Essential Game Engines: Marmalade
Friday, 2nd March 2012 at 9:30 am
We examine the inner workings of Ideaworks' mobile development platform
Creator: Ideaworks 3D
Platforms: iOS, Android, Symbian, Bada, Blackberry, LG Smart TV
Games: Pro Evolution Soccer (iOS and Android), Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (iOS and Android)
Smartphone and smart TV platform Marmalade abstracts the mobile OS at a low level, enabling cross-platform mobile game creation to look like vanilla C++ game development.
“Any pre-existing C/C++ code can be re-used with little or no changes – that includes open source or proprietary code modules, including physics engines like Box2D/Bullet, and database engines like sqlite – or large parts of pre-existing games engines or games,” explains Ideaworks CTO Tim Closs.
Marmalade has been used for games such as Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer on IOS and Android, as well as Hotgen’s runner-up Apple Game of the Year To-Fu.
Games ported for wider development also include PopCap’s Plants Vs Zombies, and Electron Arts’ Sim City Deluxe.
Closs says that with modern developers needing to realise maximum performance of their apps whilst also targeting a wide variety of platforms, Marmalade was created to help alleviate these issues and provide a smooth solution.
“Our approach has always been to provide as open and flexible an environment as possible; hence the emphasis on standards such as C/C++ standard libraries and OpenGL ES,” says Closs.
“Other engines focus on providing drag-and drop tools, but force the developer to lock themselves into an entirely proprietary environment.
"That’s our differentiation, and one that many games developers understand and value.”
As well as providing support for current mobile OS’s and smart TV’s such as iOS, Android and LG Smart TV, Closs says Ideaworks is currently working on support for other TV platforms and devices that the it believes will see success within the next year.
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