I’ve read one too many “git gud” posts arguing that challenge is essential to games and that including an easy mode on, say, Dark Souls would ruin it; if you don’t want a hard game, don’t play Dark Souls. They’re wrong. Firstly, challenge isn’t an inherent aspect of games: it’s just one way of evoking certain player responses. Challenge is partly a personal preference thing: some people want a smooth experience and I do think that Dark Souls is a poor choice for that, and that experiencing Dark Souls as a cake walk won’t let you understand Dark Souls.
But that’s not the point. My perspective was summarized pretty eloquently by Rob Fearon but I feel like it can be distilled even further. The argument: what is hard for you might not be hard for me.
Look at it this way.
Continue reading Challenge is a Calibration
I posted the other night about my difficulties with Adobe’s iPhone packager for Flash, the program that lets you convert a Flash app into an iPhone app. I’ve managed to track down at least one of the issues that’s been eluding me, but it’s a doozy.
If I name an embedded bitmap resource “sprBatteries,” the app hangs at startup on the iPhone.
I can name it “sprDryCells” or “sprBatteriesX,” and it works fine. I can replace the resource PNG with a PNG I know works elsewhere, but if I name it “sprBatteries,” the app hangs. The app runs fine on my desktop. I believe (although I haven’t done systematic testing to confirm) that it works on the iPhone if I compile it as a simple AS3 app using the Flex compiler instead of compiling it as an AIR app. The resource variable name doesn’t collide with any others in the project.
If you’re not a programmer, let me explain that this behavior is bizarre. Variable names are totally arbitrary. As long as you don’t use any prohibited characters, you can name a variable anything you want. A college friend of mine liked to call his loop iterators “taco.” Many languages/compilers won’t even bother remembering the variable names once the source code is turned into a program. Flash happens to record theirs in the compiled SWF for various reasons, but there’s no sensible reason why “sprBatteries” should be treated differently than “sprBatteriesX.”
I give up on AIR for iPhone unless someone can get me a solution. I’ll see if I can get this running in simple AS3 without any hardware APIs, but it’s unlikely that my final product will contain any accelerometer input (for example). This is frustrating, and I’ve spend a total of over 12 hours fighting with this thing. Adobe hasn’t represented this as a finished product, and rightfully so. In its current form (and assuming I haven’t overlooked something simple), the Packager for iPhone is not ready for use in serious AIR development.
Word is spreading across the net that Ziff Davis Media has sold the 1UP family of properties to UGO Entertainment, and that UGO promptly fired most of the 1UP Show contributors, as well as a bunch of other folks.
Continue reading 1UP Show Out of Lives