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Icy Tower is a freeware video game created by Johan Peitz of Free Lunch Design, inspired by Xjump. In the game, the player controls Harold the Homeboy whose goal is to climb the tower as high as he can by jumping up floors, and earn points while doing so.
The Tower consists of floors in different sizes and is of infinite height. The player's goal is to reach higher and higher floors without falling (i.e. jumping but missing a floor and falling past the bottom of the screen), as well as to keep ahead and above of the ever-faster upward scrolling of the game (explained under 'Scrolling').
Your character will constantly accelerate as long as it moves. The faster it runs, the higher and longer it will jump. Hitting walls (the sides of the tower) and immediately turning around generally maintains your character's speed.
As the player escalates the tower, it will start to scroll upwards slowly and the player will have to keep up in order to not fall off the screen. This is not so hard in the beginning since the scrolling is very slow, but every 30 seconds, an alarm clock will sound and the scrolling will go slightly faster. There is a clock in the upper left corner of the screen that shows how much time is left until the next speed-up.
You will get 10 points for each floor you reach. This alone will not gain you any great scores however. To be really victorious, you will have to make cool jumps, combo-jumps, for which you will be awarded n2 points for every n floors jumped in one combo.
Players either thrive for the highest score they can achieve (by making the biggest combo they can jump), or to reach the highest floor they can.
After making a combo-jump, you are given a reward as well as points. The bigger the combo, the greater the reward. As of 1.2, rewards are simply a flashy message along with the following words, spoken after the player has successfully finished a combo.
Every 100 floors, the floor type (the way the floors look) changes. As of version 1.2, there are a total of 10 floor types, type 1 being floors 0-99 and type 10 being floors 900 and above. Version 1.3 features one more floor type (called "chain-floor"), which starts off from floor 1000, and can not be unlocked or seen in lower floors.
Icy Tower features the ability to start the game with a floor type of your choice, but only after you have successfully landed on the actual floor where that particular type begins.
Version 1.2 introduced the ability to save replays of games. This gives the player the ability to provide proof of their highest scores, combos and floors. The offspring of this ability is the global High Score List, which lists the best Icy Tower scores, combos, and floors, and allows internet users to download replays of those events.
Note: You must have Icy Tower installed on your computer to view downloaded replays.
Version 1.2 introduced the ability to play with custom characters. Icy Tower comes with two default characters: Harold the Homeboy and Disco Dave. Icy Tower also comes with a template character, allowing fans to create their own characters, with their own graphics, sound effects, and background music. Characters can be downloaded from the internet. The Icy Tower resource page or Icy Tower fan page offers some of them.
A few mods exist for the game. Some of them are graphical mods, and some of them change the gameplay. The following are gameplay mods by RamboBones, which work only for version 1.2:
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The following are gameplay mods by RamboBones, which work only for version 1.2:.
Characters can be downloaded from the internet. The PS3 will not be backward-compatible with some of the hardware peripherals of the PS2. Icy Tower also comes with a template character, allowing fans to create their own characters, with their own graphics, sound effects, and background music. However, with the powers of [a machine like] the PS3, some parts can be handled by hardware, and some parts by software." . Icy Tower comes with two default characters: Harold the Homeboy and Disco Dave. There are things that will be required by hardware. Version 1.2 introduced the ability to play with custom characters. There are times when games pass through our tests, but are written in ways that make us say, 'What in the world is this code?!' We need to support backward compatibility towards those kinds of games as well, so trying to create compatibility by software alone is difficult.
Note: You must have Icy Tower installed on your computer to view downloaded replays.. For example, there are cases where their games run, but not according to the console's specifications. The offspring of this ability is the global High Score List, which lists the best Icy Tower scores, combos, and floors, and allows internet users to download replays of those events. "Third-party developers sometimes do things that are unimaginable. This gives the player the ability to provide proof of their highest scores, combos and floors. In a recent interview Ken Kutaragi stated that backward compatibility will be achieved through a combination of hardware and software. Version 1.2 introduced the ability to save replays of games. Compatibility with PS2 online games and games designed for the hard drive have not been elaborated upon.
