Insight into the PlayJam SDK Feature Set that Powers GameStick
Hello - this post is one for developers and aims to give a detailed overview of the features powered by the PlayJam SDK that in turn powers the GameStick proposition. As such it is a little lengthy, so for those of you not looking to develop for GameStick, feel free to look away now - we will not be offended!
Registration for access to the SDK can be found through our developer portal. This resource will be added to over the coming weeks.
The PlayJam Platform provides a convenient route to getting your games on to GameStick (and on to many Smart TVs). With over 700,000 games already existing on the Android platform, and a predicted total of 11.5 billion Smart TV devices by 2015, the market growth potential for affordable TV gaming is enormous. It's this back-end platform and the the PlayJam SDK that powers GameStick, the world's smallest console. For Android developers the world over, the PlayJam SDK is the portal to the huge Big Screen gaming marketplace of now. So let's get you developers in the game, and . . code on!
PlayJam has outlined three guidelines that developers should follow in order to publish content for the GameStick platform. Developers can:
- Have the freedom to develop their games for GameStick using many different development environments that can currently compile to Android: Unity, Marmalade, Air, Corona or in C++ or native Java*.
- Register and download the PlayJam SDK via the developer portal. PlayJam recommends using the API calls in the PlayJam SDK to add a range of services and functionality, such as billing and controller support.
- Compile their application to Android 4.2.0 and then submit their application through the PlayJam Developer App, for subsequent distribution to GameStick.
*The PlayJam C++, Flash/AS3 SDKs + unity plugin will be available in March 2013, followed shortly by the PlayJam HTML5/JS SDK.
The PlayJam Platform
The core component of the PlayJam Platform is the PlayJam SDK. It provides a set of APIs which call on the PlayJam Online Services. Here is a brief overview of each of the key modules contained in the SDK.
Login and Registration Module:
Customizable secure login and registration module that creates a secret session token. This token is used in all of the SDK API calls.
PlayJam’s central account system. Allows developers to link in to player profiles, game transaction history and other key stats.
Leader boards Module:
Enables players to register high scores by game or game bundle. Customizable by country, or region, by device or by time.
Automatically save out data to the PlayJam servers about any feature or event from your games which you wish to analyze. Events can be defined and managed in the PlayJam Developer Application.
Awards and Achievements Module:
Allows the developer to give any awards or achievements associated with the game. These accomplishments are stored in the player’s profile and can be viewed in game. Awards and achievements are defined and managed in the PlayJam Developer Application.
Companion Application Module:
Allows a player to download a game controller directly onto their mobile device. Enhances the game play experience by offering access to touch, giro, etc. This also allows for haptic feedback in real-time. The player must install the iOS or Android Companion Application on their phones for this functionality to be available.
Promotion and Adverts Module:
Retrieve promotion information to be displayed in the game. The ability to serve relevant offers and adverts based on real time profiling.
Save state Module:
Allows a player to save the score and level of a game and resume playing later. Data is stored on the PlayJam Cloud Storage servers.
Game scoring Module:
Allows developers to download time or achievement-based scoring for each game. This is linked to their virtual currency and billing system. Used for threshold rewards and high score qualification.
Transaction engine for all payments. We support credit and debit card payments globally as well as mobile payment solutions in many markets. Provides for almost any type of game or in-game transaction and links to virtual currency system. Used for in-game micro transactions, pay per play, subscription, etc.
PlayJam Developer App
The Playjam Developer App is a web-based management application used by developers to initially register with PlayJam, upload their games onto the PlayJam servers, and manage and configure PlayJam Online services used by their games. They can also view real-time analytics after launch and manage billing information. Here is a brief overview of the key features:
Lets the game developer register with the PlayJam Platform. This entitles a developer to use the PlayJam SDK. They will have access to developer forums and a developer’s sandbox to make the development process as simple as possible. Upon registration, developers will be assigned a unique identifier, named support contact from the PlayJam technical team and will be given full access to the PlayJam Developer Forum. The forum will provide access to:
- The PlayJam SDK
- Instructional documentation / tutorials
- Technical contact support through online Q&A forum
- Sample code
- License agreement
- Marketing & artwork assets
Developers can submit their applications for compliance tests and release.
Set languages and territories:
Developers can set the languages into which the game is translated and which territories in which it will be published. They can upload the language packs directly into the database for downloading dynamically into the game via the PlayJam SDK.
Sets the level of analytics required to be logged into the PlayJam Database. Allows developers to add instrumentation to their games to record to the PlayJam servers any significant events on which they would like analytics. The PlayJam Network is integrated with the Swrve analytics and business intelligence platform, which provides real-time visual feedback and business insight on game data. This is used to discover what elements of the developer’s games are most successful with players.
Allows developers to build player engagement through competitions. Data saved from the games can be used to create tournaments and competitive events in which players progress through a ladder system. Tournaments can be controlled by many factors: geographic, demographic, gender, etc.
Enables developers to set the conversion rate of PlayJam Coins to their own brand coins used within their games. They can also set up offers for different packages of virtual goods and play time. There is also the ability to offer prizes and introductory offers for the game players.
Companion Application Editor:
This allows the developer to design their own smartphone game controller and customize it. This is an Adobe AIR application which enhances the game play experience by designing and uploading a controller into the PlayJam CMS. It is simple to use with default layouts for the developer to enhance with new graphics. The game controller is automatically downloaded through the PlayJam SDK onto any phone running iOS or Android with the PlayJam Companion Application installed.
Promotion and Adverts Module:
This allows the developer to promote their games within the PlayJam games network through adverts and messaging throughout the network. They can choose by territory, device, and audience profile.
Awards and Achievements:
Define and manage awards and achievements on a per game basis allowing players to receive these when they achieve the given results.
GameStick Controller Support
The GameStick supports HID Bluetooth controllers , PlayJams own mobile companion app that allows you to control games using a phone or tablet and controllers from Green Throttle Games.
- The GameStick Controller supports BT HID Keyboard/Joystick/Mouse profiles. This controller uses Bluetooth 3.0 protocol and supports Android games developing for Android OS 3.2 and up. The HID profile supports up to 4 controllers. Use the PlayJam SDK for GameStick to keymap games to the GameStick controller.
- GameStick will additionally support the Green Throttle Atlas controller. With true analog control, Atlas controllers are the first Android bluetooth controllers on the market to provide console-level precision and accuracy.
The controller supports BT HID Keyboard/Joystick/Mouse profiles. This controller uses Bluetooth 3.0 protocol and supports Android games developing for Android OS 4.2 and up.
Mode selector (HID Keyboard/Mouse/Joystick):
The controller is fitted with a 3 position switch and three mode color indicator:
- LED colour : Keyboard (RED)
- LED colour : Mouse (GREEN)
- LED colour : Joystick (AMBER)
Mode for games choice suggestion:
The controller supports 3 modes: Mouse, Keyboard and JoyStick
Power on/off: pressing power on/off button for about 2 to 3 sec.
Battery Charging: Mini USB connector from PC or power adaptor USB 5V input. Colour LED indicate battery pack voltage condition
Red and flash = Battery power low
Green and flash = device not paired, Green “on” = device is paired
Amber = Battery is fully charged.
Battery Capacity 600mAh
Average playing hours on a full charge: 40 hours
Electrical Current: 15mA