The Official iPhone/iPod Touch Gaming Thread

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bdouble said:
How can you say its impossible? Improbably yeah but I don't think its that restrictive. In fact I think the quality is improving on the iPhone and you will see more expensive games on the top 20.
I keep my eye on the top 100 games list pretty frequently and I can say for certain it is impossible for Zenonia to hit #1 simply based on economics and the way apple uses unit sales to calculate the list rather than total revenue which is what they should be using. Most of the time the top 20 has 15 or 16 games below $1.99 in it. Right now comparatively is actually a bumper crop for games above that price in the top 20 for once which is a good thing.

The games that do crack the top 20 above that price tend to be big franchise titles like Sonic or certain EA titles.

There is no doubt the quality is improving on the iphone. That's never been in dispute. There is a worrying problem however of prices being driven down which long term isn't a good thing on the business side. It's short term good for consumers but not long term. Iphone users are being over-indulged with too many good cheap games in this case which creates an incentive to not produce higher budget efforts unless they are extremly big franchises simply because the economics work out better in that situation.

Apple needs to separate out the 99 and $1.99 cent apps from bigger budget efforts because they tend to choke them out. Essentially the premium store content idea but not at the crazy price tag of $19.99 like it was rumoured to be earlier.
 
bdouble said:
Well yeah sorry Zenonia won't hit #1. Its not even that great.
"Great" is relative. I'm only a bit in Zenonia but I think it's quite good so far with the usual caveat that I have complaints but then I have complaints with every piece of software I play iphone or not. But then being the #1 app often has very little to do with being "great". Stickwars ain't great. Neither was pocket God. The #1 app is often as much novelty as it is to do with its own merits as a game or a piece of software.
 
Stoney Mason said:
I keep my eye on the top 100 games list pretty frequently and I can say for certain it is impossible for Zenonia to hit #1. Most of the time the top 20 has 15 or 16 games below $1.99 in it.

The games that do crack the top 20 above that price tend to be big franchise titles like Sonic or certain EA titles.

There is no doubt the quality is improving on the iphone. That's never been in dispute. There is a worrying problem however of prices being driven down which long term isn't a good thing on the business side. It's short term good for consumers but not long term. Iphone users are being over-indulged with too many good cheap games in this case which creates an incentive to not produce higher budget efforts unless they are extremly big franchises simply because the economics work out better in that situation.

Apple needs to separate out the 99 and $1.99 cent apps from bigger budget efforts because they tend to choke them out. Essentially the premium store content idea but not at the crazy price tag of $19.99 like it was rumoured to be earlier.
I think with some marketing effort, higher price games can sell on the apps store.
The reason why only Sega and EA games sell because they are well-known franchise from well known companies.
Had games like Zenonia published by EA with big marketing push, I am sure it will do fine at $9.99. The reason why people don't make the jump because people don't know what games they are (not everyone browse game site and forums like us), and when they sell it for $4.99 or higher no one will risk trying.

So far I haven't seen much iPhone game ads anywhere.
 
billy.sea said:
I think with some marketing effort, higher price games can sell on the apps store.
The reason why only Sega and EA games sell because they are well-known franchise from well known companies.
Had games like Zenonia published by EA with big marketing push, I am sure it will do fine at $9.99. The reason why people don't make the jump because people don't know what games they are (not everyone browse game site and forums like us), and when they sell it for $4.99 or higher no one will risk trying.

So far I haven't seen much iPhone game ads anywhere.
I don't disagre with any of that but the problem is Apple needs to take a more pro-active stance in encouraging and spotlighting higher price games, original games, games that show off the platform, etc There are a lot of ways to do that. From instituting some pricing rules like you must stay at your launch price for a set time, to reorganzing the app store to separate the high end market from the low end market, etc. There are about a dozen simple things that come to mind immediately that would be improvements in this regard. Even though they have a more open platform than is usual for consoles they still have a vested interest in seeing the cream rise to the top and assisting in that process.

I don't want to make it seem like I'm kicking them or the platform. I'm not. I think the platorm is great and one of the most exciting platforms going at the moment and they've done a lot right evidenced by the fact that they have created a market where one didn't exist before. But that doesn't mean they can just sort of stop and call it a day. They have to remain pro-active and vigilant to keep the market healthy because selling games is more complex than selling the latest Britney Spears album where quality is both more subjective in music and arguably less relevant.
 
