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Friday, April 29, 2005

Zap! Interview

Zap! is this breakthrough game over at Garage Games which combines old school 2D gameplay with new ideas like capture the flag and deathmatch. I haven't played it as of yet, but it's definately on my todo list for when I get a bit of a breather. The interview itself is a bit flawed, making the easy mistake that Zap! uses the Torque 2D engine (it precedes it), but it does offer up some interesting points about gameplay versus graphics, blogging, etc., so you should read it.

Kotaku y Guild Wars

Kotaku goes all throbby over Guild Wars, making me seriously wish I had my PC working again. Well, no it doesn't as I just had some real success last night in my iTunes expirements and it's the last thing I need to derail me. The short version is that the game thoroughly impresses, but the lingering wonder of for how long hangs over like a cloud. As I hear about more and more people abandoning WoW, it makes you wonder how the MMO industry is going to work in the future.

The thing is, it's OK to love Guild Wars for only a few months. You aren't paying monthly. There's nobody to call when you decide you've had enough. And when NCSoft decides to release an expansion pack, you can pick up right where you left off. They've completely dismissed this myth that the MMO industry requires a monthly fee to run. Let's state that again - it's a myth that the MMO industry requires you to pay them monthly. They're doing it not from necessity, but profit.

Hopefully Guild Wars will have people re-examining how much it's worth to play large scale online games. Maybe Sony won't get away with releasing pay-per-betaware much longer.

Dvorak is as Dvorak does

By way of Broken Toys on the tip from games.slashdot comes this gem where Dvorak, who admits he's out of touch with the game industry asserts that the game industry is doomed because ... he's out of touch with it.

How about that for ego? You know, I don't get why people still play (real life) golf, which I'm sure is an indication of the sport's demise. By Dvorak's logic they'll all be trying to beat my Tiger Woods avatar in a few years.

But seriously, if it's taken a person this long to realize how out of touch Dvorak is, then that person might be getting a little out of touch themselves. What I mean by that is - the guy's a hack. Pretty much always has been.

Perhaps "Liger"?

Apple Insider is reporting that Tiger Direct is suing Apple for using "Tiger" as their OS name and marketing thrust.

You know what's really dumb about this? Other than the fact that it's completely inane that there'd be any confusion over these two brands whatsoever and that companies trying own the English language is so annoying I could scream, of course. It's that Tiger Direct will rake in loads of free advertising from it. This morning, I was thinking of Tiger - the OS. Not the retailer.

Now I'm thinking that I'll probably not be ordering from the retailer ... ever.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Is Nintendo Going Insane?

OK, then - let's tally up all the rumors:

  • Revolution's controllers are touch screen, perhaps without any normal buttons...

  • The Controllers also may be gryoscopic in nature.

  • There may be no connectivity for the DS, only the next gen GameBoy.

    And now...

  • The Revolution will use a 3D projection display

    OK, that is simply a buttload of huh. We're rapidly moving into tinfoil camp here, people. It used to be that console manufacturers would just inflate some numbers and make us believe that the next generation machine would be that supercomputer we always wanted in our living room. We would believe them, and then buy them and generally be content with something that could play Conker's instead of singing Daisy, Daisy. But now Nintendo is threatening to bring together the Virtual Boy, a universal remote and the Coleco GryoBot into some kind of evil trinity. I'm falling into the "they're just spreading rumors to keep their name in the press" camp at the moment. I don't see how a having a gamepad that rotates while you try to press a stylus together can really help me navigate a hologram, but we'll see.

  • Wednesday, April 27, 2005

    One Hit Wonder

    If I had my PC running, I'd so enter this contest to create a game played with only one key. Ever need an excuse to do a quickie remake of those old Epyx "athlete" games where it was all just button mashing? Can't think of a better one.

    WoW, what an exodus?

    Kotaku reports that a wave of cancellations is sweeping across the World of Warcraft? Why? Because they don't like the new honor system. Why am I not surprised?

    I would also argue that there are things about an MMO that I'm going soft on. For instance, when Sony decided that PlanetSide was working the way "intended", they changed the core gameplay. And then they changed it again. And then again. Now that means that when someone reads a review of the game and decides to buy it - they could be buying something completely different. Sony could decide PlanetSide is just a rally race, and the gamers would just have to suck it down.

    Because it sounds so familiar. It's one of the fundamental flaws of the MMO design. I'm paying monthly for a game that might be the same next month? Sure, that make sense if every change completely kicks ass, but that's mathematically impossible. So why should I keep paying for a company a) continue finishing their game and b) take the chance that the game I enjoy today will be gone tomorrow?

    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    Tee Off

    My landlord/co-worker/friend and her husband both insisted I try Tiger Woods on the PS2, and I despite my reservations they were so completely right. Let's get this straight - in the real world, I hate golf. I find it an expensive hobby designed to annoy you while taking a perfectly decent hike.

    On the computer though, golf makes a lot of sense. It's kinda like Katamari in the way it lets you concentrate on just a few details rather than a thousand sprites bearing down on you at once. Now I'm curious about looking at Hot Shots (pictured), Mario and maybe even writing a 2D version based more on mini golf that pro golf.