Mobile Games

Zynga Layoffs to Hit 18 Percent of Workforce

Zynga logo
Zynga is planning to cut a whopping 18 percent of its workforce by August, the struggling social media game developer said Monday. The across-the-board cuts will hit “all functions” of the company and include closure of various office locations. Zynga expects to layoff approximately 520 employees worldwide and says the bulk of the cuts will occur by the end of the summer. “While our Farmville Franchise continues to perform well, other games are underperforming,” says Zynga, which has struggled to move… continue…

Final Chapter: LucasArts Employees Hold Wake

LucasArts Logo
The bar’s name says it all: The Final Final. That’s where LucasArts employees gathered Friday night to hold a wake, following the death of their game studio earlier in the week. At Final Final in San Francisco, a large gathering of LucasArts employees and former LucasArts workers shared drinks and tears, from recalling memories of creating such notable cult games like Monkey Island to mourning the loss of games whose lives were cut short, like Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First… continue…

How to Sell Your iOS App Without Spending a Lot

App Store Icon
Apple iOS developers suffering from download envy may find a fix in Michael Sanford’s advice. Sanford, the CEO of iOS gaming company FlipSide5 and whose Touch Hockey app ranked among the top 20 downloads in the history of the iPhone, has the right credentials to give advice. “During the holidays last year, about 20 companies received roughly 80 percent of all the revenue in the App Store,” he pointed out to me. “If you weren’t part of this group, you… continue…

NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 Could Reshape Mobile Gaming

NVIDIA Tegra 4
NVIDIA’s Tegra SoC platform has always been interesting, but with the next generation 22-nm Tegra 4 boasting six times the graphical processing power as its quad core predecessor, it’s gone from interesting to exciting. The Tegra 4 achieves this boost thanks to 72 custom GeForce GPU cores, which allow the chip to power higher-resolution displays at higher frame rates. It will be the first SoC to make use of ARM’s 1.9-GHz Cortex-A15 (Tegra 3 had a 1.7-GHz processor), which is… continue…

Tactus Adds On-Demand Buttons to Touchscreens

tactus thumbnail
If you’re not impressed by what’s been going on — or not going on — with smartphone technology over the past few years, good news: It looks like the days of incremental devie upgrades are numbered. More consumers seem to think that faster processors, thinner chassis, bigger screens and better camera just don’ it. And, yes, I’m looking at you, Apple. But a touchscreen with on-demand physical buttons? Oh yes, please. At CES 2013, California-based Tactus showed off an invention… continue…

Less Spending, More Playing: Gaming on the Cheap

Posted In Living in Tech
Video Game Woman
We love video games. We love them so much that in 2011 we spent nearly $25 billion on games, hardware and accessories, according to the Entertainment Software Association. And by “we,” I mean consumers in the United States alone. Of course, one reason we spend that much is because gaming is expensive. A new game for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 can cost as much as $60, and you can expect to spend more than $50 for a new title for Sony’s… continue…

How to Use Match-Three Mechanics for Great Games

Puzzle Quest
Web games and smartphone apps have been using the match-three mechanic for a few years, but recent games have carried it beyond the obvious Bejeweled-style titles. The mechanism — where a player matches up three or more tiles to make them disappear — is quite extensible, with varying starting positions and possible outcomes. Most games use an 8 x 8 grid, but other sizes work. The beauty of the match-three mechanic is that a skillful and quick-thinking player can win against a more… continue…

iPhone 5 Display Makes iOS Apps ‘Gorgeous’

Posted In Living in Tech
Cat Miller
The iPhone 5 ushers in the era of widescreen iOS apps and games. It’s not just about seeing more content on the screen. It means that optimized apps will look gorgeous on widescreen televisions. And think of what that means for games. Images: Bigstock

Growing Niche in Developing Mobile Flight Simulators

Xplane-9 Flight Simulator
Laminar Research claims its X-Plane 9 flight simulator app is the “most flexible and realistic on the market. After loading it onto my Asus Transformer Prime, I have to say I’m very impressed with its level of sophistication and straightforward operation. And it made me think there may be some good opportunities in this niche. My frame of reference is Flight Gear, the popular open source flight simulator for Linux. Flight Gear offers realistic aerodynamics and great scenery. I’ve been… continue…

How the iPhone 5 Changes Mobile Gaming

Posted In Living in Tech
iPhone 5s
Apple’s new iPhone 5 beats its predecessor in almost every way. With a 4-inch display, it’s the first of the line to depart from the conventional 3.5-inch screen size, and the first iOS device to sport a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Sure, that’s nothing to shout about. High-end Androids have had rocking 720p displays for quite some time. But to the iOS app ecosystem, this is a big deal. The iPhone 5 ushers in a new era of widescreen iOS apps and… continue…