Icy Tower features the ability to start the game with a floor type of your choice, but only after you have successfully landed on the actual floor where that particular type begins. It still is not known how Sony has achieved this (although Sony had developed a single-chip PS2 CPU/GPU solution, used in newer revisions of the "slim" PS2). Version 1.3 features one more floor type (called "chain-floor"), which starts off from floor 1000, and can not be unlocked or seen in lower floors. The PlayStation 3 will be compatible "on the chip" with PlayStation 2 and PlayStation games, without emulation. As of version 1.2, there are a total of 10 floor types, type 1 being floors 0-99 and type 10 being floors 900 and above. . Every 100 floors, the floor type (the way the floors look) changes. The Blu-Ray region code will be different from DVD region code.
As of 1.2, rewards are simply a flashy message along with the following words, spoken after the player has successfully finished a combo. Blu-Ray movies played on the PS3 will use a region code. The bigger the combo, the greater the reward. Sony's decision to stop region coding means consumers will be able to purchase PS3 games from anywhere in the world, which may turn out to be significantly cheaper than purchasing them exclusively from their home territory, or importing the system from Japan on launch. After making a combo-jump, you are given a reward as well as points. According to Ephraim, “If you look at the fact that [the PlayStation 3] will support high-definition TV, which will be a global standard, there’s a good likelihood that it will be global region, as for example we’ve done with the PSP [PlayStation Portable].”. Players either thrive for the highest score they can achieve (by making the biggest combo they can jump), or to reach the highest floor they can. The PS3’s support for HDTV standards was cited as one of the key reasons the company has stopped the practice of region coding.
To be really victorious, you will have to make cool jumps, combo-jumps, for which you will be awarded n2 points for every n floors jumped in one combo. Unlike its predecessors, the PlayStation and the PlayStation 2, the PS3 is tipped to allow gaming and movie playback from downloads or discs bought in any part of the world, rather than being limited to playing discs only from a specific region. This alone will not gain you any great scores however. PlayStation 3 games are unlikely to be region coded, according to Sony’s Australian managing director, Michael Ephraim. You will get 10 points for each floor you reach. . There is a clock in the upper left corner of the screen that shows how much time is left until the next speed-up. However, the March 2006 issue of PSM magazine reports that Sony intends to launch an online service with the PS3 designed to compete with Microsoft's Xbox Live.
This is not so hard in the beginning since the scrolling is very slow, but every 30 seconds, an alarm clock will sound and the scrolling will go slightly faster. It also means that there will be different user interfaces for each game depending on the developer. As the player escalates the tower, it will start to scroll upwards slowly and the player will have to keep up in order to not fall off the screen. While this will give games publishers greater freedom in terms of what they are able to offer online, some say it may make it more difficult for Sony to control the quality of the online experience. Hitting walls (the sides of the tower) and immediately turning around generally maintains your character's speed. Instead, online services for PS3 games will be decentralized and left up to individual game publishers. The faster it runs, the higher and longer it will jump. In an issue of the Official PlayStation Magazine, Sony denied rumors that it would be implementing a centralized online service similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Live.
Your character will constantly accelerate as long as it moves. Sony has stated that the online service for the PlayStation 3 will use the same non-unified architecture as that of the PlayStation 2. jumping but missing a floor and falling past the bottom of the screen), as well as to keep ahead and above of the ever-faster upward scrolling of the game (explained under 'Scrolling'). Sony is providing developers with Linux toolchains where SN Systems will provide more customer-oriented Linux tools at an additional cost. The player's goal is to reach higher and higher floors without falling (i.e. In addition, Sony recently purchased SN Systems, a former provider of Microsoft Windows based development tools for a variety of console platforms including the PlayStation 2, GameCube, PSP and Nintendo DS to create additional Linux development tools. The Tower consists of floors in different sizes and is of infinite height. The list of standards they are reported to be considering includes:.
. Sublicensed technologies includes:. In the game, the player controls Harold the Homeboy whose goal is to climb the tower as high as he can by jumping up floors, and earn points while doing so. The list of open standards includes:. Icy Tower is a freeware video game created by Johan Peitz of Free Lunch Design, inspired by Xjump. The PlayStation 3, unlike the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 systems, is based on publicly-available application programming interfaces. RamboMod - enables customization of the speed and floor sizes of the game. Sony has selected several technologies and arranged several sublicensing agreements to create the software development kit for developers.
SolidFloor - floors are completely solid, so you can't jump on them from below. However, Epic stated in response that they are working to release the PC version first and that the PS3 version has no priority for release over the PC version. ProFloor - the floors are shorter. In the January issue of the same publication, it was stated that Epic Games is working hard to get Unreal Tournament 2007 ready for the proposed launch in Spring 2006. FastFloor - the game goes slightly (~120%) faster. In the November issue of PSM Magazine, SCEA Chief Operating Officer Jack Tretton mentioned both Lair and Warhawk as launch titles, although Sony would not expand further on his comments. At this time, only three games have been mentioned as PS3 launch titles: Lair from Factor 5, Warhawk from Incognito Entertainment, and Unreal Tournament 2007 from Epic Games.
