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Grad-School Thesis Becomes PS3 Game 167

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes, "USC student Jenova Chen's Flash game, 'flOw,' attracted interest from Sony, which commissioned an enhanced version that will be sold through its PlayStation Network, WSJ.com reports. From the article: 'Gameplay is incredibly smooth, particularly for a Flash game. But it's the design touches that set flOw apart. Players will notice faint outlines of the creatures lurking at lower depths, a foreboding sign that vicious manta- and squid-like enemies await. The water darkens as the creature advances to deeper levels. The game's ambient sound is somewhat hypnotic. The intuitive controls and design simplicity are among Mr. Chen's mandate: build immersive games for people who don't consider themselves gamers. 'My parents and grandparents don't play games. My girlfriend, she doesn't play either,' he says. 'I want to make games that those people can appreciate.'"
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Grad-School Thesis Becomes PS3 Game

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:53AM (#17029616)
    No wonder he has the time to create games. Poor bastard.
  • Dupe-a-riffic (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:54AM (#17029622)
    DUPE [slashdot.org]
  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ekhymosis ( 949557 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:54AM (#17029626) Homepage
    It's about time someone decides to make a game that doesn't depend on the bleeding edge graphics, but focuses more on gameplay and fun factor. I hope Sony doesn't rape this student's idea.

    Sigh, I miss the lucas arts adventure games days. Crap graphics, damn good fun.

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Brain Damaged Bogan ( 1006835 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:56AM (#17029644)
      "It's about time someone decides to make a game that doesn't depend on the bleeding edge graphics, but focuses more on gameplay and fun factor." umm... Nintendo have been doing this for years... and has made this the major focus of the Wii... I'm surprised that Nintendo didn't go grab this guy before sony...
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gulthek ( 12570 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @02:03AM (#17029694) Homepage Journal
      Crap graphics!? An insult! Are you really saying that Monkey Island 2 or The Dig weren't a couple of the prettiest examples of pixelart ever to grace a gamer's screen? You sure as hell better not be including the wonderful world of Grim Fandango in your reference. Gah!

      Oh and look up Nintendo -> Wii. Sheesh. Everyone always drags out this tired argument of "Games today don't care about anything but graphics" and ignore all the hojillion great games we have available that aren't all about the shiny graphics. We have more choice in gameplay NOW than ever!
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by scoot80 ( 1017822 )
        I agree - a lot of games these days with slick graphics, but poor gameplay. A game which really involves you is going to be good regardles of whether it has DirectX 40343233 or is text mode. Hell, has anyone played LORD on a BBS before?
        • I agree - a lot of games these days with slick graphics, but poor gameplay.

          *cough* Halo *cough*

          A game which really involves you is going to be good regardles of whether it has DirectX 40343233 or is text mode. Hell, has anyone played LORD on a BBS before?

          Dude! *Googles "Legend of the Red Dragon" [google.com]*

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ectal ( 949842 ) * on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @09:16AM (#17032078) Homepage
        Yes, LucasArts adventure games are gorgeous!

        Are the graphics-obsessed gamers of today simply victims of advertising? Programmed to forget what impressed them yesterday and to discard everything that isn't NEW NEW NEW?

        What was gorgeous on the PS2 (ICO, for instance) is now in the category of HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE? Games from Xbox 1 that made me drop my jaw once (DOA3) are now crude, primitive reminders of a forgotten time? Or how about that "terrible" GameCube with that "awful-looking" and "low-res" Resident Evil 4 game that came out not that freakin' long ago?

        It's getting so boring! In my world, you have to go back 20+ years to start talking about most things looking ugly. And what about games like Metroid on the NES? Aren't those great graphics? Didn't that old Mac game Dark Castle have incredible graphics? What about the first Prince of Persia?

        No, no, no. Not to today's zombie consumer gamers or zombie whore game reviewers... If it came out more than a year ago or if it's on the Wii, it's got crappy graphics.

        The first Half-Life, every Zelda game, POP: Sands of Time, Morrowind, Halo, you name it... Fun to play? Sure. But I guess the graphics are now crap, crap, crap, crap, crap...
        • by Khuffie ( 818093 )
          You may have a point, but it got totally lost since most "zombie whore game reviewers" still mention at how incredibily beautiful Ico is, and how great the graphics are in Resident Evil 4.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MikeBabcock ( 65886 )
          The original Prince of Persia had beautiful graphics, so did Zelda on the N64. Dig had beautiful graphics, and so does Grandia III. I only played Dig because it looked gorgeous ... the plot didn't intrigue me until several hours into the game. Prince of Persia was more famous for its perfect (for the time) animations of human movement than for gameplay. Zelda had intrigue and fun as well as good graphics, and I very much enjoyed the plot of Grandia III as well despite some of its gameplay issues.

