Three Things The Wii Needs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-11-2007, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Three things the Wii needs:

(1) An exclusive interactive puzzle game like Tetris or Bejeweled, that fully utilizes the control system, involves a single or multiple players, and has a strong Internet component (most likely regular content refresh and online multiplayer).

(2) Streaming content service (music, TV, movies). Most likely partners here would be Amazon Unbox or Google (would have said Apple, but the AppleTV sorta crushes that idea). Let's lump DVD playback into this as well.

(3) A true Indie Games download service (not Virtual Console). Some Nintendo quality control of course, but a wide variety of content for all ages - backed up by a quality development kit/guidelines and indie developer network.


-1-
Why do I say the Wii needs a puzzle game? Well, there is historical precedent that an exclusive, high quality puzzle game can help to drive a technologically constrained platform versus technologically superior competitors (gameboy+tetris...). In the case of the Wii, an addictive puzzle game that incorporates all of the Wii's controller features might prove the 'evergreen' title that maintains Wii usage. Specifically during periods when there is a drought of new games.

It is IMPORTANT that the Wii purchaser play the console several times a month to maintain critical mindshare. This reduces the odds (for the casual game player at least) that they will purchase another console which they perceive as an 'upgrade,' or move on to other pursuits with their entertainment dollars.

I do not take lightly the difficulty of coming up with a new and ORIGINAL puzzle game on the same level as Tetris or Bejeweled. But in addition to focusing on massive world games (Mario/Zelda/Metroid) and minigame collections (Mario Party), Nintendo should be seeking out or internally developing the Tetris for this generation.



-2-
It has been said many times that the Wii is NOT a media center. It's a game system. So why should the Wii have any nongame functionality? Well, because the Wii is not really a game machine. Its an entertainment platform. We advanced beyond simple game machines with the latest round of Internet-connected consoles and I doubt we'll ever go back to single function again.

Its in Nintendo's best interest to provide content that reinforces persistent Wii usage and reinforces brand loyalty. This has historically been games. But in the future this will most likely grow to include rich content, such as a streaming Pokemon channel for Pokemon game lovers. Or low-bandwidth cartoon content branded to other Nintendo franchises. The next obvious step would be to partner with a content provider that has access to mainstream movies, TV shows, radio broadcasts, and other mainstream content.

While the Opera Web browser does provide access to much of this content for experienced users, there is no assurance that this 'wild Web' of content will be compatible with the Wii. Thus Nintendo needs to take steps to package a non-game audiovisual experience for its less resourceful customers.

There is a big market for streaming Pokemon. There is a big market for streaming Anime. There is a big market for streaming movies/TV shows at SD resolution. And while much of this content can be captured via Youtube or bootleg download sites, casual users will embrace, and more importantly PAY FOR an easier and more direct solution.

Should Nintendo spend a ton of money in this area? For Pokemon, and other brand-building content, yes. For music/TV/movies, they should simply make partnerships with the Top 5 Web-based media stores to have them format areas specifically for Wii usage. Of course, major partners would get a dedicated Wii channel. ;-)



-3-
The casual games and indie games scene is for the most part, a Microsoft scene (or Adobe Flash scene). There are indie developers who branch into consoles, and who also produce for retro systems, mobile systems, exotic hardware, Linux and the Mac, but these are far less in number than those who make PC games. And we all know PC games mean Windows, which means Windows coding tools, which lately has begun to mean XNA and "headstart on coding for Xbox 360..."

If Nintendo is to capture any of the vitality and energy of the Indie game scene, they will need to put major effort into developing tools, education, communication, and distribution to support indie developers.

Nintendo has historically produced closed boxes, which doesn't necessarily enable 'outsiders.' And Indies are true outsiders. Perhaps a significantly different breed than developers who normally apply for Nintendo Platform Developer status (and the even smaller fraction who actually make it through and get support from Nintendo). So there seems to be no precedent for what to expect from Nintendo in this regard. However, Nintendo needs to make a sandbox that allows open development which fully supports the Wii controller. It is the ONLY way to take momentum away from Microsoft.

Right now, the only way for an uncertified developer to make games for the Wii is to use Flash. But in the long-term, the Flash game model just won't cut it (no support for advanced controller functionality other than point-and-click). This could be circumvented by an Opera browser hook and an extension to Flash which allows full access to the Wii controller. It also might mean a software sandbox similar to the Java model, which allows Indie games to crash without tanking the whole system. Well, the Wii is billed as a game console, so I guess rebooting isn't that bad...

