We peer inside the latest release of the cross-platform development SDK and its featured partners
The Marmalade SDK has long courted a reputation for letting developers build cross-platform C++ games rapidly and with ease. And now Marmalade 7 is here, meaning the tech has become not just increasingly powerful and flexible, but even faster and more accessible.
Of course, the new update to the SDK introduces numerous optimisations and bolstered features, but it is the new ease of access that is perhaps most significant.
“We’ve really focused on improving the user experience,” explains Marmalade’s head of SDK Tony Waters. “One of the real advantages of Marmalade has always been that it is so open and flexible, and there’s literally hundreds of different ways you can use the product. For our most experienced users that’s great, but our new users can almost be bewildered by the sheer number of options and plug-ins and extensions available.”
THE FULL SPREAD
And so it is that, from a user experience perspective, Marmalade has been reworked to be more welcoming to developers that are new to cross-platform. There is a range of new tutorials and templates available, and significantly, a new initiative named Featured Partner Integrations.
This scheme will offer those who download Marmalade 7 access to additional tools bundled with the SDK and documentation. Each is a longstanding Marmalade partner, providing everything from analytics to promotional tools. The idea is that Marmalade does not just deliver a complete SDK, but also a wider ecosystem for the creation, monetisation, promotion and player retention of a game.
“It’s all supporting the main focus of the Marmalade 7 product, which is that Marmalade is the fastest way to build cross-platform C++ games,” confirms Waters. “By bringing all of these elements together, you have got all of those things at your fingertips, in one place.”
The update is something the Featured Partners themselves also seem hugely enthusiastic about; evident in comments from Martin Koppel, co-founder and COO at global payment platform Fortumo.
“The entire logic behind Fortumo is making developers’ lives easier,” states Koppel. “Mobile payments used to be difficult to implement as each operator required a separate integration and fees were pretty high. With mobile payments bundled into Marmalade, a monetisation solution is built into the app seamlessly – providing a faster time to market, extensive coverage, high conversion and eventually bigger profit.”
Flurry specialises in analytics and advertising technology, and its senior director of games business development Dan Laughlin adds: “Now, Marmalade users will have the industry-leading Flurry Analytics service and Flurry AppSpot monetisation tools working right out of the box. With M7, developers can start analysing user behaviour, creating ad spaces, and flip the switch to generate revenue from live ads without new SDK work.”
Elsewhere, InMobi is confident partnering with Marmalade can bring its ad technology to numerous new users.
“With InMobi stepping up as a Marmalade 7 Featured Partners, we are thrilled to extend our monetisation solution to developers using the Marmalade platform,” says Krishnendu Majumdar, head of products and developer solutions at InMobi. “Through the Marmalade plug-in built for InMobi Ad SDK 400, developers can access several market-leading tools and features on the SDK to maximise revenues.”
SPOILT FOR CHOICE
Marmalade’s numerous other partners remain in reach of the SDK’s users, and many other options still exist for using tools with the tech.
“If you’re not too sure, you can pick a tool that is bundled with the SDK, or you could look at our wider partners on our website, or go wild and have a look at what other developers have created, or even create your own,” offers Waters. “There’s a wide range of options.”
The changes to Marmalade, which also include the likes of optimisations to screen rotation and significant improvements to Windows Phone 8 support, come from much discussion with and feedback from developers.
If you are new to Marmalade, there’s never been a better time to get on board. And for experienced users, the SDK is more flexible, more powerful and faster than ever before.
The tools and services that are Featured Partner Integrations within Marmalade 7 will include:
In-game advertising: Flurry and InMobi
Game analytics: Flurry Analytics
Game audio: Audiokinetic Wwise
In-app purchases: Fortumo
Engagement: InMobi Lifetime Value Platform
Multiplayer gaming: Photon Engine