Right I don't think the problem here is the price of the game or quality for that matter it has more to do with the fact that the App Store is quite frankly useless for navigating and finding new games. This is why the organic marketing of Facebook and Twitter are driving sales of games like Flight Control and Eliss. I think the same thing could happen with a more expensive title even without the name. Of course it would be easier if it was integrated into these networks more and the App Store was some how made more accessible.

Hopefully something will change soon. It encourage more developers to try new things out on the platform and in turn give us access to better games.
 
Stoney is completely right. We need a redesign of the store, and I still believe the "premium " store is necessary for the long term health of the platform.

Maybe we'll see some kind of breakthrough at E3, or at WWDC.
 
If they are really going to make a premium store, I wonder how they are going to treat it.
What draws the line from a game being 'premium' and 'non-premium'? Any games that are above 9.99 are premium? What if a game that starts out by 14.99, and 6 months later drop to 9.99? Will it switch from premium to non-premium? What help those games by simply categorize them into a different tab in the app store?

I think Apple has a lot to plan.
 
Diablohead said:
There is a way to do it but I don't know how, Arne who runs touch arcade and some other websites is able to pull prices, latest releases and thumbnails / game logo's from apple some how.
Okay cool, are you sure he's pulling it from the store and that he's not running his own separate DB? I really would love to use their information for an upcoming project.
 
Tobor said:
Stoney is completely right. We need a redesign of the store, and I still believe the "premium " store is necessary for the long term health of the platform.

Maybe we'll see some kind of breakthrough at E3, or at WWDC.
The Premium app idea is a great idea. I also suspect that something like Zenonia, at $5.99; has no chance of cracking the top five right now. The sheer amount of people who are willing to impulse-buy a 99 cent or $1.99 app is extremely high; whereas committing $6 to an app requires an entirely different thought process for most iPhone users, IMO. If you don't have the name recognition of a Sonic or an EA Sports branding behind your title, you will scare away too many would-be impulse purchasers.
 
Hey guys,

I hope it's okay to ask is in this thread. Anyways, I'm sure a lot of solo developers are having/have had the same problem I am right now. Basically creating the good graphics. A lot of the games I'm seeing have some pretty attractive pixel art and what not. I already have my idea down for what I'm gonna do and I've started making some of the 2D graphics for the game.

The problem is, obviously, that my 2D art skills aren't anywhere near some of the 2D stuff I'm seeing. I mean, my art isn't complete ass. It gets the point across and serves its purpose. But if I was to look at the art, I'd say it has "bad graphics." I just started browsing around reading reviews on some of the iphone games and I've seen people give a game 1 star and just write "bad graphics" for the review. Admittedly, I think my junky 2D art is better than the games that got 1 star for bad graphics.

I believe in my idea and think the game will be pretty fun if I can execute on the design and code. But really, the art simply isn't nearly up to par with a lot of the stuff I'm seeing. So I guess my question is (after all this writing) that are there any games with "bad graphics" that are doing well (I don't mean omg omg amazing, but a game that's decently popular) in the store? If my art is crappy, should I really move more towards a puzzle type game where the art isn't as big of a deal (I could be wrong though)?

I do know someone that could help with the art, but she's really busy right now. So that probably won't work out. I dunno, I feel like my lack of art skills is just sort've getting me in a pissy mood over the project.

Thanks for any and all help.
 
So this friend of mine's game just went on the App Store a little while ago. I don't have an iPhone/iPod Touch myself but I've messed with it on his during its development and it's pretty cool. Bit of a shameless plug, but hey you guys can make up your own mind on whether it's good. :)

Anomaly
http://www.sumiguchi.ca/anomaly

It's basically like a dual "stick" shooter, with the sticks being touched areas on the bottom of the screen.

Some info from the site:

* More than 40 challenging missions across 11 Anomalies
* 3 Arcade Modes: Classic, Timed, and Objective
* 14 Awards to be won by accomplishing various goals
* Automatic integration of your music/in game music


Video of it being played: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsgX8w5ZuFw&fmt=18

Can be found on the App Store here:
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=315287610&mt=8

Again, developed by a friend of mine, plus one guy who did the artwork. It was interesting hearing his stories about the development process for the platform, hehe. :)
 
Bumping because its not performing so well at its current price point despite being a very solid title.

