Archive for the ‘gaming articles’ Category

RC Car

Oct 16

Top Five RC Car Games for Mobile

Video games are an important part of our modern culture ever since they became a trend, back in the ‘80s. Their history starts at the beginning of the ‘50s, but it was only 30 years later that they turned into a mainstream choice for leisure. They are fun; they are meant to entertain us and to offer new experiences. Whenever I sit back and relax by playing one, I let go of everything else and I just escape, for a while, into another dimension. My first choice is RC car games because I am a big fan of the engaging world of RC vehicles. And nowadays, thanks to the evolution of technology, I get to play my favorite games on my Smartphone, anytime I need to take a break.

Whether your device operates on Android or iOS, you can easily download any game you want and start having fun. Play by yourself, play along with friends, play together with your kids, play online; the truth is gaming is a good way to socialize and to develop the sense of competition. Let’s check out a few of the best RC car games available for playing on mobile devices (they are some of my preferred ones, as well):

 

RC Monster Truck

Even if you didn’t have an RC truck as a child (or as an adult, for that matter), you have to try out this game. It has all the elements of a thrilling experience: cool graphics, forest trails, and feisty off-road circuits with obstacles, several model choices, plus guaranteed excitement.

 

 

RC Car Racing Hill

Are you looking for a serious challenge? Well, this is it! You get to race on a track which has lots of obstacles and ramps splashed over never-ending hills of bitumen. Don’t forget to check the battery status from time to time and then search the hidden battery cells – which is another challenge, in fact, because if you don’t find them in due time, you’ll get back to square one.

 

 

Buggy Run II

This game takes the dare to the next level: you need to take out enemy forces and destroy their establishments by planting bombs. But you’re not bulletproof: they can affect you too. You need to drive your buggy away as fast as you can, through an unexplored military territory. The race requires good skills, especially when it comes to keeping the car steady while rushing through the obstacles.

 

 

Re-Volt 2: Multiplayer

I think you will enjoy this one in particular especially because it gives the possibility to switch between cars (trucks, buggies, sports cars, F1 cars) and this helps fasten the pace. Also, you get to compete with players from all over the world, which is always intense. The multiplayer mode allows you to go against three other players at once.

 

 

Ice Racer

I should warn you this one is quite addictive, even if it seems hard in the beginning. Imagine having to find your way through snowy dunes and icy cliffs! You don’t compete with other players, but you’re on the clock. There are several levels, as usual, but remember you can only crash five times – after that, the race is over, and you have to start again. Take the challenge: see how far you can get!

These are only five invitations to step into the roaring world of RC car games on your mobile, but if you need more convincing just check out the coolest RC Rank cars, they will tickle your imagination for sure.

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Apr 01

Amazon’s latest game controller for an Android device

Amazon is one of the biggest players in the field of online marketplaces, but it seems that this title is not enough. Rumors on the Internet say that Amazon is currently looking to make its entrance into the field of gaming, as some leaked photos show a prototype of what seems to be an Amazon-branded game controller.Despite the fact that there are no official statements regarding this product so far, closely inspecting the leaked photos allows us to make a pretty clear idea of what to expect from the upcoming Amazon game controller.

Design

At a first glance, the Amazon controller looks like a blend between multiple controllers already in existence. In terms of design, the Amazon controller is fairly similar to a renowned Android game controller, the MOGA Pro, which seems to be inspired by the Xbox controllers in term of button layout. However, there is one noticeable difference between the Xbox controllers, the MOGA Pro and Amazon controllers – the last ones are bulkier in aspect and come with a few extra buttons. It is exactly those extra buttons that give us some valuable hints on what the Amazon controller will be capable of.

Features

So the Amazon controller has the classical 4-way directional key, the ABXY action buttons and two analog sticks – nothing impressive so far; until you notice the additional buttons, that is.

In the center of the controller you will see three buttons which should be quite familiar if you’ve ever used a smartphone: back, home and menu. This is the first and most obvious indicator that Amazon’s game controller will have something to do with Android, as these buttons are the same buttons you normally find on pretty much any android-powered device out there, and while the first tendency is to conclude that the Amazon controller will be just another game controller for Android smartphones and tablets, there are a few additional buttons that contradict this theory.

