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7. June 2013

 

This promotion just arrived in my email and I figured a few of you might be interested.marmalade_logo

 

 

How do you get a Free Marmalade SDK Licence?

  1. Sign-up or sign-in below
  2. If you don’t already have a Marmalade SDK, download an evaluation licence
  3. Submit a draft BlackBerry 10 app using your existing Marmalade SDK or evaluation licence within 30 days. You will need a BlackBerry® World™ Vendor ID to do this. You can get one here. Don’t worry if it’s not ready at this stage - draft mode BlackBerry 10 apps are only verified to determine if they have been created with the Marmalade SDK, and thus qualify you for the offer. They are only reviewed for sale after the BlackBerry Vendor changes the app status.
    ***Please make sure you come back and input your BlackBerry® World™ Vendor ID (we only need the email address you use to register on BlackBerry World).***
    The first 300 qualifying Vendors* will receive a free BlackBerry Dev Alpha testing device
  4. Once your app is submitted for final review and approved for sale, you will receive a full Marmalade Indie licence worth $499 (existing Indie licence holders will have their licence extended by a year and new licence holders will convert to a full Marmalade Indie Licence).
  5. Go cross-platform: once your app is approved on BlackBerry World, reap further rewards on other app stores, using the full capabilities of your Marmalade cross-platform licence.

 

I am a little confused about part 3.  From the sounds of it, you can create a simple Hello World application and submit it, so long as it was compiled with Marmalade and you are one of the 300 first people to do it, you then qualify for a free BB Dev Alpha device.  It could be that I am reading that wrong.  Once your application is approved for sale on BB store, you then receive a Marmalade license ($499) enabling you to publish to other environments.  Makes sense in a way, as Blackberry is sponsoring this, so they effectively get the first release, but then you can bring your app to other devices. You can read the entire release right here(PDF Link).

 

For those of you that have never heard of it, Marmalade is a cross platform game development kit that supports just about any device you could think to target.  It is C++ based, although it now ships with Marmalade Quick, a RAD tool built on top of Cocos2D-x and Box2D and scripted using Lua.  Marmalade has been used to publish hundreds of mobile titles including Cut The Rope, Plants vs Zombies, Need for Speed and tons more.  Marmalade has been around for a number of years, starting life as the AirPlay SDK.  Marmalade have both a free (and limited) version available, as well as a 30 day trial of each of their versions.  The version being offered is a single seat for a year of the Indie version, which allows you to target BB, iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8.

 

Blackberry is a Canadian smartphone manufacturer, who outside of the business world were more or less a non-factor.  This is rapidly changing though with their most recent releases.  The recently released Z10 and Q10 smartphones, as well as the Playbook tablet are all powered by the QNX operating system, which RIM acquired a few years back.  After some serious teething pains, Blackberry is back and has a number of great devices for running games.  While the install base is smaller than both Android and iOS, it is said to be a lucrative market and hey… you’ve got nothing to lose, you can still port to iOS, Windows Phone and Android.

 

 

EDIT:  I figure I should point out that the Indie license they are giving away still has some limitations.  You cannot have an annual revenue of more than $500K and you need to give a Marmalade attribution.  Unlike the community version, this doesn’t involve a splashscreen or anything that intrusive.  A “Made with Marmalade” logo in your about or credit screen is sufficient.  Here is the full details regarding attribution:

 

As a technology business we thrive by sharing details of the amazing apps and games that are made with Marmalade.

It is for this reason that we ask licensees to reference Marmalade in one or more of the following ways:

Marmalade Community Licence holders

  • A Made with Marmalade splash screen will be displayed when your app loads. The splash screen will display automatically, and will remain on screen for a short time.

Marmalade Indie and Plus Licences

  • Include the Made with Marmalade logo and our website address www.madewithmarmalade.com within the credits and/or about screen. If possible, this should link to www.madewithmarmalade.com.
  • In the event that technical restrictions prevent the above, the wording “Made with Marmalade” and our website address www.madewithmarmalade.com should be included within the app credits and/or ‘About’ screen of your published app. If possible, this should link to our website www.madewithmarmalade.com.
  • An optional Made with Marmalade splash screen will be displayed when your app loads. The splash screen will display automatically, and will remain on screen for a short time.
  • Assets can be downloaded here.

 

EDIT2: I just did the Blackberry World vendor application, a bit of a warning, this doesn’t appear to be a real-time process!  I created a Blackberry ID, then a vendor account and cannot yet log in.  It appears there is a verification process before your account is created.  If it’s a race for the first 300 people, this disconnect, well, sucks.  Basically it means people with Blackberry World accounts already registered are basically guaranteed to get in first.

