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Android Gamers Beware: the Angry Temple Gorilla is Going to Smash Through Your Screens

Appstellations first offering receives overwhelming

response from gamers




It has been over two weeks since Appstellation released Angry Temple Gorilla upon the gaming world. Angry Temple Gorilla is essentially a mobile platform game that was launched by Appstellation on April 26th, 2012 on Google Play and as of now is on a rampage across more than 16,000 mobile phones running the Android OS.

Now there is no cause for alarm as this breed of gorilla will not be knocking down your front door anytime soon, or ever for that matter. It is more likely to give you sleepless nights, holding you captive in its virtual vise-like grip.

Before all hell broke loose in the Holy Coconut Temple, its sole resident Coco Jingo the gorilla, spent much of his time lolling around whilst munching on succulent coconut meat. But, the other critters of Bongo Land, namely the teeming bugs, alligators, birds, turtles and lizards, decide to charge en mass towards the temple to pick it clean of its delectable delights. Yet Jingo is not into caring and sharing his fruity possessions and unleashes the enraged beast within to defend his territory. Only with a ruthless player at the controls can Jingo unlock his full fury to blast away the invaders with his coconut cannonballs whilst avoiding poisonous pitfalls.

The game, downloadable from the company website and is the debut release and is determined to take the mobile gaming world by storm. Appstellation has considerable experience in ascertaining the tastes and preferences of its customers with regards to personal entertainment and has of late pooled its creative and technical expertise to spawn a menagerie of digitized treats.

Anastasia Layman, the spokesperson for Appstellation, commented: “We are ecstatic regarding the overwhelming response that Angry Temple Gorilla has generated so far and are working on a whole range of other interesting and exhilarating games and applications that we plan to release very soon. By signing up on Appstellation’s website, videogame aficionados and casual gamers alike can be promptly notified of the latest releases!”

The CEO of Appstellation, said: “Though Angry Temple Gorilla is our first offering, we have not compromised on the graphics and gameplay and have designed the game to exploit the latest processing and display technologies being integrated in mobile devices and smartphones, as well the latest accelerometer models. This dedication to excellence has borne out an engaging gaming experience for players and mobile users of all ages.”

Lachlan, who played the game on his Samsung Galaxy S II, exclaimed: “Great work guys! It’s fun, addicting, easy to learn how to play, nice ideas, cool graphics, and a good concept! Keep it up! More people need to play this!”

About Appstellation
Appstellation is an emerging player in the mobile applications and game development industry and prides itself on having a group of highly motivated, experienced and silicon savvy professionals as its driving force. The company aims to develop a wide assortment of innovative products and services targeted at iPhone and Android platforms, whereby harnessing the latest technologies ingrained within. Abiding by the latest standards entailed in software development, Appstellation has employed the best resources.

”linux

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Open Source Platforms for Mobile Apps and Games

”moai

Not every application should provide a game-like experience, but game-like animations, sounds, mechanics, and user interfaces are appearing more and more in the latest mobile and web applications. This information should come as no surprise. After all, “gamefication” of products continues to be a hot topic at many major technology conferences, and games themselves dominate both minutes spent and revenues in the highest-growth platforms of the last 5 years: social networks and mobile devices.

Because of this growing importance of game-like features in non-game services and the prominent new trend of designing for smartphone and tablet application experiences first (rather than as an add on to a web service), I thought it would make sense to run a quick comparison of open source options that game developers are using today for developing high quality mobile games.

Cocos2d:

One of the most popular iOS game development engines, Cocos2d-iphone grew out of the initial Cocos2d project in Python, and has been used in thousands of iPhone apps and games, including some chart-leading titles. Cocos2d-x was recently developed (last summer) to bring the Cocos2d engine to an API-compatible C++ code base. Games can be written on top of the Cocos2d-x engine in C++ or Lua. The Cocos API handles text, buttons, sprites, animation, Open GL ES rendering and effects, particle effects, physics, tilemaps, parallax scrolling and sound.


