Saturday, 3 January 2015

Yet MORE Fantasy Life stuff!

A few more items for you:

RewardPassword
Honey PuddingReveria
Butler's OutfitAt your service
Cute OutfitCutie pie
Dancer's OutfitLady of the ball
Dragon Tamer CostumeDragon tamer
Spring Indoor Decoration SetSpring flowers
Spring Outdoor Decoration SetLife in bloom
Mysterious CostumeAbracadabra
Elegant OutfitCute chic
Frilly OutfitFrilliant!
Cacto CostumePrickly poser
Ninja CostumeVanishing act
Fluffkin CostumeFluffkin facade
Plushling CostumePlushling parade
Princely OutfitPrincely threads
Snowman CostumeSlippery snowman
Laura's HatLaura lookalike
Yuelia's OutfitAll of a flutter
Teddy BearYummy honey bear
Cuddly Sea TurtleTimid turtle

That's all for now!

MORE Fantasy Life stuff!

Some more codes for free stuff in Fantasy Life for 3DS!

Like before, speak to the Password Clerk in the Post Office. Again these are from tweets by Nintendo of Europe:

(Note for above, actual passwords are "Fiery fiend", "Toil and trouble", "Trick or treat?" and "Jack-o'-Lantern"!) (Note for above, actual password is "Fun in the sun") (Note for above, actual password is "Seasick sailors")

Fantasy Life!

My daughter and I have a new 3DS-based obsession, Fantasy Life! We both received copies for Christmas and are loving it.

If you're enjoying it too, you can get bonus content from the Password Clerk in the Post Office from the following tweets from Nintendo of Europe:

Monday, 9 December 2013

Want a new console? Wii U says "HELLO!"

So Christmas is coming and you want to treat yourself and/or your family to a new console. Xbox One and PS4 have just launched and that's all everyone seems to be talking about. The next gen has arrived, hurrah! So which one should you be dashing down to the shops to pick up?

Neither.

The console you want is the Wii U.

Lets look at price first. I've taken these prices from Amazon UK as that is where I do most of my shopping and they usually have good prices.

An Xbox One and Call of Duty Ghosts will set you back a total of £477.99. That's £429.99 for the console and £48.00 for the game. Note that I selected that game only because it is available on Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U to help illustrate my point.

So what can £477.99 (or less) get you if you want to go for the Wii U?

Wii U Premium Pack - £239.99 (includes Lego City Undercover and Rayman Legends)
Call of Duty Ghosts - £44.99
Super Mario 3D World - £39.99
Pikmin 3 - £31.99
Zombi U - £15.99
New Super Mario Bros U - £39.99
Batman Arkham Origins - £22.49
Need For Speed Most Wanted U - £19.95
Deus Ex - £16.99

Total - £472.37

I've selected the games listed above partly at random, but they are also among the best games available for the console and includes the obligatory CoD: Ghosts.

Turning our attention to PS4, you are looking at a total of £396.14. That's £349.99 for the PS4 and Call of Duty Ghosts will set you back £46.15.

If we drop the two Mario games from our list above, we get the price down to £392.39.

Xbox One and a single game OR a Wii U with TEN games.

or

PS4 and a single game OR a Wii U with EIGHT games.

And let's not forget that if you already have a Wii at home you can use all your existing controllers (and other peripherals) on your Wii U so you might already have everything you need for multiplayer action, rather than shelling out £49.00 for a second PS4 pad or £44.00 for a second Xbox One pad.

We should also note that if you get tired of the eight or ten games you get with your Wii U and you already have a Wii you can play all your old games on your Wii U. Try loading up one of your PS3/Xbox 360 games on their next gen replacements and you're not going to get very far!

So to reiterate the central message of this post, forget PS4, forget Xbox One. If you want a new console AND some awesome games, get a Wii U.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Finished!

