Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaderboard addition Pt2

Whilst i am still waiting on my company verification with the Apple developer enrollment process I am carrying on working on the integration of Scoreloops Leaderboard functionality. As you have no doubt read already I am finding it very exciting.

Well last night I got to work some more and decided ti was time to clean up some of my code, as with any raw development and coding process it can be a bit messy. So i did this in some small parts, as overall I am not quite ready with how I want it to be set out. So i will wait until i know how best for me to lay out the class etc.

I have the screen up and it collects the User and Leaderboard data and displays it when it is ready. However I am also using the HTTP socket stuff to obtain my Ads. So i think my code is rather busy right now. I do not really know if this is a real issue, or one that will just handle itself with multiple queries at the same time. either way the output text is a massive spam log at the moment. And i don't like that.

I really need to structure when i request my information. After all I am asking for several things sor tof at once....
1. Ads information
2. User information
3. Score list information (global scoreboard range)
4. Buddy list information

I do NOT think it is a great idea to just call all these things at once. So i am going to implement a Queue system and ask for each one at a time.

One difference between my game and a typical Scoreloop enabled game is that all my leaderboard information is on one screen. Whereas they typically have each item on a separate screen, allowing the player to select that type of leaderboard or buddy list etc will fire off the call to get the information. So i sort of need it all at once for my single screen, whereas they can get it in bite sized pieces ordered when the player requests to see it.

I think my Queuing method will work out great and I shall let ya know after tonight when I code it.

So far the only thing I am not sure about is grabbing the Buddy leaderboard and how this might effect my score_list that I have already grabbed etc.

Da Voodoochief

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Scoreloop, Leaderboards & Marmalade

Well you know i am using the Marmalade SDK for my current game 'Hot chicks the Card Game'. This is still my simplist game and my current development title. As i am Still waiting on Apple to approve me as an iOS developer i am unable to work cross platform, bah! So instead i am working on several game designs and looking around for important stuff to work on.

As it happens I have been eyeing Leaderboards. I needs them, Heck i WANT them soo badly as all the games I write will be enhanced by having them. Now a while back I was loking at ScoreLoop. I liked what it says on their Web site and when I saw they had produced an SDK version that fits into Marmalade as a module my interest was absolutely piqued.

So I started on Saturday Evening by browsing on my Kindle Fire for a Scoreloop enabled game. I found a couple that looked like i might want to play them and downloaded them. Seconds later i was playing one of the games, though playing was not my priority. So I had a look around the menu system. Now i EXPECTED to have to Sign up for Scoreloop. I expected that I would probably not be able to see any high scores until I did this. Well I was wrong, gladly so...

In Fact it was amazing. I did not have to sign up for Scoreloop due to it's design and nature. It already knew who I was (the UID of my device makes Me unique). Once Scoreloop gets contacted by a machine it does not already know, they assign me a Handle or username (mine was Player_93235684, or something close to that). Then that is who I am on this machine. So without ANY sign up, i am in a score table, i can view other peoples scores from around the world (or other search options).

One thing putting m off was that I expected I needed to ask everyone to participate by signing up for some leaderboard or achievement system they have never heard of before. This is NOT so with Scoreloop. Now after i saw how wonderful this was I decided to play around a bit. So by touching my name i this one game I was given the option to change my User Handle or name. Excellent, i of course changed it to 'Da Voodoochief'. Later I went onto the other game and saw that it Already knew of my new User Name, YAY!

I was So excited in this amazingly forsighted way of handling new players that i spent most of Sunday working on inegrating Scoreloop into Hot Chicks. Here is a picture from Sunday evenings work in progress.

As you can see I have my test name information and also the top 10 in the leaderboard. Very exciting stuff. Now i will do another post about that real soon. Too much for continuing this post after all :)

Good luck,
Da Voodoochief

Friday, February 24, 2012

AdMob Ad campaign Setup

I have not really read too many accounts of what has happened when people have used the Google AdMob advertising system to advertise theirs Apps. However the ones i can remember I seem to recall were not carrying glad tidings.

So it is without an informed Mind, that I have just setup my first Ad campaign with them. However I am not starting that campaign till the 14th of March.A Date which is exactly 1 month from the launch date of 'Hot Chicks the Card Game'. I will continue this campaign then through 5 days, spending up to 10 dollars a day. Now i have also set my bid price at 2 cents. As i don't have much of a clue what that really means, I guess i will find out. And when I find out, so will you folks.

I am very excited, as setting this up was simply a few clicks of a button. The option on the Android Publisher page is right there next to ya App (Advertise your app!). I had to click it to see what it would do. The next page when setting up the dates for the campaign to run have some sort of bug in them and would not clear away once i set the date. Though this only held me up for a moment or two.

I selected March 14th as it will give me a month of data to go from, and I figure my downloads and average installs etc should maybe have stabilized by then, though hopefully they will still be growing hehe. If my App is stable, then the data I should be able to glean from this campaign could be awesome.

I look forward to showing everyone what difference it makes. I will of course be doing a 1st month report right as this campaign goes live....

If you know any relevant or useful information pertaining to this type of thing, I would love to hear from ya.

Da Voodoochief

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Midway3 - Penny Pincher game

I am not very well at the moment, and so will be brief with this post. More when i am feeling better.

I was playing a minigame called Scattershot today, but grabbed these images of the Central game Penny Pincher.

As it is a rather dominant piece of geometry i ended up with two pictures of it.

Have fun,

Da Voodoochief

Monday, February 20, 2012

Apple Dev sign up, Problems

I wanna be an Apple developer. I wanna develop for Apple iOS platform. I wanna create and port my games for the iPod, iPhone and the iPad.

Alas i cannot do that yet.

When signing up to be a developer for Apple products they have an interesting split screen (application web page) that asks you to make a choice. Create your account as an Individual account, or as a Company account. There seems to be only one difference when glancing at the basic description and help on that page. For me that difference feels rather important. If you are in individual, then the publishers name on your game will be your own. If a Company, then your Company name will appear as the publisher.
 As someone who has been building his brand now for 3 years I feel very focused on maintaining and expanding that Brand. However in this situation things looked bleak. No wonder so many publishers on Apple products appear to be peoples names. I seem to remember somewhere that your name is always legally yours, even if someone else has the same name etc. Whereas a company name can be argued over it's ownership etc. I have NO IDEA why Apple thinks this is important for them to police though. Is this not the responsibility of the individual companies to deal with ?

 However I did several years ago setup SorceryGames LLC, obviously as a Limited Liability Company. Now i did this through LegalZoom, and to be honest I would not recommend this way of doing it. Not for the reasons I am sure first popped into your head. In fact I would not do it this way for a couple of reasons.
1. It costs more to have someone else do your paperwork and filing, though I believe LegalZooms costs were pretty cheap overall.
2. This is the one that matters to me. I do not know a thing about the company I have created. Legalzom did all the paperwork adn told me when i was good to go. So i was Blase about the whole thing, not retaining any useful information at al as far as i can tell about this company.
3. You will never know if you use third party if you have everything you need. Yeah.. you are out of the loop on this one. Having an outside company like this tell you at some point you need to pay more for something, something that you probably have never heard of before.

So not knowing the process of a company is one bad thing. For me i filed away all the peprwork they sent me. Just stuck it into a filing cabinet. Yet now Apple wants me to Fax (yeah FAX in this day and age, like i have one of those! bah!) soem Artciles of Origination to them. Heck i do not think i have ever heard of that peperwork before. I looked through what I have and cannot find it. Maybe LegalZoom have held onto it for me? How the heck am i gonna know 2 years later?

So currently Apple development is on hold, simply because I do not want to publish under my own name.

I am sure this story is going to be typical for a lot of developers, and I am sure some people reading this who are interested in getting into iOS development will find this to be important news to them.

I'll keep everyone updated..

Oh, so far Hot Chicks the Card Game on Android has been downloaded 160 times. YAY!

Da Voodoochief

Friday, February 17, 2012

Light Me Up Midway3 Minigame

Just a quick post so I could show ya the Light Me Up minigame. This game is now working great and looking good. A really cool challenge for twitch and timing reactions.

A Pretty cool looking Booth i think. As these weeks draw along, the whole thing nears completion. I am realy loking forward to knowing when the release date will be. Then you are all going to have a GREAT and surprising time.

