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Interview: MoMinis Launches Platform Agnostic Mobile Development Environment

Launched out of beta this week, MoMinis Studio promises a free development environment that allows one set of source code to be compiled across multiple mobile platforms, and promoted on various dedicated stores.
With the mobile game market currently fractured among multiple handsets and operating systems, many developers are looking for an environment to let them write one set of code that will compile across the entire mobile market. Enter MoMinis Studio, a new development environment that came out of of a long beta test this week. Using a proprietary language, developers can use the studio to create a single file that can then be adapted for Android, Blackberry, J2ME and Symbian platforms, with iOS support coming by the middle of the year. While using this cross-platform system requires working with MoMinis' free-to-download IDE, which does not work with any outside tools, the environment comes with a unique graphical interface that the company thinks will be useful might be helpful to both expert and novice programmers. "Many of the features in The MoMinis Studio are displayed in an easy-to-use graphical interface," the company told Gamasutra. "The MoMinis Study does require the developer to define logic. However, some of it can be defined using an interface that novice developers who don’t have experience in programming can learn how to use quickly." MoMinis says many professional developers have already used this interface to create everything from simple kids games to more complex platformers, which can be sampled at the company's web portal. Of course, creating games that work across disparate mobile platforms requires some extra configuration work to account for different control methods, screen sizes and resolutions. "Some of the configuration is done automatically by our tools -- for example, mapping different keys on different devices to the interface," the company said. "Some of the configuration is done by the developer; defining touch support in addition to keys sometimes cannot be done automatically. But the advantage in different configurations is that all of them are using the same source code. This significantly lowers the maintenance efforts that are required to manage the different versions for different devices." While the development environment is free to use, MoMinis keeps 10 to 30 percent of the revenues generated by games published using the system. MoMinis promotes this content through dedicated storefronts maintained in conjunction with worldwide cell phone carriers including Verizon, Telefonica, Orange, Turkcell and Vodafone. The Tel Aviv-based company also announced this week a partnership with major Japanese cell phone provider NTT DoCoMo, which is already promoting 100 localized MoMinis games to users through an exclusive section of their online store. "The MoMinis Studio has enabled us to create, in the short time frame of two months, all of these games localized to the Japanese market and tested with stringent QA methods by the operators’ personnel," the company said.

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