Monthly Archives: July 2010

July 9, 2010

Kudo Tsunoda on Kinect

It’s almost laughable the way people hold on to rumble as the holy grail of haptic feedback. We’ve gone so far past anything that can be done with rumble, or that kind of restrictive thing you have to hold. It’s been creatively liberating to work on this stuff.

I completely disagree with this statement, as do many other enthusiast gamers. My main complaint with full-body motion control is its inherently imprecise nature. The fact that traditional input devices have been described as “complex” isn’t a drawback in my book. “Complex” controllers have analog sticks, pressure-sensitive buttons and force feedback/rumble and are therefor offering precise control and haptic feedback – with a device like Kinect, the former cannot be achieved because it isn’t possible to distinguish between slight but intended motions and unintended motions. When a game requires me to flail my arms around like an idiot, I feel it’s imprecise. Conversely if a game were to be very precise when reading motions, I’d cry foul every time it registered a motion I didn’t mean to perform.

Name me an FPS, driving game or sports games where I’d be more effective using Kinect than a “restrictive thing you have to hold”.

July 7, 2010

"It is my belief that Apple is definitely working on a new language"

An excellent post on waffle entertaining the idea that Apple is working on a new language to complement Objective-C. Charles Ying from satine.org thinks that a language close to JavaScript would be a good fit, due in part to extensive use of the language in iOS, iAd & iTunes.

It’s a strong theory – and one that I would like to se a reality, given the popularity of C-style syntax and garbage-collected environments. I not a big fan of low-level languages, but crying out for one that is more abstracted than Objective-C is met with a kind of resistance I’ve never really quite understood – a resistance that an Ars Technica article discussing the future of Apple’s languages and APIs explains perfectly:

And so continues one of the biggest constants in software development: the unerring sense among developers that the level of abstraction they’re current working at is exactly the right one for the task at hand. Anything lower-level is seen as barbaric, and anything higher-level is a bloated, slow waste of resources. This remains true even as the overall level of abstraction across the industry marches ever higher.

July 6, 2010
July 3, 2010

Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Packed with a wide variety of short, interesting puzzles that are a perfect match for a touch-screen device like the DS. The story, however, would definitely benefit from a larger helping of the well-realised animated cutscenes.

★★★★☆

July 2, 2010

Portal

Ingenious puzzles are a given, but the first-person perspective, spectacular ending and perhaps the best credits sequence I’ve ever seen in a video game are what make Portal nigh on the perfect title in its genre.

★★★★★

July 1, 2010

Now playing, July 2010

“Very impressive. Please note that any appearance of danger is merely a device to enhance your testing experience.” (Portal)

This month is dedicated to reducing my stack of unfinished games. The two new games I’m making progress in are Read Dead Redemption and Super Mario Galaxy 2, both of which are just as good as the reviews make them out to be. Though they are vastly different experiences, they are both equally hard to stop playing – the former because of a gripping story and atmosphere, the latter because of superb level design.

Apart from new games, I’m working my way through some of the older titles in my backlog. I’m close to finishing Portal: Still Alive and Professor Layton and the Curious Village, but have only just started on Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure. As if that isn’t enough, I somehow found myself downloading Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker from PSN last night amidst vows not to buy any other titles for a couple of weeks.