J.J. Abrams Wife Told Him To Stop Using Lens Flare

J.J. Abrams is known for a wide range of movies, from the latest Star Trek films to Cloverfield. Out of all of his films though there is one thing that is constantly missing, and that is special effects. To be more precise I don’t think I’ve seen a single one of Abrams films which feature Lens Flare, that could be because I’m blinded by its overuse in his films, though. Seems I’m not the only one with everyone including his wife telling him to stop using lens flare.

In the below video Abrams explains how it was during a scene from Star Trek Into Darkness that his wife demanded he stopped using the effect in his films.

If you disagree with her point there might be something you should watch, two and a half minutes of lens flares courtesy of Star Trek Into Darkness.

If that wasn’t enough you could just watch some of his other films, with the effect seeming to be synonymous with his name in the credits. While he’s not the only one who uses the effect, sadly you will often find it in a lot of video games as well, he is definitely known for it but even with all of these facts we just can’t seem to figure out why his wife would tell him to stop using the effect.

Codemasters Humble Bundle Weekly Sale Launched

Codemasters have launched full force into epic sale mode with the launch of the latest Humble Bundle Weekly Sale. Massive discounts are available, as well as the option to donate to charity and pick up seven PC games that would normally set you back around $100 / £70 on Steam if bought individually.

Charity proceeds would go to SpecialEffect and the bundle is running on a pay-what-you-want format, of course you can pay more than $6 to unlock all titles, or pay under to get the first four and one DLC.

SpecialEffect is the gaming charity dedicated to using technology to enhance the quality of life of people of all ages who live with disabilities. This invaluable work often involves specialised equipment and software design to ensure that anyone, whatever their disability, can enjoy videogames and leisure technology.

The work SpecialEffect undertakes doesn’t just help raise the quality of life for people with disabilities; it can also aid in rehabilitation and help raise self-esteem for those who can’t use a computer effectively any other way. Gamers can find more about this fantastic charity at their website www.specialeffect.org.uk and see how their work directly improves lives (video below).


“We’ve been blown away by the support of Codemasters, and the funds raised by this awesome bundle are going to help many disabled people to experience the fun and enjoyment of video games,” said Mark Saville, Communication Officer, SpecialEffect.

“The money will buy equipment for our ‘whatever it takes’ loan library, providing adapted technology that has maximum impact to the people we work with. We don’t believe in simply loaning kit and walking away; people’s needs are all different and they change, so we go back to visit again and again, adjusting the technology to fit changing abilities. It’s an approach that ensures the best accessibility and it’s especially vital for gamers with progressive conditions.”

For $1 or more players can purchase the following games:

  • Overlord
  • Overlord Raising Hell (Expansion Pack)
  • Operation Flashpoint: Red River
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Rise of the Argonauts

Spend over $6 and gamers will also receive the following:

  • DiRT Showdown
  • DiRT 3
  • Overlord II

Codemasters has a long standing relationship with SpecialEffect, and most recently partnered with the charity in an internal GameJam where Codemasters development teams were given the opportunity to create games with improved controls for those with disabilities or could improve a gamer’s health and wellbeing through play. These concepts included games that used peripherals that enabled players to control the game with their eyes, and even directly from their minds. Gamers can read about the GameJam and some of the games which were developed on the Codemasters Blog.

Head on over to www.humblebundle.com for full details on the game and of course to pick up the bundle if you’re in the mood for some charity giving and some great prices on games.

Gamer’s Charity Launch UK-Wide 24-hour Video Game Marathon Weekend

Gamer’s charity SpecialEffect today launched their GameBlast weekend, where people of all ages across the UK are invited to play video game marathons to help people with disabilities benefit from the fun and inclusion of games.

The charity is calling for teams of friends, family members or work colleagues to sign up to undertake their own sponsored marathons, which can last up to 24 hours, anytime during the weekend of 21-23 February 2014.

“It’s an opportunity for people to do what they love best, and level the playing field for people with disabilities at the same time,” said Mark Saville, the charity’s Communications Officer.

“Playing for 24 hours is a pretty big challenge, but we’re asking people to attempt it to help the thousands of people who want to share their passion, but can’t join in because of a disability.”

“People like Sam, who could only watch his friends and family enjoy the Xbox because his cerebral palsy prevented him from using a controller. The sponsorship raised through the GameBlast marathons will change the quality of life of many more people like Sam by bringing the fun and inclusivity of gaming into their lives.”

“It’s going to be an incredible weekend. They’ll be incentives and giveaways, and every team who registers will be entered into a complimentary draw for gaming goodies. We’ll also be running our own marathon from Gameblast HQ, and keeping the world updated with progress from all the teams.”

We’ve seen first hand the work that Special Effect have been doing, as well as some of the innovative and easy to use devices they have created to allow people of all ages to enjoy the games their love, despite and injuries or disabilities that would normally prevent them from doing so. If you want to help people enjoy the benefits of gaming it is well worth checking out Special Effect in general and not just for the sake of the gaming marathon.

Teams and individuals can sign up for the Gameblast weekend here.

Thank you Special Effect for providing us with this information.

