TechWire

Category - Games

Call of Duty will be back with World War II

cod-1

Call of Duty: WWII

Await the surprise which will be launched in November 2017 for all the Call of Duty fans. But, this year’s Call of Duty will go ‘back to its roots’.

Unlike the conventional space-based warfare, the latest COD is coming back with “World War II”. So, what can you look ahead in the latest game?

You’ll play the role as Ronald “Red” Daniels, a United States Army private. Red is a member of the US 1st Infantry Division. World War II’s well-known battles, including D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, will be lead by Red in his tour of duty.

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Is Windows Phone that bad?

Most of the people have a negative image on Windows phones. Many of them haven’t even put their hands on one, but simply putting it down because of what they’ve heard. This article is not intended to claim that Windows phone is better than other platforms, but a humble effort to clarify mythical believes you might be having.

The most complains come towards the Windows Operating System, rather than the hardware platform. These accusations would have been valid for the earliest versions of Windows Phone. But, It you take a look the leap it took from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10, you would think twice before complaining.

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Kimaki – A Sri Lankan Android Game

In Sri Lanka you don’t see many quality game apps being developed, even though games are the most lucrative app category. If you consider the local gaming app developers, Dawn Patrol Games have created a good set of games for the international market, while Sri Droiders have made a name with their locally popular Omi game. This list doesn’t go much further from here.

In that sense it is good to see that Arimac contributing to the gaming sphere with their game Kimaki. This is quite an enjoyable game where you have to assist Kimaki jump from pillar to pillar using a ninja pole. You have to tap on the screen till the pole is the correct length to move to the next pillar. If the pole becomes too long you fall off. If the pole is too short, you have up to three chances to put a new pole. It follows the endless gaming genre where there are no levels and you just need to keep going on and on (Similar to flappy bird, temple run). The graphics are good, giving it an orient look along with the music. However we believe the sound effects could be improved a tad.

kimaki 1 Kimaki 2

The game is currently on Google Play, and hopefully an iOS version would be released soon. Go ahead and try it out here. The high score was 870 at the time of writing. Can you beat that?

Long waited GTA V available on PC now

Now GTA V is available on pc from 2015 April 14 the onwards although xbox and playstation versions were available since 2013.Grand Theft Auto or GTA is not an unheard name if you are gamer. GTA does not need an introduction. But for people who want to know what GTA is, it is one of the most controversial new breed of computer game series developed by Rockstar games. GTA falls into the genre of 3rd person shooter, action adventure games and it is one of the rated,reviewed and one of the best selling titles of the past decade.

GTA originally started in 1997 with the name “Grand Theft Auto”, and since then there has been many version of it GTA V being the latest one . GTA is based on fictional characters in fictional cities. Vice city, Liberty City, San andreas are some of the popular cities among GTA fans and for most of them those city maps are more familiar than their real ones.

It is said that the open area in GTA V is much larger than any of the games in the series. Like in the previous games there are set of user controls attached with the game character and user can do pretty much everything with it. Unlike in Vice city or San Andreas user can play 3 characters in GTA V single mode named Michael de Santa, Trevor Phillips and Franklin Clinton and with them user can complete the intended missions or roam in the free world. Lot of new vehicles including vintage car models, airplanes,submarines are available with new set of cool features like playing your own mp3 collection while you are driving.

Can I play GTA V ?

One of the burning questions GTA die hard fans have right now is this.GTA V’s official system requirements as below. This will give you an quick idea about the requirements you should have. And also GEFORCE official site give you an indepth understanding about graphics required comparing it with different graphic cards and with various graphic qualities like shadow,texture,particle,water qualities.

sckaskc

Minimum requirements

OS: Windows Vista 64-Bit or later

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, AMD Phenom 9850, or newer

Memory: 4GB RAM or above

Graphics: GeForce 9800 GT 1GB or newer

DirectX: Version 10 or above

Recommended Specifications

Processor: Intel Core i5-3470 @ 3.2 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz

Memory: 8GB RAM or above

Graphics: GeForce GTX 660 or above

gta-5-technodify-12

Where are the cheats ?

One interesting thing about GTA is the gameplay cheats. Although the pc version has been released under a month, worldwide GTA community has downloaded the game like crazy and already updated cheat lists are available for peer gamers. This is one of sites where they have an updated GTA V pc cheat lists.

