As often happens, I found myself browsing a fairly random assortment of websites yesterday, ending up at Destructoid‘s review of a new point-and-click puzzle adventure named ‘Machinarium‘ from independent Czech developers Amanita Design. Intrigued by the review I visited the demo version; shortly thereafter I was buying the full game (it’s not much, around £12.50). Having played the first few levels, it was definitely money well spent.

Machinarium Screenshot

Machinarium Screenshot

The world of Machinarium is realised by way of beautifully drawn backdrops – and they come alive with tiny details; it definitely feels like a well-established place. Other people have written far better reviews than I could hope to produce, so I’ll just say that it’s got traces of the best point-and-click adventures of old, mingled with the atmosphere -and puzzles- of the Myst series, along with a smattering of subtle humour.

The final concert in the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra‘s 25th Anniversary Season takes place this Saturday (11th July) at Medina Theatre, Newport.

It will be an evening packed with entertaining music, including the World Première of local composer Gareth Balch’s new work “Forever Begin”. The IWSO will follow the première with Weber‘s Clarinet Concerto No. 2, with soloist Matthew Hunt.

The second half of the evening begins with Cesar Franck‘s Symphonic Poem “Le Chasseur Maudit“, before that perennial audience favourite, Britten‘s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” (also known as “Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell”).

The concert begins at 7:30pm, and tickets are priced at £13 for adults and £6 for children.

Indie/retro-video-game band The Lost Levels have got a video for one of their tracks entitled ‘The Early Sheets’. It’s been created by Steve Jones, a recent graduate of Games Art & Design from Norwich University. The band’s other tracks are all well worth a listen too.

On one of the recent YouGov polls I was asked a few questions about a new project named ‘CoProducer‘. It’s an attempt to create a complete feature film utilising the collaborative efforts of, well, pretty much anyone that’s interested really.

The project’s currently got a large selection of film ideas (submitted by the online panel) and each can be rated and discussed at length in their forums.

It’ll be interesting to see how far this gets – even if there’s no film at the end of the day it will have been a worthwhile experiment. Judging by the people running CoProducer though (several of whom are also linked with YouGov) there’s a fair chance it could go all the way.

Anyone interested is welcome to register for an account on their site.

If you don’t know about YouGov, they’re a large online polling organisation who pay members to take part in surveys. The surveys aren’t that frequent – usually only two or three per month – but they don’t generally take long to complete and it’s satisfying to see the research being used by the media.

There’s a lot of photos of the Large Hadron Collider on the Boston Globe‘s site, and they’re definitely worth a look, – here’s a sample:

View of the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment Tracker Outer Barrel (TOB) in the cleaning room.

View of the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment Tracker Outer Barrel (TOB) in the cleaning room.

It looks like time has finally run out for Scrabulous on Facebook, as of this evening (30th July) it’s disappeared from Facebook. Realistically it was always bound to happen – the only way out would have been for Hasbro to have bought the thing from the two Indian guys who wrote it. But that’s not the way owners of famous Intellectual Property seem to work.
If only the official Scrabble games on Facebook weren’t both a) Rubbish, and b) Separated into US and the rest of the world, so you can’t play against people from the other side of the pond.

There’s been a bunch of new Muppets clips on Youtube recently, – apparently there’s the possibility of a new series or a film, and these clips are some kind of viral marketing ploy. Still, they’re pretty good.

Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Parts I and II of Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog are already available online, and part III will be there tomorrow (the 19th). But be quick, ‘cos come the end of the 20th they’ll all be taken away. Actually, you’ll still be able to get them, but will need to part with some form of currency to do so. I’m holding out for the DVD edition which – according to Joss Whedon – will have “the finest and bravest extras in all the land”.

It’s by Joss Whedon (of Buffy and Firefly fame), it’s a musical, with super-villains (kind of), super-(smarmy)-heroes, and it’s free. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is online – the first part already viewable, with the second and third acts arriving on the 17th and 19th of July. After that, you’ll have to pay to see them through iTunes, or wait for the DVD. Comments Off on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog