Posts made in August, 2011

Game Development: Time for New Tricks?

Game Development: Time for New Tricks?

If any of us care to think back to our high school careers, we can probably remember learning about the form and function of a “Skinner Box.” Just in case your personal lesson was given while you were sleepily digesting lunch or making an emergency trip to the smoke hole, here’s a reminder: A Skinner Box, invented by behaviorist B.F. Skinner, is a conditioning chamber that’s used in laboratories to study the reactions of small animals as...

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Does Duke Nukem Have a Future?

Does Duke Nukem Have a Future?

When Duke Nukem Forever finally gathered its strength and pulled itself out of development hell (you could practically hear the muck sucking from the Duke’s boots), we were all intrigued, if not a little bit excited. We tidied up and put a few brewskis in the fridge, and anticipated the return of a rowdy old acquaintance. Well, Duke arrived, and within half an hour of our reunion, most of us were blushing, shifting uncomfortably, and gripping our warming cans...

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PlayStation Vita: Dead From the Start?

PlayStation Vita: Dead From the Start?

The Nintendo 3DS price cut indicates that the handheld gaming market is being pitched around in stormy seas. And though the market isn’t exactly going to capsize tomorrow, some analysts beg to differ. Lyle Hall and Matthew Seymour at Heavy Iron Studios (the studio behind UFC Personal Trainer) told Gamesindustry.biz that the upcoming launch of the PlayStation Vita may prove to be “a car wreck,” as the Nintendo 3DS’s slow start indicates...

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Can GameFly’s Digital Downloads Work?

Can GameFly’s Digital Downloads Work?

The very idea of renting games through the mail is a weird one, but it didn’t take long for GameFly’s mail-based game rental service to tear a few mouthfuls out of Blockbuster, the former king of temporary video game ownership. Going digital is a logical move for GameFly, and indeed, the rental service will be offering downloadable alternatives for clients who’d rather not mess with mailboxes. According to GameFly co-founder Sean Spector,...

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Consumers vs. Creators: When Fans Collide

Consumers vs. Creators: When Fans Collide

The balance between creative expression and garnering profit for survival’s sake is a delicate dance as far as the games industry is concerned. Unfortunately, this summer’s dance has not been a favorable experience for long-time fans of Nintendo and Capcom. The two veteran companies have let down their supporters in big ways in the past month, to the point that it’s important for everyone to take a step back and reconsider what it means to be a...

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Automatic 3DS Downloads: A Good Idea?

Automatic 3DS Downloads: A Good Idea?

There was a time when turning on a game system without plugging a cartridge into it first would yield an ominous black void on the television screen, and nothing more. Those days are long gone, lost in a modern era featuring downloadable demos, built-in Internet browsers, social media options, and much, much more. Whereas the game console once served a single purpose, now our systems are arguably the busiest appliance in the house. That goes double for portable...

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Xbox Next: Do the Graphics Matter?

Xbox Next: Do the Graphics Matter?

No matter how old you are, and no matter what level of professionalism you operate at in the game industry, there is still a little kid inside of you who reacts to new system announcements with: “Well, can it do cool graphics?” Indeed, the Internet has been wondering the very same about Microsoft’s next Xbox (or “Xbox Next,” or “NextBox,” or “Xbox 720,” if you like). Chip manufacturer AMD is not...

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Do FPS Games Really Need to Innovate?

Do FPS Games Really Need to Innovate?

Creativity is always at odds with the bottom line, and nowhere is the struggle between expression and profit more fierce than within the games industry. For instance, the first-person shooter genre comes under a lot of fire from the gaming community for its seeming lack of creativity, but said games sell well, are popular, and often rate positively with critics upon release. Studios need money to operate, but is the trade-off of stagnation worth it? John Carmack,...

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PlayStation 3: A Second Place Finish

PlayStation 3: A Second Place Finish

Sony and Microsoft have been very slow to show their hands for the upcoming console generation, but we may as well shrug and declare the winner for this generation: Nintendo. The Wii demolished the sales charts over the months and years of its existence, and even though its longevity leaves a lot to be desired, neither the Xbox 360 nor the PlayStation 3 is likely to catch up before the Wii U hits the market and the next console generation officially begins. So...

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3DS Ambassador Program a Joke?

3DS Ambassador Program a Joke?

Woe to the early tech adopter. One would think that, by now, we’d know better than to fight to be first in line for a piece of hardware of software. Sure, we get bragging rights, and we get to bask in the thrill that comes with being amongst the first to grab a newborn piece of technology. We essentially become pioneers. Alas, pioneers often got snake-bit, and early tech adopters also know the sting of a misstep. Inevitably, early adopters subject themselves...

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