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Rockstar Games Develops Connection Between Flash Gaming, Nintendo DS

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the sweet-when-can-i-play-wow-on-my-pager dept.

Nintendo 61

An anonymous reader writes "It's been a long-talked-about but never fully realized aim of developers, publishers and format holders to create a game that runs on multiple platforms, but connects and exchanges assets between them — e.g. you play a game as an FPS on a console/PC but control it as an RTS on mobile devices. Now, Rockstar Games seems to have cracked it, on a small scale, with news that a new Flash game will allow PC gamers to generate in-game cash — true to form for GTA-creator Rockstar, it's through 'money laundering' — that is then transferred to its new Nintendo DS title, Chinatown Wars. GameSpy's online technology seems to be responsible for this latest gimmick, but most interesting is the idea that this could allow an interface between platforms like the iPhone and consoles as well. How long until an indie developer creates an MMO that has different interfaces for PC and mobile?"

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61 comments

Sounds familiar (4, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | about 5 years ago | (#27539961)

Reminds me of the Dreamcast's VMU, complete with the minigames that provided in-game bonuses.

Re:Sounds familiar (2, Insightful)

slyn (1111419) | about 5 years ago | (#27540255)

Or any of the Fable 2 minigames that came out before the games release.

Re:Sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27541185)

Or the PocketStation that never quite made it elsewhere... such a shame.

I wanted to play ChocoWorld for FFVIII.
There were actually quite a few things you couldn't get in-game without Pocketstation, unless you cheated.

Re:Sounds familiar (1)

SScorpio (595836) | about 5 years ago | (#27542873)

The PC version of FFXIII had a port of ChocoWorld that interfaced with the game if you really want to play it.

Buffy (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | about 5 years ago | (#27539989)

"""
How long until an indie developer creates an MMO that has different interfaces for PC and mobile?
"""

The Buffy MMO that's being made on the Multiverse platform is going to do this. Or at least that was the announcement... a *while* ago. As in, a Flash interface that will have certain abilities and a typical PC game interface that will have others (probably some overlapping features as well).

Re:Buffy (1)

TOGSolid (1412915) | about 5 years ago | (#27540229)

Likewise, CCP has discussed creating an Iphone Eve Online app that would allow players to access the game via their phone.

Fable 2 anyone? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540003)

I seem to recall a game called Fable 2 where you could earn cash on a PC playing a flash game...

Interplatform compatibility (4, Informative)

Literaryhero (1379743) | about 5 years ago | (#27540011)

I am waiting for the day that I can play Call of Duty 5 online with my PS3 owning friends while I use my 360. Is that too much to ask?

Also, this kind of reminds me of that Fable 2 gimmick where you could get unlockables if you played minigames on the fable2 webpage.

Re:Interplatform compatibility (4, Interesting)

Yeef (978352) | about 5 years ago | (#27540155)

That isn't a technical problem, but a bureaucratic one. Rock Band was originally planned to have cross-platform play, but neither Microsoft or Sony would allow it.

EA uses their own servers (rather than the Xbox Live servers) and I've heard that they actually have to add code to STOP players from different platforms from connecting with each other (I guess they use the same servers for all platforms).

Re:Interplatform compatibility (-1, Troll)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 5 years ago | (#27540631)

EA uses their own servers (rather than the Xbox Live servers) and I've heard that they actually have to add code to STOP players from different platforms from connecting with each other (I guess they use the same servers for all platforms).

[citation needed] [wikipedia.org]

Re:Interplatform compatibility (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | about 5 years ago | (#27541127)

I can confirm this. When they still had original Xbox titles that could not connect to Live, you could not connect to 360 players or vice versa, even though it was the same exact game.

But to take it a step further, you couldn't even see people as online if they were in the game on a different generation Xbox. For example: Most Wanted. If I signed into Most Wanted OXBox, my friend playing Most Wanted 360 would not show up online, at all.

Re:Interplatform compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27542657)

As far as the game codes, it's probably all the same. But the code that enables Xbox Live communication, messaging, friends, etc. is probably different. Plus the previously mentioned bureaucratic problems...

I'd imagine trying to patch two games to keep up with the bugs and differences on each platform would also not be that fun.

