Posts Tagged ‘the game creators’
15th Aug 2011
Being able to code your game once and then deploy it to a variety of devices has been a programming holy grail for as long as I can remember. When you factor in the huge range of mobile devices on the market today, there must be a massive amount of time spent by devs porting from one platform to another. So I have been following the progress of the App Game Kit (AGK) with interest, especially as this is the very issue it claims to solve.
Created by The Game Creators, a team perhaps better known for development tools like DarkBASIC and their hit iPhone games, AGK was created to solve an internal development issue: basically they were fed-up re-coding for each new device. So AGK was born. It comes in two versions – a BASIC interpreter with game and media specific commands (like LoadImage and CreateSprite) and for seasoned developers there’s a set of C++ libraries to use. Games are automatically scaled to different screen resolutions, and issues such as input commands differing from device to device are abstracted away from you.
According to the press release AGK supports iOS, Mac OS, Windows, Samsung Bada and MeeGo from the get-go. Which means you can target App Store, Mac Store, Samsung Apps and Intel’s App Up Store. Phase 2 of the product will add Android, Windows Mobile 7, Blackberry and WebOS to the mix. I don’t have any technical details on what happens “under the hood” just yet. I.e. is the BASIC code compiled down into a native runtime, or run via some kind of vm or interpreter. I also can’t comment on actual performance once your app hits the device, but the videos TGC have posted to YouTube looked fine as do the game examples, although I admit they are very simple.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one evolves. If you make anything with it, let me know!
More info at the AGK web site: http://www.appgamekit.com/
1st May 2011
I’m pleased to report that issue 100 of The Game Creators newsletter was published today.
Starting the newsletter was one of my first jobs when I joined TGC many years ago, and issue 100 is a real landmark for them – and what an issue it is! Even if you don’t use any of their products it’s well worth reading because there are 100 free 3D models, 100 free Textures, a free copy of the Sensible Soccer style game Goals, a great 100 games (made with TGC products) article and loads more – including an opening and closing article by me
You probably won’t find time to read it all, but certainly do have a good browse, there’s lots of great stuff and freebies for all game devs, no matter what software you use to make those games.
12th Jun 2010
Ok so maybe we’re sleeping with the devil somewhat in releasing our game Quartet for an Apple device But it’s fun, free and TGC have done a good job converting it.
They added a nice feature where you can import a photo from your camera allowing you to use your own faces. Which actually makes the game quite fun (and harder if the faces all look similar!)
We aren’t totally happy with the way the graphics scaled, but we just didn’t have time to modify them (if you look at the Credits screen you’ll see we fixed that one, but got no further). So the lovely pixel graphics look very blurry. But, it’s free, has cool Open Feint integration and I feel is good for killing a few minutes.
The full Flash version will be out very shortly, as we’ve signed an agreement with Gimme5Games to sponsor it.
10th Oct 2008
Things have been a little quiet on the PixelBlitz front these past few weeks. I have been working on some new classes but am not ready to release them to svn yet, however I have got a nearly complete Vector2D and Vector3D set ready, which will form the basis for a lot of things to come.
The reason for the slow-down is that I’m nearing completion on two brand new games, and resurrecting and finally finishing a third. The old game I’m finishing off is Five Dice Frenzy, a Yahtzee inspired dice game. I’ve beefed-up the visuals, added a worldwide ranking / highscore system and a comprehensive playing guide. There are a few tweaks left but then I will happily release it. It’s up on FGL at the moment but I’ll finish it properly next week.
My two new games are Tractor Beams and Fruiti Blox:
Tractor Beams is a new game for the Shaun the Sheep web site. Next week, around the 15th it will be released and feature exclusively on there for a month before we seed it further. It’s a strategy game very similar to Five Dice Frenzy, but totally Shaunified! We did the visuals in-house, again the excellent pixel work of Gav / Jam Factory (check out his awesome new blog design!).
The game features a really cool effect I created (almost by accident) on the title page, where the logo literally beams down from space into view. The effect could easily be re-used for a “spooky / ghostly” appearance, so I’m going to package it up and release it next week, so you can use it in any Hallooween inspired games you may be working on
We Tractor Beams will go down well on the Shaun site. It takes a while to get used to it and understand how to play, but once it’s clicked the highscore attack becomes really addictive!
My next game is Fruiti Blox:
Fruiti Blox is my brand new game, with graphics by Peter Jovanovic. It’s an against-the-clock puzzle game, which is very nearly finished – but I’m still toying with the idea of expanding the core game out further and including several “mini games” to enhance it. I’ll decide next week once Tractor Beams is released
Despite what the screen shot above may look like this is NOT a “Match-3” game at all!
So what’s next? I actually think it’s time to cease game making for a moment and spend some quality time on PixelBlitz, finishing off all the odds-and-sods I left hanging around, and integrating some core new classes into the fold. By the end of the year I fully expect to have the world manager done, and hopefully the tile map class as well (but no promises on that one!).
I’ve been using PixelBlitz (at least core parts of it) in all my games recently, and it definitely speeds things up. But the more I use it for real games, the more I realise we need to add!
Right now though I’m off to pack for The Game Creators Convention 2008. I attended last year and it was great fun, so I’m expecting nothing less this year Most people will be there already, but I need to travel up in the morning instead. It means getting up at 4.30am, but it’s worth it!
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