          Would B
        • Personally, I think that Morrowind had better graphics than Oblivion... sure Oblivion had nicer face modeling, but the worlds are vastly different. Oblivion's world as extremely generic (and the weapon and armor designs were terrible), while Morrowind's was fairly novel and really felt like a new experience. I guess the actual art matters more than the polycount to me (granted, some very-low-poly games (most of the PS1) look like crap, but anything from the Quake 2 era onward has had enough polys to reall
        • I think a large part of what determines "good graphics" is seeing something done better than the games before it. It's sort of the "newness" that makes good graphics. Now, don't get me wrong, graphics comes way down on my list of priorities when I'm choosing a game, but I do appreciate well done graphics in consoles and PC games, especially since being a programmer myself, I have an appreciation for how hard it is to do. That aside, I have to say that when I look at the games from the original Playstatio
    • by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @02:04AM (#17029698) Journal
      Katamari Damacy [wikipedia.org]
      • by SnowZero ( 92219 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @09:53AM (#17032536)
        Believe it or not, but Katamari Damacy was a challenging game to make work from a graphics standpoint. There was a good article about it in Game Developer magazine a while back. The katamari ball builds up a huge number of objects, thus necessitating the use of low-poly models, even after fancy depth-based culling was implemented for the ball. What's funny is that they turned that "limitation" into a feature by going for a retro look, and nailed it. Along with the simple controls, an excellent soundtrack, and a very different concept of success/failure, it was an instant classic. It does push a playstation to its limits on a triangle-rate basis though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Redlazer ( 786403 ) *
      Yeah, im really glad the PS3 doesnt focus on having the best graphics. I mean, with an innovative, never before seen motion sensitive controller, the SIXAXIS, and its small size and low price, the PS3 is clearly the "lets all get together and have fun" system. Someone call Grandma, i think she'd like to play Call of Duty.

      Clearly, the Nintendo Wii, with its copy-catted motion sensitive controller design, and being overly concerned with having "next gen" graphics, as well as many other "gimmicks", i can see

      • do they focus on having the highest pricetag? What's the point really? I think the only thing I like about PS3 is that it can play PS2.
      • I thought this video was pretty interesting: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ep8DRXJpA9Q [youtube.com]
      • Yes, I know. Its amazing how cheap it is to get a fully functional 3.2GHz+ home computer that will handle word processing and flash-enabled web browsing with a high end video and sound system for 3D gaming. Not to mention being very quiet and sleek looking, and we all know how cheap quiet is for a HTPC right?

        I'm so sick of hearing about the PS3's price. Go buy one and install Linux on it and use it as your silent PC for a while then complain to me about how you paid a miserable $500 for it. When you dec
        • That's all fine and well as long as the damn PS3s actually work a year down the line. Since I've gone through three PS2s now because their DVD readers crapped out (usually within a year - so far my slim has not died yet, although almost immediately it decided it wouldn't read non-game DVDs), I frankly don't trust Sony anymore to provide high quality reliable hardware, especially in the first iteration of a system, and doubly so when that system was plagued by pre-release manufacturing issues relating to th
          • I agree with you wholeheartedly on the hardware probably needing revision and/or fixes. That's how early adopter hardware always is though, its not just Sony. New TVs, new cars, new everything have problems right off the assembly line.

            I'm waiting for a few months before picking up a PS3 and with or without games available, it will be a good BluRay player and PC platform for Linux. Each of which is worth more than the asking price. Its only 2/3 the price of a brand new BD player alone for that matter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Osty ( 16825 )

      It's about time someone decides to make a game that doesn't depend on the bleeding edge graphics, but focuses more on gameplay and fun factor.

      Yeah, like Microsoft and Geometry Wars [wikipedia.org].

      Sigh, I miss the lucas arts adventure games days. Crap graphics, damn good fun.

