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loss of battery power or to be interrupted by an incoming call. Ad-hoc
networks could be created with Bluetooth wireless technology for multi-
player games and, with the introduction of the Mobile 3D Graphics API
(JSR-184, 21 also known as M3G), artists and designers could create game
assets using industry-standard 3D modeling tools and developers could
include and animate them in 3D scenes on actual handsets. On Symbian
OS phones, the M3G implementation leverages the native support for
OpenGL ES that comes with the operating system.
Of course there were problems. Mobile phones, even high-end ones,
have limited power, memory, processing and screen area. Floating-point
operations present a significant hurdle to be overcome when trying to
perform 3D graphics calculations on a phone. It was quickly apparent
that JSR-184 could not provide acceptable frame rates in the absence of
hardware acceleration.
Now that a few more years have passed, it's pretty common to see
mobile phones with dedicated hardware for graphics and floating-point
calculations and the latest Symbian OS phones natively support OpenGL
ES 1.1. The introduction of OpenGL ES 2.0 will change the entire mobile
gaming landscape; it has support for the programmable graphics pipeline
(i.e. shaders) and there is already a JSR in progress to work with it - the
Mobile 3D Graphics API 2.0 (JSR-297). 22
Realizing that mobile multiplayer game-play was a huge potential mar-
ket, Nokia launched the Scalable Network Application Package (SNAP)
framework 23 in 2003. Network operators love it because it generates
revenue by increasing bandwidth usage. SNAP 2.1, the latest version of
the SDK, has only just been released at time of writing; it is discussed in
Appendix B. We also discuss general games development in more detail
in Chapter 8.
1.8 Routes to Market
So you bought this topic, learned all about Java ME application devel-
opment, designed and built the killer Java ME mobile application and
you're ready to sell - now what? How do people find and buy mobile
applications? In 2006 alone, roughly $2.5 billion dollars' worth of games
were sold worldwide so let's discuss how you can grab a piece of it.
There are currently two main ways to get your applications working
for you. The first way is to make a deal with a network operator or carrier
for a slot on their 'deck'. The deck is a space on their mobile portal
where the top mobile applications (usually games) are made available for
21 For a great introduction to JSR-184, check out
articles/3dgraphics .
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