Monument Valley – A unique mobile gaming experience

What makes a good game? Is it the graphics? the gameplay? or the storyline? Actually all that aside, it is how playing the game makes you feel, that really defines it. In that sense Monument Valley a puzzle game tops it off, as the experience playing the game is fantastic. Although there have been a bazillion games released on Android, I haven’t enjoyed a game this much since Royal Revolt.

Monument Valley Screens

In short Monument Valley, is puzzle based game where you have to direct Princess Ida through 10 beautiful levels of 3D mazes. Beautiful might be an understatement. The mazes are minimalist and gorgeous, together with the geometric illusions are a treat to the eye. I agree with the Designer Ken Wong, that the image of each level is beautiful enough to frame and hang it. Princess Ida is guided through the maze by touching the pathway. The path needs to be altered through the movement of ledges and columns to bring her to the end point. The animations and gameplay is smooth, but that is on a Quad core phone so can’t really comment on whether there will be performance issues on lower end phones. The lovely background music complements the graphics and together creates a wonderful experience. The puzzles are enjoyable, designed with imagination and creativity, but not that difficult. It would have been nice if the difficulty was notched up higher.

Monument Valley Screens

Monument Valley however disappoints with having only 10 levels. For one the game can be finished in a couple of hours. Secondly since the game costs around $4 dollars, 10 levels might seem a bit insufficient for that price. But looking at the number of downloads on iOS and Android it seems people don’t mind dishing out a bit extra for novel game.

Monument Valley brings out a unique experience that you should definitely try out if you are willing to pay $4. And hopefully we will see a sequel with a lot more levels released in 2015.

Download it on Android from the Play Store or on iOS from the Apple appstore

Swing Copters, the return of Flappy Bird?

Flappy Bird was removed from the App Store this February. No one thought it would flap to the top position of app stores. However it became the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store and Android Play store for some time.

Flappy Bird was developed by a Vietnamese developer called Dong Nguyen and it was available in Apple app store since May 2013. But it was unnoticed for months. Then some players started to tweet about its absurd difficult and the game went viral.

The game got global attention in February 2014. Flappy bird became an overnight sensation and reached the top position of App Store and Google Play. Once Nguyen claimed that the game was generating $50, 000 a day from ads.In the end the developer pulled the game out of the app stores saying that it had become too addictive.

Then he promised to re-launch the game with some changes according to the tweets below.

New-Flappy-Bird

Finally last week, Don released the next game called Swing Copters. However The dynamics are similar to flappy bird but instead of moving in the horizontal direction, you have to move in the vertical direction. And also it is much harder which is confirmed by the low rating and feedback.

Swing-Copter-Screenshots

Check out the new app and let us know what you think on the app.

Swing Copters Google Play, Swing Copters Apple store

AN INTRODUCTION TO ANDROID MOBILE GAME DEVELOPMENT – PART 2

This article is the 2nd part of the intro to android mobile game development. You can view part 1 here

I have developed two games using Corona SDK up to now and this is my experience as an indie developer.

Owy

I started developing games a year ago. First, I was playing around with XNA which is a game development framework developed by Microsoft. I developed some prototypes for an endless running game with three of my friends and that’s how I got into game development. After few months I wanted to publish a game for a mobile platform. By that time I didn’t have access to iOS and Windows Phone devices, so I chose to develop for Android. I started doing research on available game engines and frameworks such as Andengine, Unity3D and Corona SDK.

Andengine was not a good choice for me because I had plans to publish my game on other platforms in the future. Then I looked into Unity3D. By that time Unity3D didn’t have official 2D support. So, I had to use 3rd party extensions in order to work with 2D game assets and some of the best extensions were not available for free. After that I started playing around with the Corona SDK and I was impressed with that. Since I had plans for an iOS version of the game I decided to go with Corona SDK.

As a solo developer who was getting into game development, I wanted to create something simple but fun. An endless side scrolling game was my choice.

Design of Owy

As mobile game Owy has a simple storyline. Owy is little bird who loves cookies. The objective of the game is to fly as far as you can while collecting cookies while evading other birds.

