Androidizen Live – Androidizen Live EP1: Android Games and OUYA, PS4 & Xbox One


Hello, Welcome and Good Morning. This is the Androidizen Live Show
coming direct to you from the United Kingdom and today we’re going to be taking a
look at a few things live on my Android device, and we’ll be talking about a few games as well so
stay tuned and let’s move on with the show. Now the first thing I want to show you is coming directly off our Android device so let’s have a quick look at what I’ve been doing with my Android. Now one of the cool things I’ve been doing with my device is to kind of embrace the flat nature of design that’s been going on of late and so this is a really fantastic icon pack by Stark. It’s called the Stark icon pack. And the idea is it gives all of your most used icons a nice flat feel to them. It only works with certain launchers I think I’m using this one with Apex launcher but all you do you install the Starks icon pack, run its little installer and then it will transform all of your icons into these gorgeous flats which is just brilliant. I mean it really just adds a little bit of extra flavour onto your Android device, gets you away from those really boring stock icons and this modern flat design is just fantastic. So you can see here this is coming directly live to you now from my Android device. I just got my camera wired up into a capture card and we’re broadcasting that straight out to you. So do let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like me to show you on my Android device, this is a Galaxy S4 but for now let’s talk about some games. Because games and Android literally go hand-in-hand with each other And so you’ve got games like Real Racing 3 which are almost console quality game and you’re able to play them on these little tiny devices. As you can see there, Android device. Now I’ve wired this up to a capture card to allow me to take footage directly from the device as it would go out on the HDMI so as you would see this on a television set or monitor. for instance And so the fantastic thing here is this really is practically console quality graphics and gameplay and it’s sitting inside a mobile device, effectively a very small PC. with its own gpu in there. The question becomes do we need next-generation games consoles? Or do we think that within another two years’ time these Android devices will be more than capable of pushing a polygon count and high resolution textures beautiful lighting tessellation and everything like that from a little tiny smartphone? We know that next-generation consoles are pretty much just glorified PCs. Well, this is a glorified PC in fact this is a glorious PC you might say. As you can see, let’s have a look at Riptide for instance. Again, you’ve got water here that is as good as leading console games. Some might say, actually better! How long until we simply look at the next generation consoles and go No, I can do that with a device in my pocket. Riptide by the way is one of my favourite racing games, the graphics are absolutely fantastic and it just has really great gameplay as well. So, when you kind of look at all of these games that are available and Riptide’s an old title really and it still looks great today on a Galaxy S4. You can come on to something like Shine Runner released last year and again you’ve got phenomenal graphics and really good gameplay as well. I mean how many times on a console have we had a game that was visually stunning but the gameplay was atrocious? You know, I can think of a fair few games actually Nuke ‘Em for instance but actually that was a bad looking game and bad gameplay but there you go, not just a bad game but you know, here you have graphics which are comparable to something you would get on PlayStation 3Ds for instance, but it cost £1. You can see how the games market is shifting you know, if a title like this that I had so much enjoyment from can cost a couple of quid and yet a title like the Last of Us that cost me £40 and bored me to tears within two hours great graphics, boring gameplay. You can see there’s an imbalance here. These traditional triple A titles on next generation consoles and even on PCs have quickly fallen by the wayside. Even if we look into some of the more Indy titles this is Pocket Rally for instance, this is an independent title by a small team. It has game play that is as good as some of the earlier Colin McRae rally titles from four or five years ago. The graphics in some cases as well but the car handling, the physics everything works really nicely and it’s a title the developers have taken on board some of the criticisms, the cars feeling a little sluggish for instance. This is from a later build of the game. and it’s come on leaps and bounds, it feels like a really good rally game. You can’t really compare, in some respects, a games console, to a mobile device. They are different in many respects. In the mobile world we have a huge variety of different mobile phones, all slightly different configurations it’s very similar to the PC industry, you know, there’s no one standard PC in the same way that
