Free Games Bandit – FREE amazing new app discovery service for users and developers

I’m quite excited to announce a new free mobile games and apps discovery service called Free Games Bandit. Free Games Bandit was invented to serve two purposes:

App discovery from the users point of view

First and foremost, as an avid mobile app user and gamer I have a MASSIVE gripe with app stores such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store. When I visit Google Play and the iOS App Store I am ALWAYS presented with apps and games that I have seen before. Not only that these apps and games rarely change. I can log in every day for a week and see the same old stuff there. I am forced to drill down categories for hours and hours just to find an app or game that’s new or different. I feel very strongly that app discovery at the moment on the major app stores is stagnant and a mind numbing experience.

Free Games Bandit solves this discovery problem by presenting a collection of random games and apps to you the user. It also presents them in an exciting interactive format that feels very game like making app discovery FUN.

App discovery from the game and app developers point of view

So as a mobile game and app developer you created your latest marvel app or game and put it on the app store, did a little PR, posted to various gaming forums, told your friends, announced on Facebook / Twitter etc, maybe a little paid advertising, but where are the sales and downloads?

80% of most new apps and games for Android and iPhone / iPad get buried at the bottom of the app store under the immense weight of the app stores themselves. what are your chances of being discovered? That’s right, virtually 0, which is evident with how many apps are on Google Play / Apple App Store with fewer than 10 downloads. What would your downloads look like if you as a developer had the same chance of getting your app discovered as all other developers? Free Games bandit does not discriminate, all app developers that add an app have the same chance of being discovered

So if you are an app user / gamer looking for a new, unique and interesting way of finding new apps and games or a mobile developer looking for a fair and free way of promoting your apps then pop over to Free Games Bandit. Note that there is no sign up required to use or add apps.

Free Games Bandit on Facebook

Free Games Bandit is now available on Facebook as an app at I’ve also added a Facebook page at where you can keep up to date with development news.

Getting your app featured on Google Play – What to do and not to do

Looking at my recent app sales / downloads and feeling quite disappointed I sat wondering why none of my apps have yet been featured on Google Play. I searched around and around and finally found something that could explain why. A recent-ish (2012 to be exact) talk by Dan Galpin and Ian Lewis at the Google I/O conference offered up some dos and donts when it comes to “possibly” being featured on Google Play. The video of the Google I/O event can be watched here.

A basic summary is shown below:

  1. Make sure app works on latest OS release (hide soft buttons too)
  2. Do not enable copy protection in Google Play developer console (this has already been removed)
  3. Use back button to pop up pause menu or return to previous screen
  4. Respect Android life cycle. One tip, when game returns from paused state, pop up a game paused menu and never lose game progress
  5. Don’t use certain permissions if your app doesn’t really use them such as read / write SMS, change wifi state etc..
  6. Conserve system resources (memory, battery etc..)
  7. Follow Google’s rules such as a) dont use other 3rd party IAP API’s b) Do not upload apps that download others apps c) Do not bribe users for 5 star reviews
  8. IAP must be done correctly, including taking into account situation where purchase was not delivered because the app was paused or shut down
  9. Make sure game works and runs well across wide variety of different devices
  10. Get app store listing correct and make sure that the featured images are ok at a low resolution, such as text can be read. Don’t include keyword spamming or phrases such as “if you like xxxx then” or use over salesy type language

There are more tips, so its well worth watching the video.

Good luck with getting your app or game featured on Google Play.

HTML 5 Gotchas

On this page I will place all of the gotchas that I come across during my HTML 5 developments.

IndexSizeError: Index or size is negative or greater than the allowed amount

I got this error Firefox and a similar error in Internet Explorer whilst drawing an image to the HTML 5 canvas using drawImage(). The problem turned out to be trying to draw a portion of an image that was outside its bounds. I was drawing what I thought was an 800×600 image, which was actually 798×600 so the source rectangular area that I was drawing was off the edge of the actual image. Doh!

Marmalade SDK 7.3.1 is out now, Fortumo, FBX exporter and other cool additions

Yep that’s right, Marmalade 7.3.1 is smoking hot and fresh off the press. In case you have been developing games in a cave somewhere with no internet connection the Marmalade SDK is an awesome piece of technology that enables you to create games that run across many different mobile and desktop platforms with “one single code base”. I cannot stress how wonderful that is in mere words. You can develop products in C++, Objective-C, Lua or HTML / JavaScript, test under simulation on Mac / Windows desktop, deploy to device / store and whole raft of other cool stuff.

Anyways, sales pitch aside, lets take a look at some of the recent changes:

  • Fortumo now integrated with IwBilling and Quick Billing.
  • New FBX to Marmalade converter tool, making it easy to get your 3D assets from tools such as Maya LT, 3ds Max and others that support FBX format into Marmalade.
  • ideviceinstaller now available on Windows (goodbye iTunes!).
  • IwGx now supports the ETC2 and EAC compressed texture formats.
  • IwGx PowerVR texture compression efficiency improved.
  • Initial support for PowerVR Tools (PVRTrace and PVRTune) on Windows Desktop.

I’m majorly excited about three of the new features in particular. The first is the support for Fortumo integration into IwBilling and QBilling. If you don’t know what they are then they are a single unified solution that enables you to “very easily” add in-app purchasing to your app across multiple different app stores. The addition of Fortumo means that in-app purchases can now be accepted by a vast number of different app stores (Android in particular).

Second feature is not having to install apps to an iOS device using the infinitely despised iTunes client on PC. I have never come across such a bug ridden piece of software in all my years. I will be happy to be deploying directly to device from now on!

Lastly, a new FBX converter that converts Maya LT exported FBX files into a lovely Marmalade format, yummy yummy.

By the way, did I mention that the Marmalade SDK is now available on a FREE license!

Click here to download the latest version of the Marmalade SDK

HTML5 cheat sheet

This page is basically a dumping ground for all the useful bits of info that relates to HTML5 development.

Useful HTML5 semantic elements

    <article> – Defines an article in the document
    <aside> – Defines content aside from the other page content
    <footer> – Defines the footer for a section in the document
    <header> – Defines the header for a section in the document
    <nav> – Contains page navigation links
    <section> – Defines a section in a document