IGX SDK now provides On Device Debug Console Logging

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:

[sourcecode language=”js”]
if (FBInstant.ext !== undefined) // Make sure that IGX is available
{
FBInstant.createDefaultServices("unity");
}
[/sourcecode]

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

IGX SDK for mobile is now available

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 lands on Facebook Instant Games and Google Play

TODAY Facebook Instant Game
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 :D. 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 :D.

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 😀 😀 😀 :D. 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.

Just released my latest cross platform game Idle Gangsters on iOS, Android and Facebook Gameroom. The game is an experiment o see if it was possible to mix Idle Incremental and Match-3 game play styles and it seems to have worked.

Rise through the ranks of the mafia in this fun, addictive idle incremental match-3 game.

Start out as a low life punk and work your way up through the mafia ranks to Godfather using every manner of lie, trick and scheme possible.
Muscle in on cities, launder goods, build up illegal rackets and generate cash, gaining the respect of your fellow mafians and rising through the ranks of the mafia. Hire bosses, kit them out, order hits, bribe cops, fight off rival gangs and the feds and much more.

  • Launder loot for the mob using Match-3 generating large amounts of cash and respect
  • Buy into 20 rackets to earn cash without lifting a finger
  • Free upgrades for all rackets
  • Smash your way through 10 ranks of the mafia from Punk to Godfather unlocking exciting new content
  • Muscle in on and take over 10 different cities from Brooklyn to Las Vegas
  • Hire upgradeable city bosses to increase cash flow, reduce racket costs, generate cash offline and use perks
  • Equip bosses with up to 16 perks to boost city rackets and laundering
  • 20 loot laundering boosts / hazards
  • 10 global powerups which affect time and cash flow
  • Unlimited missions for big cash boosts
  • Unlimited special missions for huge cash boosts which take place across 10 unique minigames
  • Extra 5 daily bonus minigames which generate cash, respect and diamonds
  • Stats tracking, over 150 individually tracked stats
  • Around 300 achievements to earn
  • Facebook connect with invites, gifting and leaderboards
  • Cloud save game backup and restore

Idle Gangsters is available for free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad

Idle Gangsters is available for free on the Google Play for Android

The game is also available for free on Facebook and Facebook Gameroom

Idle Gangsters Title Screen
Idle Gangsters Title Screen

Idle Gangsters Match-3
Idle Gangsters Match-3

Idle Gangsters Idle Incremental
Idle Gangsters Idle Incremental

Thinking of Making an Indie Game?


So, I’ve been making Indie games for years, with very little success, usually because I write obscure little games that don’t usually see much action. So I decided to write something that many gamers do love, an Idle Upgrade Cookie Clicker. I decided to go with the same format as the original by Orteil because IMO its the best and I much prefer the straight forward layout compared to modern idle games. I also decided to theme it around climate change as it’s something that I care about (hoping that it rubs off on a few others). I decided to make it free to play (because obtrusive ads are horrible and paid is DOA) with the option of video ads to generate coins for those that don’t want to spend any money on coins. I opted to integrate Facebook for backup / restore and the usual social features such as login, inviting friends, sharing, gifting, leaderboards.

So how does a cookie clicker perform these days? Lets take a look at some numbers since release a couple of months ago:

Note that the above mobile downloads required me to spend around $200 across Apple search ads and Google Adwords, so I’ve made quite a loss.

So the game wasn’t performing well, but was performing slightly better than most of my other games. With this I decided to put out a version on Kongregate and Newgrounds, (both great game portals with some pretty decent games) to boost the games visibility, which is ok as long as you can put up with the extremely toxic communities. Seriously some of the users (calling them gamers would be a serious stretch) on there were absolutely dropped on their heads at birth, if you are fine dealing with petulant kids then you can turn it into a pretty fun pass time.

