Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Meanwhile.. (Score 1) 610

Tivo has an iOS app. It allows you to do exactly what you want. Control the Tivo, browse TV listings, etc. It sucks to use as a remote as you have to look at it to make sure you're hitting the right button. It's also slower, as you can't just slide your finger around on the screen to get to the next button. With a regular remote, you usually quickly learn your way around it by feel and can use the common buttons easily without looking.

The listings don't work well on an iPhone - the screen is just too small. The guide on the TV screen works much better. It's easier to read and you can fit a lot more information on screen at once.

I haven't tried it on an iPad yet. I'm guessing the listings would be better, but the remote controls would probably be even slower to use with the larger screen.

Comment Re:Geoworks (Score 1) 361

"better automatic widget layout" - this made my day. I remember using GEOS as a boy, on a C64. It was a lot of fun going from text menus to an actual mouse-relevant UI, but sophisticated it was NOT. Automatic widget layout? There were 8 icons per window and if you didn't like where they were you could (a)bort, (r)etry, (i)gnore.

He was talking about the PC version of GEOS. You're talking about the C64 version. The only similarities between the two products are the name and some members of the development teams.

The PC version had a really sophisticated UI for the time. It was all multi-threaded with automatic control layout similar to how modern UI toolkits work. I found it a pleasure to code for. 15 years ago I was creating UIs much faster than I am today with modern tools.

Comment Re:Smartphone Controls Suck (Score 1) 138

So I don't need an invitation from an established member?

Missed that one... no, you don't need invitations on LinkedIn - at least not that I've ever seen. To cut spam, a lot of groups require approval to join. I think that simply means that a group admin looks at your LinkedIn profile and approves you as long as what you say in your profile looks somewhat relevant to the group. For most groups you'll get approved within a day or two.

Comment Re:Smartphone Controls Suck (Score 1) 138

I thought of that until I realized there were no chapters [igda.org] in Indiana. I'd have to take a bus to Chicago or Detroit and rent a hotel room.

Look for similar stuff. Lots of areas have other regular groups / conventions / etc.

That's my problem: I don't yet have a mainstream platform of choice beyond native development (that is, Windows).

Then just pick one. iOS and Android are easy to get into and in demand, so they're probably the best choices now. Make a few small games or apps and get them on the market. Don't think of them as money makers, think of them as resume pieces. The phone app stores aren't money makers for most people, they're mostly marketing pieces. Companies love to have apps to promote their business, and pay good money to have them made. Take that same approach. Release something to show that you're capable of it, then people will trust you to make what they want.

Except when it's an iPhone 4 and the product under development requires the larger RAM in the iPhone 4 and not the iPod touch 4.

Of course. Things like that are why I said "most of the time".

I wasn't aware of that. I thought there were so many job seekers that candidates without their own equipment were rejected outright.

An iPad or iPhone is cheap compared to a developer's pay rate. If you have a good resume and/or recommendations, then not having the exact device the project requires isn't a deal breaker. You're not likely to get a company to give you a Mac, but iPads aren't a big deal.

Comment Re:Smartphone Controls Suck (Score 1) 138

Which web site do you recommend for searching for video game development jobs near (say) Fort Wayne, Indiana?

GameDevMap.com is a start - it shows 4 companies in Indiana, including one in Fort Wayne.

Check the usual stuff. Craigslist has postings all the time. Check development boards for your platform of choice. Go to IGDA meetings or similar things and meet people there. Keep an updated LinkedIn profile, and subscribe to lots of relevant groups.

Can one do iPhone contract work with just a Mac and an iPod touch?

Works fine for me. Most of the time people say "iPhone" it's shorthand for "iOS devices". Obviously you can't do everything an iPhone can with an iPod, but you can do most things. If you're doing a project for a company, they usually won't have a problem loaning you a device you don't have. Not sure about iPhones, but borrowing an iPad usually isn't an issue.

Comment Re:Aren't we talking different markets? (Score 1) 138

Aren't smartphone games more for the adult casual gamer with some free time between the events that constitute their life and the nintendo handhelds more for young children with more free time than a life?

That was true in the GameBoy days, but the DS hit a different market. The Pokemon crowd carried over, but the DS blew away the GameBoy because it catered to adults as well. Brain Age and games like that were major sellers - enough so that they released the DSi XL, which was primarily aimed at older audiences (the "can you make the text bigger?" crowd)

Comment Re:Smartphone Controls Suck (Score 1) 138

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that this involves building up tens of thousands of dollars on which to live while seeking a job; moving to Silicon Valley, greater Seattle, or some other area with multiple major video game developers; somehow landing a job with major video game developer; and working there for several years.

No, it doesn't. There's no need to work for a major developer. The closest small developer near you is fine. If you're looking to make handheld games they'll probably be happy with iPhone experience. There's tons of remote iPhone contract work available.

Getting a job at a game company isn't hard if you really are talented enough to deserve it. It's hard to find good people in the industry. Make a small, polished demo and send it with a resume. It'll take you far.

Comment Re:For over two decades (Score 1) 97

If you can make something of professional quality, it'll take you far. It's a great step in the door at any game developer. Publishers will at least listen to you if you have something decent to show.

The console makers basically care about two things: that you're running a legit business, and that you can finish a game for the system you're applying for. They don't want their dev kits and SDKs and confidential information getting out into the open, and they don't want to waste their time with people that aren't going to finish a game.

Finally, go to the Game Developer's Conference. Just about everyone important in the industry is there. It's not that hard to get some face time with the important people. The console makers all have booths and/or information sessions so you can find out how to develop for them.

Comment Re:This means (Score 1) 54

You might not, but enough people do that you'll be impacted. You can do cheaper by having email support. But direct customer support isn't even the big concern - as I said before, think about games that interact with online servers. You need to maintain the servers and make sure they scale to match the userbase. If you're dealing with PC games, there will be compatibility issues you'll have to deal with.

Comment Re:This means (Score 2) 54

The real point is: Are you better off selling 20 000 units of a $50 games or 2 000 000 units of a $0.5 games? The sheer visibility bonus of the second option alone makes me believe it's a better option.

Keep in mind that you now have to provide support for 100x the number of users. If you're making a simple iPhone game that doesn't interact with anything else it's probably not a big deal. If you try that on PC, or in a game with a significant online component, you're going to be overwhelmed by the increased support costs.

Comment Re:Will Pay for Quality! (Score 2) 54

A $50 game at Gamestop translates to $22 wholesale. If the developer got 15% that means they only get $3.30 a game. They don't need to be selling the game on mobile at $50 to make back their money.

In an arrangement like that, the publisher is going to be funding development up front. The developer gets a small cut because the publisher is taking the financial risk. Even if that game bombs, the developer received enough money to cover operating expenses for the development cycle.

If the developer is willing to self fund, they can get a much better percent of the sales.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 2, Informative) 336

Don't know about the previous poster, but in a lot of the New York area you can get Cablevision. They offer 15/5 service for about $45/month. An extra $15/month doubles the rate. There's also 100Mbps down for something around $90-$100 a month. Those numbers all go down a little if you have the triple play package. The lowest end package is fine for me, so I never looked too hard into the specifics on the higher options.

Slashdot Top Deals

One can search the brain with a microscope and not find the mind, and can search the stars with a telescope and not find God. -- J. Gustav White