Now Anyone Can Make Games

The Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles acts as the videogame industry’s lodestar. Major publishers present the next year’s worth of games to the world’s media representatives. Mainstream publications, from CNN to Reuters to Newsweek use the event as a showcase for what is next in the game industry. And this year, they all said the same thing: Games are for everyone.

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Tags : user-generated_games electronic_entertainment_expo playyoo e3 casual_games mobile_gaming mobile_games

Flash Lite on one billion phones by 2010?

Computerworld on Thursday published an article that examines Adobe's aspirations to infiltrate mobile phones. Much like it has on desktop PCs, the web-app maker hopes mobile phone users will freely adopt their Flash Lite plug in. From the article:
 
Having conquered PCs, Adobe is turning its attention to mobile phones. By 2010, it wants to see a total of 1 billion phones shipped with Flash Lite, a cut-down version of Flash Player that runs small apps and games, and, with an update released earlier this month at its annual MAX conference, plays Web video.
 
But getting Flash Lite on has its challenges. The most popular mobile application platform currently is Java installed on about 500 million phones or 16 percent penetration. By comparison, Flash Lite has been installed on 300 million phones or 8-10 percent penetration, although Adobe expects to double that number in the coming year. And while Flash Lite attempts to reach higher adoption levels in the U.S. it's already a hit in Japan -- literally every phone in the land of the rising sun supports downloadable Flash content.
 
There’s good reason (actually 3 billion reasons) for Adobe to propagate Flash Lite as a mobile standard. According to IDC, there are 3 billion mobile phones in use today compared to 1 billion PCs. That's three times the size of the original pie they dominated.
 
When it comes to the world of mobile casual games, Flash Lite’s benefits are beyond compare. Development and deployment costs are greatly lowered. And Flash Lite’s “create once and deploy everywhere” approach brings a new level of scalability to game development and distribution – so we’re ready and waiting for them to cross that 1 billion mark by 2010.
Tags : computerworld adobe flash flash_lite mobile_gaming mobile_games

Get Ready - the Flash Lite Game Contest Has Officially Started

As previously mentioned in "Flash Lite UG Members - you've got a whole new way to win," we're sponsoring (along with Adobe and O'Reilly) a second contest exclusively for members of regional Flash Lite User Groups. Thursday marked the official launch of the 2007 Flash Lite Game Contest - visit the Mobile Game Contest website for all the details.

 

The site features a contest page managed by each regional section: EMEA , Americas, and Asia Pacific. You can also post technical and general questions, and participate in discussions with other UG members on the site's forum boards.

 

And remember- you must upload your game by Feb 15, 2008 to be eligible for the 2007 Flash Lite Game Contest.

Tags : flash_lite flash_lite_game_contest playyoo contest games_contest developers

Why should I create games for Playyoo?

The urge to play is built into our DNA. Humans are by nature restless, always seeking something to occupy their attention. Since practically everybody carries a mobile phone nowadays (we're talking 3.2 billion mobile subscribers by 2011), the phone is the obvious distraction of choice when we're looking to fill a few moments waiting for a friend at the café or the next train. But most mobile users have yet to take advantage of games on their phones - mainly because, to date, there has been a lack of easily accessible, casual games to satisfy this "quick fix."
 
Flash game developers have a huge opportunity here. Mobile Flash - or Flash Lite - games do not need to be anywhere near as complex as desktop games, in fact often the very simplest are the most powerful. Think of Bejeweled, Skipping Stone, Diner Dash, Lumines. And Flash Lite is ideally suited to rapid production of simple games. At the same time, as John Carmack pointed out to us (see Why John Carmack believes in mobile games), the mobile platform is a great environment for trying out new ideas and concepts which one day might evolve into more sophisticated desktop productions.

Flash Lite development tools are included in Flash 8 Pro and Flash CS3. Flash CS3 also brings the powerful new Device Central tool, which helps remove a lot of the pain of testing mobile games. Flash Lite relies on earlier, simpler versions of Actionscript, and has been optimised to enable you to quickly develop compelling mobile games.

Playyoo is the only Flash games site solely dedicated to mobile casual games. Of course, there are other great sites out there focusing on Flash games, some of which are now starting to extend into the mobile world. But here at Playyoo, we started from the ground up with a focus on mobile, and mobile only - and we've got a great set of features coming up which will help both developers and players get the most out of mobile gaming with Flash Lite. (Why just Flash Lite? While Java has a place in mobile games development, we're convinced that as far as casual games are concerned, Flash Lite is an incomparable tool).
 
