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December 11, 2003 at 12:06 pm #2912
Hi, I’m new to the fourms. Anyway I’ve always been interested in game development but I’ve been thinking about the mobile games market. So my question is, how would one start trying to develop something for the mobile phone platform? What software is needed and are there any tutorials that would make things easier?
Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
December 12, 2003 at 5:55 am #10212
Theres plenty of info on the net available, both from people doing homebrew stuff and even from phone manufacters themselves.
Theres a few different options in terms of what to put on the phone. The easiest bet to get started is probably j2me, as it should be reasonably familiar to a java programmer.
You can download emulators and sdks from sun.
You’ll also probably want a java enabled phone device to test it on as things dont always work exactly as they do on the emulator (jar size limitations enforced by operator etc etc)
Probably best if you get a phone which allows transfer of midlets direct to it, without having to pay for download, but if you have to, you can just use any java games phone (like the picture phones vodaphone were promoting) and stick your midlet on a wap server.
Theres a load of info on suns site about package midlets etc and plenty of info on the net about writing j2me code. Thats probably a good place to start, anyway.
I’ll be on matrix, in college, which ive seen you on occasionally, so any more questions hey me there or whatever; i worked writing j2me games and server stuff for a startup for the summer.
Hope this helps anyone else with these problems too.
just out of interest, is this for Dare?
December 12, 2003 at 3:19 pm #10216
Nokia alss have an SDK on their site with loads of emulators, docs & info included
December 12, 2003 at 5:23 pm #10219
Starting out, I would definitely recommend checking out the sun site and forum nokia. Nokia is particularly supportive of the developer community with SDKs, docs, etc so make sure you check out their site.
I wouldn’t worry too much about splurging on a new phone, get yourself up and running on the emulators first and when you have something you are happy with, get yourself the cheapest J2ME enabled phone that you can deliver to (i.e. whatever SDK you have been using). Nokia Series 40 (6610, 7210, etc), Nokia Series 60 (7650, 3650, etc) are a good starting point and can be gotten fairly cheaply if you shop around. These also support delivery of the midlet direct to the phone as mentioned by feral.
If you are a techie, then J2ME shouldn’t be a problem for you. Key thing is to get a good understanding of the tech issues faced with Mobile development like constraints (memory, screen, JAR size, differing handset specs, etc). I would also brush up on your 2-D and low-level 3-D graphics.
Probably most important is to make sure you get a firm grasp of the ‘design for the medium’ concept. Games on mobile should be designed specifically for mobile and address the key strengths and weaknesses of the platform. Remember to take things like keyboard & screen capabilities into account in gameplay. I would say that this is what I would look for most.
Be prepared for the ground beneath you to move very rapidly! Handsets are evolving more and more quickly as are people’s expectations of mobile gaming. This does mean that life is never boring!
December 13, 2003 at 2:02 pm #10221
Thanks for the advice you guys, it’s helped give me a better understanding of where I need to go with this.
As for whether this is for Dare, well, sort of but not really. Going to the Dare to be Digital information day made me realise I needed to vastly improve my knowlege of games development and my skills at game development. This is part of it and I always though that mobile phones were an interesting platform for developing on.
December 18, 2003 at 6:45 pm #10264
Here is the best article i have read on starting into J2ME Development.
It will explain everything you need to know (almost)
Get Wireless Toolkit 1.4.1 from Sun. Its free and then you have everything you needed to get Started.
I found starting with Nokia the easiest as they have a very active forum where you can discuss with others any problems you have and also their emulators can be used directly with Wireless Toolkit while most others cant and you may need to create a batch file to take care of the compiling and running on the emulator, but jump that hurdle when you come to it!
Mobile phone development is great fun so enjoy ;)
December 27, 2003 at 12:10 pm #10292
Great, well thanks for all the help, I’m sure to put it to use. One more question though, can mobile phones in general detect when two buttons are pressed at the same time? I’m just wondering about button combinations.
December 27, 2003 at 6:26 pm #10293
No generally phones cant but 1 or 2 Nokia phones can but i dont know off hand which one exactly.
You could write your own code to handle this but you would need to test it on all phones your going to use this kind of code on as input handling is implemented differently between manufactures.
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