The Latest News
Yggdrasil Coming in May
Checking in with the folks at Ludonaute we've learned that Yggdrasil will be soon available on iPad. It's been in development for a year now and it's looking like May will be the time to get your hands on it. The app is an iOS implementation of Yggdrasil and will feature support for 1 to 6 players, Pass and Play, online play via Game Center, a tutorial, and support for English and French. The launch price will be $5.99. Here is a preview trailer (WARNING: Audio in this video is very noisy.):
Cutthroat Caverns Coming to iOS
Curt from Smirk & Dagger Games dropped by to let us know that Cutthroat Caverns is coming for iOS. Given its larger screen size an iPad version is being planned first. Smirk and Dagger has today posted to poll BGGers for a prioritization of features appropriate to fan demand. There is even talk of "Kickstart"ing multi-player networking so it can be added sooner rather than later. Curt and the team really want your input, so now is your chance!
Cabals Expansion Coming This Summer
KYY Games reports that they are developing their cross-platform game, Cabals: Magic & Battle Cards, full steam ahead with many ideas and features planed for their "second season" that will be announced in due time. The key topics they will focus on will be the social, rewarding and competing elements of their game. The first major expansion of Cabals is under development and will be released during Summer 2012. Kyy Games promises that more details will be released soon.
Mother Lode Free Released
Order of Magnitude Games has released a free version of its Survive-inspired app Mother Lode. Now you can see what it feels like to escape with the most ore for free. You can find it on the App Store.
Gratuitous Space Battles Released
Even though this has been out for some time for PC and Mac, we don't yet know a lot about this one and we're pretty sure it is not turn based. So tune out now if that's a deal breaker. Now it has been launched by Red Marble Games for the iPad. The gist of this app would seem to be that you play the admiral and meticulously build ships, arrange them into fleets, give them orders and then watch the battle unfold in all of its awesome explodiness. It does seem to be geared to the patient and meticulous planner-types of you out there (hello strategy board gamers):
Red Marble Games wrote:
This is not a game of real-time arcade twitch reflexes. GSB is about what ships you design, and what you tell them to do. Your individual ship commanders have total autonomy during the chaotic battle that unfolds. This is not a tactical game, it is a strategic one. These gratuitous space battles are not won by plucky heroes with perfect teeth, but by the geeky starship builders who know exactly what ratio of plasma-cannons to engines each ship in the fleet will need.
Though at $9.99, as apps go, it doesn't come cheap. You can check it out on the App Store.
New Patent for Apple on Multiplayer Game System
We do not regularly track the world of tech patents, but news of an Apple patent that had some relevance to board games on tablets did cross our path last week. The article written a month ago in the International Business Times noted that the US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that describes a system for multi-player gaming. We'll just quote the relevant excerpt here:
Dave Smith of IBTimes wrote:
On March 15, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) published a patent application from Apple that describes a system for multi-player gaming. Similar to how the new Garageband's "Jam Session" feature allows groups of people to play different musical instruments together, the multiplayer gaming technology will allow groups of iPhone and iDevice users to play together, and even see the same game from different perspectives.
Believe it or not, the multiplayer game system mimics that of the "Find My Friends" app, in which a user's device detects other nearby devices that it recognizes as "friends," and invites them to all join a common application. The unique technology also determines the relative position of those devices, so some games -- like turn-based role-playing games or card games -- can be played in a specific order.
The crux of Apple's solution determines the relative position of many devices by taking pictures of a tag, and the system monitors those shared images and decides their relative positions. Apple's technology can define a position in two or three dimensions relative to the original tag, and by transmitting a positioning matrix to the other iDevices, the information creates a comprehensive map of the devices.
Once the order is set, the users can cooperate and play with each one another as content is simultaneously broadcasted and received on the iPhone. This can work for multiple players playing the same displayed content (ex: a racing game), or multiple users playing against each other in a game (ex: a hand-to-hand fighting game like "Mortal Kombat"), or multiple users taking turns to play the game (like a board game or "Jenga"). Virtual avatars even represent one's position by displaying the avatar from a different perspective depending on the position of the player relative to the tag.
Part of the description makes us say "So what. We can already play together and see the same game from different perspectives." But it is the second part about detecting device position that has us scratching our heads and wondering what game apps might come out of that? How about y'all give us your thoughts on it?