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SteevR

Nintendo DS Game Design

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What an enigmatic device. Forget the (for now) nebulous hardware specs (RAM and processor capability, backwards compatibility, etc.); concentrate one what is really new. Two screens... What sorts of games will this help? Will any new genres of games (or new ways of presenting old ones) emerge? What game would you make, concentrating the game design on the dual screens of the device? Or are the dual screens of little/no benefit at all? What sorts of games do you think "The Big ''N''" has in store for everybody?

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I still have some Nintendo´s handhelds devices with two screens (those that were very popular during the ´80s) such as Zelda and Bomber Attack. Those games will definitely make a comeback to this new console under the title "Game & Watch Gallery".

--Ignacio Liverotti
iliverotti@hotmail.com

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Nintendo DS = Development System

This is actually an updated GBA development system. Screen one is for the game output and screen two is for debugging. :-)

Seriously though, I can''t wait for some screenshots to see how good / horrendous this is going to look.

nybble@gmx.net

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Possibly equally interesting is the inclusion of two processors as well. Perhaps allowing much more detailed and complex worlds (especially with what appears to be approx. 128mb of memory).

Imagine having some kind of RPG/adventure game played on one screen+processor, while the other processor continuously runs some kind of social simulation for the world you''re in. NPCs might actually interact with each other instead of being limited, scripted interactions with the player. An entire ecosystem might be present providing a continuously changing environment in terms of animal and monster placement and population, affecting material prices etc.

Just one simple idea of using the two processors to get much richer worlds.

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I''m not sure how effective it will be, since it really is novel concept. But I wonder does it have seperate buttons for each screen?

I''m sure there will be lots of things like game on one screen status screen on the other.


-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document

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When is there ever a time when you don''t want to present more information to the player?

i cant think of a genre that wouldn''t benifit from having extra screen space. Examples:

Foreward/RearView
Game/Radar or Map
Game/Dialog
RPG/Stats
RPG/Combat

Just like Ignacio, I too have a few of the early dual LCD display Nintendo devices, they were quite popular at the time. So I''m fairly sure that this is a design issue that Nintendo has already tackled.

I just wish more pc developers would push the envelope of multidisplay games, with both Nvidia and ATI both supporting multiple monitors.

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I honestly don''t think it will make a large difference. Don''t get me wrong, because, I do believe it could make a huge difference. However, I don''t believe that it will. See the difference?

Most developers will probably put the same information on the extra screen that they put in on-screen stats with one-screen devices. All this will do is cause me to glance around like a nervous rabbit most of the time.

What might really make this take off, however, is if the screens were also touch sensitive and the main input to the game. This could allow very cool set ups, such as having a graphic display of a mechs internal controls on the lower screen and the monitors on the top screen. Best of all, you could actually touch the controls, or even reach up and hit the emergency eject button above you.

The system should be designed such that the screen are like opposite pages in a book, and can be oriented horizontally and vertically. You could make a pretty cool battleship type game with this.

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I think the success of this device will depend on a few things.

One, how durable the two-screen construction is.

Two, how well players will be able to keep up with two screens of action without going crosseyed.

Three, if the games made for the device take full advantage of its capabilities WHILE maintaining a good gameplay experience. Whether the games for it will be "look at me, I use two screens" or "look at me, I'm a good game." Hopefully both. If there are direct GBA ports to this system, I'm going to hurt someone.

[edited by - Beige on January 25, 2004 2:05:03 PM]

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There probably won''t be gba PORTS to the system , since all the handhelds in the past that nintendo has made have been backwards compatible with older versions of the game boy. I assume they are going to keep with this trend unless they''re changing media types, which i doubt.

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I don''t think its compatibale with the GBA. Since according to the Nintendo webpage, GC, GBA and DS will all be seperate product lines with their own seperate marketing. Its not a replacement to the GBA its going to be a whole new product.

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You could have slightlty different veiws of your game on each screen and hold the thing close to your eyes(if the screens are side by side) and then you would have portable virtual reality.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
You could have slightlty different veiws of your game on each screen and hold the thing close to your eyes(if the screens are side by side) and then you would have portable virtual reality.

Nintendo allready did that. It failed horribly and gave 1000''s of japenese kids seizures.

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quote:
Original post by iNfuSeD I assume they are going to keep with this trend unless they''re changing media types, which i doubt.


Its already confirmed that it will use carts for games, and since its using ARM chips as well then I''d say its pretty likely to be backwards compatable.

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quote:
Original post by OrangyTang
quote:
Original post by iNfuSeD I assume they are going to keep with this trend unless they're changing media types, which i doubt.


Its already confirmed that it will use carts for games, and since its using ARM chips as well then I'd say its pretty likely to be backwards compatable.
No, it is incompatable. It is in the annoucement. I'm not sure why, but I think it is to make sure people know that the Nintendo DS is different then the GBA.

This system is portable and networkable. It is here to take advantage of the 'subway culture' of japan. I'm predicting that all the games are like that.

Doom, with an overhead view. Instant drop in death matches!
Mario Kart, with a rear view mirror.
Super Smash Brothers, one full action, one close up.

[edited by - dede on January 26, 2004 10:31:45 PM]

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I really can't help but think of Samurai Jack. There's already been at least one Jack game on GBA, but there's definitely room for another on the DS. In the show, you have lots of split screen Spaghetti-Western stuff, so cinematic fights could really work.

Another game idea that could work would be an update to Elite. And of course, Square-Enix would get in on this with another Funnel Fancy or something.



==================
Benjamin Heath
==================

[edited by - Benjamin Heath on January 29, 2004 1:59:20 AM]

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Two screens for one player isn''t very useful. Two screens for two players is excellent. (or a player and a spectator who likes to watch from a different angle).

But for the developer it would be very useful, with debug info etc on one screen.

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Well, what I find most interesting about the design is that the screens are going to be tiled vertically, says Big N. It kind-of diffuses the possibility to port a lot of Game & Watch games over to GBA in compilation cartridges without at least changing the maps that the games are played on.

Vertical tiling makes it easier to design the folding, I suppose, but I''m worried that it''ll look like cheesy, long, bent strips of plastic more than a portable gaming platform.




"Remember: Silly is a state of Mind, Stupid is a way of Life." -- Dave Butler

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sorry to sound like a troll, but "port game&watch games" ?
The only game&watch games i saw were LCD''s, am I wrong?

off the top of my head though, I cant think of a good use of having vertical-aligned screens (one above the other)

the player would have to be moving their eyes a lot more than if it were side by side and I''d imagine (assuming there was action in boths screens) this would get quite irratating after a while

Unfortunetly with the current cost/profit to make GBA games (or at least break even), I don''t see this getting very far, especially as nintendo wont be able to bring any old stuff across straght away.

Which is a shame, a hardware innovation would be quite nice

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Sure. I mean, lots of classic games are being re-packaged and sold as classics. I haven''t seen any Game & Watch games getting updated, though, and I bet they''d sell pretty well as compilations. Well, after changing the maps from horizontally-tiled displays to vertical ones.

Pinball games would be good with 2 vertically-tiled displays, too.




"Remember: Silly is a state of Mind, Stupid is a way of Life." -- Dave Butler

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quote:
Original post by Indigo Darkwolf
Sure. I mean, lots of classic games are being re-packaged and sold as classics. I haven''t seen any Game & Watch games getting updated, though, and I bet they''d sell pretty well as compilations. Well, after changing the maps from horizontally-tiled displays to vertical ones.
They sell "Game and Watch Gallery" for Gameboy.

It has classic, which is an emulation of the originals, and "Modern" where they redrew the graphics for Gameboy.

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