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Intel XDK - Cordova platform updates.

  • Hi guys,

    I plan to find out how well the Cordova builds work in the XDK and writing up a "How to..." tutorial when I'm done.

    The reason for this is I really like the Intel XDK. It allows you to edit, emulate, test, debug, profile and build all in the same place. The majority of people will just be using it for Crosswalk, because at present it has the best performance on android devices. However, with the release of Android Lollipop this should change to Phonegap/Cordova being the fastest, with caveat that devices will need to be running iOS8 or Lollipop. So for a while Crosswalk will still bridge the gap until we reach the point where the majority of android devices are running lollipop+.

    What is Cordova? Well it's basically the non-adobe version of PhoneGap. It does exactly the same stuff bar offer the customer service that PhoneGap offer. Also PhoneGap plugins should work on Cordova, and vice versa. So essentially I'm looking at the XDK to fill the role of PhoneGap without having to pay a monthly subscription for their build service as well as not having to install a load of IDE's and libraries. Yeah, I know, I'm cheap and want things on a platter!

    I'm also doing this as I want a wrapper that does everything I need as a professional developer. This includes the following highest priority/core plugins:

    • Full screen and banner ads - Developers often have to make their games free as their product is unknown to consumers. Therefore advertising allows developers to make money on their games without the player reaching for their pocket.
    • Cross platform IAP - Developers often have a full and free version of the game. The free version will normally have advertising in and it is common to allow users to use an IAP to remove the advertising as well as provide more gameplay. I say 'cross platform' as it would be better for C2 users to have a general set of events rather than specific events for each platform. However, It's better to have something than nothing.
    • Post/invite from Facebook / Twitter - Marketing is very important factor of a games success and most indie developers cannot afford to do it in a big way i.e. TV adverts. Therefore, the rest of the indie developers have to use the cheap strategy of viral advertising through social networks. This is done by incentivising people to use and share game notifications through their social network i.e. Get a free in game pink hat for inviting your friend to the game.
    • Game Center / Google Play Games Service leaderboards - Users need a reason to come back to a game and in addition to your game goals a shared leaderboard among friends encourages one-upmanship rivalry.

    As well as the secondary priority plugins:

    • Local notifications - Users need to be reminded to come back to a game and local notifications fill that purpose i.e. You have completed mining for rubies! Your goblins have no jobs to do!
    • Prompt to rate - The higher the rating the better the perceived quality of your game. The amount of people playing the game but don't rate it will be incredibly high. So players have to be reminded.
    • Analytics - Most people don't realise the value in game analytics. However, they can be incredibly powerful tool to allow developer to refine the game experience. i.e. 50% of users stop playing the game at level 3, which could mean the level is too difficult and a more gradual difficulty curve is required.

    I want to hear from people that have done it or are trying to do it. So far I have built an Cordova APK and installed it on my Nexus 4 relatively easily. The frame rate was not great BUT I don't have lollipop yet . So I'll looking into getting the above plugins working next. Has anybody already done this? Would the procedures be the same as getting Crosswalk plugins to work?

    Any information would be great and really appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    TheWyrm

    P.S Once I get to a good point I'll write up a tutorial so everybody can replicate my findings.

  • RenatoB I would be interested to hear your experiences since I see a forum thread specifically about iOS.

  • Great idea, as I believe in the XDK +C2 combo to an extend, hope you have good results

    Also I think crosswalk is sort of like cordova but using the chrome engine instead of the webview, so the plugins may be compatible.

  • Aphrodite Thanks. Yes, I think from what I've heard the plugins are compatible. If I don't hear back from people I will perform some experiments and find out.

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  • RenatoB I would be interested to hear your experiences since I see a forum thread specifically about iOS.

    Hi TheWyrm

    My pleasure. I'm still solving the problem of application that was generated on the Intel XDK. I'll wait for the conclusion and return then with more informations.

  • RenatoB Cheers, I'll continue on the Cordova android side of things in the meantime.

  • Note to self: Always keep the exported android build in its own directory. As all things within that directory are scoped into the build. I made a sub directory and placed all my builds in it. Of course each build got larger and larger until I exceeded the Google Play limit of 50mb. Doh!

  • I can confirm I have got AdMob adverts working in the android Cordova build.

  • Just waiting to confirm that IAP is working. Hurry up Google!

  • Ran into a speed bump with either IAP or WebStorage. IAP did work. However, now the app just loads a black screen after the splash screen on the second+ time it's run. You have to delete both the Play store cache and your app cache to get it to run again.

    So it's either:

    • Something messed up with IAP when I upgrade the app to remove adverts.
    • Something messed up with local WebStorage when I set highscore or a full version bool.

    So I'll look into it tomorrow. If anybody has any pointers then please let me know in the meantime.

  • I'm pretty sure WebStorage doesn't work in Cordova. Just waiting for final confirmation from my tests.

  • I take it back WebStorage is fine. IntelRobert It is actually IAP that causes the crash.

    Here are the source files -> http://www.thewyrm.com/test/BugSplatter.zip

    Link to the alpha game on Google Play -> https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.thewyrm.bugsplatter

    To play it you need to be a memeber of my testing group ->

    The game plays fine until you buy a managed IAP. If you quit the game and relaunch you will only get a black screen after the splash screen.

  • It could be a setup issue. So if you spot any issues then please let me know.

  • FYI for interested parties IntelRoberts is looking at my files. I think for now I will move onto the iOS build.

  • hey man that's great, keep it up. I'm going to probably be covering similar ground with a project I'm doing for someone. I just got the cranberry game pro plugins to test out. If we can work out these key things it's going to be a great thing for the C2 community.

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