All posts by Marco Santana

I was a tech journalist for more than 10 years. Now, I'm writing about the things I have built a passion for in that time.

Ongaku returns with charity concert featuring Mega ran

The ninth virtual concert featuring video game-inspired artists will raise money for charity.

The concert put together by Kent Ward, who has organized the Ongaku Overdrive virtual concerts from Orlando since June, will raise money for the Asian Pacific Fund.

The show will feature Lauren the Flute of The Returners (who we featured previously), AnimeVivi, Super Smack, The Megas, and an OVG favorite Mega Ran.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. tonight on Ongaku’s Twitch channel.

Continue reading Ongaku returns with charity concert featuring Mega ran

Magic Gaming moves on to Tipoff championship tournament

Magic Gaming is moving onto the next round of the season-opening NBA 2K League tournament.

The squad had to wait out a bizarre postponement Thursday and league play all night Friday after going 3-1 in pool play Wednesday.

The team will enter the knockout round of The TICKET tournament as the eighth and final seed.

Magic Gaming had to wait 48 hours to learn its fate because a server glitch on Thursday forced the league to push its entire schedule to Friday.

The knockout round will consist of the winners of all 7 groups along with Magic Gaming, who earned the wild card berth because of its record and combined margin of victory.

Play starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Magic Gaming win 3 of 4, now playing waiting game

Magic Gaming won three of four matches in the NBA 2K League’s season-opening The TIPOFF tournament but must now wait to see whether it will advance to the elimination round because of a disadvantage in the tiebreaker.

The squad sits in the eighth and final spot as the tournament’s lone wild card team.

However, if another non-bracket winning team finishes with a 3-1 record and a higher average margin of victory in day 2 play tonight, the Magic will be going home.

Continue reading Magic Gaming win 3 of 4, now playing waiting game

Magic Gaming set for 4th season tipoff with question marks

It’s that time of year again.

As sure as spring leads into summer, Orlando Magic’s competitive esports team Magic Gaming is heading into its season saying all the right things.

But head coach Jonah Edwards doesn’t want to hear about how his squad remains one of just two of the league’s original 17 still on the lookout for its first playoff bid.

“It’s going to take a lot of mental toughness,” Edwards said. “We have to be mentally tough and be a team that is resilient and controls what we can control.”

Continue reading Magic Gaming set for 4th season tipoff with question marks

Ukrainian artist brings Lara Croft to life through art

Inna Vjuzhanina doesn’t necessarily paint exclusively video game characters.

But her love for the medium came from her desire to pay tribute to her favorite video game heroine, Lara Croft.

Now, the Ukrainian artist has been building a side hustle that revolves around the “Tomb Raider” leading lady.

“While searching for a way to pay tribute to my beloved heroine, I started painting,” the Ukraine-based artist said recently. “That turned out to be the biggest passion of my life. Lara Croft is one of my biggest muses to this day.”

Continue reading Ukrainian artist brings Lara Croft to life through art

New game studio to show off spiritual exploration title at Otronicon

An Orlando video game company will finally get its closeup this weekend at Otronicon as it pushes its first title closer to the finish line.

Captilight Studios will be one of several companies featured at the video game showcase during Orlando Science Center’s signature event.

After a tough year during which the city’s indie video game industry lost some momentum because of the pandemic, Captilight Founder Deana Galbraith said it will be a good thing to reconnect.

“It’s really helpful to meet up with everyone in the community and see what they are working on,” Galbraith said. “It helps build a support network for you and for the game.”

“Path of Kami” is a puzzle game that follows the spirit of the wolf Kazeyo’s efforts to ascend after his passing.

Continue reading New game studio to show off spiritual exploration title at Otronicon

In pandemic, Ongaku Overdrive thrives with virtual video game music showcase

The yearlong pandemic has become one of the toughest external forces that the music industry has had to undergo.

But one local concert organizer has successfully pulled specialized bands together from across the country to keep his video game music concerts going.

Kent Ward recently hosted Virtua Ongaku VII on his Twitch stream, showcasing five performers – and paying them.

“It has been awesome,” said Ward, whose event raised nearly $1,000 for the performers. “We have no idea when live concerts or conventions that would book these acts will return so seeing fans step up to support the musicians has been a wonderful feeling.”

Continue reading In pandemic, Ongaku Overdrive thrives with virtual video game music showcase

ESPN: EA’s Maitland-based VP confirms return of college football video game

It appears that passionate college football fans might be able to claim a huge win in the video game world.

Electronic Arts Maitland-based executive Daryl Holt told ESPN in a story posted on Tuesday that the popular video game company would be bringing back its NCAA Football franchise.

While it’s unlikely to come this year, next year could be a possibility.

The announcement could mean hiring for Electronic Arts when it moves into downtown Orlando this summer.

Continue reading ESPN: EA’s Maitland-based VP confirms return of college football video game

UCF/FIEA-built video game racking up downloads, strong reviews

The video game “Wick,” built by students at UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, has a dark look, a simple premise – and it’s adorable.

An anthropomorphic candle navigates a cathedral, its wick and flame serving as its life force, as it tries to finish a task its fallen master could not complete.

Then the monster shows up.

“Wick” is a roughly 20-minute adventure that puts players in the role of the cleverly named candle Jean Wick.

The fiery protagonist plays a cat-and-mouse game with a gnarly, gruesome-sounding and -looking demon with a severe case of the hatreds for this little guy.

Continue reading UCF/FIEA-built video game racking up downloads, strong reviews

Madden NFL 21, built in Maitland, set to debut Friday. Fo’ shizzle.

The highest-profile video game built in Central Florida returns for its 28th year on Friday.

The latest entry in Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL series, built in Maitland, will include a bonus for hardcore gamers.

Those who buy the game for Sony PS4 4 or Xbox One can automatically upgrade if they buy a next-generation console.

Both the Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will debut by the end of the year, according to the latest estimates.

Continue reading Madden NFL 21, built in Maitland, set to debut Friday. Fo’ shizzle.