What's the current state of IntelXDK and CocoonIO?

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  • Hi everyone,

    I've finished a game in C2 before but I only released it for PC. Now I'm finishing another project, this time for mobile, and I've been looking into IntelXDK and CocoonIO. I did test both these tools before and my game runs fine with both but I'd like to get ads and iAP working with them and, after searching, it seems almost every tutorial is extremely outdated.

    I'm hoping someone can help me with a few questions:

    1. Is IntelXDK working with ads and iAP at this moment?

    2. Can I use the official Admob Ads and IAP plugins with it?

    3. I have bought the Cordova plugins pack by Cranberrygame a long time ago. Should I be using it instead of the official ones? What's different?

    4 . CocoonIO seems a lot simpler to get working than IntelXDK. Is it worth it over IntelXDK?


  • Ill answer to the best of my knowledge.

    1. I was able to get Chartboost ads working perfectly with XDK using Cranberry's cordova plugins. Another option for ads is the Appodeal C2 plugin. It works great by itself, but as soon as I tried to add plugins for other functionality (Cranberry analytics) I got build errors so I swapped it for Cranberry Chartboost and that way I was able to get both ads and analytics both working in my game at once. I haven't tried iAP, (cranberry or official plugin).

    2. From what I understand from reading through the forums, the general consensus is that the the official C2 plugins for AdMob and GooglePlay are outdated and not recommended. Again IAP Im not sure I havent tried yet.

    3. Working with XDK, you will need to use the Cranberry Cordova plugins for Ads and Google Analytics. Im not sure about Cranberry iAP. Important to note, Cranberry's GooglePlay plugin doesn't seem to work with XDK. At least I was unable to get it working.

    4. After failing with Cranberry Google Play on XDK I swapped to Cocoon.io. I was able to get Cranberry's Google Analytics working quickly. I discovered that Cocoon actually has their own plugins for ads and for GooglePlay. I was able to get the Cocoon GooglePlay plugin working after about a day of playing with it (now its working very well). Next I will attempt to use the Appodeal ads plugin with Cocoon, if that fails Ill try Cocoon's ads plugins (they have options for Chartboost, AdMob and a couple others). If that fails Ill use Cranberry's Chartboost plugin, and if that fails I'll kill myself.

    Other notes:

    -I would quite happily recommend XDK by itself. I was able to get great performance with my game on XDK (on Android and iOS). The problem is, as far as I know, we are reliant on Cranberry's plugins. He doesn't provide any support what so ever, so if you can't get it working yourself you're stuck. So While XDK itself is great... as soon as you need ads, analytics, Google Play, you are forced to rely on 3rd party plugins that are unsupported. I got analytics and ads working, but hit a wall with Google Play. I posted about it on the XDK forum here.

    -I like it that Cocoon has their own up-to-date plugins for essential functions like ads and GooglePlay. I would much rather use theirs than unsupported options.

    -When building on Cocoon you have a couple options to choose from under settings>webview engine: (webview, webview+, canvas+). I get great performance (equal to XDK) using webview or webview+. But I get terrible performance with canvas+.

    -It's possible I'll still use XDK for iOS **if** I can get GameCenter working on XDK... havent tried yet.

    This is a summary of my experience from the last fortnight. Hope its useful to you.

  • Depends on what you need.

    • Official IAP does work with non consumable products, but does not cover consumable products, also does not have "on restore purchases finished" condition.
    • Cordova IAP brought me some issues recently and I couldn't get all features working well together (consumables, non consumable, restore purchases). Also it did not trigger "on product purchase succeed" condition which obviously is a serious problem.
    • CocoonIO IAP worked perfectly from the first attempt for all features.

    So this is the state of how it worked few weeks ago. But it all changes so fast. Maybe some bugs are fixed already.

    Good Luck

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  • Thanks for the replies everyone! It's just so scary because no matter what I pick it could break in a few months lol.

  • I've switched to Cocoon with Canvas+ for a few months now and I don't miss Intel XDK. I'm just doing the finishing touches on my banner and interstitials and for now they seem to work fine using the CocoonAds plugin. I've only tried AdMob and Android so far. I hope the in-app purchases will go as smoothly with the Cocoon plugins because I'll be implementing them next.

    As far as performance is concerned, Canvas+ is really the only difference between XDK and Cocoon and it has it's tricks. You must not use regular vectorial text with Canvas+ as that will severely impact performance so you have to switch your text for sprite fonts. Also some Browser object commands may not work with it, like exit app for example, but that's no problem because they provide you with the CocoonCanvas plugin that can do that among other things. One downside of Cocoon I can think of is that you have a splash screen that's very expensive to get rid of and depending on game size there may be a black screen gap of a few seconds between splash screens (you can also ad a custom one in addition to the Cocoon screen) and your loaded first layout. Supposedly using a loader layout should fix this but it doesn't. It may just be a bug and fixed in the future.

    One other thing you should know if you're used to developing for PC and want to expand to mobile is that WebGL effects should be used carefully because some phones, for some reason choke hard on these effects. I couldn't tell which exactly but I know that with WebGL effects my game was running at 5fps on a brand new HTC octocore and under 30 fps on my 2 year old samsung with 4 cores... To be safe I removed all WebGL effects and all of a sudden it was running at 60 fps on anything. It even managed a steady 30 fps on my old Huawei dual core with 512 ram. So if you must use effects, try to test each one on as many devices as you can before you implement it.

    I think if you go with Cocoon you will probably have less headaches than with Intel. If you choose Canvas as well the number of bumps in the road will increase a bit but it should be well worth it because the performance is clearly above Webview, especially if you're making games that require reaction speed and agility. Oh yeah, and Canvas+ also means a smaller app package because it's wrapper is about 10mb smaller than Webview.

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