The Mobile Phone Section

Want to air your opinions on the latest issue of Retro Gamer? Step inside...

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

User avatar
CraigGrannell
Posts: 4734
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:15 am
Contact:

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by CraigGrannell » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:00 pm

There's nothing to stop Apple doing something like that, and the only thing stopping third-parties is that Apple's terms don't allow you to access the dock port. If your device is jailbroken, there's iControlPad, and there were (unfounded) rumours that Belkin was working on something similar last year.

Although such a device would be good for certain types of games, there are two arguments against it that mean it's probably not likely to happen any time soon. First, it would mean all devices 'out there' aren't identical. This makes things potentially tougher for a developer—would you add features to a game that required a controller of this sort? Would you bother when there are 10m+ iPhones out there are many millions more iPod touches, when only a fraction are likely to have the device? Secondly, if it became popular, that could stop innovation on the platform, as developers return to 'tried and tested', rather than attempt something new.

That all said, I personally would find it interesting if the device was opened up a little more, more or less in the manner you suggest. Well, at least as long as the results aren't as ugly as this monstrosity:

Image
Team Alfie wrote:I can hardly take the wait for Peggle to appear.
Mm. Mind you, I wonder what's going on with PopCap and iPhone. An extremely fine version of Bejeweled 2 appeared in August last year (my favourite version of the game by far), and since then... nothing. I'd be surprised if it was a sales issue, given that Bejeweled 2 has pretty much taken up permanent residence in the App Store top 50.
iPhone/iPod/iPad game/app reviews: http://www.iphonetiny.com

User avatar
ipmarks
Posts: 720
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:46 pm

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by ipmarks » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:36 pm

CraigGrannell wrote: Bit harsh.
If it came across as a bit harsh, then I apologise. Sorry. I have enjoyed reading both sides of the argument.

User avatar
CraigGrannell
Posts: 4734
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:15 am
Contact:

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by CraigGrannell » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:51 pm

Hey, no worries at all. I actually think this has turned into a pretty fun and interesting thread. Well, that and vaguely surreal if you count the heap-of-junk plastic add-on a few posts up.
iPhone/iPod/iPad game/app reviews: http://www.iphonetiny.com

smilertoo
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:55 pm
Location: glasgow

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by smilertoo » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:35 pm

I've had an iphone 3G since xmas and its pretty poor for games; its fast and has a nice screen but the touchscreen is next to worthless for most games (those that arn't tilt controlled). I'm really hoping the next iphone has some slide out game controls and a higher res for reading webpages.
yes i have a sig.

User avatar
CraigGrannell
Posts: 4734
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:15 am
Contact:

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:31 am

smilertoo wrote:but the touchscreen is next to worthless for most games (those that arn't tilt controlled).
Out of curiosity, have you tried the ones mentioned in this thread? My general rule of thumb is that anyone trying to ape digital controls via on-screen joysticks tends to create a game that doesn't work (Tanks is a good example, which compares dismally to Vector Tanks), but I've been happy with a range of games that use prodding, swiping, multitouch, etc. As said earlier, this might be a bit Marmite—like the DS touch-screen or the Wiimote.
I'm really hoping the next iphone has some slide out game controls
Short of Jobs quitting Apple and the company being taken over by a crazy person, I think the chances of physical controls (bar the home button) on any iPod touch/iPhone are zero. It's the model's USP that you get whatever interface the dev wants you to have. A third-party add-on is a remote possibility, but I really can't see something like this being built into the device itself.
and a higher res for reading webpages.
Presumably you mean more pixels rather than a higher ppi (given that iPhone's ppi is a rather spiffy 160)? This is actually something a bunch of analysts have been predicting—an iPhone 'super duper' with roughly double the screen pixels of the current model, and the current model becoming a 'nano' or something. I can't see it myself—again, a USP of Apple's device is the 'one model' thing. When I interviewed the Vector Tanks chap, he said the main reason for doing iPhone dev is that you know exactly what every user's end set-up is. Having varying screen sizes would utterly destroy that and seriously compromise the App Store.

