N-Gage looks towards user-generated content

N-Gage looks towards user-generated content
Michael French

By Michael French

October 19th 2007 at 12:06PM

New cross-platform game lets players share content between PC and mobile

In an exclusive interview with Develop, Nokia's games boss Mark Ollila has revealed that the company is hard at work on multiple cross-platform games for its revamped N-Gage platform.

Earlier this year it emerged the company was developing a new game in association with studio RedLynx which could be played on both PC and mobile and used Nokia's SNAP technology as its connectivity backbone. That title, Project White Rock, reportedly boasts hundreds of lines of recorded dialogue suggesting it is a more traditional, possibly MMO-like, game experience for multiple players.

But Nokia also has another such title in development, Ollila explained - one which features a user-generated content element.

"For one of the titles we are working on we are looking at the possibility of letting players create a game and sharing that experience with others," he explained adding that the decision to create games that work across both mobile and PC is part of Nokia's larger plan to build community around its rebirthed N-Gage service.

The new N-Gage platform takes a software approach rather than the handset-driven one, providing an environment across a number of N-series devices that means developers only have to develop one SKU of a mobile games.

He explained: "One of the things we're emphasising with the N-Gage platform is the one SKU across various devices and the other thing that we're emphasising is building up community. Community is very key to Nokia - our mantra is 'Connecting People', but when it comes to gaming we're connecting people through play.

"It's something that will be important to us in building the community - and it's very relevant given the recent explosion of social networking sites. "

In terms of user-made content and how Nokia homes its N-Gage community will flourish, he said: "Games are focused very much on winning - the thing we want to push towards is rewarding people and sharing. So that there is some sort of ownership with the community and the game - we're trying to push that aspect.

"We're exploring the cross-platform side of things - your friend might not have a Nokia handset but you still want to play with them."

Ollila gave no specifics on the content of the new game as to its genre - but did say both it and Project White Rock are due for release in early 2008.

The N-Gage service is expected to roll-out on November 2nd, along with the rest of Nokia's new Ovi-branded web-based offers that also include a music and map service alongside the games one.