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hey u wanna ply a game w me?
March 13th 2003, 02:27 CET by Caryn

I know a while back we discussed games on cellphones and whether or not they'd take off. I believe the general consensus was that it would never fly. But I am here to shamefully admit that I, your humble author, am getting addicted to cellphone games.

I recently bought a new phone and upgraded my AT&T wireless to include data and their fancy shmancy mMode service. I did it partly because I'm a wireless gadget freak, and mostly because it allows me to get my work email on my cellphone when I'm away from the office. But I find myself utterly addicted to playing with the internet access I have on my phone, which is surprisingly robust.

One of the many features, of course, is games. I'm not talking about Snake and other games that come standard with your cellphone, with or without internet connections. There is a whole host -- about twenty, last time I looked -- of games you can access and play on your wireless phone, and many of them are multiplayer. There's trivia games, casino games, even games that are something like speed dating. I'm currently very into a wireless multiplayer version of Tamagotchi -- I care for my pet, and I can enter him in pet shows against other cellphone players, see their pets, etc. Many of us have probably seen ads for Tony Hawk and other color graphics games on some of the next-gen Motorola phones.

So I wanted to revisit this topic and talk about a few things. Are there game concepts that you think could and possibly will fly on a cellphone? What sort of game concepts is the cellphone platform perfect for? I'd love to see what the collective Crap imagination has to offer here. And finally, has anyone else seen games in cellphones on the rise since we last talked about it?

Points docked to anyone who points out how lame I am for playing games on my cellphone because I'm already aware of it.
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#1 by WeeMadArthur
2003-03-13 02:29:37
smarteyman@interia.pl
I think I pushed them through.
#2 by Greg
2003-03-13 02:31:45
Keep thinking that...

blah blah bleh
#3 by WeeMadArthur
2003-03-13 02:34:31
smarteyman@interia.pl
Whatever.
#4 by Charles
2003-03-13 02:47:33
www.bluh.org
Well, I'll tell you one thing on this topic.  The N-Gage sucks.  The screen is way too small, has a crappy res, the 3d isn't quite playstation quality, and whoever designed the UI for it should be shot.  I'm not a stupid person (or at least, I'd like to think that), but I picked up the N-Gage and it took me forever to figure out how to do anything.  Mind you, this is coming from someone who's never owned a cellphone, and was approaching the device as if it were a GBA with features, rather than the reverse.

FIGHTING FOR PEACE IS LIKE POSTING ON PLANETCRAP FOR INTELLIGENCE!  --morn
#5 by OwenButler
2003-03-13 02:59:47
http://blog.owenbutler.org/
I dislike almost everything about my mobile phone.  The SMS spam, the disruption while reading or eating, the culture ("cn u plz msg me b4 u go") and the potential health risks.  It's handy when meeting people though!

With all these negatives that I associate with mobile phones, I think it'll be a while until I would want to play a game on my phone.

On the other hand, I heard that one of these new fancy shmancy phones has "Bubble Bobble" as a playable game.  So where do I sign up?
#6 by jafd
2003-03-13 03:01:58
I just got my first cellphone about a week ago. I'm woefully unqualified to discuss this topic.

Look at your keyboard. Do you see a "Caps Lock" button? You do? Good. Push it once. Thanks.
#7 by Leslie Nassar
2003-03-13 03:05:21
http://departmentofinternets.com
a hearty "fuck you" to those people who said mobile gaming wouldn't work.

right now i'm coding for the Sony/Ericsson P800.  how good is it?  well, let's say the Pocket PC/GBA codebase was ported to it in under 2 days.

President Bush dismissed last week's worldwide antiwar protests, which some estimate were the largest in human history, and said they would have no effect. "Size of protest it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based on a focus group."
-- Harper's Weekly Review (February 25, 2003)
#8 by jafd
2003-03-13 03:17:15
Does that mean I can get a GBA/Phone thingy? Shit, I wait like twenty years to get a celllphone, and STILL I bought one TOO SOON. Graaagh, jafd smash.

Look at your keyboard. Do you see a "Caps Lock" button? You do? Good. Push it once. Thanks.
#9 by Charles
2003-03-13 03:21:07
www.bluh.org
A friend's friend is working at a mobile games company in Montreal, and the biggest thing to happen in mobile gaming was the ability to press two buttons simultaneously.

Exciting.

FIGHTING FOR PEACE IS LIKE POSTING ON PLANETCRAP FOR INTELLIGENCE!  --morn
#10 by Leslie Nassar
2003-03-13 03:22:28
http://departmentofinternets.com
oh dear...

