Marmalade SDK

marmalade-smb

Attended a Marmalade Developers’ Day to have a look at the new version. Marmalade offers a C++ development kit with libraries that will interface to a number of PC/Mac and handheld devices. It has been around for a while but I haven’t looked at it recently.

I was impressed by the how low level interfaces to phones and tablets are there now, with more to come in the future. There were a bunch of developers there who were largely positive, although a few talked about needing to be ready to handle occasional bugs. The number of platforms available now covers all the normal Android, iOS, Blackberry machines and there are options coming that will push games to the desktop for PC, Mac and to Smart TV platforms as well. There is a push for Blackberry apps at the moment and you can get a free Blackberry tablet and/or a development phone if you can upload an approved app to their app store soon.

The day’s sessions were recorded and are now at,
http://www.madewithmarmalade.com/blog/marmalade-developer-open-day-videos-now-online

Addendum – Feb 2013

They have now released an even easier route into games with their Marmalade Quick package. It has a simple GUI for Rapid Application Development, uses Cocos2D graphics system and the Lua scripting language. Apps may be built with no C++ programming at all! We looked at this for some of our tablet control systems, as they only need a simple interface and Lua has some TCP socket facilities built in.

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Game09 at Imperial College

An interesting day looking at some new techniques in games software, pushing the angle of how a clever department at Imperial College in London, can help game studios with their research and production. It was a smaller group than I was expecting but it had an interesting group of talks, with some stimulating conversations around some of the research areas that the college students are involved with. I’ve been talking with contacts at other universities and they do seem to have the time to look into areas whereas a commercial company has to keep more tightly to their production plan. The computer department here has a lot of AI studies, which reflected in some of the talks.
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Pandora games console and Adobe Flash/Air

I was asked by my son if he could buy another gadget last night. It looks, as they all do, as though it will be much better than anything else in the market. It’s a new games console, but this time open source and promising to have lots of free software. Before saying yes, I thought that Id have a look around to find a bit more about it. It’s the Pandora games console and it’s based around the Arm chip with the same speed as the one in the iPhone. It has the PowerVR chip in it to get OpenGl 2.0 support so that sounds positive.
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Some number games

Informa Telecoms & Media have come out with a new report on the Games industry.

Global games industry to hit a peak value of $58.4 billion in 2007

“The highest growth will come from broadband, mobile and interactive TV, which are together forecast to generate revenues of $20.6 billion by 2010 – up from $3.8 billion in 2004.”

The Dynamics of Games (5th Edition) gives you comprehensive coverage of:

Consoles – the console market is, and will continue to be, the dominant platform throughout the global industry

Handheld – this sector will see growth for both hardware and software sales, driven by the recent launch of new handhelds from both Nintendo and Sony

PC – PC gaming will continue to decline – with revenues falling to half the 2001 total by 2010 – due to factors such as new generation consoles boasting the same functionality traditionally associated with the PC

Broadband – the rapid take-up of broadband, as well as interest in services such as Xbox Live are helping drive the broadband games market

Mobile – as 2.5G & 3G mobile services spread, the mobile games market is due to accelerate extremely quickly over the next few years

Interactive TV – still only a small sector within the industry, interactive TV gaming will continue to gain popularity with the spread
of digital TV services

Full report from www.informamedia.com/games

New Mod for Half Life

New Mod for Half Life

We’ve been playing aroung with Gary’s Mod for a while now. It’s amazing to me how much you can do with a mod. There seems to be so many additions that must take almost as much time to create as the original game! The kids meanwhile, just take it in their stride as something that is entirely normal. How I wish they appreciated how much work has gone into the system, from the number of transistors in the graphics card, right through to the dedication of the Half Life modders community. It couldn’t be done by one person, but one person can so much to the whole experience. I must find out more about Gary.

I must also find out more about how to drive these graphics cards. All the lighting effects in the new technical Mod for Half Life 2 that my son has. It’s a seaside area and looks as tho’ it is done to show off some of the techniques that Valve are looking at. The lighting is the main source of inspiration. The software uses HDRI images to enable some fantastic lighting effects. The scene is dulled down when looking at a bright light, just as though your iris is closing a little to cope with the brightness. The seaside water reflections are great. Valve also offer a talk through of all the effects, explaining the pros and cons of each. You should definitley look for this download and check it out. It’s called the “Lost Coast”.

Games sector value

This quote came in an email today. Looks like it might be interesting to look at the mobile games sector sometime soon….

“Global games industry to hit a peak value of $58.4 billion in 2007”

“The highest growth will come from broadband, mobile and interactive TV, which are together forecast to generate revenues of $20.6 billion by 2010 – up from $3.8 billion in 2004.”

Source: Informa Telecoms & Media

Consoles – the console market is, and will continue to be, the dominant platform throughout the global industry

Handheld – this sector will see growth for both hardware and software sales, driven by the recent launch of new handhelds from both Nintendo and Sony

PC – PC gaming will continue to decline – with revenues falling to half the 2001 total by 2010 – due to factors such as new generation consoles boasting the same functionality traditionally associated with the PC

Broadband – the rapid take-up of broadband, as well as interest in services such as Xbox Live are helping drive the broadband games market

Mobile – as 2.5G & 3G mobile services spread, the mobile games market is due to accelerate extremely quickly over the next few years Interactive TV – still only a small sector within the industry, interactive TV gaming will continue to gain popularity with the spread of digital TV services