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Future of Video Games Outside the Home, DisneyQuest

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the taking-your-quarters dept.

103

gatzke writes "Some interesting developments have been coming online with new technology being developed that may lead to new and exciting gaming outside the home. DisneyQuest in Orlando mixes classic / modern video games with virtual reality and interactive games. MagiQuest in Myrtle Beach is an immersive interactive treasure hunt environment with a simple wand interface."Background

I am a thirty-something engineer that grew up with personal computers. When I was in elementary school, I was learning BASIC while playing Atari games like Asteroids, Pong, and Night Rider at the arcade in the mall. Games improved around middle school, Pac-man, Centipede, Galaga, Spy Hunter, Donkey Kong and others were available at the local arcades. At that time my favorite dinner destination was the pizza place with animatronic animals and a huge arcade. My buddies and I even played games at the mall arcade in high school: altered beast, time warriors, and others. At college in the 90s, I would frequent the local gigantic bar / restaurant / pool hall / arcade that had a good variety of games, especially the linked Daytona Racing games where you could drink and drive safely.

I fell off he map for quite some time. Arcade games did not hold my interest. I blame the many Street Fighter variants, with all the buttons and secret moves. No longer could any idiot walk up to a game and have a good time. You had to dedicate a lot of time and effort to get anywhere in those games. The economics changed as well. Games started hitting two or three quarters, not just one. On the home front, I had first person shooters on my PC that were tons of fun and interactive. Why go pay a dollar per game just to get stomped on in public when I have a SLI Voodoo card at home that can run Quake at 1600x1200 on a 21 inch CRT? The home and console technology was outpacing what you could get at the arcade. The arcades dried up in most places, with a few games lingering here and there.

Recently, my wife and I discovered a couple of places that give me hope for the future of gaming outside the home again. DisneyQuest and MagiQuest.

DisneyQuest

A few years ago, my wife and I were at a conference in Orlando. We took an extra couple of days to see some of Disney. We happened across DisneyQuest in Downtown Disney near the Cirque du Soleil theater. Admission was expensive at over $30 per person for the day, but it ended up being worth it to me. Inside, you enter one of the best arcades ever, an arcade by Disney. All games are totally free after you pay admission. They had recent games like Crazy Taxi and Top Skater (note, on a recent return trip they have not added many obvious new games). They also had classic games like Asteroids, Moon Patrol, Space War, and BattleZone.

The real outstanding section for me were the VR games. They had an Aladdin type game with a motion sensitive visor where you fly a magic carpet with intuitive controls. They had a superhero game where you get a motion sensitive visor and sword to swing at bad guys. If you have tried out recent VR helmets, you know the resolution is quite lacking and the motion sensing is not the best, especially technology from around 2000. Overall, these were fun but could stand some improvements in the basic helmet technology.

They had other VR / immersive games that did not require a helmet. They had a pinball game where you stand on a giant puck and try to direct your video puck into a goal by leaning left and right, while you play with others on a giant screen. They had a river rafting ride where you and others are on a rubber raft paddling in front of a projection screen while you get bumped around. They had Mech Assault type game where four people get in a pod and try to rescue some colonists while shooting aliens. One of the better games was a pirate game where you wear 3D glasses and man the cannons of a pirate ship surrounded by a few large projection screens. The design-you-own VR roller coaster made me sick, since I thought stacking as many loops and barrel rolls in a row was a good idea. The best game was the bumper cars, which was totally not electronic. You and a partner are in a Plexiglas enclosed bumper car. One drives while the other mans a cannon to shoot nerf soccer balls at other cars. If the sensors detect a hit, you spin around for a few seconds. This was loads of fun, and you can usually run around and get on again if the crowds are light.

My overall impression was favorable, but I was not as enthusiastic after my more recent visit. The technology had not changed in four years, so you still had the old 3D visors. Some video game controllers were not getting the requisite repairs. Things were not as "Disney" as they could have been, but it was still fun.

MagiQuest

My wife and I also went to try out MagiQuest at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach. We really did not know what to expect from their advertising. You get a "magic wand" for $11 and then buy time in the game at $8 per hour with discounts if you do two hours on the same day. The wand appears to be some combination of RFID, IR in the tip, and motion sensor. You pick a character class and a name, then go through training where they show you how to cast at items to evoke a response. Chests will open, lights will flash, or some event will be triggered by your wand. After training, you enter the game area which is a large room with different areas. At the center is a stone-henge type place where you go to choose a quest from a touchscreen and watch a related video. The first twelve quests are relatively simple treasure hunt type tasks that have you exploring the environment looking for different items. They have a castle with a few rooms, a dungeon area, a pixie treehouse, a crypt, and some other areas.

There are items all around that you can use the wand to interact with. Cast at a picture and it lights up, even if it is not on your current list of items to be found. Chests open and show jewels or gold. Some statues will talk to you. The first set of quests are fairly simple, with explicit locations and descriptions of the items, but it can still be tricky to find all the items. The game tests your memory, since you will have seen some objects while working on other quests. After you complete the basic quests, they have a series of adventures to work on. My wife and I completed the twelve quests in two hours working together. I would encourage you to do it on your own, but we were dragging a two year old and my wife is seven months pregnant.

The technology is pretty robust. Some sensors required a few casts to activate, but overall it was not frustrating. Most items are static and respond with sound and light. There are around fifteen different stations with projection screen, LCD, or CRTs that are more detailed with some video. Some of these are end locations for quests where a character gives you a rune as reward for a completed quest or someone tells you a story. Some of these stations are apparently part of the more advanced adventures where you have more involved games to try out. They have a dragon and a goblin in the dungeon, but they also have lighter fantasy creatures like a unicorn and a fairy princess.

The environment is fairly immersive. The interactive items are generally embedded pretty well into the environment. The dungeon was my favorite, as you get the feeling of a realistic dark environment. The castle was pretty good, but it was mostly open to the gaming area with only a few rooms. Most of the game is wide open, where you can see all around, including the false sky. This is probably good for the general population, but it does not throw a gamer completely into the fantasy world (which may not be a bad thing). I would like to see a dark forest with shaded canopy and a main street with some interactive stores to explore and lower player density. Overall, it was never crowded, and things were smooth even with a large number of people running around.

There are other details to the game if you really get into it. They keep track of your gold and award you crappy prizes if you want. You get experience and levels, but I am not sure how that helps you. They have a dueling station where you can battle other Magi by choosing spells to use. They have extra crap you can buy to decorate your wand. They also have some extra tokens (compass and key) you can buy to increase your take of gold or give you clues in the game. The game is fun for both adults and kids, both serious gamers and those looking for something other than mini golf. It could be costly if you have a few kids to take in, but not bad after you get past the wand purchase. They also have parent spectator discount cards (first hour full price, second half off, free after)

I tried to search online for information, but it took me a while to realize I was searching for magicquest / magickquest / magic quest, not magiquest. You are a Magi in this game, and I have not seen how your character class influences your game.

