Snowball Fight for iOS and Android

I’m pleased to announce a game we’ve been working on is finally out. A collaboration between The Creation Agency and Bitmode, we bring you The Great Snowball Fight!The game is played over Google Maps, launching virtual snowballs at unsuspecting p…

I’m pleased to announce a game we’ve been working on is now out. A collaboration between The Creation Agency and Bitmode (my previous home), we bring you The Great Snowball Fight!

Snowball Fight

The game is played over Google Maps, launching virtual snowballs at unsuspecting players in order to rank up, earn points and even win prizes from retailers you hit. You can also add buddies, connect via Facebook and receive special powerups.

Utilising Flash with AIR 3 and native extensions, we were able to build a game for iOS, Android and also PC. The game uses native extensions for deeper platform integration, such as the compass sensor or push notifications, as well as GPS to pin-point your location.

Head on over to the site to download the game and get throwing some snowballs!

Update: See comments for iOS compass extension source.

Unity(3D) Game Development Essentials [Book]

I’ve just been told Packt has released their Unity3D book “Unity Game Development Essentials” by Will Goldstone, I think I first saw this on the author’s own site learnunity3d.com site when Packt released the RAW edition (similar to Safari’s Roughcuts).…

I’ve just been told Packt has released their Unity3D book “Unity Game Development Essentials” by Will Goldstone, I think I first saw this on the author’s own site learnunity3d.com site when Packt released the RAW edition (similar to Safari’s Roughcuts).

Unity Game Developement Essentials

They are kindly sending a copy so I’ll have a review on here shortly, but for now there’s a sample chapter PDF download here.

New Monkey Island Game

The Monkey Island games were something of a cult phenomenon, certainly back when I was at school, even though the first two were already retro at that time, I think that just added to their charm. Easily one of the best point-and-click adventures of all…

The Monkey Island games were something of a cult phenomenon, certainly back when I was at school, even though the first two were already retro at that time, I think that just added to their charm. Easily one of the best point-and-click adventures of all time.

The Secret of Monkey Island and The Curse of Monkey Island: Le Chuck’s Revenge were VGA masterpieces. The story and humor absolutely first class. The later upgraded 2D and then 3D sequels still hold a candle to the originals, but the news is there’s a new episodic Monkey Island coming out, and a remake of the original to boot.

So if you haven’t enjoyed the satirical humor of the first Monkey Island, here’s your chance to in new-fangled, more-than-10-color, super-mega-vga style without having to resort to the ScummVM emulator.

It’s fair to say I’m barely a gamer now, but I’m off to pre-order this one…

http://www.worldofmi.com/

Rockstar to Offer Flash Game Counterpart to GTA for Money Laundering

Console games, popular. Flash (browser) games, popular. Combining the two, winning combination.Flash games have made the leap to consoles several times, from full on ports like Alien Hominid, to Xbox live arcade titles, to Wii browser games. But one…

Console games, popular. Flash (browser) games, popular. Combining the two, winning combination.

Flash games have made the leap to consoles several times, from full on ports like Alien Hominid, to Xbox live arcade titles, to Wii browser games. But one idea from Rockstar (creators of GTA), sees gamers laundering money and unlocking stuff for their Nintendo DS copy of GTA: Chinatown Wars.

Another sign of convergence perhaps, where data and services related to a product are made available remotely, or even in the Cloud. Ultimately for Rockstar it means more player time in the GTA universe when their customers are not able to be on their consoles, or perhaps simply a change of scenery.

I’m pretty sure there are other games that have done similar crossovers, but not to this extent. The crossover need not be from virtual to virtual as trading card-based video games have shown. But Flash is becoming such a good tool for creating connected games it’d be easy to say we’ll see more of this sort of partnership in future, perhaps the balance will also tilt in the other direction as the concept of a games console runs its course or evolves* and the power of these “web technologies” really blur the lines.

Link to the article at Develop Mag.

(*I always think back to video game arcades when I think about the future of gaming consoles. In Japan I hear they still have cutting edge games in arcades. In England this has not been true since the release of the Playstation. The games you find in the majority of arcades for £1 a play are Sega Rally 2, House of the Dead, fruit machines and other golden oldies.

There are a few arcades here and there with new versions of Time Crisis and such, but the majority of games have the telltale green magnetic interference and fuzz on their bulky old screens that accompanies age. The arcade was killed by the balance between fun, cost, quality and complexity. Arcade games may have had marginally superior fun and quality, but the cost can make you settle for something else and the complexity of modern games made you weary to waste money just to learn how to play – “attract mode” FAIL. The future of gaming consoles will be killed by an equally ruthless brute-force approach in the guise of convergence and the web.)

Achron – Meta/Real-time Strategy Game

I rarely blog about gaming, probably because I rarely game, but occasionally something is so extraordinary it grabs my attention.I caught a video over at Offworld that demonstrates a new real-time strategy game. The twist is that you can both view an…

I rarely blog about gaming, probably because I rarely game, but occasionally something is so extraordinary it grabs my attention.

I caught a video over at Offworld that demonstrates a new real-time strategy game. The twist is that you can both view and interact with the events in the past, present and future (interacting in the past costing a new type of resource).

Here’s the video, it may appear confusing at first but he is demonstrating advanced tactics. This shows the player being attacked in the past by an opponent who is changing history.
Continue reading “Achron – Meta/Real-time Strategy Game”

OnLive – The Future of Home Gaming & Media: Video Demo

Maybe a sensational headline, but it’s no secret in previous posts I have said that I’d “bet the farm” on subscription based services completely overthrowing traditional media consumption in the next few years so this service has really caught my attenti…

Maybe a sensational headline, but it’s no secret in previous posts I have said that I’d “bet the farm” on subscription based services completely overthrowing traditional media consumption in the next few years so this service has really caught my attention.

