Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Currently playing...

Guinness' Tipping Point - a Flash-based code-hunt to tie in with their new advert. A nice mix of searching through video, Googling, and random puzzles (some are easy, some difficult, some just hidden), although Flash does annoy me at the best of times. Still, there's prizes being given away, so don't forget to register (or "join") if you're playing along in the UK.

Also been pointed at smithy111110's photos today by Bookmore. Not sure how deep this rabbit hole goes yet, but managed to get an early (and bunny-eared) name check already ;) So far, conversation is happening (albeit slowly - which is never a bad thing) over at We Love Puzzles and on the Unfiction forum.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Ideas: Gaming in a Web 2-point-O Land

I mostly hate the term "web 2.0" as I think it tries to encapsulate something - an idea, a trend - when all the best ideas come out of not being constrained in such ways. Still, it has some merit, so I continue to use it to refer to "modern" web services that focus less on websites and more on content: information, users.

With that in mind, and knowing that the likelihood of me actually getting round to doing either of the following for a while, here's 2 suggestions for stirring things up a little in modern "games":

1. An API for Wii Miis. Currently you can create your own Mii - an avatar for yourself, as a player - using a Wii, and then use that avatar in games that support it. You can also travel around via the Internet, or via a Wiimote, to other people's Wiis. Looks like you can also edit Miis on the web by loading and saving extracted binary files.

Why not skip this middle man (XML files and Flash editors), and open up Mii characters to all kinds of services via a standard API? In the beginning, it may make sense to limit it to read-only, but all of a sudden the Mii becomes not just a Wii thing, but an avatar for all occasions.

2. Twitter-based gaming. Hey, it's being used to keep track of who owes who beer, as well as for storytelling, so why not some simple games that are less "intrusive" (e.g. do one thing per hour, or per day, by sending a text) or take mobile interactivity into account (e.g. enter the code at a certain place).

This was kind of inspired by news of mobile gaming in the West taking a beating. Video is touted as what people really want, but if you look at it, people are quite happy with voice and texts. Twitter does texts for free, and provides a handy API for tying it into lots of lovely custom functionality, so why not use that as a platform for entertainment? (See also Boxr (and previous post on it) which seems to have its own own Twitter feed too.)

So there you go, 2 things that could be fun. Make it so.

Gamasutra at Essen

Not too much detail going on, but Gamasutra has a small report from the recent Essen board game show, including a mini-look at Eurogames such as Kingsburg, and some different concepts such as Seigo, which ties together Japanese characters with territory.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Perplexorum Looks to the Big Sleep

Today's downer news (well, Monday's - I've been busy) is that the Perplexorum forum will be going into suspended animation on Nov 11th. The site will be kept up for reference, but no new posts will be allowed. The Perplex City chat has obviously been minimal since the game was put on hold. Since then, the forums have been buoyed by discussion around the Golden Jigsaw and Alice is Lost games, both of which are now "over", one way or another.

There's still the unforums and the We Love Puzzles forum (for the time being ;) for all your ARG and puzzling needs, but hearty thanks go out to the Perplexorum team for doing a great job. Maybe we'll see them again next year if Perplex City gets going again... Watch this space?