I wanted to create an adorable character for the game and decided that it should be a bird. That was the birth of Owy. In the beginning it was named “Clivy”, but I found that name somewhat common on the internet. Then I renamed it to Owy. I chose that name because it was short and easy to pronounce.

Owy-icon

Figure 1: Icon

owy_gameplay

Figure 2: Early game play environment

I designed the game to be quite challenging. The enemy birds are spawned in random positions and they move in different speeds. The game uses the touch control. When you touch anywhere on the screen Owy goes up and when you release he goes Down. Most people liked this simple mechanism. Then I wanted to add a leaderboard and achievements to the game. Google Play Game Services API was available by that time and I chose it to implement achievements and the leaderboard for Owy.

owy_levels

Figure 3: Achievements

It took two months for me to complete the game since I was working on it in my spare time. Owy was launched on 6th of November 2013 and now it’s available on Google Play for free.

owy_google_play

Link : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.boxfishgames.ProjectBirds

 

Ridiculous Juggling

Ridiculous Juggling is my second game and it was developed within a week.  As my second game I wanted to create something which delivers a challenging gameplay experience.

Ridiculous Juggling is a game where you have to juggle a small ball using a larger ball. Sounds ridiculous right?  That’s why it was named “Ridiculous Juggling”. This game is designed using flat colors and simple shapes such as circles and rectangles. I did this because I expected all the interfaces of the game to be simple and clean.

ridiculous-juggling

Figure 4: Main menu of Ridiculous Juggling

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Figure 5: Gameplay

The game uses the accelerometer of the device. The player has to tilt the device in order to move the larger ball left and right. An online leaderboard is also available for ridiculous juggling and it was implemented in the same way as in Owy. Players can sign in using their Google account and submit the best score to the leaderboard.

Ridiculous Juggling is now available on Google Play for free.

rj_googleplay

Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jawdroplabs.ridiculous

 

Tools I used for the development

ZeroBrane Studio

Link: http://studio.zerobrane.com/

Zerobrane Studio is a free and open source lightweight IDE for Lua. This IDE supports several Lua game development frameworks such as Corona, Gideros, Moai and LOVE2D.

zeobrane

Features

  • Portable and cross platform (Supports Windows, Mac and Linux)
  • Auto-Completion for functions and keywords
  • Live coding – It allows you to change the values of variables while the game is running in the simulator.
  • The easy to use debugger.

Corona Simulator 

corona

Corona SDK provides a simulator to run your games for testing purposes. The best thing about this simulator is that it simulates so many devices with different screen resolutions. This comes in handy when we need to know how the game looks on different devices.

 

Inkscape

Link: http://www.inkscape.org/en/

Inkscape is a professional vector graphic editor. It’s free and open source and supports Windows, Mac and Linux. I chose Inkscape for a reason. I was a complete beginner in vector graphic designing when I was developing Owy. I wanted to use a vector graphic editor which is easy to learn and I found Inkscape easier to learn compared to Illustrator and some other tools out there. So I used Inkscape to create all the graphics used in my games. However, if you’re familiar with other software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, don’t hesitate to use them for your projects. Just make sure that you export the graphics in png format. That’s the image file format used in most of the games.

inkspace

 Figure 9: Inkscape

 

Learning resources for beginners

Corona SDK Tutorials

http://coronalabs.com/resources/tutorials/getting-started-with-corona/

http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/corona-sdk-build-a-monkey-defender–mobile-19608

 

Unity3D tutorials

http://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/modules

http://www.unity3dstudent.com/

http://cgcookie.com/unity/

http://walkerboystudio.com/html/unity_training___free__.html

An Introduction to Android Mobile Game Development – Part 1

We all love mobile gaming and it has become a booming market today. Majority of the smart device users use their device for gaming. Most probably you might be a mobile gamer too. But, have you ever wanted to make your own mobile game?  And still don’t have a clue where to start?  Then this article will guide you for a quick start. We will be focusing on the Android platform in this article.

How mobile games differ from PC games

Though they have a less processing power compared to modern personal computers, smart devices are considered as small computers. Some smart devices are capable of running high quality 3D games.

Games themselves and developing games for mobile differs from conventional PC game development in several ways.

