Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Amazon Queen on the iPhone

I was reading Ron Gilbert's latest amusing blog entry on Grumpy Gamer where he talks about his "one wish".

Without ruining it for you he eventually drops the bombshell that Monkey Island is now playable on the iPhone thanks to the nice people at ScummVM.

Then it hit me... if Monkey Island works on the iPhone with ScummVM, then Flight of the Amazon Queen would too! And guess what? It does!

I was getting an iPhone when they become available in Australia next year anyway, but now being able to play my old adventure game on it makes it even cooler. Oh, and I'll be able to play Monkey Island too.


Monday, November 26, 2007

What They Play

What They Play is a useful new site for parents to help them make educated decisions about what games to buy for their children.

Unlike popular sites like IGN, 1Up and Gaming Age, What They Play goes out of their way to talk about games like Dora the Explorer and High School Musical. If you have kids and you're a gamer you'll realize how cool this is - trying to find balanced information on games for 3 year olds is almost impossible.

But it also covers games for older kids too, drawing attention to stuff that mainstream press reviews wouldn't - for example their coverage of Assassin's Creed warns:
"Potentially objectionable language is far from gratuitous, though it is strong. There are a few f-bombs dropped, and players will hear “b*****d” and expressions such as “d**n you all to h***.”"

Founded by industry vets Ira Becker and John Davison (who used to be the editorial director of the 1Up network) the site has the credibility of real game journalists with experience in the more serious console gaming field. In fact John is still involved in the 1Up Yours podcast so he has his finger on the pulse of hardcore gamers.

If you have kids that you'll be buying Christmas presents for this year then I thoroughly recommend that you check out the site:


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Super Mario Galaxy

Without trying to sound too much like a Nintendo fanboy I have to say I've been having a blast playing Super Mario Galaxy on Wii. It's lots of fun and is getting rave reviews from everyone on the planet.

Now, the game is awesome, but I would love to see what the reviews would have been like if Mario was retextured as Manny the Carpenter and was released by THQ as Super Manny's Adventures.

Would the reviewers mark it down for having text only on the screen and no VO? Would they pick on the bizarre storyline that mixes witches and UFOs and mushrooms into one big mix? Would it get 98% or higher?

I guess we'll never know. But I suspect smaller devs would never be given the same sort of breaks in these areas that Nintendo gets.

What do you think?


Friday, November 16, 2007


I've been running the closed beta for the new Brainiversity product for the last few months and will be opening it up to the public soon. I've been slowly adding features and fixing bugs - and the public beta should accelerate this process.

It's been a great learning process for me - I've gotten my hands dirty with Flash, HTML, PHP and MySQL. I've been having a lot of fun with it - and I'm very impressed with PHP - it's so cool to be able to come up with an idea and have it up and working within minutes. Anyway, keep checking this blog - I'll make the announcement here when it's available.

In other news I finally got Zelda on DS but have elected to hold off opening it until Christmas. I know, it sounds like madness - but I have a lot of other cool games to play through first...


Monday, November 12, 2007

Sam and Max for FREE!

That's right, Telltale Games is offering one of the episodes of the new episodic adventure game series Sam and Max for free!

So, if you haven't got it yet, then click on this link and start downloading the game right now!


Thursday, November 08, 2007


Well, I'm back from New Zealand having attending the AnimfxNZ symposium.

Unfortunately I had to leave early due to other commitments, so I only got to attend one and a half days of the conference - but the one and half days I did see were great!

The conference had an awesome line up of speakers including Tim Johnson (director of Over the Hedge), Dan Curry (vfx producer on Star Trek), Warren Franklin (head of Rainmaker and working on putting Reboot back on the screens!), Rita Street (president of Radar Cartoons), Jason Manley (from Massive Black) and many, many others. Pinky Agnew was the MC and she did an awesome job making everyone laugh and feel welcome. Overall, it was a sterling event!

I gave a talk and a workshop which I hope people got something useful from. Wellington was a nice city and I was lucky enough to be there on Guy Fawkes Night - which meant lots of fireworks. Definitely a place to go back and visit with the family.


Friday, November 02, 2007


OpenSocial from Google is a new common API for building social applications across many websites. It's Google's answer to Facebook apps, and given the amount of money that Google is losing in advertising to Facebook's closed off social network it's no surprise they're striking out hard.

Google has managed to snare some pretty big partners including LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, hi5 and Friendster. MySpace has actually dumped their own app initiative and adopted OpenSocial.

The cool thing is creating a social app is similar to creating a Google Gadget - which means Flash can be embedded. So, what does this mean for game developers? Well, hopefully it will make it easier for entrepreneurial dev teams to do some interesting stuff with social networks and easily deploy their work to a lot of places.

In other news, Halloween was awesome. I chaperoned Ella, Zac and our neighbor Regan, around the neighborhood early in the afternoon as they "trick or treated" to their hearts content. Ella went as a princess, Zac as a surfer and Regan as Superman. Together they scored lots of candy loot. Then we returned home and gave out heaps of candy to the onslaught of older kids. All up we had around 25 to 30 kids trick or treating. Not bad for an Australian neighborhood where Halloween is still a new idea.

This Sunday I'm off to New Zealand to attend the AnimfxNZ symposium. I'll be giving a talk on localizing games (put together with Gary Ireland, the Japanese language producer on Destroy All Humans! 2) as well as giving a workshop. Should be lots of fun.

Sidhe Interactive are hosting a Guy Fawkes Party on Monday night which I'm looking forward to attending. They have some great people speaking at the conference, including people from Dreamworks and Weta.

I'll post more when I return.