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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Mar 08 2011

Call me Turok.

(This and the look at fish games which is still just a collection of notes, and then I’ll get back to development stuff. I happened to pick this game up a couple weeks ago while the full version was free…)

It makes me a heretic of sorts, but I live in Alaska and don’t hunt.  Still, it’s clearly an activity which demands skill and knowledge, from which many people derive great enjoyment, obtain benefits such as meat and physical exercise, encourages wilderness conservation, etc.

Enjoyable activities which require skill and knowledge ought to translate well into good games. Tatem Games, the developers of Carnivore: Dinosaur Hunter (CDH from here on) appear to get this:

“Q: I want to stab dinos with knife and see a lot of blood!

A: Carnivores series are strategic hunting games, not regular shooters. We are not going to include more violent scenes, letting you drive pleasure from exploration and tactics that you use to hunt rather than from seeing poor creatures dying.”
(Carnivore: Dinosaur Hunter FAQ, copy paste)

CDH as a hunting simulation and as a game, gets a lot of things right, and at least one thing wrong. Let’s take a look at it.

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Feb 13 2011

Throwing Paper Airplanes

This piece has nothing to do with anything I’m working on. :)

I happened to get an iPod Touch for Christmas, and I seem to be using it more as a hand-held gaming device than as an mp3 player. Of course, I still play flash games as well! I’d like to compare and contrast Paper Glider (iOS, Neonplay,2010) to Flight (Flash, Armor Games/Krin,2010) and Paper Plane (Flash,Amnesia/advergame for Microsoft Flight Simulator X,2006).

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Dec 24 2009

Losing is Fun! (Dwarf Fortress)

As a sideshow to my real job, I recently acquired an “Enterprise” level project which really needs to get some attention. However, my productivity has been nil for the past week thanks to Dwarf Fortress.
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Sep 13 2009

Positech Games does not release Gratuitous Space Battles

… but they’re taking pre-orders, and a pre-order gets you entry to the open beta. :)

Gratuitous Space Battles (GSB) is the most recent game being developed by Cliff Harris (Positech Games), a one man development studio (contracting out gfx, sfx, and music) in somewhere in England which produces strategy games for the Win/Mac platforms. Despite a fairly extensive pre-release marketing campaign which included gameplay videos and blog posts discussing the development which had me excited to play the game, and despite having purchased 3 games from Positech in the past, and despite following a discussion about pre-release pricing… I somehow failed to notice that pre-orders were being taken. :( Fortunately, I happened to stumble onto Positech’s site looking at an unrelated application, and decided to check to see what the status on GSB was.

It’s not my intention to turn this blog into a review site, but September is looking pretty sparse. I also think that there is an overlap between the Flash gaming community and the Win/Mac/Linux indie gaming community, but visitors to my site are not necessarily visitors to the various Win/Mac/Linux game developer sites which is where I had become interested in GSB. So if you haven’t heard about the game, read on.. Read more »