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Mobile games... content?

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Has anyone done any studies on what game types are best suited to which mediums? I ask because I''ve noticed something in my personal play styles. When playing a game on my mobile phone I tend to prefer slower turn based games like chess. The reason being I tend to play games on my mobile whilst travelling and generally being jostled quite a bit. This makes playing fast paced action games much harder as your ''twitch'' gaming reflexes also have to account external movements (long winded way of saying people tend to bash my arm just before I make the killing shot!). Hence turn based games that dont rely on twitch reactions may be better for mobile gaming. I''m wondering what other people think.

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I think that you''ve picked up on one of many issues that need to be taken into account when designing games for mobile phones. Mobile phone games are different to games for PCs/consoles/GBAs because:

1. Different audience, male/female ratio is more equal, casual/non-gamers rather than hardcore gamers, gaming is a secondary function of the device, primarily used as a phone

2. Played in awkward public areas, not in the comfort of own home

3. Played whilst waiting for something, to kill time, e.g. means of travel to arrive, journey to end, waiting for friend to arrive, adverts on TV to finish, laundry to dry, etc. You don''t intentionally plan your day and set aside time to play on your mobile phone.

4. Played for short amounts of time

5. Small screens

6. Limited methods of user input

7. Limited processing power

8. Limited space for graphics within application

etc.

I don''t think one genre will win in this market, as it''s down to personal taste, but each genre needs to adapt to the medium. For instance, fast action games need simple input, even with just one hand, they should get around the lack of concurrent key presses (something not available in J2ME), and should get around the problem of small screen sizes (you don''t want your main character to just comprise of 3 pixels). Certainly some genres are easier to implement, e.g. puzzle games.

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Im big into pocketPC development, and yes I found that you have to totally design a new method of game playing on a mobile game, by this I mean mostly with respects to how the input is given to the game. The game pads and buttons usually suck on PocketPC''s mobile phones etc...so you have to design around that, now the mobile phone has more buttons so action games (minus the reason you gavE) is viable, but such a game on pocketPC just usually (for me at least) doesnt translate well due to the fact that there is at most a dpad and 4 buttons and its a crappy dpad. Most good games on PocketPC use the stylus or two buttons or something like that. I would say a great deal are turn based, or at least "sim based" as in they run real time but can be paused etc at any moment and effectivly become turnbased.

Thats how I see mobile development for sure.

-Shane

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