Connect with us

Technology

OlliOlli World review – vibey skater game offers a meditative ride | Games

From Ozark to Returnal, Euphoria to Uncut Gems, it increasingly feels like modern entertainment exists solely to stress audiences out. While it’s undeniably brilliant that modern television offers viewers less Xena: Warrior Princess and more Succession, if I’m honest, sometimes all I really want from my flickering screen is something calming. Thank God then, for OlliOlli World.

Draped in an Adventure Time-esque art style and accompanied by a soundtrack so soothing it would make Anderson .Paak blush, this colourful skater is refreshingly vibey. Packed full of popping pastel colours and littered with a string of self-aware dad jokes, it’s a world away from the grungey skateboarding of the 90s. It’s indicative, really, of where 2022 youth culture is at. Where Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater opted for sweat-inducing trick challenges and blasted punk rock ragers, OlliOlli World leans astutely into the meditative.

In other words, this pixelated playground is a weirdly namaste take on the skateboarder – a virtual trickathon for the yoga bros and bliss-seeking baddies of TikTok. Fittingly then, OlliOlli World isn’t a game about exploration or story but one built around achieving that hypnotic state of “flow”. Combining the automated movement of endless runners such as Temple Run with simple controls and clever checkpointing, it tasks players solely with focusing on the timing of their jumps and nailing tricks. It’s easy to suddenly find yourself lost in a zen-like trance, joyfully hopping and tricking across Radlandia’s fictional locales while enjoying your favourite podcast.

Get on board … OlliOlli World.
Get on board … OlliOlli World. Photograph: Roll7

It helps that OlliOlli World drip-feeds each new mechanic to the player with the patience of a saint-like primary school teacher. Grabs are pulled off using the right analogue stick, and only properly introduced at the end of the second world – a third of the way through the game. This tactile take on the tutorial is a masterclass in layering game mechanics, waiting until you just begin to feel like a boarding badass before serving up new tricks to master.

While there are a lot of things to love about this delightfully vibrant adventure, its characters aren’t among them. As you pelt your way through each course, you find yourself cheered on by a menagerie of mediocre misfits. Churning out skating puns at a wince-inducing rate, sadly OlliOlli World’s wink-wink nudge-nudge dialogue is never quite as witty as it thinks it is. Still, despite the very “how do you do fellow kids” feel, the so-so script does enough to keep the good times rolling along with your avatar.

While these cringey cheerleaders will have you hammering the skip button, the intricate stage backgrounds make this fantastical world come alive. Looking like a playable version of a kitschy kawaii fashion blog, this kingdom of eye-popping pinks, giant donuts and hipster animals blends together to create something wonderfully warm and relaxing.

Heck, even the way Roll7 approaches challenges and high scores is disarmingly laid-back. Where Hawk’s branded skating sim demands players complete certain objectives in order to proceed, here, simply reaching the end of each pastel playground is enough. Are there additional challenges begging to be bested? Absolutely, but you can tackle those trickier tasks whenever you feel ready, leaving players to ollie and manual across Radlandia at whatever pace they please.

In almost every facet of its design, OlliOlli World wants players to feel at home – and that even extends to your customisable, air-grabbing avatar. While the endless slew of unlockable T-shirts, decks and hats eventually lose their charm, I took unusually great pride in making sure that my cartoony creation matched the vision of the hipster skater I dreamed up.

As a 30-year-old who started saying the word “rad” ironically and now can’t stop, OlliOlli World feels laser targeted at people like me. From its free-spirited counterculture flavour to its flamboyant aesthetic, this is the gaming equivalent of a weekend trip to Brighton: an interactive experience for those who can’t actually skateboard but religiously buy a new pair of Vans anyway. If you’re feeling understandably worn down by the monotony of the daily grind, OlliOlli World is the charming virtual alternative.

OlliOlli World is released on 8 February, £20.

Source link

Current

Majority of Businesses (82%) Set to Boost R&D Funding in the Next Three Years

Businesses And R&D Funding

More than 78% of R&D professionals believe that an enhanced 50% R&D tax credit will incentivise green tech development

A recent report by the Industry Research and Development Group (IRDG) and KPMG sheds light on the state of Research and Development (R&D), highlighting the urgent need for increased funding to keep pace with other leading innovation-driven nations. Titled ‘Ireland’s Innovation Index,’ the report presents insights gathered from a survey of 394 respondents representing various sectors, including engineering, technology, medical, and software.