IGN said:
Closing Comments
Toki Tori is a smart, clever, personable puzzle game -- and the $4.99 price is just right. (The WiiWare version was $10.) The controls are spot-on. At no point did my little bird get in trouble that was not 100-percent my fault. If you are looking for new puzzle game for your iPhone and are just sick of the match-three formula, make Toki Tori your next download. You will not regret it.

IGN Ratings for Toki Tori (iPhone)
Rating Description
out of 10 click here for ratings guide
8.5 Presentation
Excellent production values from top to bottom. Easy to use menus and controls.
8.5 Graphics
Fantastic colors. Characters look great -- especially Toki Tori. Levels are nicely detailed.
8.5 Sound
Fantastic soundtrack. Perfectly matches the game.
8.5 Gameplay
Spot-on controls. Great puzzles that make sense and are never obtuse just to make the game longer. Fun items.
8.5 Lasting Appeal
80 stages with a variety of difficulties. Great price that's even lower than the WiiWare version.
8.5
Great OVERALL
(out of 10 / not an average)
Slide To Play said:
The biggest issue with the game is its lack of replay value, as Toki Tori comes without scoring or achievements. Once you complete all 80 puzzles packed into the game, there is no further reason to continue playing. There is plenty of content to keep a player satisfied for hours, however.

For anybody who loves puzzles, platformers or just want a game that will blow you away, Toki Tori is for you. Besides, how could you resist the temptation of this adorable chicken?

We now declare Toki Tori the cutest chicken on the iPhone! Oh, and did we mention his game is exceptional?

http://www.slidetoplay.com/story/toki-tori-review


Stoney Mason said:
Toki Tori, an anticipated puzzle platformer.

Itunes Link $4.99
Impressions Thread
Video #1
Video #2
Video #3





 
copybeaver said:
Hey guys,

I hope it's okay to ask is in this thread. Anyways, I'm sure a lot of solo developers are having/have had the same problem I am right now. Basically creating the good graphics. A lot of the games I'm seeing have some pretty attractive pixel art and what not. I already have my idea down for what I'm gonna do and I've started making some of the 2D graphics for the game.

The problem is, obviously, that my 2D art skills aren't anywhere near some of the 2D stuff I'm seeing. I mean, my art isn't complete ass. It gets the point across and serves its purpose. But if I was to look at the art, I'd say it has "bad graphics." I just started browsing around reading reviews on some of the iphone games and I've seen people give a game 1 star and just write "bad graphics" for the review. Admittedly, I think my junky 2D art is better than the games that got 1 star for bad graphics.

I believe in my idea and think the game will be pretty fun if I can execute on the design and code. But really, the art simply isn't nearly up to par with a lot of the stuff I'm seeing. So I guess my question is (after all this writing) that are there any games with "bad graphics" that are doing well (I don't mean omg omg amazing, but a game that's decently popular) in the store? If my art is crappy, should I really move more towards a puzzle type game where the art isn't as big of a deal (I could be wrong though)?

I do know someone that could help with the art, but she's really busy right now. So that probably won't work out. I dunno, I feel like my lack of art skills is just sort've getting me in a pissy mood over the project.

Thanks for any and all help.
Well the art look of a game is pretty important I would argue to the casual fan especially. Even the games that I wouldn't describe as traditionally pretty have an art look that disguises their weakness as a valid artistic choice.

Like Stickwars or Doodle Jump. So if your game doesn't at least have that level of clear design in the art I think it will be tough. The art in an iphone game has to function on the most basic level of not being a complete turn off and the second level of having at least a functional look imo. If a game looks really amateurish in the art department, I know I sort of subconsciously dismiss it unless it receives a lot of praise as I rightly or wrongly assume they aren't really serious about the effort.
 
Banzaiaap said:
Can you post some examples of your art, I´m sure we can find some points to improve it. It´s the little things and details that make great art, great.
Yeah, I'm gonna work on it a bit more. I'll post it then. It's still very early but I know it's going down the road of lacking personality and flare. I was looking at some isometric pixel art which I think has a really neat touch to it, but my game's view isn't isometric (though if I can come up with an idea for an isometric game, I'll most certainly give it a shot). The art is more side scrolling like The Simpsons NES. The perspective is all my idea shares with that game. Though I did like the game when I was little!