When you deliver your game to Playyoo, it will instantly become integrated in a meta-gaming system built around a rich set of social networking tools. You will reach a worldwide audience, enhance your reputation as a developer and get to see the reaction of our player community that's made up of people of all kinds of cultures, backgrounds and abilities.

Playyoo members will have access to features which overcome the common issues with the mobile game delivery process, as well as desktop and mobile interfaces that give individuals quick access to the type of games they like. All you need to do is turn your game concept into Flash Lite code.

Playyoo is well funded with an ambitious team driving it forward, and will provide you with an ideal channel to show off your skills as a Flash developer in the mobile market - without having to deal with mobile operators or device manufacturers.

Oh, and one more thing: get started now, and you could end up $10,000 richer!
Tags : mobile_gaming mobile_games flash_developer casual_games flash_lite playyoo

Why John Carmack Believes in Mobile Games

By Alexander Smith
When he’s not contributing to our blog, “Alexander Smith” is a well-respected journalist writing about the business of games for the industry's leading trade publications, and the world's most respected business outlets.  Stay tuned for more industry coverage from Alexander.
 
 
 
John Carmack has been pushing the boundaries of gaming technology since the Apple II. He perfected the 3-D graphics engine, and introduced the world to multiplayer deathmatch. His company, id Software, is currently completing their fifth generation of tools and technology—specifically designed to run games on next-gen consoles and high-end PCs and Macs.
 
And while Mr Carmack is one of the most technically respected game developers, the thing that excites him the most are games for cell phones. “I’m not a cell phone guy,” he admits. “I resisted getting one at all for years, and even now I rarely carry it.”
 
Mr Carmack recalls the time three years ago when he lost the previous, old cell phone. His wife bought him a new one. It had a nice colour screen, and came loaded with bad java games. He further recalls being almost morally indignant that “someone would make these really awful games on this platform.”
 
He recognized that the modern cell phone has more power than many of the earlier personal computers. Here was technology to push. So Mr Carmack’s next project was a cell phone game. It was a success, and now he has a new outlook on mobile games.
 
To wit, they are a proving ground. Major modern games take years to make, hundreds of developers, and millions of dollars. But the mobile scale allows for an individual to come up with a good idea, and execute on it without great risk.
 
Mr Carmack calls mobile games his ‘sneaky little plan’ for creating new properties, releasing them into the marketplace, and then developing them incrementally for larger and larger platforms with more complex development structures.
 
Besides the business, creative, and technical reasons, these games can be fun, too.
Tags : idsoftware johncarmack carmack john_carmack mobile_gaming mobile_games

How Playyoo Could Change the Mobile Games Business

by Alexander Smith, mobile gaming enthusiast

In the multi-billion dollar videogame industry, mobile phone games are rather misunderstood.  They’re unlike the regular boxed products where people walk into a store and take the game off the shelf—mobile games have distribution through telecom channels—yet that hasn’t kept mobile games from becoming a billion dollar industry in their own right.
 
Electronic Arts, the world’s largest games publisher, was so convinced by the necessity of mobile that, in 2006, they purchased Jamdat (now EA Mobile) for some $680 million.  French rival Ubisoft started their own mobile division—called Gameloft—in 1999, and it will post a projected $130m in consolidated revenues this year.
 
But a new start-up based in London, England could upset the apple-cart.  This week saw the announcement of what is tantamount to a new platform—a new way to get games on your phone.  And development for the platform begins now, whilst the public can start to use it in December.
 
“…what is tantamount
to a new platform…”
 
Internally speaking, the company is focused on what chief executive Chris Pelly refers to as “The enormous success of user-generated content and social networking sites [which] reflects the universal needs of self-expression and identifying with others.”
 
And there’s a strong case for that.  Personalised recommendations for users, game creation tools so that anyone can make a game in a few minutes, rich social networking…  The business world of today understands the power of MySpace and YouTube.  And to jumpstart this new community, Playyoo is offering $40,000 in prize money for the most successful user created titles.
 
But what just might put Playyoo’s new platform on the map are free games for mobile users.  Most cell phone users are hesitant to rack up charges to their monthly bills—particularly when it’s a company-issued device.  Without that costly barrier to entry, cell phone owners everywhere are far more likely to give games a whirl.
Tags : mobile_game mobile_gaming playyoo

Flash Lite UG members – you’ve got a whole other way to win

We’re now in week two of the Playyoo Game Contest, and if $25,000 wasn’t enough to generate some excitement with Flash developers, we’ve got a second contest going — this time with the Flash Lite User Groups. It’s called the 2007 Flash Lite Game Contest. We’re offering an additional $15,000 in cash prizes and our friends at Adobe and O’Reilly are chipping in other great prizes (Adobe software, anyone?) exclusively to members of regional Flash Lite User Groups.