The alternative would be to make an effort similar to the one Microsoft is making with its massive push with XNA. But frankly, Nintendo does not have the experience to even attempt this, and they shouldn't. Rolling out software and supporting large numbers of developers is a Microsoft strongpoint. Nintendo can save a tremendous amount of time and money by simply providing Adobe Flash with the ability to fully utilize the Wii controller and perhaps force the Opera browser into a fullscreen mode. The Indies will do the rest

While this effort would certainly cannibalize a noticeable percentage of 'minigame collection' and 'craptastic' game sales for the Wii platform, quality games would most likely be largely unaffected. Nintendo could turn the Wii controller system hooks into a revenue generator, either by making the extension package "for-sale" on the developer end. Or by making the consumer pay for a new channel which features an open assortment of rated Indie Flash games. These games would be different from regular Flash games in that they offered true support for the Wii controller, and perhaps a bit of Nintendo Q/A department polish. Monthly subscription or 'per game purchase' similar to the Virtual Console.

---

OK, time for comments. But keep it constructive and positive please. ;-)
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-11-2007, 05:20 PM
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Great post...

On #3, I think it would be great, but Nintendo always seems to have to maintain tight control over everything. Although I think we will see if XNA really makes a difference, then I wouldn't be surprised to see some imitation.
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-11-2007, 05:46 PM
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It needs a wireless tablet say 5 by 7 that works with a stylus to bring in DS style games as well. The "other" game players would eat it up.
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post #4 of 23 Old 01-11-2007, 06:21 PM
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I disagree with #2.

There are far too many options for streaming media at the moment. No need to join that crowd...

#1 is a great idea!

"Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun."

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post #5 of 23 Old 01-11-2007, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kysersose View Post

I disagree with #2.

There are far too many options for streaming media at the moment. No need to join that crowd...

#1 is a great idea!

I also disagree with #2. Nintendo does not appear to be interested in providing an entertainment platform, they are leaving that to Microsoft and Sony. They have elected to manufacture a gaming platform....period. They are not interested in competing with the multimedia/entertainment market, they have decided their primary niche is gaming.

By taking this approach, Nintendo has been able to introduce a machine that is $300 less than their competitors and currently in great demand.
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-12-2007, 03:40 AM
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I'm holding my breath for a port of Puyo Puyo 15th Anniversary for the Wii with Wiiconnect24 options. The japanese release for the nds is amazing, working with wifi allowing players to play online puyo puyo puzzle games with 2 or 4 players. It has Internet rankings, classic puyo puyo mode and puyo puyo fever modes.

I really hope Sega develops this for the Wii. It should be a win/win for the puzzle genre as well as a good sign of what Wiiconnect24 is capable of.

I don't see it listed for Wii yet, but here is the Japanese homepage for the game:

http://puyo.sega.jp/
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-12-2007, 07:12 AM
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#1, I strongly agree with. I wonder if a game like Magnetica (aka Puzzloop) would be a good candidate for this. There certainly are quite a few casual games out there that could be adapted and adapted well to this.

#3, I agree with to a lesser degree. It goes against Nintendo's corporate culture, unfortunately, and I suspect that it will never happen...but Nintendo has shown more encouragement to small developers, so who knows for sure? It would be a MAJOR win if even just the indie games market could port some games over to the Wii. Imagine being able to play a game like Oasis or Darwinia on the Wii. This is something the Microsoft is leveraging much better, in many ways.

#2, I agree with in a limited capacity. I think that there is a market for this kind of service, but it's already being better served by other venues. OnDemand from my cable company, The Xbox and PS3 marketplaces, Tivo and even something like Netflix. Where I think the Wii could really leverage is in the totally casual video offerings space. Make a partnership with Youtube and Digg to roll interesting videos into a Wii specific site for a person to go to. Branded channels are what the Wii really needs.

I would add a #4: A REAL online presence. Nintendo needs to stop dipping it's toe in the water and honestly get wet. The friend code concept? NOT WORKING. I wasn't expecting Xbox-Live...but come now, Ninty, you can do better. I honestly hope the delay for Metroid Prime 3 is for online enhancements. Nintendo needs to commit fully to the Internet and stop stabbing themselves in the foot for a change.
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-12-2007, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WizarDru View Post

I would add a #4: A REAL online presence. Nintendo needs to stop dipping it's toe in the water and honestly get wet. The friend code concept? NOT WORKING. I wasn't expecting Xbox-Live...but come now, Ninty, you can do better. I honestly hope the delay for Metroid Prime 3 is for online enhancements. Nintendo needs to commit fully to the Internet and stop stabbing themselves in the foot for a change.

