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Google Games

Google Sets Its Sights On Gaming, Hires Noah Falstein As Chief Game Designer 106

Posted by timothy
from the searching-for-waldo-carmen-san-diego-etc dept.
MojoKid writes "Google has its hands in every other aspect of the tech industry, so why not gaming, too? It appears as though the company is eyeing a run at the gaming market by hiring Noah Falstein as its 'Chief Game Designer.' Falstein's LinkedIn profile has been updated to reflect his new title, which is the latest in a long career. He started out in 1980 and put in time at (the recently-defunct) Lucasfilm Games as well as 3DO and Dreamworks Interactive."
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Google Sets Its Sights On Gaming, Hires Noah Falstein As Chief Game Designer

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  • The market that Google operates (Google Play Store) is primarily associated with devices that ship with a touch screen. Like a PC mouse, a touch screen is great for point-and-click games. But not all games are point-and-click. How, for example, would a platformer be played with the touch screen of an Android phone or tablet? Emulators aren't very satisfying on my Nexus 7 because a flat sheet of glass lacks any tactile feedback as to where the thumbs are relative to the on-screen buttons. How many people are
    • by Nyder (754090) on Saturday May 04, 2013 @06:29PM (#43631851) Journal

      ...Emulators aren't very satisfying on my Nexus 7 because a flat sheet of glass lacks any tactile feedback as to where the thumbs are relative to the on-screen buttons....

      Dude, it's a fucking phone, of course it's not good for emulators. My sink isn't good for taking a bath, but can get me clean if needed.

      You want a device that is good for emulators? There a a ton of cheap android devices for that: http://dingoo-scene.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] You can find reviews of various ones there.

      As much as you want to have 1 device to rule them all, it's not going to happen anytime soon.

      • The Sony Ericsson XPeria Play is for you [sonymobile.com]. A gampad in the phone. For some reason it wasn't very popular in the US, but it seemed fine to me.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          The Sony Ericsson XPeria Play is for you. A gampad in the phone. For some reason it wasn't very popular in the US, but it seemed fine to me.

          I own an Xperia Play. I bought it used for $40 needing a new screen protector ($1) and a new back ($10). It's a cool little gaming phone, but you can't run anything later than gingerbread on it. I mean, you can, but it doesn't work for shit. Notably, the touchpads (analog joystick substitutes) don't work properly without significant hacking. The emulator that comes with it won't run favorites like Wipeout XL nor support multi-disc games though it is supposed to, so you have to pay for FPSe if you want to ru

      • by tepples (727027)

        You want a device that is good for emulators? There a a ton of cheap android devices for that

        Which APK store do devices from companies like JXD typically come with? Is it Google Play or someone else?

      • This is one of the reasons I kept my old Samsung Galaxy Spica... It has a D-Pad and relatively well-placed buttons. This means that emulators are actually pretty usable. For example, I've managed to complete Metroid: Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission, which is something I am nearly positive that I could not do on a touchscreen-only phone.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      touch screen platformer.. needs different control scheme than virtual buttons, like dragging.

      however, there's plenty of android devices with buttons. on the other hand, this chief games developer has mainly been successful with point and click games.

      • touch screen platformer.. needs different control scheme than virtual buttons, like dragging.

        Could you recommend a free or cheap Android game on Google Play that I could look to for best control practices in a touch screen platformer? I tried one of the Sonic games, but after I installed it on my Nexus 7 running Android 4.2.something, it crashed on run.

        however, there's plenty of android devices with buttons.

        I'm aware of Android devices from JXD that take design cues from other popular handhelds. But how many of these devices have Google Play?

        • Take a look at Another World, NBA Jam and R-Type. I realise the latter two aren't platformers, but they are 2D side scrollers and have good touchscreen controls.
  • How much do you want to bet that when Apple collapses, all their engineers will go over to Google?

    (Yes, I know that is the flamebait of the year, but Google does have a tendency to go for the big-name programmers).
    • Sure, they do, but your idea is built on a faulty premise, and I'm not just talking about the idea of Apple collapsing sometime soon. You seem to think that Apple needs to collapse before those developers will be freed up. That's not true at all. What we've seen is that Apple suffers an exodus of lower-level talent with each revolutionary sort of product it releases. For instance, when the iPhone was released, a number of their best developers and designers left for Palm to work on WebOS and the Pre, since

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by phantomfive (622387)

        I'm guessing it's because when it comes to Android vs. iOS, the differences between them are not compelling enough to pull the talent away from one company and towards the other.

