Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

State of the System, Part II

This article was first published on the iPhone Games Network. To view my original article, click here.

In part one of this article, I discussed where the iPhone/iPod Touch platform is at in terms of things like visuals, controls, and gameplay, and what gamers can expect for the future.

Today we’re wrapping up with Part II, where I’ll be covering some of the more abstract qualities of the platform – specifically game updates, replay value, multiplayer, and the App Store back-end.

Game Updates:

It’s almost a fact of life for App Store users that when you buy a game, you aren’t actually getting the final version. It’ll be updated, and probably more than once. Whether or not you like the idea of buying something before developers have finished tweaking it, the practice is here to stay. In fact, it isn’t even all bad. Many games have dramatically improved since their original release, and the simple nature of the App Store’s system means that all users have the chance to get a more polished, hopefully bug-free product. While this isn’t a perfect standard, it’s still much, much better than buying games for your average cell phone, which usually goes something like this: Continue reading

Advertisements

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, iPhone/iPod Touch, Tech | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pay Attention: This is what a GFWL Gamer Looks Like

CoolingGibbon

CoolingGibbon

Everyone, meet CoolingGibbon, diehard GFWL gamer.

I’ve been in contact with him over the past several weeks, asking some questions and generally trying to get a better idea of what motivates him to use GFWL. Read on for the transcript of our email interview.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I’m a 22-yr old guy currently pursuing a computer science degree. I’ve been a PC gamer for over 8 years, before which I used to game on a NES and Gameboy as a kid. But after being introduced to classics like Wolf 3D, Quake and Half-Life… I decided to move over to PCs completely. And I’m glad to say that I find the PC undoubtedly the best platform for any serious gamer.

How did you get into GFWL?

My first introduction to GFWL was with Halo 2 a little more than a year ago Continue reading

April 18, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Interview | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In All Fairness: Games For Windows Live

First of all, let me start off by saying that I haven’t been too kind to Games For Windows Live in the past. Among other things, I’ve said that nobody is even aware of its existence, that it’s useless so far, and that it needs to be scrapped completely and replaced with something new.

Recently, I’ve made an honest attempt to put my own biases aside and look at the situation objectively. On the one hand, GFWL doesn’t approach the utility of Steam, not by a long shot. That being said, most Steam users have a rather short-term memory about these things – for the first several years of Steam’s existence, it was roundly mocked and derided as little more than Valve’s version of DRM. I’ve had some bad moments with Steam personally, most notably when my computer is temporarily without internet access – Steam throws a righteous fit. GFWL also has some challenges that Steam hasn’t faced, like trying to adequately interface PC gamers with console gamers. Continue reading

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hamachi: How To Set Up a VPN

My friend Zach over at Akinotsuki recently convinced me to pick up a copy of Sins of a Solar Empire, arguably one of the best real-time strategy games released last year. Presumably, he did this for the very specific purpose of destroying my self esteem on a regular basis. That’s what I think, anyway. It’s an incredibly complex game, and the learning curve can be a bit steep at times.

Let’s say you pick up SoaSE, and you want to play against your friend like me and Zach do. How does one go about it? There’s always the SoaSE servers via Ironclad Online, admittedly most players’ default if they’re looking to do multiplayer. ICO is a bit troublesome, though – other players are annoying at times, features don’t work quite the way you’d like, etc. What’s a gamer to do? Use Hamachi.

If you aren’t familiar with it, Hamachi is a zero-configuration VPN (Virtual Private Network) application made by LogMeIn. It’s compatible with Windows, with betas available for OS X and Linux. Essentially, using a VPN connection is like setting up a LAN, only without any of the hard wiring. Here’s how you do it:

January 24, 2009 Posted by | Gaming, Tech, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments