Thursday, November 30, 2006

PS3 priced. Guess how much...

Weeks ago, when the Xbox360 price for the Brazilian market was announced (around U$ 1440), I asked:
The question is: how much will they charge for the PS3?
Well, I´m pleased to inform that in Brazil you can buy, from this site,
the PS3 (20 Gb HD version) + 4 PS2 games (no typo here: 4 PS2 games). The price?

R$ 7980. Equivalent, today, to something around US$ 3.670.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Early game progression x backstory

Disclaimer: If you really want to learn in-depth, insightful thoughts on gameplay progression, you should read Lopez' article on Gamasutra, instead. Myself, I´m just reporting a (not so meaningful) case in which the game's backstory is changed due to early gameplay issues.

If you´ve seen the screenshot I´ve submitted weeks ago, you probably know the game I´m working on is about maintaining flowers. The initial plan (and backstory) was to give the player a completely empty terrain, so he could start his garden from scratch. That, I thought, would emphasize the player´s freedom.

However, given the game´s pace on early tests, we´re thinking of starting the game with a single specimen already planted. Reasons for that include (a) giving something the player can care about right from the beginning, not being subject to (b) a long period of time without any flowers around.

As result, the storyline would have to change from something like "start a garden from scratch and create the flora of..." to something like "save the last flower and recreate the flora of...". Personally, I think players would be more captivated by the second line.

Any thoughts?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Homebrew Flash Wii Games

Yes, they are a possibility! Play some at:

I am not sure they use every Wiimote functionality, but that´s a start!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Driving Game inside Google Earth

Still on different uses for Google Earth:

I haven't tried it (and probably won't, at least for now) but here's a video of a driving game made for Google Earth available here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Non-games and Toyplay: Preliminary list - Part IV

Just a quick update, suggested by a work colleague who really enjoyed the game in question:

  • Sim Tower

    Curiously released by Maxis under the `Sim` series (not the Sims series, mind you), but developed by a Japanese studio.

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!
  • Interface Retouch

    Note the new 'stats' button (I won't tell you which one it is - I hope it's obvious enough).

    I don't know what you think, but I guess it looks better than the previous version.

    That was a good advice from Corvus. Thank you, again.

    Maybe next week I'll have a new version for the music as well...

    Very Serious Games

    As reported on Slashdot, Google Earth is being used by Indians (in this case, natives from South America, not India) to monitor and protect Amazon (in this case, the forest, not the bookstore)

    ...In Suriname, Brazil, and Colombia are combining their traditional knowledge of the rainforest with Western technology to conserve forests and maintain ties to their history and cultural traditions. Indians use Google Earth to remotely monitor their lands by checking for signs of miners and GPS to map their lands.


    I´ve posted before about Google Earth, which I find an excellent product for many reasons, such as the fact it "[blurs] the line between the application it is and the game or toy it is used as". After reading the news above, I wonder if applications like this could turn environmental challenges into collective games that culminate in real problems being issued and possible solutions being presented by its players - who would actually discover the challenges themselves.

    Since we live in a big planet, this game could have exploration and housekeeping elements (to borrow some terms from the book 21st Century Game Design).

  • Original Slashdot post
  • Google Earth
  • My previous post on Google Earth
  • 21st Century Game Design book
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    Mafalda on evidence?

    I´ve noticed that many visitors are reaching this website when looking for Mafalda comic strips (your might remember I have posted, so far, four notes about game design based on Quino´s creation).

    First, I would like to apologize for the broken images - I´ll try to fix that as soon as possible. Also, I´m getting a sense that, suddenly, there´s a lot of people looking for Mafalda material. Even some stores around here started to sell merchandise based on that character. Does anybody know why this could be happening? Is that just a coincidence?

  • Mafalda on Game Design and Theory I
  • Mafalda on Game Design and Theory II
  • Mafalda on Game Design and Theory III
  • Mafalda on Game Design and Theory IV
  • Friday, November 10, 2006

    The U$ 1,400 Xbox 360

    I´ve mentioned, some time ago, how much the Wii would cost in Brazil: something equivalent to U$ 1,120.

    Now, you might remember me posting about the Xbox 360 coming to Brazil. Here´s a passage from the text:

    I am curious about the price. An import costs from U$ 950 to 1400 (!), so it shouldn't be difficult to make it cheaper than that and attract more buyers

    Well, according to, Microsoft´s console will cost R$ 2999,00 - equivalent to something like... U$ 1400.

    The question is: how much will they charge for the PS3?

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    The blurb

    If my upcoming game had a cover, this is more or less what would be written on it (formated as proposed by Chris Bateman):

    Garden Game Project

    Wind, Water and DNA.

    Control the force of nature: keep your garden and customize flowers down to genetic level.

    * Plant and nurture your garden.
    * Design your own flowers from millions of possible DNA combinations.
    * Export pictures of your creations.

    Ages: 4+
    Players: 1
    Ease of Learning: Suitable for Beginner
    Difficulty of Play: Easy-Medium
    Play Time: 5 minutes (2 hours total)

    I´m not sure about my Play Time accuracy, though. It could be completely different.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Non-games and Toyplay: Preliminary list - Part III

    How could I forget...

  • Little Computer People(!)
  • Sim Earth(?)
  • Sim Ants(?)

    An anonymous poster suggests Intellivision Lives . Apparently is a compilation of Intellivision games, including some prototypes. I´ve never played this one before, but there is a particular demo called "Hypnotic Lights", which could be a Llamasoft-esque demo. Does anyone knows what is that about?
  • Monday, November 06, 2006

    the soundtrack

    Ok, we've discussed the visuals, so here is the music:

    You might remember I was thinking of using only percussion. That's the whole track played only once (although it feels like a loop already).

    Again, would you like to comment, please? Your help is being very, very useful (in fact, I did replace the stats icon, as suggested by Corvus. It's much better now).

    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    Screenshots - good idea?

    I really would like to hear some opinions on the game demo visuals, but I'm not so sure I should do it. We're 1 1/2 months from finishing the demo.

    - It could generate some useful feedback (some of which I could use)
    - I feel I need to ask if the visuals are up to par, regarding other casual titles around (specially the ones made with flash)

    - Revealing the game too soon(?)

    What do you think? Should I post it?

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Oh, that much for the Wii?

    You might remember me asking if the Wii would really cost R$ 1500 in this country (something around $ 690). Well, the price has been now announced. And it's even more expensive.

    According to and Inside Games, the Nintendo Wii will cost R$ 2,399 which is, today, equivalent to 1,120 American Dollars.

    Apparently, the most expensive PS3 version will cost $599 in the U$, where you'll be able to buy the Wii for $250 and the Xbox 360 (including 20 Gb HD) for $400. Total: $1250.

    Only $130 more than a Wii bought in Brazil.

    I can't wait to see the line-up titles prices...
    Copyright, Chico Queiroz