|By Kevin Benedict||
|May 8, 2014 11:05 AM EDT||
Principal Architect for Mobility
One of my most interesting achievements in life is having the first downloadable mobile game ever rejected. I was running an internal games team back in the days of the emergence of J2ME and we were actually running custom built MIDP 2.0 emulators (that I had to build myself) on top of iPAQs, as there was no 3G phone hardware available yet. We had to load a reduced Java SE runtime onto the iPAQ and then load on the MIDP 2.0 emulator which was itself written in Java. The interesting thing to note was the proliferation of Java SE runtimes that were available for Compaq’s handheld Pocket PC, but they all suffered from performance issues which is why they never really took off. It was not until Google decided to make the Dalvik VM use a register-based architecture, as opposed to the stack machine typically used by a Java VM, that acceptable Java SE performance was possible on a mobile device and henceforth Android was born.
The concept of the game was actually very simple, a lot of chickens popped out of various holes and you had to grab hold of them (and sort of choke them). I hired Steve Brown as our artist, who was the legendary artist of the 1987 Commodore 64 classic Barbarian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarian:_The_Ultimate_Warrior) which managed to gleefully court controversy ("Barbarian features gory combat for the sake of rescuing a bikini-wearing princess"). I am not sure if it was the animation sequences of cartoon chicken related violence (their eyes bulged out as you squeezed them) or the name of the game (chickens, choking, I am sure you can work it out). We also had a game where you had to lead sheep over a minefield with amazing graphical deaths. I think we managed to have three games rejected (some may actually class them as the first mobile games ever banned) but we did produce two exceptional games which did finally make it to market.
With that said, I have always had a strong love affair with mobile gaming and so I get a twitch of disatisfaction when people discuss Gamification in such dispassionate undertones. In my mind then Gamification is more than just adding experience points and awards to your underlying content. In my opinion the actual content needs to be changed and that means adopting simple game design concepts. Flappy Bird proved to the world that people are highly competitive and that frustration equals stickiness. I want to see more people adding actual mini-games into their content and not just into their advertising windows.
The creation of mini-games does require a supporting Gamification framework though. I believe this will happen, as HTML5 Gaming frameworks offer higher levels of abstraction and the best I have seen yet is the Quintus Game Engine (http://html5quintus.com/). In just 80 lines of code then you can write a simple platform game. I managed to prove this point by writing a touch screen Tetris game one wet weekend. The next step is Gaming frameworks that offer more simplified gaming experiences that can be created by amateurs. I envisage an App Factory with a simplified API that can be used to create mini-games that can run in a GameView window - similar to a UIWebView/WebView for wrapping web content. Only interactive adverts seems to offer anything similar to a GameView and these are generally a bad experience on mobile.
As one of the first five owners of a Nintendo Gameboy in this country, I remember sitting in a McDonalds and playing a portable monochrome Super Mario Land on a blurry screen, whilst watching the amazement of the local burger munching clientele. It has been clear to me for many years that Nintendo drives innovation far more than they get credit for.
It was very interesting then when I stumbled across a second hand copy of WarioWare DIY (https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/IuuBjN_K0sbf8ckx_2qo9IOUTFXWTisl). At first it appeared to be just a bad collection of mini-games but on further investigation it allowed you to actually create your own games and ship them to an online community. What amazed me was the simplicity of the API that was wrapped into an App Factory for amateurs. With a few clicks and a vast simplification of gaming logic then I was able to create mini-games and ship them to a wider audience. This may sound totally irrelevant until you hear all of your customers asking for Gamification and the complete lack of game creating talent generally available within a business. Imagine if you had a simple App Factory that allowed you to create simple Gamification experiences and export them into a GameView window within an App.
I am therefore currently looking at reverse engineering the WarioWare DIY API and creating my own Design Time API that enables the building of simple Gamification experiences that can be imported into existing native Apps or even loaded over the air (App Store regulations withstanding). This task would of course be far easier by just targeting HTML5 and building this on top of the excellent Quintus Game API, however there would be issues of performance.
Without targeting HTML5 Canvas and a suitable cross-compiler to native OpenGL then I would much rather target Polyglot code for multiple native operating systems. A polyglot is a computer program or script written in a valid form of multiple programming languages, which performs the same operations or output independent of the programming language used to compile or interpret it.
If anybody out there is interesting by my Gamification creation framework then please feel to reach out.
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Jan. 31, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 2,085
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Jan. 31, 2015 08:30 AM EST Reads: 3,076
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Jan. 31, 2015 06:30 AM EST Reads: 2,002
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Jan. 31, 2015 05:45 AM EST Reads: 3,220
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Jan. 31, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 2,915
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
Jan. 31, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 3,506
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Jan. 31, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 3,122
Jan. 31, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 8,111
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Jan. 31, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 2,964
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:30 AM EST Reads: 3,103
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
Jan. 30, 2015 03:45 PM EST Reads: 3,162
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Jan. 30, 2015 03:15 PM EST Reads: 3,546
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Jan. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,726
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Jan. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 2,399
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Jan. 30, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 2,035