Nintendo’s Fils-Aime: Low-Priced Mobile Games Among ‘Biggest Risks’ To Industry

Gamasutra – News – Nintendo’s Fils-Aime: Low-Priced Mobile Games Among ‘Biggest Risks’ To Industry.

And here we go again. This is a topic that seems to resurface often.

In my opinion, it’s two VERY different sections of the gaming market (console and iOS), one of which is a lot newer than the other. And despite what people say, I really don’t think they’re competing with each other.

App games appeal to the same people who have been playing Windows Solitaire or Minesweeper all these years, in addition to appealing to traditional gamers, kids, etc. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a very broad target market.

In mobile games, price points HAVE gone down, when you compare the prices of feature phone games, to games found in the app store. But that’s mobile gaming- the target market is the same, it’s just the technology and the delivery model that’s evolved.

Playing Angry Birds is not the same experience as playing Rock Band. Smurfs’ Village is not the same experience as playing Red Dead Redemption. They’re not better or worse, they’re just different types of gameplay, which appeal to different types of people. It doesn’t demean gaming as a whole to cater to a different type of player, who may or may not be willing to pay $60 for a new game.

That’s my rant for the day…


Board Game Design Jam

Well, WordPress ate my first attempt at this post, so here I go again.

Last week, a few of my TRPA cronies and I attended the Board Game Design Jam at George Brown College. (NOT to be confused with the Global Game Jam, which was the same weekend :P). We spent 48 hours eating, sleeping and breathing board game mechanics and design.

The weekend started off with a brief intro to board game design, an exercise, and a panel of special guests which included:

Then we set to designing. My group was made up of Eugene Fong Dere, Daniel Quattrociocchi, Brian Valiquette, and me. We spent all of saturday brainstorming, and emerged sunday morning with not one, but TWO working prototypes of ideas we’d had. (Thanks in part to Dan not being able to sleep that night.)

Sunday evening we had the chance to have our games tested by the panelists/judges (which also included Tim Maly, founder of Capybara Games) and a bunch of random participants. At the end of the night, the votes were tallied and we won not just runner-up, but also first prize!

We won copies of Game of Things, and another game I can’t quite remember the title of.

The Games We Designed:

Worst. Day. Ever. – A tile/card game where you play panicky artisans trying to flee the island of Atlantis as it implodes in various ways and sinks into the ocean. Collect parts to a “vehicle” (I use the term loosely) before too many tiles have disappeared.Hilarious and competitive.

The Curator – You play a museum curator filling his museum space with artifacts, which randomly come up for auction from the deck.

Many thanks to Adam Clare, David Fono, and their team, for making the event a fun and inspiring experience. Hope to see it happen again next year!

The article by Lauren Souch
The Wrap-Up Post on the Official Website
The Flickr Album (Photos courtesy of Trevor Haldenby)


From Left to Right: Brian Valiquette, Megan Swaine, Eugene Fong Dere, and Daniel Quattrociocchi.

Gamasutra – Features – Closing the Loop: Fostering Communication In Single Player Games

A very good article by Chuck Jordan, from TellTale Games!

Gamasutra – Features – Closing the Loop: Fostering Communication In Single Player Games.


My thoughts:

I think the fear (by the designer/writer) is that if the narrative cues are too subtle, some players will miss them, and if they’re too obvious, other players will feel patronized. It’s tough, because these cues are sometimes necessary to complete the game, or at the very least understand/enjoy it.

It’s the delicate balance between communicating your “vision” (as a designer) and allowing the player to get as much, or as little, out of their gameplay experience as the want.