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In the latest feature for sister mobile site GamesOnDeck, Nom designer Bong Koo Shin talks about his metaphor-laden art-game series, and how Valentine's Day chocolate, beauty and cruelty helped inspire the pattern-based third installment of _Nom<

Leigh Alexander, Contributor

October 5, 2007

2 Min Read

At sister mobile site GamesOnDeck, Bong Koo Shin writes about his recent third installment in the Nom series of mobile games from Gamevil, which he says is his effort to "bring the borderlines of game and art closer." The previous two installments have taken Nom around the world and through his inner self; but now, Nom is in search of true love. Shin explains how he got the idea: "The subtitle of Nom 3 is 'A Beautiful but Cruel Square.' I remember last Valentine's Day when female co-workers gave out meaningless Valentine chocolates to their male colleagues for the day's sake. Since I was not dating anyone at that time, I was delighted to have the chocolates and finished them right away. As I enjoyed the chocolates in my mouth I thought to myself, 'Ahh, they are melting in my heart, beautifully but cruelly.' That was an honest monologue slipping out, as I felt both the sweetness of chocolates and the bitterness of solitude. Right at that moment, something came across my mind: 'A Beautiful but Cruel Square!' (Most low priced Korean chocolates are in a rectangular shape). All the objects in gameplay except the main character were to be designed in a square form and those squares were to be enlivened and move and dissolve in coordination. On that day, Nom 3 was born." Shin explains both the art and science behind Nom: The behavior of all of the game objects other than Nom in Nom 3 are created and managed by editing tools working on hidden code. Thanks to the hidden code, our team has enjoyed using editing tools making the process quick and fun. Whenever a correction was needed, all we had to do was simply to run the editing tool and fix it, and then we could check the output instantly. The size of the application is very critical in mobile games and with our advanced process we could make the application size only a small fraction of a mobile phone's capacity. We (the Nom team) saved a lot of time from this approach. The efforts of my team's programmers on the editing tools deserve applause. You can now read the full feature, with details from Shin's creative process and inspiration, at GamesOnDeck (no reg. required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

About the Author(s)

Leigh Alexander


Leigh Alexander is Editor At Large for Gamasutra and the site's former News Director. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Slate, Paste, Kill Screen, GamePro and numerous other publications. She also blogs regularly about gaming and internet culture at her Sexy Videogameland site. [NOTE: Edited 10/02/2014, this feature-linked bio was outdated.]

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