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Portables (Games)

Submission + - "Bob's Game" - Huge indie DS game made by ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: I'm surprised this isn't on Slashdot already!
Check out this massive Nintendo DS homebrew, a 20-hour-long retail quality adventure game, single-handedly created by 25 year old independent developer Robert Pelloni.
Picked up on several gaming news outlets within days, the YouTube page has been flooded with views and comments over the past few days, despite being a simple tech demonstration of assets and feature.

So what's so interesting about it?
Tentatively titled "Bob's Game," Robert says he's spent 15,000 hours on it over 5 years, starting on the GBA in 2003 and working full-time ever since.
The game concept is described as "a simple 2D adventure game- like an RPG, but without the repetitive battles. instead, there is more focus on story, puzzles, and communication- many characters have deep personalities that evolve, and many events depend on the in-game time and day."
The dedication Robert has put into the project seems to captivate with its serene atmosphere and quirky personality, and the viewers of his demo are almost rabidly backing the project, demanding for publishers to pick it up.

Robert's main page can be found at, where he sums it up himself in a single sentence: "It's the game I wanted to play when I was younger, a vision I've been following since then."


EU Bans Sock-Puppet Blogs 393

PhilipMarlowe9000 writes in with news of a new EU directive that will take effect in the UK at the end of this year to ban "sock-puppet" reviews or websites, part of an EU-wide overhaul of consumer laws. From the article: "Businesses that write fake blog entries or create whole wesbites purporting to be created by customers will fall foul of a European directive banning them from 'falsely representing oneself as a consumer.' From December 31, when the change becomes law in the UK, they can be named and shamed by trading standards or taken to court. The Times has learnt that the new regulations also will apply to authors who praise their own books under a fake identity on websites such as Amazon."

Massachusetts Looks To Jack Thompson for Game Law 117

Game Politics is carrying the news that the state of Massachusetts is asking Jack Thompson for help in drafting a piece of videogaming related legislation. The bill aims to block minors from purchasing games which fall under one of these categories: "Depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community, so as to appeal predominantly to the morbid interest in violence of minors. Is patently contrary to prevailing standards of adults in the county where the offense was committed as to suitable material for such minors. Lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors." The bill has strong backing in the state, from mayors all the way up to state senators.
The Internet

UK Teachers Say Censor The Internet 463

Marlow the Irelander writes "The BBC is reporting that in response to a YouTube video of a schoolboy breaking his teacher's window (yes, this is a video), NASUWT, one of the teaching unions in the UK, is calling for legislation to control the internet. Could Britain, rather than the US, be the main front of the battle against censorship in 2007?" From the article: "Unfortunately, any yob or vandal can now have their 15 minutes of fame, aided and abetted by readily accessible technology and irresponsible internet sites which enable such behaviour to be glorified. [The general secretary of the union] said the union supported a zero tolerance approach in schools to pupils who used technology to abuse and undermine teachers, and called for more rigorous legislative control of internet sites which gave them license."

Space Plane to Offer 2 Hour Flight around the World 214

secretsather writes "Two hour flights to the other side of the world may seem like a scene from a science fiction movie; but the technology is in place, and a plane that can do just that is currently in development. While it looks like a scene from a flight simulator, the Astrox space plane is the real deal, and the Astrox Corporation says it could revolutionize the transportation industry. Traveling as fast as Mach 25 with at least 30 minutes of space shuttle-like views while in orbit is the highlight of this plane, and The Astrox Corporation, along with their partners, are claiming to have finally overcome their largest problem, mixing fuel."

The Wii Hits the UK 116

Gamespot is reporting on the Wii's launch in Britain. As with the U.S. launch, things seem to have gone quite smoothly. Celebrities and very long lines of gamers marked the occasion, with one store giving out pizza, merchandise, and champaign to their customers. From the article: "At Nintendo's official event in HMV on Oxford Street, celebrities Ian Wright, Nell McAndrew, Pat Cash, and Ricky Hatton turned up to play Wii Sports. Cash and McAndrew played Wii Tennis, with Cash winning two games to zero. Wright and Hatton sparred at Wii Boxing, with the ex-footballer winning the virtual game against the boxer. Heba Elgamal, who had been camping outside the store in an alley for two days, was first in line for a console at the HMV store, and it was presented to him by Ian Wright. Elgamal bought The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess with his purchase, and Wright asked him if Zelda was a fighting game--which didn't go down well with the crowd. " Errr ... who is Ian Wright? And how has he never heard of Zelda?

