Paperboy 2: Wheels on fire (10 device ports for J2ME Mobile: Nokia S40 / S60 / Samsung, Siemens, Motorola, Sony Ericsson et al)


Elite Systems asked me to do the mobile ports for Paperboy 2: Wheels on Fire. I was very happy to do this since Paperboy has always been a classic. Ultimately I produced 10 ports of the game (built from a single Sony Ericsson K800i version), ranging from teeny tiny Siemens ports that run on screens with less than 100 pixels wide or tall, to the first of Nokia’s “colossal” 320×240 devices! This was not an easy task because with screens at 100 x 85  you can already guess it has about the same RAM as a Commodore 64! Each port was racked by similar issues, even large phones with semi-sane screen sizes didn’t even have the RAM to support the game at this resolution. J2ME was not the friendliest language for making arcade games,  but with time it was possible.

Ultimately though the ports were perfected, and released. Various versions of the game have missing features and graphics, this is the nature of porting in many ways, to remove what the device can’t handle but leave in tact something that resembles the original game, I’m curious who would play Paperboy at postage stamp resolution, but it does happen 🙂 You can see the different sized ports in the lower half of the image below, I’ve overlayed them so you can see the size differences, notice the really small one inside the largest one.



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