October 18th, 2007 by dinah

From the Suggestion Box

Earlier this year, we added “Gotta Getta Game” (also known by some as the Magnificent and All Powerful Wheel of Destiny) to the Search ring in the Deluxe Player. It’s fun - whole blogs and forum threads have sprung up about the wheel. Well, a lot of you wanted to spin any ring, any time. And so, we introduce the Wheel’s little cousin, Alt-W.
GameTap Alt-W
That’s right, take a random spin around any ring in the vault. Invoke the magic. Find your destiny.

New this week.

October 18th, 2007 by xamount

I’ve never watched a single game (round? match?) of cricket. My most common reference point for cricket is the sound that dr_jittney’s cell phone makes when it rings in the middle of a meeting and makes the person speaking think that they’ve been incredibly boring. (Okay, it’s only happened once. But it was last week. And it was hilarious.)

So, of course, I had to give this Brian Lara Cricket 2007 game a try. My experiment? Start up the game withOUT reading the instructions, withOUT consulting Wikipedia, and withOUT starting out in any wussy tutorial mode. Let me just say that the game is beautifully done: nice production values, top-notch mo-cap, intelligent-sounding voice-work. But I SUCK. I don’t even necessarily know how badly I suck though, since I can’t make heads or tails of the action on-screen. So I pitch (sorry, bowl) the ball to the dude, he hits it baseball stylee, and then I try to get it back home before he and his little buddy finish their suicide drills? And if I DO get it back in time, my catcher guy has to knock over his carefully balanced Legos? I didn’t even get a chance to bat. Final score when I quit? 71-3. I think.

I don’t get it. I’ll definitely have to try it again after learning a little more about the sport, though. My advice: don’t be an ugly American like me and take a second to read up (second most popular sport in the world!).

New games:

New on GameTap TV:

  • GameTap News: Tokyo Game Show
  • GameTap Presents: Rob Zombie Halloween
  • Game Trailers: Maelstrom

There is no lunch of this kind:

Dialog box outsourcing.

October 17th, 2007 by xamount

A month or so ago, one of our formidable beta testers (and community moderator) alerted us to the fact that a certain dialog box was confusing:

Original Delete Selected Dialog

“Let me walk you through my train of thought. The Dialogue is telling me that all Downloaded games are going to be deleted, then it asks me if I’m sure I want to do that, but it gives me the option of Cancel and “Delete Games only” So why is it warning me that everything will be deleted instead of asking me which option I want?” — tsrblke2

Looking at it with fresh eyes, we conceded that it was indeed a mixed-up piece of messaging, asking “The dialog is trying to warn you of the hugeness of what you’re about to do AND offer you a couple of saves. Would modifying the final question (and the ‘are you sure?’ header) to something non-question-y like ‘Please select an option’ help?”

In jumped another one of our beta testers, a smart fellow named amiantos, with the following:

Aside from overexplaining the options, and making the current dialog more confusing, the only way to fix it would be to re-do the whole thing. I should draw this out. — amiantos

And draw it out he did:

Amiantos's Suggested Dialog Replacement

“Well, shoot. There it is,” we thought. Why mess with someone’s spot-on design? So we didn’t touch it. Now, in version 3.1, when you attempt to delete any games that have local data attached to them, you’ll see a dialog that looks ever so suspiciously like the very dialog that our talented beta tester designed:

3.1 Delete Game Dialog

Ahh… that was easy. Thanks, guys!

If only our whiteboards were so funny.

October 16th, 2007 by dinah

Orbital Comics Insects Top 10Jason Kottke has a friend named Matt who takes pictures of whiteboards at Orbital Comics in London.

It’s been so long since we made one of our own whiteboard posts, I was delighted to see this fun collection to slake your whiteboard thirst.

Oh. I think I’ve met Irredeemable Ant-Man - isn’t he the guy on drums?


October 15th, 2007 by xamount

Of course letter-flipper Vanna White has something to say about font choice.

“When he plays a face-melting guitar solo, it actually melts faces.”

October 13th, 2007 by xamount

The next game from Psychonauts creator Tim Schafer?  A Jables-starring heavy metal roadie adventure called Brütal Legend.  Ride the lightning!

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