Posts Tagged ‘application’

Emergence of Apps as Second Screen for Video Games

March 3, 2014 2 comments
iFruit app

Training your dog, Chop, on the Grand Theft Auto V iFruit app.

When it comes to video games, developers and studios always seem to be a step ahead in the social media sphere.

And video game companies are taking that to heart as they develop original game content for the intended platforms as well as original content and functions for the apps that tie in with the game and provide a deeper level of gaming.

Enhanced gameplay

This is more than just a second screen for video games. Indeed, in some instances, it’s really a way to continue playing the game while you’re not able to play the game.

So what do I mean by that?

iFruit app

Modding your cars on the Grand Theft Auto V iFruit app.

Take, for instance, the iFruit app from Rockstar Games, maker of Grand Theft Auto V. In the game, one of the characters has a dog. On the app, you can train your dog, teach it new tricks and more, and that pays off in the game by enabling the dog to better assist the character during missions.

Not only that, but the iFruit app allows gamers to mod out their vehicles while they’re away from the game so that they can come back and have a pimped-out ride.

Satisfying side missions

Likewise, in another large video game franchise, gamers can use the app for Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag to interact with the in-game map and with Kenway’s Fleet, a series of side missions that allow the gamer to collect more rewards in cargo and currency.

It’s a nice way to keep gamers playing the game even when they can’t actually play the game. (Especially since it’s a little difficult to lug around an entire console.)

Other uses, too

Then there’s games like Beyond Two Souls, and in the Beyond Touch app, Sony has allowed the use of the app to act as the controller.

It doesn’t really provide a second screen experience, but it does show that game apps can be more than just instructions or a wiki guide.

Added value

These apps add more than just a way for game developers to continue to have their name out there. These apps actually allow the gamers to continue their game when not at home, and deepen the gaming experience by providing a way to continue to add to the game.

More and more, apps are becoming the second screen for video games.


My Favorite Droid Apps

June 8, 2011 4 comments
My HTC Desire - Apps I Use

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Jim Trottier

I upgraded to an Android-powered cellphone recently, so I’ve been checking out all sorts of apps and finding what works for me. Here’s a few of my favorite apps that I haven’t seen mentioned much.

(UPDATE 6/8/11 9:09 a.m.: I am remiss for neglecting to say that these are all free apps.)

Smooth Calendar: This app connects to Google Calendar and I use the widget on my phone. It has a lot of customizable settings, including using the color coding of your calendar, text color, app color, a.m./p.m. or military time and more.

Springpad: I’m sure a lot of people use Evernote, and this is an alternative. You can create multiple types of files, including a note or task (with tasks being deleted when you simply hit a check mark). I’ve taken to using it as a financial tool, recording purchases when I make them so I can add them to my financial spreadsheets later.

Google Maps: Yeah, this one is a pretty easy pick on the must-have apps list. The feature I most like about it is using it with real-time geolocation to see where I am in context to where I’m going. It’s particularly helpful when traveling to new places.

Battery Solo Widget: This simple widget fulfills a role I needed with my Samsung Mesmerize — accurately telling me how much power is in my battery. I hate how the standard battery icon will look half full, yet my battery is at 25 percent. This widget has a ring around it indicating how much power your battery has (and the power is also displayed in numeric figures inside the ring).

Carrr Matey: I love this app. It’s fun and functional. It’s a pirate-themed vehicle geolocation tool. Yes, you “drop anchor” when you park. That’s #squee-worthy.

I’m always looking for new apps to try. Let me know some of yours.

Categories: personal, social media Tags: ,

Lessons Learned from Angry Birds

Angry Birds 27" iMac

Creative Commons photo courtesy of astroot

In the past month, I upgraded to a smartphone. (I bought a Samsung Mesmerize.)

One of the first apps I downloaded was Angry Birds. I’ve been playing it a ton, as you no doubt would expect. And while I’ve been playing it, there’s been a few thoughts that have popped into my head about taking how I play the game and applying it to life.

Form a game plan

If you just keep pushing buttons, maybe you’ll hit the jackpot — and maybe you won’t. So instead take stock of what’s at your disposal and what goal you’re trying to achieve. Then see if you can find the path of least resistance between the two. The jackpot will come quicker this way.

Failure is OK

Really. Don’t worry if you don’t clear a level on the first time (or second or third). Success is not everything. You’ll be fine. Just take a deep breath and regroup. Above all else, make sure you …

Learn from your mistakes

You’re not going to complete each level on the first try. Likewise, you’re not going to complete a level if you keep doing the same thing every time. Hint: It’s not working. Use what you’ve seen to modify your game plan and develop a new strategy. That’s when you’ll head to the next level.

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