Deploying HTML5 games that utilise the IGX SDK to mobile feature will now give you access to a debug logging console that you can log text strings to and display on-device. This is great for debugging awkward issues across different devices. The Debugging service is automatically created for you when you create the Unity vendor via default service creation:
if (FBInstant.ext !== undefined) // Make sure that IGX is available
You can now access the debugging services via FBInstant.ext.debug. The following functions are available:
- FBInstant.ext.debug.clear() – Clears the debug log
- FBInstant.ext.debug.log(string) – Sends a string to the debug log
- FBInstant.ext.debug.show(show) – Shows / hides the debug log overlay, show is a boolean that specifies the visible state
IGX – Cross portal and cross platform SDK for web game and instant game developers
IGX stands for Instant Games Extension, it is basically a replacement object for the Facebook Instant Games FBInstant object which enables developers to:
- Deploy games created that use the Facebook Instant Games API to the web and mobile with little to no code changes
- Deploy HTML5 web games to mobile
- Provide a common API across web portals
- Build instant game features into existing games before deploying to the Instant Games platform, saving valuable time and money
- Bolster the existing Instant Games platform with new features via FBInstant.ext, such as real time user to user communication
Web to mobile
Today I pushed the latest version of the IGX SDK to Github which provides support for deploying IGX SDK compatible games, including Facebook Instant Games and general web games to Android and iOS.
Games are hosted in a web view within Unity 3D. A new library has been provided which plugs into the IGX SDK and communicates between the web view and Unity which provides access to native features such as in-app purchasing and adverts.
Supported features include:
- Adverts via Unity Ads (Admob is work in progress)
- In-app purchasing
- Social login via Game Centre and Google Play Games
- Leaerboards via Game Centre and Google Play Games
- Native sharing
- Analytics via Unity
- Open external URL’s
- File uploads
- Localisation support
The IGX SDK wiki has been updated providing instructions on how to set up a Unity project to host your game and content.
Below is an example of a deployed Facebook Instant Game which has been deployed to Android and iOS stores:
Who is the IGX SDK for?
The IGX SDK is for web and and Facebook Instant Game developers that would like an easy route to take their products from web to mobile platforms such as Android and iOS. IGX provides an alternative solution to the likes of Cordova, PhoneGap and CocoonJS.
TODAY Facebook Instant Game
Finally released my latest Facebook Instant Games offering to IG and Google Play.
What is TODAY? Have you heard of Nametests or OMG? Well its an app very similar to those with the exception that it does actually contain game elements. It was developed not in HTML / CSS but as an actual game. Why when surely HTML5 / CSS would have been much easier? Well a) I don’t like too easy and b) When you play TODAY you will discover that is very different to the likes of Nametests and OMG. Everything animates, questions open up in a dialog instead of shunting you back to the top of the page and shuffling up all the questions (that I hate, it confuses the hell out of me). But best of all it has actual games, games that encourage user interaction on their Facebook timelines as well as arcade mini-games.
How is it performing on Facebook Instant Games? Well, its tanked like every other game that isn’t being pushed by something. The likes of Nametests and OMG have upwards of 150 million monthly active users (MAU), why not TODAY? My theory is that apps like OMG need to be pushed by something, maybe a well known web site or Facebook page or some other social mechanism. Its easy to spot with Nametests because its been around for a long time, has millions of Facebook followers and a well established click bait web site. However OMG user acquisition is still a mystery to me. If anyone finds out how they are doing it then please let me know .
Anyway, I had a Google Play version up and running immediately thanks to the IGX SDK which takes my game from Facebook Instant Games and gets it running on web and mobile. An absolute god send, because deploying to mobile these days just isn’t really worth the effort of filling in the app store listing . Seriously that is how bad it now is if you don’t have any marketing spend. Don’t believe me? Deploy an app to Google Play or the Apple AppStore and listen to the crickets .
You can play the games here:
TODAY on Facebook Instant Games
TODAY on Google Play
I may release an iOS version, who knows.
Funny story actually about the Google Play version and their review team. The app was suspended almost immediately after I published it because it has a picture of two bodybuilding twin guys with their shirts off. Google Play stated that it was pornographic . I literally fell off my seat with laughter. Luckily I managed to get it re-instated. This is not my first run in with the Google Play review team and probably won’t be my last.
TODAY like all of my Facebook Instant Games was developed using the Booty5 game engine and editor. I really need to change the name of Booty5 to something a bit better.
Recently two family members have started streaming their gaming on Twitch.tv. They currently stream a game I love to play but am terrible at so prefer to watch . That game is League of Legends (I’m a lowly silver player, these guys are Diamond level players). if you like to watch gaming streams you should check them out, they’re pretty entertaining pair.
DDarkBlu on Twitch.tv (Support main)
Hastams on Twitch.tv (AD carry main)
I hang around in the streams and chat from time to time.
Anyway the point of this blog is to mention that it got me interested in streaming and streamers. I have discovered that Twitch.tv have an extensions API. I’m currently analysing the APi to find ways in which I can integrate it into the IGX SDK. This will enable developers to deploy their Facebook Instant Games straight to Twitch with little to no modification. Twitch.tv enables monetisation of your extensions via a currency called bits which seems interesting, so plenty of scope for earning money fellow developers.
The IGX SDK is a wrapper for the Facebook Instant Games SDK that enables you the developer to deploy your games and apps to web (mobile and Twitch.tv support coming soon) with little to no code changes, helping you maximise visibility and monetisation.