Enough of me blabbing on without posting anything. When I get to a good point, I'll post something. I appreciate your help.

Stoney Mason said:
Well the art look of a game is pretty important I would argue to the casual fan especially. Even the games that I wouldn't describe as traditionally pretty have an art look that disguises their weakness as a valid artistic choice.

Like Stickwars or Doodle Jump. So if your game doesn't at least have that level of clear design in the art I think it will be tough. The art in an iphone game has to function on the most basic level of not being a complete turn off and the second level of having at least a functional look imo. If a game looks really amateurish in the art department, I know I sort of subconsciously dismiss it unless it receives a lot of praise as I rightly or wrongly assume they aren't really serious about the effort.
Thanks for your input. I'd fall in the same boat with you. If a game isn't visually attractive (I don't care about technically attractive), then I probably won't jump on the boat right away. The game would have to have good reviews for me to get it or illustrate to me in some other way why the game is fun.
 
CarJack Streets 1.1 update is live.

The update dramatically bolsters the already expansive title by adding a range of new features and fixes including:

• Fully interactive “Jack City” map available from your GPS

• All major reported bugs will be remedied once players install the update

• New ‘steering wheel’ control method for casual players and increased button responsiveness

• Increased Lives. Now players will have five chances to pay mob boss Frankie, making the game less harsh if you miss a payment

• Randal can now carry up to five weapons at a time and cycle through them at will

• Players will have the option of returning to their condo safe house to save weapons and vehicle before exiting the game

• Two new vehicles. The destructive Sports Utility Tank and the Sky Copter. See below

• The ability to play your own iPod music in the game

• All new, soon to be announced in-game competition
 
Tobor said:
Stoney is completely right. We need a redesign of the store, and I still believe the "premium " store is necessary for the long term health of the platform.

Maybe we'll see some kind of breakthrough at E3, or at WWDC.
Once you get into the mindless scrolling mentality, everything just blurs together and you feel like everything turns into an endless, single list. More discrete up-front categories and segments could be helpful.

I also don't think the presence of super-cheap games necessarily would hurt the sales of more pricey games. There are going to be casual users who are only comfortable with < $5 games, but there are also millions of users who are comfortable with game pricing in general enough to figure out that something more in depth is worth the money.
 
Just saw that Capcom are bringing 1942 and Where's Wally to Mobile Phones.

Look very iPhone friendly, I would expect them to come to it sometime in the future.
 
Hey Gang,

Have you noticed a sudden explosion of Geometry Wars like games recently?

All currently $0.99!

Nano Fighter:
Sort of like Powerup Forever but without the barnacles and bosses.

Annihilation Arena:
Polished with a great variety of weapons.

Anomaly:
Offers something new with the campaign mode having you work your way through halls and rooms.

Light Wars:
Probably the closes to even emulating the look and feel of Geometry Wars but still with it's own unique twists.

Being a sucker for these type of game (while sucking hard at them), I have a hard time making a call on the "BEST" as it really depends what you're looking for.
 
Info on Doom from the man himself. Very cool that he is actively involved in the iphone stuff. No online multipayer but then I just sort of expect us to get screwed on that front nowadays. Frustrating that devs assume we aren't using our home networks and instead want to play wifi-games since most of us aren't 7 anymore or work in an office environment where everybody else has iphones to play with. Otherwise good news.

John Carmack said:
I have been spending the majority of my time working on iPhone Doom Classic for several weeks now, and the first beta build went out to some external testers a couple days ago. I am moving back on to Rage for a while, but I expect to be able to finish it up for submission to the App Store next month.

Wolfenstein 3D Classic was a quickie project to satisfy my curiosity and test the iPhone waters, but Doom is a more serious effort. In addition to the millions of people with fond memories of the game, there is still an active gaming / development community surrounding the original Doom, and I don't want to disappoint any of them.

