czwartek, 17 lutego 2011

Few words about mobile games design

Yes, it's almost 5 years since I began with mobile games. The first real game was PickPics project. I worked on it in 2007 during my one semester long stay on Technical University of Denmark. The app was targeting s60 devices and took advantage of some augmented reality mobile library thanks to it provided unique experience of augmented reality memory game.
The cards with different pictures were put on the real table on which laid AR pattern. Open GL graphics was rendered over camera real time video stream.
Was quite fun, we won the Nokia competition in Denmark with this app and travelled to Budapest to Nokia Tech Days to present the app.

My favourite picture from this app:

If you interested in augmented reality or in PickPics project, read more here:

Almost five years lasted, I have changed my mind a lot. I observed many brilliant people, talked with them, learned a lot. Finally I even read some books about games design and indeed they point some important mechanisms, useful tips to create something attractive for the user.

So my final notion is that all mobile games should be about one feature. It's the core issue here:


Easy to say, but hard to do, isn't it? Yeap, but I will give you some real examples. These will not be the promoted games of big companies, I will give you examples of games created in very short time by single developers. Let's take a look on my colleague blockbuster - Untangle Me. Game looks like this:

This androidzoom image shows the gameplay. Quite simple, isn't it? This free app has been downloaded over 650 000 time during 3 months. It took about 6 hours to my friend mkoss to implement it...
Now people send the emails like: "I cannot pass the level 168, I think it is impossible to solve it". On level 168 there are something like 70 vertices to move, it takes more than hour to solve the puzzle like this. This means people play for weeks in such simple games.

My friend mkoss published more than 40 free apps in android market. Some of them are clones of others but still one point can be noticed. Each next game looks better and simply has better quality.
Yeap, during my one month long vacation in India and Nepal I learned that it is worth to create things of high quality. It is especially related to game development. So my high point is:


And what does quality mean? You will learn on each Prince 2 or other project management methodology course that quality means... 


And this clearly defines my way.  Not only game development, but whole life way.
There are some other points worth to remember: let user see progress, give the player some startup, easy to achieve prizes,  easy to play hard to master and so on. 
On the other hand hearing from all around so many talks and reading so many blogs about just borning consumer minimalism there appears another rule for me. I have read in some Finnish newspaper that some Scandinavian furniture companies start to say "One chair is enough". Ok I'm thinking of this and having in mind another thought for mobile platform games design. 


I have taken in mind all of this. I am trying to perform better and better. Now I am focusing on having it all done in Throw The Fish game. Let's wait for description and some screen shots in next post. 

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