Steam Greenlight: Game Submission (Ballastic)

In the not-so-distant past, I participated in a sequence of Intel-sponsored global app development competitions. Each of the competitions focused on rapidly developing applications for new and forthcoming technologies that Intel and partners were promoting. In fall-2012, I developed a casual coffee-break style game as part of the first App Innovation Contest, hosted by CodeProject. The competition was to help showcase cutting edge features of Intel's Ultrabook line of laptops.

The game that I developed in a very short window of time, Ballastic, utilized many of the Ultrabook's sensors for various creative purposes including touch, accelerometer and ambient light detection. However, the core game itself was equally fun on a standard mouse-controlled computer. Apparently the judges liked it, as it ended up winning the grand prize for the gaming category. Intel conducted a case study with me and this little app even made its way to some part of the Consumer Electronics Show the following year. Read Full Article

Using Bluestacks for Fast Android Emulation

Testing Android applications on PC or Mac without a physical device can be quite a burden. The configurable Android virtual machines in Eclipse/Android Studio are notably sluggish and don't work well with many third party frameworks, especially those powered by C++. If your development machine has Intel-based hardware you can accelerate the emulation process by using Intel® HAXM technology, but AMD users are not yet so lucky.

The fastest and easiest way I've found to test Android applications is via the BlueStacks app player. BlueStacks is a free, ad-supported product for PC and Mac that enables you to download and run Android applications from your PC, as if using an Android device itself. BlueStacks isn't the only product on the market of its kind, but it does boast higher compatibility and a greater feature set than the competitors. According to BlueStack's feature chart, it supports up to 96% of all apps and 86% of all games on the Android market. Furthermore, BlueStacks offers streamlined emulation of the Android device's camera, microphone, multitouch and more which makes it ideal for testing in-development apps. Read Full Article

Facebook Graph Access Token Requirements

I apologize for the lack of any blog updates this past month. My available time to write this summer has not been significant.

As is the innate nature of third party platforms, one's reliance on public APIs for use in their own projects is subject to change and can break at any time. One such breaking change for a slew of sites and scripts, one of mine included, happened recently via Facebook Graph.  Facebook Graph provides a simplified means of communicating between Facebook and external sources including websites and applications. Read Full Article