President Bush dismissed last week's worldwide antiwar protests, which some estimate were the largest in human history, and said they would have no effect. "Size of protest it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based on a focus group."
-- Harper's Weekly Review (February 25, 2003)
#11 by Squeaky
2003-03-13 03:26:49
I have never owned a cell phone in my entire life. I also have no desire to get one. So I can't fathom why someone would want to play a game on their cell phone.

Now you're up shits creek with a turd for a paddle
DVDs
#12 by Leslie Nassar
2003-03-13 03:32:09
http://departmentofinternets.com
Does that mean I can get a GBA/Phone thingy? Shit, I wait like twenty years to get a celllphone, and STILL I bought one TOO SOON. Graaagh, jafd smash.

The speed at which cells/PDAs are improving, you could have gotten a P800 now and you'd still feel bummed in 3 months ;-)

Anyway, this is from April last year, but it gives you an idea of where cells are at right now.

President Bush dismissed last week's worldwide antiwar protests, which some estimate were the largest in human history, and said they would have no effect. "Size of protest it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based on a focus group."
-- Harper's Weekly Review (February 25, 2003)
#13 by Bailey
2003-03-13 03:35:15
I think a pager is as close as I ever want to get to one of those cancer factories.

I, Complainicus
#14 by jafd
2003-03-13 03:38:31
You get a little earphone/microphone thing, plug it into the base, and hold the phone away from your body while you talk. Jesus, Bailey, welcome to the 21st century.

Look at your keyboard. Do you see a "Caps Lock" button? You do? Good. Push it once. Thanks.
#15 by Leslie Nassar
2003-03-13 03:41:46
http://departmentofinternets.com
Good idea, jafd.  I'd pay to see Bailey walking around talking to himself and cursing at nobody in particular.

President Bush dismissed last week's worldwide antiwar protests, which some estimate were the largest in human history, and said they would have no effect. "Size of protest it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based on a focus group."
-- Harper's Weekly Review (February 25, 2003)
#16 by Charles
2003-03-13 03:59:12
www.bluh.org
And how!

FIGHTING FOR PEACE IS LIKE POSTING ON PLANETCRAP FOR INTELLIGENCE!  --morn
#17 by bago
2003-03-13 05:01:41
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
Anyone that believes that cancer crap should buy my patented snake oil.

The seeming unanimity among poets makes them look suspiciously like a herd of independent minds.
#18 by Dethstryk
2003-03-13 05:05:47
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Second hand smoke kills! I swear it!

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
#19 by Charles
2003-03-13 05:43:37
www.bluh.org
Second hand smoke does kill.  Though I suppose me choking you to death for filling my vicinity with smoke is a little bit abstract...

FIGHTING FOR PEACE IS LIKE POSTING ON PLANETCRAP FOR INTELLIGENCE!  --morn
#20 by Your Friend
2003-03-13 06:11:40
I just read an article in the NYT the other day about how mobile phone consumers are generally unhappy with newer mobile phones because they do a lot of things well -- gaming device, PDA, etc, but they are shitty phones the battery dies every other minute...and uh also the reception sucks because so many phone makers are using internal attennas.

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#21 by Your Friend
2003-03-13 06:12:00
er, because the battery dies...

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#22 by Dethstryk
2003-03-13 06:14:52
jemartin@tcainternet.com
#19 Charles
Second hand smoke does kill.  Though I suppose me choking you to death for filling my vicinity with smoke is a little bit abstract...

So, you know that the study that everyoune uses to support that was thrown out of a federal court for being bullshit, right?

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
#23 by Caryn
2003-03-13 06:28:24
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Okay, how about the people who actually own and use cellphones and don't consider them signs of the anti-Christ contribute useful stuff to the discussion at hand? :)

YF, I read that same article. It made me glad that I chose the new Siemens S46 phone since it has a nice, sturdy external antennae.

I think that the best games on cellphones are the ones that really take advantage of the wireless nature of it. For instance, one of the games advertized on my AT&T service that I actually can't seem to find is Wall Street Wizard. You get a certain amount of fictitious money and can play the stock market, and the game uses real-time real stock quotes. You play against everyone else who's playing, and the person at the end of the month with the most money wins. A very simple game, but a fun concept that anyone can enjoy. I get the chance to play against other people without actually interacting with them, which I like.

Also, I've noticed that many of these games are pay-to-play, but they do it in an interesting way. I paid $0.99, immediately charged to my phone bill when I authorized it, to play a month's worth of Wireless Pets. A dollar for 30 days of play is so cheap I didn't even think twice about authorizing the purchase, especially since I can do it with a simple "ok" confirmation right on my cellphone and have it charged to my monthly bill. This is a brilliant way to offer cheap, fun games, IMO.