there is a standardised Xbox or a a standardised PS3 although what we do have is standardised chips a bit like in PCs where we have, you know, Intel chips or AMD chips. or NVDIA gpus or gpus but the problem is all of the other variables in there make it very hard for games developers to develop really really top rate titles. They may find they have a problem with one particular device which is why when we get new titles released on Android invariably someone loses out and finds that their device is not supported initially. We do get it a lot with newer titles that come out, we had massive problems with the Exynos chips when they were first released, a lot of developers simply weren’t supporting them out of the box as it were but these things improve over time and developers sort that out and you know they upgrade their drivers etcetera within their games. Things are getting better. We talk about fragmentation within Android and it’s kind of like the killer as it were, especially in gaming because of all these different Android versions and hardware versions etcetera but you know when a company gets it right this one for instance, Funky Smugglers you’ve got a title that works really nicely across a wide range of devices and it just looks fantastic and the gameplay, it’s such an original idea for a game as well. Again this is a title that was released a little while ago but just fantastic. I ended up playing this quite a lot when I was just stood in a queue basically. Let’s have a quick look and see if there’s any comments from people. There isn’t which is a bit of a pity. If you happen to be watching now, do tune in, drop us some comments let us know what you think. What we’ll just do now is pop on a little bit of footage while I try and drum up a few more viewers. One of the great things about Redline Racing, a new title that’s just been released is it’s an endless runner but with awesome graphics and cars. Could there be anything better? No, I don’t think there could be. Because the graphics are great, the gameplay’s really fun and it kind of has this progression to it, unlike a lot of endless runners where you’re one or two characters and you can upgrade your bits and pieces this you can get new cars you can style your cars you can make things kind of your own but the game isn’t too difficult it’s got quite a nice gentle learning curve, the game gets gradually
faster and faster and more difficult. What it doesn’t do is kind of hurt you straight away and say hey
you’ve played endless runners you should know how to play this. What? You don’t know how to play this? It works beautifully and the controls are really solid as well. They’re quite fluid, responsive and you don’t at any point feel like I could have avoided that object if the controls hadn’t been quite so twitchy do you know what I mean. It’s a very well made game and so hats off to the developers for this one because I’ve had a lot of fun with it. What I’ve spent quite a lot of my time playing is Repulze which is kind of like a wipe out clone but it has some slight twists going on one of the twists that I really like is this idea of polarity and from what I can tell, depending on which polarity you’re in you’re either in an attack or a defensive kind of mode. and all of that plays into how easy you’re going to find it to complete the course and beat your opponents. Graphically really really nice it does occasionally suffer with some frame rate issues but you know I put that more down to the Galaxy S4 not being really optimized for it at this point. A game which is slightly different I suppose well quite different to a racing game is Zombiewood. With Zombiewood it’s very much your kind of action shooter zombie game. It’s a twin stick shooter basically, but really nice graphics and what I like about it is it has a slightly original concept to it as well. Basically there’s a movie director who looks a bit like Steven Spielberg and he wants you an action hero kind of guy. to complete various objectives on movie sets while killing zombies so he can make his movie. Zombies have invaded basically and the Steven Spielberg like character has decided he’s going to shoot a zombie apocalypse movie, why not!? Take advantage of the zombie hordes kill a few at the same time! And so the idea is everything is about being overwhelmed. It’s very much your traditional twin stick shooter the graphics are very good and it’s very well executed, which, you know, I appreciate. There’s a lot of really poor games that have been released over the last year or so for Android and so when we find a game which you know
is a bit different it’s got the twin stick thing going on but actually is competent in the way it executes then congratulations to the developers. it uses inapp purchases but they’re not too annoying They’re there but they don’t really block you too much from being able to play the game and are you good enough and the game? Well, that’s down to your own skill, not down to a pay to win formula as it were. Then we come on to games like Cordy Trigger I think we’re having a slight problem with some of these renders actually. Yes, a few problems. Let’s just flip back to that. I’ve been having lots of shenanigans rendering videos for use for this purpose but here’s Epoch which is probably one of my favourite cover mechanic style games so the whole idea here is that you have