I Expect to be able to give away a bunch more green tickets when Midway 3 launches. YAY!

Da Voodoochief

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Android missing 'Just In'

It seems a bit frustrating to me that the general populace does not understand games very well. they are under the misconception for example that a good game always does well... erm, no. They seem to believe that people will see your game even if it is crap, well they know lots of  crap games after all (again, they know so few!).

So here I am , a newly published Android developer. My game is now out, and yes, only in one place so far. That place happens to be the biggest portal for Android apps i am told on the planet (Android Marketplace). The reason it is so popular is because this is the default place to get all your Apps from. So everyone can get to this so easily on their phones and devices (except Kindle Fire, which defaults to Amazon App store). And i discover something I did not previously know...

Coming from being an Xblig and Then WP7 Indie developer, I am used to seeing a feature of those App Stores that gives my game an initial chance at doing something, that something being noticed. I have blogged many times about lack of visibility, but on those platforms there is at least a starting chance. I am talking about a list a list that everyone that releases a game makes it onto, though how long before you get pushed off is anyones guess.

The 'New Releases' list, or as it was called on the Android, the 'Just In' list. I say as it WAS called, because it has gone. Not only has it been removed on the Android Marketplace, it seems that Amazon also feel it is not worth supporting, as they have a New list, but it ony has paid Apps on it. an oversight? Or is it because they arenot making money on free apps, only good will. Well with a captured market in the millions now (Kindle Fire) I guess they cna do what they want.

While i was wondering what happened to the Android New releases list, i browsed the web to find any relevant information. Maybe i am just missing some vitally important aspect, like having to register for a new releases list or something. This link is for one of the most interesting articles I found. check it out and I will make several comments after the break about it. Please read the comments section, MOST Important!!!

AndroidPolice - This Just In

hmmm, I really feel I understand all those commenters, all those developers telling their own stories in such succinct fashion. bah!....  Well now you have read that article I assume you now have some idea why the list disappeared. Yet, I think it has nothing to do with spammers. I also when browsing for information came across another article (which i would link, only i cannot find it now grrr. and i am sure it was on !). This article mentioned the fact that these portals make no money from free Apps. and as Free apps are becoming more prevalent thanks to the Ad support getting so much better etc. This article reckoned that the list was removed for three reasons.
1. It made them no money, only cost them bandwidth charges.
2. Free Apps found makes it less likely a person would purchase an app.
3. Now they can sell advertising for your games, as it will be virtually the only way anyone will hear of it.

Now i know that number 3 may seem a bit cynical, and maybe it is. However I also believe those 3 ideas to be the same for Amazon. After all these are big companies working on making money, not just giving away products for free. So it may not be in the best interest of the Portals to promote or highlight free Apps, but as an Indie developer it is a bit harsh. At least Amazon on the Kindle Fire at least has a nice New tab for paid Apps... If only mine was paid and not free i could maybe take advantage. Though i have not monitored this list, so it may possibly not be as honest as it looks.

Obviously i started this post with the general publics perception in mind. The reason is because i wanted to link to that article and in what he says you can read so much about his opinion, and unfortunately i feel it is also the general opinion.

So many people seem to feel that a Developer simply needs to social network FB and Twitter etc and their good game will be popular. I Beg to differ, and it is a HUGE time investment to find lots of followers. Heck ,we want to write games, ot just talk to strangers (unless they have tried our game of course, haha).

So now i am wondering how much it will cost me to advertise my game on Android Marketplace and Amazon App Store (if it gets approved of course).

Da Voodoochief

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

OMGoodness I am Interviewed!

Yes it is true, my ugly old mug has made the video from 2 Player Productions. You know, the guys that are part of the Kickstarter Jackpot I mentioned a few days ago. Then again i am sure you have already pledged your 15 bucks to the project (50K people already have :O, which is so stinking cool!).

Oh I digressed. Back to reality... Here is the Link to the video

It is 16 minutes long and it IS a retrospective. Naughty dog peeps are cool and chat about why and how etc. Four of us from Mass Media talked about converting the game. For saying they interviewed me for an hour and a half i am in the video in several sections for a minute or so i suppose (that is not a complaint haha).