That said, I suspect sure a screen shift will happen eventually, but I can't see it happening any time soon.
iPhone/iPod/iPad game/app reviews: http://www.iphonetiny.com

User avatar
FatTrucker
Posts: 4724
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 pm
Location: Essex

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by FatTrucker » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:35 am

Looking at the current feedback thread its clear there is still discussion to be had over the inclusion of a dedicated mobile phone section each month. I've resurrected it here as while I don't necessarily agree that we should refrain from making feedback designed to discuss issues we have with the mag, its layout or its content, I can see how the whole thing will fairly quickly and easily drag the rest of the thread off topic and perhaps bury peoples opportunity to discuss other things about it....so here we are....again.

This has nothing to do with the i-phone specifically and nothing to do with phone games being covered where appropriate.

However, does anyone else think there's a place for a dedicated section for mobile phone stuff - every month. In many cases the links between most of the mobile content to Retro Gaming are tenuous at best, a few remade, re-released classics with the rest being made up of new original content maybe with a very tenuous link to retro gaming (which to be fair you could make with any contemporary game if you were so inclined).

The mag was overall excellent this month but is anyone else concerned that it seems to be slowly becoming less about Retro games and retro gaming and becoming more of a contemporary games mag, offering a mix of retro and current games articles and reviews......sort of like a polar opposite of GamesTM?.

Again, I completely understand that the mag must bow and cater to certain market forces in order to survive, it must be able to attract advertising to remain feasible, but how much sacrificed credibility will eventually be classed as too much?. How far will the slow metamorphasis into a contemporary games mag go before its no longer really a mag for people interested in Retrogaming and collecting?.

Mobile phones simply aren't now and IMO never will be a games platform offering anything more than a shallow and temporary diversion from situations of otherwise intense boredom. Their inclusion as some kind of viable dedicated games platform going forward is baffling other than as a vehicle to pull in much needed advertising.
This months issue was great, I can certainly live with it, but it does beg the question where is the mag going?. It was only a couple of weeks ago in this very thread we were assured that phones would still get coverage but only under the existing format and only where appropriate on a per game basis. This month, they've been given their own dedicated monthly reviews section.....what's next?.

I do feel just a little bit that in the push to generate new business (be that contributors, advertisers or readers), the mag could well lose its focus and start to alienate the core readership and the things that they buy it for.
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I've played all the Bratz games and Barbia Horse Adventures, due to having two girls and they are not rubbish in the slightest.
Feel free to add me on XBL.
Image

User avatar
Darran@Retro Gamer
Posts: 6771
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Bournemouth
Contact:

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:48 am

Your concerns are duly noted. Retro Gamer will first and foremost be a magazine about Retro Games and retro machines. The core content will always reflect this. Yes we have to tweak certain elements of the magazine in order to broaden its appeal, but that will never be at the expense of its actual content. I've worked on more issues of this magazine than any other main member of staff so without being big-headed, I think I'm pretty much in touch with what the vast majority of the readership wants.

If I start receiving lots of complaints about the mobile coverage then I'll simply cut it down and incorporate it into the main reviews. I will always do my best to take on board the criticisms you guys put forward, but I do think that some reasons are blowing a few tiny little pages at the moment out of proportion. I've always had Retro Gamers' best interests at heart and will continue to do so.
Image

User avatar
FatTrucker
Posts: 4724
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 pm
Location: Essex

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by FatTrucker » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:59 am

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Your concerns are duly noted. Retro Gamer will first and foremost be a magazine about Retro Games and retro machines. The core content will always reflect this. Yes we have to tweak certain elements of the magazine in order to broaden its appeal, but that will never be at the expense of its actual content. I've worked on more issues of this magazine than any other main member of staff so without being big-headed, I think I'm pretty much in touch with what the vast majority of the readership wants.

If I start receiving lots of complaints about the mobile coverage then I'll simply cut it down and incorporate it into the main reviews. I will always do my best to take on board the criticisms you guys put forward, but I do think that some reasons are blowing a few tiny little pages at the moment out of proportion. I've always had Retro Gamers' best interests at heart and will continue to do so.
In fairness Darran, I agree - at the moment. This months issue probably ranks as one of the best in recent months in terms of Retro content, I can still quickly flick past the mobile stuff with a satisfying grunt of disinterested arrogance, my concerns are more focussed on a general trend toward catering to markets outside your bread and butter audience. It seems there's real potential for the mag to become more diluted in future - I know a lot of the team are enamoured with the new phone stuff at the moment, but I can't be that unrepresentative of a lot of your audience, I'm in my early 30's, have been gaming since videogames were invented and am still very much a contemporary gamer. The thing is, I buy Retro Gamer for my retro games fix, I love reading, remembering, and discovering stuff about Retro Games. For contemporary stuff I'm already more than amply catered to virtually everywhere and in numerous other publications.

