Mobile gaming is rapidly becoming one of the most significant and lucrative sectors of the wireless entertainment space, increasingly drawing in major publishers from the traditional videogame industry as the immense potential of this universally available platform is realised. In many ways, it also takes the gaming world back to its roots, where content is designed and coded by small, independent developers, start-up firms making their first steps into the industry, and even 'bedroom enthusiasts' can produce marketable content.
Whether created by a major publisher, a small studio or a single coding enthusiast, one of the major issues in the wireless world is the difficulty in porting content to the plethora of available wireless devices, which often results in lengthy development times and spiralling costs. UK-based direct to consumer mobile content retailer ClickGamer Technologies, believes the solution lies with the EDGE SDK, which the company exclusively distributes under an agreement with its creators, Elements Interactive.
In order to promote the benefits of developing games using the EDGE SDK, ClickGamer and Elements Interactive are hosting a unique coding competition, open to all mobile game developers and catering for both original and previously published mobile games.
The competition will run for six months, between the 7th December, 2005 and the 7th June, 2006. All entries must be created using the EDGE SDK, an evaluation version for which - together with full competition details and a comprehensive EDGE features list - is available to download free of charge. Entrants will be judged by an independent panel of mobile industry experts from around the world, and winners will be announced at the end of June 2006.
The winner will receive a developer edition Gizmondo unit, a two-year commercial EDGE license, and USD 5000 worth of free advertising for the winning game on competition organiser ClickGamer's website.
The technology central to the competition, the EDGE software development kit, has been designed from scratch using C++ by Netherlands-based mobile game developers, Elements Interactive. Created using the firm's proprietary technology; the productised result of many years of advanced mobile game
development for a wide range of devices.
EDGE offers developers a comprehensive library of platform independent functions for simple, intuitive game development, compatible with Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Windows Mobile Smartphone, Symbian Series 60, Symbian UIQ and Windows Desktop.
Incorporating an advanced graphics engine, an embedded network system for TCP/IP or Bluetooth network gaming features, a wealth of platform independent functions (such as memory management and handling strings) and a simple but solid framework for easy management of multi-platform projects, EDGE is a powerful and comprehensive development tool, product proven over many years by Elements Interactive.
Joe Wee, COO of ClickGamer Technologies, commented: "EDGE has come at a right time, because the mobile market is now hungry for 'console quality' games with the explosion of smartphones and convergence of PDA and phone, unlike the Java based predecessors which only offer a sub-standard gaming experience. EDGE cuts down on man years of cross-platform development and allows publishers and developers to concentrate on what really matters - gameplay, graphics and sound design."
Elements Interactive's entire portfolio of titles is available directly through ClickGamer.com, the multi-platform web portal of UK-based ClickGamer Technologies. The firm was established in 2002 with the ambition of becoming the leading direct to consumer retailer of premium mobile content.
ClickGamer's COO, Joe Wee, explained the relatively small product line-up on the web portal - a catalogue of approximately 5000 products - citing a strict set of quality controls guidelines that ensure the portal only ever provides high quality, premium mobile content - regardless of platform or hardware limitations. The company is dedicated to the advancement of independent and homebrew games and content however, providing a retail channel for over 600 publishers and developers, in addition to operating over 40 white label websites for enthusiast portals.
"We employ an in-house bred content delivery platform which delivers content transparently to all wireline and wireless devices over 3G, 2.5, GSM and fixline broadband, allowing our customers a unique and consistent feel of our brand and content, regardless of when they are surfing content over PC, PDA, smartphone or java phone," Wee stated.
Complimenting the firm's games portal and its sister site, clickApps.com, the company also provides content aggregation for a growing number of publishing partners, including a long-standing agreement with network operator, T-Mobile. Non core activities include mobile game and application development, and the company has successfully developed over 20 titles to date, all of which will be ported to Elements' EDGE in the coming months.
ClickGamer has an exclusive distribution, marketing and development agreement with Elements Interactive, the two companies working closely to further the advancement and universal adoption of EDGE. One of the key aspects of the powerful, yet accessible SDK is the competitive licensing price point, which ClickGamer is confident provides a serious financial advantage over alternative outsourcing arrangements or in-house porting activities.