Dreamcast and Playstation 2: Leaps and Bounds

Here are two theories about why the SEGA Dreamcast failed. The first of which is wholly inaccurate. Yes, the Dreamcast’s GD-ROM format (basically CDs with custom headers) was prone to piracy, but so is the Nintendo DS (more so, thanks to a combination of today’s easy file dissemination, broadband penetration, and the DS’s relative small files sizes, none of which really applied to the Dreamcast back in the early 2000s) and it’s the biggest success of this generation. What I…

> READ THE REST…

Deep Green

I bought the chess app Deep Green for the iPod last week. It’s a very good, well designed chess application but I’m having a hard time saying anything beyond that: I’m not very good at chess. As a child, I never played much of it. Sure, we had a chessboard but by the time I was old enough to grasp the intricacies of chess and graduate from “checkers”, I was already enraptured by Mario’s adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom. In…

> READ THE REST…

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Easy solution. The great thing about Kloonigames‘ Crayon Physics Deluxe is that it’s very non-authoritarian in its design. What I mean by this is that it offers you the tools you need to solve a problem (move the red ball to the gold star,) and it nudges you in the right direction, but it never forces you to do exactly what the game designer wanted you to do. A lot of puzzle games (and especially some adventure games) tend to…

> READ THE REST…

“Edge” for the iDevice

Without hesitation, I have to say that Mobigames’ “Edge” (iTunes link) is my favourite iPod/iPhone game yet. It: looks great, with a very minimalist aesthetic; sounds terrific[1]; has lots of original music; has good controls; is altogether well designed; has a novel mechanic and is perfectly suited to the device it’s on. When I first heard of the game I thought it was one of those spatial puzzles, like new PSN game Cuboid, that’s been done many times over since…

> READ THE REST…

One Day Game Prototype, Flash Actionscript

Adobe Flash is like the mafia to me: just when I think I’m out, it pulls me back in. This is the “problem” with doing something for so long (eight years this month[1],) you get good at it and then you get known for it. Well, it’s a “problem” for me because I like to diversify. For years I was the “flash guy” and it’s a title that’s become hard to avoid, especially when there are bills to pay. Or…

> READ THE REST…

DigiPen and I

No, I never did go to the DigiPen Institute of Technology, but I had considered it. I remember reading an article about the school back in the mid 1990s, not long after it opened, in either Nintendo Power or EGM. It was mind-blowing for me at the time: I can do post-secondary education at a school specifically doing game design on Nintendo hardware? Best of all, the school was located in Canada? Sign me up. I had thought about trying…

> READ THE REST…

My Year in Photos: The Second Half

Also known as: “The more photogenic half.” (Part One here.) Big pictures follow:

> READ THE REST…

My Year in Photos: The First Half

One of the best weblogs to emerge this year was kokogiak‘s The Big Picture. I was pleased to see it get the go ahead from legal because it was a risky venture for a major publication (if you don’t believe me, risk your sanity venturing into the comments of any post.) The large scale photos brought a new perspective to world events and brightly highlighted others that were not always reported. Alan Taylor’s curatorial duties have been excellent and as…

> READ THE REST…

My Year In Videogames

Cities This has very much been a year of cities for me, so it’s fitting that my numerous explorations of urban streets were bookended by my visits to Liberty City and Paradise City. These two locations have seen enough carnage and destruction to fill a war, but they continue to stand, undisturbed, ready for more. As far as games go, I’ve had more fun in those places than any other virtual environment. It is one of the emerging threads in…

> READ THE REST…

Yur-Gaming

As I mentioned in my two reports (part one, part two), Essen Spiel had more than just boardgames and LARP gear: it had some videogame content too. These came in the form of retailers selling their games or the occasional licensed products based on boardgames. There was one exception: an entire, new videogame console! The Yuraku Yur-Gaming V-MAX32. A couple extra photos can be found in my Flickr stream There’s not much to say about products like this. Like the…

> READ THE REST…

Dubmood Live at Kafe44 Stockholm

Here’s something for your ears. Get yourself a blender and throw in: French electro dancefloor sensibilities; a dash of The Prodigy, The Knife, Daft Punk; a barrage of GameBoys. Mix together for 93 minutes. Serve with a free download (direct link to 110MB zip file.) Dubmood’s stellar chiptune-infused dance mix can be found on Data Airlines’ site (just search for a post from October 25th 2008. I’d link to the individual entry but, well, you see.) It’s high-energy music perfectly…

> READ THE REST…

Writing About Games is Easy; Writing About Music is Hard

The topics that I write about tend to be, more often than not, game centric. There was no overt decision to focus on this topic on this here weblog[1], it is simply what I know best. Hell, when I started this by creating an account on Blogger I wasn’t even that much of a gamer. Back then, fresh out of high school and in my first (and only complete) year of university, I was a mere dabbler. I had no…

> READ THE REST…

GOTY 08

Idle Thumbs is currently taking nominations for Gamse [sic] of the Year at the not-so-subtle GOTY.cx (the little wedding ring on the flourish, however, is quite subtle.) I emailed my nomination last week but it wasn’t entirely lucid so I won’t be quoting it here. Maybe I can look forward to them reading it out loud on the podcast next week! Hopefully not. My pick was: Civilization Revolutions for the DS. My impressions of the game from September are part…

> READ THE REST…