Again much of the passing quarter has been dominated by Xbox 360 XBLA work. These projects have much higher needs than PC projects, with very tight requirements for completion. XBLA projects are very attractive though, because of the low costs after master (distribution is by download) and the very wide exposure of the product. Our Shogi product has been primarily designed for Japanese kanji but, with the help by Microsoft, it also supports Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean and all the main European languages. Our project has a lot of text as part of the tutorial, so this represents a substantial volume of translation text. This is our first XBLA product, so we shall see how it goes. We are now also gearing up to the next XBLA work.
A product just mastered is the Supreme Aquarium for PC to follow the Mobile version of the same product. These products have been the subject of 3 previous and 1 current article. These have been challenging and interesting products. As can be seen from the links, they provide both a behaviourally and visually realistic emulation of fish behaviour. Having decided to create a product based on a realistic rather than a cartoon style, this then obliges the developer to make it completely realistic. Finding a good generic framework to allow one engine to emulate a wide variety of fish, while allowing new fish to be added without AI engine changes, also offered an interesting challenge. These are products designed primarily for the japanese market, but will also become available as western products too.
This coming quarter will see escalated effort into Shogi, as we complete a new 3D Shogi product for the Japanese market, while also getting ready for the coming World Championships. The latter event would ideally receive much devoted attention to improve our product, but actually improvements tend to come from spin-offs for the commercial products. This time it is the opening book architecture and automated learning that will offer Shotest the most.
In other areas we are again in discussion for DS products. With 53 million DSs out there, this is a market that is hard to ignore. We have good game technology, which can be taken to any platform. We again encourage developing groups with DS expertise to look at using our game technology for creating their new games. This offers a shortcut in development, as we have mature engines ready-to-go.