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  Quick Gaming Links for 2008-01-06  
 
 
Posted 2008-01-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  DS Game Content Fueled By Wireless Hotspots  
 
 
Posted 2007-12-30 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Metro Wardive, a homebrew game for the Nintendo DS handheld console, reads the names of surrounding wireless hotspots and converts them into in-game enemies and levels. This allows the game content to change significantly based on the player's real-world location (I can only think of one mainstream game that does this).

Judging by the game's description, it seems that real-world travel is actually encouraged by design (at the very least, new game scenarios are revealed through travel)--with the right game mechanics, Metro Wardive could be used as an incentive for physical activity (walk or run from hotspot to hotspot) or urban exploration. The mind races, even if the feet do not.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Eleven Fit Teens Fail Wii Fitness Test  
 
 
Posted 2007-12-30 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
MedPage Today reports that Wii Sports, a game for the Nintendo Wii console, wasn't found to contribute to recommended daily exercise standards set in Britain, according to a Liverpool University study. Nintendo has been hoping its console would be seen as a fitness aid, releasing the Wii Fit controller and Wii game in Japan earlier this year (due out elsewhere in 2008). A number of academics, researchers, and consumers around the world have been looking at the console as a potential fitness device, with varying results. A Canadian hospital is even using the game console as part of a physical rehabilitation program.

The Liverpool study--ironically, funded by Nintendo's UK marketing arm--might have dashed the game-maker's health-hopes if it wasn't for the fact that only eleven subjects were reportedly involved. The teens--six boys and five girls--were physically fit to begin with, and were studied playing only two games: Project Gotham Racing for the Xbox 360, and Wii Sports. The study found that active games like Wii Sports burn about 50% more calories than passive games like PGR, but that ultimately this only represented a 2% increase in energy expenditure in a typical week.

I'm no scientist, but it seems clear that a larger-scale study might be in order. A more diverse, and larger group of subjects; a wider range of games, particularly some which could be considered more active than Wii Sports. In my own experience, playing 30 minutes of Raving Rabbids on the Wii reminded me how atrophied my spaghetti-thin arms are. While the Wii may not appear to affect fitness levels according to this study, I'd rather play an active video game than a passive one, and I suspect most parents would rather buy an active video game for their kids. Perhaps the next study will involve the Wii Fit peripheral, hopefully with more promising results.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Quick Links for 2007-12-05  
 
 
Posted 2007-12-05 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  links for 2007-10-20  
 
 
Posted 2007-10-20 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  links for 2007-10-19  
 
 
Posted 2007-10-19 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  links for 2007-09-26  
 
 
Posted 2007-09-26 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  Vote For These SXSW Panels  
 
 
Posted 2007-09-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I've got a few panel proposals brewing for South by Southwest 2008. If Alternate Reality Games, intriguing game documentaries, or homebrew on the Wii strike your fancy, don't just sign up and vote--get the word out!

Also check out panel proposals by Mark Wallace, Wagner James Au, Susan Wu and Justin Hall. There are 29 gaming-related panels proposed for next year, so make sure you help out by picking the ones you're interested in.

I've been on and/or organized panels at SXSW for the last 3 years, and am particularly pleased to be re-joining the conference's "Screenburn" gaming festival as an advisory board member in 2008. SXSW is a great place to meet people from different (sometimes wildly different) professional disciplines, and Austin is a friendly, fun city to spend time in. Looking forward to going again, hope to see you there.
 
     
 
   
 
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  WiiCade Opens Up Flash Control  
 
 
Posted 2007-08-28 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I had the pleasure of meeting David Stubbs, part of the WiiCade team, yesterday. The WiiCade project allows 90% of the Wiimote's functions to be used with Flash content piped through the Wii's Internet Channel. Although it was previously mandatory to run the WiiCade API through the team's servers, the code was opened up for host-your-own solutions just over a week ago. Indie game developers rejoice!

David demonstrated a couple of simple multi-player Flash games, both of which performed pretty well (a bit of control-lag noticeable), considering how severely the Wii's processing power is tapped--the little white console is not only running the Opera browser, but that browser is running Flash, and some sort of Java-enabled layer through which Wiimote signals are accepted and passed back into Flash. Probably I'm butchering the explanation--all I really care about is that Wiimote-controlled Flash games are now easier for anyone to create, thanks to the WiiCade team.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Flat Is Where It’s At  
 
 
Posted 2007-08-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Development team Metanet discusses level-building issues for N+, an upgrade of its original Flash-based platform game N, revealing that over 1,000 N+ levels have been designed for the Xbox Live / Nintendo DS / Sony PSP versions. The team says:
"...it’s amazing how much room for creativity and invention there is in the level design for a simple tile-based 2D game. After 4 years we’re still finding new tricks and concepts to play with. Crazy! Why anyone would jump to 3D when there’s still so much to figure out in 2D is beyond us ;)"
Even though this last sentiment wasn't entirely serious, the Metanet team is barking up the right tree, in my opinion. Platform games (such as Lode Runner or Super Mario World) are particularly suited to 2D, and not necessarily improved by adding another D.

I suppose I have to mention some exceptions to my own little rule here, such as 2.5D (which can offer improved platform-game play), and specific platform-style games that break the dimensional mold, such as the optically-insane Echochrome and 2D/3D hybrid Super Paper Mario. Feel free to add your own exceptions in the comments section.
 
     
 
   
 
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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