Games I am no longer Playing

As we’ve discussed on the show many times, we all play various games. Lately I’ve been re-evaluative some of the daily grind games I am playing. I tend to play the following games daily right now:

  • Simpson’s Tapped Out
  • Real Racing 3
  • Clumsy Ninja
  • Threes
  • Tiny Tycoon
  • Dungeon Keeper
  • World of Warcraft

Each of these games takes approximately 10-15 minutes out of my day, and as such can be a bit of a time sink. As such, I’ve decided to start cutting back. I have way too many things going on and can’t give-up that much time each day. On top of that I have to balance what the benefit I get from the game, verses the amount of time that it takes each day. So let’s take a look at which games are going to make the cut to keep consuming my days.

Simpsons Tapped Out – I really enjoy the show, and have been watching it since it first came out. The developers of the game have done a really good job of updating content and tying it back to the TV show. I find that the social aspects of connect to other friends’ Springfields to be cool. Everyone builds them with a different aesthetic in mind, or just to hit certain achievements. And while some of the content can only be achieved thru in app purchases, there is enough content that can be achieved without in app purchases. I’ve been playing this for a few years now.

Real Racing 3 – My day job includes working with the automotive industry and create connected vehicle platforms. The physics and the graphics on the iPad are incredible, and the choice of cars and tracks continues to open up while you play. Each race can take between 30 seconds (drag racing) and 8 minutes (long tracks). You can race in real time with a pickup race with random match ups, or virtually race with others, via time comparisons. There is a mechanism to upgrade your cars, and buy new cars, based on your winnings. Started playing this one over the Christmas holidays.

Clumsy Ninja – Leveling up a clumsy ninja requires that you use various devices to send him bouncing around, deflecting items, punching things, and jumping from great heights. The designers have used the cuteness factor along with great physics to make a very compelling experience. The grind is slow, and repetitive. You can fast past some of the grind by buying gems. I’ve been playing this one since the Christmas holidays.

Threes – Math and puzzles with a competitive bent, what could possibly be better than this? After hearing about this one, and seeing that Michael M. has been playing this one for a few weeks, I had to pick it up. Each game requires that match up multiples of three, and increase the numbers. However, you end up moving large parts of the board at a time, and when you can’t add up new multiples of three the games is over. A great feature is this games is a purchase game with NO in app purchases.

Tiny Tycoon – We’ve talked about this one for some time on the show. You basically use FourSquare information to buy properties, upgrade them, hire people to work at your locations, and then level up your own skill by doing various jobs at the locations. The game also requires you to use bucks to buy more properties or get more supplies. You can earn bucks over time, or use in app purchases to get more. I’ve been playing this game for a while.

Dungeon Keeper – A great PC game from the 90’s reimagined for the iPad. You get to play an evil builder of Dungeons and you get to build up various rooms, use your minions to build things, train up various evil creatures, raid other dungeons, and protect your own from invasion from others. This game has great sentimental value. You can speed up the game thru purchase of Gems, but you need to use gems for a lot of other activities. I’ve been playing this game for a month or so.

World of Warcraft – The mother of all good MMOs, I can’t believe it’s been around for 10 years. Blizzard keeps adding expansions, adding new races, more end game raids, and continuing the model of community for Guilds. Blizzard has recently made the game both a monthly purchase, and adding a store for in app purchases. I’ve been playing this game since 2005.

So, how many am I going to give up? I recently deleted Tiny Tycoon and Dungeon Keeper, and will probably delete Clumsy Ninja. The constant need push to get you to use in app purchases is a major distraction to any value or fun I might get from these games. I’ve also given up on the various Angry Birds games and Plants vs. Zombies. What are the games you are playing? Are you going to give up any of them and why?

Episode 72 – Crowd vs Crowd

Sports Crowds
Phaedra, Sandy, Michael and Michael are all on deck for this podcast to discuss location based games, review Michael R’s experiences from CES, brainstorm gamifying sports, and much much more. Tune in for some serious discussion on serious games.

Location, Location, Location
Michael M kicks things off to follow on from last week’s blog post on The Tap Labs’ game Tiny Tycoons. Things get really location specific as Sandy suggests that there should be an emerging new game along the lines of SnapChat called SnapTrack, where location information is shared with friends, but only for a limited time. Given that the last entity to have that name was sold for (wait for it) one billion dollars, there could quite well be something to it!

CES
Michael R gives a terrific flyover from his experience at the Consumer Electronics Show, summing things up by saying “the Internet of Things is real. Software and integration is real, and 3D printing is now entering mainstream.” A shoutout to Ian “epredator” Hughes for his early thinking in this area. Exciting developments in robotics, contact lenses (spiders are next, I’m sure) and augmented/interactive television give the team plenty to explore. Michael R had a chance to meet with the SeeSpace team to discuss the InAiR innovation while he was in Las Vegas, and that interview is here:

And for some CES robotics fun —

Gamifying Sports
Phaedra was eager to think about the gamification of sports during this championship season and to kick around other ways of engaging sports fans beyond Fantasy Football. The team discusses players predicting plays (and during the show editing, came across an NFL game exactly in this vein), sports trivia and user interface means of overlaying information on top of the existing game in action via the InAir concept discussed in the CES section. An idea about engaging individuals to play the sport while the sport is played live, using the same players, the same data and analytics is kicked around, and the comparison of player vs player, team vs team and crowd vs crowd is served up.

Selected show links:

Tiny Tycoons — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiny-tycoons/id558547777?mt=8&ls=1
Rescue Rush (location-based streets game) — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rescue-rush/id580844711?mt=8
SnapTrack — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SnapTrack
WSJ Online “The ‘Gamification’ of the Office Approaches — http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303819704579316721461148950
3D Printing at CES 2014 — http://www.ibtimes.com/3d-printing-ces-2014-da-vinci-3d-printer-makerbot-3d-systems-highlight-versatility-cheaper-pricing
Google Unveils Smart Contact Lens — http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/16/google-shows-off-smart-contact-lens-that-lets-diabetics-measure-their-glucose-levels/
InAiR — http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2128859975/inair-the-worlds-1st-augmented-television?ref=search
SeeSpace — http://seespace.co
NFL Call the Play — http://www.nfl.com/live/call-the-play
Buzztime Entertainment — http://www.buzztime.com/
Twine — http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/supermechanical/twine-listen-to-your-world-talk-to-the-internet
Raspberry Pi — http://www.raspberrypi.org

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Good news on a lost episode and intro to Tiny Tycoons

We have some good news for our podcast listeners — while there was not a recording this past Friday, an episode thought to be lost has been found! There needs to be some cleanup, and that will take place over the next few days. So in the meantime, let us remind you that we are interested in your feedback and are eager to hear your suggestions on topics that you would like us to cover.

In the meantime, there is one topic that we’ve been very interested here over at Games At Work, and that deals with location-based computing, coupled with games. The intersection of iBeacons (and other low energy Bluetooth) and gaming has been very promising for some time, and MacRumors posted an interesting story on the game Tiny Tycoons.

Tiny Tycoons is a cross between Foursquare, Monopoly City Streets and Ingress, where you can travel the world, both physically and virtually, to buy and trade properties. I’ve downloaded the game and will be giving it a whirl, and will look forward to sharing my insights on how this could be adapted for business purposes. I’m going to be the mayor, um, owner of a few new properties shortly!