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PCs For Gaming?

We show you some reasons why the PC is still worth considering when you are looking for a gaming rig. Ideally of course, we will want to have both console machines and gaming PCs to play all our favorite games. However, what if this is not an option? Think that it’s a no-brainer that consoles are your definite choice for a lean mean gaming machine? Well, think again! We give you some reasons why the PC still holds its ground.

Costs

At first glance, consoles which fetch a price tag of a few hundred dollars definitely look comparatively cheaper than your PC which cost around a thousand or more bucks. However there are some ‘hidden costs’ you may need to consider before reaching your conclusion.

1. Upgrade costs

Generally, consoles cannot be ‘upgraded’ without changing the whole unit. On the other hand, you can always upgrade your PC by purchasing more memory, storage, or changing to a better graphic card. PC

2. HDTV display

To enjoy the fluid and realistic graphics your console can offer, you often need to get a HDTV. That will easily cost you a few hundred bucks more. Now compare that with the cost of LCD monitors which are capable of running even higher resolutions.

3. Online service charges

Wanna take the competition online? Some consoles charge a monthly service fee for their multiplayer platform. For the PC, there are more free-to-play options e.g. setting up your own LAN or free MMORPG servers.

Availability of titles

In the market today, game development has gone more cross platform. You can often find a PC counterpart for game titles on the PS3 and Xbox 360. While there are exclusive titles released on the consoles, the PC has its fair share of ‘PC only’ games, particularly MMORPGs (think World of Warcraft). The fact is, PCs are generally capable of running games at higher resolution and texture quality than consoles. You probably feel that the console’s graphics on your TV are ‘nicer’ because you are seated at a…

Still not convinced? Check out this graphics comparison feature done on Gamespot.com

http://www.gamespot.com/features/6202552/index.html

Mods/Maps/Savegames

PC gamers can express their ingenuity by modifying games and their save files, edit maps and do custom patches. These are often done by fans and provided free for other gamers to enjoy. One good example is the game ‘Defense of the Ancients’ (DotA), which is actually a custom map created on Warcraft III’s map building engine. The game is immensely popular worldwide and even played at the World Cyber Games tournaments.

Other than running your games, your performance gaming PC also enables you to perform a variety of tasks like document processing, email, surfing the internet and creating animation. Not to forget online chatting and social networking (yes, Facebook addicts, you know who you are!). You don’t have to grab that few thousand dollars Alien to enjoy high quality PC gaming. Getting a custom built PC can save you a lot of money for similar levels of performance. And that’s what we are here for.

Also, there is no need to get the best performance and most expensive option for every component. Medium spec PCs today are generally able to run game sat 1280 x 1024 (which is close to HD quality) with ease. Also, game developers already mostly design their games to run well on mass market affordable hardware specs. Spending just a bit more on a decent graphic card could let you play most games at good quality and performance.

Conclusion

While consoles are a great means to enjoy an afternoon of gaming with your friends on the couch, the PC has its own advantages that you should consider when choosing a gaming platform. With rapid advancements in technology, PCs are now able to offer higher quality gaming performance than before. At the same time, PC hardware prices have come down considerably over the years. Further cost savings can be achieved by getting a custom built PC. It would be perfect if we can have all the gaming platforms for our enjoyment. But in the unfortunate event where you

Don’t write off the PC without a second thought! :)

Making Games With International Appeal – The Importance of Localization

Capturing a larger audience is the goal of any game developer and they can spend weeks or months developing the game but often fail to include localization of the game. Major game portals recognize the importance of making their web sites more accessible so they often have multiple language settings and this is something game developers should learn from from. Web games often rely on word of mouth distribution so why not increase your chances of success by localizing the game to reach a broader international audience.

Recognizing the importance of this extra step of work that could help increase your web games international appeal is something many game developers should take to heart. If you plan properly for this step ahead of time, it is a fairly inexpensive and easy step to add to any game you develop. Localization can seem like a daunting task but I will outline some helpful tips for any game developer to easily add this feature and hopefully increase their international player base.