Located on the bottom edge of the controller, the 3 playback controls are easily accessible and will allow you to quickly control the media that will be playing, which will most probably be streamed from the Amazons Instant Video service. This pretty much rules out the hypothesis that the Amazon game controller will be just a simple Android controller, and makes it more probable that it will be connected to something else, which will also be running Android.

Another button that might confirm the fact that the Amazon game controller is not just a simple controller is the Amazon GameCircle button, located right under the three Android-specific controls. Present as an in-game feature so far, the Amazon GameCircle now gets its own physical button, thus providing easier access to saved games, leaderboards achievements in a vast majority of games from the Amazon Appstore.

Conclusion

So, let’s draw a line and sum it all up: we have a controller with all the classical buttons found on console controllers, with a few extras, which indicate that it will also have multimedia capabilities and will be somehow connected to Android. There are quite a few rumors and theories floating around, the most commons being that Amazon is also secretly working on a standalone gaming console or, most probably, that it will incorporate its features into the new set-top box that will be released in the near future.

While in the lack of any official information both theories are just as plausible, the latter one seems a bit more probable. Still, at this point it is all just hypothesis and speculation, so all it is left is to wait for the release of the said set-top box and see which theory is confirmed. Stay tuned!

star-trek

Feb 25

Free Games Around the Web That You can Download

Gaming is a great way to kill time, or your social life, depending on how you look at it, but constantly buying games can be expensive. A hardcore gamer can finish a $60 game in a matter of 20 hours or less (for example Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) which means buying a new game every week (or every few weeks), unless you want to keep playing your old games over and over again. For that reason, you might want to start looking into any of the free options available online. Yes! There are free games online and some of them are actually quite good. Believe it or not, you can also download free games from very famous franchises like Star Trek, Star Wars, and Dungeons and Dragons.

Wait? Isn’t that Illegal? 

If the game is currently copyrighted then it is illegal to download it.  Generally, you can use common sense to decide if something is free or not. One good way to check to see if something is free is to look the game up and check to see if it is for sale anywhere. If it’s for sale on the developers website then it’s definitely not free. Quick tip? Do your research before you download any ‘free’ game. If it requires a code, keyword, crack, or any other type of confirmation other than simply logging on, then it is probably not free. Most free games do require you to sign up and submit your email address and give them a password.

So How Do I Get Free Games? 

While the majority of games are not free, there are a number of free to play games that you can enjoy without every paying a cent. Some of these games are ‘free to play’ and were designed to be free. These are most often MMORPGs such as Digimon, Rift, Warframe, and etc. They vary greatly in content and quality, but you can easily find more than a dozen of them in a few minutes. Other games are offered up for free for a limited time, sometimes from stores, and sometimes as part of special charity or cause promotions.

Free Games 

If you want free games, all you have to do is search ‘free to play games’ and see what comes up. You can add in other tags like ‘RPG’ or ‘FPS’ to get specific types of games, but other than that you can explore as much as you want. Using Free to Play rather than ‘Free’ ensures that your results are a bit more legitimate, and mostly roots out ‘free trial’ results. Once you find the game you want, you can download it via the developer’s website, and usually via torrent if you want it a bit faster.

Temporarily Free Games  

Sometimes developers will offer their games for free towards a cause or for a sale. In this case, you do have to download them quickly or they will go away. A few different sites that sometimes offer free games include Steam, GOG, Green Man Gaming, and even Amazon, although these are rare. For example, Green Man Gaming gave away Borderlands 1 & 2 during the holiday season in 2013, and Gog.com gave away the entire Fallout series. While these types of occurrences are rare, they are great to watch out for. Anyone interested should consider signing up for newsletters where similar deals might be announced.

Downloading 

While there are hundreds of free games out there, it can be difficult to find and download them. In addition, downloads from around the web can take a long time. For that reason, most gamers downloading games that are already free should consider looking for them via torrent. Some sites like Vuze even put together collections of free games that can be searched and browsed through right from the Bittorrent client. This makes the whole process easier, as well as more convenient. Most torrented games can be added and played with Steam for those that prefer to use a gaming client.