Re:Interplatform compatibility (2, Interesting)

RyoShin (610051) | about 5 years ago | (#27542359)

Likely, both companies believe that if they allow cross-platform gaming, it means that less people will buy their respective console just to play the game with friends. If so, they're missing the point that it means more people will buy the game for the console they already own, which is a huge thing for publishers.

It would gain software units on both systems, likely at a ratio comparable to console sales. Hardware units might also see a small jump; consider a person who wants to play Rock Band with a friend in another state, but has neither a PS3 nor 360. The friend has a PS3, but the person doesn't want any other game on the PS3, but does want a handful of games on the 360. With no cross-console gaming, it's highly likely that the person won't buy squat. But with cross-console gaming, the person is much more motivated to buy the 360 in order to play with his friend as well as play other games on the system.

New Tax (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540029)

As soon as this announcement was made, Secretary of State Clinton denounced virtual money laundering and the democratic Congress passed a bill taxing virtual earnings in games like GTA, Nintendo's Animal Crossing, and WoW. President Obama has vowed to sign the bill, which he says will help pay for health-care for underinsured children, and fix the nation's budget crisis. Nintendo could not be reached for comment.

Rockstar is like Vegas (4, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | about 5 years ago | (#27540049)

This makes for an intersting twist, but it's a twist where a viedeo game comes closer to reality.

I work as a software engineer. How much of my work day deals with things that are 'real'? How much do I manipulate any physical things at all? Unless you include the copious amounts of fresh-ground coffe I swirl each day, the answer is: next to none. I write software that solves a puzzle presented by our clientelle.

If what I do is manipulate information used by other people, how is that functionally different than MMO video games, which are themselves a shared information experience? Usually, in a game you solve a puzzle presented by the game creators or by other players.

Sure, at work there's money attached, and the problems are 'real' in that the karma you earn (or burn) applies to your physical person and not an avatar, but the differences are blurring fast.

Re:Rockstar is like Vegas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540121)

The real question then, is how to harness the millions playing MMOs to solve real problems.

Re:Rockstar is like Vegas (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 5 years ago | (#27541073)

Only good if your interested in the solutions the group of people typically playing MMOs arrives, at.

Maybe "Kill it" is a good answer; but you might just as easily come up with that one on your own.

Re:Rockstar is like Vegas (2, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | about 5 years ago | (#27540817)

The difference is whether you create value or not, and how much.

Re:Rockstar is like Vegas (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540875)

Keeping in mind the market that exists for in game items I'd say that's not really a good distinction

Re:Rockstar is like Vegas (1)

fbjon (692006) | about 5 years ago | (#27540913)

Keeping in mind the market that exists for in game items I'd say that's not really a good distinction

And how much value does that market produce? The distinction still holds, not between games and the real world, but between "useless" and "useful" activities.

I hate life (5, Funny)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#27540051)

I had plans to do this for an MMO ~4 years ago. Was well into coding, had mostly completed the engine when my main coding partner fell in love and got married totally ruining the project. Curse love! Happiness ruins all good coding projects.

Re:I hate life (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#27546021)

Except for the case where I am the one in love. My girlfriend supports my nerdyness fully. She even wrote me a love letter in hex!

Re:I love life (1)

Daisy Skye (1459303) | about 5 years ago | (#27546349)

Except for the case where I am the one in love. My girlfriend supports my nerdyness fully. She even wrote me a love letter in hex!

57686174
2063616e
20492073
61793f20
4e657264
73206172
6520686f
742e2026
20496469
6f2c2079
6f752772
65206661
7220746f
6f207377
6565742e
2049206c
6f766520
796f7520
66726f6d
2074686e
20626f74
746f6d20
6f66206d
79206865
61727421

Multiple platforms... (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about 5 years ago | (#27540059)

Games that don't interoperate cross platform are actually a step backwards...
You used to be able to play Quake across different platforms, i played it on an SGI against a mix of linux mac and windows users...
It seems pretty stupid to me that i can't play the same games against someone who has a different type of console.

Re:Multiple platforms... (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#27540281)

If the interfaces are the same, this is indeed an artificial problem.
But playing a shooter on a PC against a console, or even a handheld game device, is a big no-no.
Because you can't possibly balance such a game, and still make it fair.
Final Fantasy XI could be played on a console and on a PC, because the differences in the interface did not matter for that game.
But Quake on a Nintendo DSi against a full PC user... There would always someone complaining on the autotargeting and how the weaker interface has some assistance that makes them win just as often. (Because if those would not have the same chance, there would be no reason to play it.)

