GDC: Developers must utilise the inherent functionality of mobile phones
This year's GDC World Tour of Mobile Innovations session focused primarily on connected gameplay, and the need to be more creative in using the inherent functionality of mobile phone handsets.
Speaking at GDC, David Collier, CEO of Tokyo-based mobile content provider Pikkie, has argued that developers must remember the mobile phone is first and foremost a communications device.
According to Collier, developers must make use of that functionality in order to secure and maintain interest from mobile carriers, something which he sees as key since "We live in a carrier's world."
Together with Matthew Bellows of Floodgate Entertainment, Collier took the stage at GDC to deliver a presentation on the need for mobile game developers to be more creative.
To demonstrate what can be achieved with innovation in gameplay and a closer working relationship with carriers, the pair showcased Korea-based developer Gamevil's Path of a Warrior. It's the only mobile game to have secured a unique fixed fee with Korean mobile carriers, at USD 10 per month for unlimited play. "I'm sure the American operators are dying to emulate that and help us all make a great business," Collier joked.
Bellows and Collier also heralded EA's Need for Speed as a major step forward for big publishers, in that it takes full advantage of the mobile platform by offering connected multiplayer gaming and downloads - as opposed to a relatively basic single player port of a hit console game.
Taito's Puzzle Bobble was highlighted to demonstrate the idea of real-time connected gaming, and Floodgate's Pet Shop - which enables gamers to enter virtual 'best of show' events with other players in their real-world local or national area - was shown as an example of location based services.
"The mobile phone isn't just a small Game Boy," stated Collier. "It's about connectivity."