"That's an interesting viewpoint supported by many factual references, but you failed to note that I really don't care." - Bailey
#24 by Charles
2003-03-13 06:35:15
www.bluh.org
So, you know that the study that everyoune uses to support that was thrown out of a federal court for being bullshit, right?


There was a study of how often I've murdered a smoker for exhaling in my direction?  Damn, and here I thought I'd end up in jail if they found out.

FIGHTING FOR PEACE IS LIKE POSTING ON PLANETCRAP FOR INTELLIGENCE!  --morn
#25 by Dethstryk
2003-03-13 06:36:30
jemartin@tcainternet.com
#24 Charles
There was a study of how often I've murdered a smoker for exhaling in my direction?  Damn, and here I thought I'd end up in jail if they found out.

That doesn't really help your "second hand smoke kills" statement. Boom, crash, bang.

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
#26 by chris
2003-03-13 06:42:32
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
*weep*
#27 by yotsuya
2003-03-13 06:46:15
I'm sure it does. I mean, we can all agree smoking cigarettes can cause cancer. So why not exposure to that same smoke second hand? I don't need a govenment study to prove that.

Allowing the LCD to unduly influence design decisions is what leads to Gladiator winning best picture. -Shadarr
#28 by Caryn
2003-03-13 06:50:26
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Bye bye, cell phone gaming topic...we hardly knew ye.

*sniff*

"That's an interesting viewpoint supported by many factual references, but you failed to note that I really don't care." - Bailey
#29 by Your Friend
2003-03-13 06:52:33
So..how about that SNAKE?

2000/XP is better than Win9x in every way.
#30 by yotsuya
2003-03-13 06:53:42
Caryn-

I love the Qix rip-off on my cellphone. And the blackjack game.

Allowing the LCD to unduly influence design decisions is what leads to Gladiator winning best picture. -Shadarr
#31 by yotsuya
2003-03-13 06:54:06
Nutty-

I got your snake RIGHT HERE! *grabs crotch

Allowing the LCD to unduly influence design decisions is what leads to Gladiator winning best picture. -Shadarr
#32 by chris
2003-03-13 06:55:04
cwb@shaithis.com http://www.cerebraldebris.com
I play video poker on my phone every day while waiting for the bus.

-chris
#33 by lwf
2003-03-13 06:55:30
I made tons of cash on my cellphone blackjack. It has a helicopter game too, but it sucks fiercely.

What the hell are you starin' at?
#34 by yotsuya
2003-03-13 07:02:16
My phone also has a great miniature golf game and camera attachment as well

Allowing the LCD to unduly influence design decisions is what leads to Gladiator winning best picture. -Shadarr
#35 by Dethstryk
2003-03-13 07:04:18
jemartin@tcainternet.com
#27 yotsuya
I'm sure it does. I mean, we can all agree smoking cigarettes can cause cancer. So why not exposure to that same smoke second hand? I don't need a govenment study to prove that.

Too bad science doesn't work like that, or that there isn't any science to back it up.

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
#36 by Caryn
2003-03-13 07:04:38
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Here are some of the games that I have access to as an AT&T user. I don't have access to the color graphics ones, but if I had bought a Motorola phone I would.

Rather than Tony Hawk on my phone, I'm far more interested in the simple but <i>perpetual<i> games that I can play on my cell phone. I think that's where it's real strength lies. Things I can play over time that are something I can get into and more importantly get out of quickly. Wireless Pets for instance is a Monster Rancher-type game that I can immediately log off of I have to, and that's the nature of cellphone usage. If you start having larger games on there like the full color ones, then I start to worry that, like the article YF mentioned, the phone is much less useful for actual phone useage.

"That's an interesting viewpoint supported by many factual references, but you failed to note that I really don't care." - Bailey
#37 by Bailey
2003-03-13 07:20:45
jafd

You get a little earphone/microphone thing, plug it into the base, and hold the phone away from your body while you talk.

Whatever, luddite. I don't want to look like a complete fag when I'm chatting on the phone.

Caryn

Okay, how about the people who actually own and use cellphones and don't consider them signs of the anti-Christ contribute useful stuff to the discussion at hand? :)

DON'T REPRESS ME, FASCIST.

P.S....
<i>perpetual<i>

Wrong board, traitor!

Anyway, cigars are the only safe second-hand smoke. And so aromatic, mmm... the smell of freedom is the smell of Coo-ba!

I, Complainicus
#38 by Caryn
2003-03-13 07:32:32
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
#37 Bailey
P.S....
<i>perpetual<i>

Wrong board, traitor!