Today I have:

After placing the game onto those portals I did see a nice jump in mobile installs, but it was very short lived (a couple of days), its just not an effective marketing tool, especially considering the toxicity of the community and the abuse that you will have to deal with. Also, take note, when you do place a game on a web portal, expect it to be lifted (without permission) and placed all over the place so that some blood sucker can earn ad revenue from your hard work (the word cunts springs to mind).

So in summary, paid ads do drive installs works, but you will need a LOT and I cannot stress this enough a HUGE AMOUNT of money to get your game noticed. Web portals like Kongregate and Newgrounds help the game initially but once the toxic community has done with you, your game will have 0 visibility, so any visibility gains will be short lived. Take a look at the ratings for my game:

  • iOS – 5 stars
  • Android – 4.5 stars
  • Facebook – 4.8 stars
  • Kongregate – 2.65 stars
  • Newgrounds – 2.68 stars

Indie game development for making money is dead, will I still continue to make indie games? It’s fun creating games, so maybe, do I expect to ever earn money from it? No, very unlikely.

If you are thinking of becoming an Indie game developer, I recommend only doing so if you get enjoyment from it, if you expect to earn a living then try something else.

Cookie Clicker Save the World free game for iOS, Android and Facebook Gameroom

Just released my latest mobile and Facebook game Cookie Clicker Save the World targeted at raising awareness of climate change in a fun and challenging gaming environment. Gamers playing the game are gradually introduced to various climate issues and what can be done to help, such as recycling, using wind power etc..

The game is an idle builder / tapper based in the near future where current day currencies have been replaced with a new cryptocurrency called cookies. Players have to research and buy new technology to reduce carbon emissions reducing mankind’s impact on the environment.

Game features include:

  • Bake cookies by clicking on the cookie moon, use cookies to purchase items and technology that help the climate and produce more cookies.
  • Use cookies to buy over 200 upgrades and mods to speed up carbon reduction and cookie production.
  • Earn over 200 achievements.
  • Use powerups to speed cookie cooking production.
  • Evolve your cookie mastery to gain extra benefits.
  • Daily bonus awards.
  • Login with Facebook, invite friends, share progress and compete with friends in the cookie master leaderboards.
  • Offline cookie cooking.
  • Random blessings boost your play.
  • Deal with random curses such as striking workers, maintenance shut downs and more.
  • Endless play allows you to play an indefinite amount of time

Cookie Clicker Save the World is available for free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad

Cookie Clicker Save the World is available for free on the Google Play for Android

The game is also available for free on Facebook and Facebook Gameroom

You can find out more about the game at the official Cookie Clicker Save the World website.










Tens Maths IQ Challenge – Free Puzzle Game for Android and iOS

Train your powers of mental arithmetic to clear each level by matching up tiles that total the target value in this fun and engaging educational maths puzzler game.

Super fun and super easy to play with gradual level progression, making this puzzle game ideal for kids and young adults that need to get that quick thinking maths edge at school and college.

Get a math IQ rating at the end of each level, gradually increase your mental math IQ over time and become a mental arithmetic math genius.

Stuck? Use Freebies that you have earned from previous levels to get free math solutions.

  • Endless play
  • Increasing difficulty
  • Easy, medium and hard modes of play to fit different age / ability ranges
  • Up to 32 different users can be play on a single device, making Tens ideal for class room activities and competitions
  • Measures and reports each users math IQ giving kids and parents the opportunity to see their improvements as they play
  • Musical numbers to give an added attraction to younger players
  • Tutorial mode to help youngsters learn how to play the game easily
Two versions are available:
Tens Maths IQ Challenge
Tens Junior Maths IQ Challenge
Tens Maths IQ Challenge
Tens Maths IQ Challenge

League of Legendary Gamers for Android available for free now on Google Play

League of legendary gamers
League of legendary gamers

The League of Legendary Gamers (not to be confused with League of Legends) is now available for Android phones and tablets. The League of Legendary Gamers is a competitive game that encourages gamers to compete for the top spots in the legendary gamers leagues, earning a well respected and honoured position at the top of the leagues. Players compete in various never ending games that are designed with difficulty that ramps up every time the player progresses, providing as constant challenge. Players submit their results to the game server where they are compared to every other player that has played, earning them a rank. Its a very simple formula, the higher you rank the more awesome you are.

