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Maurice Molyneaux

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Jamdat Solitaire
Spider-Man
Stuart Little
Nokia Golf
Water Rapids
Virtual Me
Steamboat Willie
King of Fighters
Space Invaders
Uno
Magic 8 Ball
WWE Mobile Madness
Suzuki Motocross
Other Design Work

Since 2001 I've been heavily involved in the development of games for wireless devices, including PDAs but mostly on mobile phones.

Below is a partial list of titles I produced. In many cases I led the design as well.

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Jamdat Solitaire

Jamdat Solitaire

Jamdat, 2002

One of the earliest wireless products I worked on, this one went on to become of the Jamdat's top downloads.

Solitary pursuits    

Solitaire was one of the earliest wireless titles I produced, when my group was still new to the whole thing. As such I was heavily involved in the development of the project, even more so than usual. In this instance, in addition to producing, I personally worked out the user interface, because the standard navigation keys and fire button wasn't going to work logically with many of the strange and changing card layouts. Instead, I devised a system where each card stack was assigned to a key the symbol for which moved with the stack so the player always knows what key acts on what card.

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Does whatever a spider can

THE COLOR
PROTOTYPE

Spider-Man

For Sony Pictures, 2002

The Greatest Story Never Sold!

Produced on a very tight schedule for a very limited target handset, Spider-Man was a movie tie-in that was never seen. We delivered the Beta for approval by licensor Sony Pictures and sign-off by Marvel comics, but then it turned out someone had oversold the wireless rights, and Sony could not release the game!

Too bad, because the game was a shining moment for NuvoStudios. The small team I managed for this product did a superlative job overcoming many a limitation to make a really great game engine. The target handset had a monochrome (amber) 101x80 pixel display, a 60K game size limitation, and really sluggish performance. Yet my team managed to get a fully animated, wall crawling, web-slinging and -swinging Spider-Man battling crooks over 100 screens of cityscape!

Spider-Man mockup   Goblin Glider mockup
Proof-of-concept animations I produced

For this project I experimented with a different method of trying to make sure everyone had the same vision for the game, which was to produce a set of proof-of-concept animations at phone resolution that would illustrate the gameplay. This gave everyone a target to shoot for, and allowed the team to better anticipate their workload and see potential problems early enough so that adjustments could be made. These proofs also served to convince Sony that we could produce a character that was recognizably Spider-Man even without his trademark red and blue colors because he moved like Spider-Man should. This made approvals faster.

Some months later Sony wanted to resurrect the game as a tie-in for the Spider-Man animated series for MTV. We produced a custom build for a color handset, but sadly this too was not to come to pass. Alas…

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Stuart Little

Stuart Little's Little Labyrinths

For Sony Pictures, 2002

A mouse-eye POV maze game in which the player must help Stuart Little escape each maze and find the coins that make up his allowance. Collect enough coins and Stuart can purchase prizes, like a toy car, boat, etc.

In the maze   Buying a prize!

A simple game to produce, hampered only by the low-resolution handsets Sony asked us to deliver it for.

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NGolfSplash Screen

Nokia Golf

Nokia, 2004

J2ME for an unnamed Nokia series 40 handset

I both produced and designed this 18 hole Golf game for Nokia. I managed both internal aspects of the project and dealt with the outside developers who produced the code and art.

Taking a swing   Setting power and accuracy

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Water Rapids Splash Screen

Water Rapids

Nokia, 2003

J2ME for Nokia series 40 handsets

Packaged with the Nokia 6220 and 3300 (in some markets), this is a whitewater rafting game in which players attempt to complete convoluted river courses in the shortest amount of time and while picking up the most flags. Success requires memorizing courses, learning how to use warp whirlpools, and paddling so as not to go sideways over whitewater!

Water Rapids

A really fun project and one of the most rewarding cell phone gaming experiences I've had to date, making Water Rapids was a lot of work but it was a joy to work on, and it was the most like designing an old style arcade game than any other project I've worked on.

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Virtual Me

Nokia, 2003

J2ME for Nokia series 40 handsets

A "dance" type game in which players try to trigger the right moves in order to make an on-screen alter-ego do various tasks at work and at play. Finishing various round unlocks features that can be applied to the alter-ego, allowing players to customize the character to look like themselves or who they'd want to be.

Frankly, the most troubled wireless product I dealt with in three years, in no small part because the design was a moving target. The game was designed to utilize a particular feature set of a specific Nokia handset, but late in the production some key features were omitted from the handset, totally undermining the product, which required radical changes in a very short schedule.

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Rescue Minnie!

Musical Delights

Steamboat Willie's Riverboat Rescue

Disney, 2003

J2ME for SPRINT PCS

A simple children's game with some great animation and some fun features. Players control Mickey Mouse as he steers down a rock edged river, collecting musical notes and picking up animals stranded on rafts. With each animal rescued, a small animated musical segment is added to the end of round reward. Once enough animals are rescued, the full animation is played, replicating moments from the very first Mickey Mouse sound cartoon. Watch out for rocks and logs, because if Mickey crashes Cap'n Pete appears and chews him out! For a finale, try to rescue Minnie Mouse. If you do, she'll kiss Mickey and his drab black and white world turns to vivid Technicolor!

Cap'n Pete's not happy   Technicolor™ is its own reward!

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The King of Fighters

Digital Bridges, 2003

A port of sorts, but a new game too. When I was tasked with bringing the King of Fighters license to mobile phones the technical challenges were somewhat overwhelming. Still, the game came out much better than our previous fighter (WWE Mobile Madness).

  

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WWF means World Wildlife Fund?!

WWE Mobile Madness

THQ, 2002/2003

If I recollect correctly, this title was the second wireless game my group produced, and quite a challenge for such an early title! We were dealing with very early BREW handsets with a lot of limitations, and some very slipshod documentation that required us to figure out how to have a fighting game featuring grappling characters… without bitmap transparency!

  

One of the most widely ported games on which I worked, this product ended up in a lot of places, including bundled on some handsets.

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You didn't call UNO!

UNO

Mattel, 2002/2003

An adaptation of the classic card game where the user plays against three computer opponents. A relatively straightforward adaptation job, produced in only a few weeks.

Click here to see an animation of UNO in action

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Think of a Yes or No question...


Think of a Yes or No question...

Magic 8 Ball
& Magic Date Ball

Mattel, 2002/2003

More toy than game, these were two early products I shephered through production.

Click here to see an animation of the Magic 8 Ball

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Suzuki splash

Suzuki Motocross Challenge

Thumbworks, 2002

An interactive "commercial" designed to sell a specific Suzuki motorcycle. A fairly strightforward game in which players steer a bike around or jump over obstacles, then take to the air from ramps and do tricks.

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