News


5. February 2013

 

In a move that is causing a small bit of Déjà vu, Blackberry and Unity released the following to the press today:unity_3d_logo

 

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) and Unity Technologies today announced that they are working together to create a Unity deployment add-on product for BlackBerry® 10 smartphones, empowering Unity's over 1.5 million strong developer community to publish their games on these powerful platforms. The deployment tools will also be available for BlackBerry PlayBook™ tablets when they run the BlackBerry 10 OS.

BlackBerry 10 will now be one of the premiere mobile platforms supported by the market-leading Unity Engine. The deployment tool is currently in development by Unity Technologies and BlackBerry, and will be released as an add-on option for Unity.

"Unity developers have an extensive catalogue of incredible mobile games, many of which are award-winning. We're excited to offer Unity developers easy access to the new powerful and rich BlackBerry 10 platform," said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies. "We're eager to provide them with another exciting avenue to have their games devoured by an audience hungry for entertainment."

BlackBerry will also seed the Unity development community with BlackBerry 10 smartphones for testing to provide developers the best possible environment to create amazing games for the new platform. Unity and BlackBerry will hold developer meet up events in Europe and North America and will give qualified developer attendees Unity Pro and BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Details are coming soon, so stay tuned to BlackBerry Developers Blog.

"One of the driving forces for success for a mobile platform is a strong games offering. BlackBerry customers have already shown their hunger for mobile gaming, with games being one of the strongest categories on the BlackBerry World storefront and continuing to grow in popularity," said Alec Saunders, Vice President, Developer Relations and Ecosystems at BlackBerry. "We are thrilled to work with Unity and to propel the momentum we are seeing in games on BlackBerry even further. Soon Unity developers will be able to use this deployment tool to quickly and easily offer their games to BlackBerry customers."

Availability

A free beta version of the Unity add-on will be made available to a limited number of qualified developers in the spring. Unity is expecting the final release to be available in the summer of 2013.

 

Looks like a good opportunity to get your hands on some Blackberry hardware if you are already a Unity developer.  Or you hands on Unity if you are a Blackberry developer.

 

Myself, I actually have a Playbook which is a pretty nice device and went to buy a Z10 for my wife today and they were basically sold out everywhere I checked… most places laughed and said they sold out in minutes.  So, say what you will about Blackberry/RIM, they might actually be back in the game.  The device itself is quite capable, with a dual core 1.5GHZ Snapdragon processor.  Let’s not forget too that BB10 is actually QNX, a wickedly fast embedded OS that’s been in development for many years.  On top, I have to cheer for RIM er… Blackberry, they are just down the road from me and full disclosure, I own some stock ( which I’ve really enjoyed the past few weeks Smile ), but then, almost every Canadian owns a bit of RIM stock, directly or indirectly…

 

I will certainly say, Blackberry Developer support is certainly better, as is their focus on gaming, with the Gameplay library, involvement in a few open source game libraries, the portathon they held a few months back and now bringing Unity on board.

 

Now the déjà vu part…  I SWEAR Playbook was already one of the supported platforms for Unity as part of UNITE.

News


25. January 2013

 

Rim have released Gameplay 1.6, a 3D cross platform library for writing games for Blackberry 10, Playbook, PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices using C++.  gameplayThis is a project we have been following here at GameFromScratch for quite a while, and given the complexity, its amazing just how fast you can get up to speed.

 

If C++ is your language of choice ( or LUA for that matter ), you really should check out Gameplay, it’s completely free and open source.

 

The following are the release notes of the 1.6 release:

