Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Marmalade #5 - Ads and iAds

This is part 5 of me talking about using the Marmalade SDK for the first time to convert a game i have out on the Windows Phone 7.

Ok so the conversion went well. Trying the game on several versions of hardware showed up right away that i was not using frame compensating (obviously i knew this). I came up with a plan and it was easy to solve this issue. Sounds were not sounding good, with so many clicks in them. Still another easy to clean up item. The game is playable though and still seems like fun. So what do we have left ?

Well after playing the game on the iPhone it becomes apparent i really have a very short list of things to do. Below is the list and status and thoughts on them.

1. When tombstoned or removed as the active focused app, the game still runs like it has full focus. I tried to find the information i needed in the SDK documentation, but failed for a while. Then a friend came and lent me a hand, or eyes :O. It is in fact named as Paused.... Bah!  So there are a couple of callbacks to know when you lose and regain app focus. Sweet. That will be easy to do tomorrow.

2. Fix clicking SFX, my mate Paul has this sorted i am told. Will check it tomorrow. No idea why they went clicky in the first place though.

3. The game is setup to work in landscape mode. However on the iPhone there is an oddity where landscape can mean either way across. The screen flips and such, but it is odd. On the Android for example it stays in a single landscape mode (oops, that is a premature mention!). Not sure if i ned to address this or not at this time.

4. Crashing.... The game crashes after about 4-5 levels on the iPhone, but does not in the simulator. I suspect it is running out of memory due to a leak, but i am not sure as yet. More investigation is needed by simply turning off certain aspects of the game game code till it remains solid and doesn't crash. just because i do not have a debugger does not mean i cannot find it :)

5. Adding in the Ads, this is after all going to be our revenue stream. The iAd extension is remarkably easy to use. Only it seems a little unstable. So far the game can crash as soon as it is served Ads, or maybe later (could be our 5th level crash?). Now i know from the forums that other people have had to deal with this. So i ave a couple of things to try. First off will be to try the example and see if that ever crashes. If not, then i will mimick that. Still, the iAd crashing stuff has ben a bit of a pain. Mostly becasue i do not have a lot of access yet to an iPhone or iOS device.

6. Get all the publishing information taken care of before submission. This is things such as Icons or description files etc. My mate Paul has published about 8 apps/games so far, so i hope that will go smoothly.

Yes, i will still need to purchase a version of Marmalade before i publish. It's a funny thing, but i really want to pay after i make money and not before. Is that bad?

One Note:-
I did attempt to join Marmalades App program, where they sell your game and promote it for 20% of the revenue after the portal or publisher fees are taken. I am excited by this deal and hope they do great promotion. However Hot Chicks the card game did not meet their quality level to get approval. Maybe my new game will :)
If anyone has done the App program and has any information that they can reveal, i would be VERY interested in hearing if they thought it was worthwhile to them to do it.

Da Voodoochief


  1. Pretty great stuff Rob! I haven't tried the launching to an actual device yet, but I'm enjoying Marmalade. You made it sound easy, so maybe I'll try it tonight :D

    I'm still far away from publishing a game to the iphone, so I havent messed with AD support at all. I look forward to reading any news/links from you. I'm hoping its an easy process :S

    I believe Marmalade is doing a Christmas sale right now on licenses, but I agree - I'd like a "pay after making sales" option as well.

    Good luck,

  2. Hey Ben,
    Well maybe we can sort some of that together. so far i have not got my Kindle installing the game, but maybe i can find time and the answer tomorrow. You have an Android phone, and that makes it a bit easier i think.

    Good luck in your Dev :)

    Da Voodoochief