Tuesday, November 25, 2008

IE08 Keynote

I've been working on my IE08 keynote this evening despite feeling like crap with a head cold.

IE08 - or the Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment 08 - is a cross-disciplinary conference that brings together researchers from AI, audio, cognitive science, media studies, psychology, HCI, etc.

So, what am I going to speak about? Well, I'm a game developer, not an academic - so I'm going to speak from my perspective as a developer. What exactly will I say? Well, you'll have to attend to find out :-)

In other news, the Game On exhibition has opened in Brisbane. I'll be checking it out this weekend. Apparently it has a spotlight on TY the Tasmanian Tiger, a game I co-created back in 2001. It feels weird to have a game that I created on display in a museum. Weird, but cool.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Big Storms!

Sorry for the lack of updates - my home suburb, The Gap, has been ravaged by storms in the last week. In fact, we only just got our power back on yesterday.

Huge storms are something to expect in Australia, but these were pretty severe for the area where I live.

You can check out some photos of the storm here.

In game news, I've managed to play a lot of DS (only thing that works without electricity!). This includes Spore Creatures, Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir (which I finished) and My Japanese Coach.

If you're interested in learning Japanese then go out and buy My Japanese Coach right now. It's amazing what they've managed to pack into that tiny DS cartridge.

It teaches you how to write kana, has a built in dictionary and phrase book, has full voice so you can hear how to pronounce all of the words and a large number of lessons that range from basic to intermediate. I'm impressed!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Seth McFarlane

Fast Company has a great article on Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad, and a new show called The Cleveland Show.  

You either love or hate his shows (I love 'em), but you can't deny that Seth has become a powerhouse in the animation  field.

According to Fast Company, not only did Seth sign a $100 million dollar deal with Fox, but he also managed to create and retain his own IP when he did a series of animations for the google ad network while he was between contracts with Fox.  What's interesting is the comment from Dana Walden, chairman of 20th Century Fox Television about Seth's google dealings:
"In a completely perfect world he wouldn't be able to do that."
It must hurt to know that not only did Seth do it, but Fox had to pay out $100 million to bring him back into the fold to keep creating the Family Guy.

Anyway, check out the article here.  It's enlightening and inspiring.  I love to see creatives do good!

Friday, November 07, 2008

$8.45 for a bunch of pixels?

The Playstation Store in Australia has a special offer - if you own LittleBigPlanet then you can buy a special limited edition launch week T-Shirt for your Sack Boy.

This T-Shirt is a bit map image. It's not a real T-Shirt that you can wear proudly in the street, but a virtual T-Shirt with a bunch of pixels on it. And how much does it cost to download this T-Shirt with a bunch of 256x256 pixels?

Only $8.45!!! But hurry, it's limited to one week only.

Now, when I think of things like buying items for my game characters, I think of the term micro-transaction. And micro-transaction to me means micro (small) transaction (purchase) - which I equate to be a small amount of money. And a small amount of money to me is 50c, a dollar or maybe two bucks.

But EIGHT BUCKS AND FORTY FIVE CENTS? And I don't even get a real T-Shirt? Come on.

I wonder how many players will actually buy this item? Especially when it appears to be free in the US...


*Disclaimer: I have no idea what the width x height is of the bitmap image, but I do know it's just a texture that some artist whipped up :-)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

"Add It Up 2" on FB Brainiversity

I've just added a brand new game to Facebook Brainiversity - the above mentioned "Add It Up 2".

Not the most original name in the world, but it clearly communicates that this is a new version of "Add It Up", the most-played Brainiversity game on the site.

People were asking for a non-multiple choice version, and this new game delivers on that request as well as adding in some ramp up on the difficulty of the math problems to solve. Check it out here!

In other news, I'm looking for people who speak Spanish to test the Spanish version of Brainiversity. Email support@brainiversity.com if you fit the bill and would like to test the game. I don't speak Spanish, so as far as I know the translation could be totally off the mark.

It's not a paying job, but if selected you will get a credit in the game :-)