One of the most, if not the most anticipated PS3 game up to this point is Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which had its first trailer shown at the Tokyo Game Show 2005 event. Controversial games developers Rockstar North have also hinted that they are planning the provisionally named Grand Theft Auto 4, primarily for the PS3. Since they aren't working on a remake then this will most likely be Final Fantasy XIII. Square Enix is however listed for a Final Fantasy game along with 70 other Japanese developers during TGS 2005.
Also shown at E3 was a video of Final Fantasy VII 's opening sequence remade in PlayStation 3 graphics, at the time recent to the show, Square Enix stated no plans for a remake. In the E3 2005 Press Conference, Sony showed some pre-rendered and some real-time videos of games in development with the codenames Eyedentify, Vision Gran Turismo and MotorStorm. Some anticipated ones include Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Killzone PS3, Resident Evil 5, Devil May Cry 4, Shin Megami Tensei, Armored Core 4 , Unreal Tournament 2007 and Tekken 6. Most developers have already announced games for the PS3.
The actual number in development, though undeniably fewer, should still be very high. As of October 2005, there are already over 150 PS3 games announced by multiple developers and publishers, like SCEA, Electronic Arts, Konami, Namco, Capcom, Square Enix and many others. According to DevStation Conference, the PS3 will use the Cross Media Bar already used in the PlayStation Portable and PSX devices. Sony has appealed this decision and will be able to sell its products while the case is under appeal.
Sony lost, and has been required to pay considerable royalties to Immersion and suspend the sale of the controllers, including all PlayStation and PlayStation 2 console packages containing them. While Microsoft settled out of court, Sony continued to defend the case. In March 2005, Sony and Microsoft were sued by force-feedback company Immersion for patent infringement for the use of vibration functions in their controllers. Also possibly complicating the controller design is Sony's ongoing legal battle with Immersion Corporation of San Jose.
Their downplays concerning a rumor suggesting Sony would unveil a revamped PS3 controller at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2006 were sound, as the controller was not shown in any form during the event. Though Sony itself had previously admitted at this past E3 that the controller design for their PlayStation 3 console was not finalized, GameSpot believes any purported changes will not be substantial. The PS3's specifications, and E3 display units, don't support DualShock controller ports. The number of ports to support such backward compatibility would most likely be limited to one, although this is also an unconfirmed rumour.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the PS3 may in fact support the older DualShock 2 controllers, however, this is thought to be true due to the PlayStation 3 striving to attain backwards compatibility. . Some people pointed that the controller bears a similar resemblance to the old Alps Interactive 3rd party controller which was originally made for the PlayStation.  In an interview with Edge, SCEE's Chris Deering echoed these statements by describing the E3 controller as "just a design study".
According to the Japanese video game publication Famitsu, Sony Computer Entertainment chief technical officer Masayuki Chatani said that the controller design is a "prototype, so there could be some small adjustments.". However, some suggest that the controller, while a little un-traditional in contrast to the DualShock and DualShock 2 controllers, might provide adequate comfort for extended hours of play. The design of the controller has been likened to a boomerang or a banana by many observers (or even less flattering likenesses). SCEI's press release indicates that controller connectivity to the PlayStation 3 can be provided via:.
Finally, whether the PS3's advantage in floating-point performance will be readily apparent in games depends entirely on whether developers are able to effectively make use of the system's unique architecture. Floating point calculations are very important for graphics, multimedia, and game physics, but considerably less important for other tasks like artificial intelligence. It should also be noted that floating-point performance is a single-dimensional metric for comparing computers, and that many other considerations (including integer performance, memory size and bandwidth, etc.) determine the "overall" performance of a computer system. The floating-point capacity of the PS3 will significantly exceed that of the XBox 360, although it should be noted that Microsoft's console, due to its 3 symmetric fully featured processor cores (which are very similar to the Cell's PPE), may fare better on dynamically branching code, like that used for artificial intelligence.
It should be noted that this figure is an estimate based on ideal, 100% efficient operation of the processor. The seven SPEs in the PS3, in addition to the VMX unit in the PPE, would yield a total combined single-precision floating point performance of 218 GFLOPS (the same figure quoted by Sony). According to an in-depth report compiled by IBM, the theoretical peak performance of a single SPE is 25.6 GFLOPS. Additionally, programmers may find it difficult, initially, to optimize their game engines to make the best use of the highly parallel architectures of both systems, further reducing real-world performance.
Inevitably, real-world performance for both systems will be lower. The performance statistics given for the PS3 and XBox 360 in Sony's presentation were based on the theoretical maximum performance of the systems. It was unclear how these numbers were exactly calculated, possibly based on addition of the floating point capabilities of the processing units in the Cell CPU and those of the RSX GPU. The figures are likely rounded estimations.
In their official press release, the same statistic regarding the PS3 as a whole was reported to be over 2.1 TFLOPS. The presentation shows that one PS3 Cell CPU alone is capable of 218 GFLOPS, compared to the Xbox 360's Xenon CPU's 115 GFLOPS. In a slide show at their E3 conference, Sony presented the "CPU floating point capability" of the PlayStation 3's Cell CPU, and compared it to other CPUs. This gives the RSX an effective 48 GB/s when sending data to/from GPU and RAM.
Since the RSX is connected to the XDR DRAM and GDDR3 RAM similar to a Turbo Cached GPU it can access both memory locations at the exact same time. NVidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang stated during Sony's pre-show press conference at E3 2005 that the RSX will be more powerful than two GeForce 6800 Ultra video cards combined. Custom RSX or "Reality Synthesizer" design co-developed by NVIDIA and Sony:. The 8th SPE is there for redundancy: if one of the other 7 are defective the 8th SPE will activate and stand in for the defective part.
Only 7, however, are active. 3.2 GHz Cell processor with 8 Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). . According to a press release by Sony at the May 16, 2005 E3 Conference, the specifications of the PlayStation 3 are as follows.
Please see the section entitled overall floating-point capability for more details on this. Real-world performance for both systems will naturally be less, and the specifications of the PS3 may undergo major changes before the system is launched. These comparisons are based on estimates of theoretical maximum performance. The amount of completely programmable floating point capacity afforded by the Cell microprocessor is higher than the Xbox 360's CPU, while the floating-point performance of the two systems' GPUs, which are designed specifically for graphics rendering tasks, are somewhat closer to parity.
This comparison is based on the theoretical combined floating point capacity of the Cell microprocessor and the RSX GPU in the PS3 compared to the combined capacity of the Xenon CPU and Xenos GPU in the Xbox 360. A simple comparison of the system architectures appears to indicate that the floating point capability of the PS3 is estimated to be greater than that of the Xbox 360. The current nature of pricing in the video game industry is to sell the hardware at a loss, at least initially, and then recoup the losses from game sales and developer licensing. Although manufacturing costs for Blu-Ray and the cell are unknown, it is safe to say like most new systems, they will lose money from the first year.
This means that buyers should be able to purchase a PlayStation 3 at a lower price than its actual manufacturing cost. $494) to make, not including labor, and they expect Sony to sell the PlayStation 3 for less than its manufacturing cost. Merrill Lynch Japan estimates the PS3 manufacturing costs at 54,000 yen (U.S. An Inquirer article details internal Sony development.
It is likely that standalone players will be released prior to PS3. Sony Blu-Ray standalone players are to be released early summer. Sony office press releases indicate a 2006 launch. ¥12,500 for the Super Famicom).
In the same magazine, Ken Kutaragi was interviewed, and expressed little concern over the PS3's possibly high launch price, believing that customers would be willing to pay extra for a superior product, as they had in the past for the original PlayStation (¥39,800 vs. In contrast Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, says the PS3 will not be expensive and that it will be competitively priced against the Xbox 360.. So we're going to have to do our best [in containing the price]". "But we're aiming for consumers throughout the world.
I think everyone can still buy it if they wanted to," said Kutaragi to a mostly Japanese crowd. The system's retail price is not known. Sony Computer Entertainment president and "father of the PlayStation" Ken Kutaragi points out "It'll be expensive" and "I'm aware that with all these technologies, the PS3 can't be offered at a price that's targeted towards households. A functional version of the console was not at E3 or the Tokyo Game Show in September 2005, although some demonstrations were held on devkits and videos of soon-to-be released games created to run on systems with the same specs as the PS3 were presented, such as Metal Gear Solid 4 and Killzone 3. The PS3 was officially unveiled on May 16, 2005 by Sony during the E3 conference, where the console was first shown to the public.
