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Mike_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mike_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Real World Golf, Wii
    Posted: 02-11-2008 at 4:53pm
I finally got around to hooking up Real World Golf this weekend (suggested to me by some of you on this site) and had some fun with it.  It was decent, definitely not bad.  Hitting the ball was fun, though putting was frustrating.  It also felt like if some developers with experience had polished the game a bit, it would have been a lot better than it was.

Anyway, I'm again wondering if you guys -- hardcore gamers, particularly sports gamers  -- are generally going back and playing games with specialized controls.  I know everyone is playing guitar hero and rock band, so I'm not really talking about that -- more about The Wii stuff, Karaoke games, etc.

Are these games typically "play once or twice and then put away forever", or are you actually going back to play through the whole game, master the controls, etc. ?  And even for games like this that you like (say, Wii Bowling), do you find yourselves playing a lot of 1-player mode to get better or are you only playing them socially with friends ?

Also, do you guys with Wii find yourselves getting as many new games for that as for PS3 or XBox 360 ?


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JasonSGN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JasonSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-12-2008 at 10:19am
This is not Wii-related but I recently bought my first "specialized" controller - the Microsoft Racing Wheel.
 
On the other hand, my wife and kids got a chance to play the Wii and loved the bowling and tennis.
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Derek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Derek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-12-2008 at 2:38pm
Hmm...how to answer this in the best way to steer Mike back into developing console baseball games....
 
Wink
 
For me, Mike, it all comes down to the strength of the games.  I think that the specialized contols are by nature somewhat gimmicky- they usually generate quite a burst of fun in the beginning that fades rapidly...if the game that you are playing with them is somewhat shallow.  As far as the Wii goes right now, I think that is largely the case...you have a bunch of shallow games. 
 
That doesn't HAVE to be the case, though.  If the game is solid and deep enough, I'd continue to play in a heartbeat.   For example, I love Wii sports, but I've always considered the games within as little demos of what would be possible with 'full-length' titles.  I played them all tons in the beginning, but very rarely now, and then usually - as you said- with others in a social setting.  But would I continue to go back to say, a Wii Golf that controlled similarly to the version in Wii sports but had multiple courses, tournaments, and online play?  Youbetcha!  I also have gotten some good replay out of the Indy 500 game out now for the Wii.
 
As far as buying Wii games, again, I feel that it comes down to the individual game.  I have far more Xbox 360 games than I do Wii games, but in the last month I've bought more Wii titles than 360 for the first time in a while, maybe ever. (No More Heroes, Mario Strikers, Endless Ocean), simply because they were the games I wanted to play.  I got them for the games themselves, not for any 'controller' appeal.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mike_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-12-2008 at 5:47pm
Web: Thanks for the response.  Just FYI, my dream/goal is to develop higher-profile sports games for sports fans again someday, so no steering is really needed.  I have lots of ideas on how to buck current trends and make things more fun and satisfying for sports fans.  May or may not be console.  Just has to be the right time and place so that I can do everything the right way creatively; unfortunately that means not right now.

For now, the best I can do  is suggest you check out some cell phone sports games I worked on that may or may not be available on your carrier.  All are better than you'd probably expect, with high fun-factors:
- Nicktoons Mini Golf (recent, should be available on many carriers, surprisingly fun)
- MLSN Sports Picks (prediction game, may still be available, can become addicting)
- NCAA Hoops '05, NCAA Hoops '06, City Basketball (older, Cingular only)
- Baseball Heroes of the MLBPAA (very old, old Verizon handsets only mostly)

BTW, if anyone cares, supporting and spreading the word on Digital Chocolate games will indirectly be the best way you guys can help put me in a position to doing higher-profile sports games for sports fans again!! :-)

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Post Options Post Options   Quote K_Mosley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-12-2008 at 8:43pm
Forgive my ignorance, here, but since you're in the cell phone game business, how does it work, exactly?  I know I can call up games on my Verizon phone, and hook in to the network.  From here, I can make a purchase.  I haven't gone very far, but are all games available on all services?  Or, can I only download games that have some kind of contract with my provider? 
 
And, just out of curiosity, how does the quality (in general) compare with something like GBA games?
 
Thanks,
 
Kevin
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JasonSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-12-2008 at 10:33pm
Originally posted by Mike_S


BTW, if anyone cares, supporting and spreading the word on Digital Chocolate games will indirectly be the best way you guys can help put me in a position to doing higher-profile sports games for sports fans again!! :-)
 
Mike, feel free post any info and news about Digital Chocolate here.
 
Do any of your games run on Blackberries with T-Mobile service?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mike_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-13-2008 at 4:50pm
Thanks for the interest!!  Mobile games on your phone are definitely worth checking out. 

Sorry in advance for the length -  I put a lot of info into the rest of this post.

How to get games: It differs on every carrier.  For Verizon, you have to choose "Get It Now" from your main menu, then (on my phone) choose a shopping cart to shop for new applications and games.  On most carriers though, once you've gotten to the shopping point, you have to navigate through lists of categories and games (which is not always too user-friendly).  The big problems are finding a game you want, and knowing something about it; most of these lists have a two-line description of the game at most, so it's buying blind most of the time.  Some carriers have a "Search" feature so if you know the name of a game, you can type it in and go right to that game.

