BattleBallz Chaos by Pocketeers Limited Shown on Blackberry Playbook Gaming Ad

One of our games “BattleBallz Chaos” for Blackberry Playbook has been shown on Blackberry’s Playbook gaming ad!

Well, not bad to say it only took us four hours (yes, you did read that right), 4 hours to convert the game using the amazing Marmalade SDK. We we’re also the first native Marmalade SDK app to hit the Blackberry Playbook platform, getting approval within 24 hours.

BattleBallz Chaos can be downloaded for Blackberry Playbook at Blackberry App World

Pocketeers Limited’s BattleBallz Chaos featured on stage at Blackberry Devcon 2011

Well, I’m pleased as punch today, our game and in association with the Marmalade SDK, BattleBallz Chaos got featured on stage (on the big screen – man I seriously want one of those big babies!) by the posh smart men in suits :) Here’s the proof:

Pocketeers Limited's BattleBallz Chaos featured on stage at Blackberry Devcon 2011

Oh yeah that’s right, come on, give me an “Oh yeah baby!”. BattleBallz Chaos for is available for Blackberry Playbook from Blackberry App World

Big thanks to Alex Caccia and the rest of the Marmalade team and Blackberry

News from Pocketeers

We finally scrounged a little free time to update our company web site with some of our latest developments over at featured some of my mental ramblings with regards to the Marmalade SDK over on their site today, so I’m pleased as punch.

I also found myself watching some of RIM’s Devcon 2011 (live web cast), which was very interesting. During the advert break I noticed an ad for the Blackberry Playbook showing a user playing a variety of games on it and low and behold our BattleBallz Chaos was on there! :)

Hello Marmalade – Introduction to the Marmalade SDK – The ultimate cross platform SDK for smart phones and tablets

This tutorial is part of the Marmalade SDK tutorials collection. To see the tutorials index click here

So you are a smart phone, tablet, smart TV or desktop developer (or at least want to be) and you want to have your next hit game or app run across a huge range of smart phones and tablets. Well, you have come to the right place to find out how to do just that.

No matter whether you are a professional games developer, part time hobbyist coder or the technical director of a large corporation researching how to support you work force across a huge range of varied phones and tablets, the basic principles remain the same. By choosing to develop your products across multiple platforms:

  • You benefit from a much wider audience for your apps and games
  • You save a lot of money and time on development, testing and updating
  • You can perform updates to your existing apps quickly and easily
  • You can share the same unified C / C++ code base across all devices and platforms
  • No need to learn (or hire professionals that know) multiple languages, UI’s or SDK’s
  • Regularly updated SDK with new platforms and features
  • Some of the smaller app stores offer increased visibility and more stable long term sales

And by choosing the Marmalade SDK you also get:

  • A FREE license/li>
  • Amazing support, including the apps program and device loan program to aid testing
  • A simulator that lets you test across an unlimited set of screen resolutions and simulated access to Accelerometer, GPS, Camera, Audio, Multi-touch screen, SMS, Compass and more
  • Test actual ARM code without even deploying to an ARM based device
  • Support for iOS specific features such as App Store Billing, iAd, Game Center etc..
  • Support for Android specific features such as Android Market Billing
  • Access to a large collection of open API’s such as Box2D, AdMob, Flurry, Chipmunk,SVG, Python, LUA and tonnes of other cool stuff (Full list available at

Marmalade is also partnered with the likes of Shiva3D, Scoreloop, Tapjoy, Raknet and many others, so you know this is an SDK that’s here to stay

Ok so what platforms does Marmalade actually support? The list to date is as follows:

  • iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
  • Android
  • Blackberry Playbook
  • Blackberry 10
  • Windows
  • Windows Phone 8
  • OSX
  • Tizen
  • Roku

I know what you are thinking, can I really write my code once and run it across all of these platforms? The straight answer is “absolutely!” as we at Pocketeers have proven. We have already released BattleBallz Chaos (Arcade action game) across iOS, Android, Bada and Blackberry Playbook using the Marmalade SDK, as well as Funky Cam 3D (a fun photography app) across iOS, Android and Bada.

Ok, so if you can write your code once and deploy to so many platforms then why is your BattleBallz Chaos not available on the likes of Symbian or webOS? The simple answer is that some of those platform markets are not currently where we want to go for a variety of reasons, but none of those reasons relate to the Marmalade SDK. We may choose to support them in the future and we may not.

