May 23, 2005
Transformers sales in UK
I've just been reading the latest Develop Magazine "Develop 100", the list of the top 100 worldwide game developers based on their sales in the UK.
Melbourne House landed in 87th place, which wasn't too bad when you consider we only had one title released in 2004.
Some sales figures that suprised me (pleasantly):
- Transformers £1,837,388 (May 04 release)
- Ninja Gaiden £1,749,585 (May 04 release)
- Battlefield Vietnam £1,649,643 (March 04 release)
Thats not bad, I'm happy to be in the same sales ranges as those two games!
It's also worth mentioning that Transformers is still on the shelves here in Australia, and probably in other countries, a year after release which is very rare in the limited shelf space of most stores. This is probably because, unlike BF:V and Ninja Gaiden, Transformers is a "general public" game and not a "hardcore gamer" game.
What's at the blockbuster end of the list ? GTA:SA sold over £60,000,000 worth of games in just 2 months, released in Nov 04. Nice!
Remember that these are just the UK sales, I'd guestimate that the worldwide sales for most games would be 10x their UK sales figures (thats a wild guess, I'd love someone to tell me the actual ratio!)
May 10, 2005
Xbox Live, Drivatars
I've recently bitten the bullet and have now got an Xbox Live account (Gamertag: Zaphus). So far I've only played Forza on it but I'll also be playing Burnout3 soon.
Xbox live is pretty easy to set up, but I've run into a firewall/router problem that limits your ability to connect to some people. I hope to figure out the solution soon, but for now the solution eludes me. This page is a good guide for the problem though.
Forza has a pretty neat feature (for nerds and game developers) - the ability to train an AI to race for you, which they call a Drivatar - Personally I think it should have been "Drivator" or "Drivanator" :-)
The research behind the Drivatar is quite good (Microsoft Research), and definately worth looking at if you are a games developer, or just interested in the AI behind driving games.
Some of what they are doing is not new, but they have definately taken things to a new level. It will be very interesting to see how differently people can train their AI to race and whether the Drivatar really is a step forwards in the AI of racing games.
May 05, 2005
Sony PSP - awesome
I've been playing with the Sony PSP over the last few days, and I've got to say that it is a beautiful device.
The PSP gets released in Australia on September 1, for $430 (I believe), but you can get one right now from Lik-Sang in either the Value Pack or Standard Pack. The PSP is 'region free' when it comes to games, but not for movies (you can buy movies on UMD format, but I don't know why you'd do that so it doesnt really matter to me!)
I definately recommend having a look at the PSP - it's not for kids. Sony have built the thing with an eye on the iPod (although it's not as ergonimic as the iPod). Despite Nintendos best efforts, I think the PSP will win the handheld war simply with it's elegance and style.
Some of the games I've played so far:
Namco Museum - Old school gaming - always good fun, the remixes are pretty good.
Ridge Racers - Probably the best looking game on the PSP at the moment.
Archer MacLean's Mercury - This is an interesting puzzle game, definately worth a look.
Lumines - The definitive puzzle game for the PSP, the "Tetris" of the PSP
Need for Speed Underground Rivals - I'm not totally convinced by this game, I had more fun with Ridge Racers on the PSP (even though on the PS2 I prefer NFS:U2 to Ridge Racer)