There are plenty of great free games out there and some of them are every bit as complex as games that charge a hefty monthly fine. Downloading free games is a great way to save money, but it is important to make sure it’s actually free before downloading. What else? Have fun playing your new games of course.

candy-crush

Jan 21

Five Fun and Addictive Online Games for Killing Time

Most people these days spend the majority of their time online on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter when they are not busy researching topics for schoolwork or doing business for their jobs. But when social media gets tired, people also love visiting the many websites that have fun, interactive games they can play to kill time and relax the mind.

Looking for a great way to get away from it all right at your desk and feel like a kid again? Then continue reading because below is a list of five of the most fun online games that you can enjoy when you simply wish to kill some time.

Candy Crush

Candy Crush made it big in 2013 as more and more people got turned onto it through Facebook, where they could compete against one another to see who could pass the most levels most quickly and where they could also help each other by sending along extra lives and moves. This puzzle game becomes increasingly challenging as you make your way from one level to the next, but unless you purchase more lives, you are given a limit of only five lives at a time to get through as many levels as you can. This is a good thing, though, as it will prevent you from wasting an entire day attempting to get through this game.

Bejeweled Blitz

Bejeweled Blitz is yet another hugely popular game that Facebook users have become addicted to. The goal is to match the jewels as quickly as possible within one minute’s time in order to score the highest points possible. Scores reset weekly and you can play against your Facebook friends to see who the best is.

Begone

Looking for an exciting first person shooter game that is intense and allows you to play with others right on the Internet? Begone, which is appropriate for those aged 13 and older because it is quite graphic, involves a shootout between teams and is fast-paced so you never get bored. Also, while you can play with others, you also have the option of playing on your own.

Slingo

Looking for a great online game that is a combination of exciting slots and classic Bingo? Then Slingo is your best bet. This game has been around for many years, so those who have been playing it online for a long time will certainly remember it and will notice the upgrades that have been made to the interface since it was first released. This game is fun for people of all ages and will certainly help you pass the time.

Bingo

Everyone loves a good game of Bingo, but it is even more fun when you can play it online. Some sites even allow you to gamble with play money or real money during every Bingo game that you play, upping the stakes and making the game that much more exciting. Check out these top 10 Bingo tips to stay on top of the many opportunities to take advantage of this simple yet surprisingly fun game online.

tomb-raider

Jan 10

How 2013 was a pretty good year for video gaming women

Now that 2013 is finally over, it’s time to analyze a particular trend we’ve seen a lot in the last 12 months. Believe it or not, last year was pretty great for women in video games. They had leading roles and they managed to make their presence felt without looking too provocative. Don’t get this the wrong way; men are still ruling the industry, but to some extent it’s great that some developers paid more attention to a woman’s role as well in a video game.

Tom Raider was successful because it was led by a female

That’s right! Tom Raider might have had great mechanics, design, and visuals, but we have to admit that it attained success because it was operated by a female character-player. It was definitely a refreshing move and it brought an air of freshness to the whole gaming experience. Previous versions of the game were additionally based on a female character – namely Lara Croft – but this time the makers really managed to focus on other characteristics too, not just on the sexuality of the character-player.

Although the young Lara Croft we’re used to is definitely an appealing virtual female, her looks and general appearance haven’t overshadowed the most important aspects of the video game. She’s not getting any special treatments in the game and she’s not afraid to get stabbed or shot just to attain her goals.

Game developers have finally realized that female characters in video games can be sexy without looking too provocative. That’s exactly what the makers of Tom Raider did; they created a good-looking Lara Croft whose one tough character, but she doesn’t have to look too naked just to draw some attention.

“The Last of Us” “BioShock Infinite” and “Beyond”

We’ve grouped “The Last of Us” with “BioShock Infinite” because they use women the same way into the game. Some have catalogued these two as the best of 2013, and to some extent that’s true. Both Elizabeth and Ellie have a special connection to the male character as they’re successfully waiting to be rescued.

