Column: 'Blogged Out: Wiitainment'

In his latest 'Blogged Out' column, veteran UK writer Jim Rossignol takes a look at the world of developer blogging, with bloggers blogging on Wii, DDR and WoW.
Welcome to 'Blogged Out', the news report that looks at the world of developer blogging and the conversations being had with the community at large. This week: Clint Hocking, David Edery and Stuart Roch. Whee! We learn via the reliably excellent Jurie Horneman that Ubisoft’s Clint ‘Splinter Cell’ Hocking has launched his own blog. Like quite a few other development bloggers, he’s beginning to get to grips with what developing for the Wii is going to mean. “Of course, thinking about it after seeing it, I can't imagine another way to do it that seems even remotely practical. Why would you do it any other way? Nonetheless, looks like the entire process of making games just got a lot more fun. “What I think is especially neat is that by designing the input parameters this way, the designer is forced to know from the get-go if the move feels the way he wants it to feel. It's pretty easy, even trivial, to shut your eyes, imagine frying an egg, fishing, or roping a calf with a lasso, and then perform the action in a way that just feels right.” You can see the video that Clint is raving about, AiLive's LiveMove demo, right here. Exertainment Elsewhere the superb games industry blog of Microsoft’s David Edery blogs about a form of interactive entertainment that has so far failed to make a decent impact of its target audience: extertainment. Edery examines the attempts made by that industry to clamber its way into gyms and other places of exercise, listing a few reasons why it has so far been doomed. The one notable success story, of course, is Dance Dance Revolution. “Dance Dance Revolution is a rare ray of hope in the bleak picture I’ve painted. It’s both a commercial and an institutional success (they’re putting DDR machines in gyms and schools nationwide), and it’s unequivocally fun to play. But DDR, unsurprisingly, was created by professional game designers, and it was only adopted by fitness institutions after it had become a resounding success in the entertainment space. I can say with 99% certainty that if Konami had simply tried to pitch DDR to US gyms and schools (and to home consumers via traditional fitness channels), DDR would never have gotten off the ground.” Others maintain that exertainment failed because of its name. End Game Finally Stuart Roch dispels my belief that developers are getting to be too busy to spend enough time playing games as he hits level 60 with his World Of Warcraft character (I’m still only at 55). “It took exactly 11 hours, 23 minutes, 30 seconds. It blows me away that I’ve been hooked on the game this long. With all the talk about how games are typically too short offering only 10 hours of gameplay, it’s hard for me to imagine that I’ve played the game as much as I actually have. Looking at it in value of dollars, your average $59 game that offers 10 hours of gameplay costs you $5.90 for every hour you spend with it. WoW cost me $49 for the game and $75 in subscription fees. Seems expensive at first, until you break it down and see that I’ve only paid $.25 per hour of gameplay!” Personally I’ve had my ups and downs with World Of Warcraft. There’s so many things that irritate me about it, and yet I keep getting drawn back in. There’s some kind of subliminal happy-hypnotics in the landscapes, I reckon. Yeah, that must be it. [Jim Rossignol is a freelance journalist based in the UK – his game journalism has appeared in PC Gamer UK, Edge and The London Times.]

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