Play games, improve your eyes

 Posted by (Visited 5312 times)  Game talk  Tagged with:
Mar 302009
 

Latest from the games-are-good-for-you department:

The findings, reported in the March 29 issue of Nature, indicate that action games offer players the chance to improve their contrast perception by as much as 58%.

via Video Game Play Improves Eyesight — Video Games — InformationWeek.

The findings show that you have to play FPSes like UT2k4 and CoD2, and not games like The Sims 2. So you may improve your “contrast perception” but presumably the industry’s critics will then assert that you traded your eyesight for temporary boosts in aggressivity. πŸ™‚

Gaikai: virtual worlds streamed as video

 Posted by (Visited 9645 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Mar 272009
 

Gaikai is basically like OnLive, but for 3d MMOs.It uses Flash to stream video from a high-end gaming PC, and captures clicks and keystrokes and sends them back to the server.

The browser β€œsandbox” may curtail gaming, but it does not limit the streaming of video. As YouTube and a multitude of copycats have shown, streaming videos online in a web browser is fast, efficient and reliable. This is the key to our technology. When you play a game through our service, you are actually watching a video stream. A very high resolution, high quality, stream with stereo sound, but in essence no different to the last video clip you watched.

I guess this is an idea whose time has come — dumb client terminals that just display a picture. Everything old is new again; this is exactly how Prodigy worked back in the day. πŸ™‚

3d canvas in browser on its way

 Posted by (Visited 10865 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , ,
Mar 252009
 

I have been commenting to people that for me this GDC is slightly dull partly for an odd reason: I no longer seem like a crazy prophet in the wilderness preaching about all the changes coming. The changes kinda just came. And now I wander around the halls and all the buzz is about digital distribution models, UGC, playing in a browser, microtransactions, web models, that traditional publishers are dinosaurs in trouble, iPhone indie games… you get the idea. The controversial talks of 2006 are today’s hallway gossip, and I need fresh new controversial material. πŸ˜‰

The latest bit to come true is the prediction that the battle for 3d in a browser would keep heating up. Flash, of course, continues to push. I mentioned Silverlight’s remarkably high penetration numbers not very long ago, and now the shoe finally drops on the Mozilla efforts, with the announcement that Mozilla and Khronos plan to have OpenGL ES through Javascript in Firefox 3.5.

The intense focus on Javascript performance over the past year has seen tremendous improvements across all browsers. Raw language performance is getting to the point where it can keep up with the raw computational requirements of 3D. It will only continue to improve, spurred on by 3D and other use cases. Second, the hardware required for accelerated 3D is becoming pervasive; hardly any desktop computer ships without some form of hardware acceleration, and the latest crop of smartphones almost uniformly have at least OpenGL ES 1.1, if not 2.0 available. Starting this work now ensures that a standard will be ready when Web developers want to take advantage of the capabilities available in hardware.

— Vladimir Vukicevic of Mozilla

So, the war is on in earnest now.

OnLive: digital distribution play

 Posted by (Visited 7382 times)  Game talk  Tagged with:
Mar 242009
 

Just yesterday I was talking with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal about how more publishers needed to get on the digital distribution bandwagon… and today, I see an article on CNet entitled OnLive could threaten Xbox, PS3, and Wii.

What is it? It’s a tiny box for your TV, or a service client for your PC. With a high enough bandwidth network connection, it lets you simply play standard PC games remotely. The games run on remote servers, and you are streamed the rendered screen, so your client hardware doesn’t matter. The company claims no lag thanks to amazing compression.

A whole bunch of publishers have signed up…

GDC09: Worlds in Motion Kickoff

 Posted by (Visited 7463 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Mar 242009
 

My brief kickoff of the Worlds in Motion Summit went well. There’s actually write-ups, which considering I was only on stage for fifteen minutes is slightly surprising. πŸ˜‰

Wonderland: http://www.wonderlandblog.com/wonderland/2009/03/takeaways-from-gdc2009-monday-morning-raph-koster.html

T=Machine: http://t-machine.org/index.php/2009/03/24/gdc09-worlds-in-motion-summit-keynote/

Massively: http://www.massively.com/2009/03/23/raph-koster-kicks-off-worlds-in-motion-summit-at-gdc-2009/

Forgive the formatting, but the hotel connectivity is basically non-existent, and I am using my cellphone as a model to post at all!