Where am I?

Other places to find me on the web

Deviant Art Linked In


Latest News from Gamecreature

Sunday, February 28, 2010


DSi One Year Later

Roughly a year ago I decided to make the move from the original Nintendo DS to the new Nintendo DSi. Okay, it hasn't actually been a year, but I think I've had the new Nintendo DSi long enough to comment on the experience.

The best thing about this new machine is the new menu system, very simular to that of the Wii, that allows you to easily move from one application to another. And unless you have a very uninteresting life and never, ever take advantage of free things, you'll soon find out how useful this is.

For one reason or another, my old DS would frequently lose the wireless signal, making even getting the smallest of updates a challenge. Fortunately this is not a problem with the new DSi. When it finds a signal, it hangs on to it until your business is done.

What's cool about this is that when I'm stuck in a game, I can save my progress, open up the internet browser, and look for hints that'll help me get past my problem - without removing my game from the slot. Admittedly, the Opera browser on the DSi is not much better than the one made available for the DS. But it's free and whenever a better one becomes available, I'll easily be able to upgrade.

Because built into the DSi menu is access to Nintendo's online store where 3-4 new applications are added each week. These little add-ons range in cost from $2 - $8 each and reside in the system's memory. In other words, there is no need to get in your car and go to the store to spend $20 or more for a new game. You can purchase it from the comfort of your home. And since it's in the system memory, you don't have to fumble for cartridges - you can just browse the selections you've added and decide what you're in the mood for at that moment.

Speaking of cartridges, the DSi does not have a port for old Nintendo Gameboy Advance games. Rather, it has a slot for an SD memory card. I've not missed the GBA slot. I've found the extra memory very useful.

The DSi also has two cameras which I've had high hopes for, but have yet to deliver. Yes, you can use the cameras in exactly the same situations you've used a cell phone for, and you can use your pictures to customize your system, etc. But I'm still waiting for a game that really takes advantage of the cameras to create a new experience. There is a clever game that uses input from the camera to sense if you're moving the unit, but I've not tried it yet.

It also has an audio system that can be used like an MP3 player, but as it relies on an audio format that would require me to manually convert all of my files, I haven't even touched it.

The bottom line is, if you don't own a DS or (like me) your old DS system is getting a bit worn out, then you'll be very happy with the new Nintendo DSi.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 15, 2010


How we make games

In the classic film Mary Poppins, the popular Nanny states:

In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job's a game.

Truer words were never spoken. Believe it or not, in every aspect of our lives, we make games. We set goals and objectives, we make rules, we congratulate ourselves when we are successful.

Case in point. When I take my dog for a walk, the dog has a habit of wanting to stop at every "interesting" stump, bush or pebble along our route - something that is counterproductive to the whole walking thing. I wondered how many steps I'd go before we'd have to stop again. And then I wanted to see what the most consecutive steps we'd take before stopping again. From there I'd have to introduce rules - what constitutes a full stop, don't "drag" the dog, etc (not that I'm the sort of person who'd do that.) So my simple chore of walking the dog became a game.

Most games we play come from such humble beginnings - goals or objectives are established (get the ball into that basket), rules are incorporated (you cannot walk and carry the ball) and boundaries are established (the game ends after a specific period of time).

The trick is how to make the game interesting so people have fun while playing it. Sure, my dog walking game is convenient as it requires no additional equipment to play while I'm walking the dog, but I'm not about to drop everything so the dog and I can go out and play the dog walking game! ;) It's a fine line.

So what are your game expereiences? Do you have a boring game that needs a little spicing up? Let me know.

Labels: , , , ,


What's New

This Week's Comic


(Click to view full size!)

Latest Games

The Walking Dog Game Crazy Quilt Game Burger Builder Game Garbage Run Game Humpty Dumpty Game Critter Crunch Game


July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   August 2009   October 2009   February 2010   March 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   October 2010   November 2010   December 2010   January 2011   February 2011   May 2011   July 2011   September 2011   October 2011  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]