        Having worked with both the Android and iPhone source code, I can tell you, if I worked at Apple, I would never leave to work on Android, either.

  • Gaming used to be something much smaller that gamers could really take pride in being a part of. Just Nintendo and Sega for the most part and some highly dedicated hardcore gamers. Games were actually awesome back then, until the industry went on a slow, continuing decline once Sony came in and made it mainstream. As a Nintendo fan I had a couple extra generations of truly great gaming, but these days even they almost seem to be drying up overall. And now games are so big, they're becoming more and more

    • Gaming is here to stay, and its definitely been branded and marketed as a "lifestyle choice" whatever the fuck you want to make of that, by all means.

      But there are still dedicated gaming hobbyists you just have to circulate in the right communities on line and you will find them. Look towards the modding communities. Especially those that rise up around indie games or flexible simulations like Civilization.

      I think these small communities have actually benefited more then the negative points you are demonstr

    • I know what you mean. Gaming was so great for a number of years, and then this upstart company called Nintendo came in with their Mario and Donkey Kong and ruined things after the blessed time we had with Atari.

      Oh, sorry, are we only being nostalgic about your childhood?

      Actually, truth be told, Nintendo was the video game company of my childhood too (NES was the first console I ever played), but I think it's a little silly how nostalgia tints everything for us, since I'm guessing that people that grew up in

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I know what you mean. Gaming was so great for a number of years, and then this upstart company called Nintendo came in with their Mario and Donkey Kong and ruined things after the blessed time we had with Atari.

        Actually, until the NES came out, gaming was DEAD.

        You may have forgotten about the video game crash of the 80s [wikipedia.org] where after the Atari 2600 came out, everyone and their dog was creating games for it, leading to a huge massive glut of really crappy games that everyone got tired of buying and effectively

        • I didn't forget, just for the record. It was simply a detail I decided to gloss over since it wasn't important to the point I was making.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      Now get your sodding rose tinted glasses off and look properly. Old games were simplistic, they had almost no depth of gameplay and while they had refined that gameplay very, very well, they're in no way objectively better (or worse) than newer games. If all you do is whine that the next Call of Duty isn't your cup of tea and games were "so much better back in my day", then it's your problem entirely.

      For each Call of Duty, there's a gem of a game to be found. FTL. Minecraft. VVVVVV. Terraria. Don't Starve
      • by bfandreas (603438)

        Now get your sodding rose tinted glasses off and look properly. Old games were simplistic, they had almost no depth of gameplay and while they had refined that gameplay very, very well, they're in no way objectively better (or worse) than newer games. If all you do is whine that the next Call of Duty isn't your cup of tea and games were "so much better back in my day", then it's your problem entirely. For each Call of Duty, there's a gem of a game to be found. FTL. Minecraft. VVVVVV. Terraria. Don't Starve. Stardrive. AI War. Torchlight. World of Goo. Mark of the Ninja. Magicka. SpaceChem. Frozen Synapse. Heck, even AAA games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Far Cry 3 or Company of Heroes. Figure out what you like and play it, instead of just complaining about it on the internet.

        The games of the 90ies were simpler but that doesn't mean they had no depth. Take for instance something like Lemmings. You had(if memory serves right) 10 different types of Lemmings and you had to use them to get them from A to B. Doesn't get simpler than that. Yet the gameplay had a lot of depth because there usually were a couple of ways to beat a level.

        On the other hand you have games like the later Assassins Creed, Arkham City, LA Noire...
        These games do not have more depth than the simpler ones. The

    • You're comparing 20 years of the best of gaming to 3 to 5 years of everything. Look back at not just the crap, but the mediocre. Take out the garbage from the last 5 years and you've got some amazing stuff. La-Mulana, Shogun Total War, Sonic Generations. And there's just no comparing old school racing games to modern stuff like Need for Speed and Burn out. I literally can't go back to playing 16 bit or even 32 bit racers Post Burnout 3.
      • Meh... Need For Speed and Burnout? Burnout is a pretty decent series and there are a few good NFS games, but IMO nothing these days beats Forza and PGR (RIP Bizarre Creations). Tokyo Xtreme Racer for Dreamcast was also excellent. And I can easily go back and play games as far back as Pole Position and Pole Position II and have quite a bit of fun. But racing is really one of the very few types of games that hasn't generally started sucking IMO; it's hard to screw up a racing game, although it has been do

        • but what about Ratchet and Clank or Sly Cooper? I'd argue those are the equal of even a Mario 64. Still, you can play the GBA Sonic games on a Gamecube with adapter (or the upcoming Retron 5). Sonic Colors & Generations on the Wii are really 2D games. Generations is fantastic. And if you just want 2D there's tonnes of great indies. Rayman Origins, Super Meat Boy, Dust Force, La-Mulana, Freedom Planet, etc, etc.