Moai Platform:

One of the “2011 Open Source Rookies of the Year,” the Moai Platform consists of the Moai SDK, used to build native game clients for multiple devices, and the Moai Cloud platform, which game developers use for persistent data storage, custom server-side game logic, downloadable content, cross-device leaderboards, and player achievements. Games can be written in C++ or Lua, and the Moai API covers Open GL ES rendering, sprites and animation, scene management, physics, particle effects, text handling, and sound. Major independent games Double Fine Adventure and Shadowrun Returns have been announced as games that are being made with Moai and plan multi-platform releases to iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Linux.

Monogame:

MonoGame is an Open Source, OpenGL implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework, with all the features of XNA for 2D game development, and 3D game support close to complete. XNA developers on Windows & Windows Phone can use MonoGame to port their games to the iOS / Android / Mac OS X, and Linux. Note that because of XNA’s roots in Xbox development, MonoGame app networking is currently limited to local networks.




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New Kickstarter project to bring Occupy Wall Street inspired game Wall Street Titan to Android

Coming to Android and iOS!


”wall

Indie game development studio Dark Tonic have opened up a Kickstarter project to help fund bringing their Occupy Wall Street inspired game to Android called Wall Street Titan. This game will allow players to take their frustrations about the economy out on 8-bit Wall Street types.

Dark Tonic is calling Wall Street Titan a first-person smash em’ up where you will be able to smash and squish the 1% of the United States population such as bankers while causing mayhem and destruction all over the place. There is no limit to your smashing abilities as the Wall Street Titan. While the game will feature 8-bit graphics, it will be done in a unique 2D / 3D style which Dark Tonic explains on their blog along with other aspects of the game.



According to Dark Tonic the game is about (ironically) 99% complete. The funding will go towards acquiring the last licenses they need for the Android and iOS development, polishing up a few things like the animation and interactivity, and to add additional features like leaderboard challenges for friends and crazy power-ups. If they exceed their funding goal of $15,000 the developer will add more levels, more features, a complete orchestral musical score and more

”wall

”wall

Currently Wall Street Titan has over $3,200 in funding with a goal of $15,000 with 15 days left to go in their Kickstarter project. Definitely check out their Kickstarter page for all the detail about this game. It does look like it’ll be pretty fun to play.



”linux

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Team Meat Rails Against Pay-to-Win Nature of Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming and Super Meat Boy news




Team Meat, known primarily for their punishingly difficult platformer with super tight controls, doesn’t seem like it would have too much concern with the mobile gaming space. Turns out they do, and they aren’t fans. The pair are actually planning a mobile Super Meat Boy, one specifically redesigned to fit the platform, but are also generally fed up with the mobile approach to game development on principle. “There is a whole sh*t load of wrong [with mobile game development] these days, from abusive and manipulative money making tactics, to flat out stealing.” And it gets even more real.

The rant — or righteous manifesto depending on how you look at it — was posted on the Team Meat blog by outspoken but terrific developer Edmund McMillen. Here’s the meat of the argument from the post. NSFW language below. I think it’s best left that way for emphasis:
There is an on going theme these days to use a very basic video game shell and hang a “power up carrot” in front of the player. the player sees this carrot, and wants it! all the player needs to do is a few very rudimentary repetitious actions to attain it, once they get to it, another drops down and asks them to do more… but then the catch… instead of achieving these “goals” by running on the tread mill, you can instead just pay a single dollar and you instantly get to your goal! better yet pay 10 and unlock all your goals without even having to ever play the game!

words can not express how fucking wrong and horrible this is, for games, for gamers and for the platform as a whole… this business tactic is a slap in the face to actual game design and embodies everything that is wrong with the mobile/casual video game scene.


