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Getting Started with Games on Nokia Platforms

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Created: teemup (09 Sep 2011)
Last edited: hamishwillee (17 Jul 2012)

So what do you need to know to get started with games development for Nokia phones?


Future smartphones

Nokia’s forthcoming Windows Phone smartphones will enable you to create rich games using the Silverlight/XNA Framework application model.

Latest smartphones

When creating games with Qt or (where possible) native Symbian C++, Symbian^3 and Symbian Anna smartphones and the Nokia N9 smartphone offer you industry standard graphics APIs, with 2D and 3D graphics acceleration for optimum user experiences. You will create games using OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 as well as with the OpenVG 1.1 APIs on Symbian phones. You can create games with the easy-to-use Qt SDK as well as in native Symbian C++ using Symbian^3 SDK for Nokia devices.

The 2D/3D graphics accelerator in S^3 phones is a little different compared to other commonly used 2D/3D accelerators. If you want to get the most from the accelerator features, the webinars provide details of the special optimisation hints you can use.

Not all graphics in Adobe Flash Lite and Java™ apps take full advantage of the acceleration features. For example, while graphics created with the Mobile 3D Graphics API for J2ME™ (JSR-184) are hardware accelerated, those created with the Scalable 2D Vector Graphics API for J2ME™ (JSR-226) API are rendered in software. For more information, see Graphics hardware acceleration in the Java Developer’s Library. As a result, you should review the use of Flash or Java code for your apps, and consider using Qt or native C/C++ where these technologies may offer better performance.

Earlier smartphones

For phones built on S60 5th Edition and earlier you can use many of the same APIs as the latest smartphones and create your games using Qt SDK or native Symbian C++. However, be aware that most of these early smartphones don’t have 2D/3D graphics acceleration (with the exception of the Nokia N95 mobile computer and its variants, which provides acceleration with OpenGL ES 1.1.)

You can create Java technology and Adobe Flash Lite games for these phones too.

Series 40 phones

Your primary options for developing games for Series 40 phones is Java technology. However, the range of hardware in Series 40 phones varies and can affect the performance of games: the two key items to be aware of are differences in CPU performance and the variation in screen resolutions. While Adobe Flash Lite is available on many Series 40 devices, the implementation isn’t up to date and you may find it unsuitable for anything except the simplest of games.

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