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The Symbian Operating System— The Open Playground

The best experience of The Plot was reserved for those with game- optimized devices. A version of The Plot with 3D graphics, built-in messaging capabilities, and downloadable add-ons was available on the Nokia N-Gage game deck. Using the large color screen, players were able to wander in 3D city levels, known in the game as The Plot Underworld, and accomplish tasks that were updated using the data connection. The game assignments were a combination of adventure and action, as they consisted of solving the given missions and chasing the plotters.

N-Gage is equipped with a 104Mhz ARM processor and includes digital signal processing hardware used for audio and phone functionality. To fully exploit the hardware power in applications such as games, an operating system that is optimized for cell phones is required.

Symbian OS is becoming a standard operating system for smartphones, as the device manufacturers supporting Symbian have taken decisive steps to ensure that the installed base of terminals with Symbian OS is as large as possible. To date, Symbian has been implemented or licensed by the majority of manufacturers, representing more than 70% of all cell phone makers.40

An open operating system allows everyone to participate in the competition and creates a device-agnostic environment. It brings cell phones closer to the world of personal computing, where thousands of individual developers market their software. In practice, this means that application developers are free to experiment with real phones and toolkits before marketing their software directly to phone owners.

Game developers are able to start developing games for Symbian phones and move on to N-Gage game projects smoothly because the underlying technology and development tools are similar. Several programming languages are available, but the developers prefer a language called C++ because it can be compiled into the native program code for the processor, resulting in faster games. In addition, the best support for game programming for N-Gage is initially in the C++ software development kits available for registered game developers from Nokia.

Thanks to the Symbian OS and compiled C++ code, The Plot for N-Gage can use processing-intensive, animated 3D graphics and fully employ game-optimized features such as game play buttons and local multiplayer connectivity.

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