Contests

PicHit.Me are a start-up company looking to woo more photographers to its crowd-sourced stock photo service. To do this, they've teamed up with Microsoft to offer all sorts of expensive prizes. Are you an awesome photographer who'd like to win a Surface Pro 3 or Lumia 1520? Here's your chance.

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Although Japan has a rich history of game development, it's relatively uncommon for Japanese-developed Windows PC games to be released in English markets. That makes the recent releases of Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (see our review) and Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim on Steam reason for celebration. Both games were developed by Nihon Falcom, with Mastiff publishing Gurumin and XSEED publishing Ys VI.

To find out more about Nihon Falcom's experience with bringing its games to Steam, we teamed up with Mastiff to interview Toshihiro Kondo, company President, and Representative Managing Director. He provides unique insights on Steam, Windows 8 and 10, Gurumin, Ys, and even Xbox One.

We also have a Gurumin guidebook signed by voice actress Tara Strong to give away to one lucky reader. Read on for details!

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Windows Central photo contest: Water

The photo contest is back, and we've changed things up once again. We took a week off last week with it being the Easter holiday weekend for many of us on the Mobile Nations team. But now we're going to change it up again and we're giving more people more time to enter. The contests will now each run for two weeks, and we're going to try out some new prizes along with it.

You'll find all of the relevant information below. But onto this weeks topic, Water. Something commonplace in life, yet that still lends to taking many different styles of shot. The one up top is a quick sample I took this past weekend with the Lumia 640 XL on a gloomy afternoon. But you guys will certainly do better.

So, to the rules and a little housekeeping, announcing the winner of the last weekly photo contest!

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Weekly photo contest: Filters

The weekly photo contest is back with a new theme and a new week to show off your best work. This time around we're asking to see your best efforts with filters. Those weird and wonderful effects that helped make Instagram so popular can be a great way to simply and effectively make your photos take on a whole new life.

Like the shot up top. I took this relatively pleasant, if somewhat uninteresting scene while catching 5 minutes after a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. But with a little goofing around in Camera 360 Sight it became (or so I think, at least) something worth keeping. So, as ever, read on for the full rundown on this weeks contest and to see who won last week's!

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Every weekend, Windows Central streams an Xbox One game or two on Twitch for 1-2 hours and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. It's like a live podcast, only you also get to watch a game while chatting with our awesome readers and viewers!

Tonight at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, 2am GMT), we'll be playing Limbo from Danish developer Playdead. Limbo is a dark and stylish puzzle platform that made waves on Xbox 360 before eventually launching on Xbox One. Not only will be giving out free copies of Limbo for Xbox One and Steam, we'll also be joined in chat by a member of the game's development studio!

Update: The stream has ended. Read on for the YouTube replay video to see Paul playing Limbo as a member of Playdead answers viewer questions, plus the list of contest winners!

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Have you said, "Xbox, record that" lately due to an epic kill? How about to some funny bug you encountered? Well, we want you to share those moments with us, and we'll give away some sweet prizes you for doing so. Each week, we'll pick one lucky winner for the week's theme on Xbox One.

Get ready for this week's edition of the Windows Central Xbox Upload Challenge!

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Weekly photo contest: Cars

After a brief hiatus thanks to events (and illness), the weekly photo contest is back and in its new weekend slot. We've decided to move it from a weekday when there's potentially a lot of news and other things going on to a more relaxed slot on a Sunday evening. Aside from a new day, nothing else is changing, so let's get to it!

This weeks contest is something close to my heart: cars. Along with tech, cars are my other major passion in life and recently I had the opportunity to finally visit the world famous Geneva Motor Show. Some 2 weeks later I'm still trawling through all the photos but it gave me some great inspiration for this weeks contest. The shot up top is from my Lumia 830, is completely unedited and is one of my favorites from the show.

But now it's over to you to get creative! But first, let's find out who won the last contest...

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Have you said, "Xbox, record that" lately due to an epic kill? How about to some funny bug you encountered? Well, we want you to share those moments with us, and we'll reward you for doing so. Each week, we'll pick one lucky winner for the week's theme on Xbox One. This is our inaugural edition of the Windows Central Xbox Upload Challenge!

