Ds - rts?

I was reading Penny Arcade today and in the news portion Tycho or Gabe or whatever is describing using the stylus with the DS.
“A vegetable will shoot up, and I will cut it with a flick of the stylus, that kind of thing.”

It occurs to me, you could probably play Warcraft or Command and Conquer fairly well with a stylus, couldn’t you?

We went over this already, but yes–you could conceivably use a stylus for anything that you would normally use a mouse for. Which is actually more of what I’d like to see (portable games that play more like mouse-driven games), as long as they are incorporating the stylus. Gimmicky “flicking the stylus around” and drawing on the screen stuff has never worked that well in PDA games, so I’m not too thrilled about it here. I mean, it works, in that you can do it. But a better question is, should you? I don’t remember any action/platform games for the PC that ever had you flick the mouse around to change facing or fire a weapon. The reason, I would guess, is that the mouse is a poor tool for that sort of control–buttons work better. Which is why many of the old PC action games (particularly platform games) use the keyboard pretty much exclusively, even though they could have incorporated mouse control if they wanted.

I expect that once the novelty of the stylus has worn off, you’ll start to see less of the gimmicky stuff and more games that use it as a mouse substitute. Assuming that the DS takes off, that is.

Age of Empires is available for PocketPC (in a perfect recreation, which itself is amazing), and you play it with the stylus.

I still don’t get how you’ll hold the thing and the stylus. One possibility is that you’ll use the stylus to do inventory management in an RPG, which means you could put it down while playing normally.

I didn’t see the device, but I understand it has no place to store the stylus, or that it snaps on the back, which is unfortunate since you’ll end up losing them like crazy. Storying them in the device itself, like most Palm and PocketPC devices do, is ideal.

Is that true? I hadn’t heard anything about that, I assumed they were using the pda method.

  1. Require stylus but leave out stylus storage.
  2. Multiple stylus replacement purchases.
  3. Profit!!!

The stylus is the new 60 block memory card.

I believe it’s true, though don’t quote me 100% on that.

I saw Peter Suciu briefly one day, and he said he was at the press conference and got some hands-on time with the device. He said the plastic was very thin–it could be “not final” stuff, but it’s break-city for a Nintendo device that’s often used by kids–and I recall him saying that the stylus was not stored in the device. (The otherwise maximum spiffy Tapwave Zodiac has a similar problem.)

But that’s not necessarily final hardware.

Any game requiring you to “flick” the stylus would be rather hard on the touch screen, wouldn’t it? I mean, the likelyhood to scratch the thing would increase dramatically, I imagine.

IGN or Gamespot had a quote from a Nintendo rep that said the DS hardware was definitely not finalized. So yeah, might be a stylus holder on there.

I’d love to see an RTS on the DS, though. You could hold the DS with your left hand and use the d-pad to move the view and perform actions with the mouse. Maybe use the L button as the alternate click or something.

By mouse, I assume you mean stylus.

I’m still not buying the whole “Hold with one hand and use that hand’s controls while using the stylus with the other hand.” No PDA I’ve seen has been able to marry edge-based controls with the ability to solidly use the stylus. Most people just use too much pressure when writing, leading to a pretty decent amount of torque on the holding wrist.

Yeah. Well, in this case same thing.

I’m still not buying the whole “Hold with one hand and use that hand’s controls while using the stylus with the other hand.” No PDA I’ve seen has been able to marry edge-based controls with the ability to solidly use the stylus. Most people just use too much pressure when writing, leading to a pretty decent amount of torque on the holding wrist.

Maybe. Sit down and rest it on your leg. Maybe the screens are too small. I don’t know, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. At some point you have to make a compromise, though. Use the PSP for your traditional handheld gaming stuff and the DS for crazy mouse-type things you can’t do on the PSP. If it brings some new stuff to the table I’m willing to deal with some degree of awkwardness. Wireless RTS is just too cool to pass up because you might have to rest the DS on your leg or a table to play it comfortably.

But the jury is still out on that one. The thing is light, yes? Maybe it won’t be so bad to hold it with one hand and write with the other. If the screen is sensitive enough that you can get away with a light touch it could be doable.

I think what I’m saying is that I’m optimistic :D