I appear first off at the 8 minute mark, and then several times later. I hope you enjoy the video, I thiink it comes across pretty well as do my workmates. Myself i will describe in one simple word... Sincere 8D

Hope ya like it, and also enjoy all the hard work that not only Naughty Dog did when creating the original, but also the extremely long hours we spent converting it to PS3.

EDIT:  I am also in the excerpt that was on last nights G4Tv 'Attack of the Show'. About 30 minutes into the show!
Da Voodoochief

ps. I guess my only gripe is I got the dreary title of Software Engineer.... bah!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hot chicks - Android Version submitted

I was going to wait and post about this when i got some sort of reply. Only i cannot wait that long. I am way too excited, filled with trepidation about how it might not be accepted. As well as excitement that it could sail through and be published and wow, I could have my first titles on the Android marketplaces.

So i submitted last night to:
  1. Google Marketplace. This cost 25 bucks to sign up as a developer and the process was very easy and rather painless. Only major thing of note was that i HAD to sign up for Google Checkout, something I have never used before. They asked for the usual submission artwork in various sizes, so I was busy creating them from my detailed pictures. Still pretty easy and painless. Once submitted the App goes into a 'Published' state, and there it is sitting right now. I am not sure what is next. I guess I'll post when i know what happens next.
  2. Amazon Apps Store. The first year of publishing on Amazon is free currently, but otherwise should be 99 dollars for the developer license. This seemed a little bit more involved, but again was quite painless. Though knowing a date when you would want your App to be removed from the App store was a trick question I am sure! There were a couple of new art sizes I needed to create and again that was easy enough. the form seemed to be more intense than the Google one, but it did have one part i liked. It has at the bottom a box for you to add notes to the Test department in and also any special notes if it is an update etc. I loved these boxes and think they are missing from Google for some reason. Of course I added my thanks for testing the Game and also noted that it was primarily developed on the Kindle Fire (as that is their device! It never hurts to name drop).
The whole process seems really easy, I guess it should be, but I still feel like I may have made mistakes.

Once the game goes live, check the Games App page/s and make sure the promo pictures you uploaded are being used in the way you expected. If not, it might be a good time to move them around Or alter them to better suit their usage by the publishers portal.

I will also mention that Mat at PocketeersLtd has just submitted his new 36 hour game! And he has also updated his Game Engine. You can check that out here .

So excited.....

Da Voodoochief

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hot Chicks Numbers

Hot Chicks the Card Game is my only controversial game. It is also the only game that I have that is Ad supported and doing ok. I initially created this game as a way to test the WP7 environment as well as it giving me another shot at making a bit of money. The game is a solid single player card game and is of course a reskin of the Cards on Fire game. Comparing the two versions was going to provide me with some interesting data i was sure. Well i have already posted about the comparison a month or so back, so I won't go and do that again. However I felt like it was time for an update on the numbers, because although i am not rich or even close from this game, i find certain figures to be very exciting.

Number of Impressions:-
  180,000   I love the size of this number!
  35,000  Monthly Average
  1,133  daily Average

I know each Ad is for 30 seconds of game playing. So If i look into that total impressions i get
  90,000 minutes of played time
  1500 hours of played time
  62.5 total days of played time

To think that my game has been played that many times is so awesome. I also have one other figure
  4,000  downloads (sales?)

So now i divide the total number of impressions by the number of downloads and i get
  45 impressions per person

On average someone who has downloaded my game has played it for approximately 22.5 minutes. Now how can that not make me feel very very happy. I also realise that soem people will get the game as it is free and then not really play it, they will look at the cards for a few minutes, and then realise it IS in fact a real GAME, and then just dump it as it is not tit-ware etc.

I am very excited to see how many impressions I will get on a more popular platform, hopefully that will happen soon.

Oh and one last detail...
203.44 dollars have been earned on this game. Which is now only 72 dollars in the hole.

Good luck in your Ad supported games,
Da Voodoochief

Friday, February 10, 2012

Keeping it Recent (Web Pages etc)

Getting people interested in your product, whether it is one you have already finished or whether it is one you are just starting is HARD WORK. do not let anyone fool ya into thinking it is gonna be easy. 'Just write a game on the phone, everyone is buying them', also.. 'I saw on the news that a guy made a mint making one silly game for iOS'.. etc etc.. it goes on. Reality isn't quite so favour some. In fact reality tells us that hard work marketing a game from the start to well after it is published will increase you odds of success, but will not guarantee it. But I digress.

