Tag Archives: android

Catch the Monkey live on Google play for Android devices!

We’re excited to announce Catch the Monkey is live on Google Play, ready for any Android devices.

For only $1.10, you and your family can enjoy this adorable monkey adventure for hours of fun.

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How to Download and Mount Expansion File Resources in Marmalade C++

Problem:

You have a marmalade C++ game in excess of the 50mb limit imposed by an android store.  How do you split up your game, download the required assets from an external server, and make it all work as if nothing happened?

This is what I was faced with about a month ago when we released Catch the Monkey for android.  Our android phone version is 78mb.  Google Play limits an APK to 50mb.  Our Kindle Fire and Nook version is 270mb.  Both those stores limit the APK to 50mb.

While Google Play will host an expansion file and automatically (you hope) deliver it with your application download it may not.  The amazon and nook stores do not host expansion files for you, so you must host them yourself.

Solution:

This article documents how I split up my game assets and used HTTP download from my or google’s server of an OBB file.  I then mount the OBB file as a zipmount, and pull resources from there.  This has no performance impact on the game.

I wrote in a previous article (Google Expansion Files, LVL Checks, JNI) how to deal with Google Play to get the URL of your expansion file for manual downloading, so while that code is in this source code, I will skip over it and focus on the generic downloading obb issues.
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Using Marmalade with Google Play Expansion Files, JNI, and LVL License Checks

Purpose

Google Play requires all core APK application files to be 50mb or less.  If your program is larger, you must split it into expansion file(s) delivered separately.  Google Play hosts your expansion file(s) and may automatically transmit them to your customer along with the main APK, but they may not.  If not you can host the expansion file yourself and download from your server, but that may cost additional money and have bandwidth issues depending on your hosting provider.  If you want to download from Google Play, you must make a licensing check to retrieve the download URL.  Marmalade does not currently support this, therefore you must step outside Marmalade and make native Java calls from within C++.  If this sounds complicated, it is.  Especially since there is no single source of documentation from which to figure out how to do this and you cannot use the debugger.  This article attempts to set the record straight, or at least permanently wrong, on how to do this.

Intro

I am a marmalade C++ developer and we wanted to release our iPhone game Catch the Monkey to Android.  The iPhone IPA build is 29mb, but the identical build for Android is a 78mb APK.  This is because IPA files are compressed ZIPs and APKs are not (shame on you Google).  Google Play limits APK file size to 50mb so I had to figure out how to use expansion files.  This is relatively straightforward from a Java Android application written in Eclipse.  It is much more convoluted going from C++ to Java to Google Play back to Java back to C++.  It took me just over a week to make this rock solid.

Two thousand years ago a guy said we should treat people the way we want to be treated.  He was promptly killed for saying outlandish things like this, but I try to follow his principles anyway.  I wish someone would have documented how to do this, so here it is so no one else has to go through the week of hell I just had.

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Our thoughts about “Ouya”!?

Ouya” the newly announced Android base console machine, it is design to run mobile games on your TV with proper gaming controller.  Does this has what it takes to compete with big boys like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo?

Below is what we think:

Positives:

The console makers decide what they will and will not release onto their platform.  I do not know if they filter based on religious content, but if they do, then it can be very frustrating not to get your title up after all that investment.  And the development licenses are not cheap, they cost a ton.  So an open system that is more developer friendly is a great opportunity

The reason it will fail:

I believe the Ouya is a great concept, but is a red herring.  Any developer who thinks this will usher in a new era of indy console games will be sorely disappointed.

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Sushi World! (working title)

Mirthwerx is happy to announce our 2nd title “Sushi World (working title)”.  This title has been worked on for more than 2 years, lots of the ideas and teats has gone through building this game and now we are very happy with the result.  Sushi World is a puzzle matching/finding game that has simple game play for casual gamer, yet offered optional competitive play for experienced gamer.  The idea is to prepare sushi combinations for your customers with optional speed bonus, shape bonus and time bonus for gamer who want to rank high on the world wide leader board.  You will be traveling around the world to gain your fame and impress your sushi master for his final approval back in Japan.

The public prototype is 99% done and we will be inviting everyone who is interested to test play and give us feedback very soon.

Be on the look-out for the public beta testing announcement in early July.

There is also prizes to be won from the beta leader board!