Growing Ambitions for R&D Investment

The findings of the report reveal that a significant majority (80%) of respondents plan to boost their R&D expenditure in the next three years, while 67% have already increased their R&D budgets over the past three years. Encouragingly, only a mere 4% anticipate a decrease in future R&D spending. This heightened commitment to R&D investment underscores its critical role in driving economic growth and competitiveness.

R&D Landscape

Ireland has demonstrated commendable performance in the realm of R&D, with a substantial proportion (69%) of multinational companies considering Irish R&D grants and tax supports on par with or even superior to those offered by other countries. Only 31% expressed a less favorable opinion. Moreover, 64% of the survey respondents have taken advantage of the Research and Development Tax Credit (RDTC), while 53% have availed themselves of semi-state grant supports. These figures indicate the value that companies place on government incentives to support their innovation endeavors.

The Need for Increased Funding

Despite the positive strides made, the report highlights the pressing need for Ireland to bolster its R&D funding to match the levels seen in leading innovation-driven nations. According to the IRDG, an additional €2 billion in funding is required to bridge this gap effectively.

Embracing Sustainability and Digitalization

The report also emphasizes the potential of enhanced R&D funding in promoting green tech development. An overwhelming 78% of R&D professionals believe that an improved 50% R&D tax credit would serve as a powerful incentive to drive innovation in sustainable technologies. This highlights the need to align R&D investment with the challenges of sustainability and digitalization, ensuring continued economic prosperity and positioning Ireland as a global leader in these areas.

The Importance of Support for SMEs and FDI

Dermot Casey, CEO at IRDG, underscores the significance of increased investment in innovation, particularly in supporting innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to create the next generation of Irish success stories, akin to industry leaders like Kingspan and Fexco. Additionally, such investment is crucial to bolster the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) sector. Businesses are poised to invest, but they require robust support to overcome challenges related to accessing skills, talent, and administrative burdens.

Competition in the Global Landscape

Ken Hardy, head of KPMG’s R&D incentives practice, draws attention to the intense competition among European jurisdictions, including neighboring countries like the UK, which are actively vying to attract R&D activities. In light of this landscape, Ireland must fortify its support systems and allocate a more substantial budget to maintain its competitiveness. Hardy commends the positive sentiment among over two-thirds of Irish RD&I professionals who view Ireland’s support systems as comparable to those of other countries.

Charting the Path Forward

The report underscores the urgent need for Ireland to bolster its investment in R&D, both to stimulate innovation and to address the challenges presented by sustainability and digitalization.

By increasing funding and providing comprehensive support to innovative companies, Ireland can seize opportunities for economic growth and maintain its position as a global hub for research and development. The collective efforts of industry, government, and academia will be instrumental in driving Ireland’s innovation agenda and securing a prosperous future.


We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— By Team VoiceOfEU.com

— For More Info. & News Submissions: info@VoiceOfEU.com

— For Anonymous News Submissions: press@VoiceOfEU.com


Continue Reading

Current

Ways Small & Medium-Sized Businesses Can Hire Big Tech Talent

In response to mounting financial concerns, tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) have recently implemented significant staff cuts. This has prompted industry leaders to reevaluate their hiring practices, recognizing the limitations of Big Tech’s ability to weather challenging economic times.

While the tech industry’s overall stability is assured, the combination of a declining economy and a previous surge in hiring has resulted in substantial job losses. However, this situation also presents an opportunity for small businesses and start-ups to tap into a pool of available tech experts.

To capitalize on this unique scenario, small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners must act swiftly to gain a competitive advantage over larger companies and attract highly skilled candidates.

In this article, John Elf, Technology Contributor at ‘Voice of EU’ and Head of Marketing at Vibertron Technologies, provides insights into some simple but effective strategies for attracting talent in a candidate-heavy market.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can leverage consulting services to attract the best talent, just like big tech companies do. Here’s how SMBs can make use of consulting services to enhance their talent acquisition efforts:

1. Talent Acquisition Strategy Development: SMBs can engage consulting firms specializing in talent acquisition and HR strategies to help them develop a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy. These consultants can assess the organization’s needs, identify talent gaps, and devise effective recruitment and sourcing strategies tailored to the SMB’s specific industry and requirements. This strategic approach ensures that the SMB is targeting the right candidates and maximizing its resources.

