Archive for the ‘iOS Apps’ Category

ThinkGeek :: iCade 8-Bitty – Retro Wireless Game Controller for iPhone/iPad/Android

February 13, 2012 Comments off

ThinkGeek :: iCade 8-Bitty – Retro Wireless Game Controller for iPhone/iPad/Android.

I’m not one for retro but I sure would like a D-Pad controller for the iPad that’s supported by the majority of game app devs.  If this gets popular enough then all the better.

I’ve seen and been tempted by the “large” iCade…

Categories: games, iOS Apps

Claimchowder: Apple iPad vs Kindle DX: Which is Better for Education? | PCWorld

February 7, 2012 Comments off

Apple iPad vs Kindle DX: Which is Better for Education? | PCWorld.

I was looking at Kindle vs iPad/iBooks 2 for textbooks and ran across this gem from two (was it only 2!) years ago:

Yes, I realize it’s far too early to write the iPad’s eulogy in the consumer market, and I have no intention of doing so. The device hasn’t even shipped yet and, besides, numerous bloggers have already pointed out the iPad’s shortcomings. Still, the iPad does appear to be hard sell to consumers who already own a smartphone and a laptop, and its appeal as a household entertainment machine seems limited.


My household can’t live without the iPad these days and ironically the only thing it can’t do is run the Flash based math drill site my school uses.  Thank goodness for the TouchPad I bought for Flash.

I’m looking forward to learning with my kids.  I grew up as part of the first generation with video games.  They’re growing up as the first generation with truly mobile computing and the fulfillment of the e-Learning potential that my dad, as an educational technologist, glimpsed at in the 60s with the first computers entering K-12 schools.  Somewhere there’s a picture of me with a digital light pen and an IBM terminal catching electronic butterflies in 1968.

It should be fun.

Categories: eBooks, iOS Apps, Parenting

NASA – Sector 33 App for iOS

February 2, 2012 Comments off

NASA – Sector 33 App for iOS.

On the geek cool app list comes NASA’s Sector 33.  Okay, aerospace geek cool list.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an Air Traffic Controller? Imagine it’s a stormy Friday in Northern California as the evening rush of air traffic fast approaches the San Francisco Bay Area from the East. All flights going to San Francisco airport pass through “Sector 33” – your sector of airspace. As the lead air traffic controller, your job is to guide the planes safely through Sector 33 as quickly as possible. To do this, you must choose the most efficient route and make strategic speed changes. Can you handle Sector 33?

Categories: games, iOS Apps

Avid Studio for iPad

February 2, 2012 Comments off

Avid Studio for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

Big-screen moviemaking comes to the touchscreen with Avid® Studio for iPad. We’ve distilled the world’s leading film-editing technology into an easy-to-use app that enables you to edit video, audio, and photos at the speed of your creativity.

via The Loop

The iPad is just for content consumption.

Snarkiness aside I’ve been very impressed with the range of productivity/content creation apps on the iPad.  And for $4.99 this app seems very reasonably priced.

Categories: iOS Apps

Distant Star 2nd Take

December 30, 2011 Comments off

Despite lambasting Distant Star for the lack of documentation (and other issues) I’ve been playing it a bit on the iPad.  I just like space 4X games and honestly, with a little bit more stuff Distant Star will be a pretty good one.

So I’ve been fooling around with it and thinking of ways I’d change the game aside from the obvious improvements (larger tech tree, more races, planetary governors, etc).  I’ll assume that Trevor (who sent me a nice note I hadn’t respond to…so I’ll say something nice in this blog post instead…like I’m enjoying the game 🙂 ) is busily working on.

More on the lines of actual game design changes that affect game play.  There are two aspects of classic 4X space games that annoy me.  First is the usual management of a huge empire and many many fleets.  This can be somewhat minimized with better game features to help the player out.  Build lists, planetary governors, fleet rally points, etc. but it’s still a massive pain.

The second is somewhat related…the lack of terrain.  Pretty much by the late game you have the technology to fly directly anywhere.  Which also means that if you’re winning and trying to stomp out the last few colonies you need to picket or colonize every system so new colonies don’t popup on systems that you’ve already stomped.  On huge boards this is a pain in the rear.

The other aspect of lack of terrain is the lack of choke points and the nebulous nature of where your empire’s borders really are.  The enemy can always fly past your “frontier” systems and hit your “core” systems.  There are no critical systems, they’re pretty much all equally critical in the end game since most will have all the planetary improvements and generate the same general amount of ships and money.

So what would I do different?  I think I would play with the concept of ship maintenance to limit fleet sizes.  Then I’d move to a “warp lines” based game map.  I might also consider using the concept of critical materials (warp crystals or whatever) so that some systems have great value either from geography (choke point) or material wealth that conveys significant strategic advantage.   I’d probably make every homeworld have this material by default.

Then I’d playtest the hell out of it to see if these were positive or negative changes to gameplay.

Dang, I wonder if he’d license me the engine.

Categories: games, iOS Apps