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Mobile Chick Flick

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Mobile Chick Flick
CHI4

A screenshot of the game

Released Unreleased
Levels At least 4
Game Type Mobile phone game
Genre Action
Websites None
Controls
Instr-keyboard

Unknown

Prequel/Sequel Was re-built into Flash (see Chick Flick)
Development time Unknown, although the game was in development prior to April 3rd 2005[1] and was made before Hot Air [2]
Credits Considering how the game was ported to flash, it is assumed the game's credits are the same as in Chick Flick, with the exception of testers.
Design
Mat Annal
Jon Annal
Programming
Heather Stancliffe
Music/FX
Lee Nicklen
Special Game was re-built into the flash game Chick Flick
Avatars
Avatars related to this game:
Full 3de38dd421b

Avatar-chickflicksquirrel

Mobile Chick Flick is a cancelled mobile phone game created by Nitrome in 2005.

Mobile Chick Flick is the first known mobile phone game Nitrome made, and was made in J2ME[3] set for release as a Java mobile phone game[4] . However, it was cancelled before release, due to a lack of funds. [5] After a year[6], though, it was re-built into the Flash game Chick Flick, sponsored by Miniclip, and released on the Internet.

Controls

Controls are not known as they are not mentioned anywhere.

Gameplay

Gameplay presumably is the same as Chick Flick.

Multiplayer

While Flash Chick Flick's multiplayer had two players play the same level with each having their own trampoline and on the same screen with the same goal, Mobile Chick Flick contained very different multiplayer.

Mobile Chick Flick required that that each player have have their own phone and buy their own copy of Mobile Chick Flick[7], and through use of a Bluetooth connection[7], both players would be able to select a single level and try to force the other to lose by depleting the other player's health.

During multiplayer, each player would be taken to a single level, with each player in their own game playing this level (both player's did not play the level with both character's present on the screen). The objective was the same in single player mode - get chicks into the nest, however, whenever a player got a chick into the nest, this chick would appear on the player's screen[7]. Eventually, one person would lose all their lives and the game would be over.

The reason this feature was considerably redone in the Flash version was because this multiplayer feature did not work on a single screen[7], and Nitrome did not want to add split screen[7].

Levels

The levels would likely be mostly the same as the ones in the Flash version of Chick Flick, except the levels were probably expanded. Several interactive objects located on the wall in the Flash version were probably added in the Flash version, since the size of most cellphone screens are small, and wall located interactive objects would take up too much space.

The game's early Nitrome.com page mentions "unlockable levels"[8], and in the second mobile Chick Flick blog post, Nitrome mentions a "secret level"[9] titled "New"[10].

Although it is understandable that unlockable levels have to be unlocked, it is never specified whether unlockable levels are the game's regular levels, only the player "unlocks" one by completing the previous level, or, if unlockable levels are unlocked through means other than completion of another level.

Also, there was a "secret stage"[11] titled "New"[10]. It is not known if this "secret stage" was referring to these "unlockable levels" or a type of stage or stages that were unlocked or accessed by other means different than unlockable levels.

Features

Nitrome.com 1.0 listed the following features Mobile Chick Flick had[11]:

  • intuitive controls
  • original game concepts
  • arcade style pick up and play
  • various chick types
  • power ups
  • unlockable levels
  • Bluetooth two player mode
  • online and offline hiscore boards

ChickFlickAd

The advertisement

When Nitrome launched Nitrome.com 1.0, the entire right side of the game page below the upper border, the right side was taken up entirely to promote Chick Flick. The top left section of the advertisement contains among a striped background that has leafs, the the orange and grey squirrels holding a trampoline, bouncing a medium chick. This art was reused for the menu of the flash version of Chick Flick.

The top right section of the menu contains a box for viewing the game's trailer, the box appearing as a white rectangle with a dark green button that looks like < I , to the right of this button being a dark green pause button ( II ), to the right of this being a line that would have shown how far the trailer progressed.

The bottom left section contains the game's six screenshots, while the bottom right contains the game's blurb and the game's features. The game's blurb is as follows: "Chicks are falling - use your power packed trampoline to "flick" them back into the safety of the nest. The more chicks you save the more points you get!"

Later, a link to the game's demo was added to the advertisement.

Trailer

Also present in this module was a trailer of the game. Nothing is known about this trailer, however, it was not hosted on Youtube or any other video sharing site. Nitrome has stated that despite heavy searching through their own personal backups, they have been unable to locate the video.[12] Also, this video is unable to be found on the internet.