So in keeping with trying to make sure that everything I have done stays current (as best it can). I am reworking my Home Page at . I am not good at doing web pages, i freely admit it, but who else is going to do it? A number of months ago I decided to clean my web page. all that dark purple was nice, but it aged in my mind and looked old to me after a couple of years. So now i have painted it white. It feels like a new coat of paint alright, and I really am liking it. But redoing al the old pages is a pain, and as I am in the middle of doing so many things I thought it would be a good idea to do one more, haha!  I am a glutten for punishment for sure.

So I set myself a simple goal. Just do 1 page a night. I have to say I have been very true to that goal, as i have now done 4 pages in 4 nights. Having just finished revamping the Aceball page. It is now as clean as a new pin.

This doesn't mean i am not also working on the character development for Bob the Frog. Expect an update post about that in a couple of days or so. I am also busy working on my Books for Interactive Reading. I hope to be contacted by my artist soon, and then I hope to get that second book finished up Pronto. If he doesn't contact me in a week or so. I will once again go looking for an Illustrator (downer!).

Till my next post, i am gonna play some Doubles Tennis and heal Horde so they can kill some Alliance in WOW PVP.

Da Voodoochief

 I realised that for all my words, the simple truth is.
 "Even If the Game was not popular or did not sell well etc. You have to publicise it or keep a record of it like it was in Fact a Big title and is still a current Big Deal."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

DoubleFine is Fine

I know many people will be Blogging about this Viral funding of Double Fine and 2Player Productions new Kickstarter project. However I am still gonna talk about ti a bit, cos i can.

At first I was startled to see they were asking 400,000 dollars for this project. I saw it when they first went live and thought i would invest in that, maybe in a couple of days. As i like point and click adventures i figure it would be cool to play a new one. Though i have my reservations as I do not believe just anyone can make these games and make them fun etc. I also have an issue with the whole Steam service which i know i must/should get over as soon as possible.

Then today I see that the whole project has gone viral. It is all over the web, and I am sure will make headlines on the regular news service. What a shock to see how much money they have, and possible more of a shock to see that about 28,000 backers are pledging over their money. OMGoodness. That is a lot of people. I never realised so many people liked this kind of game. Or are they backing it for some other reason. Now to be honest 28,000 people is not a lot. There must be 20 million users of Steam, and if so, this is just a drop in the bucket. Still, I wonder how many backers are already Steam users as well. Wish i could see that comparison.

But what does this mean for small Indies?
Obviously I would consider Double Fine to be a large Indie studio. Small ones are 1-5 people or thereabouts. So what does this mean ? Well it could mean many things, such as more visibility to other Indie games projects on Kickstarter. It could mean that there will be less money pledged to other Indie game projects now everyone has blown their wad on Double fine. Still, i am also interested in how many of the pledgers are in fact new to kickstarter and this is their first backing. I really REALLY hope it is an enourmous number!

Ok, I sort of let this out already. I am hoping that projects like this brings in a lot of new people who will pledge to games they like. It means there are more people to attract into pledging for ones own projects. Now we just have to be appealing and hope they look around and see us.

What next?
I am hoping that Double fines project keeps on going up in value. I have no idea what they are going to do with all that money. In reality they probably already have a full design for the game and know it would have cost the amount they set. I think they will also have some optional extras that they have designed and 'hoped' to create if they got the backing. Now however it is so ridiculously over the amount they asked for i wonder what they will do. Automatically make a sequel? Maybe they will do a 'Lost' (tv show) and try to extend the game by making it just plain bigger (not always a good move from a story side)

I certainly wish Double Fine and Also those excellent people at 2 Player Productions the best of luck in this grand undertaking.

Laters all
Da Voodoochief

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Marmalade SDK Eval has run out

Using the Marmalade SDK to develop a Game has been very fruitful and fun. Check it out here (Marmalade SDK).

It has been a very exciting 3 months. that is how long the Evaluation version lasts for. I did not realise there was actually a time limit on using the Eval version, but i think it makes sense in a variety of ways. Still came as a bit of a shock last week when i went to compile and got a popup window saying i had only 6 days left of my Eval version.

