Marmalade Technologies has combined all of its game-making tech into one solution, adding in new cloud services and extra support for devs. James Batchelor finds out more
The Marmalade game engine has been used by many developers to create acclaimed titles for not only smart devices, but other platforms as well. However, while this began as the core of its offering, the firm has since branched out into other development tools
Now the firm is streamlining somewhat by combining all of these services and its core technology into a one-stop solution for games developers: the Marmalade Platform.
“The Marmalade Platform draws together all of the Marmalade tools into a single install and provides an easy launchpad for game or app deployment onto mobile, tablet and desktop,” explains CEO Harvey Elliott.
“Housed within the Marmalade Platform are our development tools for Core, which runs on C++ and Lua-based Quick, along with plenty of reference projects and sample code environments, and access points to integrate our Marmalade Cloud Services and Marmalade Asset Store products.
“We continue to deliver on our core tenets of small install sizes for apps, a fast and optimised runtime that can maximise native features, and an easily extensible framework that developers can build on themselves or tap into the developer community through our Answers page or Marmalade Asset Store, within an accessible and flexible platform architecture.”
Elliott believes that not only will combining all of Marmalade’s products into Platform provide developers with a go-to destination for their game-making needs, it will also help highlight the full breadth of tools and services that the company offers.
“We have such a plethora of technologies that we’ve already created for developers that we needed a framework through which they could be easily discovered and accessed,” he says.
“It will enable us to continue to extend our core offering of high-performance development tools, whilst providing additional solutions that make developing games easier.
“Many of our technologies were delivered inside our core SDK but were a little buried; these have now been surfaced through the new Marmalade Hub, the access point for the Marmalade Platform.
“Our new asset store provides an easy way for developers to both share assets and code that they’ve created and to access further technologies or assets that enable them to build their app in exactly the way they want. Many of the services within the asset store are free, to ensure developers get just the technologies or content that they need to speed their app development.”
SET FOR THE FUTURE
The Marmalade Platform is more than just a smart repackaging of existing products. The Marmalade team has made a number of key improvements and additions under the hood, such as the introduction of on-device debugging for Android and Visual Studio 2015 integration.
Other new features include beta technology for C++11, a significantly upgraded Marmalade Quick, an improved 3D development kit and new tools for 2D game devs in the beta of Marmalade’s 2D Kit.
The company has also launched a new offering in recent months under the umbrella brand Marmalade Cloud Services. These give devs access to services that Marmalade hasn’t traditionally provided, such as analytics and ads (see ‘Cloud Burst’).
Marmalade’s team is constantly building on these tools to better support the most important platforms for its customers: iOS, Android, Steam and, now, Windows 10. It also supports the growing number of TV platforms, such as Chromecast, Roku and, soon, Apple TV, as well as key graphics pipelines such as Metal, DirectX 12 and the still-in-development Vulkan.
“If a device or platform introduces something interesting, we’ll do everything we can to find a way to get developers access to it from our platform,” says Elliott.
“Whilst we have obviously kept current devices in mind, we are very of new and evolving markets including AR and VR, and developers approaching the games console market from within the mobile community – something that we expect to see much more of over the coming years as those technologies converge.”
The hope is that not only will the Marmalade Platform make the company’s technology more accessible and efficient for established customers, it will also attract a new wave of developers. As such, Marmalade has upped the ante on the effort going into support pages and blogs for anyone that may be a little confused by the Platform’s tech.
Elliott says: “For developers new to Marmalade, or wanting to maximise their experience of the Marmalade Platform, they can find a full suite of documentation on our website – and a new tutorial
series with webinars will be coming to our website, so that our customers can engage directly with our teams and get the most out of Marmalade for their game.
“We are proud of the new technology, and definitely think it’s worth checking out for any developer – but perhaps the best reasons are the breadth of games and apps already made with our technology.”
Those games include everything from EA’s mobile hit SimCity: BuildIt (pictured above) and forthcoming mobile strategy game Gods of Olympus to indie rhythm action game SineWave – just three of the titles built with the technology that now ticks under the hood of the Marmalade Platform.
“I am immensely proud of the team and the technology we’ve created so far, but there is still so much more we’d like to do,” Elliott concludes. “If developers have an interesting challenge for something they’d like to see in our tech then we really do encourage them to get in touch.”