“BioShock Infinite” and “The Last of Us” are being led by male character-players and the way women are integrated into the gameplay converts them into assets and not liabilities males have to constantly keep safe. In BioShock, Elizabeth is perfectly capable of taking care of herself, so you don’t have to worry that her life is constantly in danger. As a matter of fact, at some point she will help you take down the bad guys.

In The Last of Us, you’ll be surprised to see how tough Ellie can be. She’s directly involved in the combat and she’s capable of taking down the bad guys by herself, without additional help. In spite of the fact that the women in these two games have to be rescued, they’re well-rounded characters able to fight back.

Beyond is a game you either hate or love. It is one of the most disruptive video games of the year that focuses its gameplay on a woman, played by real-life actress Ellen Page. Story-driven by an extremely intriguing plot, beyond centers on Jodie Holmes, and it’s up to you to decide if she lives or dies.

Some other notable games centered on the presence of female characters were Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Their role was not that notable, but at least they were present and they didn’t have a provocative purpose in the games, which was surprisingly interesting. At last game developers have started to use female characters for different purposes in video games, and from what we’ve seen so far 2013 was definitely a great year for women in the virtual environment.

Nov 04

The Evolution of Graphics in Video Games

In the wake of the release of GTA5 we have all been transported into a world of extreme, cutting edge video game graphics. Sharp, clear and as real as you can get. You only need to watch the trailer for Call Of Duty Ghosts and you will see it with your own eyes. However, many of us will remember the days when our video games were pixelated, fuzzy and slow – but that was the beauty of them wasn’t it?

As with everything, fashion, music and art, the current gaming graphics will evolve ad it won’t be long before they are outdated. We will start off by moaning about them and eventually, in 30 years, we will enjoy them once more for their ‘vintage’ appeal. Part of the issue with modern gaming graphics is that they are built to look real. Let’s face it, Space Invaders or PacMan were definitely not based upon realistic graphics; part of the reason they have kept their appeal for longer. Mobile app games and instant play casino games are some of the few gaming technologies that continue to display these type of simple graphics, albeit more stylized. At the end of the day, games that rely on the latest technology for their graphics are not going to retain their looks for as long as those that poses a blend between stylish graphics and the latest technology.

Tomb Raider is a great example of this. The ultimate 1990’s adventure game was built between artistic graphics and the latest technology. It looks retro due to its pixelated presence and let’s face it Lara Croft never moved in a realistic way. However this game was created using cutting edge technology. This is one game that has stood the test of time through the clever use of graphics and design.

Heading back either further, to the birth of a generation, the 1980’s really was the moment that shaped the face of video game graphics. This was the era when graphics definitely took a backseat to the gameplay. Maybe this was to test the water or it was simply because the primitive computers could only handle so much. Either way, it was far either for developers to create a simply strategy game than it was to create an RPG full of twist and turns. This was the age when the PC was considered a machine for work purposes rather than the entertainment hubs that they have become.

Any game that grew out of the 80’s was caught in a battle between artistic brilliance and the constraints of the consoles. The Commodore 64, released in 1982 was one of the most powerful systems of the decade, but it still couldn’t cope with high level, wire frame graphics. Games designed for the Commodore 64 could always be recognised due to their brightly coloured graphics, and simple translucent characters. Although it was a powerful arcade console, the games were still simple in their approach compared to the capabilities of modern day consoles.

In short, video game graphics have moved as the technology has. Creative development and freedom is now one of the most important aspects to games, but they will soon be as dated as their predecessors. As they are so realistic, they may not fare as well in our fast paced world as some of the 30 year games we know and love.

Related articles The Relentless Improvement of Video Game Graphics Tech Review: Apps recreate early video games 10 Great Video Games with Unique Graphic Styles The Totally True History of Video Game Graphics Assignment 15

Sep 10

Celebrate International Video Games Day by Remembering the Industry’s Most Damaging Failures!

This September 12th, gaming blogs from around the world will be celebrating another excellent year of gaming, speculating what joys the coming year (and generation) may hold and reminiscing on some of the industry’s finest hours. Because of this over-saturation of good news, we have decided to provide a bit of balance on this otherwise cheerful day by reminding you all of some of the gaming industry’s most embarrassing failures.

