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Postmortem: Gamevil's Nom 2


September 8, 2006 Article Start Page 1 of 4 Next
 

[Gamasutra is proud to present this postmortem for Gamevil's innovative 'one-button' cellphone title Nom 2, part of a series from the Skipping Stone developer which is a significant hit in the company's native South Korea, but not yet well known in the West. The article is a companion piece to a postmortem of the original Nom that appeared in the September 2006 issue of Game Developer magazine.]

Introduction

Nom 2 is the sequel to Nom, the well-known casual one-button mobile game. Nom 2 includes several features, including some not found in the original game such as two different VM (virtual machine) applications, a function to adjust the speed, geographical features, and 12 different stages with two save points found in each stage (the length of each stage in Nom 2 is four times as long than Nom).

The official Nom 2 website explains the game as follows:

"The revolutionary “rotating” game is back with its sequel, Nom 2! This time Nom travels through the realms of the mind as he runs, leaps, and fights his way through a wide range of obstacles and enemies. Rotate your phone as Nom reaches vertical boundaries at the edge of your screen! Have you ever wanted to write a message to extraterrestrials? Do something you’ve never done before, transmit messages to outer space via satellite with Nom 2!"

- One button game play - do everything with just one hand and one button.
- Improved “rotation” mechanics - “Rotation” allows Nom to leap onto all four sides of your screen and you rotate your mobile phone as you play.
- Do even more off-the-wall things in this easy and intriguing game for anyone to play.
- Find your rhythm and groove as you master the timing techniques essential to just keep on running!
- Run through all twelve stages in this unique and addictive game that you just can’t find anywhere else.
- More-in-depth stages! Each stage is four times as large as the original Nom stages!
- Find out who’s the best and upload your high scores to the leaderboard on GAMEVIL LIVE!
- More than just the leaderboard! Transmit messages to outer space via satellite with Nom 2!"

Nom 2 was developed to take advantage of all 4 screen rotation possibilities, and features backdrops that were designed based on a pop art style. Similar to the original game, the girl, dog, and grandma also appear in Nom 2, but the events are different from Nom. The game features 15 types of obstacles, 13 monsters, 4 bosses, and an unique Out of Body system.

Nom 2 aural accompaniment was also given special treatment, as the game features support for stereo sound, and includes a eclectic soundtrack featuring both techno and Korean-style music. Another feature found in Nom 2 is what is called the ECG, or External World Contact Game. This is the world’s first game to send user messages to outer space.

The success and great user response from Nom spawned the initiation of the Nom 2 project. However, after I started to kick off the Nom 2 project, I realized that it was much tougher than I thought. Well-known pop artists tend to struggle with their second album. If the second album has the same style of the debut album, fans will complain that there was no change. On the other hand, if the artist puts out a totally newly styled second album, fans will say that the style has changed too much. Therefore, in order to make the Nom 2 project a success, I decided to get advice from users.

I gathered all the comments and reviews of Nom and divided it into good and bad. Nom 2 had to emphasize the good and complement the bad, so that the game would provide a better experience than the previous one. I also decided to put an entirely new feature that would fascinate users. This new feature was called ECG (External World Contact Game). If Nom was the world’s first game to have to rotate the handset to play, Nom 2 would be the first game to send a message to outer space by playing the game!

So by adding this feature, I wanted Nom 2 to surpass the original version. Nom 2 would maintain the basic features of Nom (using 4 rotational angles, one-button feature etc.), but would have new graphics and a new game system that would increase game play time.

Because Nom was a big surprise to many users, I wanted the Nom series to keep on presenting surprises. This was a burden for the Nom series, because each had to overcome Nom itself. I am planning to put an amazing new feature in every Nom series, but since I’ve already used the mysterious space concept in Nom 2, I’m having a hard time deciding which concept Nom 3 has to have.


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