The latest feature for Gamasutra sister educational site Game Career Guide presents a postmortem of University of Bremen's citizenMOB
, a mobile phone and Bluetooth GPS-enabled combination of Pokémon
, Tamagotchi, and location based gaming.
An introduction to the citizenMOB
postmortem explains the exact concept of the game and its genesis:
"How did we, a bunch of digital media students, come up to the idea of mobile games? Back in April 2005, we had a first kick-off meeting at the Northern seaside of Cuxhaven. In between playing at the windy beach, we had heavy brainstorming sessions for the project idea. Unlike most other master projects, we had the chance to choose our project topic freely, as long as it was related to virtual communities & mobile devices.
After long discussions and presentations from each project member we finally decided to make a game. Sixteen master students from seven countries, under the name exNeMo group (experience Novel Mobile virtual communities), decided to make an online mobile game for our two semester project.
Back at the university, we realized there was already a location-based mobile game made by Hochschule Bremen (Gangs of Bremen). So the first four weeks were filled with discussions and brainstorming to find a better and different idea.
Finally in the middle of May, we came up not only with a new game idea but also the details including the technical part. We decided to give the player the ability to have a virtual pet. So besides running around the city collecting items, players will be able to take care of their pets, trade them, or even battle with other player’s pet. Just imagine a combination of Pokémon, Tamagotchi, and location based gaming.
We called our game citizenMOB – the mobile citizen."
You can now read the full Game Career Guide feature
on the subject, with more from the students concerning the development successes and difficulties that went into creating citizenMOB
(no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).