SpecialEffect Open The Call For Heroes Of Video Game Music Band Members!

Disabled gamers’ charity SpecialEffect and Kickstarter project Heroes of Video Game Music today opened the call for industry supporters to join the ‘SpecialEffect All-Stars’, a band being assembled to create a unique track for an upcoming album celebrating video game composers of all eras.

The Heroes of Video Game Music project was launched on Kickstarter on June 27th, hitting its funding goal in less than five days. The brainchild of experienced game composer and sound engineer Rik Ede, and sponsored by Dolby and The Chairworks recording studio in Leeds, its goal is to showcase and celebrate the unsung talents of over 20 of the industry’s most experienced composers including World of Warcraft’s Tracy W. Bush, Donkey Kong Country’s Robin Beanland, Streets of Rage’s Motohiro Kawashima and Unreal’s Alexander Brandon.

Ede, himself disabled after several severe strokes left him unable to work, was also keen to join forces with SpecialEffect to help highlight the fact that music creation can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of the nature or severity of their disability. The idea came about to create an original track for the album that would feature contributions from the SpecialEffect team and several of their industry ambassadors. The track will also feature a number of the disabled people supported by the charity, using a variety of different technologies to enable even the most severely disabled among them to create sound effects, melodies, guitar riffs and other elements that will then be mixed and produced by Ede himself.

Ede explains: “I was deeply impressed and inspired by the scope of SpecialEffect’s work and was delighted that they agreed to join the project. I’m looking forward to working with the ‘All-Stars’ and I’m sure we’ll create something quite magical.”

Dr Mick Donegan, founder and CEO of SpecialEffect, is equally pleased to be involved: “We were thrilled to be asked to play a part in the Heroes of Video Game Music project and already have several of the disabled people we work with really keen to join in. We’re also pleased to announce that two of our industry ambassadors (Mastertronic’s Andy Payne and Press Space PR’s Natalie Griffith) have already joined the All-Stars band and we’re now throwing down the gauntlet for some of our other industry supporters to come on board too.”

Musical prowess or experience aren’t necessary, so anyone keen to get involved should contact SpecialEffect here.

The Heroes of Video Game Music Kickstarter campaign is still open for pledges until midnight on Sunday 28th July and is close to its second stretch goal target. The finished album will be mixed and produced later this year and released in early 2014. Deluxe editions will feature behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the album, including the creation of the SpecialEffect track.

Thank you special effect for providing us with this information.

Gory Festival Of Indie Steam Games For Just $1

Bundle Stars has today released a new $1 bundle featuring three action-packed PC games from an independent games developer. The new GoreFest Bundle supports an indie games developer, helps charity and saves gamers 98% off the normal retail price

The GoreFest Bundle offers up three indie games developed by Sigma Team. For a limited time gamers can grab the bundle, the fourth in the Stellar Bundles series, for an out-of-this-world price of just $1. Featured in the new GoreFest Bundle are Alien Shooter, Alien Shooter 2: Reloaded and Alien Shooter 2: Conscription. All three Windows PC games are redeemable on Steam.

As well as making a massive saving of 98%* off the regular retail price, by buying from Bundle Stars gamers are supporting the games’ developer, Sigma Team. They are also contributing to the SpecialEffect charity which helps children and adults with severe disabilities to enjoy computer games (www.specialeffect.org.uk).

The GoreFest Bundle serves up many hours of gaming and is amazing value at only $1:

Alien Shooter – The alien invasion has begun! Your mission is simple: clear the base at all costs. Access explosives and the most advanced weapons technology money can buy. As you earn your pay, you can equip yourself with additional weapons and biomechanical implants that will make your fighting abilities super human. Alien Shooter offers hours of fast-paced gameplay, with 10 heart-stopping missions and a Survival Mode.

Alien Shooter 2: Reloaded – Save humanity from the alien menace! Play 17 new missions, and experience impressive technical innovations such as dynamic shadows and lighting; 10,000 monsters on each map; natural phenomena (fog, rain, water); and NPC characters. Find 50+ weapon types, and over 20 gadgets, from flash lights, radars and medkits to battle drones. Plus, 3 game modes are included: Campaign, Survive and Gun Stand.

Alien Shooter 2: Conscription – A unique blend of Action and RPG game genres! The Great War has begun. Hordes of monsters are destroying the cities and capturing new territories. Wage war against huge crowds of enemies, with up to 100 aliens on your screen at any one time. Choose from 60+ weapon types, including sniper rifles, and even vehicles you can drive. The world depends on you!
The GoreFest Stellar Bundle is available to download now for just $1, but gamers should be quick as this low price is available for a limited time only.


Visit www.bundlestars.com/deals/stellar-bundle-indie-gorefest/ to grab these Steam games now!

*Promotional savings are based on online retail prices and are correct at the time of publishing.

Image courtesy of BundleStars


New Budget-Busting Adventure Game Bundle Supports Indie Devs & Charity

PC games website Bundle Stars has just released a new Stellar Bundle, bringing gamers five indie adventure titles and a game audio soundtrack, all for one amazing price of just $3!

