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evelyn

How shitty are these handsets to work on??

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evelyn    938
Hi all, Does anyone have experience developing/porting games onto the below handsets?..the reason I ask is because we've been asked to pitch to do a 'racing' (loosly termed) type game and I believe these are the worst handsets to develop for.....could you tell me what problems are associated with them and IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO DEVELOP FOR THEM? * Sony Ericsson T610, T630, Z600, K500i, K700i, S700i, z1010, V800 * O2 X2, X3, X4 * Samsung E600, E700, E710, E800, z100, z107 * Sagem myx7, myc5, myv55, myv65, myv75 * Panasonic X600 * Sharp GX10, GX15, GX20, GX25, GX30 * Motorola V3, V80, V550 ANY help/critisms gratefully received...thx

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shmoove    821
Quote:

* Sony Ericsson T610, T630, Z600, K500i, K700i, S700i, z1010, V800

The T610 and T630 are teh suck! They are bad bad bad. The latency for graphics is huge! Getting over 5 fps on them is almost impossible. One hint: They have 80 KB of video RAM. If you load more images than the video RAM can handle you can say good bye to your framerate. If you are making networked apps then the little earth icon that appears in the corner is drawn unsynchronized with the MIDlet's draw requests - double, triple and quadruple buffering won't help you, the screen will flicker. A real nightmare.
The rest of them are actually very good. Some of them (all of them?) have the Nokia UI and a similar resolution to Series 60 so porting to/from Series 60 is a snap (except without most of the Series 60 bugs).

Quote:

* Samsung E600, E700, E710, E800, z100, z107

I don't know the z's, but the e's are OK. Pretty average performance wise and I haven't noticed any big problems with the VM. You can only download OTA though, unless you get some pirate firmware (not recommended, it might wreck the phone).

Quote:

* Motorola V3, V80, V550

Quite nice. Your run-of-the-mill MIDP 2.0 devices. Some issues with sound.

shmoove

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evelyn    938
Thx for your answer Schmoove....... I take it YOU wouldn't work with any of the Ericssons then?...as I say, we've been asked if we want to pitch for a game using all these devices....in your opinion, are there developers out there that can easily work with these devices..or is it a matter of 'no way!' if they can avoid it. I'm really lost as to whether it is really feasable and worth the effort to run a good game on these sub Ser60's...it would be nice to do another 'branded' game but if it's gonna cause lots of hassle, I'm wondering if it'd be worth it?.

I'd be grateful for any thoughts on this...it's a quagmire of a dilema (spelling probably sucks!)

[Edited by - evelyn on February 18, 2005 6:36:53 PM]

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shmoove    821
Quote:
Original post by evelyn
Thx for your answer Schmoove....... I take it YOU wouldn't work with any of the Ericssons then?..

Well, unfortunately, the T6xx series is a very popular line, so I didn't have a choice. It wasn't fun.

Quote:
as I say, we've been asked if we want to pitch for a game using all these devices..and as we're still 'new' my instinct says we'd have a helluva trouble trying to do it in the normal timeframe...

What would the normal timeframe be? The rest of those phones shouldn't be too much trouble, so that's also something to consider.

Quote:

in your opinion, are there developers out there that can easily work with these devices..or is it a matter of 'no way!' if they can avoid it. I'm really lost as to whether it is really feasable and worth the effort to run a good game on these sub Ser60's...it would be nice to do another 'branded' game but if it's gonna cause lots of hassle, I'm wondering if it'd be worth it?.

There are a few places that specialize in porting (ie, Tira Wireless). In the end it's probably worth it, since in the mobile world [a good brand]+[a game design that appeals to casual gamers]=[the big bucks]. It's not easy but it can really pay off.

What kind of game would we be talking about?

shmoove

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evelyn    938
Shmoove - it is basically a racing game (of which we intend to use the engine we're currently developing for motocross) but I cannot divulge the name as there will be several companies pitching for it...if we get the contract then, obviously, I'll let ya know :)

We did get a copy of Tira Jump from the publisher, although I don't think it'll help us with our current game as it's been programmed in a way not suitable for Tira apparantly...so we shall see what rabbit comes out of the hat in our pitch and, hopefully, if we get the contract, it can be programmed in a way that we can use Tira Jump.

Thx again!....and if anyone else has experience in working with these other phones, please let me know....