Overall, we had a great time and want to go back soon. It is rough to take away beach time to go run around waving a plastic wand at treasure chests, but the game gets to you.

Conclusions

If you are in Orlando or Myrtle Beach, you may want to try these games out. Maybe the economics will work out and they could put them in local malls to get kid out running around again. It certainly is more complicated than buying a space invaders box and harvesting money from kids, but maybe the market is there.

cancel ×

103 comments

Like geocaching, but with the magic of Disney! (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425350)

Another reason to spend an entire day in the park.

Re:Like geocaching, but with the magic of Disney! (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425471)

Well, DisneyQuest (or whatever it's called) isn't in the park.

Been there twice now. That superheros ride makes me motion sick, but the other VR rides were cool. I think the mech one, if you have four people, was the best, in my opinion.

Gaming outside the home? (0)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425358)

No disrespect to tfj - it was well written, but perhaps a better title than "Gaming outside the home" when gaming outside the home has been going on for ages [wikipedia.org] :-)

Re:Gaming outside the home? (1)

abscissa (136568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425631)

Gaming outside the home has been going on even longer than you think. It's called baseball, hockey, football, tennis, ....

Re:Gaming outside the home? (1)

JonLatane (750195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425773)

Oh, it's been around much longer than that [wikipedia.org] .

Jeez (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425370)

Jeez. Slashdotted already. Here's TFA:

  gatzke writes "Some interesting developments have been coming online with new technology being developed that may lead to new and exciting gaming outside the home. DisneyQuest in Orlando mixes classic / modern video games with virtual reality and interactive games. MagiQuest in Myrtle Beach is an immersive interactive treasure hunt environment with a simple wand interface."
Background

I am a thirty-something engineer that grew up with personal computers. When I was in elementary school, I was learning BASIC while playing Atari games like Asteroids, Pong, and Night Rider at the arcade in the mall. Games improved around middle school, Pac-man, Centipede, Galaga, Spy Hunter, Donkey Kong and others were available at the local arcades. At that time my favorite dinner destination was the pizza place with animatronic animals and a huge arcade. My buddies and I even played games at the mall arcade in high school: altered beast, time warriors, and others. At college in the 90s, I would frequent the local gigantic bar / restaurant / pool hall / arcade that had a good variety of games, especially the linked Daytona Racing games where you could drink and drive safely.

I fell off he map for quite some time. Arcade games did not hold my interest. I blame the many Street Fighter variants, with all the buttons and secret moves. No longer could any idiot walk up to a game and have a good time. You had to dedicate a lot of time and effort to get anywhere in those games. The economics changed as well. Games started hitting two or three quarters, not just one. On the home front, I had first person shooters on my PC that were tons of fun and interactive. Why go pay a dollar per game just to get stomped on in public when I have a SLI Voodoo card at home that can run Quake at 1600x1200 on a 21 inch CRT? The home and console technology was outpacing what you could get at the arcade. The arcades dried up in most places, with a few games lingering here and there.

Recently, my wife and I discovered a couple of places that give me hope for the future of gaming outside the home again. DisneyQuest and MagiQuest.

DisneyQuest

A few years ago, my wife and I were at a conference in Orlando. We took an extra couple of days to see some of Disney. We happened across DisneyQuest in Downtown Disney near the Cirque du Soleil theater. Admission was expensive at over $30 per person for the day, but it ended up being worth it to me. Inside, you enter one of the best arcades ever, an arcade by Disney. All games are totally free after you pay admission. They had recent games like Crazy Taxi and Top Skater (note, on a recent return trip they have not added many obvious new games). They also had classic games like Asteroids, Moon Patrol, Space War, and BattleZone.

The real outstanding section for me were the VR games. They had an Aladdin type game with a motion sensitive visor where you fly a magic carpet with intuitive controls. They had a superhero game where you get a motion sensitive visor and sword to swing at bad guys. If you have tried out recent VR helmets, you know the resolution is quite lacking and the motion sensing is not the best, especially technology from around 2000. Overall, these were fun but could stand some improvements in the basic helmet technology.

They had other VR / immersive games that did not require a helmet. They had a pinball game where you stand on a giant puck and try to direct your video puck into a goal by leaning left and right, while you play with others on a giant screen. They had a river rafting ride where you and others are on a rubber raft paddling in front of a projection screen while you get bumped around. They had Mech Assault type game where four people get in a pod and try to rescue some colonists while shooting aliens. One of the better games was a pirate game where you wear 3D glasses and man the cannons of a pirate ship surrounded by a few large projection screens. The design-you-own VR roller coaster made me sick, since I thought stacking as many loops and barrel rolls in a row was a good idea. The best game was the bumper cars, which was totally not electronic. You and a partner are in a Plexiglas enclosed bumper car. One drives while the other mans a cannon to shoot nerf soccer balls at other cars. If the sensors detect a hit, you spin around for a few seconds. This was loads of fun, and you can usually run around and get on again if the crowds are light.

My overall impression was favorable, but I was not as enthusiastic after my more recent visit. The technology had not changed in four years, so you still had the old 3D visors. Some video game controllers were not getting the requisite repairs. Things were not as "Disney" as they could have been, but it was still fun.

MagiQuest

My wife and I also went to try out MagiQuest at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach. We really did not know what to expect from their advertising. You get a "magic wand" for $11 and then buy time in the game at $8 per hour with discounts if you do two hours on the same day. The wand appears to be some combination of RFID, IR in the tip, and motion sensor. You pick a character class and a name, then go through training where they show you how to cast at items to evoke a response. Chests will open, lights will flash, or some event will be triggered by your wand. After training, you enter the game area which is a large room with different areas. At the center is a stone-henge type place where you go to choose a quest from a touchscreen and watch a related video. The first twelve quests are relatively simple treasure hunt type tasks that have you exploring the environment looking for different items. They have a castle with a few rooms, a dungeon area, a pixie treehouse, a crypt, and some other areas.

There are items all around that you can use the wand to interact with. Cast at a picture and it lights up, even if it is not on your current list of items to be found. Chests open and show jewels or gold. Some statues will talk to you. The first set of quests are fairly simple, with explicit locations and descriptions of the items, but it can still be tricky to find all the items. The game tests your memory, since you will have seen some objects while working on other quests. After you complete the basic quests, they have a series of adventures to work on. My wife and I completed the twelve quests in two hours working together. I would encourage you to do it on your own, but we were dragging a two year old and my wife is seven months pregnant.

The technology is pretty robust. Some sensors required a few casts to activate, but overall it was not frustrating. Most items are static and respond with sound and light. There are around fifteen different stations with projection screen, LCD, or CRTs that are more detailed with some video. Some of these are end locations for quests where a character gives you a rune as reward for a completed quest or someone tells you a story. Some of these stations are apparently part of the more advanced adventures where you have more involved games to try out. They have a dragon and a goblin in the dungeon, but they also have lighter fantasy creatures like a unicorn and a fairy princess.

