Tuesday, 17 April 2012


For further blog-related work, and how I tied much of this work into personal projects and other modules, please check www.enteagd.tumblr.com.

This blog also contains links to other artists and articles of note that have shaped my development.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Further Streamlining

After the development document, it became time to refine it further and create the concept document. This involved a massive simplification of the art style.


Environment Concepts ^

Character Customisation Concept ^


After focus testing the original game idea on a varied audience, it became clear that the game idea was sound, but could use streamlining and simplifying, and that the story was not attractive to gamers of all ages.

The story, therefore, has been rewritten and the mechanics streamlined and revised.

The following design document should explain this in even greater detail.

Additional Research

Additional Research

Tabletop Gaming Research

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Placeholder Post

Lost memory stick. Waiting to upload research on:

  • Tabletop Gaming (eg warhammer / DnD etc)
  • Traditional gaming (card games, chess and VARIANTS, most importantly)
  • Trading Card Games (interesting combination of game types)

Examining the most popular iPhone games.

Top ten all time best selling paid apps (official apple list, as of 2010/11):
  1. Angry Birds
  2. Doodle Jump
  3. Skee Ball
  4. Bejewelled 2 + Blitz
  5. Fruit Ninja
  6. Cut The Rope
  8. The Moron Test
  9. Plants Vs Zombies
  10. Pocket God

Best selling apps for January 2012:
  1. Where's My Water?
  2. Drop The Chicken
  3. Scramble With Friends
  4. Words with Friends
  5. Fruit Ninja
  6. Paper Monsters
  7. Angry Birds
  8. NFL Kicker!
  9. Angry Birds Seasons
  10. Stickman Cliff Diving

It is very interesting to examine the changes between the last "all time best selling list" and this months current best sellers. It shows that some well known games, such as Angry Birds, has slightly dipped in popularity (quite possibly because every single i-owner has a copy) simple games like Fruit Ninja have stayed just as popular as they ever were.

You must take outside elements into consideration when looking at lists like this however. Current top seller, Where's My Water?, is made by Disney. Its not difficult to understand why this sold well, given the advertising power of the disney juggernaut. That said, it also helps that it is the best game disney have released since Kingdom Hearts. (Opinion not fact!)

Unexpectedly, I would have expected Plants Vs Zombies to still be selling well. Despite it being a very simple tower defense game, it seems unusual that its charm, wide appeal, and varied game modes have not kept it popular. This could be for a number of reasons, chiefly that its games (particularly survival mode - the only real option left after the puzzle/story/challenge modes are finished) can take quite long periods of time, and are not "commuter friendly".

This change in dynamics can be seen when comparing this months best sellers to last years - simple, quick games are getting much more popular, possibly due to the rapid expansion of mobile gaming.

The type of game has also changed. In 2010/11, there was no one most popular game type - action puzzles, platform, tower defense and reflex testing games were all apparent. In January 2012, they are almost all puzzle based games, or they are short action based "commuter" games like Fruit Ninja or NFL Kicker (although this is certainly an america-only app).

This research clearly shows that a developer for mobile games MUST keep their finger of the pulse of mobile gaming at all times - although innovation is important, it is also important to know if your proposed game will sell well in a very new and ever changing market.

iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad

All three devices run iOS 5 and all three devices support wireless keyboards via Bluetooth or the Apple keyboard dock accessory, although naturally, with the physically larger display, the iPad is better suited for composing full documents (not to mention spreadsheets and presentations). It also is worth mentioning that a version of iWork -- Pages, Numbers, and Keynote -- is exclusively available for the iPad line.

The iPhone 4S, however, is the only device of the three that supports "Siri," Apple's "intelligent assistant" software program that endeavors to parse naturally spoken questions and provide voice answers using the web as its source and perform basic software tasks as well (like adding an appointment to a calendar or preparing and sending a text message).

All three devices have two cameras. The front-mounted cameras on all three are of similar quality -- each take VGA quality photos and video up to 30 FPS -- and are designed to be used for video conferencing in conjunction with Apple's provided "FaceTime" software over a Wi-Fi network.

The rear-mounted cameras, however, are of differing quality. The iPhone 4S has a rear camera capable of shooting 8 megapixel stills and 1080p 30 FPS video whereas the iPod touch 4.5 has a camera that is roughly a paltry 0.7 megapixels (960x720 stills) without a flash or autofocus support. For the iPad 2, Apple does not even bother to specify megapixels for its low-quality back camera, but it is of similar capability to the iPod touch 4th Gen camera.

All three have accelerometers that allow each to "know" whether it is being held in portrait or landscape mode and switch automatically, an ambient light sensor to adjust screen brightness, and a three-axis gyroscope that is particular useful for 3D gaming. All also have Wi-Fi -- 802.11b/g and the 2.4 GHz frequency of 802.11n for the iPhone 4S and iPod touch and full 802.11b/g/n for the iPad 2.