We aren’t talking just bad games either here folks. We are talking full scale security failures. Failures which burden gamers of both the casual and hardcore variety with at best a mild inconvenience and at worst the risk of losing their hard earned cash or even harder earned identity to black hat hackers. From Sony’s enormous PSN data security scandal to Square Enix’s tiny one, here we explore what happened, why it happened and what impact it had on gamers.

Square Enix: Job Application Leaks

In 2011, a subsidiary of Square Enix called Eidos had the servers of its Dues Ex: Human Revolution website hacked. The culprit managed to extract 25,000 E-mail addresses which were likely sold onto e-mail spammers. This isn’t a particularly damaging leak by itself, as no password or financial information was leaked. The real damage was done to those who were looking for employment at the studio, 350 of whom had their CV stolen from the database. This is, obviously, much more serious as job hunters regularly include details of their home addresses, their current employer and other sensitive information as part of their CV which leaves them wide open to identity theft.

Sony Playstation: The “Working Within a Week” Fiasco

At some point between April 17th and April 19th the Sony Playstation Network suffered a security breach which would eventually unfold to be one of the largest data scandals of all time. The account details of over 77 million people were accessed and unceremoniously stolen form Sony’s servers. These details included email addresses, passwords, physical addresses and, most shockingly, credit card details.

The repercussions of this were costly for Sony, who had to take insurance policies out on behalf of all 77 million users and pay fines totalling almost 400,000 dollars. The online gaming service was also offline for 24 days, much more than their seven day estimate, incurring costs of $171 million.

Ubisoft: Multiple attacks

In July this year a Ubisoft website was hacked and user account information stolen from the servers. In an unfortunate bit of PR for Ubisoft, one of their most anticipated upcoming releases focuses on hacking as a major theme in both the plot and gameplay. The games title is Watchdogs, and on the development team there even sits a former executive from Kaspersky Lab making for some unfortunate juxtaposition that the media simply couldn’t resist. Combine this with another security breach attributed to Ubisoft’s U-Play software, which allowed cyber-criminals to install software directly into gamers computers. It paints a picture of Ubisoft as a company that are far more interested in making games about cyber-security than actually ensuring that their users are secure.

Riot Games: League of Legends Database Compromised.

Players of online e-sport League of Legends had an unwelcome surprise last month when usernames and passwords for the games entire North American player base were illegally extracted from Riot servers. Riot are also currently investigating the possibility that 120,000 transaction records could have been lifted from their database as well, potentially containing hashed credit card data. This overshadows the recent good news the company passed on to its fans when the US visa bureau granted the games top level players professional athlete visas, officially recognising the game as a professional sport.

Bethesda Game Studios: Hackers Added Insult to Injury

Bethesda studios, creators of series like Fallout and Skyrim, suffered an embarrassing data breach after their site and forum users information was compromised by hacking group ‘LulzSec’. Once Bethesda announced the leak, Lulzsec responded by issuing a statement of their own saying: “Bethesda, we broke into your site over two months ago. We’ve had all of your Brink (another Bethesda game) users for weeks. Please fix your junk, thanks!” The hacking group also demanded that they feature their signature top hat logo in one of their upcoming games, threatening that if they did not comply then they would leak their user database. The whole affair was pretty humiliating for a developer held in such high esteem by the gaming community. Lulzsec have since disbanded.

Related articles Watch the Sony Gamestop Expo 2013 conference here Sony demos new Killzone, Driveclub, InFAMOUS for PS4 Bethesda: Nintendo has to ‘do what Sony and Microsoft’ have been doing for us Ubisoft Leak Shows Off Assassin’s Creed: Pirates, Liberation HD And Other Games The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot Introduces a New Hero: The Runaway
spy-games-gb

Jul 18

Spy Vs Spy – 6 of the Best Spy Related Video Game

Spy games were and continue to be very popular with players. It’s partly because of the suave main characters, and partly because of the awesome stealth factor of a lot of these games. Here’s a look at some of the best spy related video games that have been released to date and one that we’ll be seeing soon.

Spy Vs Spy

1984 on Commodore 64 and Apple II:

The original Spy Vs. Spy game was based on the MAD comic book strip. The object of the game is to take out your opponent as many times as possible within the time frame. The spies can use traps to accomplish this in a large arena. The game came out to positive accolades, being that the Spy Vs. Spy strip was so popular at the time.