. At the moment, little more is known in public about the PS3 apart from its hardware specifications and reports that it will be based on open APIs for game development. Sony has announced that the PS3 will be backward compatible with earlier PS1 and PS2 games. Specifically, Sony representatives have informed video game store clerks to expect a North American shipment in the summer of 2006, also quoted as "somewhere between June and September." It is the successor to the PlayStation 2 and will mainly compete against the Nintendo Revolution and Xbox 360.
The PlayStation 3 is slated for release this year. The PlayStation 3 (PS3) (Japanese: プレイステーション3) is Sony's seventh generation era video game console in the market-leading PlayStation series. . IPv6, the next generation of the Internet Protocol.
Kynogon's Kynapse 4.0 (PDF) "large scale A.I.". that aims to produce high-quality virtual foliage in real time. SpeedTree RT, a programming package produced by Interactive Data Visualization, Inc. Cg, Nvidia's C-like shading language.
Alias Systems Corporation's 3D graphics programs . Pixelux's Game Asset Synthesis Technology , a toolkit for advanced procedural synthesis. Havok's physics and animation engines. Epic's Unreal engine 3.0 framework.
Ageia's PhysX SDK, NovodeX. OpenVG, for hardware-accelerated 2D vector graphics. OpenMAX, a collection of fast, cross-platform tools for general "media acceleration," such as matrix calculations. OpenGL ES 2.0, the embedded version of the popular OpenGL graphics API.
COLLADA, an open, XML-based file format for 3D models. The Ability to Have 7 Controllers at Once. Parental Controls. Hub/Home Ethernet Gaming Network.
Simultaneous World Wide Web access and gameplay. MP3 and ATRAC download and playback. Digital photograph display (JPEG). EyeToy virtual object manipulation.
EyeToy voice command recognition. EyeToy interactive reality game. High-definition IP video conferencing. Two simultaneous High-definition television streams for use on a title screen for a HD Blu-ray Movie.
The ability for the PlayStation Portable to connect to the PlayStation 3 as a video-enabled controller. Bluetooth 2.0 (up to 7 controllers). USB 2.0 (wired). TCP/IP networking (wired ethernet).
Integrated for mesh networking and connectivity with the PlayStation Portable. 802.11g Wi-Fi. USB 2.0 (four front and two rear ports). Bluetooth 2.0.
IEEE 802.11g Wi-Fi. Three Gigabit Ethernet ports (Sony has indicated that because of cost reduction there is a possibility that the PlayStation 3 may act only as an accessory interface and hub and perhaps not as a router, as originally planned.). 32 cm (L) x 24 cm (W) x 8 cm (H). SD/MMC slot.
CompactFlash Type I and II slot. Memory Stick standard/Duo and standard/mini slots. Optional but not required for most games. Detachable 2.5" hard drive with Linux pre-installed.
CD: PlayStation CD-ROM, PlayStation 2 CD-ROM, CD-DA, CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW, SACD, SACD Hybrid (CD layer) SACD HD. DVD: PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM, PlayStation 3 DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW. Blu-ray Disc: PlayStation 3 BD-ROM, BD-Video, BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE, BD-RW. Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, LPCM (DSP functionality handled by the Cell processor).
Multiple analog outputs (Composite, S-Video, Component video). S/PDIF optical output for digital audio. Two HDMI (Type A) outputs (Dual-screen HD outputs). Supported screen sizes: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p.
76.8 GB/s Cell FlexIO Bus (44.8 GB/s outbound, 32 GB/s inbound). 204.8 GB/s Cell EIB. 5 GB/s System Bus (Aggregated 2.5 GB/s upstream and downstream). 35 GB/s GPU to CPU (Aggregated 20 GB/s (write), 15 GB/s (read)).
22.4 GB/s GPU to GDDR-3 VRAM: 128 bits × 700 MHz × 2 accesses per clock cycle (one per edge). 25.6 GB/s GPU to XDR DRAM: 64 bits × 3.2 GHz. 256 MB GDDR3 VRAM clocked at 700 MHz. 256 MB Rambus XDR DRAM clocked at CPU die speed (3.2 GHz).
128-bit pixel precision offers rendering of scenes with high dynamic range imaging. 33 billion dot products per second (51 billion dot products with CPU). 74.8 billion shader operations per second (100 billion with CPU). 136 shader operations per clock.
Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines. Full high definition output (up to 1080p) x 2 channels. 1.8 TFLOPS (trillion floating point operations per second). Clocked at 550 MHz.