Postmortem: Games Kitchen's Wireless Pets
November 25, 2002 Page 1 of 3
When The Games Kitchen began Wireless Pets, WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) was as much in its infancy as the company and the publisher was.
Let me give you some background. The first WAP enabled mobile phones had just reached the market, and network operators were pushing them to customers as 'the Internet on your phone', which it isn't, or at least not in any useful sense. It would be much more accurate to say that it was AN Internet on your phone, as only websites in WML (Wireless Mark-up Language; a variant of HTML based on XML) could be viewed. There were virtually no websites and no applications, games or otherwise. However, WAP was not yet seen as the donkey it is now commonly viewed to be, and everyone was jolly excited.
The Games Kitchen had been going for almost a year before we started the contract for Wireless Pets; however, we were only two people (business partner David Thomson and myself). Digital Bridges (DB) had been started just up the road from us (we are both based in Scotland), and we had worked together on a few simple projects, such as Roulette and Fruit Machine, back when DB were also only two people.
Wireless Pets was an ambitious title. We'd never done anything that big or complex, we had to expand the company for this title, and DB had to expand their platform to handle it. Heck, we weren't even sure if WAP (or, more accurately, the usually poor implementation of WAP found on the new devices) could handle it. But we did it anyway, and it became the biggest WAP game in Europe, with over 15 million minutes of airtime on 18 operators. The SMS version looks set to repeat that success. This is the story of both WAP and SMS versions.
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