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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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Depending on how the thing folds up/comes apart, decent multiplayer could be achievable on a single handheld.

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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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