Feature: Pasi Manninen

Pasi from Finland is next in our lineup. He actually won 2 prizes. qTile won the 4th and SokoLite won the 8th prize. Click on the images below to get to the game pages.

The Games




About Pasi

Pasi Manninen - Certified Adobe Flash and Flash Lite Developer. He lives in Jyväskylä, in the middle of Finland. He used Flash based technologies since they are available and he is still very interested in multimedia programming especially for the web and different kind of devices. He has a Master of Science (1997) in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Jyväskylä.
He started teaching at University of Jyväskylä in 1996 and is now working as a lecturer in Jyväskylä University of Applied Science's Information Technology, Degree Programme of Media Engineering (since 2002). More info about Pasi can be found in his blog at http://ptm.fi



The Interview

WordRap

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Pasi Manninen and I live in Jyväskylä, middle of Finland. I am working as a teacher in Jyväskylä at the University of Applied Sciences. I have used Flash based technologies for more than ten years now and I am still very interested in multimedia programming in web and different kind of devices.

How did you become a Flash Lite developer?

I have used computers during my entire live - playing games when I was young and of course trying programming small games back then. About ten years ago I used Macromedia Director in one project at the University (when I was studying) and later Macromedia Flash also. Now when Flash Lite became available here in Finland, I noticed that this is what I really want to do. Working with Flash Lite is like a hobby for me, and of course it is work also.

You are interested in casual games, tell us why?

I like to solve different kinds of puzzles because you need to think carefully about your moves, it's not about wildly pressing the keys on the mobile phone. I think puzzle games work for the mobile handest too, you have small screens and casual games works nicely in those.

Tell us how you came up with idea for this game.

I think you are meaning qTile now, yes. The original idea is come from Jaakko Koskela, one friend of mine. He did Java version of this game a long time ago (but he never published it). Then I noticed this Playyoo competition and I talked about it with Jaakko. So I programmed a few evenings and sent qTile to playyoo?s contest.

What other games do you like on Playyoo?

There are a lot of good games in Playyoo, but there is also a lot of trash. I think you really need some kind of checking system before games are visible to end users. But best games in my opinion are Bog Frog and The Empty Space. I specially liked a lot of Bog Frog?s hurry up mode with randomized levels - it is really challenging! ? thanks to Ekleptica for that game.

What are you currently working on?

I have no projects running now but I definitely want to test Kuneri Lite soon. There are really good extensions available to Flash Lite Developers. (like accelerometer for N95).

What do you think Playyoo can offer to you as a developer?

You have done really good work. It is really easy to make games available in Playyoo. And from a player's view, it is really easy to browser games and set favourites and play then in mobile. Good work. Thanks!

Do have an advice for other game creators how to win a contest like this one?

First you have to get a good idea for your game. The game must be simple to play and it has to offer long playability. Those kind of games are what I like to play. Many of the winning games at Playyoo are of that kind. About qTile - I think I have good idea now, but I didn't find any designers to do great graphics for my game in time. So I have to submit qTile quickly to Playyoo to get downloads. One other thought is that my content is Flash Lite 2.0, maybe it is still better to do Flash Lite 1.1 game, but I really think we have been too long time in Flash Lite 1.1, maybe it is time to move on now.

Tags : interview contest

Feature: Match the Blocks by Samir

I'm happy to present Samir K. Dash and his game "Match the Blocks", that won the Playyoo Launch Contest. We start the feature series with Samir we will continue with all the winners and other fine game creators.
First have a look at the game's scoreboard.
I played this game myself and I can tell you the current highscore is incredible.

About Samir

Samir currently works as System Consultant (Creative Content) leading an e-learning & multimedia team at Enterprise System Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (www.esspl.com) at Bhubaneswar, India. He is passionate about Flash, Flash Lite and has developed few applications, games and components for web and mobiles. He runs his experimental Flash Lite based mobile greetings site MobileWish. He beliefs “ Flash Lite will fuel the nexgen M-Learning through usage of mobile interactives and games. Playyoo’s contribution towards bringing together the Flash Lite community and spreading the awareness among common mass has turned this chain reaction, ON.” More details about Samir can be found at his blog http://samirshomepage.wordpress.com

The Interview

As part of our feature of fine game creators we are going to have short interviews and provide them via Podcast here. I actually did a Skype interview with Samir but unfortunately the sound quality is rather bad. Still I will investigate how to improve it and post it later if I succeed.