At first i panicked... What am I gonna do? I felt like a kid who had discovered something fun and some adult was going to take it away from me. Quickly i realised that i had several ways out of this dilemna. Though i really just wanted to keep on researching all the different elements of Phone development i wanted to. This also happened while i was getting in the IwGameAds module/library from PocketeersLtd (as mentioned in a previous post). So it was not a good feeling as coding and development was proceeding smoothly at that time. Now if it had happened when i was struggling to get the Ads system in, then I mighta not been quite so bothered.

So here i am with the days counting down. Meanwhile i am working on trying my best to get my first game (which is the simplist game i have) or test game working fully. To really know if I want to use Marmalade for all future development I really need to see one of my games reach it's conclusion and be ready for publication. It also needs to do this on at least two platforms (I picked Android and IOS). I have to say that buying the Kindle Fire for my test Android platform has been wonderful. My wife has taken to it like a duck to water. It also works really great with Marmalade, which is a huge bonus.

Here i am with a now expired license. Although i have not actually published the Android version of Hot chicks the Card Game, it is ready. Or I believe it to be ready as i went through the whole signing process this weekend, following the Android dev and Marmalade instructions. In fact it was pretty easy.
 The IOS version still needs to be looked at. I do not own any IOS device, so this one will be more trouble. I think it may be time to buy that iPodTouch or whatever i can get that is cheap and does not have a contract with it. Once i can prove that i can also publish on the IOS devices, i am a go for Marmalade.

Cost and cheapness.
I am an Indie developer. Which means I spend all my spare time creating games and yet make very litle money. Ok, that does not make an Indie dev really, but in this case it is true. This makes it hard to spend any big bucks on development of these games. So far I have a number of titles created and have made very little money. So buying a Marmalade SDK license for the year is a significant investment to me.

There are two main levels of license for someone like me. Standard at 149 dollars and Basic at 499 dollars.I would love the 499 dollar Standard license as this will allow me to develop for all platforms and also remove the forced splash screen from the startup of the game. I do not like the forced splash screen as it messes with my flow and also shows the Marmalade logo before my own, which seems like the wrong way around to me.

Marmalade also has a nice Apps program, where if accepted they offer several wonderful incentives. such as giving away a license so you may convert or create the game. Check that all out here Apps Program. Well i did apply for this and unfortunately Hot Chicks was not accepted. I am not surprised, it was just a chance that it might get accepted. Of course if it had, then i would also have some great marketing help (which we all need!).

So there i was trying hard to figure out what to do. When i decided with just 2 days left to email Marmalade support. Lets see what they say i thought. Well i got a reply by the time i was awake next morning (8 hours ahead will do that :) ). It was a nice simple and straightforward reply to my statement of where I am with my development etc and my current situation with the Eval license running out. I have to say that I was very pleased with the reply, simply stated it said they will help me and try to do what they can for me. Any developer really wants to hear this kind of support and I am very excited to see where this will lead. Once my contact gets back from the Blackberry convention, I know something will happen.

So when you are in doubt or have concerns over 3rd party software or middleware. It can really pay off if you just contact them in a nice way.

Da Voodoochief

ps. OMG another long wordy post!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Midway 3 Update

Mass Media Games presents Midway 3 for Playstation home.

I am sure i have used that title before.. Maybe that was for Midway2, i cannot remember.


Midway3 is progressing really well. Playtesting and tweaking of the games is an ongoing thing but several have been put to bed now (or we hope they have). I have been playing a game a week and will continue to do so for a while. Once it is all done I hope to know some type of realease date to tell everyone. The release date will most likely be a range though once it happens.

So here for your delectation are a couple of screenshots from two of the games i was playing a few weeks ago. I hope to bring a picture of each game once we are happy with the final design and it is set (hence the delay). I do have to say that i really like some of the prizes available in some of these games.

1st week i played Dead Ringers.

2nd week i played Big Foot.

3rd week i played Light me Up.
This week i hope to play Penny Pincher.

Have fun in Home :)

Da Voodoochief

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ads Integrated

I have been so busy that i have a number of Blog posts to write. I have finally decided what to write about first and it is the Subject that got me so excited earlier this week, and caused me to start off my week long hiatus on Blogging.

