Games as a Service

MMORPGs introduced the concept of games as a service almost two decades ago. It was and remains a straight-forward idea: pay $x/month, and we’ll run the servers that enable the online game to function as well as put some programmers and artists and designers to keep the game fresh by updating content in the game […]

Peak Mobile Gaming

It’s been a couple of eventful weeks for mobile gaming, with some notable releases and twists and turns. In order of completely subjective industry importance: Threes! was released in the App Store. A well-polished, simple but addictive puzzler that everybody likes, which reminds me a bit of the fervor around Dots. Square got around to […]

Exemplary Touch Gaming

Gaming on phones and tablets have certainly come a long way from that poker game that Apple released with the first App Store. There is, if not a particularly healthy ecosystem of games, at least a flood of them of all types and stripes: ports from handheld gaming devices; ports from old consoles; Flash-based games; […]

A Book on a Video Game

There aren’t that many books on video games; I’ve probably read most of them. For a medium and industry that pulls in almost $100 billion, it’s still seen as little more than a casual diversion, with the stereotypical acne-ridden, foul-mouthed teenager as the target audience. It makes Killing is Harmless – a book which tries […]

What Happened to Final Fantasy?!

This generation of consoles has not been kind to Japanese game developers. The quality of games from “western” game developers has leaped ahead in terms of innovative systems, advanced technology and worldwide appeal; while Japanese quirkiness has proven endearing and fun the past two decades, even the Marios of the industry are ringing in second […]

The Future of Games as a Service

Now that the crying from Simcity’s server issues have mostly died down[1], it gives a bit of space to reflect on what happened. Maxis’s always-online design decisions aside, the controversy would not have been as loud or as pronounced if EA had provisioned enough servers to handle the load of the initial onslaught of players. […]

Social Gaming is About Business

It’s now cliché to claim that gamification permeate all aspects of life; the talk of 2010 and 2011 was that everything seemed to be heading towards cheap, immediate-reward schemes with the subtlety of slot machines. If it can drive the multi-billion dollar click-based engine behind the biggest tech IPO in history, it’s good enough for everything else. […]

A Game of Numbers

Lately, I’ve gotten hooked onto Kairosoft‘s set of well-designed “simulation” games on mobile phones. They tackle pretty random topics from game development to managing a professional racing team, but only in the loosest sense; they’re more themes used to channel the underlying part-RPG, part-simulation engine that Kairosoft has expertly designed and iterated upon for years. […]