Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

World’s Biggest Pac-Man Gameboard Collection

April 20th, 2011 2 comments

Worlds Biggest Pac-Man Logo

Here’s a quick post if your looking for something fun to do. The original Pac-Man video game was developed over 30 years ago and has seen many iterations across and number of systems and platforms. For today’s Pac-Man player you can direct your browser to World’s Biggest Pac-Man, a destination site developed by Namco Bandai (the original creator of Pac-Man) and Windows (to show off IE9) to explore over 13,000 user created mazes that continues to grow.


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Metacritic to Start Rating Developers

March 28th, 2011 1 comment

Metacritic Home Page ScreenshotOver the weekend Industry Gamers reported that meta scoring site, Metacritic will begin to rate individual game developers. According to the article the ranking will be based on aggregate scores from the individual titles from each developer. The rankings will show the highest, lowest, and average score of all the games for each developer.

While on this surface this may seem like a quantifiable metric we need to ask ourselves what this score is really measuring. In other words by averaging the scores of the games each developer has worked on can we get a reliable metric that can be used to predict a future outcome?

Games are a collaborative effort and many factors make up the decisions that go into the production of a completed game, such as budgets and deadlines, just to name a few. All of these additional external factors add variability to the data. This variability adds to the likelihood that the relationship between developer and game score is not sufficiently explained by the developer alone.

Depending on the amount these external factors come into play ratings for some developers may be better than that of others, but all of this will depend on the algorithm Metacritic will use to measure this relationship. In the end, my greatest fear is that a rating system like this will detour innovation for fear of a poor score, especially for developers new to the industry. Games, like films, books, etc. should be scored on their individual merits. Change any part of a team or the dynamics the team worth within and the rules the relationship was based on become void. We will just have to wait and see how the industry and gaming community take to this new score, how it will evolves over time and ultimately how reliable it is.

***UPDATE 03/29/2011***

According to Metacritic has pulled the controversial individual developer ratings from its site indicating in the company’s official blog that “[the score is a] work in progress and is not nearly as comprehensive as it needs to be to accurately provide a career score for these individuals.”

***UPDATE 03/31/2011***

Well I looks like this issue is closed for the moment. Today is reporting that “Metacritic has stated that it will not bring back scores for individual developers after a week in which it was roundly criticised by the games industry for rating individuals using incomplete or out-of-date information.”

Kudos to Metacritic for admitting the flaws in their rating system and resolving this issue so quickly.

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Is The iPhone Touch a Superior Gaming Device or Just a Different One?

September 13th, 2009 5 comments


Besides announcing the latest versions of it’s iPod line at Apple’s San Francisco event on Wednesday, Phillip Shiller, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing said that “the iPod Touch is a better gaming platform than the PSP or Nintendo DS” according to Cnet’s live blog.

Shiller said that the titles of the competing systems were “too expensive” and “not a lot of fun.” He also said that there are 21,178 “game and entertainment” titles for the iPhone OS with 3,600 and 600 titles on the Nintendo and Sony systems respectively. Shiller wasn’t the only one to tout the system as a gaming platform. Apple CEO Steve Jobs also indicated to the New York Times that he views the iPod Touch as a game machine first and foremost.

While I think few would argue that the iPhone platform has become a major player in the gaming space, Apple faces a tremendous uphill battle convincing the traditional (hardcore) gamer that the system is anything more than a device that plays casual games among it’s more predominant uses, such as being a phone or music player. But Apple is not alone with this problem, Sony has faced this consumer perception issue from the other end as it has tried to position it’s devices as total entertainment systems (music/movie players).

Another hurdle Apple will have to cross if it is to take on these industry icons, is developing the gaming experience on their system for non-casual games. Part of what has made games so popular on the system is how Apple has made casual gaming so accessible to consumers using it’s simple, intuitive interface. It would be interesting to see how game developers would apply the Apple control scheme to a popular core gaming title like Halo or GTA.

With major game developers launching dedicated iPhone/iPod divisions the company will undoubtedly continue to become a larger player within the industry; however, the systems inherent casual gaming focus will continue to keep the system in a different, albeit important gaming category.

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