As the App Store struggles under the weight of new games published every day, is the gloss coming off the iPhone?
And if so, will Apple respond by becoming the gatekeeper of AppStore - in effect, the most powerful publisher in mobile gaming?
Of course I don't believe that the iPhone is over (see my posts about how threatening the iPhone is to the PSP), but Apple is about to have to take some substantial steps to deal with the rapid success of the AppStore.
The iPhone is changing the games market. But which one? To some it is the saviour of the mobile gaming business, which is struggled for years against consumer apathy, operators who don't understand (or like) content and a fragmented device landscape which led to developers having to create hundreds, sometimes even thousands of SKUs
To others, it is a handheld gaming platform that competes squarely with the DS and the PSP, despite having no buttons and less processing power.
So which is it?
The desert wind gathered great swirls of brick-red dust and hurled it at the grimy walls of the compound. He squinted through the sandstorm, looking for the darker clouds that marked a returning squad of foragers.
"There!" He leaned over the parapet and shouted down into the square. "Commander, I see 'em. On the Interstate. And it looks like they've got a hundred Azraelish hard on their heels."
Klaxons blared, and the last few citizens of Baton Rouge hurried to the turrets.
Captain Robert's bellow was usually loud enough to be heard in the maintop, even in a three-reef gale. Today, with the Jackdaw becalmed and wallowing in the Atlantic swell, the noise was deafening.
Elijah Fairfax hastened up the companionway to the quarterdeck. "Captain?"
"Someone has broken the Code," Roberts pointed into the cabin of the recently-captured Jackdaw. "One of those scurvy dogs stole for themselves. Ye know the rules. You steal from one, you steal from all. Root out this vile dog. Root him out, and I'll make him pay."
Aground on a lee shorePractical Boat Owner No. 501, September, 2008
The sailing was blissful. We were reaching along the north-east coast of Mallorca with a southerly wind which had been blowing a steady Force 4 since we left Cala Ratjada that morning. Tripitaka, my Dufour 36, was short-handed. My wife Catherine had not been able to join us due to an illness in the family, so it was just me and Sally, a colleague of Catherine's, whos sailing experience was limited to one week on Tripitaka the previous year. But I wasn't worried. My wife and I had sailed Tripitaka as liveaboards for an entire season when we first bought her in 2001. I was much less experienced back then and we survived, so I was confident that Sally and I would be fine.
Purchase digital back order
WriterI write. Often. In all sorts of genres. One of the biggest challenges is trying to tie up everything I write into a unifying theme. I have recently concluded that such a theme might exist.
I have a passion for making the complex simple.
In 2001, shortly before we set off on our 4 month sailing trip around the Mediterranean, Catherine and I realised that we ought to know something about engines. Scary, greasy things that seemed to me arcane, impenetrable, and definitely best left to the experts. The problem is that if your engine dies on a lee shore on a stormy night off the coast of Malta, there is no RAC man at the end of a mobile phone. It's up to you.
So we turned up at a Royal Yacht Association training centre to be confronted with a gleaming Volvo Penta 2040 marine diesel engine on a workbench. It had valves and tubes and pipes and exhausts pointing in all directions. We were convinced that we would never be able to understand this complex piece of machinery
But the instructor patiently explained that there was a fuel circuit, and an air circuit, and a coolant circuit, and an electrical circuit. If you treated the engine as being eight simple systems working in harmony, it suddenly becomes much less scary.
There are weaknesses in this approach, given that the world is a terrifyingly complicated place. But on the other hand, if simplifying a problem, or identifying the different parts that make up the whole, make the solution clearer, or gives you a place to start, that can only be a good thing.
So my articles can be broadly grouped into themes:
Roleplaying: I write for Steve Jackson Games's Pyramid magazine as a member of the Omniscient Eye team, a panel of experts using real world knowledge to add flavour to roleplaying expertise. My particular focus is sailing, particularly during the great Age of Sail from 1600-1850, and high finance
Sailing: I maintain a website on sailing in the Mediterranean, particularly the Balearics at www.sailinmallorca.com