Nintendo did at least one thing right when bringing Animal Crossing to mobile

It's fair to say that Nintendo's latest mobile title, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, has met with a mixed reception.

In the press, reviewers have expressed a number of complaints about the game, including its monetisation mechanics, intermittent server issues and lack of certain gameplay elements that were found in earlier console versions of Animal Crossing.

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Learn how Rovio puts free-to-play quality at the heart of game development, keeping two billion users coming back for more

How did Angry Birds reach one billion users within three years of its launch, and two billion users just 18 months later? And how is Rovio’s skill in creating free-to-play mobile games still driving the company’s success today?

Most answers to these questions have something in common: recognition for the sheer feeling of quality that the Angry Birds games exude in everything from their touch-responsiveness to their physics simulation and in-game economics. But this poses an additional question: how does Rovio achieve such quality?

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Use game technology to ensure the visual smoothness of your app

The notion of frame rate, or frames per second (fps), which measures the smoothness of an animation, is traditionally associated with game development rather than app development. This is because games depend on stutter-free graphics in order to feel immersive, believable and responsive to a gamer’s touch inputs.

However, as businesses increasingly rely on visual fluidity to sell their products and transmit the quality of their brands, this distinction between the two sides of our industry is becoming obsolete.

Streaming video, displaying moving ads, scrolling through media-rich pages, swiping across screens, zooming and dragging -- at a fundamental level these are all animations that feel wrong if they’re not smooth. And frame rate is pretty much the the only objective way to measure this smoothness as a user perceives it on their screen.

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The market’s first ‘usability’ benchmark

When you’re on a long flight, have you stopped yourself from playing a mobile game in order to conserve your battery? Have you experienced too many stutters when you play a visually intensive title? Do you think it’d be helpful if you could choose a phone to suit your specific needs, based on public data about how well each model handles the best games and apps?

Smartphone and tablet reviewers try to distill their sense of how well a phone performs, but no matter how good their intentions, their conclusions are inevitably subjective and anecdotal. That’s why a market has developed around benchmarking apps like GFX, CPUBench, AnTuTu etc.

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