Coming Back After A Long Break


wongojack

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I guess I got my Wiz in 2009, and it launched me down a path of re-investment in my classic gaming hobby.  I don't use it very often anymore, but it still has a nice clean screen and the battery holds a charge.
 
As a pure gamer in this community, I was wondering where the energy has gone.  The GPH handhelds were on top for a while, but things seem to have sort of dispersed.  Is there any clear leader in this area of handheld emulation?  What are folks still excited about in the GPH scene?
 

iprice

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I think the majority of users have either moved over to other consoles (such as the Pandora and Zero) or to mobile phone systems like Android. There is still some love for the old GP2X, Wiz, Caanoo etc. but not as much as even a year ago. Development on those machines has lessened considerably over the last couple of years and I expect that decline to continue.
 
It's no longer "profitable" or worthwhile in terms of kudos, praise or feedback for most devs to continue to support these machines and as they mostly dev in their free time they are better served by creating for other newer, platforms with larger user-bases (or even finacially for iOS and Android etc.)
 

wongojack

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Thanks!  Is there a similar forum to this one for something like the Nvidia Shield where people are contributing and learning about what the device(s) can do?
 

christo930

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iprice said:
I think the majority of users have either moved over to other consoles (such as the Pandora and Zero) or to mobile phone systems like Android. There is still some love for the old GP2X, Wiz, Caanoo etc. but not as much as even a year ago. Development on those machines has lessened considerably over the last couple of years and I expect that decline to continue.
 
It's no longer "profitable" or worthwhile in terms of kudos, praise or feedback for most devs to continue to support these machines and as they mostly dev in their free time they are better served by creating for other newer, platforms with larger user-bases (or even finacially for iOS and Android etc.)
The problem is that they are TERRIBLE game machines. They don't have controllers with a few obscure exceptions. Most pads are simply too big to be portable game machines and phones are even worse and again, being saddled with no controller. The onscreen button schemes suck, BAD. There are a few exceptions of simple games that are fun to play with a touch screen, but most games need a controller.
 
Even the lowly GP2x still has lots of life in it as far as games go. It can emulate a GBA pretty well, it should be able to do native games on par with 2d games for at LEAST the DS.
 

iprice

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Yes, mobile platforms aren't the best option for some games, but there are many thousands of games where touchscreen works very well - it all depends on what you really want to play. Before you jump on me, I'm not saying that touchscreen or mobile gaming is better, it's just different but still can be very enjoyable.
 
Then there's also the MASSIVE point that mobile games can and do make money for the devs, whereas devving for (dead) OS consoles will barely get a thankyou. An awful lot of time and work goes into making a game and it can be very disheartening to not get any feedback, let alone thanks. Financial gains can help in that regard, especially if it helps fund the next device. Kudos isn't going to fund the next big thing.
 
Plus, while there is still life left in these old machines they are massively underspecced (nowadays) and just can't do everything that a dev may want to do - the screens may be too small or the CPU too slow or GFX chip can't handle enough pretties etc. etc. Yes they are still capable of producing some stunning games, but to get them as good as a dev might want takes time - why go to all that effort when you can do the same game on a new system without all the hassle? Drag & drop tools now exist (for new machines) to make making games easier so why bother struggling to get a game running on a GP2X when you can get the same game (or better) running on an iPhone quicker and easier.
 
You are looking at the issue from a consumer point of view - most devs are probably looking at these machines from the opposite side. What is it actually worth to them to continue to support dead systems?
 
Can I ask you (and it's not an attack), what you have personally contributed to the GP2X, Wiz, Caanoo or Pandora? If the answer is "Nothing" then I challenge you to create a game that you would want to play on any of those machines and then wait for all the kudos. If you have contributed and continue to do so, then congratulations and well done, but it's not easy is it.
 
I don't dev as much for any of my machines any more as my circumstances have changed somewhat, but I will never, ever get rid of my old machines and always consider if whatever game I'm working on will work on any of them. Simply because I can.
 
However, the real question here is is it possible to get devs to come back or to make the scene more active?
 
The answer is probably no for the long term. However, In the short term you could make an incentive for devs (new and old) to create stuff for the GP2X etc. Maybe a competition or something that will make them want to come back. If you make that incentive worthwhile, people will come. If you make enough incentives regularly people will also stay. Thing is, can you come up with an incentive or a range that will entice users back?
 
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