Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Why do people hate the Nintendo Switch?


Hey everyone, it’s your gal Ellie here and this week I’m talking about the recently announced Nintendo Switch. If you’re reading this, it’s very likely you’ll already know what the Nintendo Switch is, but for the 6 - 10 of you that don’t, I’ll explain it briefly before getting into the main reason for this blog which is all about the backlash because god knows the internet loves negativity.

So without further ado.

What is the Nintendo Switch?

Nintendo. The company responsible for the Wii and the 3DS that you never play has just announced their latest console. Known previously as the Nintendo NX it’s official name is now the Nintendo Switch and there’s a reason for it. The Switch is a hybrid game console, tablet thing that allows you to take your triple A games on the go. Kind of like somebody loosely stuck two Wiimote controllers to the WiiU Tablet and decided it was about time they left their house. The controllers btw, Nintendo are calling joy-cons.

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Things the Nintendo Switch can do

The company released a three minute video showcasing all the cool things the Switch is capable of. This includes the standard, sitting in your fancy apartment playing console games but also the ability to dismantle the controller, attach the controller pieces to the console itself and take the whole thing with you, in a car, on a train, in a plane etc. It seems to have multiplayer and the ability for split screen dual player modes where players each use one of the two available controllers; an idea I thought was really cool even after I heard all the crap about the controllers.. ahem, joy-cons being too small.

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Oh, and it has a headphone jack. People’s reactions tend to be along the lines of ‘Suck it Apple’ even though the argument being made is ridiculous. The Nintendo Switch and iPhone 7s are completely different devices. I’m as butthurt over Apple’s decision to force their proprietary port upon us than the next person but comparing the two devices is like comparing apples to … well you get the point.

Things the Nintendo Switch can’t do

Now, as far as I’m aware, most of this is speculation but it’s one of the main reasons for the backlash. I’ve heard complaints about the aforementioned joy-cons being too small to use plus the name being ridiculous. I’ve heard that it won’t have touch screen support even though it’s essentially a tablet. I’ve heard there will be no backwards compatibility support and that the two third party games showcased in the trailer aren’t confirmed for the device. I’ve heard that the battery life will be utter pish and that it won’t be able to play next gen games like Fallout 4. I’ve heard complaints that it’ll be too expensive to justify a purchase.

Clearing up some misinformation

As I am undoubtedly the leading authority in the matter I’d like to try to clear up some misconceptions and concerns. God, I hope people can decipher the sarcasm in my blogs.

Not as powerful as the XBox One or PS4

Firstly, if you have concerns that the Nintendo Switch won’t be able to keep up with the XBox One or PS4 you’re probably correct but what the hell are you expecting? You’ve seen the form factor, something as small and portable as the Switch wouldn’t have as much raw power as something that’s likely to be double it’s size. It’s typical of Nintendo to produce consoles with outdated hardware, we all know this and we accept it because power isn’t everything.

Confirmed games

Games are where it’s at and It looks like Nintendo have learned their lesson about third party developers. Have you seen some of the third party companies working with them this time around?
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Sure, Skyrim and NBA 2K17 aren’t confirmed for the console but both 2K and Bethesda have confirmed that they’re are in partnership with the Nintendo so chill people, chill. I’d buy the damn thing just so I could play Skyrim on the go.

No touch screen support

Who actually likes using a touch screen to play complex games? No one? Okay then. Moving on.

Backwards compatibility

Again, what the hell do you expect? Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge advocate for backwards compatibility but it looks like the Nintendo Switch will be cartridge based. Good luck trying to get your optical disks to play on that thing. Maybe Nintendo will have older games available on a store that you’ll be able to download but that’s as good as you’ll get I’m guessing.

Battery life & price

Okay, last point and maybe an actual cause for concern this time. Analysts are reporting that the Switch may only be playable for three hours tops and that the price could be around $300 - $350 (£245 - £285 for us lot in Britain assuming the pound doesn’t fall any more in value). The price may very well be a barrier for some but I’m predicting people will still buy it in droves.

The main selling feature at this point seems to be the portability of the device. It stands to reason that a portable device would need to be battery powered. If this machine is running complex, graphically intensive games it’s going to run out of juice fast. Unless the Switch comes with some kind of fast charging or a hassle free charging solution this issue may very well be the consoles downfall. Hopefully they’re addressing this back at Nintendo HQ.

Final thoughts

The Nintendo Switch isn’t going to be the Sony and Microsoft console killer that, for some reason, people seemed to be expecting. This is why I think there’s a ton of backlash at the moment. Just think of the Switch as a super powerful tablet that you can connect to your TV and that comes bundled with two wireless controllers and you’ll be at the correct level of hype. When the Switch is released you won’t be let down by your overactive imagination of what you one thought could be.

Hope you enjoyed that. You can follow Late Panda all over the internet

Ellie xx

“It's a me, Mario!” - Mario

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Why and how I became a designer

Hi all,

So in light of Ellie’s last blog, I thought I would talk about what makes someone a designer or at the very least what made me a designer.

I guess it all starts with my childhood, like most parents my father always told me bedtime stories. Only he wouldn’t use a book, my father always told stories he would make up on the spot. He would bring me and my brothers into the story as active parts, and anytime one of us did something in the story he would turn to them and say something like “guess what you did next” if we replied with something he liked he would use it, if not then he would make something else better. These stories always put us all to sleep, which is impressive when you can put three children to sleep with one story all at the same time.

