Mar 12 2011

Comparing Fish Keeping Games

Tadgh Kelly over at Simple Lifeforms, recently wrote an article suggesting that games should not be judged as simulations. Specifically, he argues that details which go unnoticed by the player are wasted effort possibly being negative effort if it impacts game engine performance. On the other side of this, what happens when the player anticipates detail that’s not present?

And on that thought, it’s time to look at three ‘fish farming’ games, Fish Farm Unlimited (iOS, raiX UG, 2010), Fish Tycoon (iOS, Last Day of Work, 2009), and FishCo (Win/Mac, Fugazo, 2008).

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Feb 26 2011

“fish!” on

Previously I had mentioned I didn’t know how to take screenshots with my iPod. Now I do! :) If you hold down the on-off button, and briefly press the button with the square on it, the screen will flash. This saves the screen-shot to your camera roll.*

iTunes however, will not sync those screenshots to your computer (or at least my computer). In fact, it won’t even acknowledge they exist except to note that .1GB (or whatever) of the iPod’s memory is now being taken up by photos. So the next step in the workflow is to go to a local bar+grill to abuse their free wireless by emailing them to myself. A wireless router is now on my hardware priority list, at about the same level as a MIDI controller.

Here’s some first examples**:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Woot!” indeed. These are from a game called “fish!”, which bills itself as a virtual aquarium. And if you need a virtual aquarium with evil robot fish and exploding mines, this may be what you’re looking for. The game does have a reasonable fluid physics model- as you move the device around the water sloshes and loose objects get carried about by the water’s movement. However, the game feels like someone was experimenting with accelerometer controls and physics modeling rather than writing a game. I probably got my $.99 worth of entertainment out of it just from it’s sheer weirdness, but I wouldn’t recommend the game to anyone.

*- I got the instructions by Googling, but I can’t now find the page I read them on, else I’d link. Sorry!

**- Screenshots get saved as .png, which is fine, but I’ve resized them and converted to .jpg for layout and web-friendliness considerations.

Feb 23 2011

Flushing Sharks

I don’t run a wireless network in my apartment- my laptop has been all over Alaska, but here in Anchorage it lives in one spot on it’s table, next to my ancient (sans-wireless) 4 port router. In fact, I’ve never had any desire to use my laptop anywhere else in my home.

A couple months ago, I received an iPod touch as a gift. I really like the device- but I think in the first day I disabled its ‘Wi-fi’ and put it in ‘Airplane’ mode so that it would stop asking me if it could connect to the 1-bar of signal, unsecured wireless networks in my neighbors’ apartments.

This was fine up until recently. But:

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