Mdc2010 Casual Game Dev
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Mdc2010 Casual Game Dev

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    Mdc2010 Casual Game Dev Mdc2010 Casual Game Dev Presentation Transcript

    • Casual Games on Mobile Mukul Joshi, Director & CEO SpotOn Software Pvt. Ltd [email_address] www.spotonsoft.com
    • Roadmap
      • Why the topic?
      • Glimpses of mobile game world
      • Before you begin the game development
      • Mobile game development
      • Commercialization
      • Road ahead
      • Q & A
    • Why the topic? What are casual games really? Why the topic in devcon? What do analysts say?
    • What makes a game casual? Who is a casual gamer and who is a hard-core gamer? Lets have a pop up quiz
    • What makes a game casual?
      • Targeted at Mass audience
      • Can fit in any genre (puzzle, card, board etc.)
      • Requires no special skills to play
        • Simple gameplay
        • Ability to quickly reach final stage
      • Requires no long term commitment to play
        • Allowing game play in short bursts
      • Typical user is older, high female population
    • Why have them on mobile?
      • Targeted at Mass audience
      • Can fit in any genre (puzzle, card, board etc.)
      • Require no special skills to play
        • Simple gameplay
        • Ability to quickly reach final stage
      • Require no long term commitment to play
        • Allowing game play in short bursts
      • Typical user is older, high female population
    • Lets talk about India
      • Indian Mobile gaming market is growing in excess of 200% for the next two years; expected to reach $450 Million in 2012 Source: www.pluggd.in
      • Informate research shows that time spent on mobile phone gaming is around 7.5% of the total time spent on mobile phones, among those who play game at least once in a month
        • While this is only a small part of the overall time spent on entertainment (40%,largely mobile music), the time spent on mobile gaming has shows an increase over previous month
      • The choice of game selection differs with the age-group and gender
        • 18-30 aged youths account for the higher-than average time spent on games
      • While the most popular mobile games are of the established genre ( Card, Puzzle, Arcade ) , there is a spike in popularity for mobile games inspired by Hollywood, Bollywood movies and Cricket Source: financial express
      • Huge window of opportunity for the VAS providers with the entertainment hungry Indian youth willing to explore the world of mobiles and mobile internet
      • Host of India-based Game production companies sprouting given the lively market, enriching the competition and providing ever-increasing variety of games for all ages
    • Mobile games is a hot market
      • Not just in India but World-Wide
      • iPhone has made it even bigger
      • Most of you are developers
        • Launch your products
        • Work for your services customers
      • Likely that you will come across this VAS segment
      • Hence we are here
    • Lets look at a few of them Categories/Types Differentiators Challenges
    • Single player games Snake – Nokia 1997 Bubble breaker Win mobile Puzzle Bobble Taito Corp Bejewelled Accelerometer game Card game
    • Important categories
      • Text based games (Bot fighter)
      • Location based (Treasure hunt)
      • Multiplayer
      • Social
      • You need to understand the challenges with the nature of the game
    • Multiplayer gaming challenges
      • Where and when people play?
        • There is plenty of idle time while travelling
        • Are the places or the time slots suitable for gaming
      • Interrupts in playing
        • Phone calls, messaging
        • Flat battery
        • Non-tech interrupts (bus coming etc.)
      • Communication
        • Mobile networks
          • Price
          • Latency
        • Local radio (WiFi, Bluetooth)
      • Social pressure
        • The average age of gamers is rising
        • Now within 10 –35 years range in general
        • Is gaming yet socially accepted?
    • Before you begin Game design Choice of platform Testing plans
    • Good design is the key
      • Good games require good design
      • Profitable gaming projects require good design
        • Even if those are services projects
        • Especially fixed bid
      • Lets take an example of iPhone game
    • Game design
    • Understand the roles
      • Creative
        • Pattern
        • Story board
        • Characters
        • Difficulty
        • Scoring
        • Excitement factors
      • Designer
        • Effects
        • Graphics
      • Developers
        • Understand
        • Implement
        • Unit test
      • Testers
        • Many a times the designers
    • Your own game (product)
      • Understand the roles
      • Identify them
      • Put appropriate boundaries
        • Developer in you has the least of say
      • Do not hurry to start development
    • For services customer
      • Make sure you have “sufficient” information
      • Understand you can be profitable when you
        • Deliver in time
        • With expected quality of output
      • Goal – Reduce the time to be spent in
        • Communication gaps
        • Re-development
        • Test – Design – Development iterations
        • Device/Platform issues
    • Issues!