One of the earliest mainstream examples of this kind of unlimited subscription media probably being Nokia Comes with Music, some years ago now. Well, music is one thing, and video took a little longer, but Netflix, XBox and AppleTV show that’s well and truly “solved”, but what about gaming? Gaming of course relies entirely on reaction times, and on modern consoles runs in higher resolutions than even movies.
Continue reading “OnLive – The Future of Home Gaming & Media: Video Demo”

User Generated Gaming Comes to XBOX 360 – Kodu

I don’t think there’s anyone un-impressed by Little Big Planet for the Playstation 3. It’s genre defining in a throw-a-million-cycles-at-physics-and-build-anything sort of way. Alas, I’m not a PS3 owner as I rarely game at all, but I’m glad to see someth…

I don’t think there’s anyone un-impressed by Little Big Planet for the Playstation 3. It’s genre defining in a throw-a-million-cycles-at-physics-and-build-anything sort of way. Alas, I’m not a PS3 owner as I rarely game at all, but I’m glad to see something similar coming to Xbox, this one perhaps leaning towards Boom Blox. This used to be known as Boku, now Kodu.

I think this game is aimed at kids, not quite as grown up as LBP, but it seems to have a lot of potential, with a built in “building block” programming element. You have access to particle emitters, collision detection, spawning of objects, scripted movement and counting, the basics required for remaking almost any 8-bit gaming classic 😉

Here’s a YouTube video showing some of the features:

There’s also a video showing a 12 year old girl rapidly running through how she made her little 2 player game. I must admit this second video from CES 2009 makes it look a little less impressive, and emphasizes the kid game aspect. But with XBox Live the possibility for downloads and expansion adds some interest.

Interestingly this appears to be a labelled a “community” title, that’s akin to homebrew, developed by someone with a $99 XNA Game Studio (which also provides you access to everyone elses projects), but selected community titles such as this are accessible to everyone one via XBox Live Arcade for a small price. However the Microsoft Research branding on the first video belies this moniker.

The popularity of user generated content online is manifesting itself in all areas of life where technology can either make things easier directly, or bring people together to stand on eachothers shoulders in order to do the same. It’s a pretty positive shift in computing and seemingly a great way to squeeze maximum value out of a product which makes it a win-win in my eyes. There’s no signs of a social aspect to this game bar local multiplayer but I would hope there is an XBL element to it.

Via Abe.

Meta4orce – Papervision Site for the BBC

I just caught this site via the blog of Iain Lobb (head of interactive at Bloc Media) who commented on my last post. It’s an incredibly slick site developed using the Great White branch of Papervision3D. The site is (for) a TV and online cartoon series,…

I just caught this site via the blog of Iain Lobb (head of interactive at Bloc Media) who commented on my last post. It’s an incredibly slick site developed using the Great White branch of Papervision3D. The site is (for) a TV and online cartoon series, providing a nice cross media experience.

The main things that stood out for me were the production quality of the games and the audio which is very high quality and just as importantly, very well integrated.

Shock to the System

There’s a game for each episode, the “Shock to the System” game is the last item in the Episode 2 menu, and reminds me somewhat of Tron. (Speaking of which, Tron 2 looks like a must see!).

You can read more about the development of the site over at Iain’s blog. Congratulations on the great work.

Unity3D on the Wii Now Official

Unity 3D, a high-end game development tool for web, desktop and soon the iPhone has announced they are now an official middleware provider for Wii. From the site: Unity’s game engine allows developers to create, modify and iterate on Wii gam…

Unity 3D, a high-end game development tool for web, desktop and soon the iPhone has announced they are now an official middleware provider for Wii.

Unity on Wii

From the site:

Unity’s game engine allows developers to create, modify and iterate on Wii game functionality with the following features:

  • Live Preview: The play button allows developers to instantly preview their game inside the authoring environment exactly as it currently exists, regardless of the development phase. Users can modify any object’s properties and see the results in real-time without pausing.
  • Scriptable Controller: Simple, straightforward, fully-featured Wii Remote scripting class lets developers read data from the Wii Remote controller, Nunchuck controller, and Classic Controller effortlessly.
  • Optimized Character Animation: Developers can create characters without special exports, imports, or modifications required. Files drop easily into Unity and the characters come to life with full animation on Wii hardware.
  • Scriptable Shaders: Unity’s ShaderLab system has been expanded to leverage the full power of the Wii graphics chip. Developers can use one of the built-in shaders optimized for Wii or write their own. They can script and modify any shader on any object.
  • Click to Publish: Developers can easily run their game on their Wii development kit, building it with one click.

Read the press release.

Nonoba – Free Flash Multi-User Server, API, Hosting and $20,000 Competition

I’ve just received an email from Nonoba with information on their new multi-user offering, which includes an AS2 and AS3 API, but what I find particularly interesting is that they also include free hosting and execution of your game logic.

The aim app…

I’ve just received an email from Nonoba with information on their new multi-user offering, which includes an AS2 and AS3 API, but what I find particularly interesting is that they also include free hosting and execution of your game logic.

The aim appears to be to lower the barrier to entry for anyone wishing to create a multi-user game. These can include turn-based, or real-time games. They currently have some demos up on the site, and these include Nonoba Racer, Fridge Magnets, Multiplayer Asteroids and DrawPad.

Finally they are holding a $20,000 USD competition, with a first prize of $15,000 for the best game built on the new API.

Sign up for the beta here.

More information on the APIs here.

Nonoba