The environment is fairly immersive. The interactive items are generally embedded pretty well into the environment. The dungeon was my favorite, as you get the feeling of a realistic dark environment. The castle was pretty good, but it was mostly open to the gaming area with only a few rooms. Most of the game is wide open, where you can see all around, including the false sky. This is probably good for the general population, but it does not throw a gamer completely into the fantasy world (which may not be a bad thing). I would like to see a dark forest with shaded canopy and a main street with some interactive stores to explore and lower player density. Overall, it was never crowded, and things were smooth even with a large number of people running around.

There are other details to the game if you really get into it. They keep track of your gold and award you crappy prizes if you want. You get experience and levels, but I am not sure how that helps you. They have a dueling station where you can battle other Magi by choosing spells to use. They have extra crap you can buy to decorate your wand. They also have some extra tokens (compass and key) you can buy to increase your take of gold or give you clues in the game. The game is fun for both adults and kids, both serious gamers and those looking for something other than mini golf. It could be costly if you have a few kids to take in, but not bad after you get past the wand purchase. They also have parent spectator discount cards (first hour full price, second half off, free after)

I tried to search online for information, but it took me a while to realize I was searching for magicquest / magickquest / magic quest, not magiquest. You are a Magi in this game, and I have not seen how your character class influences your game.

Overall, we had a great time and want to go back soon. It is rough to take away beach time to go run around waving a plastic wand at treasure chests, but the game gets to you.

Conclusions

If you are in Orlando or Myrtle Beach, you may want to try these games out. Maybe the economics will work out and they could put them in local malls to get kid out running around again. It certainly is more complicated than buying a space invaders box and harvesting money from kids, but maybe the market is there.

Re:Jeez (0, Offtopic)

Voltageaav (798022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425462)

Slashdot was slashdoted. Oh the irony.

Whoas.. (4, Funny)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425378)

Journal of gatzke (2977): I am a thirty-something engineer that grew up with personal computers. When I was in elementary school, I was learning BASIC while playing Atari games like Asteroids, Pong, and Night Rider at the arcade in the mall. Games improved around middle school, Pac-man, Centipede, Galaga, Spy Hunter, Donkey Kong and others were available at the local arcades. At that time my favorite dinner destination was the pizza place

You must have started writing this story just after you joined!

Re:Whoas.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425583)

I hate to have to break the bad news to you, but there's actually other languages than English. Maybe he learned to speak one of those first, and English later.

I guess when you're mind's already as narrow as it can possibly get without being shut entirely to the outside world (i.e. you're an American), it's hard to fit much of anything useful in there...

Re:Whoas.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425695)

I hate to have to break the bad news to you, but you've totally missed the point..

Grandparent was making a joke about the story being very long..

Re:Whoas.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425934)

Actually, I believe it was a joke about the OP's low (4-digit) UID. But then what do I know, I'm just an AC.

Re:Whoas.. (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426060)

It was both....such a low UID and such a long post. It took him all the time since he got the low UID to write that post.

Re:Whoas.. (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15432147)

I touch type pretty fast as well. Anyone that lives on a computer should learn to touch type.

Re:Whoas.. (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427947)


I found slashdot since their team was winning one of those distributed computing efforts, and I checked out the web page back in '98 I think.

I remember when they started the user ids. I held out on getting one for weeks, thinking it was an invasion of my privacy, but finally I joined up.

And I still read here. Pretty sad.

Ed

DisneyQués? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425385)

DisneyWhats?

DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (4, Informative)

realinvalidname (529939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425395)

It certainly is more complicated than buying a space invaders box and harvesting money from kids, but maybe the market is there.

I'm afraid not. WDW's DisneyQuest is set to close in 2008 [jimhillmedia.com] to become yet another ESPNZone. DisneyQuest was supposed to be a worldwide chain, but they bailed on it after opening two locations, and closing Chicago's after a little over two years. Disney has sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into DQ since 1994, and they're done.

Maybe Dave & Busters and Jillian's are the future of outside-the-home gaming, although the latter went bankrupt and was absorbed by the former. And Brunswick walked away from its D&B wannabe, US Play, after opening two locations (Atlanta and Minneapolis).

Re:DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425435)

Too bad. I was at the DQuest in Orlando a while back (admision is free with some of the all-park passes, so why not kill a couple hours there?) and it was fun! I meen, the VR roller coaster (with tour guided by Bill Nye, interestingly) was fun, and couple that with, just upstairs, a freeplay Mario Bros. machine, and I was happy :P

Re:DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (1)

Voltageaav (798022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425480)

I don't know anything about DisneyQuest and don't remember hearing about it. Probably why it failed. Dave & Busters is awesome though and we must not forget Chuck E Cheese.

Re:DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425514)

I live near DisnyQuest. Only been there once. It was a typo, but the name "DisneyQues" in the title of this story is pretty appropriate.

There's lines for EVERYTHING, from getting into the building to getting to play even the least game.

Not fun.

Re:DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425661)

I was bummed to hear about DQ closing when I learned of it a few weeks ago. I have a DQ annual pass, and while I obviously enjoy gaming there, what I'll miss most are the hamburgers available there - best on Disney World property, IMHO.

I should have known things were going downhill when their Tempest machine disappeared several months ago....

Re:DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (1)

realinvalidname (529939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426146)

I should have known things were going downhill when their Tempest machine disappeared several months ago....

Now that you mention it, DQ is the only place in the world I've ever seen an Ehrgeiz machine. Now there was an underrated game...

Re:DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (3, Insightful)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426272)

Who says outside of the home gaming has a future?

Considering the popularity of consoles and the fact that services like Xbox Live can provide multiplayer opponents whenever you want them, it's looking more and more like arcades have been entirely supplanted.

Still, I want to find a console that can give me a good pinball game. The virtual stuff just isn't the same as a good old machine...

Re:DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426622)

Still, I want to find a console that can give me a good pinball game. The virtual stuff just isn't the same as a good old machine...

Exactly.

There are also a lot of other specialized hardware that you can't (right now) get for your home. I was at Dave & Buster's a while ago and one of my friends played a cop shooting game where the machine had cameras that would figure out where you were, and you would have to physically dodge the bad guys, duck behind things to reload, etc. There's also the classic racing games and whatnot, and while you can get steering wheels for consoles (I assume; you can get them for the PC) most people don't.

There's also the issue with games. You can walk into an arcade and play a dozen different games for a few bucks, while going out and buying them for your console (and possibly the other two, so you have MS, Sony, and Nintendo, and maybe multiple incarnations of each) would be more expensive if you wouldn't play them much.

And finally, there's still nothing like going out to the arcade with friends. Multiplayer gaming over the 'net doesn't cut it. (Now, if you all bring your consoles to the same place, that's another matter.)

Re:DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426676)

Play them for a couple bucks!? Show me to your arcades.

Last time I was in one, it cost 4x 25c to play the newest version of tekken.

The only games that cost below .50c a play were the old old broken screen ones (frogger, 1974, etc, etc).