[Edited by - evelyn on February 18, 2005 6:19:02 PM]

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abstractworlds    194
The T610s also vary in performance depending on which firmware you use, we found that the v3 firmware doubled the performance over v1 firmware:
StrangeMaze 3D benchmark
T610s aren't so bad, we've had to deal with worse phones not on your list that have had buggy MIDP, too small small midlet size limitations, etc.


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shmoove    821
Quote:
Original post by abstractworlds
The T610s also vary in performance depending on which firmware you use, we found that the v3 firmware doubled the performance over v1 firmware:
StrangeMaze 3D benchmark
T610s aren't so bad, we've had to deal with worse phones not on your list that have had buggy MIDP, too small small midlet size limitations, etc.

The problem is you can't assume the customers will have the upgraded firmware. And the original firmware is terrible.

shmoove

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Skizz    794
Well, for the low end SE T6xx and T3xx there's always the option of using mophun. It will mean having two code bases as mophun is purely C/C++.

Skizz

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shmoove    821
Also, the T6xx are pretty decent when it comes to performing calculations. It's drawing images where they seem to choke. That's something to consider when viewing the benchmark, since that's for a raycaster and from what I remember there was not a single image in there. Although I guess for a racing game most of the screen is probably going to be traced too.

shmoove

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evelyn    938
Nice site Abstractworlds :)

Being wrong about Tira, if we get the pitch then we'll be doing everything ourselves without any middleware...so it'll be a challenge if nothing else :)

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CalvinCoder    139
Quote:
Original post by evelyn
Hi all,
* Sony Ericsson T610, T630, Z600, K500i, K700i, S700i, z1010, V800
* O2 X2, X3, X4
* Samsung E600, E700, E710, E800, z100, z107
* Sagem myx7, myc5, myv55, myv65, myv75
* Panasonic X600
* Sharp GX10, GX15, GX20, GX25, GX30
* Motorola V3, V80, V550



The T630 doesnt really have the same issues as the older T610 had, like mentioned above. T610-series phones (which also includes T630 and Z600) are not extremly fast phones, but they are okey to develop for.

The pre RC2 T610 had big issues with firmware, but dont worry about that anymore really. No one cares about the older firmware of the T610 anymore, with good reasons. Those phones are pretty old now and most of them are not among us anymore (R.I.P)... In other words, owners that had those has more or less moved to newer phones and people that havent had T610 for such long time usually have bought a newer T610 with newer firmware so the problem is really not that big anymore... I dont say it isent there but you dont gain anything on focusing on it (unless your client specific tell you so). To say like this, do you think Macrospace, JAMDAT (which we have created THUG for), Gameloft and other big ones care about the older T610? Look at their games and you see the answer.

However, T610-series phones are doing parallel processing so with certain technics, you can achieve acceptable framerates. But like with many other "smaller devices" the FPS want make you fly away.

Like mentioned above, the main problem with T610-series phones is the video mem limit. Though, hmm wonder if it is pre-R3C which has limit of image width/height too which cant be wider and/or higher than the screen size.

Those other SE phones are good so not any big problems there.

I dont know if you are going do use any networking from you game, but the GX10 has limit of where it can connects (just like applets) which is only to the place the midlet was downloaded from. Not sure of GX15 if it has that limit, but GX20 and GX30 does not.

Also, we have found some issuse with GX10 with images that has uneven (odd) width. Not all cases but it seems to appear on bigger images.

Some of the phones you list are quite important, SE being most and Motorola next, though that is a matter of where this games will be distributed as the O2 phones are of course very important if the deal is with O2 etc....

[Edited by - CalvinCoder on February 17, 2005 4:58:00 PM]

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CalvinCoder    139
Quote:
Original post by evelyn
Nice site Abstractworlds :)


Just a small tip, dont trust that site 100% coz it is not properly accurate :-) There is many techniques you can use to optimize on different devices so this tests doesnt show the through face of it all :-) It is actually pretty wrong under several circumstances but of course, this test is a benchmark of the StrangeMaze app....

EDIT: QUOTING CRAP MISTAKE

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
The multi-media on several of these phones is powered by external co-processors by people like TI. Many of these have proprietery instruction sets (and indeed capabilities). Working in the industry I have been exposed to some of these, and they do not program in Java (not at least for the really impressive stuff!) - although some might host java engines, which won't be able to expose the true power of these things. I don't know how java works on these - may be its fairly easy, but when you work on the raw hardware there are all the usual embeded issues such as tiny amounts of memory, usually no [native] FP implementations.

