Welcome!

Java Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Yakov Fain

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Java, Wireless, Web 2.0, Big Data Journal

@ThingsExpo: Article

Thinking Through Gamification and HTML5 for Mobile Apps

One of my most interesting achievements in life is having the first downloadable mobile game ever rejected

In this article, my colleague and uber-geek (he builds games over wet-weekends) Peter Rogers shares his insights on Gamification and HTML5.

One of my most interesting achievements in life is having the first downloadable mobile game ever rejected. I was running an internal games team back in the days of the emergence of J2ME and we were actually running custom built MIDP 2.0 emulators (that I had to build myself) on top of iPAQs, as there was no 3G phone hardware available yet. We had to load a reduced Java SE runtime onto the iPAQ and then load on the MIDP 2.0 emulator which was itself written in Java. The interesting thing to note was the proliferation of Java SE runtimes that were available for Compaq's handheld Pocket PC, but they all suffered from performance issues which is why they never really took off. It was not until Google decided to make the Dalvik VM use a register-based architecture, as opposed to the stack machine typically used by a Java VM, that acceptable Java SE performance was possible on a mobile device and henceforth Android was born.

The concept of the game was actually very simple, a lot of chickens popped out of various holes and you had to grab hold of them (and sort of choke them). I hired Steve Brown as our artist, who was the legendary artist of the 1987 Commodore 64 classic Barbarian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarian:_The_Ultimate_Warrior) which managed to gleefully court controversy ("Barbarian features gory combat for the sake of rescuing a bikini-wearing princess"). I am not sure if it was the animation sequences of cartoon chicken related violence (their eyes bulged out as you squeezed them) or the name of the game (chickens, choking, I am sure you can work it out). We also had a game where you had to lead sheep over a minefield with amazing graphical deaths. I think we managed to have three games rejected (some may actually class them as the first mobile games ever banned) but we did produce two exceptional games which did finally make it to market.

With that said, I have always had a strong love affair with mobile gaming and so I get a twitch of dissatisfaction when people discuss Gamification in such dispassionate undertones. In my mind then Gamification is more than just adding experience points and awards to your underlying content. In my opinion the actual content needs to be changed and that means adopting simple game design concepts. Flappy Bird proved to the world that people are highly competitive and that frustration equals stickiness. I want to see more people adding actual mini-games into their content and not just into their advertising windows.

The creation of mini-games does require a supporting Gamification framework though. I believe this will happen, as HTML5 Gaming frameworks offer higher levels of abstraction and the best I have seen yet is the Quintus Game Engine (http://html5quintus.com/). In just 80 lines of code then you can write a simple platform game. I managed to prove this point by writing a touch screen Tetris game one wet weekend. The next step is Gaming frameworks that offer more simplified gaming experiences that can be created by amateurs. I envisage an App Factory with a simplified API that can be used to create mini-games that can run in a GameView window - similar to a UIWebView/WebView for wrapping web content. Only interactive adverts seems to offer anything similar to a GameView and these are generally a bad experience on mobile.

As one of the first five owners of a Nintendo Gameboy in this country, I remember sitting in a McDonalds and playing a portable monochrome Super Mario Land on a blurry screen, whilst watching the amazement of the local burger munching clientele. It has been clear to me for many years that Nintendo drives innovation far more than they get credit for.

It was very interesting then when I stumbled across a second hand copy of WarioWare DIY. At first it appeared to be just a bad collection of mini-games but on further investigation it allowed you to actually create your own games and ship them to an online community. What amazed me was the simplicity of the API that was wrapped into an App Factory for amateurs. With a few clicks and a vast simplification of gaming logic then I was able to create mini-games and ship them to a wider audience. This may sound totally irrelevant until you hear all of your customers asking for Gamification and the complete lack of game creating talent generally available within a business. Imagine if you had a simple App Factory that allowed you to create simple Gamification experiences and export them into a GameView window within an App.

I am therefore currently looking at reverse engineering the WarioWare DIY API and creating my own Design Time API that enables the building of simple Gamificationexperiences that can be imported into existing native Apps or even loaded over the air (App Store regulations withstanding). This task would of course be far easier by just targeting HTML5 and building this on top of the excellent Quintus Game API, however there would be issues of performance.

Without targeting HTML5 Canvas and a suitable cross-compiler to native OpenGL then I would much rather target Polyglot code for multiple native operating systems. A polyglot is a computer program or script written in a valid form of multiple programming languages, which performs the same operations or output independent of the programming language used to compile or interpret it.

If anybody out there is interesting by my Gamification creation framework then please feel to reach out.

************************************************************************

Kevin Benedict

Writer, Speaker, Editor

Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant

View my profile on LinkedIn

Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com

Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict

Browse the Mobile Solution Directory

Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos

Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...