All the pinball games cost $1 to play.
All the racing games cost $1 to play.

End of after of gaming, you've just spent a good $20-30 easy. If you play a bunch of the game. Of course you can spend $4 and call it a day too.

Re:DisneyQuest closing in 2008 (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426823)

True, I was too dismissive of the cost of it. BUt I don't think I spent more than 10 bucks over the course of an hour or so.

And they seem to be getting worse too costwise too. It won't be too long until the cost argument goes the other way.

DisneyQuest developers are now making MMORPGs (1)

Supercrunch (797557) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426723)

The developers who created the "Aladdin" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" games at DisneyQuest have spent the last few years making MMORPGs. They created Toontown Online [toontown.com] in 2003, and they're now working on a Pirates of the Caribbean MMORPG [pirateslegend.com] that is scheduled for a 2007 release. That probably explains why DisneyQuest hasn't gotten any new, original games in a long time.

Re:DisneyQuest developers are now making MMORPGs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15428186)

Sorry, it's not possible all of the developers switched over, and Disney would've found replacements if they were really looking to push.

This is probably just a sign it was one executive's pet project, and not another's with the usual cycling of positions.

Wonderful World of Warcraft? (1)

NickFusion (456530) | more than 8 years ago | (#15429396)

This is not surprising. In many ways, MMOs are the spiritual offspring [wired.com] of the theme park.

What I think is even more interesting is moving in the other direction, theme parks based on popular MMO franchises [chromecow.com] .

Quest-based, exploration-based, rides and virtual experiences that build upon the familiar geography of popular MMO worlds, with cross-promotions that build the core audience on both sides of the fence.

Wow (1)

advs89 (921250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425416)

I've been to Broadway at the Beach at Myrtle Beach many times, and have never seen this. I'm sure it was probably because "Magic Wands" don't typically grab my attention, but its nice to see a story involving my favorite beach on /.

DisneyQuest rocks. (2, Interesting)

kfazz (951286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425444)

I remember that DQ had Timecrisis, and some 3d shootemup with atari-like controls (one jostick, one buton) the coolest thing there by far was this: one floor had a maze in it, all clear plastic. the maze was full of rc trucks, and there werearcade cabinets where you had a first person view from the truck and could drive it around in the clear floor under your own feet.

Re:DisneyQuest rocks. (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427800)


Last time I was there, they had closed that maze thing down. My wife and I had great fun, as one would drive and the other would follow the RC car around and give directions. That was a really neat little game...

future of planet/population is in yOUR hands? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425446)

as if it ever wasn't? there are some things you CAN do. see you there?

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Chicago DisneyQuest (4, Interesting)

aitikin (909209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425465)

We had one of those in Chicago about 5 years ago. It was a decent idea, but the problem was that they allowed you to buy a card that could be used unlimited times over the course of the day or cards that would run on credits but you could use them later. It's a good idea, but the reason I call it a problem, we have an ESPN Zone that survived because it didn't do that. Furthermore, we had a few stores that knew too much about magnetics and you could go in with a card and get it recharged for $5 instead of $35. DisneyQuest closed and shortly thereafter the store I'm refering to had a sheriff's notice on the door saying that they shutdown. I'm not entirely sure that there's a corelation there, but I know they closed DisneyQuest in Chicago because it was unprofitable.

it just played as low-rent... (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426868)

I went there too. The problem to me seemed that it had to be somewhat affordable. So the "rides" had to be scaled back from regular Disney stuff.

So the whole thing played as extremely low-rent. It had none of the magic and wonder you expected of Disney. You ended up seeing computer graphics and stuff you could see at home instead of animatronics and large-scale dark rides.

The ESPNZone was right next door, and altough it was completely Dave & Buster's knockoff, it worked because you didn't expect so much.

At least that was my experience.

bad names (2, Interesting)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425488)

The problem with out of home gaming is they chose bad names.

The need more dimly lit rooms with names like "Wizard's Castle" and "Frodo's Palace"

Call it retro.

Re:bad names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425527)

You are mistaking out of home video gaming for faggot meetup clubs.

Arcades are foreced to change or die (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425491)

I own a small arcade in Higgins Lake, MI I know of 8 michigan arcades closing last year and a handfull closing this year. The problem is people are cheap and games are getting expensive. I try to mix a collection of the classic remake machines with some of the novelty machines such as big mouth where you use an aircompressed rubber ball gun to knock out teeth, I also have some of the newer games. However there is just little money in the arcade aspect. I mean 50cents a game after taxes, bills, and employee expenses that is nothing. New games are now costing over 20 grand. I think arcades are going to die so enjoy them while you can. :( Minimum wage is going up to $8 an hr and therefore I am forced to charge 1.50 for a game of pool and a buck to play some 90's shooting game. it sucks. The icecream store next door is raising the cost of all there cones $1 to afford the employees.

Re:Arcades are foreced to change or die (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425664)

I'm not sure which is worse, that it's $1.50 for a game of pool, or that you have to work for an hour at the local minimum wage to afford to play four games of pool
(after taxes, of course). Around me, minimum wage is still $5.15 an hour, which is less than it costs the governement (with its 2 million member group) to cover the cost of health insurance (employee and gov't parts, i.e. total cost).

I'm not singling you out...nobody seems to be winning here. There seems to be quite a compression of wages and costs for many goods, and I'm not certain that it isn't due in part to taxes, part to the increase in "service" costs which add to the cost of goods. $20,000 for a video game? You're right, there's no payback at $.50 a game. Seems almost odd that in a field (computers) where hardware is constantly getting cheaper in actual, not just adjusted, dollars there is this great increase in console price.

You are correct, everybody expects things to be as cheap as they used to be or cheaper, while expecting to get paid more. Productivity "gains" due to autmation seem to be transparent. Either the consumer expectation gets higher due to the automation, or the automation costs nearly as much as the productivity gains you realize. My view has changed quite a bit since I've started my own business, and I look at a lot of stores in my small town and wonder how they keep the doors open.

Re:Arcades are foreced to change or die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425784)

Did you ever notice there are alot of Retro arcades now. becuase its cheaper to spend $1000 on a ms pac man then buy some foreign made dance machine.

Re:Arcades are foreced to change or die (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426091)

Those dance machines can usually pay for themselves as long as you place them somewhere noticable, within range of both teenagers and drunk adults.

Re:Arcades are foreced to change or die (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425694)

I think the writing's been on the wall for a while - given the horsepower of today's PCs and game consoles, it's hard for a lot of people to justify spending a buck a game when you can get a great gaming experience at home for the cost of a few visits to an arcade. You won't get a nice sit-down cabinet that moves or a custom controller set, but the graphics and sound are great nowadays. It's just not like it was back in the '80s when there wasn't anything available in the home that was remotely comparable to what you'd find in an arcade, except for a few games on the Colecovision. "Defender" in the arcade vs. "Defender" on the Atari 2600 - I'd put my quarters in the machine, thanks.

