GDC08: Disney to spread the magic via DGamer for DS

New gaming network to link Disney video games together

GDC08: Disney to spread the magic via DGamer for DS

Disney Interactive has announced a striking new initiative called DGamer at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week.

Combining social networking, an achievement system similar to Xbox Live's and parental controls, DGamer brings the company's video games together on a unified software platform. It tracks games played for registered users, as well as 'honours' earnt through the course of playing those titles.

Much like N-Gage Points, honours are small accomplishments tied directly to progress in a game. Producer Michelle Golding demonstrated exactly how to unlock honours in Disney's first enabled game, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. As you play through the game completing missions and mini-games, a small dialogue pops up whenever you've opened an honour. Simple.

There's more to the software than just unlockables, too. Such as the ability to create avatars and then customise them using items awarded from DGamer-supported titles, which adds a personal element to the programme.

Additionally, you can communicate with other users and compile a friends list. It's worth noting that you can connect with another user locally or through the overall DGamer network via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The only drawback is that it runs independently of whatever game you're playing, so you have to quit the game and launch DGamer on its own to toy around with it.

Beginning with the release of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian for Nintendo DS this May, DGamer will essentially hook into the backend of the domain.

It's a way of bringing in games to the larger Disney network, Golding believes. Initially the service will launch as specific to Nintendo DS, but the intent is to expand to include other platforms such as PSP and Xbox 360.