Posts made in October, 2011

5 Reasons Wii U Will Fail

5 Reasons Wii U Will Fail

Nintendo unveiled the Wii U at E3 2011, and will presumably be unleashing the final build of the system in late 2012. It’s all very exciting stuff for Nintendo fans, but there’s a lot about the system that’s still a gigantic question mark. For instance, Nintendo allowed the Wii to sputter at the end of its life instead of having the system go out with the explosion of triple-A titles that normally escort every console into obsolescence. Will...

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Lessons Developers Can Learn From Angry Birds

Lessons Developers Can Learn From Angry Birds

If smartphone gaming had a mascot, it would be a bird. Bird-themed games are hot on the App Store–hotter than the innards of a roasted turkey (we’ll knock off the metaphors). With over 350 million downloads since hatching (sorry) in 2009, Angry Birds isn’t only the most successful bird-themed game on the App Store; it’s amongst the App Store’s most popular games, period, and is still held up as an example that runaway financial and...

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Top 5 Social Games: Racing, Simulation, Kids, Family

Top 5 Social Games: Racing, Simulation, Kids, Family

There are hundreds of free social games available on the internet, and they span a multitude of genres, which makes finding a place to start a bit intimidating. The second half of our guide to the best social games will help you get a handle on games for Facebook and other social networks by listing the best available entries in the Racing/Sports genre, the Simulation genre, and the Family/Kids genre. TOP 5 CAR/RACING/SPORTS SOCIAL GAMES Car Town — If you...

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5 Best Social Games: Action, Adventure, Classic

5 Best Social Games: Action, Adventure, Classic

Social games are fecund animals: they’re everywhere, they’re readily available, they’re generally free to play, and they would love your company. However, despite persistent rumors to the contrary, not all social games are created equal. There are hundreds of entries in dozens of categories, including Adventure, Arcade, Simulation, Strategy, Racing, Family, Board Games, and more. Interested in getting into social games, but have no idea where to...

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5 Lessons Developers Can Learn from Zynga’s Success

5 Lessons Developers Can Learn from Zynga’s Success

Nobody really needs the aid of statistics to convince themselves of the popularity of social gaming, but Raptr, a social network dedicated to gamers of all kinds, went ahead and published a breakdown of how much playtime social games get next to more traditional fare. The verdict? Zynga’s “-Ville” games (FarmVille, PetVille, CityVille, FrontierVille) see far more playing time than social gaming’s remaining Top Ten put together. In fact,...

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Social Games: The Past, Present, and Future

Social Games: The Past, Present, and Future

The concept of “social games” is not a brand new idea that came tumbling in with Facebook. Rather, the term social game references communication, which is at the very core of most of the games humanity has played since the beginning of time. In other words, a social game is a game that involves socialization of any kind, and that includes card games, board games, dice games, video games and more. But our modern usage of the term almost exclusively...

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Can ‘CityVille’ Thrive on Google+?

Can ‘CityVille’ Thrive on Google+?

When a city is built, urban sprawl inevitably follows. The same holds true in the digital realm: Zynga’s CityVille, which sprung up on Facebook late last year, recently put down roots in Google+ as well. It’s an interesting move for Zynga, which typically stables its social games on Facebook thanks in part to a long-term contract that states FarmVille will remain on the network until 2015. A change in scenery won’t hurt Zynga, however. Despite the...

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Do Free Games Have a Place in the Classroom?

Do Free Games Have a Place in the Classroom?

Presented for your consideration: the world’s easiest question. Would school-age children be more interested in their education if video games were involved? Yes or yes? Earlier in September, Valve made its world-famous puzzle game, Portal, free to download for a limited amount of time. It’s Valve’s hope that the game will see widespread use in classrooms. After all, Portal‘s brain teasers revolve primarily around physics, and students tend...

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The Future of Game Development: Fan Funding?

The Future of Game Development: Fan Funding?

Whenever you hear the acronym “WMD,” you probably already have a preconceived notion of what it stands for, and chances are good that notion recalls the 2003 war in Iraq. Slightly Mad, the game studio behind Need for Speed: Shift hopes that its new ideas about funding will make gamers think of something else when they hear the letters WMD”–namely, “World of Mass Development.” With game development becoming increasingly expensive,...

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Do Game Developers Need to be Gamers?

Do Game Developers Need to be Gamers?

Does a video game developer also need to be a game player in order to ply his or her trade? If you enjoy games yourself, the immediate answer that jumps to mind is probably, “Of course he/she does. What kind of a stupid question is that?” But Kareem Ettouney (of LittleBigPlanet) and David Braben (of Kinectimals) have a different outlook. In a recent Gamasutra interview, both argued that while it’s important to have dedicated gamers on a dev team,...

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