J2ME23 May 2004
Back in the mid 2000s, when I first entered the game industry, feature phones were the craze. Nokia was the market leader, followed closely by the likes of Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Samsung. Sporting color LCD screens, this was the birth of the mobile phone gaming. Back then, most phones only provided app programing access via a Java Virtual Machine (JVM, called KVM by the Chinese).
Our reference device was the Nokia 7250, which only sported 64KB of memory. This led to a style of code design which would make any modern Java programmer cringe. We generally stuffed all the game code into a single class to reduce the memory footprint, and used an obfusucator to shorten all variable names and make the code indecipherable.
The games I worked on back then included:
A simple multiple-choice quiz program to commemorate the 2008 UEFA Euro Cup.
An experiment to see how much manga we could squeeze into a simple app. The answere was suprisingly a lot, once we figured out how to download the files on the local SD card and maintain an image cache.
Elven Legends was a mobile MMO pipedream that took many incarnations. We did an early single-player prototype in J2ME, a bluetooth version based on Nokia's SIP API in C++/Symbian, and later a fully online version was made once again in J2ME.
Our most ambitious project remeniscent of early PC golf games, but for the mobile phone. By the time we got around to this one, phones were a bit more beefy and we were able to produce a pseudo-3D aesthetic. To be fair, we did cheat a lot on the physics.