Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Paper Mario

The Wii shop is a great place to find a lot of gaming gems that I missed the first time around.

I picked up the N64 version of Paper Mario for 1000 points last week and have been having a blast playing it! It's such a cool game and looks great given its age.

I was originally going to buy Resident Evil 4 on the Wii (I missed playing it the first time around too) but I figured Paper Mario was a better choice as I can play this with my daughter. And I'm glad to say I made the right choice as she loves to join in and play "Mario Stars" as she calls it.

With a bunch of cool games coming out in the next 6 months things are looking great for the Wii.

I'm really looking forward to Mario Galaxy - the idea of letting a second player use the controller to freeze enemies is great - this could be an awesome way to play games with my kids.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Making Games on the Cheap

I've written an article for PC Powerplay magazine detailing how you can make games on a shoestring budget. I use Brainiversity as an example of how you can use a number of inexpensive or free development tools to build your game.

The article is in Issue#42 of PC Powerplay magazine and should be available in all fine Australian newsagents from today!

Details on the latest issue can be found here at the PC Powerplay site.

I hope this inspires more people to make games. Often the hardest thing to getting started is knowing how to do it and what tools the "professionals" use. Once you know it can be done its a lot easier to do it yourself.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Back in Oz!

Woo hoo! I have returned from Seattle.

The trip was awesome and the people I met at Casual Connect were great. As I mentioned before the vibe at the show was very different to E3 and GDC, it was a smaller, more intimate event, super well organized, and the information was excellent.

But, it's great to be back with Leigh, Ella and Zac. I brought back lots of cool stuff for the family - however I had to wait a day to give it to them as my luggage decided to stay an extra night in Los Angeles! I was a little worried as I had packed my laptop and most of the cool stuff I got in my bags and had very little with me as carry on. But all worked out well in the end and Ella and Zac have their Bookworms and Chuzzles :-)

I've got a lot of stuff to do now that I'm home, mostly in regards to Brainiversity, which seems to be doing very well (touch wood!) - so that should keep me busy until the weekend. Then I will begin the Flash version of some of the activities - first up will probably be "Add It Up". So you can look forward to playing this cool game in your browser sometime soon.

In the meantime, if you haven't checked out Brainiversity, then download it from here.



Friday, July 20, 2007

The Show's Over Folks!

After days of going to bed very late and getting up very early I managed to sleep in this morning. Which was a good thing because by the time I visited the local Borders book store the throng of Harry Potter fans had been and gone!

And no, I didn't pick up the latest Harry Potter. I've got to read the last two books yet. I did manage to pick up a book on Flash (so expect a web version of Brainiversity) and the latest copy of Edge game magazine which I will read at my leisure while feasting on Seattle's finest pizza tonight. Ah, it's good to relax.

I've been constantly in touch with Leigh, Ella and Zac which has made the trip a lot easier - and I have plenty of show schwag for the kids including a stuffed Lex from PopCap's Book Worm, a chuzzle, a pink NeoPet dragon, a magnet man from Reflexive and a whole lot of other goodies.

In other news, Brainiversity is up on Oberon - so check it out here:

Well, I gotta go, I think the pizza has arrived!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sleepless In Seattle

Today was the second day of the Casual Connect conference. Only one more day to go and it's all over for the year. So to celebrate the awesomeness that is Casual Connect I went out and partied!

First up was the very cool PopCap party at a swanky night club. I managed to get my photo taken in a pool of Chuzzles with fellow Aussie Darren Baker. I may post the photo sometime soon.

Then we headed over to the Seattle Museum for the Mumbo Jumbo party. Memphis Radio Kings were playing and they did a great rendition of Prince's Purple Rain. Charlie and Tim (lead singer and guitarist) mixed it with the crowd and were really nice guys - plus Tim knew who Rodney Rude was!

The conference itself has been a blast. I've learned heaps about the casual games industry with a lot of knowledge that can be applied to the casual and core gamer markets. And the vibe at the conference is really nice and quite different to GDC or E3 (the old one) - everyone is laid back and approachable, and there's a real sense of community amongst the developers.

I can only imagine that this is what GDC must have felt like all those years ago when it first began.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Off To Seattle

I'll be heading off to the USA tomorrow to attend the Casual Connect conference in Seattle. There are lots of really cool sessions and some great speakers - so I'm looking forward to learning heaps while I'm there.

I'm going to miss Leigh, Ella and Zac - but luckily I've got Skype so we'll be in touch a lot - and I'm only gone for a week.

I have my iPod loaded up with some cool music that I got for my birthday, including the new Prince album, Planet Earth and the new Crowded House album, Time on Earth. Hmmm, Earth seems to be a common theme...

I also got The Making of Star Wars - an awesome book that is sadly too big to take with me. I'll be reading it as soon as I get back!

I also got a lot of other cool stuff for my birthday - the trip to Seattle from my wife being the biggie - but I got some authentic Sake and serving cups, a bottle of butterscotch Schnaps, some scratchies, a Robot Chicken DVD, chocolate, a cool shirt, a gift voucher and some video games. But best of all I got to have an awesome night out with some close friends.

Well, I have to go pack. See you after Seattle!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Brainiversity Out Now!

I'm proud to announce that Brainiversity is complete and available for download right now!

For the uninitiated, Brainiversity is a brain training style of game. It has 16 unique brain activities covering Language, Math, Analysis and Memory, a Daily Exam mode and a Chart function to record your results every day - plus a host of other cool features.

You can find out more from the official Brainiversity web site.

In other news, I'll be attending the Casual Connect conference in Seattle next week. It's actually a birthday present from my wife, which would have to be one of the coolest presents ever. The show will make a welcome change to the yearly E3 pilgrimage I used to make!

Well, enough chit-chat, go and download Brainiversity right away!


Saturday, July 07, 2007

More Brain Age/Training

Today I picked up More Brain Training (as it's known here in Australia). As a fan of this genre I was curious to see what Nintendo had done to improve the formula over the last game.

I've only just started to play, so I can't really comment on the content - but one thing that did surprise me is that it's pretty much the same shell as the previous game - even down to the same visual look of the menus.

I wonder how much it cost Nintendo to produce?


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ah, Club Nintendo, I Wish I Could Join You!

Because then I could get this super cool game (which Insert Credit has translated the name as Zekkyo Senshi Sakebrain):

Click on the above image to go to the Nintendo site and play the video - you'll see why its so cool!

Basically, it's a multi-player Power Ranger type game where you play with friends via WiFi - but it's voice activated.

That's right, you get to shout a command in order to transform into your character - then join your friends to defeat bad guys - all the while shouting "Punch!" and "Kick!" into the DS microphone.

At least, that's what I think it's all about. My Japanese isn't that hot.

It's available for just 500 points... but only if you live in Japan.

Here's hoping they release it for retail in the West. I know I'd buy it!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Brainiversity Reschedule

Brainiversity has been rescheduled for a July 8th launch - which is less than a week away. So keep your eyes peeled. I'll post links to the sites when they're available.

By the way, Gamasutra has published The History of Zork - a good read if you're a fan of interactive fiction. What I loved about the old Infocom adventure games was the huge variety of genres they covered including romance and pirates (Plundered Hearts), fantasy (Enchanter), detectives (Deadline), sci-fi (Planetfall), circuses (Ballyhoo) and comedy (Bureaucracy).

And they had the best packaging ever!