April UPDATE GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // Once again, this month’s Gaming Update will get you up-to-date in a snap. No need to go through all the gaming news of the past weeks when you could be sitting in the park or on the beach basking in the sunshine. We’ve done the dirty work for you and selected the most interesting and important gaming news items that April had to offer. From virtual Irish towns to our very own Advance game developers, it’s all here.
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // A BIT CLOSER TO REAL LIFE //JUST ONE CHANCE Run, jump, hold your breath…dammit! You just missed the edge and fell into a pit of snakes and spikes! But don’t despair, you’ll get another chance. And another. And another, if you want it. Gaming and mortality were never connected. Until now. Game designer Anthony O’Dempsey is experimenting with a cold, hard, deadly ending in his new iPhone game, One Single Life. In his search for the ultimate game, he realised that most games have trouble evoking strong emotions like real fear: “The reason I was never truly afraid of that perilous jump in an otherwise thrilling adventure game was that deep down, I knew the worst possible consequence was having to start the level over or be returned to the nearest checkpoint.” Back in the days of arcade gaming, failure meant you had to start from scratch again, while today’s games just take you a couple of minutes back in time. But what O’Dempsey wants is to take the notion of mortality a step even further back than the good old arcade experience. What if there was a game with only one life? So he has created a free runner game in which you have to jump between roof tops. The catch is, you only have one chance to do it. Just like in real life. You can practice your jump in a simulation mode, but when you have a shot at the actual jump, it’s for real, in a way. If you fail to make it – game over. You can’t even slip another coin in the machine, but then again, reinstalling the app is always an option. We like the experiment, but we secretly hope this concept will never make it to €60 boxed games. VIDEO www.freshtonegames.com SOURCE: Fresh Tone Games
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // MOBILE GAMING MARKET UPDATE //IOS AND ANDROID GOING STRONG You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to realise that smartphones are taking a big bite of the mobile gaming market. Just look around you. When you see your mother playing Angry Birds on her new iPhone, you know something is going on. So let’s have some numbers. According to research on the American market by Flurry and NPD, iOS and Android jumped 15 percentage points from 19% in 2009 to 34% in 2010. The losers here are the Nintendo DS, falling from 70% to 57% and Playstation Portable going from 11% to 9% market share. We have to keep in mind that this was before the launch of both the Sony NGP and the new 3DS, but the trend is pretty clear. Before you realise it, your mother will be teaching your grandmother how to play Angry Birds. Now that’s a revolution! SOURCE: WWW.APPLE.COM
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // UPGRADE YOURSELF WITH SARIF INDUSTRIES //GAMING MARKETING LETS US DREAM OF A BETTER WORLD Deus Ex: Human Revolution is released this August, but marketing efforts are already in full swing. With an online video and a special website, potential gamers are getting a taste of how it would be to live in the world of Deus Ex. A future in which body augmentation is all the rage. It’s a very interesting way to approach gaming marketing. The video looks like a real ad you could be watching between Friends and American Idol. And when you hit the fake corporate website of Sarif Industries, you get the feeling that your neighbour could actually be working at the place. Or is there another reason he comes home so late at night? Have a look, and make sure to check out the fictional body augmentation history and product pages. So much realistic creativity is worth a click. www.sarifindustries.com
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // RED BULL AR RACING //YES YOU CAN There are many augmented reality games that make a product look cool, but it’s hard to find an AR game that makes you want to buy a whole shelf of the product. Red Bull, the ruler of the energy drink universe has found a great way to let you buy more of their cans than you could possibly drink. The new Red Bull iOS augmented racing game lets you build a racing track, can by can. That’s right, the pun in the title was sadly intended. Scan the little silver and blue drinks with your phone and put them in a circuit on the floor. Then put your racetrack to the test on your phone. Made that cool s-bend a little too curvy, didn’t you? You will need at least twelve cans, so invite some of your friends if you don’t want to fall into a caffeine coma. VIDEO SOURCE: WHATWORKSWHERE.COM
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // FORGET ABOUT THE REAL WORLD //VIRTUAL GOODS MORE PROFITABLE IIf you’re planning to start a business, buy an office, and start selling your goods, think again. There is a much more profitable world out there than the one you are standing in now: the virtual economy. In previous Gaming Updates, we saw that selling virtual goods is a very interesting business to be in, but the World Bank’s infoDev report shows even more ways to get that Ferrari you always wanted (the real version, not the virtual one). The ‘third-party gaming services’ industry for example, generated $3 billion in revenue in 2009. These are boys and girls who are playing the boring and time-consuming parts of online games for those impatient but wealthy players who want to have the coolest avatar but are not willing to spend hours harvesting the necessary virtual gold for it. This weird part of the virtual economy is the primary source of income for over 100,000 people, mostly in Asian countries. It is not the first time in history that the laziness of the rich has created jobs for the lesser-off, but this time it is taking a whole different dimension. The good thing is that this new industry is creating a big money flow from the rich to the poor. While working on your online fighter gnome or wizard giant, someone might actually make enough money to put their kids in school. Some of those kids might later grow up to become the best game developers, and thus the circle will be completed… SOURCE: WIKIA-INC.COM
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // SQUARE ENIX GOES SMARTPHONE //CREATING INTERNAL MOBILE LAB When big-shot Japanese gaming developer Square Enix (Final Fantasy) goes mobile, you know things are getting serious. With the launch of Hippos Lab, the company has created an internal studio that will focus entirely on creating original content for smartphones around the world. Their first game has been in the making since the beginning of March and will be ‘ready soon’ according to company insiders. So if you are a developer, jump in the boat or drown. And remember, hippos can swim.
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE GAMING //A GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE We can control games with our movements, we have 3D gaming and we even have virtual versions of ourselves. So what’s next? We’ll have to take a little trip into the human body for that: affective emotional gaming. Our movements are already one with what we see on the screen, but what about our feelings? Gaming developers all over the world can’t wait to grab this opportunity with both hands and be able to read the emotional state of their gamers. It could be the key to an incredibly immersive gaming experience. As we speak, the people down at Valve Software are experimenting with what they call, ‘biological response gaming’. The idea behind their work isn’t very revolutionary though. Games these days already react to the actions of the gamer. For example, harder opponents for skilled players and less difficulty when the system senses a beginner is playing. But imagine if the game could adapt to the emotions of a gamer? By recording physiological and brainwave responses, this will be possible, leading to a dramatic climax at exactly the right point or making the game more easy when the player gets too stressed. And there we were thinking that people actually played games to de-stress… SOURCE: SHARPBRAINS.COM
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // ANOTHER KIND OF VIRTUAL TOURISM //CAN I GET A GUINNESS, PLEASE? You like FarmVille, but you miss an Irish pub next to your virtual land? Then it’s time to pay a visit to Ireland Town, a FarmVille–like social game on Facebook payed for by Tourism Ireland. The game starts off with a cute Irish girl by the name of Sally who will help you to build your very own Irish town. You would start with a pub, right? At least that’s what we would do. But there’s more. You can also explore virtual Ireland’s 32 different destinations, with nine challenges to complete at each place. Doing so will level you up and will give your knowledge of Ireland an extra boost. Of course, there is an even faster way to progress: making sure your Facebook friends sign up for the game too. The good old “sharing is caring” way. Tourism of Ireland’s marketing director has this to say about the new game: “This is a new platform for Tourism Ireland to engage potential holidaymakers around the world with the kind of experience that a holiday in Ireland offers them. Tourism Ireland is constantly looking at innovative ways of reaching potential holidaymakers and we are increasingly using social media to do so, growing the online conversation about Ireland around the world.” If this will become a new trend for tourism marketing, we can’t wait to play Pyongyang Town Online. We would probably start with building some kind of electricity plant and some farms... GAME SOURCE: DISCOVERIRELAND.COM
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // REVINYL 2.0 //THE INFINITE MUSIC QUIZ Here at Advance, we not only have gaming people who make advertising, we also have advertising people who make games. Art Director and idea generator Christian Faber proudly launched his newest game, Revinyl 2.0, on the iTunes store last month. Revinyl 2.0 is a music quiz app that not only lets you test your knowledge about your own collection, it can also make the whole iTunes catalogue your playground. Name-that-tune by genre and then pick up a bonus question with each correct answer. According to Christian, fast fingers, a good eye and an ear for music are all you need to put the play back in music. The game is constantly evolving and will later have sharing and shopping options so you can show off your skills or buy that cool song you just discovered through the game. In our next Gaming Update, we will have an interview with Christian about the process of developing Revinyl 2.0 and launching the game on the iTunes store. DOWNLOAD www.revinylapp.com SOURCE: APPLE..COM
GAMING UPDATE // APRIL 2011 // REAL RACING 2 HD //IPAD 2 AT 1080P Using your new iPad 2 as a secondary display and controller while streaming full HD to your TV? Sometimes gadget dreams do come true.