Righty ho, you’ve decided that you quite like the sound of this Marmalade SDK and you’re considering saving yourself a boat load of time and money developing your cross platform games and apps, but what does code look like with this SDK?

Well here’s a basic game loop:

#include “IwGx.h”

int main()
    // Initialise Marmalade graphics system

    // Main Game Loop
    while (!s3eDeviceCheckQuitRequest())
        // Clear the screen and depth buffer

        // Update my awesome game

        // Render my awesome games view

        // Flush graphics system

        // Display the rendered frame

        // Yield to the operating system

    // Shut down Marmalade graphics system

    return 0;

You will find that the graphical system in Marmalade is similar to Open GL, which for me makes the SDK very simple to use. All other sub systems are equally as easy to use for example:

To create a texture from a bitmap file and upload it to the GPU:

CIwTexture* texture = new CIwTexture();

As you can see the code is ultra simple and very easy to use but most of all “cross platform compatible!”. Imagine having to do this on iOS using XCode / Objective C and then again using Java on Android and then again using Flash on Playbook, the list goes on.

So unless you enjoy self punishment, lots of extra work and the pain of tracking the same bugs across multiple SDK’s, languages and platforms, I suggest you take a short trip over to Marmalade’s SDK home page at Take a look at the SDK, its features, read some tutorials and even sneak a peek in the forums (I bite but not many of the other developers do!)

Over the coming weeks / months I will be writing a number of tutorials covering various aspects of the Marmalade SDK, associated tools and extensions, so keep an eye out.

Marmalade SDK and Blackberry Playbook – From Setup and Deployment to App World Submission

The latest version of the marvellous Marmalade SDK 5.1.3 has recently hit our development machines. Whats so special about 5.1.3 you ask? Well for starters you can now deploy your smart phone and tablet apps and games to the awesome Blackberry Playbook. If you haven’t had the chance to tinker with one of these beauties then I suggest you go and have a play because they are fantastic tablets. Amazon are selling them right now here for 16GB version and here for 64GB version

Ok you read this far and thought, “hmm, what the hell is the Marmalade SDK fool?”, sounds like something you would spread on toast and not actually use to make ground breaking cross platform games and apps. For those developers that have been asleep for the last couple of years or maybe just missed the name change, the Marmalade SDK is the newly named AirPlay SDK created by the boffins over at IdeaWorks. The marmalade SDK is basically an awesome system that allows developers to develop apps and games using a single unified API for a whole host of platforms including Apple iPhone, iPad, Android phones & tablets, Samsung Bada, Blackberry Playbook, Web OS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Windows, Mac and others. How do they do that you may ask, well don’t ask me! take a trip over to and take a look

Ok, shameless plug for my favourite SDK of all time out of the way, now on with the article

We have recently just ported one of our games “BattleBallz Chaos” to the Blackberry Playbook platform and had it published in record time (for our company at least). Within 24 hours we went from receiving our Blackberry Playbook test tablet and our unified Android, iOS, Bada code base to “on the App World store!” For those interested you can check out BattleBallz Chaos here and more info about our other versions for iPhone, iPad, Android, Bada and Windows Phone 7 is at

BattleBallz Chaos Blackberry Playbook Screen Shot

BattleBallz Chaos in action on the Blackberry Playbook

You are probably here because you are pulling your hair out trying to accomplish one of the following:

  • Deploy a debug build to an actual Blackberry Playbook tablet
  • Having trouble getting your build ready for submission to RIM’s Blackberry App World store
  • Need to know the splash screen, icon formats and sizes for a Blackberry Playbook build
  • Other random issues with Marmalade or Blackberry Playbook deployment or submissions

Well for whatever reason I hope this article can help you in some small way, now on with the article

Preparing your system

1. Grab a copy of the Blackberry Web Works SDK from Note that you will also have some other tools to install which are listed on that same page, just follow the instructions
2. Install the SDK to your development machine as specified

You may be wondering why you would need to install the HTML5 SDK when you are deploying a native application. The reason is that you need the binary tools that are located in this SDK. Note that the native SDK is Beta at the moment and is only available by asking Blackberry directly for access to the beta program at

Set up your PC to allow signing with the Blackberry signing server: (Only has to be done once)