The Indie Adventure Bundle, available now on the Bundle Stars ‘Deals’ page, allows gamers to grab the following games for less than $1 each; Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle, Reversion 1 & 2, Shadows on the Vatican and Jack Orlando Directors Cut.

By paying only $3 for the bundle, gamers will save up to 93% compared to buying the titles individually (recommended retail price is $42). As well as saving money, by purchasing a bundle from Bundle Stars gamers are supporting the games’ developers and contributing to the SpecialEffect charity which helps children and adults with severe disabilities to enjoy computer games (www.specialeffect.org.uk).

The Indie Adventure Bundle includes all these games:

Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle: From the award winning writer of adventure game Broken Sword, Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle is a spin-off from the smash-hit adventure game, So Blonde. This point and click adventure game leads the way in immersive story-telling at its finest; with fun character development, puzzles and mini-games. Players can explore over 50 locations on five exotic islands, interact with 40 unique characters and complete over 12 hours of storyline and gameplay. Captain Morgane is featured in a bundle for the first time. Once purchased, the game can be redeemed and downloaded from here.

Shadows on the Vatican: Act 1: A religio-political thriller from indie developer 10th Art Studio, the first episode of this point and click adventure game features art direction by Lorenzo Ruggiero, (Marvel/ DC Comics). The game is loosely inspired by David Yallop’s non-fiction book In Gods’ Name, which delves into the death of Pope John Paul 1 in 1978. It sees protagonist James Murphy in the middle of Rome needing to solve the mysterious disappearance of a briefcase containing compromising documents. Lead James in his quest to solve the mystery, building the case from scratch and solving puzzles, clues, hints and inventory challenges along the way in this intriguing point-and-click adventure, which can be downloaded from here.

Reversion 1 & 2 Double Pack: Adventure fans can enjoy a double helping of puzzle solving in this point-and-click science fiction game double pack from indie studio 3f Interactive. In part one the city is under the control of a military organisation and the main character has woken up in hospital in the year 2035, with no memory. The aim is to escape as quickly as possible by solving puzzles and clues. In the second chapter, which was partially funded by crowd funding through Indiegogo.com, the aim is to recover important memories by interacting with characters around the city and solving new riddles. Once purchased, the Reversion Double Pack can be redeemed and downloaded from here.

Jack Orlando Director’s Cut: Set in the United States during the worn down 1930s post-Prohibition era, this classic cinematic adventure for Windows® follows a private investigator caught up in a murder that he was framed for. He has just 48 hours to slip the noose and find the real offender. Working through over 200 scenes in four episodes, players can interact with almost 100 characters and thousands of dialogue lines and collect and combine over 200 items.After purchase from Bundle Stars, Jack Orlando can be downloaded from GamersGate.com, complete with bonus audio soundtrack.‘The Indie Adventure Bundle’ is available to download now for just $3, but gamers should be quick! The bundle is available at this price for a limited time only here.

Head on over to the official site for more information www.bundlestars.com/deals/


EIZO Announces 2 New UK Sponsorship Deals With Meltdown & Special Effect

EIZO has just signed its support of the Meltdown bar in London, the very first eSports bar in the UK and also to the charity, “SpecialEffect” who help make gaming accessible to those with disabilities. Internationally, EIZO is a well-known pro-active sponsor of eSports tournaments and one of the world’s leading teams, Fnatic. Here in the UK, EIZO is swiftly aiming for first place among gamers.

Meltdown Paris was the first ever eSports bar, offering a place for gamers to gather and watch international competitions in their favourite games while sharing drinks with like-minded people. One year later, after expanding to Berlin, this unique concept has just arrived in London. EIZO has installed five FORIS FS2332s in to London’s first eSports bar. Other EIZO’s are used in Stockholm, Paris and Berlin.

“If you’re a serious gamer, you use an EIZO,” said Colin Woodley, Business Manager EIZO Limited

EIZO Limited also wanted to help boost the work that SpecialEffect is doing with disabled gamers.

“Everything about these monitors fits in with what we’re trying to do,” said Charity Director Dr Mick Donegan, “Their size and picture quality is perfect for people like Harry. Working with companies like EIZO is fundamental to our success. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to help as many people enjoy the inclusivity and therapeutic benefits of video games.”

“We really welcome the opportunity to cement this partnership with the great people at SpecialEffect,” said Colin Woodley, Business Manager EIZO Limited . “It reinforces EIZO’s commitment to the gaming industry. Our technology enables those with poorer eyesight or those who have to sit in difficult positions to be able to see the whole screen, as the calibration and enhancements mean that the screen remains visible even at 178 degrees vertically and horizontally with a contrast ratio of 1000:1. We wish their gamers luck!”

With more and more gamers coming to prefer EIZO monitors to help them set their gaming performance and scores above other players, EIZO is constantly developing new monitors to make the whole experience of the game enhanced and the best for each player with consumer prices that start at just £235 +VAT. This partnership with SpecialEffect ensures that EIZO technology can be enjoyed by every player whatever physical ability.

SpecialEffect are also hoping to use the Foris to showcase their amazing eye controlled EyeGaze tech, release to follow later this year.