How Nokia Gaming Defined a New Era for the Mobile Industry

28. 12. 2021 Tuesday / By: Robert Denes / Generic / Exact time: BST / Print this page

I Anyone who has had an old Nokia phone is familiar with the game "Snake", which has gained world fame over the past 24 years. Every person had a childhood when he focused only on playing, playing as much as he could, spending his daily life, weekends, or holidays walking. In the old days, when I didn’t have a cell phone, I loved ball games, of which I loved football the best, as well as wooden games and skill games that caught my attention. When I was bored I drew a lot of the game, I learned to draw and paint in a professional way.

But the era of the mobile phone has arrived, the time has come for me to buy myself a mobile phone, which was a Nokia 3210 smartphone, and it already had the famous "Snake" game, with which I was able to play for days as an adult. You no longer have to be a child in today’s modern society to play a person, draw attention to the everyday problem of vaccination with Covid 19 pandemics and other family problems with games. One loves to play whether one child is young or even an old man because the game is a nice pastime for everyone.

Snake’s story begins long before it found a mass audience at Nokia. It was first created as a concept in 1976 under the name Blockage and was a monochrome, two-player arcade game developed by video game company Gremlin Interactive. Similar to the game that soon became Snake, pressing the arrows required you to move each character, leaving players with a solid footprint wherever they turned. To win, the player had to endure the longest without hitting anything else. This game inspired many iterations, such as the Bigfoot Bonkers arcade game that year; several similar concepts were introduced in 1977 by the then leading video game company, Atari; a computer version called Worm, programmed in 1978; and a single-player arcade game by Nibbler in 1982.

Snake was released in 1997 and was first released by Nokia Finland for monochrome 6110 phones and was programmed by Taneli Armanto. It was no accident that Taneli came to develop this iconic game, but he was no less a perfect suitor.

Born in 1965, he didn’t have too many computers as an adult, let alone the mobile-based games that Taneli could play with. “We had to play IRL board games, and we did,” he says. - Actually, board games are still my hobby today. Taneli first experienced the internal operation of a computer as a teenager when her school received one (yes, one). Enthusiastic or “pretty zealous” they joined a member-only IT team where everyone could learn how to program a computer. He was a hopeful member of Taneli. “A little later, home computers — like Commodore64 — arrived, and I decided that computer programming could be t is my future job.”

Taneli then ran a thriving career in computer programming and game design for 15 years at Nokia. After completing her undergraduate studies in computer science and mathematics, Taneli left the university unfortunate when Nokia expanded its user interface development team near its hometown in Finland. He got into the application process, got in, and worked on developing the user interface for the first devices. Because Taneline had some experience in the music industry, she was interested in how the ringtones were made. “That’s how I have to program the sounds on some handsets,” he recalls for the first few months. These ringtones can go back a few years because I’m sure many will remember scrolling to find the perfect musical accompaniment and choosing the jazzy beep of Groovy Blue, the high-paced vibe of Kick, the vibrant energy of Caprice, or the stress-inducing Critter. These are the tunes that will stay in your head for days (there are currently a number of reminders on YouTube).

A colleague at the time was researching the possibilities of mobile gaming applications and was just playing a computer game named after T. Armanto. A rare name in Finland, a colleague assumed Taneli was behind the game; he was actually his nephew. "He thought I would be the best choice if you think about what these 'nice little games' might be, as the team has been working to expand Nokia's mobile capabilities." Tanel was picked up and first started working on the code for the calculator on the phone, followed by the calendar and, most importantly, the games.

“I miss Nokia times. It was inspiring and fun to be a member of this “family,” says Taneli, who currently works for Into oy, a small IT center based in Turku. One of the key moments of his time at the mobile company, of course, was the development of Snake, which was born at the back of the product marketing team and wanted a game that would take advantage of the infrared connection that was soon to be built. your product. Did you know that Snake is a two-player player? No, neither do I. “Most players only chose the single-player option or didn’t even know about the two-player option,” says Taneli.