3. Go to Blackberrys online code signing keys request tool at, fill in the information and submit,. You will be emailed 2 registration files that look something like this (DONT FORGET YOUR PIN!):

  • client-RDK-195133201.csj – This is for the signing process (RBK)
  • client-PBDT-195133201.csj – This is for the debug token creation process (PBDT)

NOTE: It may take a few days to get the registration files so apply for them immediately

4. Now lets actually do the set-up process

* Copy the registration files from step 3 into a folder (lets call it ‘Playbook’)
* Open up a command prompt and change to the ‘Playbook’ folder you just created
* Run the following commands at the command prompt:

"E:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for TabletOS\bbwp\blackberry-tablet-sdk\bin\blackberry-keytool" -genkeypair -keystore sigtool.p12 –storepass {your_password} -dname "cn={your_company_name}" -alias author
"E:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for TabletOS\bbwp\blackberry-tablet-sdk\bin\blackberry-signer" -csksetup -cskpass {your_password}
"E:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for TabletOS\bbwp\blackberry-tablet-sdk\bin\blackberry-signer" -register –csjpin {your_pin} -cskpass {your_password} client-RDK-195133201.csj

{your_password} – Choose a password that you are going to remember
{your_company_name} – Company name as specified when you requested the registration files in step 3
{your_pin} – The pin you created when you requested the registration files in step 3
client-RDK-195133201.csj – Change this to the name of the RDK CSJ file that you received in your registration files email in step 2

NOTE: The location where the blackberry-keytool and blackberry-signer will probably be different depending on which SDK you are using and where you installed it

Set up your PC to enable generation of debug tokens (Only has to be done once)

5. Open up a command prompt and change to the ‘Playbook’ folder created in step 4 then enter the following at the command prompt

"E:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for TabletOS\bbwp\blackberry-tablet-sdk\bin\blackberry-debugtokenrequest.bat" -register -cskpass {your_password} -csjpin {your_pin} client-PBDT-195133201.csj

{your_password} – The same password that you chose in step 4
{your_pin} – The pin you created when you requested the registration files in step 3
client-PBDT-195133201.csj – Change this to the name of the PBDT CSJ file that you received in your registration files email in step 2

Generate a debug token to allow deployment of debug builds to the Blackberry Playbook tablet

6. Open up a command prompt and change to the ‘Playbook’ folder created in step 4 then enter the following at the command prompt

"E:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for TabletOS\bbwp\blackberry-tablet-sdk\bin\blackberry-debugtokenrequest" -cskpass {your_password} -keystore sigtool.p12 -storepass {your_password} -deviceId 0x{device_id}

{your_password} – The same password that you chose in step 4
{device_id} – Your Blackberry Playbooks device ID – Note that you should not use any funny characters or spaces in this name, best bet is to name it something like

NOTE: To find your Blackberry Playbooks device id do the following:
* Tap the settings icon in the top right hand corner of the playbooks screen to bring up settings
* Select “’About ‘ item on the left hand side menu
* In the drop down box to the right selected “’Hardware’
* The ‘PIN’ number shown is your device ID

Install the debug token to the Blackberry Playbook tablet

7. if you haven’t already done so then ensure that you have connected your Playbook to your local Wi-Fi network. Go to Settings->Wi-Fi and set it up here.
8. Go to settings->About then select ‘Network’ from the drop down list to the right which displays info about your network. Now note down the IP address of the Playbook (something like
9. Enable “Development Mode” on your Blackberry Playbook as follows:

* Go to Settings->Security->Development Mode
* Slide the development mode slider to “On”
* You will be asked to enter a password (for simplicity use the same password as you use for logging into your Playbook)
* Select “Upload debug token” button

And finally to install the debug token to the Playbook, open up a command prompt and change to the ‘Playbook’ folder created in step 4 then enter the following at the command prompt to install the debug token to the Playbook

"E:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for TabletOS\bbwp\blackberry-tablet-sdk\bin\blackberry-deploy" -installDebugToken –device {ip_address} –password {playbook_password} is the name of your debug token that you create in step 6
{ip_address} – The IP address that you noted down in step 8
{playbook_password} – This is the security password that you have set for your Blackberry Playbook (The one you type in when you log into your Playbook)

