[casual_games] C to J2ME tools

Allan Simonsen Simonsen at rocketmail.com
Sun Jan 29 05:31:31 EST 2006

Probably more usefull to think of it as a totally
different SKU, kinda like porting a franchise from PS2
to GBA :) 

This is especially true on J2ME platforms, which
suffers from all kinds of interesting artefacts; both
in how the API operates, and in
size/speed/memory/screen restrictions. Compile once,
run anywhere....muahahahah.

In general, the gatekeepers to this market
(essentially the Telcos and the Aggregators) are
looking for these SKUs:

- S40 J2ME Version (64kb should be enough for anyone)
- S60 J2ME Version (128kb, faster CPU, larger screen)
- high-end J2ME (pick the showcase phone of the last 6
- BREW Low-end (equivalent specs to S60)
- BREW High-end (equivalent to showcase J2ME)

If they like what they see, someone (hopefully not
you) will be asked to branch this into the 100+ other
phone-models on the market.

In addition, the gatekeeper may ask for DOJA or
SYMBIAN versions of popular titles.

BREW is a C++ API for handphones sold in US and Korea.

J2ME is used in AsiaPac, Europe and America

DOJA is an enhanved flavour of J2ME, used in Japan and
by other telcos pushing DOCOMO content.

SYMBIAN is a 'high-performance' C++ environment for
smartphones, where you can actually do pretty decent
development performance. The NGage was essentially a
S60 phone running on SYMBIAN. 

As you can see; developing in C and porting to J2ME
will be the least of your worry; the bulk of it comes
in developing a flexible architecture that abstracts
the 100+ SKUs into a single interface, and does so in
an application that can fit inside a 64KB JAR file :)


> Thanks for the thoughts Allan.  I'll only do a
> mobile version if the PC 
> SKU is doing well so it would be a port of a
> finalized game where 
> performance is a non-issue.  Last I looked at the
> cellphones they were 
> getting pretty capable - is 64K really an important
> commercial threshold?
> Lennard Feddersen
> CEO, Rusty Axe Games, Inc.
> www.RustyAxe.com
> Lennard at RustyAxe.com
> P. 250-635-7623 F. 1-309-422-2466
> 3521 Dogwood, Terrace, BC, Canada, V8G-4Y7
> Allan Simonsen wrote:
> >One project we were involved in used some form of
> C++
> >-> J2ME tool to convert between BREW and J2ME. It
> >kinda works, but you'll need to continously
> hand-tweak
> >it around the things that DIDN'T. For us it was
> almost
> >worth it, since we were developing in parallell for
> >both platforms, but...
> >
> >- If you're ONLY doing the mobile platform, go
> >straight to J2ME, do not pass C++.
> >
> >- You'd need to hand-code a low-level abstraction
> API,
> >since the converter only understands how to change
> >syntactic sugar and basic types, not how to blit a
> >sprite or load a sound.
> >
> >- Handphone games have totally different
> restrictions
> >than casual games for the PC; especially the sub
> 64kb
> >platforms (S40 J2ME), where you'll end up harcoding
> >everything in 3-5 classes to avoid the per-class
> >overhead. NOT the way you want to think when coding
> >for the PC.
> >
> >- Handphone games spend a lot of energy abstracting
> >screensize and phone capabilites so it will run
> nicely
> >on the hundreds of different platforms. This is a
> pain
> >when you're prototyping a design idea. It also
> >involves making a significant investment in your
> >art-pipeline (to handle somewhere between 3-10
> >different base-SKUs at coding-time). 
> >
> >My personal recommendation would be to ignore
> >handphones during development, and then spend the
> time
> >after the PC game shipped on developing the mobile
> >game, once gameplay and look is nailed down. 
> >
> >Alternatively, there are a bunch of low-cost
> porting
> >houses that will take your PC game and churn out a
> >J2ME + BREW multi-SKU product; that might be more
> of a
> >plan if your game is a success.
> >
> >Allan
> >
> >
> >
> >--- Lennard Feddersen <Lennard at RustyAxe.com> wrote:
> >
> >  
> >
> >>Does anybody have any experience with automated C
> to
> >>J2ME style tools? 
> >>I'm in the early days of my next project and think
> >>it would fit well on 
> >>cell phones but would prefer to do my PC coding in
> >>C.
> >>
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >
> >Allan Simonsen                   
> simonsen at rocketmail.com
> >ICQ# 16606984
> >
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> >  
> >
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Allan Simonsen                    simonsen at rocketmail.com
ICQ# 16606984

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