My theory is the friend code and lack of voice chat keeps everything G-rated. No worries about obscene user names or hearing profanity/inappropriate comments. I don't have children, but if I did there's no way I'd let them on Xbox Live (yes, I'm a subscriber myself).
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-12-2007, 08:50 AM
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Actually the best bet to keep the Wii popular is to lower the price incrementally over the next year as they increase stock--that way it keeps the Wii in demand. I would also like to see lower priced games that are more arcade like in nature. Games I can pick up and play for half an hour and then not worry about where I left off.
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-12-2007, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorrorScope View Post

It needs a wireless tablet say 5 by 7 that works with a stylus to bring in DS style games as well. The "other" game players would eat it up.

If I remember right, the capability exists for you to connect your DS to your Wii for specific games - and a DS probably costs as much as a 5" by 7" wireless tablet (or less, even). That being said, I want to see those hybrid games
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post #11 of 23 Old 01-13-2007, 05:43 AM
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As stated by others in this thread.. I've also got no need for another media centre style device. Some people may do, but Xbox360 and PC's are far better equipped in terms of storage, video and sound that it would be a 3rd rate solution on the Wii at best.
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post #12 of 23 Old 01-13-2007, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenbone View Post

As stated by others in this thread.. I've also got no need for another media centre style device. Some people may do, but Xbox360 and PC's are far better equipped in terms of storage, video and sound that it would be a 3rd rate solution on the Wii at best.

Well, I have noticed that youtube videos seem to max out at about 12fps on the Wii rather than 30fps. And I agree that the Wii is very storage constrained compared to today's other platforms. But I think this board is a bit skewed towards those with above average media playback capability in the home. Most people still have a single DVD player in the living room and a single PC which is NOT a media center (although it probably has a DVD ROM and crappy speakers).

I think its great that Nintendo DID NOT put media functionality IN THE BOX and make EVERYONE pay for the capability even if they don't need it.

However:

(a) if an audio CD and DVD playback channel were to pop up for $29, anyone who doesn't need the capability would just ignore it. Since it wasn't a paid for pack-in at system launch there's nothing to gripe about.

(b) if a streaming media channel pops up with pay as you go Pokemon cartoons, Anime or game demos, those who don't need the extra content can ignore it. And remember, I'm talking about low res SD content streamed to the system, not stored on the memory card. This would require technology on the head-end that allows a single, pausable stream as well as chapters.


Obviously there is no way, technologically, that the Wii can compete with 360 and PS3. But that doesn't mean that Nintendo's customers don't want a 'hint' of platform parity in terms of media access.
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-13-2007, 12:42 PM
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Although Im sure Nintendo could have easily added these media features in, it would kind of move away from their stated (and excellent in my view) design philosophy. Its designed to be a fun toy, and I think thats exactly what it does. Also, I think that they'll steer away from custom controls and different interface devices.. again because I think it'll dilute the significance of the Mote.
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post #14 of 23 Old 01-13-2007, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree that Nintendo should not release a new device to compete with the Wiimote. The Wiimote possibilities should be explored for the next 3 or 4 years.

However, I do expect Nintendo to release an updated Wiimote in a year or two. One with lower power consumption, embedded recharchable lithium ion batteries (and Wiimote dock), and a higher quality internal speaker.

Its been their standard operating procedure (with portables anyway) to provide such uprades.
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post #15 of 23 Old 01-13-2007, 11:01 PM
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Only things I think it needs are 1. better performance of the pointer and 2. just good software in general... especially sports and minigames.

Got Talk (general discussion forum - someone add product reviews)

Got Zelda
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post #16 of 23 Old 01-14-2007, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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More minigame collections!!!? Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!

;-)

Seriously, I think two GOOD minigame collections a year is a fine number. I'm worried that every ubisoft and his brother is going to try and release a (crappy) minigame collection in the next 12-18 months.

I think we can even expect a Burger King minigame collection this coming Xmas... Actually, if its only $3.99 with a Whopper meal that wouldn't be half bad.
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post #17 of 23 Old 01-14-2007, 12:09 PM
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If the minigames are good, I'll keep buying them

Mentioned this before in another thread, but I'd happily buy more Wii-Play and Wii-Sports like titles.. They've been most fun.

Wii-Music, Wii-Dance, Wii-Race, Wii-Fight, Wii-Paint, Wii-insertthemehere I want to see my Miis get a work out!

Still looking forward to the deeper, more traditional console titles.. Mario, Metroid etc. but the Wii for me is a compliment to my 360/PC and its not quite so important (although it is arguably for the consoles success.. this will be many peoples first owned console, and they deserve to be given a rounded gaming experience.)
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post #18 of 23 Old 01-14-2007, 01:55 PM
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More sports titles that use the Wiimote would be nice. Perhaps a new Midway release of NHL Hitz integrating swinging the controller to check? =)
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post #19 of 23 Old 01-15-2007, 10:30 AM
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Im opposed to #2. How about, instead of a multimedia streaming pile-o-crap, they go the other direction, and just make something that works right.

I dont want to watch movies on my game console, I want to play games on it. I'll watch DVD's on my DVD player, and download movies and media on my computer. These things have a purpose. Anyone ever own one of those TV\\VCR combos that didnt break? I considered it lucky if it didnt take out the TV when the VCR crapped out.

It seems that from an engineers standpoint, if it isnt broken, it doesnt have enough functions.

What they need is a good puzzle game like you said, something to really use the wii mote, and a mario game that doesnt suck. Im sorry, but after playing Mario64 I realized how tacked on the mario shine felt from GC. It had none of the mario feel IMO. No caps, no Bowzer, no castles, basicaly just a game that the character happened to be named Mario and for some unknown reason carried around a possessed water bottle.

I think its great they are going the other direction with this console. Games are getting too "real" I enjoy mario 64, bond for 64, and other much more than the GC versions. The Zelda is the one thing they got right. The more they try to make it real, the harder it is and the more they have to automate the game to keep up. Like im refering to bond for GC, instead of aiming, you just hit the R key and it aims for you. Pretty soon, you just hit "A" and the system plays the whole level for you.
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post #20 of 23 Old 01-15-2007, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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So, even if you could click -- for free -- on a new Nintendo Power channel with demos, game videos, game soundtracks, and cartoons based on Nintendo games (with ads inserted of course) -- you wouldn't do it?

To me, for them not to push this type of content onto the console is a sign of them 'doing it wrong.'

Don't think FOR A SECOND that a quality Halo 3D cartoon, available ONLY on Xbox360 Live would not drive sales of the 360... For Microsoft, this is a WASTED opportunity.

Similarly a quality Mario cartoon, or quality Zelda/Metroid/Pokemon cartoons can drive Wii sales and generate significant additional product sales and ad revenues. I for one think Nintendo is uniquely positioned to bring Anime franchises to the Wii as a start. These compress well, don't need HD-level details, and tend to skew towards Nintendo's existing core demographic.

Have you guys checked out any of the anime on youtube? Tons of it. For a very broad spectrum of viewers -- child to adult For an example of intelligent adult anime, check out "Death Note." I guarantee that any one of you who tries watching "Death Note" past the first episode will be hooked. By the time it hits episode three you'll be in shock.

;-)
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post #21 of 23 Old 01-15-2007, 06:05 PM
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sorry for off topic but


Quote:
Originally Posted by kcabhsalf View Post


It seems that from an engineers standpoint, if it isnt broken, it doesnt have enough functions.


As an engineer, I'll tell you, it is NOT the engineering departments fault for cramming every conceivable thing into an object

it is 100000% marketing/sales departments' fault

we engineers are just the poor suckers who have to make it exist, whether or not its a good idea sometimes

actual conversation from work
marketing guy: "nice product, but can we also add feature X"?"
eng. :"this product is ready to be manufacutred and shipping inside 1 month and you want to add another feature now?"
marketing: "would that be a problem?"
eng:"well, yes we COULD, but only if we ENTIRELY REDESIGN the product effectively making it a new product and move our time to market back 9 months to a year"
marketing: "thats awesome!!! in two months this will kill the competition when we get it on market"
eng: .....wtf ........
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post #22 of 23 Old 01-15-2007, 06:36 PM
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On #3, I believe something along the lines of that will happen. The lead editor of the Wii channel at IGN.com once said that he and his assistant are working on a game that will be available through the virtual console. He was vague, and I doubt that he is personally developing it, but I think it was serious. It was a few months ago, but I remember the tone of his discussion on that issue was serious.
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post #23 of 23 Old 01-16-2007, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamedev123 View Post

So, even if you could click -- for free -- on a new Nintendo Power channel with demos, game videos, game soundtracks, and cartoons based on Nintendo games (with ads inserted of course) -- you wouldn't do it?

Not a chance.

Im sorry, but a console just isnt the place for that. Anyone ever use WEBTV? Possibly the worst internet access attempt in world history. I dont feel like trying to use the wii mote to struggle around the internet with some half a controls(though the pointer would make it a million times easier than other consoles) . If I want to browse the internet, I'll do it on my computer. If I want to download movies, I'll do it on the computer. If I want to play the best high def games, I'll do it on my computer. If I want to play a neat fun game with simple controls, I'll use a console.

While manufacturers have resorted to making consoles nothing more than computers with built in video tuners, they will never compete with a 104 key KB and a mouse, allong with universal add ons like joysticks and what not. Nintendo on the other hand has kept the console true to its roots (I think, I dont actualy know whats inside the Wii) as a simple fun gaming platform. No trying to cram 30 buttons onto a handheld controller, or over complicate the game to the point you need to have physical rehab on your hands after a good game.
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