Our sales guys have to sell the games individually to each of the carriers, so some games are available on some carriers but not others.  Additionally, not every game is made for every handset (we try to, but it doesn't always make sense).  Know that when I worked on High Heat 2004 we did 6 versions the last year and we thought it was hard -- XBox, PS2, Gamecube (never finished), PS1 (finished but never shipped), PC, and GBA.  For some of the Digital Chocolate games, we have to do more than 1000 versions to support nearly-all handsets worldwide!!! :-) :-) :-)   So you can only get games that your carrier has chosen to take, that also are made for your particular handset.

Quality: Varies TREMENDOUSLY from game to game.  Games tend to have less strenous arcade interaction than GBA (think about phone controls vs. GBA controls as the main reason), and quality of graphics/sound/presentation depends on what phone you have.  Graphic-style tends to be similar to GBA though, and cleverly-developed games can be quite good.  I have an old Gameboy and never use it, but I play mobile games a lot (outside of work) because of the convenience of firing up a game on your phone while I'm waiting in a restaurant, sitting in the airport, can't sleep in a hotel, etc.).

Also, mobile games tend to be way easier to pick-up-and-play, and often in less-hardcore-game categories, than even what you'd get on GBA.  And the best ones still have good replay value.

All that said, the quality of games is a very-mixed bag. Most licensed games are ridiculously poor and not fun at all.  Most games that are a modern video game license on the phone are also ridiculously poor and not fun.  Some older video games licenses (like Tetris or Frogger) are decent on the phone.  Most of the games developed by Digital Chocolate are honestly extremely fun-to-play, and typically well polished.  Gameloft is another company that generally puts out quality games.  But you have to know which games you're looking for before downloading, or else I'd say there's a 2/3 chance you'll be disappointed.

BTW, the prices tend to be super-low for these games (like $5 or so usually) so it's not like your taking a big risk by downloading a game or two.  Additionally, when you find a good, replayable mobile game, it clearly has way better value-for-dollar than almost all console games (I've played probably 400+ 10-minute games of Baseball Heroes on my own time over the last 4 years, for example...what value for $5!!).  On the other hand, the worst thing for us at Digital Chocolate is when someone downloads their first-ever mobile game, gets some licensed game that has terrible quality, and decides that all mobile games suck and never tries another game.

Carriers/Handsets: We have games on all US carriers (as well as many European and other carriers), and support most handsets, even the really low-end ones when we can.  I know, for example, that Nicktoons Mini-Golf is out on T-Mobile; not positive if we're available for the Blackberry or not.  

Here's a list of some good Digital Chocolate games to check out that should be currently available for most handsets/carriers:

Arcade-ish: Tower Bloxx, Johnny Crash, Tornado Mania, Roller Coaster Rush, Fantasy Warrior, Mafia Wars.  There's a Facebook version of Tower Bloxx out there as well if you're a Facebook user.

Sports: MLSN Sports Picks, Nicktoons Mini-Golf.  (Baseball Heroes and NCAA games I mentioned above are likely no longer available 'cause they're so old, but you can look...trust me, you'll have a lot of fun with them if you can find them)

Word: WordKing Spelltris, WordKing Poker (I worked on both of these titles, they're fun)

Other: Cafe series (Sudoku, Solitaire, etc.), Brain Juice,

The game I'm primarily working on now, which is really cool and unlike any other game I've ever seen, is called AvaPeeps: FlirtNation.  It's currently only available on Boost Mobile, but should be out on most other carriers fairly soon.  Keep your eyes open...

Lots more titles out there that DChoc did...our website is mostly outdated, but you can check DigitalChocolate.com for more info if you're interested.

Sorry again for rambling, hope at least a few of you find some unexpected pleasure with some of these games!! :-)


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Post Options Post Options   Quote TedSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-13-2008 at 6:06pm
I saw Baseball Heroes on your website and it did look like something I want to play.  I'll probably be picking up a new cell phone in the next month.  Do you have any recommendations for something that I would be able to get most of these games on?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mike_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-13-2008 at 8:02pm
For games purposes, the Motorola RAZR with AT&T as the carrier probably has the widest variety of game choices for a common handset.  It is not the most powerful phone game-processing-wise, and as such doesn't always have the very-best-looking versions of games, but it's pretty good and has a huge userbase, meaning that all games would typically be made and available for that handset.

A stronger handset (for better graphics and polish) with a good selection would be any Nokia series 60 phone (I am working on a 6630 for one of my current projects) also under AT&T.  Most of the Boost mobile Iden handsets are also very powerful, and Boost typically has some edgier, "cooler" product.  Verizon has some high-end handsets that support many 3-D games; these are not always the best gameplay experience, but they are more arcady and often appeal to console gamers.

Unfortunately regarding Baseball Heroes: It is Verizon only, and as far as I know only available for very old handsets...and only a few of those, as it was one of our first-ever products and we didn't support all handsets yet.  Worse, Verizon often takes old games out of their sales deck and that game was published in mid-2005.  So it's possible that even if you somehow got a handset that supported the game (like a VX6000 or T730), you might not be able to find it and purchase it from Verizon (and hence would have no way to get the game onto your phone!) :-(    If you are really interested in that particular game, you should  contact Verizon and ask them about the game and see if there's any way you could still get it, and if so, on what handsets.

Sorry about that, it's a really fun game.  The personal cell phone I carry is significantly outdated and broken down, but I keep it specifically to have and occasionally play that game!!  (32-16 with Boston currently in a 144 game season on All-Star difficulty!!)

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Post Options Post Options   Quote JasonSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-13-2008 at 8:05pm
Originally posted by Mike_S

32-16 with Boston currently in a 144 game season on All-Star difficulty!!
 
I just all respect for you Mike WinkLOL.
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