One of the things I love about open sourcing the old games is that Doom has been ported to practically everything with a 32 bit processor, from toasters to supercomputers. We hear from a lot of companies that have moved the old games onto various set top boxes and PDAs, and want licenses to sell them. We generally come to some terms in the five figure range for obscure platforms, but it is always with a bit of a sigh. The game runs, and the demo playbacks look good, but there is a distinct lack of actually caring about the game play itself. Making Doom run on a new platform is only a couple days of work. Making it a really good game on a platform that doesn't have a keyboard and mouse or an excess of processing power is an honest development effort.

To my surprise, Christian was able to dig up the original high quality source material for the Doom sounds, so we have 22khz 16 bit sound effects instead of the 11khz 8 bit ones from the original game. It turns out that I can barely tell the difference, which is a sign that we made good choices way back then about catering the sounds to the output device. If we were on the fence for any resource limits, I would have considered sticking with the originals, but the current OpenAL mixer code has errors with 8 bit source buffers, so I would have had to convert to 16 bit at load time anyway, and just referencing the high quality source media actually speeds up the load times.


The music is all stored as mp3, performed on a high quality synthesizer. For Wolf, we used ogg, because that's what was in the Redux codebase that I started with, but I don't have all that CPU performance margin anymore, so it was necessary to use the iPhone's audio decompression hardware through the AudioQueue services. The music is the largest part of the application, but everything else is still well over the 10 meg cellular app transfer limit, so I'm not tempted to try and squeeze it under like we did with Wolfenstein. Maybe being able to get an app over 3G really isn't very important to its success. The fact that people are downloading Myst on the iPhone is heartening -- I have ideas for leveraging our high end idTech-5 content creation pipeline for a future iPhone game, if people will go for a few hundred meg download.

The toughest question was the artwork. Since Wolf was selling well, I had planned on paying contractors to upscale all the Doom graphics to twice the original resolution. When I pulled all the graphics out and tallied it all up, it looked a lot more marginal than I had expected. There were over two thousand individual pieces of art, and it was over ten megatexels in exactly bounded area, let alone atlas fit or power of two inset. The PVRTC compressed formats would work great for the floors and ceilings, which are all nice 64x64 blocks, but it has issues for both the walls and floors.

PVRTC textures must be power of two and, notably, square. If you want a 256 x 512 texture that needs to repeat in both axis, you need to resample it to 512 x 512 to use PVRTC, which means you lose half your compression benefit and get distorted filter kernels and mip level selections. Even worse, Doom had the concept of composited walls, where a surface was generated by adding, say, a switch texture on top of a wall texture. You can't do that sort of operation with PVRTC images. The clean sheet of paper solution to both problems is to design around textures that the hardware likes and use more geometry where you need to tile or combine them, but Doom wasn't well suited to that approach.

Character sprites don't get repeated, so a lot of them can be packed into a nice square 1024 x 1024 texture to minimize waste, but the PVRTC texture formats aren't well suited to sprite graphics. The DXT1 compression format has an exact bit mask for the alpha channel, which is what you want for an application like this. PVRTC treats alpha like any other color channel, so you get coupling between the alpha and color channels that results in partially transparent pixels ringing outside the desired character boundary. It works fine for things like clouds or fireballs, but not so good for character sprites. It looks like it should be possible to get an exact binary mask with the 2 bit PVRTC mode, which could be combined with a 4 bit PVRTC color texture to get a 6 bpp perfectly outlined sprite, but the multitexture performance on the iPhone, even with PVRTC textures, is not fast enough to prevent missing 30 fps when you have a hoard of monsters in front of you.

We started to do some internal samples of up-scaled artwork to use as reference for getting the contractor quotes, and it just wasn't looking all that spectacular. Doubling the art and smoothing out the edges wasn't buying much. There was certainly a lot of room for improvement, since Doom was designed around a 256 color palette with a limited selection of intensity ramps for lighting, but moving there from the starting point would be tricky. If I went to one of our artists today and asked them to draw a bad-ass Baron of Hell throwing a fireball in a 256 x 256 x 16 bit block, I would get something a LOT better than the original art, but it would look different, not just better.


