Archive for the ‘ Mobile ’ Category

My next smart phone, the Samsung Galaxy S4…

..is in transit to the lovely state of New Hampshire as we speak and, barring any exceptions, I should have the device in my hands tomorrow afternoon.

I’m debating to record a proper unboxing video, but that would need me to wait until I arrived home to open the box and I’m not sure if I have the willpower to do that, or that I want to at all!

The Galaxy S4 is the talk of the web at the moment along with the HTC One, so do you lot really need yet another person reviewing a device that’s not too far removed from its predecessor?

If you’re reading this, let me know if you think I should, and I possibly shall.  🙂

like a cat with catnip

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Angry Birds coming to the 360, but HOW will we control?

I read article after article announcing that Angry Birds, made popular on Maemo, iOS and Android mobile platforms, is due to land on the 360, Wii and PS3 some time next year.  Awesome.  Played on my N900 and it’s a typical “repeat until you achieve x” game, not a huge fan of those games personally, but I don’t need to be a fan of the game to have had a lot of fun with it, or an idea or two!

Me, I want to talk interface here people.  The interface is everything, right?  Sure, on current platforms you use your finger to dictate the angle of flight moving up and down, while left and right increases or decreases, respectively, the flight of the bird from the slingshot.  Easy, simple.  Perfect for what’s available.

How about on a Microsoft Xbox 360?  Is the game really going to be limited to using a joystick only to perform the above?  Why can’t we ask for a little more?  I mean, the Kinect was just released, right?

In addition to being able to control the shots with a joystick, let’s add some options to also use your body, and here’s how I think it could work!

  1. Play as if you are literally standing behind the slingshot to fire the bird.  Call this 1st person view.
    • Nice beautiful landscape in front of you, rich 3D environment.
    • Static otherwise, no zooming from this view.
  2. Include a PIP view as if we were playing on a smart phone.  Call this side view.
    • Make views swappable, 1st person view can be in PIP box.
    • Make it optional.
    • Ensure you can zoom in and out easily with hand gestures and move left and right.
    • Have the dotted hint-line optional.  (Can be made into “Hardcore” mode, for completing game with hint-line turned off. Replay value, achievements, unlocks!)
  3. The motions for manipulating the slingshot could be simple(Depending on Kinect’s ability to detect hands, this can be fine tuned).
    • For game to think you are holding or releasing the sling shot:
      • To hold, position hands about 8-16 inches apart, and make fists as if holding mugs.
      • To release, open both fists as if you were releasing the mugs.  If pulled back to fire, this will fire the slingshot.
      • If only one fist is released, other hand now able to manipulate PIP view.
    • To change power level of shot:
      • Pull your hands towards you to increase power.
      • Push your hands away from you to decrease power.
      • Alternately, you could step forward/back to achieve the same results.
    • To change the angle of fire:
      • Drop hands down to increase angle towards sky.
      • Raise hands to decrease angle towards ground.
  4. When bird is launched, have options to:
    • Follow bird in 1st person, flying over that beautiful landscape.
    • Follow bird in 3rd person, with ability to swivel around bird.
    • Switch to PIP for watching from side view, as is current on mobile platforms now.
    • Take perspective as if you were standing where bird is to land, looking towards the launch site, following the bird as it approaches.

I believe that sums up how I’d like to think it could work, assuming the Kinect can properly interpret your hands as fists against your body.  Since I would imagine ideally people would want to be facing the screen to play the game and not having to face left or right, knowing how the Kinect handles that situation in recognizing you limbs, is very important.  Sadly, I don’t have a Kinect nor the programming expertise to test this kind of stuff on my own, yet.

Anyone else have any suggestions?  I’d be glad to add them and give credit!  I wonder if Rovio has already thought up this kind of control schema?  Not being a huge developer like say, EA, they may be thinking outside the box and already on top of this, which would be cool, too.