      Way to rewrite history, there. LucasArts adventure games had quite good graphics at the time. Certainly better than their competition from Sierra. They're not that great now, but one of the draws of LucasArts games was their excellent graph

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Way to rewrite history, there. LucasArts adventure games had quite good graphics at the time. Certainly better than their competition from Sierra. They're not that great now, but one of the draws of LucasArts games was their excellent graphics direction (not necessarily the best graphics, but consistent and appropriate to the game). Sure shoots a hole in your theory, eh?

        I suppose you're arguing about the point-and-click style games? Well... you could argue that the Myst series had excellent graphics, too -

      • by colmore ( 56499 )
        "Why can't you have both gameplay and graphics? For example, Zelda: Twilight Princess is fun (even though we've all played the game before several times), but it would be better with better graphics. Gears of War has great gameplay and graphics."

        Economics. Better graphics means more textures, more complicated models, etc. etc. etc.

        You need a bigger team of people working over a longer time. What all this means is that a failed title is a much bigger financial disaster now than it was 15 years ago. This i
    • by MeanMF ( 631837 )
      Well...Crap graphics or not, in this case the game gets boring pretty quickly.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @02:35AM (#17029870)
      I'm sorry, but I think all the hype about this game is ridiculous. Everyone I know who's actually played the game did so for maximum half an hour never to play it again after. Mod me down if you want, but I think this is bullshit. I'm not saying the game itself isn't well made, because it certainly is, but it does NOT appeal to many people and it doesn't even follow the pretentious thesis that it's supposedly designed after.
      • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:01AM (#17030220) Homepage Journal
        I'm sorry, but I think all the hype about this game is ridiculous. Everyone I know who's actually played the game did so for maximum half an hour never to play it again after.

        I sat down and played the game. It was fun, and had an extremely simple and intuitive interface. For a flash game it had quite a high degree of polish. I'm not sure of its replay value as it stands however. As you suggest, I played for about half an hour but don't find myself feeling any particular desire to continue or go back to it. The weakness, ultimately, is the relative sameness of the gameplay as you advance - there simply isn't anything particularly new or different; nothing to aspire to achieve. Of course in a full blown version there will likely be rather more effort put into developing and extending the levels so that new material can be introduced as you proceed - perhaps the "evolution" steps could introduce significant new skills so as to overcome new challenges etc.

        So I guess I both agree and disagree with you. Yes the game, as it stands, is intriguing but lacks replay value. On the other hand the base is reasonably strong, and if someone creative can expand upon that to creater a longer fuller game experience... so much the better.
        • by pjt33 ( 739471 )
          It was fun, and had an extremely simple and intuitive interface.
          Really? I tried for a couple of minutes, couldn't work out what I was supposed to do, RTFM, still couldn't work out what I was supposed to do, tried to another couple of minutes, and gave up.
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

        by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @05:25AM (#17030554) Journal
        I'm sorry, but I think all the hype about this game is ridiculous. Everyone I know who's actually played the game did so for maximum half an hour never to play it again after.

        I'd have to agree with you, and I will admit that I did enjoy it for that half-hour.

        As the biggest problem I see with turning it into a "real" game, it lacked any conceptual hooks whereby you could flesh it out into something that would take significantly longer than that half hour to finish.

        I suppose they could add bigger, meaner enemies (though by the lowest depths, the enemies had already gotten absurdly complex - More than once, I found myself chasing a fast enemy in tight circles, slowly wearing it down by eating 10 of its energy pellets for every 9 it nabbed from me). They could stick in artificial "quests" such as the old standby of find-the-keys and save-the-princess-slash-hostage. They could break it into more expansive worlds for each depth (though then how do you prevent the player from killing 27,416,318 bunnies at the first level by locking the controller in a tight turn for a week, then breezing through the rest?), but just about anything you tack onto it would detract from the original intuitive UI design.

        Oh well, good luck to Sony with that. Perhaps they will make something good out of it - I suppose, with a lot of artificiality tacked on, they could manage something as playable as E.V.O. for the SNES. And in five years, when the PS3 goes for $50 and its games for $10 on the used market, I might even pick it up and give it a try.
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

        by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:25AM (#17030868)
        I've played Flow all the way to the bottom and onto the next level and I sort of agree with what you are.

        Part of the problem with the game is there are no obvious instructions as what you're meant to do. It turns out you eat everything in site (except the blues & reds that move you up and down). You even eat the humongous creatures by going for the spots in their body. Once you get all the spots the creature (without it eating you in turn), it will dissolve into bits that you eat.