Available FREE for Android on Google Play

Available FREE for iPhone and iPad on the App Store (Coming Soon….)

Need hints and tips or stuck then visit our Facebook Page

Tiny Bombs Boom! is a Go for Android, iPhone and iPad on Google Play

Tiny Bombs GO Icon
Tiny Bombs GO for Android

Tiny Bombs Boom! – Save the holiday inn hotel

Available FREE for Android on Google Play

Available FREE for iPhone and iPad on the App Store

Bad guys have hidden bombs on every floor of the holiday inn hotel, your job is to find and defuse them and save the hotel. Tiny Bombs Boom! mixes match-3 style game play with action creating a tense addictive mix as the player chases over 1000 floors eliminating explosives, new and unique ways of helping or punishing the player are added to the mix by way of power-ups and hazards.

Tiny Bombs GO in-game screen shot
Tiny Bombs Boom in-game screen shot
Tiny Bombs GO in-game screen shot
Tiny Bombs Boom in-game screen shot

As the player progresses from floor to floor of ever increasing difficulty, the game is expanded by unlocking mini-games. Each mini-game is unique and completely different from the main line of play. Each mini-game features progressive difficulty play that puts the player under ever increasing pressure to complete the next round.

Tiny Bombs GO in-game screen shot
Tiny Bombs Boom in-game screen shot
Tiny Bombs GO in-game screen shot
Tiny Bombs Boom in-game screen shot

Ten mini-games are available at launch with plans to add more as time goes by.

Special level unlock codes can be added to unlock the extra features, these will be released to the press over the coming months.

Marmalade 8 is out now – New Hub, Analytics, Android Native Debugging, Asset Store

You can download the Marmalade SDK for free from the Marmalade SDK website

Looks like Marmalade have been busy beavers working on their latest release of the Marmalade SDK. There are a lot of changes, but I’m just going to focus on the highlights:

New Marmalade Hub

The Marmalade Hub has had a complete revamp. Its got a new look and feel and now feels like a proper integrated Hub including features such as:

  • Open, create and build projects for all platforms. Creation of new projects also includes a very handy and easy to use integrations section ghat allows you to easily add integrations such as analytics, game services etc.. very easily and intuitively. The project templates are also very handy, especially for new developers.
  • Handy recent projects and examples lists
  • Multiple projects can now be opened simultaneously and access to home is always available without backing out of a project
  • Centralised and direct access to asset store, documentation, community answers, blog and tools (one of my favourite new additions)
  • Platform settings are now better categorised and more easily accessible
  • Project libraries list which shows a list of all libraries used by the project
  • Proper import of different deployment configurations
  • Update from MKB feature

All in all, the new Hub is a massive improvement.

Marmalade Analytics

Marmalade Analytics for C++ and Lua, is a great new addition for developers that really want to drill down into the behaviour of their game players to help increase user retention and hopefully increase monetisation. Marmalade Analytics is powered by industry leader GameAnalytics. Marmalade Analytics is incredibly easy to use out of the box as can be seen in this IwAnalytics example.

Android Native Debugging

I’ve been waiting for this feature for a bit, its been in beta for a while, but its now officially released. To debug an Android app in Visual Studio simply open it in the hub then click the “Open in IDE for debugging” button. Note that the first time you do this Visual Studio 2015 will prompt you to install Android support for C++, go ahead and install that (this may take a while so go for a coffee or take a nap :)).. Once your app has launched in visual studio click the green start triangle to start debugging.

Asset Store

Marmalade now have their very own asset store, which includes all kinds of assets from audio and bitmaps to extensions and full game engines. Submitting assets to the store is very simple, take a look here for details.