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Every weekend, Windows Central streams an Xbox One game or two on Twitch for 1-2 hours and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. It's like a live podcast only you also get to watch a game while chatting with our awesome readers and viewers!

Tonight at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, 1am GMT), we'll be playing Forza Horizon 2 from Playground Games and Microsoft Studios. We want you guys there, chatting along. So we're giving out five full copies of Forza Horizon 2 Deluxe Edition ($80 value) and five codes for the 'Storm Island' DLC expansion ($20 value). Those are some high dollar prizes that any racing fan should love!

Update: The stream and contest have ended. Continue reading for the full replay video now in YouTube format, tonight's winners, and next week's streaming schedule!

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We're getting ready to pack up and leave Mobile World Congress for another year and while we've got a few posts still left to wrap up, we're reflecting on what's been a pretty decent show for Microsoft and the Windows device ecosystem. As a small token, Microsoft gave us three Skype gift cards of $10 value each at the event, so we're giving them away to you guys.

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Every weekend, Windows Central streams a game or two on Twitch for 1-2 hours and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. It's like a live podcast, only you also get to watch a game while chatting with our awesome readers and viewers!

Tonight at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, 2am GMT), we'll be playing Asphalt 8: Airborne from Gameloft. Asphalt 8 is a massive free to play Xbox game for Windows Phone and Windows 8 and RT. Tonight's stream is special because regular co-host Tyler and I will be joined on the microphone by Gameloft Community manager Ryan Changes, also known as "Gameloft" Ryan. And we're giving out Microsoft gift cards donated by Gameloft. Stick around after the Asphalt 8 stream for a bonus Starwhal stream with more prizes!

Update: The streams have ended. Read on to see our Asphalt 8 and Starwhal replay videos, impressions, and full list of contest winners!

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Weekly photo contest: Trees

After last weeks more technical challenge, this week we're going back to a more simple topic for the weekly photo contest; trees. But even the simplest of topics can produce some incredible shots. The one up top, for example, isn't a particularly fancy setting, but it's one of the first outdoor shots I've been able to take using Rich Capture on the Lumia 830.

So, that's this weeks task. And a little heads up that we'll still be closing it down in the usual time frame, but we'll be skipping a new contest next week on account of being at various shows around the world. But before all of that, who won last weeks, Tilt Shift, inspired contest?

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You probably already know that Windows Central streams Xbox games every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday night via Twitch. We even give out free copies of the games we stream on the weekends. We've built up a loyal community who tune in to see us play games, enjoy the commentary of the hosts, and chat with their fellow readers and viewers.

What you might not know is that I also stream non-Xbox games every Monday, just for fun. But tonight's stream will be special because we're streaming three games from popular Windows developer 10tons! We'll be playing Sparkle 2 and King Oddball (both for Windows Phone and Windows 8) and Crimsonland, a twin-stick shooter for Steam that will be coming to mobile Windows platforms soon.

Update: The stream has ended. Continue reading to see the full video replay, my impressions of each game, and a list of tonight's winners!

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Every weekend, Windows Central streams an Xbox One game or two on Twitch for 1-2 hours and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. It's like a live podcast, only you also get to watch a game while chatting with our awesome readers and viewers!

Tonight, we'll be playing Chariot from Frima Studio. Chariot is a puzzle-platformer in which one or two players work together to push and pull a funeral chariot through haunted caverns and mines. We want you guys there, chatting along. So we're giving out more than 10 codes for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam!

Update: The stream has ended. Tonight's stream was special because one of the developers (Alex van Chestein, AKA Havochq) joined us in chat and answered questions! See his contributions and more in the full video replay.

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Weekly Photo Contest: Tilt Shift

The past couple of weeks our weekly photo contests have taken on some quite broad themes, but this week we're going to try something a little different. We're focusing on one specific effect, and that's Tilt Shift. You may know it best as the effect that can turn city scenes into appearing to be miniature villages.

So, it's going to test your editing as well as your photo taking. The Lumia Creative Studio is one of a number of apps that will help you produce the effect, which I did up top with the image of a train platform taken on my Lumia 830.

But before all that, who won last week's pattern inspired contest? Let's find out!

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