May 15, 2007

Inauguration of the Flash Lite player on the Nokia N95..with what else but a game

Following all the talk on blogs and websites about a recently touted multimedia computer phone, I finally gifted myself a Nokia N95 last weekend... and was I the envy of all around me!

My first expression after getting a grip of the phone was - "What can I do to inaugurate the phone?", and the answer was very do what I am good at, ie. develop a game in Flash Lite and play it on the phone!

So thats what I have been working on for the past 2 days, a simple game called Bust the Blocks developed in Flash Lite version 2.x. The game concept is very simple where the user has to bust 3 similar colored blocks by moving them around the grid.

I wouldn't consider this one of my best games, because most of them involves a team effort, but this one is good enough to be downloaded and played. I have provided the link below to download and play it on the phone for entertainment purpose only.

Link to Bust the Blocks
Distribution of this game/other developer's game on any website without the author's permission is illegal and should be reported immediately.

Some pointers for the game -
  1. Developed in a resolution of 240X320 (will upload a version in resolution of 176X208)
  2. Works on phones supporting FL 2.x
  3. Features are yet to be added...suggestions are welcome (will upload new file in a few days)
  4. Designers are welcome to help make the game more visually appealing :)

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May 11, 2007

Flash Lite on Handango – A Reality Check

I have been following the Flash Lite content spill on Handango and have observed a number of points which I hope will get noticed for the benefit of the community and the technology –

1. Pricing of content needs immediate attention.
While browsing through the content I noticed that while there are some games priced at a range of $5-10, there are some also priced at $0.50. The pricing of wallpapers is even more shocking with some of them being priced at $4.99!!

With uneven pricing of content, I wonder if users are really paying to download content, or rather even having faith in the content?

According to me, a good price for games on Handango (which are not even a Single A Titles) should be approximately between $1-3 and wallpapers around $0.25-0.50, which can be maintained across the content.

2. No monitoring on content quality
There is no monitoring on the quality of content going up on Handango. Developers are coming up with varied content and pushing it on the portal with the intension of getting great downloads. Serious quality content developers are then getting lost amongst the populaters.

3. High downloads for free content and humble downloads for paid content
Free content on Handango is seeing more acceptance and testing, than content that is paid. Could this also stem from the fact that the content quality and pricing are not monitored?

I feel that if developers are serious about the technology and want it to be accepted positively on a wider scale, they should try forming a community and coming to a consensus about their sale strategy, instead of just building Flash Lite content and putting it up at Handango at a price convenient to them! Infact the team at Handango can help developers build such community on their portal itself.

It would be great if I could get some feedback on this topic because I have been thinking about it since a long time.


May 9, 2007

Survival of the fittest – Flash Lite, Silverlight Embedded or JavaFX Mobile?

There seems to be a splurge of new technologies being introduced in the recent months by the biggies. Just when serious debates had actually begun making rounds comparing Microsoft’s Silverlight technology to Adobe’s Flash technology, yesterday there was yet another announcement made by Sun Microsystems at the JavaOne Conference in San Francisco.

Sun introduced the JavaFX platform focused exclusively for rich application development (RIA), placing it on the same platform as Adobe’s Flash/Flex and Microsoft’s Silverlight development environment.

According to the announcement made, the first product which would be introduced of the JavaFX family would be the JavaFX Mobile. Sun plans to sell the JavaFX Mobile directly to the handset manufacturers and at the same time also give away its open-source JavaFX Script for developers to use to create applications for the 5 billion devices that already run Java.

Read this article for more news

As a developer I’d only like to comment by saying that there is absolutely no doubt that Java ME has always ruled on mobiles. Although it has had a successful round of 6 years, and is now considered to be graying, launching of the JavaFX Mobile may be a great move by Sun to inject a new life into it. A move to also prevent developer conversion and divert the media attention from Flash Lite. They might also be hoping to attract developers to get back to developing better and richer mobile content with a technology they are most familiar with.

Silverlight Embedded still has a long way to go in proving itself, but Flash Lite which is currently in news will have to penetrate much more across regions for consumers to gain faith in it. Apart from US and Japan, Flash Lite is yet to see a carrier and consumer adoption on a large scale like Java on mobiles.