Simple concept

Most of the mobile games are built on a simple concept and a storyline. Think of the popular game “Angry Birds”. The player has to destroy different structures using a slingshot. Another example is “Cut the Rope” where the objective is feeding a monster with candy. These games became popular because of the simple design and easy to pick up playing mechanics.

 Simple controls

Mobile games use easy to use controls such as touch, tap, swipe, tilt etc. These are actions which are familiar to all smart device users. So it makes the learning curve of a game less steeper.

 Development team size and development time.

Conventional PC/Console game studios use hundreds of individuals for the development of product. But most of the mobile games are made by small teams, sometimes by a single person.

Usually a mobile game can be developed in few weeks to few months (This can change depending on the project). But most of the PC games take years to complete (Eg. Skyrim V took 3.5 years).

Larger audience

The global smartphone users are expected to reach 1.75 billion in 2014. In most of the developed countries higher percentage of the population owns a smartphone than owns a personal computer. 2013 became a lousy year for PC sales but the mobile devices are on the rise. Another thing to consider is that most of the casual gamers tend to play game on a mobile device instead of a PC. Because of these reasons mobile games have a larger potential audience.

Available game engines and frameworks for Android game development

Andengine

andengine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link: http://www.andengine.org/

Programming language: Java

Price : Free

Supported Platforms: Android

Pros

This is a free and open source game engine with an active user community. There’s a lot of tutorials and sample code out there to get started.

Cons 

The Major drawback of Andengine is that it lacks an official API reference . And it supports only for Android. You can make only 2D games using Andengine.

Cocos2D-x

cocos2D

Link: http://www.cocos2d-x.org/

Programming Language: C++

Price: Free

Supported platforms: Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8

 Pros 

This is a free and open source game engine so you can modify it according to your needs. And you can publish games on several platforms using the same code base. Cocos2d-x is one of the best engines out there when it comes to the performance.

Cons

Beginners may find the learning curve quite steep.

Libgdx

libgdx

 

 

 

Link: http://libgdx.badlogicgames.com/index.html

Programming Language: Java

Price: Free

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Web

Pros

This is a free and open source cross platform game engine. This game engine performs well compared to other java game engines out there.

Cons

Beginners may find the learning curve quite steep.

GameMaker

Gamemaker

 

 

 

 

Link: https://www.yoyogames.com/studio

Programming Language: Game Maker Language (GML)

Price: Depends on the version (A free version is also available)

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Web

Pros

The GameMaker is one of the easiest game development tools to use. You can just drag and drop objects into the scene and apply pre defined behaviors to those objects. You can make more advanced things using the GameMaker’s own scripting language GML. This is widely used by hobbyists and professionals both.

 Cons

The free version of GameMaker comes with some limitations. You can’t publish on mobile platforms using the free version. The paid versions are pretty expensive compared to the other solutions out there. You have to learn a new language just for GameMaker.

 Corona SDK

coronalabs
Link: http://coronalabs.com

Programming Language: Lua

Price: Depends on the version (A free version is also available)

Supported Platforms: Android, iOS

Pros

If you need to program a complete game from scratch without dragging and dropping, this is the easiest solution you have. The language used is Lua and it’s very easy to learn. You can even publish for iOS and Android using the free version of the Corona SDK. It is documented well and provides sample apps to get started easily.

Cons

The free version of the Corona SDK comes with some limitations. You can’t implement in-app purchases etc. Another drawback is that you can only make 2D games using the Corona SDK.

Unity3D

unity3D

 

 

 

 

Link: http://unity3d.com/unity

Programming Languages: C#, Unity Script, Boo

Price: Free and a Pro version is available

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry , Flash,

XBOX, Playstation etc.

Pros

Unity’s main advantage is its cross platform capability. You can publish your games on every popular platform out there. Unity3D has a strong asset store where you can buy 3d models, scripts, sounds etc. And another huge advantage of using unity is that you can publish your game on most of the platforms even if you use the free version. However, when you reach a particular revenue limit you have to buy the Pro version.

Cons

Not observed.

Why I recommend Corona SDK and Unity3D

I’ve been using Corona SDK for a year and I believe it’s a good game engine to start game development for Android. Because of the very active community of developers and resources out there, you can get started easily. You can program the game in Lua instead of C++ or Java and this makes the development process fast. And it gives you the native performance. If you need to implement in app purchases in your game you have to buy the Basic version of the SDK which costs 16$ per month.