          As for a dedicated machine, computers today are so powerful you're not sacrificing anything
          • I couldn't really get into Ratchet & Clank or Sly Cooper, and I'd never put them up with Super Mario 64. I don't know what it is about the games released on Sony's systems, but very few of them seem to be my style--even if they're a genre I normally like. I own a PS2 to play a handful or PS1 games and a handful of PS2 games, that's it. The Silent Hill series and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are all I really care for on the two systems, although there are several others that are pretty good. Th

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      I'm weary of AAA games. They mostly are overproduced, overpriced and unfocused. For some weird reason the simpler games we used to play in the 90ies would be considered casual games nowadays. There was nothing casual trying to complete all levels in Lemming(or Populous...if you were mad).

      Now I prefer mostly indie titles to the latest and greatest hype. In my opinion Orks Must Die is better than the later Assassins Creeds. Bastion is better than Arkham City(tho not Asylum...that would be heresy). Warlock: M
    • by Twinbee (767046)
      Whilst I generally think the same as you, one game recently has given me hope - "Sonic and all-stars racing transformed". I loved mario kart on the SNES, and this game is indeed better than that - everyone one at Amazon rates it highly for the PS3/PC etc. I even get it to run at 60fps on my rather old PC.
  • Too many fucking 'social' requirements in games already. Go fuck yourself. I don't want to post my game scores on G+, no one else wants to fucking see them either. Nor do I want you to shove MORE ads down my throat. Its getting hard enough to avoid ad-laden games already, last thing I want in my games is for them to turn out as full of bloatware marketing crap as something like the Nexus series devices.

    • Too many fucking 'social' requirements in games already.

      Social gaming has always been big...ever since you could play Doom across a network (although many would claim Arcades were more social and first), and just because you want to game in isolation, most don't. It was interesting to see how although Microsoft had failed in so many years with the Xbox...Live has been an incredible earner, it even helped breath new life into Microsoft shares.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday May 04, 2013 @08:30PM (#43632323) Homepage Journal

    It would be great if there were finally some really good games on tablets.

      I mean, there are tons of games available for my wife's iPad or my Nexus 7, but I haven't seen any that were very exciting.

    Have I missed the great Android or iOS games? The hardware seems ready, but the game designers seem like they have not been up to the task. And even if they get a halfway decent game, they spoil it with advertisements or micro-transactions. If a game were really good, I'd pay a price comparable to a AAA PC or console game.

  • Falstein hired again by a big company! I think in the past decade or so he only worked on smaller titles, like educational games, just like many of the designers that had their big moment in the late 80s to late 90s. It would be fanstastic if he got another shot at a "big" game. Probably not going to happen at Google, but one can dream.

    For those who forgot why the guy is a genius: he made several good games, but his work on 'Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis', together with Hal Barwood, is a high
  • I wish google would just fuck right out of the content creation business if they're going to take such a big part in the search, ads, and development platforms, then the should stay the hell away from creating content for it. It's like they're taking a clue from the cable companies here. No. Stop. Focus on your core competency, be the platform -- I don't want to waste my time trying to compete with a company who owns the platform.

    Now, if they're just going to focus on discoverability and ease of de

  • Reading all the earlier comments, I see most slashdaughters thinking of games as the stuff they grew up with. No extrapolation whatsoever.
    Board games aren't even dead. They are a solid profitable industry (as are mainframe computers).
    There are many other ways 'games' are being built. Unity developers spend as much time building models for training as they do for actual gaming.

    There is an excellent book called Reality Is Broken about how gaming can be applied to all sorts of real life situations.
    I suspe
  • tied to the us dollar at a 1/1 ratio ...
    hyping it up by selling off the first zone for $100k before it's in game
    then hyping it up two years after by having it sold for six times the price
    the only game that pays you !
    (o no that would be the second one then)
    i'm actually curious, i hope it's not to make another version of angry birds

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