2. Employer Branding and Positioning: Consulting firms experienced in employer branding can assist SMBs in developing a strong employer brand that resonates with their target talent pool. They can help SMBs articulate their unique value proposition, culture, and growth opportunities, ensuring that the organization stands out as an attractive employer. These consultants can also provide guidance on how to effectively communicate the employer brand across various channels to attract the best talent.

3. Recruitment Process Optimization: Recruitment service provider can help SMBs, same as LCEs, optimize their recruitment processes, making them more efficient and effective. Consultants can review and streamline the entire hiring process, from job postings and candidate screening to interview techniques and selection methodologies. By improving the candidate experience and ensuring a smooth and timely process, SMBs can enhance their reputation as an employer of choice.

4. Candidate Sourcing and Evaluation: Consulting firms specializing in talent acquisition can assist SMBs in sourcing and evaluating candidates. They can leverage their networks and resources to identify top talent and conduct thorough assessments, including skill evaluations, cultural fit analysis, and background checks. By leveraging external expertise, SMBs can access a broader candidate pool and make well-informed hiring decisions.

5. Compensation and Benefits Consulting: Attracting and retaining top talent often requires competitive compensation and benefits packages. SMBs can engage consulting firms that specialize in compensation and benefits to ensure their offerings align with industry standards and meet the expectations of high-caliber candidates. These consultants can provide insights into market trends, salary benchmarks, and innovative benefit options, enabling SMBs to remain competitive in talent acquisition.

6. Training and Development Programs: SMBs can leverage consulting services to design and implement training and development programs. These programs not only help attract talent but also contribute to employee retention and growth.

Consultants can identify skill gaps, design customized training modules, and provide guidance on employee development initiatives, ensuring that SMBs create a culture of continuous learning and professional advancement.

By utilizing consulting services in talent acquisition, SMBs can access specialized expertise, best practices, and industry insights that are typically associated with larger companies. This approach enables SMBs to compete for top talent on a more level playing field, enhancing their ability to attract and retain the best candidates.


By John Elf

John Elf is Head of Marketing at Vibertron Technologies, and an Honorary Contributor at ‘Voice of EU’. A version of this article has already been published.


Continue Reading

Current

Congratulations, Privacy Just Took A Great Leap Out the Window!

Your Data Is Being Used Without Your Permission And Knowledge

The Voice Of EU | In the heart of technological innovation, the collision between intellectual property rights and the development of cutting-edge AI technologies has sparked a significant legal battle. The New York Times has taken legal action against OpenAI and Microsoft, filing a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court. This legal maneuver aims to address concerns surrounding the unauthorized use of the Times’ content for the training of AI models, alleging copyright infringements that could potentially result in billions of dollars in damages.

READ: HOW YOUR DATA IS BEING USED TO TRAIN A.I.

This legal tussle underlines the escalating tension between technological advancements and the protection of intellectual property. The crux of the lawsuit revolves around OpenAI and Microsoft allegedly utilizing the Times’ proprietary content to advance their own AI technology, directly competing with the publication’s services. The lawsuit suggests that this unauthorized utilization threatens the Times’ ability to offer its distinctive service and impacts its AI innovation, creating a competitive landscape that challenges the publication’s proprietary content.

Amidst the growing digital landscape, media organizations like the Times are confronting a myriad of challenges. The migration of readers to online platforms has significantly impacted traditional media, and the advent of artificial intelligence technology has added another layer of complexity. The legal dispute brings to the forefront the contentious practice of AI companies scraping copyrighted information from online sources, including articles from media organizations, to train their generative AI chatbots. This strategy has attracted substantial investments, rapidly transforming the AI landscape.

Exhibit presented by the New York Times’ legal team of ChatGPT replicating a article after being prompted

The lawsuit highlights instances where OpenAI’s technology, specifically GPT-4, replicated significant portions of Times articles, including in-depth investigative reports. These outputs, alleged by the Times to contain verbatim excerpts from their content, raise concerns about the ethical and legal boundaries of using copyrighted material for AI model training without proper authorization or compensation.

The legal action taken by the Times follows attempts to engage in discussions with Microsoft and OpenAI, aiming to address concerns about the use of its intellectual property. Despite these efforts, negotiations failed to reach a resolution that would ensure fair compensation for the use of the Times’ content while promoting responsible AI development that benefits society.

In the midst of this legal battle, the broader questions surrounding the responsible and ethical utilization of copyrighted material in advancing technological innovations come to the forefront.

The dispute between the Times, OpenAI, and Microsoft serves as a significant case study in navigating the intricate intersection of technological progress and safeguarding intellectual property rights in the digital age.


Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!