    • Issues contd
      • Main processor
        • Each phone has it’s own processing power
          • Many don’t have floating point support
      • Graphics processor
        • Each phone has its own graphics capabilities
          • Some can do fast 3D
          • Some can do fast 2D but can’t handle 3D
          • Some can barely handle 2D
          • Alpha channel can be a major bottleneck
    • Issues contd
      • Memory
        • Again, each phone has its own
          • Application sizes from 32KB to several MB
          • Heap sizes from 200KB to several MB
          • Almost all combinations exist
      • Audio and video capabilities
        • Each phone supports only a range of formats
          • Some do support all of them
          • The majority does not
    • Issues contd
      • Network capabilities
        • Various limitations
          • Forget about IR
          • Bluetooth can be a pain to support and is highly
          • Unstable when there are “too many” clients
          • Internet connection is usually slow
      • Keyboard
        • Not all phones support multiple key press
        • It’s a cumbersome interface
    • Issues contd
      • Display
        • Holy crap, too many variations
          • “My screen is bigger than yours!”
          • “What color is that?”
        • You usually have to support them all
    • Lets get scared
    • Hats off to glu.com 25000 Different builds for “Transformers” mobile game On average mobile developers are creating 400 builds Google maps targeted 10 platforms, created 100 different builds & my boss wanted it yesterday
    •  
    • Being a master Understand the gravity Learn the basics well
    • Handling different screen sizes
      • Crude way - one build
      • One build doesn't work for rich games/applications
      • Backgrounds - paint in code or tile
      • Vector images - too heavy
      • Compute item positions from screen real-estate
      • Don't do overdetailing
      • And there is aspect-ratio to be considered as well
    • Handling keyboard differences
      • Avoid using keys other than LEFT, RIGHT, UP, DOWN and FIRE
      • Support touch
      • Handle qwerty
      • Add a virtual mouse
        • It's far more intuitive to move a cursor around with phone's joystick or its equivalent rather than use the joystick itself to jump from one screen item to other.
        • Also, it looks ultra cool and familiar to computer users.
      • Don't rely on soft-keys
    • Externalizing parameters
      • Basic I18N: Externalize strings (all messages)
      • Implement intelligent device detection
        • Devices specific tweaks and adjustments can be stored in a config file and loaded depending on the device
      • OTA configurable parameters (server addresses etc)
      • Code must NOT contain other numbers than -1, 0, 1 or 2
      • Give a build to test early
        • Everything should be externalized for the designer to test
    • Double buffering
      • Not suppported by all phones
        • At times the implementations, internally, kill the very purpose of double buffering by flushing it instantly to real screen.
      • Create custom buffer
        • There is a way to create custom secondary buffer by performing all your graphics operations on in memory scratch-image having same size as that of the screen
      • Support sprites (if not supported by platform)
        • Goggle : Bitblt
      • Add compositing
        • What if you wanted to show popups? and Also mouse cursor?
        • You can have several offscreen buffers multiplexed to create layers with z-ordering.
        • Trade off between memory and CPU cycles spent in redrawing the whole screen. Improves things significantly by requiring repaints only for significant changes on the screen.
    • Handling animations & sprites
      • Prefetch
        • Prefetching removes any delays caused by the file format decoders and I/O
      • No memory management operations in game loop
        • Don't malloc() or free() inside game loop. Yes even free() can cause problems.
      • Frequent malloc() will bog down the game
        • Doing malloc() a new sprite as & when required causes fragmentation of memory and after some time subsequent malloc() calls start taking more and more time.
        • Advice: If possible, malloc() all the required memory once, that is, when the game starts.
      • Use weak references with garbage collector.
        • If your language supports automatic garbage collection then using weak references for prefetched objects will ensure that they can be expunged if there is an urgent requirement of memory.
      • Reuse sprites. Use object pooling!
      • Double buffering very imp for Animation
      • Keep animation thread separate from game loop.
    • Sound
      • Prefetch
      • Combine to save file format header space
        • Use position offsets to seek and play appropriate piece in a combined file. (Applies to images as well)
        • Stick to basic formats (if targeting gazillion devices)
          • PCM (Wave), Au work on most of the phones
        • Provide a way for users to adjust volume
          • Not all phones will have direct volume adjustment keys
    • Know the frameworks
      • Cocos2d
      • Chipmunk
      • Unity
      • Oolong
    • Commercialization
    • iPhone story
      • How much can a developer make?
        • Perhaps very little. First 30 days on Apple App Store is crucial.
        • Or, a lot. After 10 days, #1 iFart was making $35K per day
        • But, only 10% of apps are still in use after 3 months; not sticky
        • Avg. cost per app is $2.64 (based on top 100 apps); price elastic!
        • Other business models: freemium, advertising (ugh), % transaction
        • Problem is discoverability ... getting lost in the 25,000 apps
      http://www.streamingcolour.com/blog/2009/03/09/the-numbers-post-aka-brutal-honesty/
    • Nokia’s Ovi Store • BlackBerry App World • Windows Marketplace • App Store for Symbian, PocketGear • Android Market • Palm Software Store • O2 Litmus (Mob4Hire) • 3rd party off-deck (GetJar, Handmark
    • Conclusion
    • Thank You Mukul Joshi Director & CEO SpotOn Software Pvt. Ltd. [email_address] Mobile Developer Conference by MoMoB http://momob.in
    • Questions?