Stories from the frontier of mobile gaming
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Stories from the Frontier of Mobile Gaming. Tom Söderlund - 2005-09-20 - Helsinki. Stories from the Frontier of Mobile Gaming. Stories from the past BotFighters - launching a pervasive game mophun - creating the ultimate mobile games platform Where to go now?

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Stories from the frontier of mobile gaming

Stories from the Frontier of Mobile Gaming

Tom Söderlund - 2005-09-20 - Helsinki


Stories from the frontier of mobile gaming1

Stories from the Frontier of Mobile Gaming

  • Stories from the past

    • BotFighters - launching a pervasive game

    • mophun - creating the ultimate mobile games platform

  • Where to go now?

    • Challenges in creating new types of mobile games

    • Areas to explore: mobile MMOG’s, pervasive gaming, proximity gaming, and social toys


My background

My background

  • 2000:It’s Alive!

  • 2004:Daydream

  • 2005:Kayak/Synergenix

  • Also:

    • Swedish Institute for Computer Games

www.synergenix.se

www.sdsi.se


About kayak synergenix

About Kayak/Synergenix

  • Kayak/Synergenix

    • Mobile Games Publisher

    • Offices in San Mateo and Stockholm

  • Focus:

    • Connected Gaming

    • Pushing the Handsets’ Capabilities

    • Mass-market Brands


Games

Games

Lock’n’Load: Rise of War

Rally Pro Contest

Carmageddon

Colin McRae 04

Conflict: Desert Storm

PMGA Miniature Golf


Botfighters

BotFighters

- Creating, launching, and managing a location-based pervasive game


Botfighters the concept

BotFighters: the concept

Cell 4329

Lat/Long 59.16;18.27

”Mannerheiminaukio”


Botfighters the concept1

BotFighters: the concept


Botfighters the game

.:BotFighters:.

Scan completed: MegaBot is at Times Square, 700 m NW.

BotFighters: the game


Launching botfighters

Launching BotFighters

  • Launched in April 2001

  • Distributed in five countries

  • 40’000 registered players worldwide

  • Peak: 4M SMS/month


Player profile

Player profile

  • Age 14-55, average 26

  • 80% male*

    • *Probably related to theme, not game type

  • Urban and rural areas

  • High-tech phones

  • Corporate phone subscriptions


Casual vs hardcore players

Casual vs. Hardcore players

  • The casual BotFighters player

    • ”Plays when on the move”

  • The hardcore BotFighters player

    • ”Moves around to play”


Strong community player stories

Strong community: player stories

  • Taxi31

    • ”The menace of Västkusten”

  • TheMob

    • ”The mobile BotFighters clan”

  • Silver

    • ”The highway avenger”


Botfighters players annual meeting 2002

BotFighters Players Annual Meeting 2002


Botfighters problems

BotFighters problems

  • Difficult to roll out worldwide

    • Location systems not in place

    • Payment solutions not in place

    • High density of players required for a good game experience


The mophun game engine

The mophun™ game engine

- Creating the ’ultimate mobile games platform’


The mophun game engine1

The mophun™ game engine

  • 1999: Started as Ericsson’s game console project, ”Red Jade”

  • 2002: Relaunched as mophun™, signed embedded deal with Sony-Ericsson

    • mophun embedded into T300, T610, etc

    • Online distribution system with DRM

  • 2003: Embedded deal with TTPCom


Mophun second chapter

mophun, second chapter

  • 2003: J2ME phones looks like it will be the dominating mobile games platform

  • 2003: Sony-Ericsson decides to drop mophun

  • 2003: World’s first mobile 3D multiplayer game is launched (mophun-powered)

  • 2005: mophun shifts to become mobile game middleware for Symbian/Brew/Windows phones


Where to go now

Where to go now?

- Challenges and opportunities in new forms of mobile games


New forms of mobile games

New forms of mobile games

  • The sad part

    • Challenges when launching new types of mobile games

  • The fun part

    • New game forms on the horizon


Challenges when launching new types of mobile games

Challenges when launching new types of mobile games

  • Market challenges

    • Strenuous to create a new market

    • Unbalanced value chain

    • Lack of suitable business models

    • Little information about end consumers

  • Technological challenges

    • Technology not reliable

    • Technology not widespread


Mobile phone as game device

Mobile phone as game device

Definite

Possible device characteristics open for exploitation in mobile games

Mobile; different usage scenarios

Form factor

Can belocated

Voice functionality

Messaging

Camera

Online connectivity

Media player

Contacts & calendar

Short-rangecommunication


Mobile phone as game device1

Mobile phone as game device

Mobile; different usage scenarios

Form factor

Can belocated

Voice functionality

Messaging

Camera

Online connectivity

Media player

Contacts & calendar

Short-rangecommunication


Mobile game possibilities

Mobile game possibilities

Multiple users

Multiple phones

Long distance

- Multiplayer/massively multiplayer gaming

Multiple users

Multiple phones

Short distance

- Proximity gaming

Multiple users

One phone

Short distance

- Social toys

Integrated with environment

- Pervasive gaming


Pervasive gaming

Pervasive gaming

  • Always connected, always in the game, the game surrounds you

    • Game blends with your real life

  • Real world as game arena

    • Virtual game world draped ”on top” of the real world

    • Interact with your environment and other players

  • Multi-modal

    • Multiple user interfaces


Examples of pervasive games

Examples of pervasive games

Majestic (2001)

BotFighters (2001)

Undercover (2003)

Mogi Mogi (2003)

R.I.P.

www.botfighters.com

www.undercover2.com

www.mogimogi.com

IPerG: www.pervasive-gaming.org


Mobile mmog s

Mobile MMOG’s

  • Mobile Massively Multiplayer Online Games, “3MOG”

  • New MMOG titles

    • Tuned for mobile usability

  • (Add-ons to PC MMOG’s)

    • Subsets of gameplay

    • Mobile accessories


3mog examples

3MOG examples

  • Tibia (CipSoft)

  • Era of Eidolon (watAgame)

  • Pocket Kingdom (Nokia)

  • Fantasy Worlds: Rhynn (AwareDreams)

  • Spirits (Nokia/Jadestone)

  • Age of Piracy (Nokia/Jadestone)


Proximity gaming

Proximity gaming

  • Proximity gaming

    • Ad-hoc network games with nearby people


Proximity gaming scenario

Proximity gaming scenario

Sue and Bobby are playing together.

Cliff walks by, and can join the game without interruption.

Playfield grows with the addition of Cliff’s spaceship.


Proximity gaming concepts

?

1)

1)

1)

1)

2)

2)

2)

2)

3)

3)

3)

4)

!

!

!

!

!!

!

!

Proximity gaming concepts

  • Ad hoc game sessions

  • Connection and disconnection as game event

  • Anonymity

  • Distributed game world

  • Persistency between sessions - pseudo-persistent game worlds

  • Viral behavior

  • Involving non-player persons


Social toys

Social toys

  • Mobile phone as social entertainment device

    • At home, at the party, in a pub, on the picnic

  • Key features:

    • Always with you

    • Social adaptability

    • Physical device

    • Input: keys, joystick, (pen/touch)

    • Output: graphics, sound, music, vibrations

    • Connectivity


Social game scenario 1

Social game scenario 1

  • At the party

    • ”Truth or Dare”-style

    • Passing the phone around

    • Vibrates when time is out

    • Spin the phone!


Social game scenario 2

Social game scenario 2

  • At home

    • Mom and dad playing a board game

    • Seeing different parts of playfield

    • Daughters don’t want to play, but can interact as spectators


The end

The End

  • Contact:

    • [email protected]

    • +46-70-751 7255


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