Spy Vs. Spy

April, 2005 on Xbox and Playstation 2:

A reboot was made in 2005 that had a unique story mode and multiplayer for up to 4 players. Modern and Classic mode could both be played in single and multiplayer; Modern mode lets you getaway in a car, Classic mode lets you do so in an elevator and carry a briefcase. Unfortunately, the game garnered pretty low scores when it was released.

Goldeneye

1997 Nintendo 64; Reboot 2010, Wii, DS, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3:

Goldeneye is hands down the best James Bond game to date, which is a little sad considering it came out in 1997. The original was hailed as one of the best first person shooters of its time, following the story of the movie pretty much scene for scene. It continues to be lauded as one of the most influential games in the genre. The reboot, however, which features Daniel Craig as the playable character instead of Pierce Brosnan, did not do so well critically, considering it changed much of the formula.

Perfect Dark Zero

November 17, 2005, Xbox 360

Perfect Dark Zero was a launch title for the Xbox 360 and had a lot of hype surrounding it, being the sequel to the highly acclaimed Perfect Dark from the N64 era. At the time of release, it actually did do well both in sales and review wise, yet now it has become a first person shooter that’s sort of laughed at.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

June 12, 2008, PS3

Taking place 5 years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2, 4 was the next big step for our main sneaky Solid Snake, although here he’s a much older man. Guns of the Patriots won Game of the Year across a lot of formats and garnered perfect scores from many reviewers.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent

2006, Playstation, Gamecube, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii

Tom Clancy games often span a ton of platforms as this one did, crossing over from the last generation to this gen. Following the main character Sam Fisher, the game was released as two different versions, with different plots but some of the same locations. Sam Fisher has to pose as a criminal to gain access to an underground terrorist cell in the United States. Most iterations of the game got very good reviews, but the Wii one was bashed for bad graphics and motion controls.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One: Just announced at E3

Metal Gear Solid V will debut on several consoles; there is no set release date yet but we do know that players will control Snake (now using the name Punished Snake), looking for the men responsible for the destruction of MSF.

Related articles Metal Gear Solid and Me Sony still has a lot to prove at E3 2013 spy games to play online ‘Watch Dogs’, PS4 voted Digital Spy’s Best Game, Platform of E3 2013 Spy vs. Spy
gaming-buzz

Jul 17

How To Create Buzz In The Gaming Community

Let’s say that you are creating a game and you want to build anticipation among the gaming hordes. Furthermore, let’s say you’re not one of the giants, and thus your resources are limited. Regardless, you and your partners have designed this awesome game for the iPhone, and you want to generate excitement about it, which in turn will morph into paying customers, thereby allowing you to continue in your dream job of designing games. How do you go about achieving this dream?

All You Need Is Blog

First and foremost, creating a blog, especially one told from the point of view of the designer, is essential, as in mandatory. Not only does it get your company/product name out there, it gives people a chance to take a peek behind the curtain, and get excited about what they see. If you do in fact create a blog from the perspective of the game designer, people can follow along and see the progress, and anticipation builds as the release date gets nearer. If you can fit in a few sneak previews, screen shots, advance details, then so much the better.

Hooray! A company I never heard of is coming out with a game I know nothing about!

Let’s Be Social

Put together a Facebook page dedicated to the game. This is even easier to do than a blog, and considering the strong gamer community on Facebook, you have an instant audience. Don’t forget Twitter, either. When it comes to financial outlay and time, it doesn’t get any easier than social media.

Conventional Thinking

Okay, now we’re getting into a pricier realm here, but as the old adage goes, you have to spend money in order to make money. If you have an advertising budget set aside, then it’s time to start dipping into it. The thing is to not wait until after the game is released; you need to generate advance buzz. Naturally, in order to do so, you must already have a good idea what the game is about and how it’ll turn out. And you don’t even really have to go all out; get some cheap t-shirts printed up, or colorful information handouts, something that stands a good chance of sticking in gamers’ memories. Booth babes may be out of the question, but hey, there’s always a booth sock puppet. When you stop and think about it that would be pretty memorable, right?