  • Adds file Stream interface for reading/writing files instead of using fread/fwrite.
  • Adds Terrain class to support for heightmap based terrains featuring LOD, multiple surface layers, loading from PNG, RAW8/16, full transform, physics, patch culling and verticle skirt for cracks.
  • Adds object-space normal map generation to gameplay-encoder for terrain normal map generation.
  • Adds scene support for loading .terrain files in .scene files.
  • Adds scene support for inline cameras to .scene files.
  • Adds suppoft for defining .scene files without 'path' to gpb. New node can not be create in .scene file.
  • Adds static Scene::getScene(const char*) to query currently active scenes in a game, helpful for script access.
  • Adds support for multiple translate, rotate and scale commands in a single node entity within .scene files, processed in-order they are defined.
  • Adds scene support for material auto binding scene ambient color, light color and light direction.
  • Adds support for setting the depth compare function on materials.
  • Adds support for texture/sampler arrays being passed to materials.
  • Adds support for loading uncompressed DDS textures for the following formats: R8G8B8, A8R8G8B8, A8B8G8R8, X8R8G8B8, X8B8G8R8
  • Adds improvments to prefer higher quality mipmap generation.
  • Adds improved Gamepad API support for button enumeration, triggers and some mobile Gamepad support on BlackBerry.
  • Adds additional gameplay-tests for billboards, forms, gamepads and lights.
  • Adds support for launching the browser via launchURL(const char*).
  • Adds physics support for setLinearFactor and setAngularFactor on rigid bodies.
  • Adds methods to PhysicsCollisionObject to allow conversion to subclass types (i.e. PhysicsRigidBody, PhysicsCharacter, etc) from script.
  • Adds option for fullscreen without width/height config to use native desktop resolution.
  • Adds Linux support for OpenAL PulseAudio back-end.
  • Adds support for latest Bullet Physics 2.81 with NEON optimizations for mobile targets.
  • Adds support for preprocessor directive NO_LUA_BINDINGS in the gameplay project to omit inclusion of generated lua bindings in compilation for developer mode value.
  • Adds optimizations to Lua generator to only write generated files if they differ from existing files, reducing both build times and committing of unchanged script binding files.
  • Adds changes to Slider for setValueTextVisible, setValueTextAlignment, setValueTextPrecision and getters.
  • Adds Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit support.
  • Adds Apple iOS 6 support.
  • Fixes to external-deps to reduce the size of the libraries on Windows.
  • Fixes for Android to no longer need to copy files to the SD card before reading them. None of the Android samples require an SD card.
  • Fixes for animation of opacity on UI and fonts.
  • Fixes in UI for removing controls and also setVisible(bool).
  • Fixes for UI controls missing on MacOSX.
  • Fixes for setting UI alignment programmatically.
  • Fixes for lighting shaders.
  • Fixes to the texture minification mode from GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR to GL_NEAREST_MIPMAP_LINEAR for newly created textures with mipmaps.
  • Fixes minor memory leaks and possible access violations when calling Game::exit() from script.
  • Fixes physics debug drawing for large scenes causing the internal MeshBatch to grow to an enormous size.

 

This release certainly makes Gameplay on the desktop seem much more viable.  Terrain support is certainly a nice new addition as well.

 

Good job Gameplay team.

News Programming


10. November 2012
TITLE_IMAGE

 

RIM is hard at work on Blackberry 10 and they continue to focus heavily on making sure there is plenty of software available at launch.  Now they are targeting game developers with the newest promotion.

 

Got game? Get Rewards.

 

The BlackBerry Got Game Port-a-Thon starting on November 16th is a 36-hour event dedicated to helping you get your gaming apps launched for BlackBerry 10. Since it’s a virtual event, participating is simple and hassle-free. You just register and log in from the comfort of your own space. You bring your existing gaming apps or build new gaming apps for BlackBerry 10, and we’ll have experts on hand around the clock to help you get your gaming apps up and running on BlackBerry 10.

 

So, why would you want to?  Well of course other than supporting an additional target, there are additional incentives:

 

Getting your apps into the BlackBerry App World storefront before BlackBerry 10 launches means that you can be among the first to benefit from the universe of app-hungry customers out there. You’ll also get rewards for porting and building.

  • Get one or two gaming apps approved – $100 per eligible app.
  • Get between two and five gaming apps approved – $100 per eligible App and one (1) BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet
  • Get between five and ten gaming apps approved - $100 per eligible App + one (1) BlackBerry PlayBook tablet + FOR THE FIRST ONE HUNDRED (100) QUALIFIED PARTICIPANTS ONLY one (1) Dev Alpha Device
  • Get more than 10 gaming apps approved - $100 per app + one (1) BlackBerry PlayBook tablet + FOR THE FIRST TEN (10) QUALIFIED PARTICIPANTS ONLY one (1) Dev Alpha Device + trip to Game Developers Conference in San Francisco March 25-29, 2013

 

So, port 10 apps over you get 1,000$ a Playbook and a dev Alpha device.  Of course, if you were looking to port your game to Blackberry OS 10, having the resources available on demand could prove invaluable.

 

I have a Playbook myself and have long since intended to look into game development on this device.  I really want to see RIM bounce back this generation for a number of reasons.  First, they are really moving in the right direction from a developer perspective with good developer tools ( WebWorks and QNX ), sponsoring projects like the Gameplay SDK, the next generation of software and hardware seems to be really good and finally, they are in my own back yard, I live probably 45 minutes away from their world headquarters.  Oh, and I own RIM stock, so I suppose I should mention that.  Then again, indirectly pretty much every Canadian owns RIM stock.

 

So… go RIM.

News


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