I would just hate to see the mag lose its credibility in a battle to remain profitable - I've seen great mags do that before and they all disappeared.
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I've played all the Bratz games and Barbia Horse Adventures, due to having two girls and they are not rubbish in the slightest.
Feel free to add me on XBL.
Image

User avatar
WildWillyWilson
Posts: 2090
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:47 pm
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne-UK.

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by WildWillyWilson » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:15 am

Anybody see the Gadget Show last night? Just watched it (recorded it) and they had a handheld feature between new DSi, ipod touch and PSP 3000. They rated the ipod touch first, DSi second and PSP third- they said the PSP wasnt as mass market as the others hence finishing last. Ipod Touch does seem to be gathering a lot of fans at the moment, still wouldnt get one myself- hardly touch my PSP at the moment to be fair.

User avatar
FatTrucker
Posts: 4724
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 pm
Location: Essex

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by FatTrucker » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:20 am

WildWillyWilson wrote:Anybody see the Gadget Show last night? Just watched it (recorded it) and they had a handheld feature between new DSi, ipod touch and PSP 3000. They rated the ipod touch first, DSi second and PSP third- they said the PSP wasnt as mass market as the others hence finishing last. Ipod Touch does seem to be gathering a lot of fans at the moment, still wouldnt get one myself- hardly touch my PSP at the moment to be fair.
Either that or Apple are simply flashing their wad in all the right places. I've had the opportunity to try one of these recently while on a usually to be avoided trip to the local shopping centre with the Mrs and Brood, and while I was impressed with a lot of its features, as a gaming device I thought it was sh*t - you could broadly describe the controls as 'intuitive' although I would favour the description 'limited', the control was basic, laggy and just crap. The graphics were pretty good and it seemed to crack on at a fair old lick, but it left me with no desire to play on or see what else was there.
For the record I tried some sort of racing game, a drop puzzle game and that fishing game they show on the adverts. And that's the crux of the argument really. As a multi-media, multi-application tool the iphone ( and a lot of modern phones) are very cool bits of kit, that they offer basic functionality as game machines is a bonus. As a dedicated games platform though, they are crap, as are the majority of the games they play host to. Certainly not viable enough to be touted as a stand alone games platform in a gaming mag.

It sits at odds with the rest of the mag, when mobile phones (not just the iphone) are the only platform to have a dedicated section in the mag every month...I don't care what anyone says, its about generating ad revenue. I don't know why they don't just openly produce the 2 pages as an advertorial and have sponsored by Apple or Vodaphone slapped at the top of the page.

So you have the DS, PSP, 360, PS3, and Wii all current dedicated games machines, then you have machines like the GP32 pretty much modern handhelds dedicated to nothing but old games and remakes. Quite rightly they don't figure as a significant part of the mag where Retro Gamer is concerned, none of them have a section dedicated purely to their games every month, and their games are generally covered on the basis of their relevance to the subject matter of the mag......but mobile phones - the most irrelevant platforms (where gamers are concerned) for games - have a dedicated reviews section, every month, regardless of what games are featured.
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I've played all the Bratz games and Barbia Horse Adventures, due to having two girls and they are not rubbish in the slightest.
Feel free to add me on XBL.
Image

psj3809
Posts: 19010
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:28 am

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by psj3809 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:26 pm

I'm not a fan of the i-phone, the wife has an i-touch and again not really a fan BUT i must admit this does get me thinking a bit !...

http://icontrolpad.com/

Dont think its out yet but when that is my mind might be slightly changed ! Emulators could then be created for the iphone/touch etc. But seeing Quake run on it with those controls, hmmm not as bad as i thought they were perhaps !

User avatar
FatTrucker
Posts: 4724
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:23 pm
Location: Essex

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by FatTrucker » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:32 pm

psj3809 wrote:I'm not a fan of the i-phone, the wife has an i-touch and again not really a fan BUT i must admit this does get me thinking a bit !...

http://icontrolpad.com/

Dont think its out yet but when that is my mind might be slightly changed ! Emulators could then be created for the iphone/touch etc. But seeing Quake run on it with those controls, hmmm not as bad as i thought they were perhaps !
Looks like a good bit of kit. At least then it might qualify as a potential competing games platform. The horrible controls at the moment keep it firmly in gadget territory. In fact with proper controls, if homebrewers and emulator authors take to it, it could become a very serious rival to the PSP.