Demo

A timed demo for Mobile Chick Flick was released by Nitrome on September 19th 2005[13]. This demo could be downloaded for free from Nitrome.com 1.0, and could be played with the mpowerplayer. It is not known the contents of the demo.

Differences

There are a many differences from the Flash version of Chick Flick. Features were either added, taken out, or redone. As only four in-game screenshots of Mobile Chick Flick exist, it is not known what other feature were added, taken out, or redone.

Health

In Mobile Chick Flick, hearts presumably did not exist. Instead, the player's health was represented by three eggs. The player presumably lost eggs (health) when chicks hit the ground. The player was likely unable to obtain other eggs.

Star

Another feature that was absent from the Flash version of Chick Flick was a white shiny star. It looks as though it would drop from the sky. It is not known what purpose this "shiny star" held, the most possible explanation being that it gave back lost health, or all health, or it served the same purpose as the hot air balloon head in the Flash version.

Beta chick

There was also a chick in the mobile version that was cut from the flash release. This chick has a very bizarre look, consisting of a yellow circle that has misplaced on it, the chick's wings and legs. Furthermore, the eyes also appeared to look strange, the pupils of both eyes looking in the opposite direction, and the chick's mouth being irregularly farther down than it should be.

It is not known how this chick would have acted, as nothing corresponding to the chick is present in the flash version. It is possible that this chick bounced irregularly, based on its strange look.

Additions to assets

Certain objects present in the screenshots of the mobile version of Chick Flick were changed in the flash version, more content being added to them.

One thing that was added in the flash version of Chick Flick was that bomb chicks had to enter the nest in ten trampolines bounces or less. This may have been present in the mobile version, but it was not indicated at all.

Something else that was added was in the first level has moles in the background; the mobile version lacks moles in the background.

Level five was also changed in the flash version to remove the arrows that were present in the mobile version. These arrows in the mobile version perhaps acted the same as the ← and → buttons in the flash version.

The Hot Air Head was presumably added to the Flash version of the game, as Nitrome has stated that development on mobile Chick Flick was before development of Hot Air[14].

The early Nitrome website also said that Mobile Chick Flick had unlockable levels (levels having a plural). This means that either each stage was considered an unlockable level, or there were the game's regular levels and unlockable levels. Considering how Nitrome mentioned a cut stage, titled "New"[10], as a "secret stage" in the second mobile Chick Flick blog post[9], it is possible this would have been one of the unlockable stages, or, the game would have had secret stages that were differently accessed/unlocked than unlockable ones.

Multiplayer in Mobile Chick Flick (see Multiplayer section) was very different than in Flash Chick Flick. Although Mobile Chick Flick's multiplayer was considered "fun" by Nitrome[7], the feature when ported over to Flash did not work well on a single screen[7] and Nitrome was not interested in adding split screen. Because of this, multiplayer was completely redone to essentially become the single player mode in two player, without the ability for level progression.

New[10]

The mobile version of Chick Flick was to have a secret stage titled "New", the idea for the stage arising from a programming glitch in rendering in J2ME (the language used to code Mobile Chick Flick). In J2ME, the rendering software needed to be told where to refresh the frame, lest the entire frame be refreshed every tick.

Nitrome accidentally used the latter, resulting in a choppy frame rate which looked "cool and surreal". They decided to make a level using this glitch, this level using a background that looked like a television tuning card. However, as Flash does not render like J2ME, this stage could not have been placed in the Flash version of the game. [15]

Development

Development of Mobile Chick Flick began in either 2004 or 2005. On April 6th 2005, Nitrome launched their website[11], and also on the same day announced the game and how much development on the game had been done. It was somewhere during April 6th and September 14th 2005 that Nitrome took a break from the game to work on other projects.

On September 14th 2005, Nitrome released a demo of the game that ran in MPowerPlayer, and also said how the game was making more progress[16]. It was between this time and approximately April 6th 2006 (April 6th 2006 being the first recorded time when Nitrome replaced the Chick Flick ad with a slider[16]) that Nitrome was not able to receive the necessary funds for the game[17], so they cancelled the game.