        But it is a trippy experience and I can see that the game could be fleshed out in interesting ways, or even make a cool screensaver. BTW, Want to know what happens when you get to the bottom? You start again in an orange ocean as a different creature.

        • by spineboy ( 22918 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @07:29AM (#17031156) Journal
          You start out on a yellow screen as a circle monster, after finishing off the centipede looking creature on the bottom of the first set of blue levels. The centipede drops a yellow dot, you eat it and evolve into a circle monster creature. I keep eating stuff and made my way to the bottom using the red "go deeper" dots and eventually fought a long snake creature, like I was on the first level. After deafeating him, I worked my way UP to the top and was able to kill off the large orange paramecium type creatures, that before I had to run away from. After I got back to the top - no more levels to do.
      • by misleb ( 129952 )
        I'm right with you. Flow is much more "art" than "game."

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Korin43 ( 881732 )
      Seems like it's an odd choice for Sony to try for "normal people". With a $600 system they shouldn't be making games for anyone but hardcore gamers..
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by CronoCloud ( 590650 )
        The reason it costs $600 is that it does more.

        It's plays PS3, PS2 and PS1 games.

        It plays Blu-ray and DVD movies

        It has a built in web browser

        It plays MP4 video downloaded to it's HD or via USB mass storage device.

        Same goes for photos

        It can play audio CD's and rip them to it's HD in either ATRAC, AAC or MP3 format, no PC required.

        But it's also a personal computer, if you install Linux, which is officially supported and could be done the day of launch.
        • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

          by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fredNO@SPAMfredshome.org> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:16AM (#17030824) Homepage
          And it can be used to press wild flowers
          And you can build houses out of it (if you buy enough units)
          And "PS3" upside down looks like "ESd"
          *And* it fits in your pocket ! (if you have very large pockets)

          What a deal !
        • My PS2 plays PS2 games and my PS1 plays PS1 games. I have a computer. I am only missing two features from the bunch, but I don't have an HDTV so one of those features is moot. $600 for one of those features seems a little steep in my books...
          • It's one box that does the work of 3. Not everybody wants to have a half dozen game systems hooked up to their TV's.

            And even if you don't have an HDTV all those functions are still there.

            • by j_snare ( 220372 )
              Perhaps you've heard that the PS2 box also plays PS1 games, and is also DVD player! Amazing! Not to mention that PS2s are running a hell of a lot cheaper right now (and are smaller so they fit into your stack of devices easier). $150 for 2 game systems plus a DVD player, or $600 for the same plus 1 new game system (for which there's maybe one *good* game out yet) that also has the ability to do things 99% of the population doesn't care about yet (and may never care about).

              I'll admit that the PS3's pretty
        • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

          by twistedsymphony ( 956982 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @11:01AM (#17033550) Homepage
          It plays Blu-ray ... movies
          While I agree it does do a lot, most of those things aren't why it costs $600

          That $600 price tag is due mostly in part to that one little bullet item right there, the price could almost be halved if they removed that "feature". In my personal opinion it's that one price raising feature that changes this console from a "sure buy" into a "I'll wait a few years for a price drop"

          Not only has that feature raised the price of the console itself, but it's also mostly responsible for the nearly year long delays we've experienced and the laughably small number of consoles available. It also raises the price of disc manufacturing, has slower disc read speeds (which directly hinders gameplay), and throws gamers directly in the middle of a format war whether they like it or not.

          You're not paying $600 for a feature filled PS3, you pay about $300-$400 for the PS3 and another $200-$300 for Blu-Ray. Personally, I think consumers and the Playstation brand alike would have been better off without it.
        • by misleb ( 129952 )
          But it's also a personal computer,

          So, um, it is the modern equivalent of the Coleco Adam, then?

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Informative)

      by flimflammer ( 956759 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @02:52AM (#17029952)
      I work at Sony Computer Entertainment America in their FPQA division (I'm a game tester)

      While I really cannot legally spill any details about any of the current projects that are in this department, I will say if you enjoyed the original flash game, the enhanced version will be a treat.

