Open Discussion #2: Looking beyond the mobile Phone

September 22nd, 2006 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Open Discussions | 8 Comments »

Finally the second open discussion at the mobile games & gaming blog has started. Today the discussion will be about new devices to create your games on. The trigger for this discussion is Apple who released their iPod games which are based on J2me (correct me if I’m wrong) and Adobe who made device profiles for the iRiver MP3 player available on the FlashLite platform. What will be next (Zune?), and is this al good for us? Let us know below, no registration required!

    8 Responses to “Open Discussion #2: Looking beyond the mobile Phone”

    1. pascal says:

      it might be a good thing if they all run on j2me (or atleast some standard) and actually follow that standard 🙂
      recently we checked out the hip-top devices because we figured they had a very great distribution system (on the handset!) but it simply wasn’t possible to just run the generic j2me code and at the end of the day it was simply another phone requiring new tweaks and testing.
      from a business point of view, the more people play “pick-up and go” games inbetween daily tasks, the better obviously.
      but for developers let’s just hope these gadgets will stick to standards and not modify them.
      in a few more years all these gadgets are the same thing, all in one : mp3-player, pda, phone, internet, chatting, games,etc,etc.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Agree with Pascal on the last paragraph:
      “in a few more years all these gadgets are the same thing, all in one : mp3-player, pda, phone, internet, chatting, games,etc,”
      With Flash (Lite) support in mobile device web browsers becoming more standard, perhaps we

    3. Anonymous says:

      Correction to the 4th paragraph:
      “If we were to rely all of _you_ business on Flash Lite (when it has reached a position of standard), we’d be eager to close our eyes for other possibilities, for natural reasons.”
      …of course meant “all of _our_ business”.

    4. The best thing about being a smaller developer myself is that no matter
      what the platform or media is at the end of the day I am able to adapt
      the engine code quickly to the target.
      Basically I do hope that Flash Lite will become popular but of course we just
      don’t know if it will be.
      j2me is still with us for a few years yet but you do have to wonder that we
      have already reached the limit of what it can do in reality and that makes for
      a lot of rather samey published product in the mobile games arena.
      I am looking forward to the day that we can all move on and make more revenue
      from it, as for now in the most part; there is just too much product to go round on
      j2me with not enough consumers buying it (or indeed even knowing how to!).
      There is room for all of us here but what hope is there left if we all keep releasing
      j2me titles into a crowded/overflowing small (on global population basis) pot of actual
      paying consumers.
      Therefore I also hope in the future that Flash Lite will somehow offer the ability for the
      consumer to download and use software more easily than j2me currently offers whilst
      allowing more interesting and improved game design.
      Just how many versions/themes can you write Sudoku in j2me for god sake (5 in my case alone!).
      It’s either that or we all stick with j2me and the big hitters sink cash into consumer
      awareness/learning programs of some sort to increase the consumer mass that actually
      pays for and downloads games including new users who don’t know how else I see the
      whole industry as not doomed, but rather claustrophobic in size regards future growth
      and revenue potential.

    5. I apologise for all the line breaks above as I composed my blog contribution in an external editor and then pasted it in 😛

    6. Alessandro says:

      First numbers. Numbers of iPod don’t even get close to the number of mobile phones sold.
      Nokia sold 10 N-series in few months. I do not think iPod will be able to reach those numbers .
      Flash Lite is great becuase the development time/cost is reduce drastically and a developer can focus more on usability and experience.
      I do not see J2ME developers shifting toi iPod development. J2ME is standardize, all mobile phones have it.
      Also, this is something that everyone forget it all the time, having an iPod means to have a computer. Without the syncing the iPod is dead!
      I think this is the major reason of why mobile developers will stick with mobile phone development. Their content can be bought and used without the need of a computer. I personally think that Flash Lite has the chance to have a great impact on mobile content, but it will take sometime as J2ME did at it’s early stage.

    7. Tom Hume says:

      Flash has been available on Symbian since it was ported back in 1999. It’s consistently failed to reach the mass market, despite being excellent. I think this is down to Macromedia pursuing some fairly baroque commercial models (charging end-users for the player?), and to their tight control of implementations – the latter meaning that whilst quality of Flash players is high, they’re just not out there in sufficient numbers.
      Like it or not, J2ME is where it’s at today. It’s not perfect, but comparing the future promise of Flash everywhere to the reality of J2ME today isn’t an apples-and-oranges comparison.

    8. Evan says:

      I’d like to add the great thing about all these new devices is the ease of porting to them. We created a game in two months for two devices at the same time, which simplified the crossover. The game is written for both a Nokia 6680 and an iriver clix (which handles animation much better than the phone). If we had tried to do the same in J2ME it would have taken us 4-5 months. With new additions like the CHUMBY coming out the market will only grow exponentially for us flash lite developers. There is a tidal wave coming and we’re all paddeling out ; )

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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