Ads, the monetization stream for my free game. Without them there is no way for my free game to repay me for asset costs and of course time spent. One great thing about Ads is that it can make the game free the player who downloads the game. An excellent thing i reckon, especially if the game is pretty good.

Now i am using Marmalade (  for my recent development foray onto Android and IOS phones and Devices. I am having a good time using this cross platform SDK and I think development was going fast for any of my tasks. With things going well I got to the point with one of my games that i really want to get Ads placed into the game. The Windows phone version I did a while back is still making money, even if it is only a dollar a day (which might be great for me if the Android market is 50 times bigger and i get the same percentage usage).

So i wanted to try and get the Ads into the game as my next task.
  1.  FIRST try was using the iAd system and I think it might have worked. Only there was a bug in the old Marmalade SDK when i had done this which could cause the iAd to not be served, or more importantly when it did, the game would crash. I debugged into this to find the cause and traced it to a problem, I then found someone else had traced and placed a thread in the forums. Marmalade had responded saying it would be fixed in the new SDK 5.2. Well it was at this time that my partner (the guy who is the iPhone dude (I do not own any iphone or iProducts at all) went AWOL on me and i haven't heard in the last month about how his development is going. But of course the iAd system is not gonna work for cross platform anyway. So more work is needed.
  2.  SECOND i tried using the AdMob Extension... This did not go so well, After a number of hours and days I could just not get this to work and got rather aggravated. So then I...
  3.  THIRD attempt was to use a new AdWhirl Extension that someone had kindly created and posted on GitHub. This had some instructions and a test app as well. Great this must be it. So i signed up for AdWhirl and tried this out. However after many more hours i was not being successful. In fact trying to get the extension to load and not error out with extension not found was a real pain. Obviously on the target machine (My Kindle Fire) the extension wasn't being included. After much trawling of the marmalade forums i found people with very similar issues, if not with my particular extension. It seems one method of including the lib (from the deploy tool, which writes it into the MKB file) breaks the mkb parser, and Marmalade had posted this would be fixed in the next minor upgrade to the SDK. YAY!.. Only by this time i was feeling rather frustrated.... again. It seems like i have spent two weeks of my dev time not working on a game, but instead working on getting an Ad into the game. Grrrr.
  4.  FOUR! This was earlier this week, Monday night to be exact. The day after my last post. Well in my wandering around the Marmalade forums I had noticed that PocketeersLtd had put out their Ads library for everyone to use. I had forgotten that they were going to do this (I have used many times for information, so i knew of it's existence). So once i saw this I knew i should try it out. It did not take me long to try out the test app they created, and then i just put the whole thing into my game. After that i had to sign up for some more Ad partners, like and then whammo I had an Ad showing!!!
  5. SUCCESS!!!! I have now signed up for 5 Ad partners, though 2 have so far refused my current game.
Let me talk a bit here about , and importantly Mat Hopwood. Mat runs the Drmop site, a place where he does tutorials, places code, answers comments diligently and generally has a lot to say about several subjects that a LOT of people are going to find helpful. Now i find Mats coding style to be very close to my own. which makes his code eminently readable to me. Thank goodness, cos in this day and age some coding practices seem to get in the way of code readability. However he doesn't stint at all. Pocketeers is the company he works for as  a coder and, judging by their creations is having a good time of it. As well as providing all this Marmalade coding insight Mat has also released his IwGame engine, which fits atop the Marmalade SDK and allows anyone to quickly get a game up and running. A great thing for first time coders etc.

As part of their IwGame Engine they have the Animated Ads Library. This is the part i am LOVING at the moment. It went in seamlessly into my game code. It works as described, and also the example works right away (big win i can tell ya!). I am sure Mat and his buddies will not get enough props for what they are doing, but i am one guy who is truly appreciating their work. Saving me dev time so i can spend it on the important things like Game development and not Ads placement.

I know those last two paragraphs might come off as sycophantic, but i was really frustrated and annoyed not getting Ads to simply work. hi system got it going as the first try should have.

Thanks Mat and the Pocketeers team.

Da Voodoochief

p.s. Animated Ads Rock, and mine now fades and twirls and scales in diferent timelines, looks fantastic.