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View Full Version : Smart Phone Gaming: U-Decide!


onimaruxlr
10-30-2010, 01:11 AM
I honestly hate the hell out of the things, but that's probably because 1) The notion of paying for sub-NES level game design makes me want to chew through someone's trachea 2) I don't actually have a cell phone and 3) I have a rage-induced brain hemorrhage when I hear someone talk about something like Crisis Core or Peace Walker and Angry Birds in the same breath.

But I'm an anti-social anachronistic asshole. What say ye, the people?

ArugulaZ
10-30-2010, 01:53 AM
I say buy an iPod Touch. It's the best of both worlds, a smartphone-like device without the commitments. It's not technically a phone, but it does practically everything else, including internet surfing and voice IP, which lets you call most phone numbers.

Brickroad
10-30-2010, 07:53 AM
I just got a smart phone! I'm going to play with it some at work tonight.

The future, you guys! The future!

ASandoval
10-30-2010, 08:13 AM
Like any other gaming medium (Be it controller, motion, card, board, sports, etc.) it's about how you make the game, not the system its on. A well designed, fun to play game is a fun game. I have an iPod Touch. There's awesome games on it. There's also crap, because people like to make cheap crap and make a quick buck. That is not the fault of the smart phone.

daroga
10-30-2010, 08:57 AM
There's some well-made stuff out there. I've got an Android phone (Droid X) which I like a lot! We just got my wife an iPod touch which is nice too, although I've not played much on it.

Neither is going to replace my consoles, but they can be fun diversions.

Becksworth
10-30-2010, 09:58 AM
I have an iPod Touch, but I just can't get into playing games on it. I don't play video games on the go that often (I'll play handhelds, just at home), so the compromised to work with on a phone controls schemes just end up bugging me.

O..O~
10-30-2010, 10:56 AM
Get a dpad and buttons then maybe I will take gaming on my iphone seriously.

OzymandiasAV
10-30-2010, 12:30 PM
Can we add a choice for "Just another medium for gaming; no more, no less" to the vote? I don't buy into the evangelism that mobile gaming is the Future Of Gaming, but there are enough good mobile games out there, games like Shibuya that wouldn't really work as well on any other platform, that there's no real reason to outright dismiss the medium as a whole.

I honestly hate the hell out of the things, but that's probably because 1) The notion of paying for sub-NES level game design makes me want to chew through someone's trachea 2) I don't actually have a cell phone and 3) I have a rage-induced brain hemorrhage when I hear someone talk about something like Crisis Core or Peace Walker and Angry Birds in the same breath.

If #2 is true, then how can you really know that mobile games have the "sub-NES design" mentioned in #1?

onimaruxlr
10-30-2010, 01:15 PM
If #2 is true, then how can you really know that mobile games have the "sub-NES design" mentioned in #1?

Because I am a sad videogame hungry lunatic, so even if I can't play something, whether it's iPhone games or 10+ year old Saturn games, I make it a point to check things out

Daikaiju
10-30-2010, 01:38 PM
Apples and Oranges, for now at least. iPhone has a few deep apps, like Chaos Rings but Droid has a helluva lot of dreck and neither are very comfortable to hold like a controller for more than ten minutes.

Bongo Bill
10-30-2010, 02:15 PM
The defining elements here are that they must match the form factor of a handheld device with a small and imprecise touchscreen, a permanent but unreliable internet connection, a camera, and the constant threat of interruption, upon which text entry is possible but an incredible pain in the ass. There are devices that have more functionality than these, but these are the baseline. These shortcomings are very constraining, but such limitations are the mother of inventiveness.

So far, games for such a device can be categorized like this:

1. Games adapted from previously existing styles whose modes of interaction do not translate well to the device. Touchscreens and buttons are not compatible; if you require a button, never mind several buttons, then the player will contend more against the interface than the game.

2. Games adapted from previously existing styles whose modes of interaction do translate well to the device. If the interface of the game is irrelevant, or, better yet, specifically designed for pointing, then the smartphone is an ideal platform. RPGs, adventure games, and puzzle games work well here; just make sure the menu buttons are big enough.

3. Games that take specific advantage of the device's capabilities. Obviously these are what we want, but the medium is young enough yet that the only ones that exist seem to be just exploring the conceptual space they represent, rather than attempting to constitute something compelling in their own right. Novelties, in the sense of being new. Tech demos. Outstanding ideas for what to do with the platform have yet to surface and be recognized for what they are.

Complicating the issues are:

1. The audience is hard to reach by objective standards, let alone from the position of experienced game designers entrenched deep within traditional PC or console game development companies. Smartphone owners want "games," but they have very limited ways of describing what kind of games they want in a way that the platforms' app stores can understand; upstream communication is difficult. Downstream communication is also difficult, as there's no infrastructure in place to help filter the good from the bad.

2. Low price points, extremely rapid development cycles, the aforementioned low signal-to-noise ratio, and, eventually, overwhelmingly high volume mean that it is difficult for any kind of touchstone to be established. You can't support the kind of sophistication that jaded, spoiled veterans like us have come to expect without having killer-apps (or at least widespread, mainstream releases) to build on. Having to work fast means that an experimental, "try everything and see what works" strategy is easier to follow than a more deliberate approach, but it also means that it's hard to learn from others' attempts at doing the same. Developers will exist in their own little islands until the ecosystem matures.

There's upsides, of course, but they mostly remain potential at this point.

Voncaster
10-30-2010, 07:42 PM
For myself, I don't care for smart phone gaming.

