Electronic Design
Smartphone Gaming Platform Includes Distribution

Smartphone Gaming Platform Includes Distribution

MoMinis wants your smartphone game on their platform and distribution system. They provide a free, online IDE (Fig. 1) to develop and test games. They also have in place a game distribution system so customers can purchase and use these games. Of course, they take a cut of the action but these days there is always a middle man. MoMinis hides some of the middle men since developers will not have to deal with the carriers and other online store issues.

On the plus side, the tools are easy to use. The event/action-based system (Fig. 2) presented by the IDE is usable by developers that have no programming experience. Programmers wanting to employ their expertise can do so as well by providing more advanced scripting application code to a game.

The advantage of this approach to developers is no up front costs and no maintenance costs. Likewise, the system handles different targets since not all smartphones are created equal. MoMinis handles distribution of the properly configured game for the customer's phone.

Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch (TINSTAAFL). A significant percentage of the purchase price goes into MoMinis pocket.

Now for the other details. The deployment environment is a sprite-based, 2D/2.5D gaming framework. This is more limiting that what something like the iPhone or an Android phone can handle but it means games can run a wider range of phones. This is essentially the sweet spot for MoMinis, low to mid-range phones with the capability of running on higher end phones. It is possible to tailor games to different form factors but, in general, a single configuration will likely favor the lowest common denominator.

The IDE is easy to work with. The sprite object system supports inheritance so actions and attributes can be built up in layers instead of being unique to an object. MoMinis provides examples and useful starting definitions for developers to take advantage of. In fact, they provide a basic game to examine, expand and utilize.

Developers will still need another tool to create graphics but these can be easily imported into the online development tool. The tool also integrates with the deployment and distribution system although actual tracking of game sales is done using a conventional web interface. More details on the entire process are available at MoMinis' webiste.

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