I agree, it's sad, and I hope you're able to hold out a while longer.

Re:Arcades are foreced to change or die (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15428169)

Haven't you tried having something like a "club", where people (kids) pay some certain cash and they get to play the machines for a month or so?

Also, there is the possibility of exchanging 1 arcade for 2 or 3 PS2 (ok ok and maybe 1 Xbox360) and charge for hour (in Mexico that is quite common). If the Arcades are not as "cost effective" as consoles, then buy consoles!.

If you do it as a club, you might ask for "wanted games" which you could buy. Also, you could make competitions and other things. Nothing would beat a good selection of games because, as other poster said, one of the "advantages" of arcades is that you spend $5 to play for an hour, as you only want to play for an hour and not to buy the game (the console).

For example, I myself can not afford an XBox360+HD-screen+games, but I would be really glad to go to a place like the one I described and be able to play it, better yet if you agreed to keep my savestates and things like that (for that reason I think a "club" like thing would work better).

Anyway, I still miss the days of MortalKombat and Street Fighter 2 (those were my Arcade games), It was really cool to go to the arcades, in fact I went each saturday to the arcades of one mall, where all my friends gathered to play arcades and all that.

For self-ego rising nothing beats a Mortal Kombat II winning spree of more than 10 uknown persons (better yet if you are something like 12 and the others are in their 16s or 17s) hehe.

Re:Arcades are foreced to change or die (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15428173)

This is all absolutely true. I worked for an arcade chain for about seven years as a technician and manager, and there is almost no money in the industry anymore. Machines are expensive, parts are expensive and usually proprietary, and the game quality just doesn't justify the cost of getting into it anymore. I've always loved video games, I had access to play them for free, and still I was playing more interesting games on the lappy in my office. Even inviting friends down for an after-hours free game party now and then never took off since we all had more interesting games on our PCs, Playstations and XBoxes.

The only way to make any money in that business these days is with the extras. Just as most movie theaters can only make money on the concession stand, the only arcades that can stay alive anymore are the Chuck E. Cheese style of place with extras like rides, pizza, birthday parties and such, or your Dave and Busterses with bars and pool tables. If you're really into the public competition aspect of it, Internet cafes and "gaming centers" are popping up everywhere with PCs or XBoxes on a LAN for you. Plain vanilla arcades are all but dead.

Re:Arcades are foreced to change or die (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 8 years ago | (#15428976)

We have places here like Amazing Jakes that has a bowling alley, laser tag, large arcade, lots of rides, wall climb, etc. All kinds of pizza, pasta, salad buffet. $20 for all you can eat food and an unlimited pass for rides, laser tag, and wall climbs. Hard for a small old style arcade to compete with that. There's a only a few left here in the malls. Most of them don't have arcades anymore.

Anyone ever try Tomb??? (3, Interesting)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425502)

http://gonewengland.about.com/od/bostonattractions /fr/frtombboston.htm [about.com] It's sort of like an interactive game show. I'm just wondering if anyone has ever tried it before because it's right near Fenway Park. Heheh.. Anyway, that is something to do in my spare time.

Re:Anyone ever try Tomb??? (1)

iny0urbrain (965352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427550)

I went to Tomb with a college class last year. The place was smaller than I had imagined, it only comprised of a few rooms with a handful of teamwork-centric puzzles in each. When running the "game" the moderators can increase or decrease the difficulty of the puzzles to accommodate various group sizes of 10-year-olds to older folk. While I think I would've been totally into it had I been either inebriated or 12 years old, it was a bit too cheezy to fully appreciate the experience as a college student.

Also, the gift shop comes off like an overpriced museums'. Overall, if you've got some cash to spend ($16-20 each) and a few laid-back friends in for an *archeological adventure*, go for it.

Here's the official website: http://www.5-wits.com/ [5-wits.com]

One important thing overlooked: (5, Informative)

unterderbrucke (628741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425549)

DisneyQuest has been a miserable failure. The last one in Orlando is closing in 2008 [jimhillmedia.com] .

Nothing new... I drive So Cal freeways (2, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425599)

I already play in the world's biggest consensual out-of-the-home game. Nothing for me here, I'll move along...as soon as the traffic breaks.

Re:Nothing new... I drive So Cal freeways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425652)

Is this on the way to or from Dream Park?>

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Park [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Nothing new... I drive So Cal freeways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425674)

I'm a level 20 slashdotter. Who wants to group for a raid on BSD?

Seriously, the gloomy article completely ignores stuff like LaserQuest (you have that in the US, right?) / paintball / crazy golf / karting / snowboarding which are all mainstream activities but are outdoor videogames in character (yeah, I know crazy golf was before computers).

Re:Nothing new... I drive So Cal freeways (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15432166)


Title should have been more accurate. I meant to consider video games outside the home, the classic arcade.

The ones you mention are all normal activites, except lazer tag, which we don't see too often in the states for some reason.

I agree on the advertising... (1)

jwjcmw (552089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425606)

>>"My wife and I also went to try out MagiQuest at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach. We really did not know what to expect from their advertising."

I was down in Myrtle about 2 months ago...and while the MagiQuest advertising was everywhere, and looked mildly interesting (for a person like me who loves fantasy lit, not sure about the general public), it was like pulling teeth to find out exactly what the attraction was. I didn't even get a real good explanation at their website. And I wasn't about to throw down $80+ (for me and three kids) to experiment with some unknown attraction. And besides, the kids were liking catching lizards in Brookgreen Gardens...so why mess with a good thing.

Love to be his kids...not. (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425629)

The first twelve quests are relatively simple treasure hunt type tasks that have you exploring the environment looking for different items. They have a castle with a few rooms, a dungeon area, a pixie treehouse, a crypt, and some other areas....my wife and I completed the twelve quests in two hours working together. I would encourage you to do it on your own, but we were dragging a two year old and my wife is seven months pregnant.

Anyone else think "time to grow the hell up?" You're in an amusement park and are "dragging" a two-year old?

Re:Love to be his kids...not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425656)

Haha, another straightedge faggot...the early 1990's called, they said to tell you that they didn't think you were cool then either.

Bet Mommy is real proud though, her big boy has "grown up" to be a registered Slashdot poster...

Re:Love to be his kids...not. (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426370)

Speaking of growing up, have you ever tried to keep a 2 year old in order through any form of structured entertainment? I can see his choice of words being quite apt myself.

Oh, I see.

"a simple wand interface" (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425673)

Is everyone ripping off the Wii these days?

Re:"a simple wand interface" (2, Insightful)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425684)

It sounds like DQ is a lot older than the Wii and it does not sound like the wand is anything like the Wiimote. I would think that a wand would be an obvious interface to game in which in the player is a mage of some sort.

Re:"a simple wand interface" (1)

balloonpup (462282) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427194)

Is that what they're really calling it? The Wiimote?

Geesh, the image that it brings to mind: "Welease Bwian!!!"