My effort for Charity Game Jam, COMMANDO V ALIENS TURBO is finished and uploaded, you can grab it here:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12895849/CvAT.zip

Or search for it on the Charity Game Jam website. It's a simple game, but if you enjoy it please consider donating some money to a very worthy cause. And even if you don't enjoy it, please consider donating!

All the models and textures came from the Unity Asset Store. Some graphics for the menu were made using the CoolText website. Some of the sound effects were from freesound whilst some were taken from the Unity Asset Store.

I enjoyed putting this together, despite some very frustrating moments! It could definitely do with a bit more polish in a few places, but I just don't have the time to do that before the deadline. I might revisit it later, but I already have new projects in mind that I want to tackle.

Enjoy!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Charity Game Jam

I'm brushing off my (very) rusty programming skills this weekend to try and create a game. I've got the next 3 days to work on it. Should be fun!

My son came up with the idea of doing this. He recently did the SpeccyJam with a friend from school, so he's a dab hand at it now! We're both using Unity 3D for our efforts, will post updates and progress here.

Wish us luck!

Should have probably mentioned that we are doing this in support of Charity Game Jam! Find out more in the following video:


Our chosen charity will be Child's Play.



Update @ 11:05

I've been beavering away for a couple of hours and it's time for a work-in-progress screenshot from the Unity editor:


All the assets used in the game are from the fantastic Unity Asset Store. I will, of course, be compiling a list of what I have used later...

Update @ 14:50

Had a small disaster just before lunch and lost a lot of work, but in the aftermath I decided on a change of direction for the environment in the game and I think it's all the better for it.

Latest screenshot, again from within the Unity editor:


Look at that horrible creature's face all lit up with the muzzle flash! Gives you chills, doesn't it?

Update @ 16:00

Calling it a day now as the rest of the family is due home shortly. Enjoyed myself today and am quite pleased with the progress. Lots to get done tomorrow, but I am fairly confident of knocking it all into shape.

One more screenshot to end the day on:


Sunday, 2 June 2013

My Next Gen

As I write this, E3 is less than two weeks away. Sony and Microsoft have already announced some details of their new machines, with more to come at their E3 conferences. The next generation is looming and will most likely be with us before the end of the year. So I need to decide which way to jump.

I'll tackle the two machines in a separate post, but first I think a few questions about the next generation need answering...

1) Didn't I already buy a next gen console? The Wii U?

While I love my Wii U and it has some fantastic games that are only possible on that platform, it's probably only brought Nintendo up to the current gen (i.e. 360 and PS3) standards. It's not clear at this stage how much support it's going to receive from publishers as we have already seen some high profile cancellations, including Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Online, Sega's Aliens: Colonial Marines (a blessing in disguise probably, considering the reviews received for other versions - although wasn't the Wii U version previously touted as the "definitive" version as the gamepad could be used as a motion tracker?) and EA's Battlefield 3.

The once exclusive Rayman Legends from Ubisoft has now gone multi-platform and the ready-to-release Wii U version has been delayed to almost a year from it's originally planned release date so all versions can release simultaneously.

Will I be able to play FIFA 14 on Wii U later this year? And will that version be on a par with the 360/PS3/PC versions (FIFA 13 on Wii U was based on an older version of the game and was missing a lot of the features of other versions, for instance the fantastic Ultimate Team mode)? What about the next Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed games?

Only time will tell, but I suspect that to experience all the best games on offer I will need something else to complement my Wii U.

2) Do we actually need a next gen console?

This is an excellent question. When Sony did their big PS4 unveiling they talked about a lot of features that I am just not interested in. All the on-line streaming of your game shenanigans? No thanks. I know Twitch.tv is very popular and lots of people regular watch players streaming their matches of Starcraft 2, League of Legends, etc., but I've never looked at any of that stuff.

