Friday, 16 November 2012
Marmalade SDK for Blackberry
It has been a couple months since I received my free Blackberry Playbook and Marmalade SDK license. While the learning curve has sometimes been slow, it really is fun and relatively easy to put together "native" apps using Marmalade! Fortunately, the SDK allows porting using the same code to many other platforms, meaning that the app I develop for Blackberry will potentially also find some life on other platforms!
One of the sites that has been instrumental in providing some basics is drmop.com which has a number of good startup samples. As well, Marmalade itself comes with a huge library of examples showing the different features available to use in both 2D, 3D and user-interface demos widget demos. I am happy to say that after looking at a few basic demos, and playing around with Marmalade on Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Express (also free), my physics-based game is nearing completion!
The game is similar to "Angry Birds Space" in that it involves shooting particles instead of birds (from a launch area) towards a target (a puck instead of pigs inside structures). In my case, the objective is to hit a puck with the particles, which pushes the puck towards a target zone. You have an infinite number of particles available to use, but your points go down the more particles you need to push your puck to the target. To make matters more difficult, some of the particles are charged "negative" or "positive" (some are "neutral") and there are various negative and positive-charged spots on the game field (which appear as the levels increase) which cause deflection/attraction of your shooting particle, making it more difficult to hit your target puck. There are also rectangular obstacles which reflect your particles/puck and of course the walls of the screen which are also reflecting.
While not as cute as "Angry Birds Space", the game has potential and while it may be a bit dry and purely physics-based and geometrical at the moment, I plan on improving the game in the future by applying a "theme" while keeping the same game objectives. For example, the particles could be changed into little animals or eggs, and the puck could be made into a large round fruit. The rectangular objects could be boxes and the negative/positive charge deflections/attractions could be made to be changes in the terrain height indicating mountains or valleys.
I look forward to announcing the game on this blog when it is ready, hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks!
Meanwhile, check out the Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha Blog which I found, which features some links to pre-release apps to try out.