Re:"a simple wand interface" (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15430564)

That is what everyone online has been calling it, but officially Nintendo calls it the "Wii Remote" [nintendo.com] .

Re:"a simple wand interface" (1)

jafuser (112236) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427088)

The game you're probably referring to, "Ride the Comix" [google.com] was there when DisneyQuest opened, so it is almost 10 years old.

How do you suppose? (1)

annex1 (920373) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425720)

"when I have a SLI Voodoo card at home that can run Quake at 1600x1200 on a 21 inch CRT?"

I had no idea that the SLI technology was that old. I doubt you'll ever hear nVidia admit they weren't the first.

Re:How do you suppose? (1)

Masami Eiri (617825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427843)

Same acronym, essentially the same end-result, but different tech. Voodoo SLI split it between scanlines, and nVidia/ATI's versions cut the screen in half. I think.

In the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425724)

in the future we will go to gaming centers outside the home where we pay to play games that could never run on our home consoles. The machines will probably accept direct payments in return for your chance to play, like a vending machine!

I live in Myrtle Beach (1)

Poppageorgio (461121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425770)

I'm in Myrtle Beach, and MaqiQuest is one of our favorite things to do, if you feel like fighting your way through throngs of little kids during the summer. You have no idea how busy this place is. the desire to squeeze as much money as possible out of the place interferes with the experience. I hear a lot of people leaving unhapppy because it was just too busy there to really have fun.

Re:I live in Myrtle Beach (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427746)


We got there right when they opened on a weekday and it was not too bad.

I think they opened at 10:00, but by 11:00 it was picking up a good bit.

I assume in quieter seasons it is just fine.

Ed

VR is teh r0x0rz (2, Insightful)

PatTheGreat (956344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425785)

When I tried that Aladdin magic carpet ride, the cool part was not the hour long wait, the cool ski-doo controllers, or the wonderful graphics.

It was the fact that when I turned my head, the game turned too! It was so cool to look over and see my fellow players right there. It was so natural. It was sweet. The helmet wasn't a 3D viewer, it was Virtual Reality. I was hooked.

Re:VR is teh r0x0rz (1)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15428683)

It was the fact that when I turned my head, the game turned too! It was so cool to look over and see my fellow players right there.

This past March was my second trip to Disney while DQ was open, but it was the first time that the Aladdin game was actually running (my previous trip in 2000, the game was not available -- I forget whether it was down for repairs or not installed yet). I also loved moving my head right, and the screen moving as well. The other neat part was that the heads of the other characters moved as well -- so if the person next to you was looking at you, the character was also looking at you.

That being said, I think DQ is slowly dying. The first time at DQ was after my freshman year of college, with my 3 college roommates. We had an all-inclusive pass to Disney, which included DQ. Since DQ was open until 11 or 12 every night (and the parks closed between 8 and 10), we would head over to DQ almost every night after we were done at the parks. We had a blast playing the new games as well as the old games. Once DQ closed, we'd head over to Pleasure Island to finish up our night.

Now that the "all-inclusive" pass only has a limited amount of "extras," going to DQ for an hour or two didn't make sense when you could spend your extra on a day at the waterpark or a long night at Pleasure Island. Aside from a few new arcade games, there wasn't much new, and several of the fun games were no longer there. None of the VR games were new since 2000, with the possible exception of Aladdin as I explained before. To make matters worse, 2 or 3 of the VR games were closed the week we were there, and at least 25% of the arcade games had some sort of problem with them -- whether it was buttons not working or the game simply being off. I have to say I was really disappointed, and I definitely would not pay the entrance fee to go to DQ again.

frist Stop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425810)

about half of the that sorded, to any BSD project, OpenBSD 60ys. They of Walnut Creek,

How about merging the virtual with reality? (3, Interesting)

orangepeel (114557) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425860)

I'm not a gamer at all (at least not since I kicked a really bad addiction to the original Half-Life), so for all I know there are places similar to the following already out there, and have been for ages.

I wish that there was a really, really immersive gaming environment out in the real world somewhere, spanning 5+ acres (2+ hectares). I'm talking about something on par with a high-budget Hollywood set, only on a huge scale. Partly outdoors, partly indoors in mock laboratories or whatever, partly underground in mock bunkers, etc. If there was a real complex set up somewhere to look as impressive as your average Half-Life map, I'd be in to gaming again. And as a result getting some serious, serious exercise ... actually running around and around for hours, clambering though the occasional stretch of ductwork, all the while working with a team over radio in an effort to foil the bad-guys, fragging a few of them when convenient.

I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to have a capture-the-flag or deathmatch game between multiple teams in a really detailed real-world environment like that. There would be a host of challenges to overcome (avoiding actual deaths would be one of those challenges). But it seems to me as though, with today's extreme sports and interest in Fear-Factor-esque physical challenges, there has to be some way to provide a level of real risk to the participants while still making survival likely.

If those flexible, transparent OLED displays ever become a reality, that would also provide an option for true HUDs, allowing for augmented reality to be blended into the environment. And if you wanted to practice with your team beforehand, a truly virtual version of the complex could be made available so that you could practice before meeting up to face your chosen competitors. I can't help but think something like this would rock, although I'm sure there are a slew of people out there who are going to tell me all the reasons why it wouldn't. (You there ... reading this ... that's your cue...)

Re:How about merging the virtual with reality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15425900)

Might I suggest a decent paintball arena? You might find that Playing capture the flag gives you that rush you're yearning for. Getting tagged is *just* painfull enought to motivate you to prevent wonton peppering, yet pretty safe if you use the proper gear.

As far as the rest of the "set" you envision, I'm afraid the economics of revenue per square footage alone would prevent profitability, and that doesn't include insurance, or R&D on the plot, etc.

Still, if there *were* to be such a venture, I'd be behind you in line :)

Re:How about merging the virtual with reality? (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426011)

Your idea is very similar to something I've been pondering recently as a futuristic 'successor' to Laser Quest style games. Great minds, eh?

What I was thinking was a standard arena - walls, floors, ceilings, doorways etc. - that wasn't decorated but instead painted in very simple colours for software image recognition. Walls could be red, floors blue, etc. Players are given light-guns and virtual reality headsets which have cameras mounted on them. The headsets display an 'augmented reality' projection of the world around them to the player. So, in real life they are staring at plain red walls and a white cube, but in the virtual reality game they see spaceship walls with pulsing lights and a caged crate with some kind of monster in it. In real life there is silence, but in the game there is whirring mechanical sounds, explosions and other ambient noises. There could also be a HUD overlay, displaying ammo, lives and health.

The aim of the game is basically identical to Laser Quest - run around shooting people on the opposing team - spruced up with different playing modes (CTF, VIP, etc.) and features (accuracy bonus, shields, spies). The beauty of the augmented reality is that the world be can changed at the push of a button. One minute it's a spaceship orbiting saturn and you're shooting a raygun, the next it's a WW2 submarine and you're firing an MP40 sub-machinegun.

