- Preview of Lucidity looks appealing - kind of reminds me of Tangrams.
- Yoshiyuki Tomino disagrees with us, although he's kind of on track to something... it's just that they only have to **appear** to enrich our lives.
- Relatively simple tips on game usability from Gamasutra. Some of it patronising, some of it mildly thought provoking. Or you could think more widely.
- static char buffer[1024*1024*2]; and other dirty coding tricks lessons from seasoned devs, also from Gamasutra.
- Go watch CO-OP and then donate a little to the Area 5 guys, they need and deserve it.
What do we know?
- The 3G & 3Gs (not actually confirmed yet - only reports are of 8Gb & 16Gb, so this could be either 2x3G or 1x3G & 1x3Gs) are coming (going?) to China Q4 2009.
- They'll be available on Unicom, China's second-largest carrier with 140m customers.
- The deal isn't exclusive to Unicom, although nothing else has been announced yet (China Mobile does have 500m customers though - we can suppose they'll be next).
- Expectations of units shifted by 2011 are between 2m and 5m (Unicom have purchased 5m and there are already 1.5m gray market devices in use).
- Expectations of cost to consumer are between $100 and $400 (earnings per customer are lower for Unicom than AT&T).
- There won't be any WiFi (to comply with nonsense restrictions in China due to the WAPI / 802.11 dispute).
- Lots more customers, obviously.
- Well, maybe not quite - there are rumours of a Unicom-specific App Store. I can't see Apple letting this happen though and there's nothing substantiated.
- There are no specific age ratings in China, but there are restrictions - WOW's not allowed red blood, piles of bones or icons that feature skulls. And C&C's certainly out - no "damaging the nations's glory".
- General consensus is that Chinese gamers prefer free-to-play games supported by in-game purchases and advertising (Apple - sort this out! we need to offer paid DLC in free apps).
- Online gaming, which is more established than mobile gaming is an $8.9b market, with 77% of that being made up by MMOs, casual gaming the rest.
- Fantasy Westward Journey is the country's most popular game - an MMORPG. It has something in the region of 25m registered users and up to 1.5m concurrent players at any time.
Okay, it's Monday. I've had all these in tabs since yesterday though, so I'm saying it counts.
- Absolutely fascinated by Avatar anyway, but the new HD teaser on the Apple site has now really got me hooked.
- Alex has an excellent summary of the GDC '09 conference sessions. Interesing food for thought on rubber banding in racing games (I thought Pure was a little bit too "fair").
- Great summary/look at the WOW:Cataclysm demo and starting areas offered at Blizzcon '09 on Project Lore's site. Interested in tech behind flying mounts across Azeroth.
- A useful look at the rendering pipeline beyond OpenGL - "In depth analysis of iPhone 2G/3G rendering pipeline - not at the level of OpenGL ES, but looking deeper. Understanding what driver actually does, how communication between CPU and GPU is implemented and what data is sent."
This one may never get past these sketches, so for now it can live here. There's a whole lot of information missing but it was essentially a pacman-style thing that involved getting the girl through the city. Each level or part of the map would involve different, recurring characters.
Ah, hang on - these were sketches for a different game that had almost exactly the same playing surface. The artwork in the next sketch gave it away - Retro Redhead was based around some iStock vector characters.