Alan Wake’s American Nightmare kicks off high-quality game releases on Xbox Live Arcade

Alan Wake was a high-potential game that didn’t sell as well as expected in 2010. Critics said that the story was great, but the game play of the psychological thriller title was mediocre. Amid rivals such as the spectacular western Red Dead Redemption, which came out at the same time, Alan Wake got a lukewarm reception. With a new downloadable game coming, the question at hand for Alan Wake is whether the franchise can make a comeback.

Ex-con looking to fund over 15,000 inventions designed while incarcerated (exclusive)

Like any news blog, VentureBeat gets a lot of spam. Sometimes it’s a long-lost relative from the Philippines who just needs us to send them $10,000 in unmarked bills so that we can claim our inheritance. More recently, “VISA” is claiming our credit cards have been suspended and that all we need to do to lift the restriction is disclose our social security number and mother’s maiden number to an unidentified Hotmail address. But every once in a while, an actual person with a story to tell finds their way to us. Enter Bill Chrouch, an ex-convict who is looking for funding for the 15,128 inventions he came up with while incarcerated.

The 14 hottest Chinese tech-startup clones of 2011

Cloning or copycatting ideas, companies, and products is nothing new in China. Westerners, especially Americans, loathe cloning; it hurts their pride and is an insult to their creativity and hard work. The Chinese, however, love it. It comes as second nature and presents a grand opportunity to seize a massive market potential.

HeroEngine is the unsung platform behind Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most ambitious undertakings in video game history. When the game launched in December, it was the fruition of six years of work by as many as 800 developers and an investment of an estimated $200 million. One of the secrets behind the successful development of the game was the HeroEngine, a development platform for building online games that was created by Maryland-based Idea Fabrik.

How schools are reacting to Apple’s entry into education

When Apple announced its textbook initiative on Thursday, there was a rush of excitement among educators. Textbooks from major publishers, which can cost $40 to $75 dollars in print, would be available as interactive e-books for $15 or less. The new iBooks Author application could turn anyone into a publisher, with its simple interactive e-book creation tools.