An increasing number of gaming upstarts are sneaking into the mobile phone business. Small independents and individuals are splitting their graphics and development expertise between console or computer venues and mobile outlets. As the mobile phone continues to advance in technology the possibilities of unprecedented gaming graphics in the palm of the hand become more of a reality.
From the time that mobile phones first hit the mass market in the late 90s, phone games have been a part of the mobile phone experience. But it could never match the increasing-bit competition of the console gaming market. Playing a game on the cell phone was like a nostalgic blast from the past. You’d entertain yourself with a Pac-Man or Super Mario Bros like game until your battery ran dry or until that more-interesting thing you were waiting to do was available for the doing. Phones in those days were only built to give a two-dimensional output because the most sight-appeal feature they had was fancy text messaging. But the mobile phone industry has changed and with it the games played on them.
Mobile gamers have been recently enjoying more three-dimensional (3D) play on smartphones and other handheld devices. Currently, the most sophisticated mobile phones have the capacity to accommodate apps that allow for 3D play. Serious gamers and casual time passers alike can now be drawn into the real feel of 3D gaming in the palm of the hand.
The less-thought-of but just as essential feature of the modern mobile phone is the quality of stereo sound. All of the old timers remember the classic songs of their video game favorites, and we’ll catch ourselves humming a tune or two just for the fun of it. Yet all gamers gawk in amazement at console and computer sound cards. Video games of today come with soundtracks so impressive that we buy them separately from the game. As cell phones advance in audio capability, developers have an opportunity to build a smart game that locks the interest of the end user with tasteful music and game sound effects to compliment dazzling graphics. Gamers can enjoy more sophisticated samples of music as well sophisticated original content.
Perhaps the Biggest Advantage of Mobile Gaming…
Consoles are currently the most used venues for gaming. However, most games are manipulated by analog controls or a computer keyboard. On the other hand, interactive touch-screen features belong to the mobile phone arena. Touch-screen gaming possibilities hatch a possibilities of totally new concepts. As touch-screen technology continues to develop and phones grow in appeal for what they can offer developers that can build on this feature will win the day.
Big game producers and the largest mobile carriers are jumping ahead into the foray by forging cell phone-console teams. Expect a deluge of games designed to take advantage of lives being built around phones or classic games re-designed to be played on touch screens. Would Mrs. Pac Man be more fun if it was touch-screen manipulated? Perhaps it would, or perhaps not.
Projected innovations rely on the speed and variety of competition in the mobile phone market. As hardware becomes more focused on aesthetics and user appeal, mobile developers will have more room for creativity. Rumor has it that Nokia once talked of building phones that feature display casing. Think of the possibilities of close-contact user interfacing or games with wrap-around interaction features for those cases.
The promises of augmented reality are exciting as well. One of the features of this concept is the point-and-tell feature. Point your phone in random directions and possibly receive historical and or municipal information about your surroundings. Point-and-tell features for any gamer is a huge asset in competitive gaming. Imagine point-and-tell game interaction in the streets.
So as indie teams, individuals, and up-start developers turn more of their attention to mobile gaming, we can expect more at the tip of our fingers.