I guess I would prefer to spend my gaming hours playing games on a console. I like the large screen and depth of game play that consoles allow. I have owned and played a gameboy and gba, but honestly handheld gaming of every stripe has failed to capture my interest.

I'm positive that I'm in the minority on this one.

cortbassist89
10-30-2010, 07:59 PM
It's cute that console fans get something new to rail against. Did they get tired of the whole PCs/portables suck! thing and now need this as well?

Games are games. I have played plenty of console/PC/handheld games that were utter rubbish cashins too.

Nodal
10-30-2010, 09:57 PM
It's cute that console fans get something new to rail against. Did they get tired of the whole PCs/portables suck! thing and now need this as well?

Games are games. I have played plenty of console/PC/handheld games that were utter rubbish cashins too.

It's cute that you find things cute.

NY Gamer
10-30-2010, 10:01 PM
IDK... it all depends on the Phone being used as there are different controls. I have a RAZR and any games on it suck tremendously!

Although it isn't fair to compare games on a phone and games on consoles... phone-handhelds may be a different story.

cortbassist89
10-30-2010, 10:05 PM
It's cute that you find things cute.
;D :3

chud_666
10-30-2010, 10:13 PM
After Space Invaders Infinity Gene, Espagaluda, Tap Quest, Castlevania Puzzle, Conquest and Game Dev Story - I've learned to love my iphone as a gaming device. HOWEVER!!! Any game using virtual controls can suck my ass

ASandoval
10-30-2010, 10:48 PM
It's cute that console fans get something new to rail against. Did they get tired of the whole PCs/portables suck! thing and now need this as well?

Games are games. I have played plenty of console/PC/handheld games that were utter rubbish cashins too.

This. I'm not the biggest fan of PC gaming myself, but... it's all games man.

Do board games need controllers?

Voncaster
10-31-2010, 12:09 AM
It's cute that console fans get something new to rail against. Did they get tired of the whole PCs/portables suck! thing and now need this as well?

Games are games. I have played plenty of console/PC/handheld games that were utter rubbish cashins too.

I think consoles and hand held systems offer different gaming experiences. Sure I can play FF1 on my iPhone but I would rather play it on my TV.

I don't think anyone would argue that watching a movie on TV is a different experience than watching it on a phone. I think Screen Size, Audio quality and the depth of games can all be brought up as legitimate points of contrast when looking at consoles and hand-helds/phones.

cortbassist89
10-31-2010, 12:28 AM
I think consoles and hand held systems offer different gaming experiences. Sure I can play FF1 on my iPhone but I would rather play it on my TV.

I don't think anyone would argue that watching a movie on TV is a different experience than watching it on a phone. I think Screen Size, Audio quality and the depth of games can all be brought up as legitimate points of contrast when looking at consoles and hand-helds/phones.
You're exactly right; the reason why many phone games fail is because instead of being developped to specifically tailor to the strengths of the platform, they just shoehorn it to fit however they can. I'm not disagreeing that these games are bad (especially when the great idea for the virtual dpad and buttons is to put them in my field of view, so I can't see a quarter of the screen while I play).

But that's true of all games, console games, PC games, whatever and what have you. Most people don't like console RTSes because the console doesn't offer adequate input for that type of game (I wouldn't personally know, never played a console RTS); and I can't play Psychonauts on my laptop without my 360 controller plugged in because AGGGHGHGHGHkeyboardagghgh.

I have nothing against people such as you who admit that the games out there for the platform just aren't your cup of tea, but it's grating to hear the people that swear that so-and-so platform/console/whateverwhathaveyou isn't viable for real games or whatever.

I mean, we have a thread with more than enough iPhone game suggestions to show that it's a viable platform, I think (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=9264). It even excels at many games better than I think any other platform could. Take Words With Friends, for instance, a great Scrabble-clone with (I believe the term is correspondence?) gameplay that alerts you whenever your turn is up again. It lets you play whenever and wherever, however it fits into your life. And since I can easily carry my iPod wherever with me, it's no inconvenience at all, and a nice diversion whenever I need to kill a few minutes.

tl;dr----there's saying that red just isn't a color you like, and then there's swearing up and down that red is stupid and shouldn't be taken seriously because just look at it ewwwww.

MetManMas
10-31-2010, 01:11 AM
My main experience with cellphone gaming is with some stuff my dad had on one of his old cellphones, and I can honestly say that phones are terrible for platformers and fighting games. Worst port of Mega Man 2 and port demo of Street Fighter II I ever played. Even Ms. Pac-Man was a clunky, choppy mess on a cell. =(

If I do get an iPhone or whatever, I am interested in checking out the RPG/adventure/puzzle type stuff, though! My interest in phone games is with ones that work well with the format.

ArugulaZ
10-31-2010, 03:19 AM
I think smartphone games can be fine experiences if they're built for that format. Arcade-style games adapted to a smartphone almost always fail because their fast action requires precision input, which smartphones don't offer. (I had heard about an Android gaming device, but it looks like nothing came of it.)

Tap-based and mouse-based games work much better. I've been playing Bookworm Classic on my iPod Touch and I've had no problem with the interface, aside from shaking to scramble the tiles. Also, I think it's important to keep the action turn-based or at least dialed down to a reasonable level, because if it's too intense your fingers will be all over the display and you're likely to get snuffed in a hurry.

Bongo Bill
10-31-2010, 03:47 AM
Actually, rumor has it that Sony's developing an Android-based PSP successor.