A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer

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Three exciting games were released for iOS devices in the last week and a bit. One was from a well-established computer and console development juggernaut. One was from a (now) blockbuster company that made their name on the iPhone and iPod Touch. And the final one from a small but respected Canadian design house, is currently taking the iTunes App store by storm – becoming Game of the Week on launch day. And if you’re planning to pick up an iPad 2 tomorrow, you might want to make these your first downloads :smileyhappy:
Continue reading “A great couple of weeks to be an iOS gamer”

5 days left to win a webOS 2.0 powered Palm Pre 2 phone!

Well then, think there’s enough relevant keywords in that post title? ūüėÄ

Good, because I really do want to make sure this little phone goes to a good home.

WebOS2 is a funky little OS, and hardware running it is very slick. So why not take a chance and enter the contest — who knows, you could soon be in a position to welcome this little guy into your digital lifestyle.

Here’s how to enter:

1) Fol­low me (@bgrier) on Twit­ter
2) Tweet once (one ping only please) the fol­low­ing:
‚ÄĒ
Just entered to win a Palm Pre 2.
Fol­low @bgrier and retweet this tweet to enter
http://g1z.me/fJzl5c #WinAPalmPre2
‚ÄĒ

And there you go. It’s simple. Fol¬≠low me, tweet once and you‚Äôre entered to win the Palm Pre¬†2.

This con­test will run until mid­night, Feb­ru­ary 11th, 2011, MST , after which I’ll ran­domly select the winner.

Good Luck!

I’m giving away a Palm Pre 2

Time for another Lifestyle Technology giveaway contest — and this time the prize is one very cool Palm Pre 2 and a few accessories, worth around $500.00. ūüėÄ

Over the last few weeks I’ve had a chance to put the Palm Pre 2 through it’s paces and found it to be a solid smartphone.

And now, you have a chance to win your own, here’s how:

1) Follow me (@bgrier) on Twitter
2) Tweet once (one ping only please) the following:

Just entered to win a Palm Pre 2.
Follow @bgrier and retweet this tweet to enter
http://g1z.me/fJzl5c #WinAPalmPre2

Simple. Follow me, tweet once and you’re entered to win the Palm Pre 2.

This contest will run until midnight, February 11th, 2011, MST , after which I’ll randomly select the winner.

Bon Chance!

Emotionally gaming your Twitter stream?

I’ve been watching the development of Littlecosm, a new Twitter client with excitement as it’s one of a new breed that is applying sentiment analysis to derive a result — in this case your disposition in a game.

Emotion plays a huge part in Littlecosm. ¬†Littlecosm analyzes your tweets and figures out if you’re in a good or bad mood. ¬†If your tweets are mostly “bad”, your character will turn out “bad” (you can see some “bad” characters in the screens above) – and vice versa.

But wait, there’s more!

Littlecosm isn’t only about disposition or sentiment, it’s also about memories:

Every memory you collect in Littlecosm has nostalgic value. ¬†I think about how much fun I have talking to my friends about retro games, 80s music, tv shows from bygone eras, hypercolor tshirts… and the strange sense of discovery I feel when we talk about these things that we have already experienced. ¬†That is the exact feeling I want to get from players of Littlecosm.
“Good” characters will be able to find good memories more easily. ¬†“Bad” characters will be able to find bad memories more easily. ¬†Time of day also affects the type of memories you can collect. ¬†Players who want to get the full collection will need to trade with each other.
When?
Looks like the game is on track to launch in January, 2011.¬† But if you can’t wait, there’s an opportunity to get involved with the project:
Want a seat in the last spaceship leaving earth? Donate to Littlecosm on the fundraising page below and you’ll get game tester access AND be written into the earth ship’s manifest as Crew, Pilot or Admiral!

All About Littlecosm

Littlecosm is launching in January 2011.
I haven’t given much information about the game mechanics so far, so here goes.
What you need to know before reading this: the world of Littlecosm is shaped by your emotions.
Also, Littlecosm is played in real-time. ¬†When it’s day in your world, it’s day in Littlecosm. ¬†When it’s night, it’s night.
About the Twitter Client
On every screen is a Twitter client showing your latest tweets. ¬†One of my first goals was to create a Twitter client that I would actually use, so I experimented with various interfaces. ¬†I had the panel sliding out, I had the tweets in speech bubbles – none of it felt “right”. ¬†In the end, I wanted my tweets on display at all times. ¬†So I could leave Littlecosm in the background and come back to it at any time and see new tweets (it updates seamlessly without reloading the page). ¬†That’s what I’ve built and I think it works rather well ūüôā
Here’s a short (soundless) video of the game running – you can see the Twitter client at the bottom of the screen:
A lot of people have been asking me what type of “game” Littlecosm actually is…
About the Game
Emotion plays a huge part in Littlecosm. ¬†Littlecosm analyzes your tweets and figures out if you’re in a good or bad mood. ¬†If your tweets are mostly “bad”, your character will turn out “bad” (you can see some “bad” characters in the screens above) – and vice versa.
The first, most obvious game mechanic was to make a game where good players could fight bad players. ¬†This would have an undoubtedly viral effect (@player_x just killed you! fight back?) but I just wasn’t comfortable with the concept. ¬†I didn’t want to make a fighting game.
So I went back to the drawing board. ¬†The goal was to make a game that resonates with people like me – people who actually don’t play a lot of social games, because they are spammy or because they are based on themes that we don’t particularly get excited about (growing plants on a virtual farm, for example).
My conclusions can be summed up in this great scene from Season 1 of Mad Men.
Along with being a game powered by emotions, I wanted Littlecosm to be emotive.  I turned to nostalgia.  This is the intro story to the game:

A ship carrying a great treasure has crashed on a planet far away. The treasure: every object, thought and memory that mankind ever created during its short history. The little inhabitants of the planet curiously collect things from the crashed ship and try to learn as much as they can about this place called “earth” and what has happened to it.

Littlecosm is a game about collecting memories.
Below is the map screen.  You can see the crashed ship half on land and half in the sea.
Every memory you collect in Littlecosm has nostalgic value. ¬†I think about how much fun I have talking to my friends about retro games, 80s music, tv shows from bygone eras, hypercolor tshirts… and the strange sense of discovery I feel when we talk about these things that we have already experienced. ¬†That is the exact feeling I want to get from players of Littlecosm.
“Good” characters will be able to find good memories more easily. ¬†“Bad” characters will be able to find bad memories more easily. ¬†Time of day also affects the type of memories you can collect. ¬†Players who want to get the full collection will need to trade with each other.

Of course, there’s a video of the game in action — a silent movie — seems appropriate.

Simple update adds iPhone style to your blog

Yesterday I installed the WPTouch plugin on this blog. Basically it’s a WordPress theme that reformats your blog so it’s much more readable on mobile devices (Android, iPhone, iPod Touch). Full list of features here.

More than just a plugin, WPtouch is an entire theme package for your WordPress website. Modeled after Apple’s app store design specs, WPtouch makes your WordPress website load lightning fast on touch mobile devices, show your content beautifully, all while not interfering with your regular theme.

In practice, it’ll take a blog laid out like this (thanks to Thesis):

And make it look like this:

Bonus: WPTouch also includes hooks for website traffic analytic packages, as well as Adsense mobile accounts, so you won’t miss out monetizing your mobile website traffic.