Re:Multiple platforms... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540483)

that would be great, XBox vs PSx vs PC with all that aim assist crap turned off playing $FPS.
One could finally show those console fanboys how much those console controls suck and that they are not really playing a FPS but just navigating an aim bot around.

Now let me load up Urban Terror and kick some Windows user's ass.

Re:Multiple platforms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27547473)

So you don't play against people in rooms without windows? How about doors? ^^

Re:Multiple platforms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27541899)

I was in the airport the other day, and I saw a guy playing what appeared to be a car race game with his sons. What was interesting was that he was using his laptop, and his sons appeared to be using ipod touch devices connected by USB (looked like they were steering by tilting the ipods).

There's nothing about that which is exceptionally difficult (PDAs with net connections have been around for years), yet I'd never seen it done before. I've got to believe there are quite a few good ideas to be found there.

Shooters other than first-person (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#27543487)

But playing a shooter on a PC against a console, or even a handheld game device, is a big no-no.
Because you can't possibly balance such a game, and still make it fair.

To balance the game, make the shooter not-first-person. What advantage would a player on a PC have over a player on a console in a game like Ikaruga?

Re:Shooters other than first-person (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#27547447)

No, because then it would not be that game anymore, but something completely different. You still can't possibly balance such a game. Only a different one, where the interface does not matter, as I said above. :)

FFXI (0)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | about 5 years ago | (#27540063)

There's already an MMO playable on PS2, PC or 360, Final Fantasy XI. Granted, all versions pretty much look and feel like you're playing on a PS2, but they've had multiplatform support for years.

Re:FFXI (1)

Ifandbut (1328775) | about 5 years ago | (#27562223)

+5 Credit where credit is due.
Also there is Shadowrun which was playable on PC and X360. I guess WoW could be considered multi-platform because you can play it on Mac and PC.

It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540083)

I think it's just a trick by my mom to get me out of her basement.

And then once I'm outside she'll change the locks again. :(

Savage (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 5 years ago | (#27540087)

Savage [s2games.com] is a combination RTS/FPS with both Linux and Windows versions.

Not quite the same thing, of course, as both modes require a full-blown PC. But interesting, nonetheless.

Micromanagement on mobile devices (2, Interesting)

ultrabot (200914) | about 5 years ago | (#27540125)

I've often thought that lots of gaming really is something that could be handled on low-powered devices. Take, for example, X3's trading - you really don't need to have access to the 3d engine to plot trade routes etc. Of course it would still be the same game, as opposed to "gimmicks" like merely sharing a number (amount of money available).

The same goes for item auction houses etc.

Second Life Winds again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540129)

You may hate it or love it but the fact is Second Life has done this. I can play Second Life on my Nokia (Symbian), Windows and many versions of Linux. Hell, you can login to Second Life from a PHP Library!

Re:Second Life Winds again (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 5 years ago | (#27540619)

I can play Second Life on my Nokia (Symbian)

I'm interested in "playing" Second life, because so far, I haven't figured out how to get on Second life using a mobile device without being on a text only interface or some crappy ajaxlife thing. Tell me?

Creative stroke of genius? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540173)

This concept has been around for some time now, everything from Dreamcast and Gameboy interaction to the more recent: http://www.madoverlord.com/Projects/EVIE.t

Granted EViE isn't endorsed by CCP and can't CHANGE skills. It does however, warn you when you need to change them.

Chocobo World (1)

EventHorizon_pc (1306663) | about 5 years ago | (#27540213)

Chocobo World was a game on the PocketStation, and you could get items to transfer to your game on Final Fantasy 8. So this concept isn't all that new, but it is something that hasn't really taken off. Yeah, many games have nearly identical versions on different platforms, but that doesn't really count.

It seems that FPS/RTS hybrids are becoming more popular. I even thought about coding one up one day, but I have too many games I want to write before that one. It seems to be along the same idea.

Re:Chocobo World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27542095)

Yes, but the PocketStation was never released outside Japan.

Re:Chocobo World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27549927)

So what?