Upon visiting some of the more prominent game portals you will notice you usually have a language setting that you can set the language of the web page. Unfortunately many of the games they offer do not allow this same choice once you are actually playing the game which could be potentially a turn off for any prospective gamers. Frustrating the player by not having something as simple as menu text or buttons is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Why would this extra work be important if you can’t even speak or write the language you are localizing the game? I will break this down into two parts. One part is understanding the importance of potential new users from emerging gamer markets such as Latin America and European countries such as Poland. The other part is realizing it is unrealistic to do the localization yourself but rather how to inexpensively outsource the localization work to companies that specialize in those areas.

The importance of the Latin American market for example is immense. Some statistics just for South America (not including Mexico) puts the connected Internet uses at over 104 million users or a 27.1% penetration rate vs their total population rate. Of these Internet users, only 12.3 million users have broadband connections which is a 3.3% penetration rate vs their total connected user base. Another encouraging number is the predicted growth of Mexico’s Internet population is set to hit almost 40 million users by 2011(Via Emarketer.com).

What we can learn from this is there is a huge Internet ready population just south of North America and if you can develop compact and interesting web games that are translated into these languages your chances of your web games achieving success increases greatly.

Recently Sony has made huge strides in order to capitalize on the potential market for their hardware and games. Split into three phases they aim to capitalize on the appetite of gamers eager to play games localized and marketed towards them. It is a safe bet that if a large company like Sony plans to address this audience, you as an smaller game developer, should take notice as well.

So as a web game developer you understand the importance and potential of this market but where do you start? You might not have the capital to spend thousands of dollars on this aspect of your game development or the time to invest. The good news is if you plan accordingly you can do a localization of one language of your game for around 20-80 dollars.

The first part of doing this is to make sure before hand all the important text information of your game is accessible in one file that you can easily paste into an email or text file. Avoid duplicates and shorten up any instructional text to avoid any unnecessary text as most localization services charge per word. Only include the most important and integral parts of the game instructions or menus in this file. One thing to also avoid doing is putting any text directly in the 2d button art or menus as you won’t be able to change that in a localization pass. Instead, make a blank button and overlay 2d programmable text over the buttons.

Then take the text you have extracted from your game and use an inexpensive but quality translation website such as TranslationBooth.com. You have the option to save more money by not using the most expensive option available and they do a great job. Once you have prepared your game in this format, it makes it fairly simple to reuse in any future game projects you develop so it is definitely worth the investment.

Hopefully this has given any game developers creating their own games some insight on the importance and relative ease of localization if properly planned for before hand. It is important not to be intimidated with this aspect of game development. Remember the more accessible your game is the better chance it has of being the next big thing on the Internet!

Learn the Secrets of How to Earn Money Playing Games

Becoming a professional gamer requires skill, the right technology and hardware, and dedication to succeed. If you have a knack for gaming, you may want to know exactly how to earn money playing games. Luckily, this is easier to do than every before! Today, many website offer cash prizes to people who participate in gaming in their tournaments. From role-playing games to online chess, to offline games at conferences and worldwide tournaments…the sky is the limit.

Before you decide to earn money playing games, you should consider your hardware, software, and accessories. Does your equipment allow to you compete at a winning, or highly competitive level? If it doesn’t, you may need to do some upgrades before you begin to get the results you need. Investing in the right computer equipment is vital to success – bear in mind that technology changes almost overnight. Keep learning and improving your PC or MAC system. Some games, like chess, won’t require a super computer system. It really depends on the game you are interested in playing.

Before you participate in gaming tournaments, on or offline, make sure they are legit. Don’t pay entry fees and then get scammed. The Internet is filled with message boards and forums – visit them and find reviews of tournaments and gaming websites. These opinions are a great way to decide whether or not a site is legitimate. You may learn more about the whole process of earning money playing games at these forums. Be sure to follow the rules whenever you play for money – you can be knocked out of contention or banned for breaking gaming rules.