Link grab bag – Serious games and serious research about unserious games

Two links I found interesting:

Playing Counter Strike and Call of Duty 4 can improve visual perception of contrast

ABC Australia is funding the production of Serious Games

And a random extra; there have been a number of hyped-up articles about small-time developers making it big with iPhone games recently. A few of the Ludum Dare regulars have been among them. Here’s another one of those stories, closer to home – local Melbourne developer Firemint has apparently had some success with Flight Control. Good for them ! I have no real numbers, but I’d say for every successful iPhone game, there are one hundred or more that never make enough money to break even (assuming the developers makes games for paid work, with real costs, taking wages etc). It’s no doubt a tough market to crack – glad to see some Aussies getting a piece of the action.

Belated Ludum Dare #14 “entry”

Well, it’s not an official entry, since it’s way too late. You can see what I was trying to achieve here and here. Essentially, I was attempting to entertain myself in the boring parts of a plane flight from Rome to Melbourne, via Hong Kong, by making my Ludum Dare entry. Various problems, mainly to do with finding working laptop power, prevented me from submitting it by the deadline.

Compactor LD14 Screenshot

This is the product of about two laptop battery charges (~2.5 hours), and one hour to polish, fix the odd bug and package .. so in total it’s about a ~6 hour game. It’s based on the garbage compactor scene from a particular space opera that had it’s heyday in the late 70’s and early 80’s. You could imagine it was one of the ideas that was considered, then discarded, before the early arcade developers went “Nah, we should do a 3D X-Wing game with vector graphics. That would be much cooler”.

You are the (inexplicably) green hero. You play with the arrow keys. You move bits of junk (grey) such that you can jam the compactor before it crushes you. Some bits of junk (white), are too large to move. There is only one level and no sound.

Play it here (Java applet, requires the Java plugin that you most likely already have installed).