When it comes to a certain set of games, he makes some very valid points. It is, however, worth making a very important distinction. What McMillen is railing against here isn’t the “free-to-play” genre, as some outlets are putting it. What McMillen is hating on are pay-to-win games, or “freemium” games. It seems like a small distinction, but it’s an important one. Pay-to-win games are free-to-play games, but not all free-to-play games are pay-to-win games. Pay-to-win games are unbalanced in that paying gives you some distinct gameplay advantage in the game. Many free-to-play games, like Tribes: Ascend, manage to be free-to-play but not compromise gameplay balance, by making the paid parts of the game give you different things instead of better ones. Free-to-plays will usually largely offer purely cosmetic items.

Nonetheless, McMillen’s ire is understandable from anyone, but particularly understandable if you’ve every played Super Meat Boy; nobody wins without the exertion of sufficient effort. It’s unlikely that simply talking about this issue is going to change anything, but I think McMillen speaks for an increasingly large segment of developers and gamers alike. Can Super Meat Boy Mobile fix the mobile gaming world? Probably not, but you can be damn sure it won’t be pay-to-win.



by Eric Limer



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Team Meat says mobile developers have a “lack of respect for players”

”team

Team Meat found resounding success with the launch of Super Meat Boy across multiple platforms. Their newest project? A completely reworked version of Super Meat Boy for mobile platforms. What started as an April Fools joke has turned into a full project, similarly to Saints Row 3 and its Enter the Dominatrix expansion.

Unfortunately for Team Meat, along with their success has come a large portion of drama. Mere mention of Linux ports or Super Meat World set gamers’ tempers aflame. Edmund of Team Meat almost welcomes this incendiary atmosphere, and as he introduces Super Meat Boy: The Game for mobile devices he erupts.

This is Edmund’s view on the state of mobile gaming:

"To us the core of what is wrong with the mobile platform is the lack of respect for players, it really seems like a large number of these companies out there view their audience as dumb cattle who they round up, milk and then send them on their way feeling empty or at times violated…"

What exactly does Edmund see mobile developers doing that is so… violating? Specifically, its the, “power-up carrot,” that developers put in front of players. They encourage players to chase after this carrot, but also offer to provide the carrot without effort for a price.

“words[sic] can not express how ****ing wrong and horrible this is, for games, for gamers and for the platform as a whole… this business tactic is a slap in the face to actual game design and embodies everything that is wrong with the mobile/casual video game scene.”

This leads into a description of how Team Meat is going to take its time and make Super Meat Boy: The Game the best it can be. Gamers can expect a complete experience with none of the typical mobile junk gamers have come to expect.

Edmund closes his blog post by advertising the new merchandise his company has on sale. A set of Meat Boy figurines, where all profits go to the artist creating them — none go to Team Meat. Expect to hear more from Edmund and Team Meat soon.

by Rory Young



”linux

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Double Fine Productions Chooses Moai Game Development Platform as Basis for Double Fine Adventure

The world’s most successfully crowd-funded game to be released for iOS, Android, Mac, PC and Linux using Moai SDK and Moai Cloud.

Zipline Games today announced that Double Fine Adventure, the widely anticipated and community-backed adventure game by Double Fine Productions, is being developed on the Moai Platform. Double Fine Adventure made history in March by raising more than $3.3 million from fans and backers on Kickstarter.com, more than doubling the previous Kickstarter project funding record.

As part of their commitment to film the development of the already-famous new title, Double Fine has created a video interview covering the reasons behind their choice of Moai and showing some of the very earliest Double Fine Adventure development prototypes. This new video is now available on the GetMoai.com web site.

“We’ve chosen Moai as the technology platform for our new adventure game,” said Tim Schafer, CEO of Double Fine Productions. “Moai’s supposed to be awesome, but since I’m not smart enough to tell you all the reasons why, I’ll just turn it over to the Double Fine developers to explain.”

“We built the first demo of Double Fine Adventure in 2 days using Moai,” added Nathan Martz, Technical Director at Double Fine Productions, “Gameplay changes take seconds instead of minutes because you can do almost all your work in Lua. Then we can build both client and cloud features for the game in the same language.”