to take cover while you’re taking cover you can then pop out and destroy these nasty robot kind of guys and the graphics being the Unreal 3 engine game are just phenomenal really really nicely done. And it does make a big difference. I have a lot of criticism of the Unreal engine because personally I don’t think it’s best suited to mid tier mobile phones where it’s kind of starting to come into its own. wasn’t on last year’s devices but this year’s so the Galaxy S4 HTC One the Xperia Z whatever LG phone the release is basically if it’s running the Qualcomm 600 the Tegra 3 or Qualcomm 800 you will generally find most of the Unreal 3 engine games or whatever they’re calling it work really nicely. Nice frame rates great looking graphics, great lighting etcetera. The mid tier devices things can be a little bit choppy. It to me, this game gave me a lot of confidence that what Epic are doing on mobile platforms is going to be worthwhile and this wasn’t going to turn into another flash incident where Adobe attempted to bring flash to mobiles and it just hadn’t worked. What you can see here quite clearly is the Unreal 3 engine working beautifully on mobiles but it does need that kind of top end power at the moment because say if you’re buying a high end device 2013 then you’re not going to have any problems here buy one of last year’s devices Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 personally for me I found it just a little bit laggy at times. But that said, it’s not unplayable it just has, you can tell, not the same amount of fluid motion etcetera as you would get from the later devices. I don’t know if I mentioned previously with Real Racing 3 for me it’s kind of the title that exemplifies best where Android is going to be going as the game system over the next few years. We’ve already got the Ouya games console or however we’re pronouncing it this week now as games consoles go, the Ouya is a kind of first generation device from Android for Android I’m not sure it’s going to sell particularly well. I don’t think it’s going to be thought of as being kind of like the magic bullet that brings Android and gaming into your television. Mostly I think it’s slightly underpowered frankly, the Tegra 3 processor is now very long in the tooth and I’m not overly keen on the way Ouya have decided to have their own play store there, their own Ouya game store because we’ve seen developers now pushing the prices up of titles because it’s a closed ecosystem effectively that’s not really what Android’s all about. And also side loading games onto Ouya doesn’t seem to work particularly well. It’s a disappointment from that point of view, we hope Ouya can get these things in gear over the next six months or so and improve things there but games consoles and Android are definitely going to have a long history together and I think over time we’re going to see Android
games consoles outsell PS4 and Xbox One purely because lower barrier to entry and the games just keep getting better
and better. When you have a game like Real Racing 3 where it’s coming up to a quality of graphics that we would expect on this current generation of consoles certainly if you looked at the racing games that
were first released on Playstation 3 Xbox 360 Real Racing 3 is certainly comparable to those first generation titles and the speed at which games developers and Android hardware is progressing means that literally within two years max we’re going to come up to quality of graphics that are really only at the backend of what we’re seeing now in the generation of consoles. It’s not going to take much more of a leap forward before these lovely little Android devices that we have sat here with us are going to be more than capable of replacing our games consoles. You won’t want a 3DS you won’t want a Vita, you won’t want an Xbox One and you won’t want a PlayStation 4. What you’ll be saying is where’s that 6in Android device of mine that I can wirelessly stream directly to my television set use as a games controller at the same time if I want to or just plug in and leave it or whatever I want to do. I can take it round to my friend’s house I can share games, we can multiplay the convergent point, this kind of singularity of gaming I suppose you can call it it’s not going to happen in the living room it’s happening in our pockets. And for me, I think Microsoft and Sony they all are very focused on this second screen idea. They still seem to think that television
is the first screen anyone whose working in the media landscape right now knows that television’s actually the second screen and these devices, these are our first screens. We carry these everywhere with us when we’re watching television what we’re actually doing is tweeting, Google Plussing, talking to our friends on Facebook the television is the secondary thing that we’re using, It’s the thing we glance at that we’re listening to in the background but the thing that’s holding our focus is right here and as the games progress as our ability to run higher end graphics better textures, better lighting well all of this comes from the performance improvements and also the gpu performance improvements that are being made by the silicone manufacturers. the likes of Samsung Qualcomm and likes of Arm So as this speed increase happens you’ll start finding more more often you simply don’t need the latest and greatest games console in part because of cost one device can do them all in part also because of the cost of games and
innovation in games as well What we tend to find in the traditional games
consoles is an awful lot of repetition. It’s a shooter, it’s a driving game etcetera and the new twist comes from the narrative or gameplay mechanic that might be added. But the core of the game is a shooter, it’s a racing game it falls into one of maybe five categories. What we see on mobile is experimentation again what made gaming fun all those years ago. The last 30 odd years of games grown into not just a hobby for some people, something for geeky people to do, but something that everybody does. Everybody plays games be it on a consul or a mobile device but where the innovation is happening is within the mobile space now. The barrier to entries is lower The ability for developers to understand the technology is lower as well. the documentation’s better. They don’t have to pay huge extortionate license fees to release their titles on a mobile device like they do on a games console and so you can see a lot more experimentation