Ok, the hard bit is out of the way, take a breather and go for a coffee, next part is deploying via the Marmalade SDK, which is thankfully a much easier process

Deploying your Marmalade SDK app to the Blackberry Playbook tablet

There are a few things you need to do on the Marmalade side in order to get your build ready for deployment to the Blackberry Playbook:

10. MKB project file modifications

* If you want to appear as the author for your app then you need to add the following to the Playbook deployment section of your MKB:

playbook-author='Your company name'

* So that RIM can identify you as the real author of the app they need to know your author ID. The line in your MKB will look something like this:


The aiuthor-id is however a little elusive. The easiest way to find it is to rename the “” file that you generated in step 6 as a zip file “” for example. Open the zip file and extract the MANIFEST.MF file. open this file in a text editor and fiind the field called “”Package-Author-Id” the value for this field is the authorid you need to supply to the Marmalade build system

* To set the Splash Screen and icon use the following two MKB commands:


The splash screen and icons will be scaled to the correct sizes, but I recommend choosing a large sized splash screen that matches the 1024 x 600 pixel aspect ratio screen and 86 x 86 pixel icon (rounded corners and transparency are allowed in the icon)

Ok, now you have this in place, compile and run your ARM release build. When the Marmalade deployment tool runs and gets to the final stage of deployment you need to enter the following details:

* Device hostname (or IP address) – Enter the IP address that you noted down in step 8
* Device password – Enter your playbook security password (The one you type in when you log into your Playbook)

If you selected Package and Install in the previous Marmalade deployment step then you should find your apps shiny icon on the Playbooks screen (under games category most likely)

Ok, you can now deploy your build to an actual Blackberry Playbook, but what about preparing your BAR file for submission to Blackberry App World, we shall cover that next

Preparing your app for submission to the Blackberry App World Store

In order to submit your app to Blackberry for App World approval you will need to sign your BAR file:

11. Edit the file located at “\Marmalade\5.1\s3e\deploy\plugins\qnx\MANIFEST.MF” and change the line that reads “Application-Development-Mode: true” to “Application-Development-Mode: false”. Remember to change it back to true when you are deploying development builds
12. Open up a command prompt and change to the folder where you MKB is located (lets say for example ‘e:\Apps\CoolGame’)
13. Copy the file ‘sigtool.p12’ from the ‘Playbook’ folder that you created in step 4 into the folder specified in step 12
14. Run the following commands at the command prompt: (when resigning the same build you only need to perform steps 12 and 14)

"E:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for TabletOS\bbwp\blackberry-tablet-sdk\bin\blackberry-signer" -verbose -cskpass {your_password} -keystore sigtool.p12 -storepass {your_password} build_coolgame_vc10\deployments\Blackberry\playbook\release\ RDK
"E:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for TabletOS\bbwp\blackberry-tablet-sdk\bin\blackberry-signer" -keystore sigtool.p12 -storepass {your_password} build_coolgame_vc10\deployments\Blackberry\playbook\release\ author

{your_password} – The same password that you chose in step 4
build_coolgame_vc10\deployments\Blackberry\playbook\release\ – You need to replace this section with the relative path to your .BAR file for your app

You now have a signed BAR file that you can submit to Blackberry App World for approval! Good luck with your submission and good luck with sales!

A Few Notes

* You can choose a separate CSK password and store password if you like to increase security
* Remember to replace the path to the Blackberry tools with the correct path for your Blackberry SDK install
* Our app only took around 16 hours to get approval but we noticed that the number of new apps appearing around our time of submission were few and far between so it could take longer
* Ensure you have a working internet connection throughout the whole process as the Blackberry tools will need to query various external servers
* If you are having trouble with deploying your debug build then ensure that a) Your Blackberry Playbooks IP address has not changed and b) Your debug token has not expired (they have a very short life span)
* If you would like your app to be classified in a category other than “’games’ you will need to change the application category line “Application-Category:” located in the file “\Marmalade\5.1\s3e\deploy\plugins\qnx\MANIFEST.MF”

Confirming that your app has been signed

To confirm that you app has been signed by both the RIM signing authority and yourself open your BAR file as a zip file and check the META-INF folder. This folder should contain 5 files:


If any are missing then something went wrong and you need to sign again. Note that if you receive an error saying something along the lines of “already signed” then change your version number, rebuild and re-sign