“We like to control every aspect of our games in order to bring Tim’s awesome, crazy ideas to life, and because Moai is open source we can change any line of code we need to,” Martz added. “Plus the fans asked for Double Fine Adventure on five different PC, tablet, and mobile phone platforms, and Moai supports them all with a single core codebase. It was the best choice for us.”

“I’m not as funny as Tim, so I’ll just say that all of us at Zipline Games couldn’t be happier,” said Todd Hooper, CEO of Zipline Games. Double Fine does amazing work, and we’re proud to have Moai enabling their creativity on Double Fine Adventure.”

Double Fine Adventure is expected to be released in Spring 2013.

Moai is earning a track record as the technology platform of choice for high-profile independent studios, as it is also the technology platform powering Shadowrun Returns (the third-highest funded Kickstarter project of all time at over $1.8 million), in development by Harebrained Schemes.

About the Moai Game Development Platform
Moai helps game developers build better games, faster, and get them into the hands of more players via major modern app stores such as iOS, Android, Amazon and Chrome. Moai offers mobile game developers a scalable cloud platform for game services, downloadable content and persistent data storage and it includes a no-compromise, open-source SDK for developing game clients using Lua. Developers interested in Moai can create a free account today at http://www.GetMoai.com.

About Zipline Games
Zipline Games is a Seattle-based mobile games company and the creator of the Moai game development platform. Zipline’s first studio title, Wolf Toss, is a hit mobile game with over 2 million players on iOS, Android, and Chrome. Zipline was founded by game industry veterans experienced with the challenges of game development and with the vision of making development faster and easier so developers can focus on creating innovative games with great game play. Zipline’s investors include Founders Co-Op, Benaroya Capital and Groundspeak. For more information, please visit http://www.ziplinegames.com.
About Double Fine Productions

Double Fine Productions is a San Francisco-based game developer that makes games with a focus on creativity, characters, and fun. Since its founding in 2000, it has produced the award-winning titles Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade, Double Fine Happy Action Theater, and Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster. Learn more about Double Fine at http://www.doublefine.com.


”linux


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Former Zynga engineer Kickstarts sci-fi military game

Slade Villena is a military man. Before going to university to study game design, he was in the Marine Corps specializing in artillery. He learned maneuver warfare theory, he studied Marine Corps doctrine, he received an honorable discharge, and then … he went to work for Zynga.

His time at the social games behemoth as a software engineer was short-lived – there were too many clashes in goals and opinions, too many game design disagreements and, some time after his departure from Zynga, he’d release a slew of scathing criticisms of the company on Reddit. After serving Zynga for seven months, Villena discharged himself. Instead of coding crops and cows, he is returning to his military roots with a sci-fi military strategy game that he is hoping to launch through the crowd-funding service, Kickstarter.

"I come from a military background where we played war games everyday, and I wanted to utilize some of that knowledge," Villena tells Polygon. .

"It’s something that’s already second nature to me and I want to bring it to a fun player environment.".

That game is FleetCOMM: Vigrior, a real-time strategy game planned for PC, Linux, iOS, Android, and PS3 set in a sci-fi universe that follows military doctrine.


“The game engine and the controls are something I take directly from precise military formation,” says Villena.

"Our game is 2D because we don’t have 3D capability yet, so I came up with a small control scheme for a strategy game that allows you to control battle maneuvers with one click.

"Most military weapons are designed for Joe Six-Pack, and because Joe Six-Pack doesn’t know everything about the insides of a gun, you need a trigger. I designed this thing like a trigger where if you click once, boom, everything happens."

By combining maneuver warfare theory learned through the Marine Corps with a real-time strategy game, Villena believes that his team can create a game that is truly strategic, where players focus on battle formations and strategies rather than rushing their units.

"What I noticed about most strategy games is all they seem to do is keep pumping out more and more units and they’re basically the same thing with a different character on it – that’s not really how the military operates," he says.

"You don’t really want to have a very bulky force. You want to have a set of people with really concentrated skills and you use them that way. Marine Corps doctrine operates that way – we operate on maneuver warfare."