willing to take risks and this one I think is called Roundhouse and it’s one of the most bizarre games I’ve ever played. I still don’t understand what the point of it is but effectively I’m a rock star and I’m mashing away on stage and fans are coming out of the crowd apparently to hug me and I’m going to Roundhouse kick them! I don’t think we will ever see this on Xbox One or on PlayStation4. It’s the sort of thing that can only happen on a mobile device where the barrier to entry is lower and people are going to experiment,
developers are going to experiment and consumers are going to experiment as well. Because the cost to buy the game is either negligible, a couple of pounds, it’s worth a punt or it’s free to play. And if it’s free to play lots of people are going to happily tune in and have a look at it. Just to see whether the game’s any good or not. As long as you don’t make the inapp purchases too grievious people are going to stick around maybe they’ll throw a few quid your way as well. so another time It’s like Agent Dash which was one of the first endless runners I ever played actually. For me it left a lasting impression just because of howl well polished it was. Amazing graphics, great lighting, fluid game play that was always responsive no matter what device I was playing it on. Just for me made Agent Dash one of those highlights of 2012 really, a title that came out of nowhere and out Temple runned Temple Run. It’s just brilliant fun. With Despicable Me the graphics are absolutely fantastic It is a movie tie-in But unlike some other titles that are movie tie-ins like the last Diehard game for instance which was very much an endless runner it was atrocious. Despicable Me kind of gets it right it understands what it’s trying to do it understands the source material that it’s coming from and just like Agent Dash it imbues the game with just enough crazy to make it fun to keep playing if no other reason just to see what happens next. With an endless runner you don’t want a game that puts you off reaching the higher levels and stages and wanting to prictice. You want a title where you want to see what crazy things are going to happen next. There’s a very similar thing I get with Shine Runner as well. Shine Runner the gameplay’s absolutely over the top and the graphics are as well but it keeps
you playing and I suppose in part because each stage is actually quite short there’s not a massive amount of gameplay in each bite sized chunk but it makes a pick up and play especially when you’re stood in a queue or something like that knowing pickup the game you can just play one or two of the stages each stage is going to take you maybe 45 seconds to a minute and a half tops to play anyway but the gameplay works really nicely and a lot of developers I think miss out on this. They fail to realize that the game has to be fun first and foremost and games might be fun for the developer but that’s because they know how to play
it and that kind of early start you have with a lot of games and you don’t have a tutorial there. In some cases you shouldn’t need a tutorial if the game’s actually been well-made because all games tend to fit into standard kind of patterns as it were. A tutorial can be useful for some games but in a lot of cases you don’t need them and all they’re actually doing, especially if you’re a gamer who’s played an awful lot of these types of games, it’s teaching people the same things over and over again. Now I admit that one of the better things you can do with a tutorial is show people innocent who execution happening again some of the cool extra features you might have on your game what are your unique selling points for instance but do that during the gameplay, by just pausing the screen for a second and saying hey there’s our cool thing you don’t need to show people how to play a racing game for instance people get that. And for me Shine Runner just gets it right. It has crazy game play but it’s obvious. It’s obvious what you have to do it’s obvious there are pick ups that you’re going to want to run over it’s obvious there are jumps, it’s obvious you’re going to want to smash things out of the way. And for me the developers have got it absolutely spot on. But anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this first show. This is our first live broadcast we’re testing out in some respects, all of our various equipment we’ve got now including direct capture from our DSLR camera so you can see in a live broadcast what we are doing from our Android device as well as this pre recorded footage that we’re using. so that we can talk to you a little bit more about these games and show you some really high quality visuals as well. At any time you can also let us know in the comments if you’ve got any questions or there’s anything you’d like me to show you on the Android device or any game you’d like us to check out do let us know. We’ll hopefully be doing these live broadcasts at least once a week maybe a little bit more
often and we may very well be including some special guests along the way as well. Do please let me know in the comments
what you thought of our first live broadcast any improvements we can make any changes you’d like to see and I hope you’ve
really enjoyed it. All the best.

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