      Rest assured, the idea was not raped.
    • Oh my goodness! Flash on PPC!
      Linux mavens rejoice?
    • Actually, the graphics were pretty damned nice for their day. Sam 'n Max, DOTT, Full Throttle, Indiana Jones, etc.
      Damn, time to bust out DOSBox again :P
    • I totally agree. People may point to the Wii as a good example of design over brute strength, but it's still just a new technology. Without good, creative games, none of that fancy stuff will be any fun. A couple of new lucas arts style adventure games would be a lot of fun to play on any system.
    • Where's the gameplay here? You control some sort of water boatman going road eating tadpoles... and... that's it.
  • by PaulB007 ( 1033202 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:55AM (#17029636)
    For the grandparents, try suggesting "The Depression: Revisited" It will be an MMORPG based on the hardships of 30's living. You will get to experience the thrills, and the excitement of living in this time. You can choose to live in a Hooverville, even better, work someones field for them at a nickle an hour, and maybe you will be able to buy a few pieces of bread to keep your character alive. Feel the excitement of jumping onto a train! If you miss, well your fault. Blood and gore of bodies cut in half by the trains. Go to work in a factory! You can start producing weapons to bring back those good time memories of the beginning of World War II.
  • Squid??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @02:00AM (#17029676)
    Yea.. when I want my father or my girlfriend to play a game, I just tell them "Keep playing.. THERE'S SQUID!"

    I don't mean this to be a troll.. I'm just saying things like Nintendogs are a little more compelling than "Find the darker water with the giant squid. Then kill it, and you'll find even MORE, DARKER squids!"

    For non-gamers, Cute puppies > Ugly squid, that's all I'm saying.. and that's not even bringing Sims 2 into it.. my girlfriend couldn't understand why I liked building houses and stuff until she actually got the hang of it. Now it's one of her primary relaxation games, and frankly, her being entertained is worth a hell of a lot more than what I spent on it (especially since it frees the TV up for me to play Saint's Row hehehe)

    Not a fanboy of any system, just my own experience and opinion :)
    • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
      i played through the snake line to then end battling another great snake to it's death, then i evolved into the yellow background and was a ring monster, stopped playing because ring monsters are annoying to play, though nearly unkillable the ring monster is slower and less agile than the snake, and useless against snakes which you always end up feeding a moment before your change to kill it as a result of having your vulnerable bits posiitoned around your mouth
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by aldo.gs ( 985038 )
      Well... perhaps it may work with your girlfriend: "Keep going, and reach the GIANT SQUID!" (of course most probably we're exaggerating here...)
    • "when I want my ... girlfriend to play a game, I just tell them "Keep playing.. THERE'S SQUID!""

      Because your girlfriend is a big hentai fan?

  • Sounds interesting and would like to check it out... :(
  • Call me crazy, (Score:4, Interesting)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @02:05AM (#17029702) Homepage Journal
    but wasn't "flow" that minigame which was inspired by the first level of Spore? So wouldn't the "production version" of that game, be, umm, Spore? Or are we not making Spore now?

  • by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @02:08AM (#17029722) Journal
    • Hmmm ... did you mean this? [flowbee.com] Yep, it's still around.

      Sorry, since the article's link was /.'d I had to find something to do until the next article is released.
  • Get it here (Score:5, Informative)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @02:09AM (#17029740) Journal
    The link to the website only seems /.'ed
    The direct links are still alive
    Try the Coralized links first

    Offline Version
    ftp://intihuatani.usc.edu.nyud.net:8090/Cloud/flow _04142006.zip [nyud.net]
    http://intihuatani.usc.edu.nyud.net:8090/Cloud/flo wing/flow_04142006.zip [nyud.net]
    The SWF
    http://intihuatani.usc.edu.nyud.net:8090/cloud/flo wing/core.swf [nyud.net]

    -http://intihuatani.usc.edu/Cloud/flowing/flow_041 42006.zip
  • Wow, the first level of spore has been upgraded to ps3 level gameplay, I have to say I'm impressed.

    Now if sony could actually finish any of their games.

    Ironically, the captcha is looser!!
  • I'd be unhappy if I'd paid money for this. I'll admit that it stopped me from falling asleep for six minutes, but that's as far as I'll go.
  • immersive games for people who don't consider themselves gamers
    That mandate looks as if it were ripped straight from a Wii marketing promo. Hopefully the fact that fl0w is on PS3 won't preclude this dude from trying his hand at a Wii game; they could be a perfect match.

    We'd also have a stream of "wii fl0w" jokes to keep us occupied.
  • ...the launch titles are so crappy.
  • I really like the online services that all the three next generation consoles offer - I am really looking forward to simpler, yet still fun, games being able to be developed and bought for far less than the tradtional blockbuste games cost.