Otherwise, features are quite different between the three devices. The iPhone 4S has "phone" capability, mobile phone networking (3G/EDGE), GPS-A support, a digital compass, and voice control functionality. The iPod touch has voice control but lacks the remaining features (phone, 3G, GPS-A, and the digital compass). iPad models do not have mobile phone voice capability or voice control, but do include a digital compass. The higher-end iPad 2 models -- the iPad 2 (Wi-Fi/GSM/A-GPS) andiPad 2 (Wi-Fi/CDMA/A-GPS) -- have 3G networking and A-GPS as well.

The iPhone 4S and iPad 2 are powered by a dual core Apple A5 processor, although the iPad 2 is faster, whereas the iPod touch 4.5 is powered by a slower, single core Apple A4 processor. Storage capacities also are different -- 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB for the iPhone 4S, 8 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB for the iPod touch 4th Gen, and 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB for the iPad 2.

iPad 2

iPod touch 4.5

iPhone 4S
Primary Functionality:Fullscreen Web
Music Playback
Video Playback
Still/Video Camera
Video Conferencing
Word Processing
Basic Video Editing
Basic Music Editing
Music Playback
Video Playback
Still/Video Camera
Video Conferencing
Basic Video Editing
Basic Music Editing

Music Playback
Video Playback
Still/Video Camera
Video Conferencing
Basic Video Editing
Basic Music Editing

Display Size:9.7" (1024x768)3.5" (960x640)3.5" (960x640)
Display PPI:132 ppi326 ppi326 ppi
IPS Technology:YesNoYes
Oleophobic Coating:FrontNoneFront & Back
Housing Material:Glass & AluminumGlass & SteelGlass & Steel
Processor Speed:~800 MHz~800 MHz~800 MHz
Processor Type:Apple A5Apple A4Apple A5
Processor Cores:212
RAM:512 MB256 MB512 MB
Data Networks:2G/3G* & Wi-FiWi-Fi2G/3G & Wi-Fi
Storage Size:16, 32, 64 GB8, 32, 64 GB16, 32, 64 GB
Talk Time (3G):N/AN/A8 Hours
Talk Time (2G):N/AN/A14 Hours
Music Runtime:10 Hours**40 Hours40 Hours
Video Runtime:10 Hours**7 Hours10 Hours
Digital Compass:YesNoYes
External Speaker:YesYesYes
Rear Camera:0.7 Megapixels0.7 Megapixels8.0 Megapixels
Camera Flash:NoNoYes
Camera Autofocus:NoNoYes
Video Recording:YesYesYes
Video Editing:YesYesYes
Voice Control:NoYesYes+ (Siri)
Shake to Shuffle:NoYesYes
Genius Support:YesYesYes
Nike + iPod:NoYesYes
Garage Band:YesYesYes
Usage Contract:OptionalNoOptional
Dimensions (In):9.50 x 7.31 x 0.344.4 x 2.3 x 0.284.5 x 2.31 x 0.37
Weight:1.33, 1.35, 1.34 lbs.3.56 oz. (101 g)4.8 oz. (137 g)
Model No:A1395/A1396/A1397A1367A1387

Monday, 23 January 2012

Mobile/Social Gaming Demographics Part 1

In this study by Flurry, it was found that mobile and social gamers tend to have a female bias, with 53% of players being female and 47% being male. This is in opposition to traditional (console, PC) gamers, which are predominantly male with a 60-40 split.

Furthermore to this it can be seen that most gamers of both types are between 18 and 49. However, the average age of social and traditional gamers differ greatly – with traditional being 34 and mobile/social being 28, a significantly younger demographic.

It is also worth noting that traditional gaming is equally popular with under 18s and over 50s, but social/mobile gaming is unpopular with the over 50s market. Does this mean there is a gap in the market for games aimed at the over 50s? Or are they merely not interested in the mobile platform as a whole.

This study is interesting, as it shows that mobile gaming in western culture is relatively popular, but almost non-existent in Asia. This goes against the popular image of the Asian market being gadget obsessed and a strong gamer culture. Perhaps traditional gaming has too strong a hold there for mobile gaming to gain a proper foothold?

This is a more in-depth look at mobile/social gaming by age and gender. It is worth noting that females across the age group remain consistently higher than male, with male gamers just edging female out between ages 13 and 25. This is a world-wide study, so takes into account the smaller Asian market.

This is an interesting study, looking at mobile gaming by household income. No real surprises to begin with – As household income increases, so does prevalence of mobile gaming. This is obvious, households with higher incomes can afford smart phones and ipads, whereas a household with lower income would have less access to these things.

Interestingly, after around 80k (USD) a year, the prevalence of mobile gaming drops off. This may be to do with the correlation between high income and age. I.e. richer citizens tend to be older.

Social gamers tend to be in, or have attained, a form of higher education.

In conclusion, a social/mobile game must be suitable for a female gamer, of above average intelligence, who is young to early middle age. Games must also be suitable for males however, and for younger audiences.