Video games let us experience murderous rampages, violent carjackings and the horrors of war. But should virtual entertainment take us through a real-life tragedy with depictions of the actual people who lost their lives?
The developers of Titanic: Honor and Glory are prepared to answer that question as they build out a game based on the 1912 sinking of the luxury liner that claimed more than 1,500 lives.
Lat Ware is a pretty loquacious dude, without a bit of shyness in his persona. We came across Ware at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco the first week of March and tried out his upcoming game, Throw Trucks With Your Mind. He was strapping headsets onto conference attendees and keeping up a steady stream of patter to keep them off balance when trying to manage their character in-game.
You see, Throw Trucks With Your Mind uses an $80 headset from NeuroSky to actually read your brainwaves. Ware has set it up in the game to track opposite parameters: focus and relaxation. When you focus intensely, the onscreen red bar will fill up, allowing you to do things like jump, push, and toss heavy in-game objects. When you relax, a blue bar fills up and lets you do four other cool things for a total of eight different ways to interact with the game using your mind.
Try that while some chatty indie dev is all up in your ear, trying to distract you.
Back in August, a new game arrived in the iOS App Store and almost immediately vanished without a trace.
“I received a few great reviews from news sites, but not enough to have an impact,” says Robert Topala, founder of RobTop Games and developer of the disappearing game. “Since I had no marketing budget it quickly dropped in rankings after release.”
For most games that would have been it. And if the story stopped there, it wouldn’t have been a tale of total failure: Topala wasn’t a professional coder, and had only been making mobile games for a couple years at the time. Simply finishing a game, getting it in the App Store and picking up a few accolades would have been nice enough.
A simple glance at the stunning games perched atop the App Store game lists reveals we are experiencing a golden age for mobile gaming.
From the surreal, mind-bending Monument Valley to the Pixar movie brought to life that is Leo’s Fortune, 2014 has seen some of the most startlingly original gaming experiences in years arrive on iOS.
“I do feel like we are in a boom period,” says John Comes, design director at Uber Entertainment, the company behind games like the newly released Toy Rush.
Although Apple has been a hub of gaming going back to the glory days of the Apple II, today’s crop of hot titles are reshaping the landscape like never before. The present explosion of innovative iOS games results from several fortuitous factors coming together. Here’s why there’s never been a better time to be a gamer.
Two coders who’ve never met sat in their respective man caves 1,400 miles apart making a game that proves once and for all that whiz-bang graphics aren’t necessary when it comes to building a hit.
Called A Dark Room, their “minimalist text adventure” has stormed the App Store — averaging 10,000 downloads a day (at $0.99 a pop) and currently holding the No. 1 position for paid iPhone games (see our review here).