with real men. Money makes a difference.

Another money matter. Videogame stands were huge and customised. I forgot to take a picture of the new Nintendo console and its gorgeous girls stand assistants. Among these game giants I took a photo of a wrestling videogame with the straight edge wrestler guy. Weird. Minor Threat – the band who came up in the eighties with the “straight edge” term – didn’t think about this evolution.

Just Dance is the exhibitionists videogame of the fair. Every year a new edition, every year wild girls try to hypnotise men with their rhythmic movements controlled by a game console with video camera. Some stand assistants lead the game. Here at the end of a day. I saw them in the morning, before the open of the gates, dancing without public: they were so crazy for dance to do it for fun! After 4 days in Lucca I was dead tired. And these girls?

An alternative way to utilise your old CRT computer screen: using it as a stage for miniatures.

In Lucca there is always a little modding section. This one was kitsch for sure, a gun with inside and outside various bad taste things, as Smurfs and model cars. Ugly looking.

Something better. But not so practical with that finger-eat fan. Glamorous but too much “open” to be a computer case.

A great machine! Water cooled case. Clean design, neon lights, blue-black-white colours. What can I say? It is sexy.

Paolo from Switzerland came to Lucca by train. Here while he is wearing his new computer headphones. Saturday night we walk together to a place outside Lucca where were relegated the computer geeks. They organised an all night long videogames lan party. Someone fell asleep on the floor, indeed. Instead Paolo, our hero, killed millions of aliens and took the train the morning after at 7 to the watches country.


Ludica Roma is coming!

A break from Lucca C&G reports. They will follow next week. Now is the time of Ludica Roma convention! I’m leaving with Andrea “Ganesha Games” Sfiligoi for a three days duty in a huge fair full of wargames, boardgames, videogames and more. A full report here after I will have ended the Lucca series.
See you in Ludica!

Ludica Roma website


Lucca C&G 2012: aftermath

After 5 days in Lucca Comics & Games I needed some sleep. I was among thousands of staff people and 180000 paying people. I worked heavy at the Ganesha stand but I succeeded to take almost 250 photos, so you have to wait a little to watch a full report in thematic posts on this web. However now I’m offering you some official videos to understand what is this fair. Enjoy!


Blood & Glory

The first time I watch the ad I thought: “They have stolen my game!”. I passed a lot of time to find the name “Ferrum et Gloria” and now exists a gladiator game called “Blood and Glory”! What a surprise! For my fortune it is only a computer game and not a wargame, so my name is safe.

You can see on these two promotional shots what kind of wonderful graphic it has, and even that the fighters only resemble gladiators because it is a fantasy version of what ars dimicandi was.

I downloaded this game for my Ipad. It is very nice because of the fighters great design and for the glamorous feel it give. But it is even a simple and classical coded fight between two digital puppets and nothing more. Boring to me. It is a feast for the eyes so I don’t care if I don’t play it, I see only the graphic and it is enough. It seems a free game but you can’t get past a certain point without spending real money to buy special abilities. It is another way to sell games: pay to have more levels, pay to play more. The sad thing is that at the end you will pay to play this game a lot of money little by little.

In the meantime I’m thinking about my gladiator game. Every time I re-take it after some time I find some new idea to improve it, so you are waiting to have something very special…


Lucca 2011: videogames

Lucca Games is videogames too. Here is where the real money is on game market, not in boardgames or wargames. They had the biggest stands. And beautiful hostesses. Nintendo is always the best, with 10 girls 10.

A sexy videogame well pumped to the audience. Something to trill hormones of young players, with fast action and big breast.

Free games with computers from another planet. Thermaltake is specialised in refrigeration of computers. So you can mount monsters for playing games.

This is not for humans. I think that with the energy necessary to run this computer you can feed of energy a bakery shop.

Have you got a video card integrated on your motherboard? This one is triple card and refrigerated by liquid. And you have to be mad if you own it.

Extreme modding. Put your computer inside a tire. And play with it a videogame on car races.