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A Whirlwind of Game Design 19

conq writes "BusinessWeek has a feature on the videogames design students were able to create in 24 hours. From conception to completion. The games are quite basic but it is fascinating what they are able to come up with in so little time. From the article: 'The teams' challenge was to collectively create a mobile-game masterpiece using a "mystery ingredient" -- random verbs and nouns -- to guide design.'"
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A Whirlwind of Game Design

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  • Sounds familar (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mortlath (780961) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:17PM (#14968122)
    This sounds a lot like the Allegro SpeedHack Competition [allegro.cc].

    The annual SpeedHack competition has been around for six years already. The only difference is 3 days vs. only 1 day.

  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:22PM (#14968157) Homepage
    The teams' challenge was to collectively create a mobile-game masterpiece using a "mystery ingredient" -- random verbs and nouns -- to guide design.

    I guess some geeks discovered how to make babies.
  • by Rifter13 (773076) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:38PM (#14968247) Homepage
    This sounds a lot olike Uwe Boll's way of making game-based movies. I bet these teams could seal some pretty lucrative deals with Uwe, to give him access to their IP!
  • Input (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Umbral Blot (737704) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:31PM (#14968566) Homepage
    The real constraint with phone games is the input device, not the games themselves. Phone buttons are way too tiny to be easy to use, so games have to use only a couple of them, or be too hard to play. Also the tiny screen isnt very conductive either. What phones need is some kind of tilt sensitivity (for example), which would be easy to make games arround, and easy to interact with. Acceleration sensititivty might work as well, or possibly some game which uses the camera as an input device (i.e. you point it at differnt colored and shaped things to make the game react. Anther possibility is to use the audio input, but this could be annoying for the people arround you. While the games developed look nice, they still will all be a pain in the ass to play, and its not the developers' fault.
    • The phone hacking was fine. The server setup was, while sort of a hack, also fine and fast. The browser-end actionscript was super fine too. The NETWORK LATENCY sucked balls.
    • Re:Input (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The real constraint with phone games is the input device, not the games themselves.

      No, not really. The biggest constraint is development time and carrier/publisher politics. The biggest technical problems are phone bugs, memory limitations, and J2ME.

      While the input is a bit restrictive, it only takes a little creativity to use it well. (and of course willingness to change the game to fit the input methods available)

      What phones need is some kind of tilt sensitivity (for example), which would be easy to ma
    • If the problem is the input, put one of these one-button games on them. I however don't think that it's the problem with phone games, I think the problem is that it seems nobody even tries to make it any good.

      You find arcade games from the 70's that take less ressources, pixels and colors than available on all phones that are way more fun, but nobody seems to be motivated into making good phone games and exploiting the phones capacities to the fullest.

      • I saw a girl with Ms. Pacman on her phone. It made me want to buy the phone. And I've always taken the free phone when I could get it.

        Throw centipede, joust, donkey kong, tetris, pacman, defender, qix, or other popular old games with real playability on a phone and people will want them. And you don't even need to do research or take a chance with retro games.

        But people aren't going to pay a website. Only the Britney Spears crowd will pay to download a ringtone or game. But if it comes on the phonebill
    • I have a game on my phone which uses the camera for tilt sensitivity. Of cause this means to play it in tilt mode you need to be in a reasonably lit space with reasonably contrasting stuff the other side of the camera... it could use a bit of tweaking but it's a good start.

      The main problem I've found with using the buttons is their latency can be too high for games where reaction speed is an issue, and the way they're wired can often mean while holding down one key, certain other keys presses will no longer
    • You mean like the Sharp 904SH [softpedia.com]? Doubt you'll see anything like this [japancorp.net] if you don't live in Japan though... for a while at least. Also features face recognition technology for security and a 3.2 megapixel camera with 2x optical zoom. Patience...
  • by rabiddeity (941737) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:49PM (#14968656) Homepage

    The original link is to the images and captions. Here's a link to the actual article.

    http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/mar20 06/id20060317_074043.htm [businessweek.com]

  • The Megazeux GCS community calls this kind of thing the 'Day of Zeux', and it's quite fun. Creating a game in a 24-hour timespan isn't new, but it's still pretty interesting.
  • by wowbagger (69688) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @10:57PM (#14969246) Homepage Journal
    'The teams' challenge was to collectively create a mobile-game masterpiece using a "mystery ingredient" -- random verbs and nouns -- to guide design.'"

    Sounds like just another day with Marketing to me.
  • Tabletop RPG designers do this too, in the 24 hour RPG [24hourrpg.com] challenge. It's always running, though they do "Grand Acts" too. One person, one day, make a fully playable tabletop RPG from 'idea' to 'PDF' in 24 hours. It's not a competition but an exercise, more like the Novel in a Month [nanowrimo.org] challenge.

    Then there's Game Chef [game-chef.com], who just wrapped up their 2006 contest. This has the luxury of a full week to make a tabletop RPG from a given list of ingredients and mystery requirement. This is competitive, the best eight
  • The problem with making games for mobile phones and then distributing them publicly is thus:

    1. Too many carriers in North America lock all phones on their networks such that subscribers can run only applications purchased through the carrier's online store *cough* Verizon and Get It Now *cough*.
    2. Only developers affiliated with an established company can test their programs on many phones *cough* BREW system used by Get It Now *cough*.
    3. Too few individual users know of Cingular, T-Mobile, and other providers with a presence in North America that don't lock their phones.
    4. Providers that don't lock their phones generally tend to have poorer voice coverage than Verizon and Sprint, which do lock their phones.
  • http://indiegamedev.tucows.com/blog/_archives/2005 /1/14/243722.html [tucows.com] Games created with little time and resources, maybe some biz orgs are catching on to it?

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