Villena says that what he and his team at Mercenary Games are doing isn’t new and other strategy games have focused on battle maneuvers before, but he wants to bring it back in such a way that players can think of a FleetCOMM match as a football playbook. He wants players to be able to go in-depth and discuss complex strategies and analyze matches based on tactics rather than the speed at which someone can click their mouse to produce more units.

Villena is also hoping to implement additional tools such as a YouTube video recorder so that players can record and share their in-game maneuvers. He wants players to feel like they own a piece of the game. In a similar way to Farmville players being able to plant their crops and place their cows wherever they wish to design their own farms, Villena wants people to design their own battle formations and feel a sense of ownership.

Villena is also taking lessons learned from his time at Zynga and applying them to FleetCOMM. For a start, he has designed the FleetCOMM game engine from the ground up – something he claims Zynga never did in his time at the company. He says that Zynga either bought or cloned engines from other studios before adding and expanding their own features, making the game’s coding “unmanageable”.

"Zynga games were easy to make – it’s not the core game that’s complex, it’s everything they’ve piled on top of it. That was a leviathan machine right there," Villena says of the Zynga game engines he worked on.

"Every button on a Zynga game is going to have some marketing tracking technology on it. It records the time you clicked it, what you clicked before it, and it records it all on the backend server. It’s constantly parsing all this data: where you click, how you click, what influenced you to click. The game engine just looked ridiculous to me."

With four days left on the FleetCOMM Kickstarter campaign, Villena is hoping his team will be able to raise the final $3600 to get them over the finish line. He describes Kickstarter as the real social game because of the time and money people invest into projects, and he jokes that he is now in a social game trying to make a video game.

"Right now we’re at 326 backers and we haven’t lost ground on our project yet, we’ve always gained a backer, so I’m kind of proud that people believe in what we’re doing," he says.

"It’s a real social game. You should join in."

By Tracey Lien


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Some Assembly Required: Ten years warp by for Vendetta Online

If I were to start describing a game where players have zipped about one persistent universe as one of three factions in customizable ships vying for wealth and territory by mining, dodging hostiles, fulfilling missions, blasting one another to bits, docking at stations, blazing trade routes, and pirating for the past 10 years, you would say… Vendetta Online, of course! Perhaps the longest-running epic space-based sandbox MMORPG, the game hit a milestone last week that few others can boast: It turned 10!

Although its major retail distribution was in 2004, Vendetta Online marks its anniversary as the day it was spotlighted in Penny Arcade during the game’s completely open and public alpha (which means it basically launched since everyone could dive in and play) and the population exploded! A truly multi-platform MMORPG, Guild Software's game can be played on Windows, Mac, Linux, and even Android, giving pilots the freedom to log in when and where they may, even to surreptitiously check the markets or maybe sneak an event in while at work via a smartphone. After all, who wants to miss an event just because employment gets in the way?

Luckily for those of us without an Android, Vendetta Online celebrated its decennial anniversary with some developer-run in-game events over the weekend. Always willing to join the party, Some Assembly Required strapped into a shiny new ship and blasted right into the thick of things in order to share in the festivities.

A couple of months ago, this column highlighted the gameplay and features of Vendetta Online, so this installment is not going to delve into the mechanics or inner workings of the title but rather share my experience with the events surrounding the game’s anniversary.

While not an avid zip-about-in-a-spaceship type of player, I found myself easily drawn into the universe during these celebratory events. And the best part for players is that while celebrating 10 years is a once-in-a-life-time event for an MMORPG (and not one a lot of games ever reach), events in Vendetta Online are not merely an occasional occurrence; in fact, both developer- and player-run events are the norm. There is a weekly Nation War that’s largely run by the players, and on the 26th, there was a Maze Run, which involved picking up chocolates and either getting out of the maze or hunting the runner. And that’s just to name a couple. Over the anniversary weekend, two different events were held.

