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Mobile Gaming « Nitpixels

Archive for category Mobile Gaming

Your ideal MMO tie-in mobile app

This post is brought to the pages of Nitpixels by a guest author. Want your words on Nitpixels? Send a pitch to mailbag@nitpixels.com.

Blizzard recently revamped their Mobile Armory app for World of Warcraft and added the ability to chat with guild members in the game from your phone. This is in addition to some basic in-game Auction House functionality. I also found out that Dragon Age Legends, a Facebook game, has a mobile site where you can craft items and collect gold. As mobile phones get better at gaming, and indeed have their own MMOs, it seems natural to integrate mobile experiences into persistent world games.

Imagine a game being developed now, where they could integrate mobile phone and other out-of-game features while designing the game from the ground up. What type of mobile integration would you like to see in a next-gen MMO?  Would you like to handle crafting from your phone? What if instead of being menu driven, crafting was a mini-game you could play while away? While it could limit crafting, it’s also nice to be able to accomplish something in your main game while you’re away from your system. It would also be nice to handle all of the “busy work”, like buying and selling items, while you were away, so that when you have time to sit down and play you can jump right into the game.

Social features and communications also seem like a perfect fit. I like the idea of messaging people in-game and modifying an in-game calendar from the device where I do most of my real life messaging and calendaring. Would you like to post achievements and screenshots to Twitter a la RIFT?

What features would you look forward to in a mobile app for your next game?

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1 Comment

Guest Post: What makes a mobile game mobile?

This post is brought to the pages of Nitpixels by a guest author. Want your words on Nitpixels? Send a pitch to mailbag@nitpixels.com.

I’ve been playing a lot of mobile games recently. When writing a quick Marketplace review for Dungeon Defenders I noted that it didn’t feel like a “mobile” game. It is a fun game, and its mix of tower defense and Diablo-style hack-and-slash is intriguing. Using Unreal Engine 3 even makes it look like a console game. Unfortunately the 20 minute levels with no way to save also felt too much like a console game, and not something I’d be able to play often on my phone.

One of the biggest factors affecting mobile games is that their users are, well, mobile. The games are targeted to an audience that might not be sitting down for a dedicated multi-hour gaming session. The player could be on a subway, in a doctor’s office, or waiting for their World of Warcraft raid to fill up. The problem isn’t really even that they’re on the move, it’s that they can be interrupted at any moment. The game needs to be able to be paused and saved on the fly. You don’t want to be 15 minutes into a level, have your number called, and lose all your progress.

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