If you were at Adobe Max in Chicago last week, you may have heard Giorgio Natili announce the contest in the Mobile Device UG session, and he’ll be talking about it again in Barcelona on Oct 17.

So how does it work? As a member of a Flash Lite User Group, you can specify your UG regional section (Americas, Europe and Africa, Asia Pacific) when you create an account at Playyoo. Your games will automatically be entered in the Playyoo Game Contest, as well as submitted for consideration in your regional section. So with little to no extra work on your part, you’ve got a whole other way to win.

Each regional section will be run by a contest leader selected from the regional Flash User Groups and will maintain a page on the 2007 Flash Lite Game Contest website, www.mobilecontest.org.

The winners of the regional sections of the 2007 Flash Lite Game Contest will be selected by a panel of judges comprised of representatives from Playyoo and Adobe, as well as leading Flash Lite game developers worldwide. So while the judging of the Playyoo Games Contest is strictly democratic, the UG contest will be judged by experts based on innovation in concept, game-play graphics, and the technical merits of the game – like memory optimization and loading times.

The prizes for each of the 3 regional sections of the 2007 Flash Lite Game Contest are:
•    1st prize: A prize of YOUR choice valued up to $5,000 USD
•    2nd prize: Adobe software licenses
•    3rd prize: O’Reilly books

And stay tuned in, as we’ll be announcing additional prizes as time goes on. As for the other nuts and bolts: games must be uploaded to the Playyoo website before 23:59 CET February 15, 2008 to be eligible for consideration, and you can submit as many games as you wish.

Check out www.mobilecontest.org for more details on the rules and regulations for the
UG contest.
Tags : usergroup flash_lite contest games_contest developers

Playyoo Blog to Feature Guest Content

We just wanted to post a quick note to let you know that the Playyoo blog will not only feature updates on the contest, answers to your technical questions, and information about the official launch.

The Playyoo blog will also feature guest content, editorial, interviews with notable developers, gamers and bloggers, as well as industry news, events and discussions.

If you have any requests, suggestions, or ideas, please email them to us, info [at] playyoo [dot] com

Why doesn’t Playyoo work on my phone ?

Flash Lite compatibility

If you’re unlucky enough to get the message “sorry, your phone is not compatible with Playyoo” when you try out our preview site, we really are sorry. Playyoo requires a phone which supports the new Flash Lite technology from Adobe, and although this supported by more and more mobile phones, so far the majority of phones, especially older ones, are not compatible.
 
So, if we know this, why did we choose to bet on Flash Lite? Well, Flash Lite allows us to do some very cool things. More to the point, is allows us to let YOU do some very cool things, as you will discover when we launch in December. The only real alternative technology, Java, is simply not in the same league. Sure, people create great games in Java, but they take a huge investment in time and education.
 
Flash Lite is building a momentum. Adobe is fully behind it – Adobe was a principal sponsor of this year’s major mobile phone tradeshow, 3GSM, and this alone is a clear indication of how seriously they take the market. Back in March, when we decided to go with Flash Lite, maybe 1 in 20 phones in use in Europe and USA were compatible. Now it is closer to 1 in 10. In the Far East the situation is considerably better.
 
So if your phone doesn’t work, what can you do about it? Well, to be honest, not so much. Phones are not PCs. You cannot, in general add a Flash player to your phone. Note that while you might find a Flash Lite player you can install, doing it this way in almost all cases will not help, because the phone’s operating software will not be aware of it. The only way in which you can upgrade your phone to support Flash Lite is through a firmware upgrade, and let’s be honest, few phone manufacturers bother much with these, except in extreme circumstances, and even fewer customers apply them. And why should they? It’s a phone, not a PC, and only too often they’ve see what “upgrades” do to their PCs.
 
So what is the solution? Well, the best thing is to check with your operator and see if you qualify for a free upgrade. At the moment, the safest bet is to choose a Nokia phone, but you can also check various resources (see our FAQ) for a list of supported devices. We’ll be adding a lot more resources on this topic soon.
 
Actually, if your phone doesn’t work, you’re in good company – my personal phone, a very nice Sony Ericsson K810i, doesn’t either! By the time we go live in December I’ll be making sure have a Flash Lite enabled phone – I hope you can to!
Tags : phone compatibility developers flash_lite tech_support

Want to help build the Playyoo Community?

