Back to EVE Online

I’m getting quite in to space games again recently… I had about a month with Elite Dangerous and then decided to have another go of EVE Online. Elite is a very fine space simulator but it lacks much of a meta-game. Eve is nothing like a simulator but has an immense amount of meta-game. The last time I played Eve was back in 2004, not long after Eve had launched. 12 years later and although Eve appears very much the same, the amount of stuff in Eve has grown tremendously. It’s pretty amazing.

This is Eve…

So far I’ve been running some agent missions and have joined a very casual corp. I”m not sure if I’m going to hang about inside the corp or go it alone for a bit while I learn the ropes. We’ll see. Eve agent missions have certainly improved since 2004… they used to be a real grind. My main is called ‘Fidgit Chent-Shi’ after one of the Time Bandits.

Curly Rocket is no more. Long live Curly Rocket.

So that’s it… after 5 odd years of contracting I’m shutting down Curly Rocket as a company, and joining Lucid Games to see what the future holds. It’s been an interesting few years… full of uncertainty and accountants bills. I’m a little sad to say goodbye to the freelance way of life, but I know I’ll be happier working at Lucid Games with a bunch of really great game developers. I’m keeping this domain open for now, and will hopefully use it more as a personal space… but we’ll see what happens eh ?

So how does the iPhone 6 compare with consoles & PC’s

‘Mobiles are catching up’ I keep on hearing… and while mobile technology is indeed improving at a breakneck pace, is it really catching desktop technology up, or is it merely being whisked along on the coat-tails ?

I honestly had no idea, which is why I decided to do some digging.

Now what I’m going to talk about here is GPU performance, because that is the area where most of the hoo-haa seems to happen these days. Apple themselves wheeled out some DOTA mobile game with drop dead visuals to show the power of their new hardware. And numerous people will tell you that phones and tablets are as powerful as consoles of not long ago… Lets do some number crunching…

The iPhone 5S has, according to the Internet(tm), got about 70 GFLOPS of raw GPU performance. An awful lot when you compare it to it’s predecessors. Apple claim the 6 has 50% more GPU grunt again… so lets guess that the 6 has 110 GFLOPS…

Lets put this in scale then shall we…

The latest desktop GPU’s come in at around 4000 GFLOPS… ~35 times that on an iPhone 6.

The PS4 has 1840 GFLOPS… ~17 times iPhone 6.

XBoxOne has 1200 GFLOPS… ~11 times iPhone 6.

Lets go back a console generation…

XBox360 (Xenos) has ~240GFLOPS… ~2.2 times

PS3 (RSX) has ~200GFLOPS… ~1.9 times

It’s worth baring in mind that the XBox360 was released back in late 2005, around 9 years ago, and it still has twice the GPU compute power as the all-new iPhone 6.

Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not bashing Apple here. After writing games for Vita, iOS and Android I can tell you that Apple’s hardware is clearly the fastest, and a true marvel when you consider it fits in your pocket and lasts for hours on a charge… but lets not get lost in the PR about mobile devices… The latest mobile GPU’s are about as fast as consoles/PC’s were 10 years ago.


Games as Art ?

The whole ‘are games art’ debate is a load of tosh. Of course they can be art. Most games are not art though… much like most TV, cinema, painting etc is not ‘art’. Your average mainstream AAA FPS is generic marketing bumf surrounding boring gameplay drenched in graphics.

Not art.

Any form of pure creation which rises above the noise and shows skilled artisanship is art. And if you don’t believe me, play these games then go away and think about stuff… 8)


Strange new game… Factorio

Blundering around the internet as I usually do today and I stumbled upon a very interesting game called ‘Factorio’, which is a sort of cross between Minecraft, SpaceChem andTransport Tycoon.

The basic gist is that you are marooned on an alien planet and you have to find resources to build factories. These factories build other stuff and up you go through the tech tree. I’ve only spent a small amount of time with the game but it’s very interesting. The graphics are simple 2D sprites and the whole presentation is pretty primitive, but it seems to have bucket loads of deep gameplay in there.

It’s got an ace intro movie so check it out…

New Website

Welcome to the new Curly Rocket website.

The old website was getting my nerves and hadn’t been updated for ages, so I thought it was time for a breath of fresh air and a new website. Hopefully I’ll be a bit more active on this new site and tell you what I’m up to and generally rant about gaming stuff. I’d like to do stuff like a weekly blog entry but I know how hard it can be to do regular stuff like that, so I’d rather not promise anything and just see how things go.

Over the next few weeks I’ll try to move some of the content from my old site to this new one. This new site is a bit of a work in progress so don’t be surprised if things change or break.

Thanks for reading… 8)