One disadvantage of Corona is that you can’t make 3D games using it. That’s where Unity3D comes into the action. Actually the latest version of Unity3D officially supports 2D game development. Unity3D is a game engine with an editor which allows you to create levels, manage game assets etc. It supports several languages such as C#, Unity Script (A modified version of Javascript) and Boo. Unity 3D is easy to learn but I recommend using something like Corona SDK because it improves the programming skills and gives you a better understanding of how things are tied together in a game. After getting some experience in game programming you can choose something like Unity3D.

Await Part 2 of this series!

Sri Lanka Cyber Games 2013 – Let the games begin!

Its the marquee event all gamers are waiting for, Sri Lanka Cyber games 2013. The Kandy qualifiers are already done and dusted while the finals are just around the corner on the 13th, 14th and 15th of December. SLCG is being organized by gamer.lk the team who has kept gaming alive and growing in Sri Lanka. The event which is being held at BMICH, will hold competions for 10 games listed below.

Call of Duty 4

Counter Strike 1.6

DOTA 2

Halo 4

Fifa 2011

League of Legends

Mortal Kombat 9

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Trackman nations Forever

NFS Most Wanted

So make it to the BMICH this weekend to witness some intense gaming, and some great deals on gaming equipment. May the best gamer win.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz-fUVoItek

What is the most played computer game ever written?

Wes Cherry. Have you ever heard of him? Well, he’s known as the creator of the most played PC game ever developed. It is Solitaire – which was built for Windows and installed on millions of PCs worldwide. The game was first coded by a Microsoft intern by that time named Wes Cherry, with the help of Susan Kare. Cherry decided to add a Boss key which when pressed would switch out from the game instantly, after him thinking the game will be a workplace hit. But later it was revealed that Microsoft has remove that option before it was included in Windows. One of the workers was fired in 2006, after New York city Mayor saw the Solitaire game on his office computer. The boss key feature would have saved him if it was included in to the game.

It was known that even though the game was used by millions of users there was no compensation or any appreciation was ever given to Wes Cherry. He was never benefited financially.

Below are the interesting answers given by Wes Cherry for some of questions that people have asked.

Are you bitter at not being paid for such a popular and essential utility?
Yeah, especially since you are all probably paid to play it!

I would like to compensate you for your fabulous game since Bill Gates won’t. How much money do you want?
One penny per copy. If everybody pitches in, I promise to throw you all a big party.

Exactly how much time and money has been wasted globally as a result of office workers playing Solitaire?
There was a global recession in 1991/1992, just after Solitaire was released. Thank you very much. Oh, and you can’t have your time back.

Have you ever been caught playing Solitaire in the office and passed it off as software testing?
There was a “boss-key” which when pressed would display some random .C code. Microsoft made me remove that.

Are there any cheats? What are they?
Yup. When playing Draw Three, you can hold down Ctrl-Shift-Alt and click on the deck to get one card. That makes

If toast always falls butter side down, and cats always land on their feet, what would happen if you strapped some toast to a cats back?
You’d get your eyes gouged out by a pissed cat.

Do you play Minesweeper? What’s your high score?
I did. I actually learned a strategy from Bill Gates to win at Minesweeper: Click as fast and as randomly as you can.

If you could choose someone who would be afflicted with only telling the truth for a day, who would you choose?
George Bush. Man, what an evil dude. I wish I had another Solitaire game up my sleeve. If so I’d unleash it upon the world, causing another deep economic recession, leading a summary one term pruning.

If you consider how many millions of potential hours of constructive international office time your game has turned into mindless skiving, do you think you’ve done a good thing or a bad thing? (I think good, so don’t feel like I’m putting you on the spot)
The thing about time is they are always making more of it. No harm done.

If you could take any object in the world and put it somewhere, what would that object be and where would you put it?
Me, Britney Spears.

If you had been paid $1 for every game of ms solitaire ever played, would you be in any fit state to do this interview?
It took me 11 months to answer these bloody questions. If you cheapos would have actually paid me I might have not been so tardy. So buck up!

(Source – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solitaire_(Windows))