Tesla coils are always fun to watch, what with their awesome displays of electrical power. The real sci-fi dream, of course, is to turn one into a lightning gun. That was the thought that got hacker Rob Flickenger working on a way to make the first Tesla coil gun.
Like the first before it, Borderlands 2 is a game mostly about really big, really crazy sci-fi weaponry. As a sequel, the game offers up a clearly improved yet faithful experience for the familiar. For the first-time player, here's a good a place as any to get into Borderlands.
Here at DVICE, we sometimes like to take our eyes away from the cutting edge of technology and reminisce about what was and might have been. Often as not, things are invented that could have altered the course of history (for instance: the Tesla Coil), yet these attempts fall by the wayside. Whether that's because of an insane competitor (I'm looking at you, Edison!), lack of funding or just not reaching the tipping point of public approval, these inventions languish in the forgotten corners of history. Until, that is, we unearth them! Now — I could run on about Tesla, or the numerous failed flying contraptions we see every year in the Flugtag — and sure those are interesting — but why not take a gander at a subject with a bit more firepower?! I'm talkin' boomsticks, folks! These 12 maligned peashooters could have done things, they coulda been contenders! Yet here they are: 12 forgotten firearms with designs that are truly bizarre.
Online shopping isn't impervious to error, and Seth Horvitz recently found himself on the side of a huge mistake. What was supposed to be a new HDTV ended being a deadly weapon instead. How did a third-party Amazon merchant screw up those boxes?
You might think you know laser tag, but you don't. Hasbro's Lazer Tag (that's with a "z") takes the classic hide, seek and shoot game and adds in an augmented reality layer. Our first thoughts: this is silly. Our thoughts after trying it out: hey, it's pretty damned fun.
Gearbox Software is hard at work making sure that everything in Borderlands 2 will be bigger, crazier and boomier than what the original game offered. The team could have just included exploding bullets (which they did) and called it a day, but instead they're overhauling a lot of the core game mechanics. While veterans of the original will be in familiar territory, we got to see how Borderlands 2 will significantly evolve the amount of customization and control a player has over a character. That means new looks to make your Vault Hunter feel unique, skills that are more meaningful than a bump in stats and lots, lots more. We were also given a tour of Sanctuary, a hub city that will give players a dynamic home base to return to. Guiding us through it all was Gearbox producer Randy Varnell, who was just as happy to walk us through some new skills, locations and character customization options as he was to teach us the right way to free an enraged dwarf chained to an overgrown mutant's shield. Yep, you guessed it: it involves bullets.
The setting for Borderlands 2, the Mad Maxian world of Pandora, is a savage jungle to be sure. It's packed full of bloodthirsty beasts that roam the land and skies, mutant bandits of every shape and size, robotic hordes that assault you from a distant moon base, and loads and loads of crazy guns to shoot everything mentioned.
"This is a stickup, see? Now turn over all your valuables and no one needs to get hurt." Back in 1928, a line like that would have been met with chattering teeth and shaking, raised arms. In 1929, however, Chicagoan inventor Sammy Schwarz would see it answered with "a stream of lead bullets in his face."
The Fifth Element's Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg is not a nice man, but he sure knows how to design one hell of a sci-fi gun. His ZF-1 rifle — which is a machine gun, flamethrower, rocket launcher and so much more — has inspired its own following of admirers, including Adam Savage of the MythBusters.
The military has been investing in several different kinds of fancy bullets over the last few years, from bullets with smart microgrenades to bullets with fins that can steer to their target. And in order to be able to use the right bullet for the right task, the Army wants a gun that can custom-select ammo at hundreds of rounds per minute.