I was also a little taken aback by some of the backlash against the updated graphics that I put in for Wolf 1.1. I took the walls, guns, and decorative sprites from the Mac version of Wolfenstein, and had Eric use that as source to recreate some similar graphics that weren't present in the Mac version. After release, there were a number of reviews that complained, saying that it "ruined the classic feel". I have a couple thoughts abut this: Changing the look on a point release is going to cause some level of complaint, so it is probably a good idea to make any changes from " classic" you think you might want in version 1.0. I also believe most of the complaints were due to the view weapons. The original gun artwork wasn't great, but the double-res ones weren't very good either, and they were a bit different looking. I debated with myself a bit about using them at all, and it looks like I probably shouldn't have. I can't see any drawback whatsoever to the double res walls and sprites, since they are in the same style, just better looking when you jam your face up against them.

In the end, I decided not to do anything with the DOOM source art. With the GPU accelerated filtering and 24 bit lighting it looks a lot better than it ever did, and with floors, ceilings, and lighting you don't seem to notice the low resolution as much as with Wolf.

With the speed (a solid 30 fps, even in the more aggressive later levels), the audio, the resolution, and the rendering quality, it is Doom as you remember it, which is quite a bit better than it actually was. If you go back and play the original game on a 386 with a sound blaster, you will be surprised at the 15 fps, FM-synth music, "bathroom tile sized" 320 x 200 pixels, external network game setup utility, and external keyboard configuration. A lot of people remember it as "The best game EVER!", but "ever" has sure moved a lot in the last decade!

Before I actually started coding on the project, I had visions of adding a lot of modern tuned effects to the core gameplay experience. It would certainly stay a sprite-and-sector based game, but there are many things that would be done differently with the benefit of a GPU and the wisdom of hindsight. Once I began actually working on it, it started to look like a bad idea for a number of reasons. I am trying to not be very disruptive in the main codebase, because I want it to stay a part of prBoom instead of being another codebase fork. While I can certainly add a bunch of new features fairly quickly, iterating through a lot of user testing and checking for problems across the >100 commercial Doom levels would take a lot longer. There really is value in " classic" in this case, and there would be some degree of negative backlash to almost any "improvements" I made. There will still be a couple tiny tweaks, but nothing radical is changing in the basic play. It would be fun to take a small team, permanently fork it, and make a "Doom++" just for the iPhone, but that wouldn't be the best first move. Maybe later.
http://www.idsoftware.com/iphone-doom-classic-progress/
 
What the hell? I can't find the Last.FM app anymore...I'm in Canada though. It should be on my backup on iTunes...I hope to god I can get it again. If not, I'm Jailbreaking and pirating the shit out of it.
 
Lord Error said:
Space Ace is 243MB! Biggest game on Iphone so far?
Myst is over 700MB. :p

Thanks for the link Stoney. I'm going to try it once my iPhone gets charged up. I'm guessing it won't be available though...stupid ridiculous Canadian licensing companies.

edit: yep...item is not available.

!)#(*@# LICENSING COMPANIES!
 
If you're wondering why the great game EDGE seems to have disappeared from the App store. Read this.

IGDA Board Member Tim Langdell, IGF Mobile Nominee Edge, And A Sorry Trademark Tale
[In this analysis piece, Gamasutra/GSW publisher Simon Carless looks at the trademark infringement case against Mobigame's Edge to discover why Soul Edge never made it to the West under that name and the litigious habits of IGDA board member Tim Langdell.]

So, browsing our sister iPhone game site FingerGaming.com just now, I was surprised to learn about 'Edge Pulled Over Alleged Trademark Infringement', a news story about why Mobigame's excellent iPhone title (and IGF Mobile nominee) Edge was pulled from the App Store recently.

Quoting a statement from the article: “We have legal issues with a man named Tim Langdell,” says Mobigame’s David Papazian. “If you already asked why Soul Edge (the Namco game) was called Soul Blade and later Soulcalibur in the US, you have your answer.”

Langdell, CEO of EDGE Games and Lead Game Faculty at National University, contacted Mobigame and Apple in April asking that the game be pulled. Langdell claims his company owns the worldwide “trademark” EDGE. Despite this, the game remains up in other territories. “We have the trademark EDGE in Europe (where the game is still available),” Papazian tells FingerGaming. “And we are trying to register it in the US.”

Somewhat amazed by this, I went and checked Langdell's Wikipedia page, and discovered that, according to a massive section of the voluminous page, he's been asking for licenses for his apparent trademark 'Edge' in any manner of media or technology fields - generally gaming-related - for the past few years.