Yeah, I don't know what my problem is tonight. I've got a serious case of foggy brain. I don't seem able to hold up my end of a decent discussion tonight either. :) I didn't eat much at all today, maybe that's it.

"That's an interesting viewpoint supported by many factual references, but you failed to note that I really don't care." - Bailey
#39 by Bailey
2003-03-13 07:34:45
Sure, maybe that's it... comrade.

I, Complainicus
#40 by Matt Davis
2003-03-13 08:21:53
http://looroll.com
Java games using mobile phones is already huge, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange in the UK all offer large java games catalogues for their phones.

Atari are at the forefront of this, having released a large amount of thier classics archive to the platform, but games like splinter cell are now being made for these phones too.

I hear half of you mocking this kind of thing, but if you look carefully at the target markets, they're not aimed so much at the hardcore gamers, but at the general population who've probably never even played half of the atari classics.

<jafd> Dating an older woman is probably a lot like running Linux, really.
<jafd> Lots of maintenance, resulting in rewards, that you could have gotten a lot easier elsewhere, if only you knew how.
#41 by Dethstryk
2003-03-13 08:24:26
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Yeah, so I played Snake on my cell-phone when I was in band, in high school. My phone I have now doesn't even have any games.

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
#42 by Bailey
2003-03-13 08:27:55
But Splinter Cell is targetted at the hardcore! It requires too much quicksaving to be otherwise!

I, Complainicus
#43 by Eric T. Cheng
2003-03-13 08:34:10
erictcheng@hotmail.com
But quicksaving will ruin the experience the game designer had in mind!

Kilt Wearing Pixel Pushing Monkey Boy
IMDB Entry
DVD Collection
#44 by Bailey
2003-03-13 08:41:21
WANK WANK! ALARM! One more deus ex machina alarm and I'll make you quickload, Fisher!!

Haggle gaggle, I wish I knew how to make games!

I, Complainicus
#45 by Eric T. Cheng
2003-03-13 08:57:43
erictcheng@hotmail.com
Ask Warren.

Kilt Wearing Pixel Pushing Monkey Boy
IMDB Entry
DVD Collection
#46 by Petri Jarvilehto
2003-03-13 08:58:38
petri@remedy.fi http://www.remedy.fi
Caryn,

Here's a good read on the difficulties of the cell phone market.

To add my 2c into the discussion: As of yet, the cell phone gaming has multiple obstacles to overcome. First problem is that people really need to figure out what gaming with the phones should be. Today, everyone still tried to emulate either the older classics (mostly boring) or then fit today's massive big gaming hits (splinter cell, spiderman, tony hawk) into the phone. That's just stupid. When playing Splinter Cell on the phone, you can't help comparing it against the "real" Xbox version of the game, and then you feel like playing an inferior version of the game on a massively inferior platform.

The only way gaming on the phones can take off is when people start figuring out new and original content that's tailored for the phones. The examples that you've listed (Wall street broker, virtual pets) are definitely a step into the right direction.

I think that gaming with the phones will (at least for the near future, say 3-5 years) stay as a passive entertainment. Sure, you might play a game while waiting for the bus, but you're not really prepared to pay for it. And if you want to play for longer periods of time, you'll need to buy a GBA anyway.
#47 by jafd
2003-03-13 09:10:25
I don't want to look like a complete fag when I'm chatting on the phone.

Then take the penis out of your mouth. Do I have to explain everything?

What Caryn said about the stock market game sounds fantastic. Hook me up with some kind of railroad 18xx type deal and I'll buy a phone just to do that. At least that would prove to be a more useful purchase than a Gamecube.

"You speak blasphemy, sir." "Fluently."
#48 by Bailey
2003-03-13 09:10:48
What about Hyperspace Delivery Boy?

I, Complainicus
#49 by Bailey
2003-03-13 09:20:54
Then take the penis out of your mouth. Do I have to explain everything?

I feel surprisingly unable to take advice to the debutante who gave it away to some third-rate service a mere seven days ago.

I, Complainicus
#50 by Matt Davis
2003-03-13 09:25:53
http://looroll.com
Petri Jarvilehto,

You mean a game that isn't based from pong? Does such a game exist?

Seriously though, what you and many other critics find boring, many of the general consumer masses get easily addicted to, look at nokias snake game as an example, who'd have thought there would be regional championships for it?

<jafd> Dating an older woman is probably a lot like running Linux, really.
<jafd> Lots of maintenance, resulting in rewards, that you could have gotten a lot easier elsewhere, if only you knew how.
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