Presumably after the release of Sandman, Nitrome decided to port the game to Flash, and did so, with Miniclip as the sponsor. The game was released on April 6th 2006[16], a full year after the game's announcing. Although the point in time is not known, several levels were made for the mobile version game[17], and a beta version was even tested on a few devices. [17]

Influence on modern games

Mobile Chick Flick had quite a large influence on the history of Nitrome after it was cancelled. For one, because of the restrictions of screen size in terms of cell phones, the game had to be made using pixel art.[18] This lead to Nitrome's eventual use of pixel art for all of their games, establishing a well-known trademark.

Also, because they did not have enough funds to continue in the cell phone gaming business, they settled in Flash gaming. This began with their first Flash game, Hot Air, which may have never existed had it not been for the cancellation of Mobile Chick Flick. [17]

Screenshots

Screenshots are taken from the Nitrome.com 1.0 version 1.0 site[11].

Trivia

  • It is possible to play two player mode on Mobile Chick Flick with a Bluetooth connection. [17]

Notes

  1. Internet Archive Wayback Machine - Nitrome.com (April 6th 2005) (Blog dates are written in day/month/year format)
  2. Nitrome Blog: - Memory Lane: Chick Flick! → When we gave up on the game we made Hot Air (yes it was before Hot Air!)
  3. Internet Archive Wayback Machine - Nitrome - Services page 3 (August 6th 2009) → Our web game Chick Flick was in fact originally developed as a mobile game in J2ME which later got re-built in flash after deciding to abandon the mobile version.
  4. Internet Archive Wayback Machine: - Nitrome.com (April 6th 2005)
    Blog
    03-04-05 - Chick Flick Video
    Exclusive first showing of our soon-to-be-finished java mobile phone game. Expect to see it on a handset near you soon!
  5. Nitrome Blog: - Memory Lane: Chick Flick! → We gave up on it ultimately as we realised we did not have the funds we needed to market it.
  6. Internet Archive Wayback Machine: - Nitrome.com (April 11th 2006) → Blog
    06-04-06 - Chick Flick
    Happy Easter! You can now play our new Flash game: Chick Flick Use the trampoline to bounce the chicks into the safety of their nest! [Date is written in day/month.year format]
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Nitrome Blog: - Memory Lane: Chick Flick! → The flash version of the game was mostly the same as what we set out to make for mobile but there was one key difference: Multiplayer. The version you all know lets two players play together with the same aim. For the mobile version it was competitive played over Bluetooth. Each player played their own game and when you got a chick in the nest it would add one to your opponents screen. The idea was to overwhelm your opponent to lose his lives before you did. It was a fun mode that unfortunately didn't really work on a single screen and we weren't really up to making split screen at the time.
  8. Internet Archive Wayback Machine - Nitrome.com (April 6th 2005)-unlockable levels
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Nitrome Blog: - Chick Flick Mobile Update → One final interesting fact was that the phone version was going to have a secret stage that arose from a programming glitch.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Nitrome Blog: - Chick Flick Mobile Update → New had the background designed like a tv tuning card which highlighted the effect really nicely on top. [Considering how there has never been a Nitrome employee with the first, last, middle, or nickname of "New", it is assumed that "New" refers to the stage.]
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Internet Archive Wayback Machine: - Nitrome.com (April 6th 2005)
  12. Nitrome Blog: - Chick Flick Mobile Update → A few of you also asked to see the original video we made to show it off. We hunted high and low to find it in all our old back ups but unfortunately could not find it so we will have to consign that to memories.
  13. Internet Archive Wayback Machine: - Nitrome.com (September 23rd 2005) → news
    14-09-05 - Chick Flick Demo
    After taking a break to work on some other projects, Chick Flick is finally making some more progress! Check out the new online demo here
    [Date is written in day/month/year]
  14. Nitrome Blog: - Memory Lane: Chick Flick! → When we gave up on the game we made Hot Air (yes it was before Hot Air!)
  15. Game Developer's Blog - Nitrome: Chick Flick Mobile Update, 28 Dec 2013, retrieved 28 Dec 2013.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Internet Archive Wayback Machine: - Nitrome.com (September 23rd 2005) → Blog
    14-09-05 - Chick Flick Demo
    After taking a break to work on some other projects, Chick Flick is finally making some more progress! Check out the new online demo here
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Nitrome blog: Memory Lane: Chick Flick!
  18. Nitrome Blog: - Memory Lane: Chick Flick! → Back on devices at the time, games had to really be in pixel art to fit the restrictions of the devices and this was the reason we tried pixel art for the first time.

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