News Round-Up - Winter 2009

The last 6 months has introduced some important new technology into our game IP. This is our new puzzle-solving toolbox. We already had the basic machinery for this for some time ago but our improved technology now allows us to solve very deep puzzles. This is an unusual asset and remarkably useful as it allows us to easily generate and test puzzles to see if they can be solved. Without it, creating a puzzle would be very time consuming and probably not possible for very deep puzzles, as proving that the puzzle could be solved would require massive effort.

With this technology in-hand we have been able to already generate some 800 challenging puzzles. We are also currently using this to partner Revolution Software to provide original and challenging puzzles for their new up-and-coming title. This comes on the back of Revolution's great recent success launching Broken Sword: The Director's Cut, which has now been in the top 5 grossing iPhone games apps in Europe for some weeks.

Another main track during the last 6 months is working with Antix Labs with their generic cross-platform game player, which will allow game binaries to be shared between multiple different mobile phones, running different OS's on different chipsets, and also TVs and home computers. This has the potential to be the Holy Grail that could become the standard for mobile gaming. The mobile industry certainly needs this, as the mobile game market is so fragmented that it has been an impediment to efficient game development. We currently have 11 Antix-based games, 8 of which are about complete. This has been through the Eclipse development IDE but Antix also supports VS-based development.

Finally we have been completing further significant work on Unbalance's Aquarium product, taking it through to Windows 7. The important feature here is that touch screen, although widespread on mobile devices, is still relatively new on desktop and notebook PCs. The advantage of having this product on a large touch screen device is very clear: now the user can watch the tank and also touch the tank surface and see the fish responding. This may appear as if it could be simple, but actually to make it work well required some significant effort to produce a realistic and convincing response by the fish. This provides an engaging and very tactile experience for the user. You can see a movie of this on the Unbalance site. With large-scale touch screen and natal coming into play, users are now being offered a much more interesting direct game experience.

As you will have seen in our news, AI Factory is currently collaborating with the Tokyo University of Technology to bring some of our AI and product development techniques into the course teaching there. We are habitual visitors to Japan and indeed our primary publisher Unbalance is based there. This will give us an opportunity to be further involved in influencing the thinking about game development in Japan. We already have presented work in conference there and our Shogi program (Japanese Chess) has earned much respect, previously ranked 3rd in the world in two successive years.

News Round-Up - Summer 2009

News Round-Up - Winter 2008

News Round-Up - Summer 2008

News Round-Up - Winter 2007

News Round-Up - Autumn 2007

News Round-Up - Summer 2007

News Round-Up - Spring 2007

News Round-Up - Winter 2006

News Round-Up - Autumn 2006

News Round-Up - Summer 2006

News Round-Up - Spring 2006

News Round-Up - Winter 2005

News Round-Up - Autumn 2005

Quarterly Round-Up - Summer 2005

Quarterly Round-Up - Spring 2005