The first anniversary event transpired on the night of Friday the 20th, calling on players to come assist a damaged ship and keep pirates from blasting it to bits. Because destruction looked a bit too imminent, players then began to hook up with the life pods to rescue survivors and transport them to medical attention back at the safety of stations.

Although admittedly I’m a first-time pilot for this jaunt into space, and the controls took a bit to get used to (turning to look at something doesn’t turn your ship any more than turning your head to look out a window does in a car), I was able to keep up with the group and even avoid getting my own ship destroyed in the process. OK, so I bumped fenders with the poor decrepit behemoth we were trying to protect and escort, but I swear I had nothing to do with that piece of hull that sheared off!

I didn’t participate directly in the rescue by collecting the life pods (oh, my evil cold heart!) or firing my weapons because I was too busy watching the event unfold. And while I did not get to experience the adrenaline rush that the active participants did as they dodged and weaved between unfriendly fire, I enjoyed quite a show and was drawn into the spirit of the event as the other captains chattered away in the special event channel.

What I experienced was a beautiful fireworks display of color exploding repeatedly over the dark backdrop of open space. It truly was worth it to sit back and see the light show provided by the battle. Camaraderie was everywhere; there was a distinct lack of smack talk in the event channel. Humor was even in evidence as one pilot came to discover that the life pod he was rescuing packed additional weight due to the luggage, which including a hairdryer. Jokes obviously ensued — after all, can’t leave a burning ship without a hairdryer, right?

In the end, approximately 500 aboard the damaged ship were rescued by 40 event participants, and a total of 81% of the ship’s occupants actually survived the whole ordeal. At the very end, the giant rig blew, and anyone caught within the blast radius (*tries to look innocent*) was blown into fiery bits along with it.

What I really was impressed by was the developers’ willingness to stay after the event and interact with the players, gathering feedback, answering questions, and just plain being involved in their community. We are talking not just GMs but the actual developers. You know, those people who can make a difference in the game’s design.

What did players have to think about this event? Although there were a smattering of comments about lag, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Alloh UIT cheered the development team and declared, “Nice event, really surprising and immersive.” Denji Royhu called out, “Fun times everyone!”

The festivities did not end after just one night; on Saturday, the next anniversary event unfolded. Participants learned that one of the corporations under the UIT umbrella (one of the three factions) had a mishap with an unnamed prototype. Help was requested to gather the scattered pieces and return them to a Valent station in exchange for a reward. Of course, rival Axia, not above a little espionage, offered a larger reward for any pieces returned to its stations. Pilots had to scour the universe to find these pieces mixed among scrap metal. In total, 48 pieces were scattered across 16 different sectors.

Making semi-short work of it, players ensured that all but the last 10 pieces were recovered within 40 minutes. At the one-hour mark, there were only two pieces unaccounted for. Every pilot that recovered and turned in a piece received a decent award (funds). Considering my piloting skills were still in their infancy, I just sat on the sidelines for this event. However, from my vaunted insider position, I was able to learn before the event participants exactly what the results of their labors would be!

The real beauty of this event was that it demonstrated that players’ choices do indeed influence the game — they’re the heart and soul of a sandbox game. The dev hosting the event let me in on the fact that if the Valent faction collected the majority of the pieces, a new mineral scanner would become available at its stations for pilots of appropriate faction standing to take advantage of. However, if Axia or Corvus received more, a curiously labeled scanner would ultimately be made available for their loyal pilots.

Near the end of the event, a message broadcast across the channel: “We’ve recovered more than half our prototype, for which we thank you, but it is obvious that many of you betrayed our good will.” After participant Interstellar interjected with a “Way to go, betrayers of good will,” the message continued, “Nevertheless, we’ve been able to determine that the design was not to blame for the demise of the test drone. As a gesture of thanks, we are making copies of our large Port Mineral Scanner available to those most loyal to the Valent.”

