1. Nelson Zagalo, University of Minho, Portugal
Universidade do Minho
Seminar for the Master on Social Media and Web Technologies,
Linnaeus University, Sweden, 8 May 2012
2. Video Games
Involves interaction with electronic device.
Requires receptor participation to become, the
Genre defines the way player interact and make
sense of games.
Games are made of mechanics and story, and some
games only have mechanics.
Are “supposed” to be fun.
3. Mobile Games
Mobile games are defined by the platform.
Platforms as phones, smart phones, and tablets,
which are defined by technologies and OS.
Technologies as Palm OS, Symbian, Adobe Flash
Lite, Java ME, Apple iOS, Windows Phone 7 or
Java is the most common programming language
used for mobile games (for the iOS is objective-c).
1. Brief Story
2. Platforms / OS
5. Game Design
6. Brief Story
NOKIA, the pioneer
Was not only part of the mobile phone rising
success, but was also responsible for the
introduction of games in Mobiles.
In 1997 launched Snake with Nokia 6110.
Designed by Taneli Armanto, survied nine versions, Snake, 1997, Nokia
and attained 400 million mobile phones.
The game design was not original, the very first
Snake-type game was an arcade game called
Blockade. It was created by Gremlin way back in
Snake has been adapted to almost any game
Blockade, 1976, Gremlin
7. Brief Story
NOKIA, the platform
In 2003 launched a platform N-Gage. A pocket-
size handset, a cross between a Game Boy
Advance and a Mobile Phone. Allowed single
player, but also multiplayer and location-based
playing via Bluetooth or via GPRS.
One of the biggest launches for N Gage was
Tomb Raider (1996) port. It served to demonstrate
the flop that N Gage would come to be. Game
Boy Advance didn’t had yet any such fully 3D
action adventure games.
Main reason to fail: trying to adapt console
games to mobile platform. Tomb Raider, 2003, Eidos
8. Brief Story
After the success of the urban chase Can You See
Me Now? (2003) game developed by Blast
Theory and the Mixed Reality Lab at Ars
Electronica 2003. They were using GPS and PDA.
Nokia invested in the launch of location-based
games that would be using Bluetooth and Cell
Network technologies. Can you see me now?, 2003, Blast Theory
Undercover by the portuguese Y-Dreams was one
of the first Massively Multiplayer Mobile games in
Main reason to fail: the prohibitive costs of
Undercover 2, 2005, Y-Dreams
9. Brief Story
Apple, the iRevolution
In June 2007 Apple unveiled the iPhone.
Launched as a revolutionary platform for Music, Phone and Internet. Started as
a true revolutionary gaming platform with the launch of the App Store in 2008.
10. Brief Story
Google, response to Apple
In November 2007 Google plus 86 hardware/software/telecom companies
launched the initiative Open Handset Alliance.
They launched the Open Source OS, Linux based, Android.
11. Brief Story
Nokia unites with Microsoft
Nokia didn’t integrate Google OHA, an so continued alone to support Symbian
OS. However on February 11, 2011, Nokia announced that it would migrate from
Symbian to Windows Phone 7.
Nokia on Symbian OS 3 Nokia on WP7
14. Platforms / OS
The 3 survivors
Today the game mobile market is dominated by two types of mobile platforms –
smartphones and tablets. These are driven by 3 OS.
Google Android Windows Phone Apple iOS
Being Apple the most renowned because of the quality of the App Store. On
the other side Android has the biggest market audience (40%).
Microsoft is only now trying to catch with the Nokia Alliance.
iOS -> Xcode 4
Angry Birds, (2009), Rovio
Xcode is an IDE (integrated
development environment) for
creating apps for iPhone, and iPad.
The Xcode interface seamlessly
integrates code editing, UI design
with Interface Builder, testing, and
debugging, all within a single
Fruit Ninja, (2010), Halfbrick Studios
Microsoft -> XNA 4.0
Kill the Duck, (2010), Andreas Vilela
XNA is a high level game creation
framework for Microsoft devices
including Windows PCs, Xbox 360, and
Windows Phone 7 operating system.
Scribble Defense+, (2012), Elbert Perez
Touch and Multitouch
Multitouch is the ability to recognize the presence of two or more points of contact
with the surface. This multi-point awareness made possible complete new gestural
interfaces as the Pinch to Zoom or touch keyboards.
Using one finger to interact is highly limited for most functions, and so games.
Touch and Multitouch
Fingle (2011) was developed by Game Oven, two colleagues who graduated
from Utrecht School of the Arts, Netherlands. Fingle was Finalist on the Nuovo
Awards of IGF 2012. Made with Xcode and Photoshop in 8 months.
Watch - http://vimeo.com/30639604
23. Game Design
Game design is the core of any game. It doesn’t matter if it is a console
game, a park attraction, or a mobile tiny game. The only thing that really
matter is your Design. However the design must always take into account the
To do that we need to understand what Game Design is made of:
24. Game Design
Let’s pick 3 of the most successful Mobile Games.
Space - confined to one screen
Objects - confined to one character at the time
Actions - confined to mostly one action per time
Rules - very short levels
Skills - visual cognition and hand-eye coordination
Uncertainty – luck mixed with skill failure
Summary: Short duration experiences in restricted space, with restricted number of
characters and actions. Rewarding problem solving which are driven through physical
The Mobile Games market in 2012 is more important and
powerful than ever.
Angry Birds is one of the most played Video Game in
history with 700 million downloads this March 2012. Cut the
Rope has made more then 100 Million, and Doodle Jump
more than 15 million.
Mobile games is becoming more and more present in the
video game triple A media, robbing attention from the
handheld market (Nintendo 3DS, Sony PS Vita).
The number of paying players
has grown 35% to 37 million
American players spend in
total five times more on iOS
games than on Android games.
For both Android and iOS
devices, the majority of money
is not spent on downloading
games but within the games
Apple (iPhone) is now the most valuable company in the world.
Rovio (Angry Birds) reports high profits from 2011.
Nintendo (3DS) reports the first annual loss in 30 years, in 2011.
Sony (PS Vita) reports losses of $3.2 billions in 2011.
30. Universidade do Minho
Nelson Zagalo, firstname.lastname@example.org