Determinance screenshot

Archive for May, 2009

Prediction: credit card slots in mobile phones

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Prediction: credit card slots in mobile phones

The up-and-coming security technique is for our banks to give us one-time payment codes.  When you want to buy something in Borders, instead of giving your credit card details you call up your bank and say “I want to spend $50 at Borders”.  They give you a one-time code which only works for $50 at Borders and thus credit card fraud is solved.

Obviously, they need to find a (preferably cheap) way for this to be manageable.  I predict we’ll see this as a standard feature of our mobile handsets (which tend to be fairly secure and always with us) – we plonk the card in question into the phone, type in the details quickly, and the card is loaded with that code.  The card can then be read by standard chip-and-pin machines.

Controversial!

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

JamesU found this on the internet!

New @play column

Friday, May 15th, 2009

New @play column

I’m going to keep linking to new @play columns until you guys all subscribe.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you won’t find better game-design commentary anywhere.

Visiting the Village: Episode 10

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Visiting the Village: Episode 10

Visiting the Village hits its first numerical milestone!  This week, Ian coins the term ‘expousing’, we discuss manifestos, cataclysmic events and Peggle.
Check out links from the show on our official Google Reader page.

Ron Gilbert founded Cavedog??

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Ron Gilbert founded Cavedog??

I’m a bit dubious of the mighty Ron Gilbert, or at least I was until about five minutes ago when I found out he founded Cavedog.  That’s not something I knew – I thought he went off into a cacoon to be grumpy at the industry after making Monkey Island 2, only coming out whenever lazy games journalists needed someone to interview for a feature on the death of the adventure genre.  I better give him some more respect since without him the great Total Annihilation would never have come to pass.

He’s working on DeathSpank right now, a game billed as Diablo meets Monkey Island and a satire on the games industry.  I have to be honest, Gilbert has a great track-record with games he’s written (or been associated with in other medium-level roles), but a pretty terrible one when it comes to games he’s been lead designer on.  I’m calling DeathSpank being stuck in development hell for a good while longer.

What would you do for good AI in an iPhone game?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

What would you do for good AI in an iPhone game?

Frozen Synapse AI is continuing apace, and I played a few little games today – the AI beat me, which is great.

It led me to thinking.  Our AI currently takes about a minute to take his turn, which I’m expecting to be able to get down to abour 20 seconds.  But say we ported Synapse to the iPhone – I can’t see any way its little processor could handle an AI turn in less than… well, probably something ridiculous like fifteen minutes.

Obviously, I’d probably end up re-writing the AI into something much more compact, but what if AI was done on our server, and you had to be connected to the net to play single player?  If you had 1000 people playing at once, one big server could probably just about handle that if I cut down the calculations a bit.  How often are you playing an iPhone game with a net connection? Half the time? Less or more?

This is a fairly pie in the sky idea, but I thought it would be interesting to get you guys’ responses on this one.

Simultaneous turn-based driving game?

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Yes please.

I’ve been following Darkwind forover for years, and it looks like it’s turned into a very good game.  Give it a go.

New @play column

Friday, May 8th, 2009

New @play column

John Harris’ @play column for GameSetWatch is my personal favorite column on the net, and there’s a new one out.

Kieron Gillen bought in to settle review dispute

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Kieron Gillen bought in to settle review dispute

Eurogamer’s Ed Zitron is in trouble over his 2/10 review of Darkfall Online.   The devs say he didn’t play the game longer than five minutes in any one session, and Ed says he did and their logs are wrong.

The best bit?  Eurogamer have bought in the KG who would have suited-up for game 7 to re-review Darkfall Online and settle any dispute.  That my friends is authority.

3D Realms Dead

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

3D Realms Dead

As reported by Shacknews (and hat-tip JamesU) 3D Realms have gone under, probably signalling the death of Duke Nukem Forever.  Honestly, 3D Realms are the only company I can think of that would have to send out a press release saying that their bankrupcy wasn’t a joke.