Is it a good idea to develop for them ? it rather depends on the market you're aiming at - the asian markets are generally highly receptive, euopean and american markets are far more backward. What ever you do you must get your revenue model sorted out carefully - and in some places the networks will screw you quite badly.

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evelyn    938
Thanks for the replies guys!..this is helping a lot :)

The T610 is a 'nice to have' but the T630 is a must as it's apparantly very high on the download charts from all of the major operators.

Quote:
CalvinCoder - Also, we have found some issuse with GX10 with images that has uneven (odd) width. Not all cases but it seems to appear on bigger images.

Some of the phones you list are quite important, SE being most and Motorola next, though that is a matter of where this games will be distributed as the O2 phones are of course very important if the deal is with O2 etc....

We had trouble with the GX10 for our first game...nightmare!..no idea where the game would be distributed, we leave that up to the publisher to get the deals done and they seem to be pretty successful, so far. They're in the middle of signing our first game to Kayak now, which is an unexpected bonus and it's going into MIG Asia, so they're making the right connections and I would assume that, whoever gets this latest pitch, will possibly be looking at great sales prospects, depending on the outcome of the game of course.
Quote:

CalvinCoder Quote:Original post by evelyn
Nice site Abstractworlds :)


Just a small tip, dont trust that site 100% coz it is not properly accurate :-) There is many techniques you can use to optimize on different devices so this tests doesnt show the through face of it all :-) It is actually pretty wrong under several circumstances but of course, this test is a benchmark of the StrangeMaze app....

Yep..I realise it's a benchmark of the StrangeMaze app, thx

Question - we've not developed for the Sagems or O2 before..I take it there shouldn't be many problems developing for these, like I first thought?

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markr    1692
T610 with < R2 firmware is a bit annoying - some bugs appear to cause random crashes if you try to do too much.

T610 with >= R2 firmware is a lot better. It graphics are faster and these crashes appear to be gone.

Unfortunately (you guessed it), I have a R1 firmware. However most of my mates seem to have R2 firmware.

The device is not actually all that fast. It has limited video memory. But it seems to be able to handle fairly large MIDlets and has a nice screen.

Don't try to do too much at once, the graphics is fairly limited. If you only have a few things happening, you're fine.

Bear in mind that these phones have hardware double buffering - so don't try to implement your own in software, you'll just slug it terribly.

I believe T630 is similar, but has updated firmware and a better Java VM which is a bit faster.

Mark

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Frank Henry    186
The first SE devices were horrible. The T610 is very slow and sluggish device.
The later products are quite good.

Samsungs, Sagem, Panasonic and Sharp (some) have the inherit problem of only being able to download apps via wap.

Motorola are all slow, but ok.

Still they each have their little features which will surely drive you mad!

@Benchmark:
Very interresting results.
at benhui.net you can find similar tests but with JSR184 (3d).

I think it would be of interrest to all to have one unified test that could test a number of things.
f.e. some implementations of the JSR184 have 'features' causing the same methods to take longer on one device even though it would otherwise be faster.

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evelyn    938
Thx Frank for the info and benhui address - never come across this before :)

Quote:
Still they each have their little features which will surely drive you mad!

Luckily, we have brill techies who are amazing and just get on with it, regardless of any difficulties - the madness arises when our designs, which would ideally be played on console/pc, have to be reigned-in to match the constraints of the smallest of devices - really frustrating!

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kbateman    122
As for the Sony Ericsson 500 and 700 series, they are absolutely fine, they also as was mentioned support the Nokia UI (without the bugs). The K700i is actually my main development phone (on device debugging is EXTREMELY helpful).

I bet shmoove was waiting for me to make my way over here and mention the k700 :-)

As for resources... you'll find shmoove and myself and plenty of others over on j2me.org.

also:

forum.nokia.com
developer.sonyericsson.com
www.benhui.net
www.jasonlam604.com (nice midp2 pdf book)
www.jbenchmark.com (nice performance results database)
synaptic-technologies.blogspot.com (me ranting about issues every now and then)

PS: shmoove, I'm glad you mentioned the "cant guarantee which firmware" point..

One thing that you CAN do ... is on a wap site (which actually does the JAD download), check the HTTP_USER_AGENT header, which has the firmware revision for the T6xx devices I seem to remember... if its R3 or > give it to them, otherwise tell them to go to the service centre :-)

Another slightly funny thing I found on the T6xx (original firmware at least) was if you had it plugged in for charge the performance was EVEN worse because of the animating battery indicator...

Cheers

Kirk Bateman
Synaptic Technologies Limited (UK)

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