Maximise your game's potential with Marmalade7 February 2013
We're always on the lookout for new ways to build games for Windows 8 and the Marmalade SDK looks to be an awesome way to do just that. Marmalade is a cross platform SDK, produced by Ideaworks Limited, that provides developers with a set of libraries and development tools they can use to create apps for mobile devices.
We caught up with Tim Closs, Marmalade's Chief Technology Officer to find out what attracted Marmalade to Windows 8.
Why did you make the decision to include both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 support in your SDK?
The level of commitment that both Microsoft and the hardware manufacturers was a major factor in deciding to include Windows Phone 8 support in the Marmalade SDK, but just as important was the demand from developers. We aim to break down the barriers between different platforms, and since we had already implemented Windows 7 into our toolset, it was natural for us to decide to support the whole Windows 8 platform family.
What are the standout features of Marmalade?
Marmalade allows developers to build high-performance games and apps in C++, HTML5 or Lua and deploy simultaneously to a wide range of smartphone and desktop platforms as well as connected TVs. Our SDK as flexible and versatile support open standards that let developers make their own choice of higher-level components. For example, we support open source libraries including Cocos2d-x, Box2D, Bullet, Chipmunk and many more.
What are the challenges in building a cross-platform SDK?
Marmalade is the result of over 8 years of continued R&D and product investment. It's extremely mature and fully-featured. Maintaining and extending such a product requires an experienced team and robust infrastructure - for example, we use our own automated building and testing system. Contrary to what some market speculators might have you think, platform and device fragmentation is always increasing, so we are always looking for ways to improve our automation and test coverage.
Are there any apps already out there which are doing cool or exciting things with Marmalade?
Yes, too many to mention! Some notable highlights from last year include "Draw Something!" (Zynga), built using Marmalade for iOS and Android, and clocked up a huge userbase taking it to #1 in all charts in just 6 weeks; Twheel (Fluid Interaction), a cool graphical Twitter client; and "Talisman Prologue" (Nomad Games), based on the cult Games Workshop title, and one of the first games to use Marmalade's support for Windows desktop.
Have you worked with the team at Microsoft and if yes what support were you given?
We were part of the Microsoft TAP (Technology Adoption Program) for Windows Phone 8, and so had early access to the platform from January 2012. The support we've had from the MS platform team has been great, and we're now working with the store teams to ensure the smoothest path for developers using Marmalade to get content to market.
Why did you make decision to use Windows - why Windows 8, Windows Phone 8?
Marmalade has always believed that more platforms means more possibilities for developers.
It was clear from the start that the Windows 8 platforms were going to be huge - and we've been seeing increasing developer demand over the past 12 months.
Our goal has always been to make it as easy as possible for developers to migrate great content between platforms - hence our unique support for OpenGL ES 2.0 on the Windows 8 variants.
What are your expectations for the platform for the future?
We're already seeing the first Marmalade games for Windows Phone 8 coming to the store, and that's inevitably going to ramp up big time over the next few months. The devices are gorgeous and I think they will sell bucketloads. We're also committed to supporting the Win 8 tablets and desktop devices, and are keeping a close eye on how developer interest is growing on those platforms.