Archive for February, 2006

I'm addicted to Grow

Truly, I’m addicted to these cool Grow games. The maker should put together a game where each one is a level. I’d definitely buy it.

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Arrrrrrgggggggg give me me free stuff

Of all the blogs on the internet I think Cliffski Mumblings is among my most favorite. I always look forward to getting updates on his game making progress and somewhat enviously reveled in his progress. Today’s post talks about piracy and his plans to add a “phone home” protection feature to prevent it. Piracy is a topic that can quickly generate a lot of passion and very different view points in the indie gamedev community. I tend to lean towards the “ignore” philosophy because I think most pirates won’t buy the game anyway. They are simply morally bankrupt, irrational and their nothing is one can do to change that.

In the post, however, Cliffski brings up the gray area of ‘casual piracy.’ This is the type of stealing that happens when people start to feel that “everyone is doing it and I’d be a chump not too as well.” This happens because the average individual hasn’t asked themselves the simple question, “What would happen if everyone pirated?” Or more personally, “What would happen if everyone pirated my (or my employer’s) product?” The answer to these questions would sober any “casual pirate” in a second because it isn’t hard to see that the world would become empty, and anything of value would disappear because work would have no reward and poverty would be the smart choice.

In the comments Hamumu has some really interesting ideas about giving the player an incentive to go online and rewarding those who are legitimate buyers. I think these are valuable strategies and I wonder too, if somehow getting the “casual pirate” to ask himself what a world of pirates would be like might be useful too.

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Videogame market set to double by 2011

“According to the study, the videogame market will expand from $32.6 billion in 2005 to $65.9 billion in 2011. Online and mobile gaming will be the primary source of the growth, while the rest of the market will see growth, but to a lesser extent.” (Link)

That sounds like good news for Indies!

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It'll ship when it is ready

GameDailyBIZ is reporting, “Sony will not be releasing the PlayStation 3 until the company is completely prepared.” (Link) They didn’t have any quotes that I felt confirmed this view, but it is an interesting idea. A few game development companies operate in this manner. Id, Blizzard and Valve have all put off releases until they where ready and it paid off in the high qualify of their product, loyalty of their fans and a nice bottom line. This policy often looked down on because it make retail scheduling and buzz building difficult.

I think that is short sighted. In the long run, making great games is way better for sales than any of these supporting processes. If any thing, it sounds like the supporting process are too ridge and need to be made more flexible. This is the first time I’ve heard it from a big company like Sony. In some ways I think it makes sense because more and more video games are an art form and art doesn’t exactly work on a schedule. It is also cutting edge innovation in many situations. The bottom line and the gaming public are better served by products that not only work, but expand expectations.

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DirectX 10 SDK updated (Feb 2006)

The DirectX10 preview has a new update available. Highlights include the cross-platform audio tool XACT, more samples, tutorials and improved multithreaded resource interfaces.

Note Direct3D 10 support is only available on Windows Vista

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Studies show that gamer’s brains work better and are more resilient to aging.

“A new study of 100 university undergraduates in Toronto has found that video gamers consistently outperform their non-playing peers in a series of tricky mental tests. If they also happened to be bilingual, they were unbeatable.”

Ironically the researcher ends the article with the typical anti-game blather: “I’d still be plenty concerned if my child played them all the time,” Prof. Bialystok said. “Sure, they’re getting better at rapid search and response problems, but I really would prefer my child read a book.”

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Source Code Search Engine

A search engine for source code called Krugle launching in March!

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