Ludicrous Software

Gaming Habits

This is slightly old news, but still interesting: a Nokia gaming habits survey. Perhaps the most interesting stat is that the average length of a mobile gaming session is 28 minutes. Although it’s not clear from the news release, it’s probably reasonable to assume that a ‘session’ could be either playing a single game or multiple different games. Either way, I think this has some interesting implications for developing Flash Lite games.

I think there’s a general conception ‘out there’ that games built with Flash Lite are or should be the gaming equivalent of snack food: quick and easy to produce, cheap, and just as quick and easy to consume. Flash Lite enables rapid development - it’s possible to put together a working prototype of a game in an incredibly short period of time (also, have you seen the code for the ‘hello world’ example program in the J2ME dev kit?) - so Flash would be the obvious choice for the snack food style of game. But also, there is a recognized and legitimate need to fill that snack food void. There is a definite market for the two- or three-minute quick hit game, such as those available through Shockwave Minis.

But there’s no reason why Flash Lite games have to be snack food; they can just as easily be a sit-down dinner. I think this study can help developers make the case that there is lots of room in the market for the longer, more compelling gaming experiences, and as Flash Lite 2.0 starts appearing on devices, it’s that much easier to imagine creating those experiences with Flash Lite.

The other element from the news release that leaped out at me was the finding that 62% of mobile gamers want to share game demos with their friends, and 79% would try out a game sent to them by their friends. So if you go the demo route, there’s an obvious benefit to including in it some way of letting people notify their friends about your demo, or letting them send the demo to their friends.

Update: Wired has a section on “instant entertainment” - entertainment as snack food. - including a short description of a few Wii “microgames”.