Disclaimer - Mobile phones still shouldn't have a dedicated section in the mag. :wink:
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I've played all the Bratz games and Barbia Horse Adventures, due to having two girls and they are not rubbish in the slightest.
Feel free to add me on XBL.
Image

psj3809
Posts: 19010
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:28 am

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by psj3809 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:36 pm

FatTrucker wrote:Looks like a good bit of kit. At least then it might qualify as a potential competing games platform. The horrible controls at the moment keep it firmly in gadget territory. In fact with proper controls, if homebrewers and emulator authors take to it, it could become a very serious rival to the PSP.
100% agree. Thats why i'm anti it because of the controls at the moment, too gimmicky, great slim little gadget but as for games give me an old fashioned control pad !

User avatar
CraigGrannell
Posts: 4734
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:15 am
Contact:

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by CraigGrannell » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:47 pm

I guess this problem's never going to go away, and, for me, much of the problem is in lumping iPhone in with 'mobile' rather than 'everything else'. I think all games should just be covered wherever in this section, be they iPhone, DS, PS3 or whatever.

To be fair, I do somewhat align with the "mobile phones aren't proper gaming platforms" stance, but then I exempt the iPhone from this, simply because it's a convergence device. It's not a mobile phone that can play games, but a multimedia device that just happens to have Wi-Fi and communications potential (be that 'phone', IM, internet). Also, I'll bet if Apple had just released a 'device', without bunging 'phone' or 'iPod' in the name, most of these arguments wouldn't even exist. And I'm entirely certain had iPod touch been Zune touch or Xbox mini and by Microsoft, people would have been doing cartwheels about it, singing from the rooftops. Many of the negatives appear to be to do with Apple rather than the device itself.
FatTrucker wrote:Either that or Apple are simply flashing their wad in all the right places.
Oh, come on—that's borderline libellous. You really think Apple's paying for good reviews and good feedback?
I've had the opportunity to try one of these recently while on a usually to be avoided trip to the local shopping centre with the Mrs and Brood, and while I was impressed with a lot of its features, as a gaming device I thought it was sh*t - you could broadly describe the controls as 'intuitive' although I would favour the description 'limited', the control was basic, laggy and just crap.
Which games did you play specifically? Some games are pretty laggy, but many of them aren't—just like on any other platform. Many of the games are utter turd—again, just like on the DS and PSP. But some of them are utterly unique (see Eliss, for example), including those with a retro bent. (I'll go with you on the racing thing, though—all of the racing games I've tried on the device to date have been utterly hopeless, although the same's also true of the DS, bar Mario Kart.)
psj3809 wrote:I'm not a fan of the i-phone, the wife has an i-touch and again not really a fan BUT i must admit this does get me thinking a bit !...
http://icontrolpad.com/
At present, that device is dead in the water, and won't have mainstream support, since it requires the iPhone/iPod touch to be hacked. However, OS 3.0 for the devices enables devs to target hardware, and at that point external controllers will become viable. This is precisely what I argued for on Cult of Mac last year, but, oddly enough, my opinion has entirely changed. I can see the potential for very specific types of games (FPS, digital platformers), but I really like the perceived 'restrictions' in Apple's device, because it's forced people to do things differently and try new things. Also, I like the control methods—it's like a step on from the DS stylus and Wiimote. Subsequently, like Wii and DS, there are games for the platform that simply wouldn't have existed had Apple's route been 'standard'.
iPhone/iPod/iPad game/app reviews: http://www.iphonetiny.com

psj3809
Posts: 19010
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:28 am

Re: The Iphone debate.

Post by psj3809 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:51 pm

If the i-touch had a proper control pad i would really like it. Previously I've been a huge fan of the Pocket PC (Used it for many years with emulators/commercial games), the GP32 (Great for emulators) and later the GP2X. Also hoping the Pandora one day is released.

But i'm just not a fan of the iphone/touch mostly because of the controls, nothing to do with Apple. I wouldnt be interested in the i-phone as i just want a phone to make calls with, not too fussed with the rest of it. The i-touch is good but again to me its just the controls.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest