Scoping The Mobile Scene
In the world of mobile gaming, late is better than never. Nothing affirms this adage better than a belated report from our boy Helios about the zany mobile action at the GDC. In this post, Helios entertains new friends at the Motorola booth and learns how to make games fun. Yay!
The 8:30am shuttle was full so I ended up taking a cab. This wasnï¿½t necessarily a bad thing considering how fun the shuttle ride the day before was. When I got to the convention center I found out that Motorola was having draws on the hour for free phones in the Motocoder booth. Unfortunately, they seem to schedule draws for their phones during the middle of all the sessions. Needless to say, I spent the day skipping out early of all the proceedings to try to continue my true mission at GDC: collect as much swag as I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, my efforts were in vain because I won diddlysquat. The Motorola guys got a good laugh at my pathetic attempt to horde as much swag as possible, but I did get a Motorola t-shirt out of it.
Alright, on to what happened at the proceedings. The session pamphlet said that the day would start off with an address on what is next for mobile games. Due to a scheduling error, they only had 15 minutes for this talk and decided to reschedule for Wednesday, which is a daisy for all the people that had “Mobile Only” passes and intended to ship out on Tuesday night.
So the first session of the day was a showcase of various games that had hit the market in the past year. In years past, this has been the highlight of the GDC Mobile proceedings. This session is intended to be a highlight reel of the best and most innovate in mobile games. They do this because mobile games from across world are distinct to their native regions, giving developers an opportunity to see what their counterparts are doing all over the world. I, like many of the developers, looked forward to this session because of its pseudo-interactive nature and all around cool factor. For some reason, they based the session around a PowerPoint presentation with captured video feed and screen shots instead of live demos of the game. I can see that itï¿½s a bit of work to get all these games running on a bunch of phones, but come on. The presenters only actually demoed one or two games live - super lame.
To see a game being demoed live is a far different experience than seeing a slide of a game. This session was intended to let us experience games from around the world - games that we normally wouldn’t have exposure to. Instead, we ended seeing a set of slides that we could have seen from our home offices. The games they showed were neat - but nothing worth flying half way around the world for, not to mention needing a live session for. Some of the coolest games were one button press games. They demoed games that had downloadable and episodic content. They also discussed some that where more based on interactive communities and social play.