During the development of Snake, Tanelin and the team had certain limitations. This included the number of keys needed to control the game (i.e. the phone keypad), the limited display, which meant they could use up to 48 x 84 black and white pixels, and a small amount of memory on the device. “We needed a very simple (controllable) two-player game that would fit the display,” Taneli recalls. “Luckily, I’ve played such a game on a Macintosh computer before and found it to fit our goals perfectly. It was a game with two snakes, with two players controlling both on their own side of the keyboard. That’s why I suggested we test whether this is feasible between two handsets, of course both controlling their snake with their own handsets. ” Tetris was another game that was meant to be transformed into the mobile sphere, yet there were inevitably some copyright issues. Snake, on the other hand, was a simple - not bulky - game that looked nice and was completely controllable with minimal buttons. There was no copyright issue either and it is ready to build from scratch. - So we decided to start.

Snake was conceived in the C programming language, as were many other parts of the software in the generation devices. The game was “handwritten” line by line and did not require (or have access to) any special tools or code generators. During the testing phase and working out how the snake would move best on the screen, Taneli began to notice that it was difficult to go toward the edge of the screen and make a 90-degree turn without crashing. This made him think, “Why not help the players a little and reduce their potential frustration? Maybe that's how they'll like the game. ” Therefore, he gave a “tiny tiny” little delay for the crash to give the player a few more milliseconds to react and save the snake. “So now it’s easier to keep playing even at higher speeds;

This happened in the 90s and nearly 30 years have passed since Snake was released. It has left an incredible legacy, with more than 420 Snake-like games now available only on iOS, all with the touch of a finger on the silky glass screen without any chunky buttons. At its peak in 2007, Nokia had a 51 percent global market share (Apple is currently roughly 25 percent) and has been the leading manufacturer for 14 years. This lasted until the release of the Apple iPhone, which was called a “giant screen magic phone.” So that even five-year-olds could use it. Nokia was puzzled by the demand for less battery life and a fragile screen, as the company deliberately avoided. But that’s what people wanted; The advent of the iPhone resulted in Nokia’s decline, and in 2014, Microsoft finally acquired its mobile phone business.

Similarly, Robyn Bremner, a leading producer of ustwo games - a company responsible for interactive games such as Alba: The Wildlife Adventure, Assemble with Care, Monument Valley and Whale Trail - recalls the past consumed by Snake. “I’ve played Snake on so many devices already! Now even a version of Snake can be played with my kettle, ”he says, detailing the game’s endless impact on the world. "It's one of those games that has been around for so long that I think it always has been."

Like Snake, games are constantly evolving to meet consumer needs, and thanks to smartphones, you can do virtually anything you want at the touch of a screen. “It looks like we’ve reached another turning point in mobile gaming,” Ashleigh continues, explaining how the epidemic triggered the growth of small-screen entertainment. "Actually, I'm not sure which direction to go in the end, but I think this industry will continue to evolve and transform nonetheless."

However, to this day, all ages have heard of Snake - maybe even the original was played, or they know an older person who heard it. And when people find out that Taneli was the developer in the background, they tend to react in some way. "More often than not, 'Oh, did you create the Snake?' Respect man! I played with him so much, ”he says. Or if they are still young: "My mother / father / uncle played with him so much!" Her children continue to keep the legacy and are happy to mention to their friends, “Anyway, my dad created the Snake.” I would be proud too if I were that.

Snake was a milestone in the mobile gaming industry, and much of what we see today can be attributed to the dawn of the mobile snake navigating the small, black-and-white screen. It brought a smile, happiness, brain stimulation, and it was just something that had to be done at times - or better yet, to spend time on a grim afternoon bus from school. It also showed what can be done with a phone, which will perhaps have a bit more demand in the coming years. “The little details that made players’ lives easier are the lack of programming bugs, the beauty of the source code; it was perfect, ”says Taneli permanently of the iconic effect of the game. "And sometimes, sometimes, I still play myself."


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