Wow, it’s been a busy few days since we launched the Playyoo preview site and games contest. We’ve had great interest from the Flash Lite developer community at MAX Chicago. Next stop MAX Barcelona in a couple of weeks. We’ve had people try the sneak preview in 31 countries in two days. Today Playyoo returns about 16,000 results on Google. Take a bow Brian Solis and his team at Future Works PR in San Francisco!


We are building our team here at Playyoo to get ready for the December release of our full service. That means getting ready to build our community of users, both players and developers. If you are excited about Playyoo and think you can contribute, drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you - confidentiality assured!


Chris Pelly, CEO Playyoo Limited
Tags : flash_lite contest

Call for Flash Lite developers

Win up to $10,000!

Are you ready to get your game on? Well so are we, but first, we need your help.

We’re in an increasingly mobile economy. Our phones are our lifeline and a node to our network of personal and professional contacts. But they could be so much more. They can also become a key resource for relaxation, entertainment and fun.

While many phones feature the ability to play music and games, it’s a pretty isolated experience.  You download stuff, drop it into your phone, and that’s pretty much it.

But, what if there was a community that became the ONE place where anyone could go, worldwide, to find new mobile games, connect with other gamers, enter competitions, and also have the ability to create your own games? 

That would be huge right?

Better yet, it would be a valuable resource with a significant impact on the mobile gaming market – in other words, it’s a real ‘game changer’.

Welcome to Playyoo, the ground-breaking social network platform for mobile game developers and players. 

To help put things in perspective, Playyoo is to mobile games what Facebook is to contacts and relationships, YouTube is to video, and what flickr is to digital pictures.

We’re bringing together a rich set of fun games and the people who develop and play them – all in one place.

While our grand opening isn’t officially scheduled until December, we thought we’d kick things off with a little contest to get you started.

If you’re familiar with Adobe Flash Lite then here’s your chance to win up to $10,000 simply by creating a kick-ass game for mobile phones. Hey, it’s easy money.

Prizes include first, second, and third place awards of $10,000, $7,000, and $3,000 as well as seven other awards and additional cash and promotional incentives for local Adobe Flash Lite user groups around the world.

The contest enables developers to showcase their talents on a global stage and build a following within the Playyoo community.

Staying true to social roots, winners will be selected by Playyoo members: prizes will be awarded to the most popular games based on download statistics and community ratings as of February 28, 2008.

So that’s the contest…now’s the time to register for the contest, get your game on and start developing the market’s coolest and popular mobile games.

Everyone can get a taste of Playyoo by visiting the preview site at www.playyoo.com. The site also offers the exclusive opportunity to sign up as a founder member and hosts the Playyoo Game Contest pages, including rules, instructions, and an upload and content management section.

But wait, there’s more.  Bookmark this page or subscribe to the RSS feed because this blog is going to be much more than just another company blog. The Playyoo blog will become a resource for developers and gamers.

We’re going to spotlight popular games, feature video and podcast interviews with gamers, industry bloggers, and developers, and showcase industry news and trends.

Sign up today, start developing games and take a shot at the $10,000 prize.  Help us create the mobile gaming experience for the future, today.

Game on!
Tags : contest flash_lite

Welcome to Playyoo

Hello and welcome to Playyoo. We've been working on this under wraps for the last six months, so it's great to come out into the open.


Playyoo is about playing mobile games. With Playyoo, our aim is to make playing games on your mobile phone second nature. We've taken a long, hard look at all the ins and outs of mobile games, and we've come up with some ideas to make things better.


Can't find any games you like ? Well, we've got that covered. Too difficult to download games ? That too. Too fiddly to play on the phone ? We're looking at it. What we're aiming at is for you to be able to quickly access and play a fun game, wherever you are, and whenever you want, with no hassle. Fun on your own isn't much fun. That's why the Playyoo concept is built from the ground up on community. Sharing games, experiences, choices and opinions is all part of the story.


But that's not all. Playing games is all very well, but what about creating them ? Rocket science, right ? Far too difficult, only for coding geeks and geniuses ? Well, prepare to be surprised. We're not going to get you building Doom 5, but we've got some stuff lined up which you're certainly going to be able to have some fun with.


This is all a few weeks off. For now, we're offering everybody a chance to get a feel of how Playyoo is going to bring you games, and more important, we're starting our game developer contest, which provides the opportunity for Flash developers to win some big prizes.


We'll be keeping this blog regularly updated with news on the contest, background information, and plenty of other stuff. Thanks for reading - and stay tuned.

Tags :
Tags : contest