For example: "Langdell worked with Future Publishing to license the rights to the trademark EDGE to launch a new high-end games magazine, Edge, which was published by Future under license from EDGE starting in 1993. Langdell also took EDGE into comic book publishing and in 1995 worked with Gil Kane to license the trademark EDGE for a series of comic books published by Malibu Comics... Langdell also brokered a movie deal, too, licensing the trademark rights to 20th Century Fox for The Edge which starred Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin."

To be fair to Langdell, he certainly was publishing video games in the UK as 'The Edge' back in 1984 or so, as MobyGames shows, with Bo Jangeborg's Fairlight probably the most famous title produced by them.

But interestingly, the entirity of Tim Langdell's complex, detailed Wikipedia page on these licenses has been created by 'Cheridavis' - in fact the name of Tim's wife appears to be Cheri [Davis] Langdell, according to an online search. Even more interestingly, after Langdell's Wikipedia page entry was disputed, with user Frecklefoot commenting: "From your edit history, it's apparent you're either Tim Langdell or are somehow closely related to him", 'Cheridavis' comments: "I am writing a book on founding members of the game industry and noticed that Tim Langdell was one of the only people missing from Wikipedia. The article I created is based on my research, not on being Tim Langdell or knowing him personally."

Although user 'Cheridavis' is writing a book on the game industry, her Wikipedia contributions have never mentioned another person, but has, variously, changed the old AIAS entry to include Langdell as co-founder, and insert references to the word 'Edge' being licensed in graphics card articles, plus set up 'THE EDGE' as a page devoted to Langdell's trademark, and then complain when it gets removed.

It looks like trademark suits based around the word 'EDGE' and anything game-related are still occurring, too, too - here's one from March 2009 against Cybernet, who are making an obscure, long-dormant game called Edge of Extinction.

According to the suit, brought by Cybernet, Langdell started writing to them in January 2009, demanding that the 'Edge Of Extinction' trademark be assigned to him for free and that a license agreement be signed with Edge Games. When Cybernet refused, and asked for money for the domain transfer, Langdell said to "expect... [a] Federal Law Suit", so Cybernet sued Langdell and Edge. The case appears to be ongoing.

And there's some evidence, via a Virginia-based website's PDF, of a series of similar discussions with computer manufacturer Velocity for their 'Velocity Edge' gaming PCs. In this particular document, which is based around a suit by Velocity, the Court finds Edge Interactive liable for several falsehoods related to the suit, including untrue claims that Langdell had resigned from the company and could not receive the countersuit.

Overall, the Virginia District Court found a "deliberate strategy [on the part of Edge Interactive] to obfuscate and mislead this Court in order to delay the Court's determination of default." (However, the companies settled confidentially in December 2008 and Langdell now lists 'EDGE game PCs (made by Velocity Micro)' as an 'EDGE branded venture' that he has 'spawned'.)

Overall, I think we can see the pattern here. Tim Langdell strongly believes that he owns the word 'Edge' across game-related (and in some cases entertainment and technology-related) media. He will aggressively dispute the legality of anyone launching a game using the name - even if Edge is only part of the name, and if the game has been dormant for many years, as in Edge Of Extinction.

In fact, we're probably only seeing a fraction of the cases spill out into the public eye via lawsuits, since the vast majority will be settled privately - and many are settled confidentially after juddering into the courts for a while.

But now we're seeing great indie developers like Edge creator Mobigame hobbled because Langdell is aggressively enforcing his trademark based purely on a four letter name - rather than a particular style of game or character similarities, if that is even a more justifiable reason to do so. I think that's a major shame and, at least from my personal point of view, a morally repugnant thing to do.

This is even more unfortunate because it seems that Langdell was recently appointed to the IGDA Board Of Directors, a not-for-profit organization that is ostensibly set up to look after the little guy. How on Earth can he reconcile his position there with his role in getting Edge removed from the App Store? I've mailed him for comment -- and will update if he has particular things to say -- and I would hope members of the IGDA (both at lower and higher levels) will ask him similarly hard questions.
http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2009/05/igda_board_member_tim_langdell.php
 
That is just sad. What a sad little man. Proving once again something is fundamentally wrong with our patent system. Anyways how is this even applicable. I though you cant trademark, register anything so common as a single word.
 
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