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Playing with Messages

New assignments were announced regularly as long as the player was able to stay in the game and complete the given tasks. Players who could not accomplish the tasks were automatically dropped out. The details about the assignments were given via WAP, and all communication among team members was carried out using text and multimedia messages.

In a typical SubPlot, as the missions were called, the player was presented with an image of the place in The Plot Underworld where the mission started. After a few moves, the game informed him that to get to the end of the mission, he needed to communicate with another player in a different location in the game to obtain vital information on how to proceed. It was quickly discovered that the quickest way to work out the puzzles was usually to exchange multimedia messages that included pictures of the game locations and then discuss the situation via text messages until a solution was found.

Text and multimedia messages are becoming an integral part of mobile gaming. Text messaging is already familiar to millions of cell phone users. Multimedia messaging (MMS)43 complements text with images and sounds and is especially useful with new phones that allow sound recording and digital image snapping.

In the case scenario, the players of The Plot solve the mysteries together using messaging as a communication channel. The Plot players that use the Nokia N-Gage game deck are also able to benefit from the messaging technologies. The 3D game contains the capability to send multimedia messages from certain game situations that require cooperative play. The difference is that the message is created in and sent from the game deck itself, whereas in the WAP and Java games, the game server has a library of precreated game images that are sent from the server to the other players.

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