An Indie Developer? (1)

Propagandhi (570791) | about 5 years ago | (#27540221)

How long until an indie developer creates an MMO that has different interfaces for PC and mobile

Why specifically an indie developer? The Eve Online guys will probably do this within a year (just speculating, from what I remember of the game mechanics it would make good sense in that game).

Waiting for the politics... (1)

creimer (824291) | about 5 years ago | (#27540223)

How long would it take until a senator pimps the news that you can now laundry money through a video game?

DS/Wii Integration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540329)

I was always under the impression that the DS was meant to be a controller for the Wii where you could have the main game on the TV and have private info on the Wii screen. This would add a dimension to multipplayer gaming where you could have several people play an RTS style game on the main screen, while still not giving away their unit positions and actions to the others as they would be managed on the DS. There are several ways I can think of that this would change if not revolutionize console gaming.

Re:DS/Wii Integration (1)

mauthbaux (652274) | about 5 years ago | (#27541275)

The Gamecube did this with Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. Unfortunately, the implementation was fairly asinine. You could play the game in single player mode using just a regular game cube controller, but doing multiplayer required you to use Gameboys (Advanced or SP) attached with a proprietary cable as the controllers. Essentially this meant that unless you already had a few gameboys sitting around and had money for the cables ($25 each at the time IIRC, though they've undoubtedly dropped in price since then), multiplayer was a decidedly cost prohibitive endeavor. Another problem was that character levels were not normalized. The enemies you fought came in at the same level as your highest level character, which functionally meant that you either played together as a party, or someone ended up getting left behind. Add in a small but noticeable delay in synching each gameboy with the gamecube, and the experience was more frustrating than fun.

From wikipedia:

The game was noted in IGN for its Phantasy Star Online-like multiplayer cooperative play, but the use of the Game Boy Advance, while innovative, was thought to be detrimental to the gameplay.

Moral of the story: things tend to function much better in theory than they do in practice.

Little bit late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540341)

http://www.amazon.com/POGO-Island-Nintendo-DS/dp/B000LXSRL0

how long? well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540403)

I'm working on making that link by porting Endgame:Singularity to the NokiaN800, while making an FPS for the sequel. Use the bases from a save file to determine the positioning of the covert bases in the sequel I'm making. I'm calling it Endgame:The Error Handler. singularitysequel.ning.com, to join the dev team, hit me up. dan.waggonerATyahooDOTcom. Let me know if you'd like to play test or develope. Slashdotters welcome. Thanks, and tell your friends.
Or not, it's up to you. Or is it?

Re:how long? well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540437)

See the original game at emhsoft.com, but don't all go there at once.

Ragnarok Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27540419)

Ragnarok Online had something like this years ago. You could play from your mobile and earn exclusive items to use in the computer's MMO. But I think it was a kRO exclusive.

So nothing new there.

Furcadia had this ages ago (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 5 years ago | (#27540605)

Furcadia [furcadia.com] had a PC and iPhone version of the game available ages ago, so no, not new.

Re:Furcadia had this ages ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27541391)

Hahahahahahaha. Furcadia.

Final Fantasy XIII anyone? (1)

smoatigah (1520351) | about 5 years ago | (#27540773)

"How long until an indie developer creates an MMO that has different interfaces for PC and mobile?"

Isn't that the whole idea behind FFXIII?

Why Is This News? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | about 5 years ago | (#27542329)

Can someone explain to me why this is so difficult? Anything connected to the internet can share information with anything else connected to the internet and since consoles and portables and mobiles can all connect to the internet, then it stands to reason they can all connect to each other!

I really don't get the WOW factor of this article to be honest.

Re:Why Is This News? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 years ago | (#27543045)

The difficult part is finding a large enough group that 1) doesn't undestand what the internet is, 2) doesn't understand what a computer is, and 3) cares about playing video games.

In the past this was difficult to find. Apparently it is easier now.

Patent war in 5...4...3...2.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546513)

What company is going to patent this and hold everyone else hostage for ransom to use this? MS? Nintendo? Surely someone is going to flying out of the woodwork to claim that they thought of this to get that $$$

Knife to a gunfight (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 5 years ago | (#27588553)

Never bring a turn based strategy-client to a first person shooter-fight... unless it's Fallout 3.

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