And Microsoft seem to have a huge focus on the way Xbox One will communicate/control your TV viewing. They would like you to think that this is a very innovative new feature, but really they're just lifting the idea from Google TV. Besides, I suspect that this feature either won't be available outside of the US, or will be highly diluted by comparison to what is offered to customers in the US. We're still waiting for Nintendo's TVii feature to launch in Europe and that console has been available over seven months now!

So I don't think I need any of the "exciting" new features, so it's all down to the games. But are the games actually going to be much better? It's rare that I load up a game on PS3 or 360, even those from the early days of this generation, and think that the graphics are awful and this game would be so much better with double the RAM and double the processing power behind it.

Do I need to spend hundreds of pounds to see a small visual upgrade in my games? I can't help but feel that the improvement isn't going to be the equivalent of moving from standard definition TV to high definition TV. More on a par of the difference between 720p and 1080p. It's definitely there, but really, is it making that much of a difference?

3) What do I do with all my old games and consoles?

It appears that we're going to see no backwards compatibility on either the PS4 or Xbox One. So to make use of your existing games collection you will have to keep your old consoles. That's great if you have the room to leave them set up alongside your shiny new purchase, but the reality is that a lot of people won't have the space - either that or their wife/girlfriend/partner won't be impressed by the addition of another box under the TV and the old one will have to go to make room for it!

A lot of people will probably contemplate selling off their old consoles and games to fund their new console, but can you really face not playing some of those great games from this gen again? No more inFamous? No more Uncharted? No more Gears of War? No more Halo 4? No more Red Dead Redemption? Not sure I want to go down that route.

4) Can I actually afford any of this?

Both the PS4 and Xbox One consoles are up for pre-order at Amazon, both priced at £599.99 and at Zavvi, this time at £399.99. I hope that Amazon are wildly off the mark with their prices, but I suspect Zavvi might be a lot closer, if not right on the money. £400 for a new console with no games to play on it? Woah...

And speaking of games, Zavvi are listing a number of PS4 titles for pre-order at £49.99. I'm a little surprised here and think Zavvi might have shot themselves in the foot by getting these listed early. I wouldn't be surprised to see the recommended retail price for PS4/Xbox One games being another £5 to £10 more than that.

Why? Because games for these new consoles are going to become far more expensive to make. If we have greater graphical fidelity, that means that we are going to see much more detail in textures and models. That means that those textures and models are going to have to be higher resolution (in the case of textures) and more complex (in the case of models). Both of those will take longer to create, leading to an increased amount of development time, which equates to a higher salary paid to the development team. That increases the cost to produce the game which means that the publisher is going to pass that price on to the consumer.

Offline multiplayer? How much is it going to cost me to sit on the sofa with both of my kids playing a game together? One of the things I loved about Wii U is that Nintendo made it backwards compatible not only with all the Wii software, but with all the Wii controllers and peripherals too. I bought a Wii U and Nintendoland and using my existing collection of Wii controllers we could have a fantastic 4 player game with the whole family involved. If I want to play four players on either the PS4 or Xbox One, how much am I going to have to spend? Another £150? Probably.

It begs the question why Sony and Microsoft couldn't have made their new consoles backwards compatible with controllers in the same way Nintendo have? Instead Sony have forced the Move technology on us by including it in the controller, rather than as an optional peripheral and Microsoft have done the same with Kinect by including it in the box.

The obvious answer is: money. They both stand to make money from consumers by forcing us to pay again for additional controllers. So we're now looking at paying in the region of £500+ for a new console, an extra controller and a copy of FIFA 14 come Christmas? I doubt that I'll be paying that.

Conclusion

Unless there are some BIG surprises at E3 and over the coming months regarding cost, I think I will be waiting a while to join the next generation. I just can't justify the cost.

As a side note, if I was offered the two consoles for free and told I could only take one, right now I would probably take... the PS4. Purely because where my existing consoles are setup I don't think I would have enough room for Kinect to work, which pretty much rules out the Xbox One for me. Nice one, Microsoft.