So we rather print the interview here.

How did you become a Flash Lite developer?

It was back in 1997, when I found a copy of a promotional CD from a digit magazine with Flash 5 trial copy, I started experimenting with it and gradually realized this software has everything that turns on my imagination. Later I started self learning Flash and followed every version until (two, three years back) I came to know that they have launched a mobile profile too. My interest raised further knowing that I can see my little animations on mobile handsets. My first Flash Lite application was “Traffic Signs” in Flash Lite 1.0 -- which was nothing but a pack of slides of traffic sign images in each frame. Later when I joined ESSPL and started using Flash for client projects, I found out that Flash Lite can be used to create “Value Additions” to some of enterprise/web applications other teams are developing – like a mobile companion to any of the application that are being developed in Java/.Net , that will show some information on handsets – Rss gadgets, string/XML parsers etc. Thus I got my passion for Flash lite.

You are interested in casual games, tell us why?

Most of the jobs in my current company involve development of interactive and e-learning stuff and that’s the main reaso. When I view Flash Lite games, I see it as a medium to keep the user engaged deeply for some minutes. I belief, the causal games are the only robust way to guide the instructional designs of a next generation M-Learning.. That’s is the main reason I was first attracted to wards this area. I believe causal mobile games are the next big thing both in game as well as M-Learning industry.

Tell us how you came up with idea for this game?

“Match the Blocks” is perhaps the simplest game in the series of ten games I contributed to Playoo. I believe, that in most of the cases if it is a mobile game, there is a high chance that the user may not be in a situation where he can concentrate more on game playing...like he might be downloading the game while waiting for cab, or ordering a meal at restaurant. So the idea is to keep the game playing rules simple, so much time is not wasted by the user in learning “How to/what to do” about the game. Additionally more the complicated a game is , less chance, the user will be able to find sufficient time and attention for it to play on handset. So, I created “Match the Blocks” keeping in all these things in mind, and those things worked very well too.

What other games do you like on Playyoo?

I think there are many brilliant games in Playyoo. To name a few -- QTile, Mondo Under, Panic Mechanic, Orang Bunian, these are few names of some brilliant games I liked at playyoo. Qtile is very technically sound design in game , Mondo Under is a wonderful piece in graphic effects, Panic mechanic has a good entertaining factor and Orang Bunian is a very simple but beautiful game.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on 3 casual games for playyoo, one of them is “Bhul Bhuleya” based on a new concept. I am sure the user will like the gaming experience of that very much. The second one is a Flash lite 3 game, and the third one is a version 2 of “Match the Blocks” . Apart from games I am also working on a m-learning stuff that will I hope make m-learning easier to implement in Flash Lite.

What do you think Playyoo can offer to you as a developer?<

Playyoo has done a wonderful job in bringing together the Flash Lite developers and the game players. I think it's very important for Playyoo to improve this synergy factor. Most of the developers would be more interested if Playyoo can create a potential market for them to showcase their games and interactive for commercial benefits.

I also wish that Playyoo can push the M-Learning related interactive development, which can actually redefine the whole concept of learning using Flash Lite games for students – as games are much more effective than pure texts. As I said earlier the next big thing both in game as well as M-Learning industry lies in causal games /interactive development.

Do have an advice for other game creators how to win a contest like this one.

The specialty of Playyoo contest was that unlike other game development contests held in previous years, it is based on the concept of “for the game players”…the judging criteria was more on “user’s preference in gaming” – with in 300 kb one need to bring the entertaining factor and has to keep a balance between the technology and the taste. Many games that were brilliantly designed and technically sound may fail in these type of contests if users can not see it as per what they expect from this. The key is to keep a balance between the technical potential and the gaming factor. And yes it is always good to make the game small so users won’t need to wait too long, make it FL 1.1 (because the more users can play it on their handset), don’t make the game rules complex…make it simple and short…and I am sure the game will gate more users.

Thanks for the interview and your games.
Tags :
Tags : feature contest

Kars on the Playyoo system

Kars Alfrink, an interaction designer and consultant, did an interesting talk at GDC on the underlying basics of the Playyoo system. Please refer to his transcript for further details. Enclosed you'll find his slides.
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