What’s going on with Sony, Android and Google?

Yesterday we witnessed Google TV open it’s web-doors and it reminded me of a common thread between Sony and Google.

Nov 2009 saw Sony announce it was releasing a Xperia phone using Android OS

May 2010 saw Sony announce the first TV to feature Google TV, it’s a fair guess that it’s running a variant of Android.

“I am delighted to announce the unique alignment of Google’s rapidly growing, open source Android platform with Sony’s unparalleled expertise in the field of TV design and technology.” – Sony’s Chairman, CEO and President, Sir Howard Stringer

In addition to this alignment there’s also lots of rumours about things you’d associate with an Android device:

Aug 2010 rumours around Gamescom about Rear Touch, whilst Rear touch isn’t specific to Android, touch alone is something we’ve not seen on a Sony device.

Sept 2010 – PlayStation looking for Android developers. This could be anything from partner marketing apps, PSP2 systems or Google TV PSN connector?

Sept 2010 sees Yoshida-san say “Future platforms will be developer-friendly”, could this be an Android based PSP2? It’d certainly be a damn sight easier to make games using a common open-source OS and Sony have been long term fans of open-source platforms such as Linux as we saw when they used to let you install it on your PS3. And many developers will know that all the early development software for their consoles that comes from Japan is typically Linux based, which is a royal PITA.

Sept 2010 saw Shaun Himmerick ‘confirms’ the next PSP in his PAX10 interview. Well, all he did was recognise it’s existence.

Does this mean anything? Is it leading anywhere? Who knows but there’s a lot of pieces out there. Yes, I did work at Sony but it doesn’t mean I know anything more than anyone else as I’m sure you can imagine how limited information is in a large corporation and it wouldn’t be the 1st time that everyone else got to find out before the people closest knew.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking but I really hope they do use Android, it’d make all of the game developers lives an awful lot easier and gain some of the ground lost to Microsoft and Apple, who both make it an absolute doddle to make games for their platforms.

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Episodic Game Content Done Right

I think there’s a missed opportunity with Episodic games that are currently being launched, they’re largely just about delivering a known experience over an extended period of time and splitting the costs throughout each episode.

There’s very little focus on the user experience and, more importantly, the social experience that episodic content can repeatedly deliver.

I think they key to this is engaging everyone in a simultaneous and recurring experience, like a TV show.

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My Favourite iOS Music Apps

I’ve spent a little while this week whiling away the hours with a couple of music related apps for iPhone / iPad I’d recommend you check-out. Perfect for a Sunday morning.

BIT.TRIP BEAT

My Favourite iOS Music AppsI saw a video of BIT.TRIP being played over on YouTube and it looked exactly like my kind of game. It look fun and furious with a great graphic style all of its own. I had to have it!

BIT.TRIP BEAT is the arcade game for the new millennium, fusing Pong with interactive beats. Use the accelerometer or touch controls to move the paddle up and down bouncing beats back from which they came! Listen and react to different beat progressions as you try to survive an onslaught of spectacular retro visuals. Successfully chain beats and obtain the megasphere to go for insane scores, not to mention the elusive “Perfect Score.” Team-up with your friends for the intense Multiplayer Gameplay Mode! Bounce to the beat with BIT.TRIP BEAT!

My Favourite iOS Music AppsBIT.TRIP for iPad

My Favourite iOS Music AppsBIT.TRIP for iPhone

Modizer

My Favourite iOS Music Apps

Modizer is a great way to check out those old game tracks like Chris Huelsbeck’s Turrican 2 Intro, and Rob Hubbard’s Lightforce and Zoids played on SID and MOD, not only does it sound amazing but it includes a nice visualiser too.

It has built in access to HVSC and other libraries of music making it a breeze to find your favourite tunes and be amazed at what can be achieved in a tiny bit of memory.

Get your self some old skool tunes!

Modizer is a multiformat modules & chiptunes player which allows you to listen to computers and consoles music (C64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Amiga, PC, GB, NES, SNES, SMS, Genesis/Megadrive, PcEngine, PSX, …).
Minimum requirement is iPhone 3G/iPod 2G, iOS 3.0 or more.
Modizer is also optimized for iPad & iPhone 4.

Based on multiple high quality playback engines and using either the FTP server, the builtin WEB browser or the integrated Modland & HVSC databases you can discover or listen again to the best music from the videogames (8/16bits era) and demoscene history.

Discover some real gems from famous people like Chris Huelsbeck, Jochen Hippel, Purple Motion, Lizardking, Audiomonster or Rob Hubbard, …

My Favourite iOS Music Apps Modizer for iPhone
My Favourite iOS Music AppsModizer for iPad

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Flow – Make Better Games

I’ve been meaning to re-present something I did for a whole game development studio a while back about ‘Flow’. It instantly improved production and was something we held dear as a team.

Have you ever said anything like:

  • “Wow, is it that time already?”
  • “Sorry, I was miles away”
  • “I get my best work done when everyone’s gone home!”

If the answer is yes, then you’ve experienced a state of Flow and most likely been incredibly productive. It’s sometimes called being “in the zone” too among others. Here’s my take on a well-known psychological state and why it’s important to game developers.

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6 Excellent Tips and Resources for Web Design

Web design is a whole new type of design. You still follow many of the design rules that apply to print designs like brochures or posters. However, web design presents new possibilities and new challenges that brochure printing will never see. Here are some tips and resources to help with those new challenges and possibilities.

Use a Neat and Tidy Template

Your page layout has a lot to do with the usability of any web page. This list from psd.tutsplus will show you some templates that will optimize the design of your web pages in the same way templates can be chosen for optimal brochure printing. Or check out this article that gives some incredible resources for improving HTML and CSS codes.

Make Your Site Easily Navigable

In order for your users to feel at ease on your website, they will need to be able to find their way around. Your links should make sense and their location on the page should make sense. Check out this article to find out more about Website Navigation.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are Replacing Table-based Websites

You will find that there are many advantages to using CSS for your web pages, including a much faster load time. If you are unfamiliar with CSS, check out these CSS styles tutorials. Or you can check out these free free CSS templates and layout templates. You will also find these CSS tools and editors and reference charts useful.

Make Sure Your Site Works with All Screen Resolutions

Designing stretch layouts will ensure that all of your viewers have an attractive and easy to use site, no matter what their screen resolution. Find out how to achieve this goal by reading this article on designing websites for all resolutions.

Make Your Site Compatible with all Browsers

The big name browsers make up 95% of the world’s browsers. If your design is compatible with them, you are in great shape. If you need help, read this article on making your site cross browser compatible in 5 easy steps.

Create a Scalable Site

You need for your design to be scalable so that it looks good on any size of screen. This can be somewhat difficult, since so many screen sizes are available these days, but try out an easy code for CSS designs for your images for a simple solution. Or you can check out a tutorial on creating scalable sites using Dreamweaver CS4.

Designing a visitor-friendly website is important for the success of the site. Make sure to follow the tips above so that your web design is as effective as it needs to be.

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20 years of a Video Game Developer’s Career – Part 4

I’d like to share with you my game development career experience as part of a series of posts, let’s rejoin the story at during the twilight days of PlayStation 2 when I started at Kuju in Sheffield. I’ve included a lot of photos in this post so you may even make an appearance!

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Welcome

Hi, my name is Simeon Pashley and I'd like to introduce you to my blog. I've been professionally developing software since 1986. After an extensive career in Game Development, I switched to Web Development in 2010.

I work full-time as CTO, CIO, CMO for food ecommerce business Approved Food and I'm an acting Director for web developer Ring Alpha.

I also own & operate WriteDaily View my Speakerfile Profile

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