SMS Game Development. Making the Most of a Sucky Technology. Greg Costikyan. www.ungames.com ... In most games, the result of interaction can be minor (turn left 30 ...
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Making the Most of a Sucky Technology
Built into GSM from the startso everyone in Europe can “text” everyone else
20 b + messages exchanged every month
Not yet successful in North Americacarrier walled gardens breaking down but lower prices for voice & pager/IM availability may continue to keep this smaller here
Server is assigned a “Phone Number”
Header info identifies user’s phone number; server parses, processes, responds to user.
SMSC must know that phone number = server’s IP address—game service must have a deal with the carrier!
Carrier can choose to charge more or less for a game’s messages, or to charge a flat fee for a game.
Revenues shared with game service
Marketing cost in making users aware of phone number to message
Try to keep it to <10 messages per game (or 1-3 per day for games played over a period of time)
Can break into multiple messages, but each costs money…
That’s basically 25 words or less.
Localizing generally increases the number of characters in text.
Abbrev. if can keep clear.
Cn u use txting abbrevs?
Put rules in separate “Help” message.
Test all boundary conditions.
This: looks like this:
But it’s not true of all game styles:
Demand the least text entry possible.
Interaction at discrete, separated moments.
Each message really must count
“Slow update” games.
Limited-interaction large-scale multiplayer games
Handful of players
B&W bitmapped images (72x28)
Ring tones (single voice)
B&W images, max 1k (32x32)
Flip animations (32x32, 4-frame)
Ringtones & sounds
10 pre-installed sounds
Sound: AMR, WAV
No limit to message length
Algorithmic, not Instantial
Ericsson info & emulator for MMS:http://www.ericsson.com/mobilityworld/sub/open/technologies/messaging/index.html?PU=messaging(requires free registration)