At this point, one pilot began the requisite whining and bellyaching that all games must sadly endure, complaining loudly that the game is supposed to be PvP-based, a “space combat simulation,” after all, and then he declared the reward worthless since he himself could not use it. Hands down, my favorite part of this event was the developer’s response: “How often does combat-related stuff come out and all the miners quietly go about mining.” Zing! Besides this one naysayer, though, the comments that were batted back and forth were about how players enjoyed themselves and had fun. Another successful event.

Again, the developer in charge stayed after the event and took player requests and feedback into consideration, such as more opportunities for people to shoot each other and steal things. Other suggestions like making the search radius a bit smaller scaling to the number of participants were also discussed.

For active developer participation, Vendetta Online definitely runs near the head of the pack and might even lead it. Given how much these developers invest in their game, I can certainly anticipate many more years of enjoyment for new and veteran players alike. If you feel like powering up a ship and checking out an indie sandbox game where you determine your own path and where your actions do actually influence the game, I suggest giving Vendetta Online a spin. Need another incentive? The game offers a free, no-strings-attached eight-hour trial, meaning that you can play up to eight hours in the game spread out however is convenient for you to get the feel of things and decide if this universe is right for you (without having to provide a credit card, I might add). So what are you waiting for?

Happy anniversary, Vendetta Online! Here’s to 10 more! May your space continue to fill with ships and your cargo holds overflow with bounty.

by MJ Guthrie


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First Signs Of Wayland Running On Android

A developer for Collabora has been bringing Wayland and the reference Weston compositor to Google’s Android mobile Linux platform.

Pekka Paalanen announced the “first light” of Wayland on Android via the wayland-devel mailing list this morning and subsequently blogged about the initial work.

Aside from the first bits of success for Wayland on Android (it’s not yet in a usable state for Android), what makes this work even more interesting is that Android has a vastly different graphics stack from the standard Linux desktop. There isn’t KMS, DRI, Mesa, or any other common components on Google’s Linux platform compared to say Ubuntu or Fedora. The graphics drivers that Pekka had to work with are also closed-source and so he wasn’t able to modify the source to the driver to make it work with Wayland, yet he has made progress with Android 4.0 on his Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

While the Android graphics is very different, it’s not too different from what’s needed by Wayland’s Weston compositor. Pekka ended up writing an Android-specific back-end for Weston that can utilize the Android APIs. He’s also made workarounds and other changes to make Wayland work on Android’s code-base. The blog post goes over in extensive details about this effort.

So far this Wayland/Weston Android back-end only does OpenGL ES 2.0 via EGL for the server, no input device support, and other missing functionality. The “simple-shm” is the only client currently running for now as EGL/GL isn’t being exposed to the Wayland clients. There’s also Cairo porting and other dependencies that need to be brought to Android.

Right now this work is living in separate Git repositories from mainline Wayland/Weston. “This is the beginning of pushing a Wayland stack into Android. Next I need to clean up, send stuff upstream, add input support, find out about that pageflip, reinvent signal handling and timerfd, and then move on to the second major task: supporting Wayland GL clients. I hope it is possible to implement the Wayland platform in the wrapper-libEGL.”

Embedded below is a video by Pekka showing Weston on the Android-powered Samsung phone.


Publicly, Google hasn’t expressed any interest in having Wayland on Android. However, Google has been investigating and playing with some code for Wayland on Chrome OS and also ensuring that the Chrome/Chromium web-browser will be well-supported natively on Wayland.

by Michael Larabel


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Develop a Game in Your Bedroom

Game developers Star Command published an interesting blog entry about the money they obtained from KickStarter. They set a goal of $20,000 and received pledges of $36,967, but lost $2,000 for no shows. After deductions for prize fulfillments and payment provider costs, they actually ended up with $22,000 to develop a mobile game on Android and iOS. View the excellent trailer here.

They ended up with $6,000 as taxable income after all their expenses, which is not a lot to live on for four people. But if you’re single, or young and living at home with parents or doing this in your spare time, it’s feasible.

Now I don’t know if they have an office or are just four guys working from their homes, but it shows what the internet makes possible. Not just the funding or publicity, but the actual collaborative development process.

