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Posts tagged ‘games’

New game from Chompgames – Word Hunt

Hi all,

I first apologise for the long break from blogging. Yes, the last quarter has been busy as an evangelist at Nokia. Recently out of my love for Flash, I re-skinned one of my old keypad games and published it to the Ovi Store. It’s currently available for Free – limited period.

Word Hunt is a keypad version of my own popular game, Happy Sun. Happy Sun made enormous amounts of downloads on the Ovi Store. The game is basically jumbling letters to make meaningful words. You can also request for clues.

A game Score ticker in Flash as3

Well, I have been doing a lot of small code UI components that are heavily reused. One such component that I made today was a game score ticker. Remember seeing scrolling numbers in lottery or jackpot genre games, where the numbers keeps flipping until a target number? If you have been playing games, you would have noticed similar elements being used score displays on HUDs in games.

I recently created a similar cmoponent which I intent to use in a future game. But since this can be used useful to others I thought I should share the code behind it. I am not making it a perfect component that is completely customizable. But its very easy to change its features. The slider above allows you to check the functioning of this component, but is no way tagged to the slider component (Illustration purpose only).

Benefits –

1. Simple to skin and extend – its just a movieclip that you can explore and edit.

2. There is also a feature where you can make it blink. Blinking is quite an important glitter effect as it can capture the player’s attention. It can be used when user crosses a milestone or a high score.

3. Designed for 4 digit numbers but easy to extend.

Usage is pretty simple –

simply use (MovieClipName).showValue(numberToShow: String, milestone :int);

// First parameter is the number to which the score ticker scrolls to (0 – 9999). Second parameter is the milestone(0-9999).

You can use this component available as a MovieClip in this FLA(Download). You are free to modify / re-use / distribute it. But I ll be glad if you simply drop in a comment here.

Flash is not here to live, but conquer…!!

I am writing this post after a Flash / Flex user group meeting. I am writing this post after seeing some of the unreleased or Alpha features of the next Flash player. I am writing this post after experiencing with the Molehill 3D Api.

Flash is ubiquitous, from connected TVs to handphones, from PCs to chumby devices. Yes we all know that. There have been hardships in packaging Flash lite content on Nokia phones( most widespread phone) and suffered in controversies from Apple. We also know that. But what I see is a new dimension of Flash that has emerged over the few years. Social gaming has become so big that it has overhauled Electronic Arts. Adobe saw the tablet and devices explosion coming in 2009 and started the Openscreen Project, to bring its technology on all range of devices. And today, flash is sitting on every device I can imagine. So I do strongly believe that Flash is gonna be around for quite some time in our future ( in fact, fabricate our digital future).

The number of people playing games on the internet and facebook is easily higher than those playing on their XBox, PSPs. MAC and Linux users have always felt the deficiency of mind blowing 3D games. Whereas, Windows users have the luxury of DirectX. Adobe, shortly is going to release Molehill API which was demo’ed last year in Adobe MAX, which is cross-platform. Get a glimpse, here. Can you imagine this amount of 3D content running inside the browser and being GPU accelerated ?

Google and few other companies together launched (few months back), webGL plugins on Google Chrome. But the problem with them is, the web programmer has to learn OpenGL (which is a night-mare to even hardcore coders). So, its going to take atleast half- a decade for web developers to create content on WebGl. And the only way, I see 3D games coming to the browser is through Flash. Again, here there is a challenge. Analyzing gaming trends on facebook and mobiles tells us that casual games are making it big than graphics rich, GPU accelerated games. But if you had seen the Molehill demo I saw, you would be convinced that EA Sports would soon launch the next iteration of Need for Speed on facebook or mobiles.

Flash has also moved to other streams like support for new game controller devices and also 3D Video playback( yes, no joke). These seem pretty exciting.

As many predict, the rise of HTML5 will dethrone Flash in a few ways. Flash based ads will soon extinguish. Many youtube videos might be in the new HTML5 video format. More and more, visual effects and eye-candy will be created in HTML5. It may lose to native mobile applications in performance. But from what I see, Adobe’s focus has moved. With AIR, its targeting Desktop applications. Most RIAs today are created on Adobe AIR. Adobe’s evangelists are now focusing more on showcasing Flash as a gaming and enterprise applications platform. And few years down the line, we might see Flash reigning in an all together new space.

New Game Design Contests

Via Forum Nokia post, I came to know about the MoMinis mobile game contest. Of course, IMGA is also open and accepting submissions 🙂

MoMinis

Getting back to MoMinis, the game rules are  listed here and requires you to use the Mo’ Minis studio tool for game engineering.

Whereas, at the prestigious IMGA contest, you can build your game on / for any mobile platform like java or Flash Lite or anything deployable into a phone.  And remember that IMGA is analogous to Holy grail 🙂 The biggest game development competition and hopefully I have my game ready by then.

Games On Symbian – Scope And Dimensions

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.

 

Location

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.

Reference :

Games on Symbian, released by Symbian Press.

 

 

Adobe Flash Mobile Gallery Started At Last

Adobe has now new Flash Lite Mobile Gallery showcasing Flash Lite wallpapers, screen savers, games and applications from various Flash Lite
flmobgal.jpg companies, individual developers and designers around the world. I just haven’t gotten into it a lot yet, but I will some day.

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