Get a Trailer

No, not one of those that are pulled by your car. Movies generate excitement and interest by showing trailers before the main feature. You know, right before they warn you about smoking, using cell phones during the movie, and where the exits are located. It’s the same with the world of gaming. Put together a good trailer, or even multiple trailers, to show players what all the fuss is about. This idea fits neatly with the idea of blogs, since that’s where the trailers would ultimately reside. See? These things are interrelated.

I’ll Alert The Media

It may seem obvious, but let’s be complete here. Fire off e-mails to periodicals, websites, trade journals, any media source that fits the gaming nice you’re going after, and introduce yourself. If you’re not a known quantity, forget targeting the mainstream media, and focus instead on the smaller outlets that specialize. And while you’re at it, generate some good word of mouth by notifying gaming bloggers. Try to cultivate a rapport with them, and let them help spread the word. But again, make sure that the blogs cover the type of game you’re developing. A blog dedicated to paper and dice gaming will be a bad choice to market your new iPhone game that features steel cage death matches between pieces of sentient produce.

Recruit An Army of Dark Minions

If you find yourself in the position of having both an awesome new game release and a shoestring budget, consider gathering together a dedicated group of gamers that you’ve given a preview of your game and they happen to love it. This loyal army may get paid in merchandise, free copies of your game, or any other benefits you can think of, and in return they spread the word on websites, forums, at conventions, whatever. They are your evangelists. Remember that the most effective, the most trusted advertising is word of mouth!

Final Thoughts

There are so many independent developers out there that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. You need to stand out, build a rep, and give the people a killer product.

 

Photo Credit: Photos.com

 

Jul 03

Taking Casual Gaming to the Next Level

For a long time, I never really enjoyed games consoles. I always preferred to play on a PC, where the keyboard and mouse made many games much easier – particularly strategy titles, I thought.

Joypads seemed to get harder and harder to master, with triggers, analogue joysticks, cursor arrow keys, coloured buttons and so on, all of which have to be used in different combinations to achieve different moves.

No, I was a firm PC gamer – at least, that was, until the Nintendo Wii came along, and changed everything.

Redefining Casual Gaming

The Nintendo Wii brought gaming to the masses, not so much eliminating the joypad, but redefining it so that it featured the bare minimum of buttons, coupled with innovative motion-sensitive response that made gaming feel incredibly natural.

I found myself playing games where my opponents were pensioners or toddlers, or both; I’ve seen a baby master one Wii game in which moving the remote rang a bell.

But I always knew, as well, that the cartoonish graphics and fun-for-all-the-family styling of the Wii were not really a fair representation of what console gaming is really like.

So after a couple of years, I took the decision to sell my Nintendo Wii, and get a ‘proper’ games console.

Becoming a Gamer

What surprised me when I bought my PS3 was the extent to which the Wii seems to have influenced the games that have followed for other platforms.

Titles like Little Big Planet incorporate the kind of cooperative gameplay you might expect to see in a Wii game, as well as the light-hearted graphics.

But they present much more fiendish logic problems that must be solved, and this I found to be reminiscent of some of the more obscure puzzles in the Monkey Island games for the PC.

Overall, I’d say some games console titles – although clearly not all of them – are now much closer to the gameplay of PC titles than ever before.

Full Circle

By playing these PS3 games, I found myself reminiscing more and more about the PC games I used to love, from Monkey Island to Theme Park and the original bird’s-eye-view, cartoonish Grand Theft Auto games.

I dug out some of those old installation discs and gave those old games a fresh play through (GTA is particularly fun if you switch off the frame-rate limiter, as modern-day graphics cards can run it at a blistering pace).

Ultimately, it was the realisation that I was able to do this that brought me back around to my original love of the PC as a gaming platform.

How many games consoles (aside from the unique example of the PS2) are still in popular usage, and are capable of playing titles that were first released 15 years ago or more?

Only the PS2 can fit that description – and even then only thanks to being backwards-compatible with PS1 games – and with the news that Sony have ceased production of the PS2, the PC seems set to once again reclaim its position as the best long-term gaming platform.

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