The amazing growth in home computer games in the ’80s came about largely because of the thousands of bedroom developers who self published or found publishers. That period passed quickly as the successful ones formed companies, the game development sector consolidated, and by the early ’90s the days of the bedroom developer were history.

Then, less than a decade later, along came the internet and Web games, particularly Flash games, and bedroom developers were back. After the launch of the iPhone 3G and the App Store, they were back big time. But compared to the ’80s, it’s different because of the internet. Free sites like reddit.com’s gameDevClassifieds let artists, musicians and programmers find each other and form teams.

These virtual organizations can work together, even across time zones, and self manage using tools like distributed version control systems to share code and assets, and do project management with open source Web software like Trac. Teams range in size from one man outfits to well into double figures.

For instance, Wildfire games, which is developing 0-AD, a free open source historical RTS game, has a team of 40 located in many countries across the world. They aren’t paid employees, just open source developers, artists, etc.

Don’t expect games to be released often. Projects move forward at a conservative pace, mainly dictated by the time key individuals have to spend. Development builds might be available nightly, but stable releases may come just once or twice a year.

Recently, following the closure of Multiverse Network in late 2011, the Multiverse platform (client, server and tools) has switched from commercial to open source. Developed and run since 2004 by a bunch of Netscape veterans and with involvement from James Cameron, the Multiverse middleware was used for developing game worlds and had anounced virtual worlds for Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Titanic. It’s now an open source MMO development platform and has official forums.

Likewise, successful commercial games such as Transport Tycoon Deluxe are long gone, but the game idea lives on as open source projects like OpenTTD and Simutrans. There are thousands of open source projects (games and more serious stuff) in open source repositories like SourceForge. Whether for commercial gain or just learning, this is the golden age of the bedroom/home office developer.


By David Bolton


[NOTE: Please click on the Post Title in order to link in social media. Linux Game News]

Former ‘Call of Duty’ Creative Strategist Robert Bowling Opens Studio

After leaving Activision and Infinity Ward, Robert Bowling has self-funded his own development studio, Robotoki, with their first project to be announced this year.

When Robert Bowling revealed that he would be stepping down from his role as Creative Strategist at Infinity Ward and leaving Activision, the question that jumped immediately to gamers’ minds was what might be next. While the assumption was that Bowling wasn’t done with video game development, there were so many possibilities as to what type of situation he might land in.

Just today we have learned exactly what Bowling plans to do with his newly found free time, and that is to give it all up. Bowling plans to bankroll his assuredly lucrative Call of Duty salary into funding a new game development studio called Robotoki.

Talking with Game Informer, Bowling revealed that he plans to make Robotoki a ‘people first’ development studio that favors fostering talent over churning out product. Bowling feels that the industry, as it continues to grow, has become too business-focused and is “falling severely behind in how to properly inspire and support our creative talent.”

Through self-funding, Bowling wants to ensure that Robotoki retains creative control over the products it puts out, the complete opposite of the type of deals previous employer Activision worked out with its studios. There’s no firm word on what type of game Robotoki is working on at the moment, but it is believed to be getting an official announcement later this year and is headed to all major platforms including iOS and Android devices.

The immediate question to ask about the project is how closely it might resemble Call of Duty? According to Bowling this new project won’t closely resemble the juggernaut franchise, but will be a natural evolution of it.

“Our focus is creating an experience that is no longer strictly single player, strictly co-op, or strictly multiplayer, but adapting the strengths of each of these into a unique experience that is fueled by the actions and contributions in each.”

the second this project starts taking off that Bowling will be out there doing what he does best, and gamers will be made well aware of the unique features this project has to offer. And, if there are any game developers out there looking for a job Robotoki is hiring!

Are you intrigued by the prospect of Robert Bowling opening up his own studio? What type of game do you think Robotoki should be working on?

by Anthony Taormina


[NOTE: Please click on the Post Title in order to link in social media. Linux Game News]