When I was growing up I would play using sticks with my friends using them as swords or guns and playing out a story or a quest. Like a truly interactive video game using characters we would assign to ourselves and creating NPCs with other friends or even just imagining them. Mostly though we would focus on combat between each other lacing groups of friends onto two teams and playing out a battle.


I always found myself to be the one that came up with the story we would follow alongside one of my best childhood friends. One day my friends and I played out the story of some children attending a school that focused on training them for a world filled with dangerous monster. We found ourselves battling a dangerous powerful sorcerer, joining another school to finally take them down. If this story synopsis sounds familiar, that’s because it is the same story synopsis of Final Fantasy VIII, I stand by the fact that I came up with it first so Square Enix (Squaresoft) owes me some royalty, heheh.  

To get back on topic while in high school I wrote short stories to amuse myself, which in hindsight were not really that great. However they did have a solid base which could be built on. Some of these stories may become my future titles, others sadly will never be good enough. I moved onto college and University were I learned more about game development and what really goes into game design.


Now I find all aspects of game design enthralling, from character and environmental design to user interface and experience. I can’t help but dive into the depths of game design creating everything to make the world more real. However I find game narrative design the most engaging to develop as it allows me to create a story just like my father did when I was young or the games I would play as a child, this is what made me a designer and I can’t see myself doing much else.

Thank you all for reading,

You can follow us all over the internet

Thanks for reading,
Stephen

“It’s not what we get that makes us happy, it’s who we become”  - Tony Robbins


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Why and how I became a developer

Hi,
It’s Ellie, and this week I want to talk to you about programming and how I ended up doing this for a living.


When I was a child I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew I’d most likely end up working with computers though. I was drawn to them, fascinated by the technology and even from a young age could see them being integral to the progression of humankind; although at the time I wouldn’t have articulated myself so succinctly.


I remember playing games like Chips Challenge and Pipe Dream on my Mam’s Compaq Presario 425 and by the time I was a teen I was sure I’d end up being a receptionist or some kind of white collar worker somewhere.


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I never finished this damn game!


I took a Computing Studies class in school and it was amazing. It was the only class I was any good at, possibly because it was the only class I was actually interested in, and/or possibly because I had a really good Computer teacher. Anyway, the point is, in this class we had to make programmes using COMAL. My eyes were open. This was amazing. You can write your own software!


Sure it was basic at the time, but it was fascinating to me, you write lines of code that the computer interprets, converting into 1’s and 0’s and executes what you tell it to. The possibilities seemed to be only limited by my imagination. This is definitely what I wanted to do for a living.


I started programming as a hobby, learning all I could, following tutorials and writing my own websites. They were terrible, but as with any new skill, you start out bad and think you’re good, until you’re good and think you’re bad. It’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect.


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I hit the confidence peak around 2010 when I got my first job as a web developer and realised I knew relatively little. I ended up taking a Computer Games Development course in university to improve my craft finally graduating in 2014 with a 1st class honours, distinction and a court medal. Cool right?


The reason I’m telling you this is because I actually love my job and it’s important that you do to. Your job takes up a decent portion of your life so I strongly believe that you should be doing something that you love.


I’m sorry, I’m going to leave you with this motivational quote from Steve Jobs to sufficiently illustrate my point. I ain’t no Apple fangirl as you can probably tell if you read my post about the latest Apple event, but it would be an understatement to say that these words have changed the way I live my life, personally and professionally.


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Hope you enjoyed that. You can follow Late Panda all over the internet


Ellie xx

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” - Steve Jobs

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Get the guide to growing a successful app or game business

Hi all,

So I want to start off by making it clear, we are not paid by Google to write this article. I recently saw an advertisement for the playbook for developers app on YouTube while watching a Let’s Play and thought that it sounded helpful. After playing with the app for a few days I wanted to talk about why I think the general concept of the app is a great idea for developers and some of my favourite features of the app.

The reason I believe that the app is a great idea is because it allows developers to communicate globally with little to no effort. It almost feels like a social media app specifically for developers, and sure there are many examples of these however most are in a much smaller scale. Allowing the developers to share their knowledge with other developers will provide the opportunity to create new experiences for users creating much better apps in the future.


Once you download the app you are able to personalise what content you see if that be game, news or educational apps, this personalisation allows the user to see articles and videos catered to their specific interests. The user is also able to save playbook tips to their device to allow them to refer back to them at any point. You can also share playbook tips via text message, social media, email etc allowing for a vast distribution to their own network of developers.


If you find yourself more interested in a specific topic you can open your category menu exploring each of the categories themselves. These are; develop, launch, engage, grow and earn. Each category gives you playbook tips, articles and videos exploring the topic from the perspective of other developers. This can assist new developers, giving them advice on how to create their apps, or even run a small company.


I know this blog is much shorter than our usual blogs but I just wanted to chat about this app, I think it was a great concept and I really hope it gets the attention that it deserves.

Thank you all for reading,

You can follow us all over the internet

Thanks for reading,
Stephen

“The secret to living is giving” - Tony Robbins