Friday, December 17, 2010

Google Chrome Web Store Open

Google has launched its Chrome Web Store, an HTML5-based app marketplace that operates on top of the Chrome web browser, including games from Electronic Arts and numerous other developers.

"People want to get paid for their apps, but they don't want to trust a small, independent developer. That's one of the problems we wanted to solve with the Chrome Web Store," Google VP of Product Management Sundar Pichai.

The store already lists 195 titles in the Games category, including offerings from Namco (Burger Time Deluxe), Zynga (FarmVille) and Digital Chocolate (Millionaire City) designed to run seamlessly inside the newest version of Google's web browser.

EA Games content is featured, with EA showing off a new version of the company's Pogo Games balloon-popping title Poppit as a free download for the platform. The game will be built-in to the upcoming version 9 of the Chrome browser.

Other EA titles available for download on the Chrome Web Store include existing web games such as FIFA Superstars, Lords of Ultima, Mirror's Edge 2D and Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online.

The latest version of the Chrome browser now supports hardware acceleration for in-browser apps.

300,000 Android Phones Daily!

Google's activating more than 300,000 Android phones daily -- more than other popular mobile devices like iPhone and Blackberry, a sign that the search giant's increasingly-popular game-friendly platform is continuing to close what remains of the gap between itself and iPhone.

According to Fortune magazine's tech blog, Google is now selling 10 million Android phones per month, as compared with 14.1 million iPhones sold in Apple's most recent quarter -- its best quarter ever, to boot.

Earlier this month, research firm ComScore released data suggesting that smartphones using Google's Android operating system gaining on Apple's iPhone in terms of market share. ComScore said Android has gained 17 percent share since July, bringing it to 23.5 percent versus the iPhone's 24.6 percent.

Chris Pruett on Tuning Gameplay

This Gamasutra article by Chris Pruett is a very compelling look at a super cool system for visual feedback (in the form of heat maps) using player metrics to indicate gameplay through the level.

Survival Master Research Field Test Invitation

The Simulation and Modeling for Technology Education NSF DR K-12 Research Project would like to call teachers' attention to an opportunity to help in the development of the Survival Master game. This National Science Foundation-funded Project would welcome teachers (gamers or not gamers) who might like to try this curriculum with middle school classes during the January 2012 semester. Training will be provided during the prior August (2011) at Hofstra University on Long Island and support will continue through online Webinars. Not only will the field test teachers assist the development team in refining the materials, but they will have a chance to work with like-minded colleagues who are anxious to help advance digital game-based learning as an instructional strategy in STEM education.

Survival Master Field Testing Invitation Video

Please watch the video above for an overview of the project. All expenses will be paid, materials will be provided, and teachers will receive an honorarium for participating. Should you be interested in joining the team, please contact Michael Hacker, SMTE Project Director, at