There would need to be some kind of tracking software to make sure that the game server knows the positions of all players and the headsets are given an up to date feed (any lag would be disatrous - a player could run into a wall that, to him, looks like it's 5 feet away). I suppose Bluetooth and RFID could be used for such purposes, although the projection in the headset would have to be accurate within an inch at the most.

Obviously the big obstacles are motion sickness and claustrophobia, inconsistencies between the real world and the game world, easily-damaged equipment, ease of injuries and subsequent litigation, etc.

Augmented reality (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427789)


There are some augmented reality things being developed, where you impose images on top of what is reality.

I saw one where you have to shoot aliens, but can't find the link now.

http://wearables.unisa.edu.au/projects/ARQuake/www / [unisa.edu.au]

This magiquest could be modded / homebrew for ren fairs. Pay $20 to get a wand and cloak to wear, then wander around in the woods looking for clues the same way. A single quest could not be that hard to develop. The wand basically was some sort of IR device with a motion sensor inside. You could just go with a remote, point and shoot. Sensors and devices can be simplistic, and you could link them with WIFI if you need networking...

Re:How about merging the virtual with reality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15429361)

It exists all ready and though the goggles needed cut off your field of view a little from the norm you can turn your head and get a full 360 panoramic view, and it's completely indistinguishable form reality. It's called paintball.

Re:How about merging the virtual with reality? (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 8 years ago | (#15431048)

Your post and two of the replies here give me an idea of how this could work.

Imagine a theme park that consists of several "worlds," each a different theme of gaming. In each of these worlds, you can experience arcade games, a few rides (physical or VR) and a VR/laser tag type arena or co-op challenge. Each part of this would be themed to match the world. Themes might include: racing, space, Medieval, WWII, animals, etc.

Add to this making the entire park an adventure. As you enter the park, you can choose to be a good guy or a bad guy. You can choose PvP or neutral. You're provided a basic belt and headgear that identifies you (good/bad; PvP/non) and the headgear allows you to see the altered world. The park itself would be decorative and colorful, but when you look through the headgear you'll also see added colors, textures, alien or castle themes, and you see the other attendees as their alternate self: alien/monster/beast or space agent/hero/fighter.

You register your character and your information is updated as you affect changes. If you're non-PvP, perhaps you earn credits by exploring. If you're PvP, you earn credits by "killing" others. (unable to attack for 15 seconds) Every few weeks there is a new park quest: explore the worlds in this sequence, scavenger hunt, kill specific species, etc. When you earn enough credits you can upgrade your equipment (+2 sword, grenade, invisibility).

On the more localized "worlds," as you enter each world, you may receive some extra equipment that attaches to your belt: gun, sword, wand, etc. You also receive your quests for that world.

The key thing about this concept to learn from the other attempts that have failed is to make the system upgradable, standardized and easy to maintain. Use basic modules that won't change often: USB, power belt. Then use upradable modules that can incorporate new technology as it becomes available: headgear (display), add-ons (gun, sword, wand, etc.). Then the real key is the software behind it. As long as everything is stored in a database, it's transportable to any new system that comes out.

Key issues of why this won't work:
- large amount of capital to startup
- identifying and implementing themes that will attract a diverse crowd yet prevent overuse of a single "world."
- PvP balance (It's a challenge in every game. How do you stop the "rez killers" from keeping one person killed constantly?)
- crowd control to keep the game fluid
- pricing model to convince people to go to this park instead of a theme park or paying for an online game

My brain perks about ideas like this.

cheap babysitting (3, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425933)

It seems to me that any amusement center have degenerated into either an excuses to drink or places for parent to get rid of the kids for day. D&B is the later, and a falling number of other places are the later. I think we have seen a fall in the number of kid freindly places because it was just not economically viable to selter the kids for the price parents wanted to pay. How much can a park reallty make on $30 a day or a $100 a season, expecialy since they cannot make real money through the sales of beer.

I have seen many entertainment complexes come and go over my lifetime. The ones that are surviving seem to be targeted to adults, like D&B, while the others, that just provide indoor distrations to kids, are failing. This seems expecially true of the places that require parents to stay and supervise. If you can't get rid of the kid, might as well just play video games at home.

On a high note, I am happy to report, that the afternoons and weekends find all our parks full of kids and parents, and even the museums full of patrons. I do hope that someone can figure out a way to make money on a large scale from the indoor electronic games, especailly in the hot summers, but I can't help but wonder if a problem with the business model is that kids just appreciate being outside and together in unstructured activity.

DisneyQuest from a locals point of view (4, Informative)

glitch0 (859137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425964)

I live in Celebration, Florida. It's about 10 minutes from Disney Quest. As has been posted before, it is closing in 2008 to become an ESPN Zone.

I go to "Downtown Disney" almost every weekend for one reason or another. Downtown Disney is where DisneyQuest is located. What it comes down to is that DisneyQuest is awesome, but theres no replay-ability. You go once and experience everything there is in one day, and all that's left to do is play the regular arcade games. At $30 a day, it's not really worth it to just go and play regular arcade games. While there used to be lines outside DisneyQuest, the initial shock reaction of "ohhh virtual reality" has worn off.

Since it opened the only real new thing I can think of that has been added is...nothing. They replaced the Hercules ride with the Pirates of the Carribean ride, which is the only real new content added. They also switched from the credit system of giving out cards to people with credits on them to play games and ride rides to a one-fee for the day theme park style admission. None of my friends have been motivated to go back anytime recently, all of the tech is outdated. All the other Disney parks add stuff and give us reasons to go back. Examples are Epcot's mission space, Epcot's test track, Animal Kingdom's mount everest, MGM'S rockin roller coaster, Epcot's Soarin, etc.

The biggest reason DisneyQuest is dying is Disney's lack of innovation and new content. Why go to DisneyQuest when you can just go to a regular arcade and pay to play the games you want instead of paying to get in?

Re:DisneyQuest from a locals point of view (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426911)

At $30 a day, it's not really worth it to just go and play regular arcade games.

DQ offers annual passes for $89 too. Whenever my wife and I visit Downtown Disney (which is fairly often), we usually spend a couple of hours at DQ doing something, so it's been pretty cost-effective for us.

Both Test Track and Rock'N'Roller Coaster are older than "Pirates". :-) Your point still stands, however - Disney hasn't added anything new to DQ in six years, and you can't expect people to keep coming if you don't keep things fresh, or at least keep a high polish on what you already have.

Re:DisneyQuest from a locals point of view (1)

whimmel (189969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427695)

It would be nice if they would repair the stuff they've got. There's a room just off the main entrance loaded with driving games--and all of the wheels, shifters and some of the displays are broken. They remain broken week after week.

Re:DisneyQuest from a locals point of view (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434302)

It would be nice if they would repair the stuff they've got.

Yes it would, and unfortunately that problem isn't just limited to DQ.

