API Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Rich DeFabritus, Pat Romanski, Derek Weeks, Elizabeth White

Blog Feed Post

Thinking Through Gamification and HTML5 for Mobile Apps

Peter Rogers
Principal Architect for Mobility
In this article, my colleague and uber-geek (he builds games over wet-weekends) Peter Rogers shares his insights on Gamification and HTML5.
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.

Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, SAP Mentor Alumnus, speaker, writer, and mobile and digital strategies expert. He is a popular keynote speaker, and in the past three years he has shared his insights into mobile and digital strategies with companies in 17 different countries. He has over 30 years of experience working with enterprise applications, and he is a veteran mobile industry executive. He wrote the Forward to SAP Press' bestselling book on enterprise mobility titled Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP, and he has written over 3,000 articles.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, discussed how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from millio...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...