September 2010

The tremendously successful ‘tower defense’ hybrid Plants vs. Zombies isn’t the first Popcap game to make the transition from the PC to Xbox Live Arcade.

But while both Peggle and Zuma had control schemes that lent themselves naturally to an analog control stick, senior producer Matt Johnston says the team behind the Xbox 360 version of Plants vs. Zombies ran into some trouble converting the mouse-centric game to the Xbox 360.

“Taking this particular game, a game designed around mouse clicks, and bringing it over to the game pad was something I was worried about at the beginning of the process,” Johnston told Gamasutra as part of an in-depth interview on the George Fan-designed game’s console conversion.

(full article)

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why Apple doesn’t just go the Android route and allow any app written by some yahoo with a developer account onto its iOS devices. Apple has an interest in guaranteeing that the apps it allows its users to download won’t be destructive, unusable, or misrepresentative of Apple or any other companies or entities.

The majority of Apple’s newly-revealed App Store Review Guidelines, which deal with these kinds of issues, are perfectly understandable.

But like so many other content reviewers before them, Apple has taken this little bit of reasonable restrictive power and extended it to unreasonable levels.

The company’s App Store Review Guidelines have the air of soundness and comprehensiveness about them, but the seven-page document is full of hypocritical, inconsistent and vague restrictions that limit App developers’ rights to free expression.

(full article)

Press A to jump. Press the right trigger to shoot. Press X to reload. The standard button mapping for most video games is just so… so… boring.
Video games are all about doing amazing, epic, over-the-top stuff, bt too often you have to press a whole mess of buttons or execute a long string of commands to get that awesome stuff to happen. Where are the controller commands that put epic awesomeness at your fingertips? Where are the games that make doing amazing stuff as simple as pressing a button?
Well, actually, they’re right here after the break.

(full article)

Indie games have had a major presence on the major American digital distribution channels for a while now. But indie games from Japan are a bit harder to find on these services, with companies like Rockin’ Android localizing shooters for PC and PSN, but very little support for indie RPGs.

A pair of independent American localizers are setting out to change that state of affairs, however, by forming a new company, Carpe Fulgur, focused on bringing relatively complex doujin (Japanese indie games) to English-speaking audiences.

(full article)

There’s something about the physics or Mario games that has been hard-wired into our collective gaming brains. At this point, every gamer just kind of knows how Mario is supposed to act, given the physics of his world. So when rushed programming of sloppy edge cases change those physics, the result is a little surreal — like seeing a childhood friend all grown up, or watching pornography starring favorite cartoon characters from your youth. Not that we’ve ever done either of those things.
Anyway, enjoy the videos…
(full article)

To this point in gaming history, gamers who’ve wanted to dance like Michael Jackson have had to settle for mimicking his moves with timed button presses in Space Channel 5 or kicking and jiving their way through generic bad guys in the beat-’em-up classic Moonwalker. But this holiday season, Ubisoft is cashing in on the late king of pop’s name and the resurgent popularity of motion controls to bring us what the game’s International Brand Manager Felicia Williams calls “an authentic dancing experience … you are going to dance like Michael Jackson.”

(full article)

Given the PlayStation Move’s visual similarities to a sort of futuristic magic wand, it’s perhaps not that surprising that one of the first Move games Sony showed at its E3 2010 press conference used the device to cast spells. At that first live demo of Sorcery, The Workshop Chief Creative Officer Christian Busic promised the game would provide “the grail of development: a total sense of immersion” with “the kind of fidelity … that isn’t possible with any other kind of motion control.” I’m not sure if I’d go that far, but the Playtation Move controller was definitely integral to my enjoyable time with a short, roughly 20% complete demo of Sorcery shown at Gamescom.

(full story)