Re:DisneyQuest from a locals point of view (1)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15428716)

Please stand clear of the doors, por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas

I know it's bad form to reply to a sig, but it just put a huge smile on my face -- ever since I was a kid I LOVED riding the monorails (in fact I think that was my favorite part of going to Disney when I was really young), and over the years I've perfected my impersonation of the guy that does the announcing on the monorails.

Re:DisneyQuest from a locals point of view (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434284)

Until February of last year, I spent six years at WDW driving monorails as a part-time "fun" job, hence the tagline and my handle. The job didn't pay worth a damn, but it's a lot of fun playing with a 14-mile, 70-ton electric train set. :-) Glad you liked the tagline.

Yeah, MagiQuest may be good... (1)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15425986)

But the RetroActive store across the boardwalk is better, 'cause they have a Pac-Man machine and Jolt Cola :-)

Bad implementation or not, it's a good idea (1)

pappy97 (784268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426042)

So DisneyQuest stunk it up because they didn't handle it properly, BUT it's still a good idea. The video game market is now exclusively at home. I remember when the Sony Metreon in SF first opened, and the video game area was pretty neat, except that the fun Quaternia game was simply a FPS, and the immersion game where you sit in a pod and drive around and shoot things was poorly implemented. Now no one gives a rats a$$ about the games at Metreon.

I think it's sad that these games like the ones at DQ have not evolved. I don't think they have because the demand is low, and the demand is low because people don't know how fun this kind of stuff COULD be.

Re:Bad implementation or not, it's a good idea (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437477)

I think Disney did the best they could do. This model of entertainment just doesn't work in the US market. As a *huge* fan of Location Based Entertainment (LBE), I wish it was otherwise...

Combatica (1)

mclearn (86140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426046)

There is (was?) a chain of high-end VR and immersive games playground here in Canada (not sure if it is in the States as well) called Playdium. One of the coolest games I ever played was in the West Edmonton Mall called "Combatica". Essentially, you and your opponent played a DoA-style deathfest game BUT you actually did the moves while a camera/laser scanned your movements. Absolutely amazing and very, very tiring. My sister ended up literally tearing my head off in a best of three. So cool.

Re:Combatica (1)

Masami Eiri (617825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427875)

Probably not the same game, but I recall a similar setup (it interfaced with Tekken 2, iirc) near Penn's Landing in Philly. That one, however, sucked. It didn't recognize anything beyond your typical punch or kick, though my opponent somehow managed to launch a fireball or something.

Vurtual World (1)

Foo2rama (755806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426295)

Immersive pod based VR gamming in the Battletech universe started aver 10 years ago. They even had international competitions and tournaments on ESPN2.

www.virtualworld.com

Re:Vurtual World (1)

Quikah (14419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15429856)

All the Dave and Buster's have ripped the pods out. I have no idea if the battletech center in Chicago still exists, but their website doesn't seem to be up at the moment.

Re:Vurtual World (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 8 years ago | (#15431188)

Dallas was, I think, a pilot program for this. Used to be called Red Planet and was based out of a plaza that also had a multi-screen theater.

Any time I went to that plaza, I always saw lots of people at Red Planet, and several of my friends talked about it constantly. I couldn't see paying the amounts they talked about to play something I could play (Mechwarrior) on my computer. It made even less sense a few years later when LAN parties were possible.

That location went under, but it appears that there is still a Virtual World center in Plano, close to Dallas. I still have no interest in the pod mechwarrior game, but I just found a possibility to resurrect my miniature painting. :-)

Thanks for the link.

Re:Vurtual World (1)

Foo2rama (755806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15432379)

Dallas was not the first site, it was Chicago. sites that where open in 1995 where Costa Mesa, CA Pasadena, ca Walnut Creek, CA Sacramento, CA New York Dallas Chicago San Diego hmm missing a few costa mesa was site number 13 in the US. There where a few Aussie sites, a few in England, and a bunch in Japan.

Why Virtual World Pods fail... (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15432597)

I own a set of these (yes, the big Tesla pods) and I can tell you from my own market research, they just can't make enough money to be worth the space they take up (800-1000+ sqf), the man power (at least one semi-skilled employee for each set of units), and the repair/upgrade cost.

The units are fun-as-hell to play but the type of people that has the interest and money to play them is too damn busy playing WoW or on XBL.

Maybe somebody could get them to work, but I've hired some smart people and they sure can't figure it out...

Re:Why Virtual World Pods fail... (1)

Foo2rama (755806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15432641)

A buddy has 6 3.0 pods running at his house. The Tesla pods are 4.0 pods.

Re:Why Virtual World Pods fail... (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437396)

Yes, Tesla pods are the big, pill-shaped ones. :)

VR Helmets... I got so sick on Alladin! (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426440)

I am a 38 year old past gamer. And the first game I visited after paying my $30 something to get into DisneyQuest last fall was Alladin. What a mistake! I got so motion sick! My eyes were telling me one thing, but since there is *no* movement required at all my ears were telling my brain something different. I almost puked!

So for the next hour or so I walked around with cold sweats feeling really ill, playing tame games to get some of my money's worth, many of which were really really cool! Eventually my ears and eyes got back in synch and I ventured onto the VR rollercoaster. Man, that thing was really cool. They assign a score to your design and mine was off the chart because of all the jumps and loops I put in. Nevertheless it was a real blast!

It is a shame that DisneyQuest is going to close. I can only imagine it was because the games are all rather old and the admission is frightfully expensive. I recently visited Dave and Busters for the first time outside Atlanta and it was a blast, though there were not nearly enough games. I think I dropped $20 in tokens and ended up spending most of the time playing Need For Speed Underground.

I really do miss the arcades, but then again it is a lot cheaper once you have a PC to go out and buy a new game than to blow the money required for an evening or two at the arcade. The games are all $1 or more apiece now.

Re:VR Helmets... I got so sick on Alladin! (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427750)

I had the same thing after the make your own rollercoaster for like an hour or two. I was miserable, but it was my own macho self pushing the limits, and I paid the price.

Disneyquest memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426762)

I went to DQ for 4 hours on a multi-day disney trip. It was pretty lame, considering that Disney was supposed to be the "best" as far as theme parks go. I might as well have gone to Cedar Point and then a gaming center or arcade.

After an hour of 1990's-style VR games, I spent the rest of the 4 hours watching a DDR maniac play the hardest levels of Exceed 2 on double-controller mode. It was the most amazing thing i've ever seen, so it was definitely worth going to the park. The guy must have had an arcade at home, because he was A-AAA scoring on levels so hard that I could barely even read all of the symbols (I am a DDR player). He was completely soaked in sweat, and kept leaving every 3 songs or so to wipe off in the bathroom.

Being able to play on 3 DDR machines, a percussion-like DDR game, and watching a bunch of idiots try to play DDR made it worth the admission.

SLI Voodoos 1024x768 (1)

ZildjianKX (872002) | more than 8 years ago | (#15427921)

I thought SLI Voodoo cards were 1024x768 max, at least for 12 MB Voodoo 2s...
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