I have been doing a random literature survey on the games played on Symbian, their background and other sutleties invloved. We, as users of the Nokia handsets have played several games like Snake or cricket or bounce or FIFA from EA Sports. We know that these have been tremendously successful and have reached millions of users worldwide. All the games listed above use the standard keyboard input and its processing capabilities to entertain people.
This post presents ways to harness the power of the ever-growing Symbian architecture. This article deals with how you can improve the game with just not keypad inputs but also incorporate other hardware features like camera or GPS.
The Manhattan mashup story is simple evidence as how the Camera can be used to entertain the public. This case-study involved taking pictures based on a storyboard/subject. Read more here.
This ‘urban’ game proved to be a massive hit when played at New York in September 2006 and was organised by Nokia reseach labs.
Colortracker is another such game that used the camera effectively for a dimension beyond just capturing images.
Botfighters was one of the earliest games that were based on the Location services. It used the GPS to search for enemy bots and kill them. However, now Location based games are being developed using A-GPS or other technologies such as WLAN . There are several other games that have successfully used the GPS for gaming – Pac Manhattan.
The game Swordfish written in Java ME used A- GPS for location updates and has been wuite popular in Canada and USA. Locomatrix is another such evidence of how quickly GPS ( or Location based ) games are gaining momentum.
3D Motion Sensors
This phenomenon has gained huge response ever since Nintendo Wii made it big. They call it Motion sensor gaming. Input is not through keypad navigation keys but moving or tilting the phone itself. There have been a lot of success stories in this case. Global race that comes preinstalled on Nokia 5800 is a popular example, where the user tilts the phone signal left- right controls to the game. This is one of the most exciting avenues, with more and more mobile handsets having incorporated the sensors inside its hardware. Til Tracer or tunnel Run are other examples built on this phenomenon.
This video will hint you, how interesting tilt based games can be.
Proximity / Presence
Mobslinger is one of the first games to be developed on proximity/ presence division. Mobslinger runs as a background application on Symbian Series 60 smartphone which periodically scans for other users in the vicinity who are also running the mobslinger application. Once detected, a countdown timer is initiated on both phones which alerts the user by sounding an alarm and vibrating the phone. The user then has to ‘draw’ their mobile and enter the randomly generated number which has appeared on the screen as quickly as possible. The person with the fastest time is the winner and the loser is ‘killed’, which means their application is locked out from game-play for a set period of time.
You can watch the video at this link.
The concept appeared in September in Fifth international conference on Entertainment computing by a group of enthusiasts. However, one has to say that not many games have come out on this scheme.
So, games today have evolved greatly from just keying in controls to the numpad. There are new dimensions and hence more spaces for game development.
Games on Symbian, released by Symbian Press.