EA To Publish Hellgate London 27

The long-awaited release of Hellgate London, from Flagship Studios, will be handled by Electronic Arts. The Escapist newsroom reports that EA will do sales, marketing, and distribution of the game, while Namco Bandai will handle toys, novels, comics, etc. From the article: "Future games in the series were not listed as part of the deal, despite Namco's tradition of partnering with EA for publishing software in Europe. In Asia, Flagship Studios inked deals with South Korean publisher and developer HanbitSoft to handle distribution and San Jose developer Online Game Services Inc. to assist in maintaining the online world." Future games? How about they release the first one before we start talking about sequels.

Giving the Gift of Ubuntu Linux for Christmas? 235

Father Christmas asks: "This Christmas I have decided to give all of my friends and relatives Ubuntu Linux CDs from the Ubuntu ShipIt service. In addition, I plan to help them backup their old systems, install Ubuntu, and then introduce them to using Linux for their everyday tasks. What sort of post-installation changes should be made to Ubuntu to make it easy for everyday people to use? What extra software packages should be installed? Should I stick with the default Gnome installation, or would KDE be a better choice? Is there anything else that should be done to maximize the utility of their systems, as well as make their first experience with Linux a great one?"

Selling Independent MP3s Direct to Customer? 94

jetsetsc asks: "I am not a programmer but I am a musician. My band's recordings belong to the band, and we'd like to skip the middlemen — labels, iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, etc — and setup a way to sell MP3's cheaply, and directly to fans. I have searched quite a bit and found nothing that fits the bill. Snocap is sort of similar, but they are more about a central store with a MySpace tie in. We don't need a fancy search, or a complicated 'if you liked this try...' feature. I figure potential fans can find our webpage on their own, referred by Pandora, a music blog, internet radio, or even (gasp!) a print article. When they get there it'd be great if they could listen to samples, check off the songs they want, pay 39 cents (or however much) through PayPal, and get a secure non-transferable download just like iTunes. DRM not required. I can't believe in this day and age that a service or software package like this doesn't exist. Any ideas?"

How Practical are 20-inch Laptops? 274

GeneralPacket writes "A 20-inch laptop might sound perfect for a game of Grand Theft Auto on the way to work, or navigating a mammoth spreadsheet. But are they really usable as laptops, or are they just luggable desktops? This week CNET attempted to work on the super-sized 20-inch Dell XPS M2010 laptop while travelling across London on the subway. The resulting video review is hilarious. This is not your typical tech video review — it's actually funny, and, refreshingly, completely advertising-free. The reviewer is in constant fear that anti-terrorism police are about to swarm him. Would you use a 20-incher?"

Quantum Leaps in RPGs 107

Gamasutra has up an article, giving out 'awards' to titles that made a genre what it is. Today, they have memorable and impactful role-playing games; a top five with five honorable mentions. They're all very worthy titles, but I'm not sure about their placement on the list. None of the Ultima games make the top 5? Really? From the article: "Ultima V - The Ultima series allowed the player a level of freedom found only in a few games today. Through the origins of the series, the game had fits and starts where some ideas worked and others did not. By V, however, the central core of the game was completely worked out and many games today are 3D versions of this ground breaking title: Elder Scrolls comes to mind. Though other games at the time were similar, Bard's Tale for example, they did not have the scope of story and adventure, nor did they encompass so many technologies of the time. -James Edwards, Microsoft"

Running a Non-Partisan Political Forum? 116

cptnHaddock asks: "The internet was supposed to give a new breath to democracy. While there has been some interesting initiatives, I feel a lot more could be done. Do you have any experience, tips to share, about running a non-partisan political forum? How to encourage well-thought postings and filter out the cynical ramblings, and how to moderate without censoring? Is there any good software that you would recommend for that task? Are there other solutions even better suited to running a policy-oriented discussion board?"

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton