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Gamasutra Expert Blogs: From iPhone Dilemmas To Tricky Hardware Forecasting

In the latest highlights from Gamasutra's Expert Blogs, industry notables from companies like Denki and Fishing Cactus talk iPhone problems, while a number-cruncher second-guesses an independent PS3 sal
In our weekly Best of Expert Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game development community who maintain Expert Blogs on Gamasutra. Member Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while the invitation-only Expert Blogs are written by development professionals with a wealth of experience to share. We hope that both sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information about the blogs, check out the official posting guidelines. In this set of highlights, industry veterans write in depth about iPhone challenges, examining the time punishments within a given game, and how forecasting console hardware sales is a tricky art. This Week's Standout Expert Blogs The Danger of Linear Models (Or: GameCube Nears 40 Million Systems) Matt Matthews Regular Gamasutra column writer and resident number-cruncher Matt Matthews took a closer look at a report that claimed Sony's PlayStation 3 unit sales will have caught Xbox 360's by 2011. But as he points out, it's not exactly a water-tight conclusion -- should Sony PR agents really be passing this around to media outlets? Time and Punishment Chris Bateman Chris Bateman, managing director at consultancy firm International Hobo, takes an intriguing look at the use of time as a penalty in games. This isn't limited to a quantifiable value, such as a three-second penalty in a racing game. A time penalty is also tied to when a game makes you restart a level from the beginning, for example. Click through to see what he means, and how designers can examine time penalties to tweak the forgivingness of a game. What Has The iPhone Really Changed? Colin Anderson Denki's Colin Anderson takes a step back from the iPhone hype parade to examine the recurring claim that "The iPhone has changed everything." While he's an iPhone gaming fan, he warns of falling into a "Gold Rush" mentality, and warns of the pitfalls of jumping onto Apple's platform if your goals are misplaced. Perceived Value, Red Ocean And Pencils Urbain Bruno Urbain Bruno, design director for Equilbrio developer Fishing Cactus tackles the ongoing riddle of making a game successful on the iPhone. The reviews of Equilibrio are strong, production values are high, but sales are falling short and users are saying, that the $3.99 cheapy should be rock-bottom $0.99. What is an iPhone developer to do? What Makes A Good Game Platform? Alexander Brandon Heatwave Interactive creative director Alexander Brandon offers up his thoughts on how much a console's "power" really matters. Here, he looks at the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii in relation to the classic Bally Astrocade and Atari 2600.

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