    Somehow in the middle of playing the game "who copied who" people seem to have forgotten that the point of all this is to give us gamers more options.

    Now the race is on to see who takes this segment of the market seriously and really gets behind a lot of smaller but innov
  • Great Game (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrIbanez ( 1030050 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @03:41AM (#17030152)
    The game is great itself. Though the entertainment value isn't as good as the typical games that you would pay for today, the concept itself is good. The construction of the game is also very smooth. Though the goal of being a relaxing game is sometimes not achieved, considering that competitive gamers could get frustrated with not being able to "grow larger".

    Definitely something everyone should try out. Keep in mind though that the Flash game itself is incomplete, but you can post on the forums to give suggestions and discuss the concept with the creator.
  • If you haven't played fl0w before, go check it out http://intihuatani.usc.edu/cloud/flowing/ [usc.edu]. I used to work for the dorms at my school, sitting at the front desk for hours at a time. I spent many hours sitting, watching this game because it is truly beautiful. After about 3 times through it's kinda old, but still, those first couple times were pretty amazing...
  • Fight on.
  • Not much depth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ikarys ( 865465 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:58AM (#17030422)

    For a game thats touted as being so excellent, its pretty boring and shallow.

    I played fl0w for about 30 minutes.. you just grow this creature in a pretty limited fashion by eating things on different z-depth levels.

    The stuff I've read on flow is all about freedom of choice, and playing how you want, and being simple to pickup, and the sense of satisfaction - After 30 mins, it becomes extremely boring, there is no sense of satisfaction, and it gets surprisingly hard (well i guess its hard.. these other huge "creatures" try to eat some bulby bits off you.

    Perhaps there is some amazing part of fl0w that I've missed - other worlds, a "level up" feature, some ability other than swimming to the mouse cursor

    This game is not fantastic, however, the ideas behind its design are great

    • I'm guessing the game was only designed to be appealing to most people for 15 or 20 minutes, since the comments by the author(s) include ageing gamers not having time to play anymore.

      If its fun to play for 20 minutes, and fun again the next day for 20 minutes, and so on, then its doing well.
  • by el_womble ( 779715 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @06:43AM (#17030968) Homepage
    was that it was a nice little inuitive game. This crys out to played on the DS or the Wii (more likely the DS).

    analog stick mouse touch pad

    I think the wrong super power bought this game - in the same way as trying to squeeze GTA onto a DS would be stupid.
  • Move around, eat something, grow larger? Kind of based on the classic BSD (I think) and other early computer game, "Snake." (But with fancy graphics, smooth navigation, and Z levels.) Cool, yes. Revolutionary? Ummmm...
    • Every game since pretty much 1980 is a ripoff of every other game since before 1980. Snake wasn't new on BSD, that was a ripoff of the TRS-80 version, which was itself a ripoff of the arcade game [wikipedia.org].

      Just like every work of fiction is a ripoff of something that's already been done: the five types of conflict were fully explored by the ancient Greeks [wikipedia.org]. That doesn't mean that we should stop writing, either.

      Implementation matters in games.

      Now, to be honest, I personally found fl0w to be pretty pedantic, and quite b
  • If you have not played it yet, do so. It is interestingly addictive. My girlfriend watched me play it for a long time, what seemed like an hour but could have been much shorter or longer. In the end I got frustrated because we could not figure out how to get me to evolve into what I would consider the third level of the game -- I had already eaten everything there was to eat. Maybe it was just a bug in the version I downloaded.
  • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @11:25AM (#17033914)
    The fact that a graduate student made a game similar to early levels of Spore.

    The fact a graduate student thinks a casual gamer is going to buy a 600 dollar console.

    Or the fact that the graduate student thinks a console is better for a casual gamer than a flash?

  • somebody had to do it
  • They are so copying Nintendo. Come on people. Nintendo is focusing on Gameplay rather then flashy graphics. Damn you, sony. Be original for once.

    fl0w is in the same boat as Gnome or KDE games -- all there have cheap graphics.
  • Players will notice faint outlines of the creatures lurking at lower depths, a foreboding sign that vicious manta- and squid-like enemies await. The water darkens as the creature advances to deeper levels.... Mr. Chen's mandate: build immersive games

    Funny, but when he said, "build immersive games," I didn't think he meant it literally.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham