Nicknames for Facebook
What is it?: Nicknames for Facebook is pretty straightforward. It is a way to tag your friends and family with more colloquial terms that you can recognize more easily.
Why it should exist: As Facebook gets older and our friends lists expand to incorporate everyone in our lives, we reach a point where we have 15 Amys and 20 Matts and a couple Taylors all spelled in their own way. Nicknames would allow each user to put the word or phrase that they associate with that person so they can more quickly differentiate between them. Suddenly Jim is listed as Scooby-Doo because of that thing he did back in college.
What I would like to see: Clearly this should be an optional setting. Not everyone will want to utilize nicknames. I think the person’s real name should also be listed next to the nickname like I show in the mockup above. That way if you forget what you used to call someone you will at least have another reference point. Nicknames you add should also be private. Sort of like Google Plus’ circles don’t inform anyone you add, nicknames should be something that helps you organize your friends without fear of what someone else would think. This way you can list someone as “nice butt” without worrying about public opinion.
Other possibilities: As an added feature, Facebook could allow users to suggest their own nickname to their followers. Another field could be added to your profile page that would let you put your desired replacement title as long as each friend still has the option to override their suggestion.
*various images from DBZ found online
Xbox Infinity Search for Video
What is it?: Xbox Infinity Search for Video is a one-stop location to search for whatever video content you want to watch and discover what service provides that media.
Why it should exist: This already exists for Roku, simply called Roku Search. The Xbox platform is increasingly becoming centered around other services aside from core Microsoft products. Myself and many other people subscribe to video services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, HBO Go, etcetera and access many accounts via a single Xbox console. While it would be great if all digital content were available on a single service, that is never going to happen and thus multiple services will always be needed for a full experience. However, trying to figure out what is available on what service at any given time can be frustrating when the libraries are constantly in flux. A user currently has to open one app at a time and search for a show or movie.
The name “Xbox Infinity Search” is based on the rumored title of Microsoft’s next console: Xbox Infinity. It is also a play on the idea that the search is not limited to Microsoft products, but will also search any installed app libraries; the search options are infinite.
This concept is not unlike that of a guide channel on satellite television and is one that is desperately needed as the world moves forward from time-based programming to internet-based streaming.
What I would like to see: Microsoft is only weeks away from announcing a brand new console with a modern platform. Incorporating search functionality in the base code of the OS would allow app developers to make their libraries available for indexing.
Currently the Xbox can “Bing Search” any content that is hosted on Microsoft’s servers. This includes games, television episodes, movies, music, etcetera. I understand that Microsoft has a bias to display it’s own hosted content, but there should still be room to expand upon that existing search functionality to add listings from other third-party apps. This could be as simple as adding a line-item such as: “Stream now on Netflix” or “Rent from Amazon: $4.99”. Ideally though, it would include a link that would open directly to the video service. If the product is available at no additional charge, the video should begin playing at full-screen like an embedded YouTube video. If it costs money, you should be redirected to a confirmation page. The idea is to make the process quick and painless. Just knowing what service makes the video available is nice, but being able to instantly access it without jumping through more hoops would be the selling point.
Other Possibilities: The idea of “Xbox Infinity Search” doesn’t have to only be for video. As with the current “Bing Search”, Microsoft can easily take the same ideas and apply it to any other form of media; the other big one would be music. If “Infinity Search” indexed services like Last.fm, it would only add to the draw.
Microsoft isn’t the only company that would benefit from this type of offering. Sony, for instance, also has a new console on the way and could just as easily implement such a service.
*Dashboard image found here.
That pokemon snap U is fake. That picture of blastoise is a picture of someone trying to replicate pokemon snap when rendered in the unreal engine3.
Considering I photoshopped that image together myself and I also link to my source where I found the Blastoise image, I’d have to agree with you.
The name of this blog is “This Should Exist” not “This Does Exist”. Thanks for the input though.
Civilization V: Armageddon
What is it?: Civilization V is the most recent incarnation of one of the most popular strategy games of all time. Civ allows you to control a country beginning with a single settler founding a single city and expanding outward. The game has a technology tree with various base techs that grant you more/better weaponry, units, social policies, and diplomatic solutions. You use all of these to deal with other developing nations as you battle for control of your randomly generated world. The game is won in a few ways. You can dominate your enemies to wrest control of the world. You can take the diplomatic route and win the general election once the UN is created. You can achieve a scientific victory by being the first to create and launch a spaceship headed for Alpha Centauri. You can best your neighbors with culture by completing the Utopia Project. Or you simply run out of time and the country with the most accumulated points wins.
Traditionally when a nation wins, Civ gives you the option to either quit or choose, “Wait! just… one… more… turn…”. Choosing the later option allows you to continue playing the game for as long as you would like except you can no longer win by any of the other methods.
Civ5: Armageddon would be an expansion that runs its course exactly the same except, once you run out of time or win the game by any other means, you get an additional option: “Advance to a New Beginning”. Choosing this option would play a cut-scene setting the stage and explaining that even after all of the achievements of man, armageddon was inevitable. The concept is that you now play in post-apocalyptica. The game will give you a single unit placed randomly in the same world you just finished building. The cities will now be ruins controlled by tribes of what is left of society (essentially barbarians) with a few stragglers (new settlers) like yourself trying to rebuild.
The gameplay would be very similar to a traditional Civ game except that the goal is focused more on finding “lost technology” instead of researching new tech. Likewise, instead of founding new cities, old cities would be recaptured from tribes and rebuilt. Recapturing a city that has a world wonder leftover from the first half of the scenario would grant you special privileges and possibly advanced tech.
Why it should exist: Everyone loves thinking about the apocalypse these days. The end of the first world is appearing more and more often in literature, film, and other games. People love to imagine how they would fair if they were to live through the end of days. It only makes sense that a game focused on the fates of a digital world would incorporate the actual fate of said digital world. Until now, Civilization has always been played up to the fate (victory) and I think it would be fun to play out the consequences.
What I would like to see: There could be an option straight from the menu to play a prebuilt scenario instead of playing through the world building stage, but I really like the idea of creating the world through gameplay. Also, once a victory is achieved in standard play, users should still have the “one more turn” option to finish a war or build their spaceship or whatnot. When they decide they are ready to “Advance to a New Beginning,” it should just be a menu item away. The ultimate goal of Armageddon would be to rebuild the world to a similar state as it was at the point of victory. Therefore, I think Armageddon could be loopable and infinite. Each time you achieve the new set of goals, you can “Advance to a New Beginning” again and start again; though it may get old eventually. I sometimes feel disappointed after winning a domination victory and having nothing left to achieve. This would give the user a whole new slew of gameplay options time and time again.
Other Possibilities: The possibilities are pretty endless. While I have the concept in my head, it is far from fleshed out. I think Fireaxis and 2K could do something great if they had the interest.
*Mushroom cloud image found here.
What is it?: Starburst is a delicious fruity candy that is sold as a stick of small, individually wrapped bite-sized pieces. A Starburst Bar would be essentially the same thing except instead of a rainbow assortment of individual pieces, you would get one stick of a single flavor.
Why it should exist: This is something I’ve been craving since childhood. While all flavors of the original Starburst are tasty, I often find myself wishing I had more of one or another flavor. A Starburst Bar would assure that I always got exactly the flavor I wanted. Also, doing away with the individual bite-sized pieces gives you the satisfaction of biting in to juicy goodness at your own pace and never having to open little wrappers.
What I would like to see: I would like to see a launch line-up of the original flavors, but especially strawberry because everyone knows that’s the best.
Other Possibilites: It’s a pretty straight-forward idea. If it catches on, the company could branch out into their other established flavors and maybe even make a “rainbow bar” that would be a swirl of flavors. What about a “mystery bar” for people who like to be surprised by their flavors?
Pokemon Snap U
What is it?: Pokemon Snap is a simple game from the days of Nintendo 64. The gameplay is basic; you are on a cart that follows a pre-determined path. While traveling this path you have a limited amount of film and you are tasked with capturing as many great shots of Pokemon in their natural habitat as possible. You have a few items with you that you can use to interact with the Pokemon, but your main goal is the photography.
Why it should exist: An HD remake of Snap seems like a perfect fit for Nintendo’s new Wii U console. The gamepad could be used as a physical camera replicating a viewfinder on the touchscreen. It makes sense. Nintendo owns the rights to Pokemon merchandise and they could likely program this title in a couple of months (a little bit would go a long way).
What I would like to see: I would like to see the game take on a less structured approach than its predecessor. Using the built in gyroscope to look around would free up the analog sticks to use for movement of the cart or craft. This opens up the possibility of multiple paths to choose and possibly a complete off-road adventure.
Other Possibilities: With the popularity of photo apps on smartphones and touch devices, Nintendo could join forces to make this game interactive outside of the console. Partnering with Instagram, for instance, they could add an upload feature to share your best shots with your friends. They could also partner with Nikon or Canon to offer in-game replications of various lenses and have an advanced mode where you have to take time to switch between them to get the shot.
*Screen image found here.