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