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Does anyone here own or develop on a Blackberry Playbook?

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Does anyone here own or develop on a Blackberry Playbook? Yeah yeah... I'm being serious.

The Native C/C++ SDK was a few hundred MB to download, followed by a quick install, and then just a couple of hours of wait while the code signing key was generated and emailed back to me by RIM. All in all, it took about 30 seconds to read all of the necessary instructions, and there were zero unexpected headaches. People say that it's a pain in the rear to develop on the Playbook but so far I can't see how that could be an accurate opinion.

I found some nice short samples to get up to speed on basic Playbook development. It looks like it's pretty easy to dive right in, and OpenGL ES 2 is so lean and mean that it's just awesome:
[url="http://openbbnews.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/opengles-book-samples/"]http://openbbnews.wo...s-book-samples/[/url]

But anyway, does anyone here even own or develop on a Playbook? If so, have you released anything for it? Have you reached the magical ~$1000 sales threshold that automatically gets you ~$9,000 free dollars from RIM?

Total aside: I don't think I'd charge money for any apps that I ever release, but I do wish that there was a forced charityware option that sells an app for a buck or whatever, and then transfers the money directly into an account of some well-known charity like the SPCA (awww, kittens!) or Lung Association or whatever. I mean, the RIM-generated eligible charity list could be pretty small to keep things simple / guaranteed legitimate, and the app buyer could be the one to choose which charity from the list ends up getting their buck or whatever. I wouldn't see a dime, and I wouldn't care to. Seriously, I have little faith that if I released a charityware app -- for free, like it's done now, with no forced donation option -- that many people would voluntarily make a donation like I ask them to. Perhaps the set of all developers in the world that crave this kind of forced charityware option is even smaller than the set of Playbook developers? ;) Edited by taby

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Fellow Playbook developer here :) I'm not using their native SDK, though, I'm using Marmalade (so I can deploy to iOS/Android/Playbook at once).

The App World is an interesting place, as people are desperate for good apps. I'm about to release an app called Phyzicle on the App World: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B5Z95C6td4

It's gonna be $1.99 so we'll see how well it sells on the App World... Either way, I believe the $10,000 incentive is for BB10 (their smartphone platform), not Playbook OS.

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[quote name='taby' timestamp='1336606246' post='4938814']
Total aside: I don't think I'd charge money for any apps that I ever release, but I do wish that there was a forced charityware option that sells an app for a buck or whatever, and then transfers the money directly into an account of some well-known charity like the SPCA (awww, kittens!) or Lung Association or whatever. I mean, the RIM-generated eligible charity list could be pretty small to keep things simple / guaranteed legitimate, and the app buyer could be the one to choose which charity from the list ends up getting their buck or whatever. I wouldn't see a dime, and I wouldn't care to. Seriously, I have little faith that if I released a charityware app -- for free, like it's done now, with no forced donation option -- that many people would voluntarily make a donation like I ask them to. Perhaps the set of all developers in the world that crave this kind of forced charityware option is even smaller than the set of Playbook developers? ;)
[/quote]
I've thought about this myself. But I figured you just make the app, contact the charity and ask them to register a google Play account (or wherever) and give them the file to upload and mention it was a donation from you, the developer. I figure the organization can promote the app as a fundraiser, and you can at least have on your resume some app that sold a thousand times more copies than if you released it commercially.

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[quote name='lmbarns' timestamp='1336857910' post='4939632']
[quote name='taby' timestamp='1336606246' post='4938814']
Blah blah blah.
[/quote]
I've thought about this myself. But I figured you just make the app, contact the charity and ask them to register a google Play account (or wherever) and give them the file to upload and mention it was a donation from you, the developer. I figure the organization can promote the app as a fundraiser, and you can at least have on your resume some app that sold a thousand times more copies than if you released it commercially.
[/quote]

This is good to know. Thank you. So basically I would donate the app to the charity and get them to publish it? That would be an interesting way of going about it. Edited by taby

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1336829959' post='4939561']
[quote name='taby' timestamp='1336606246' post='4938814']
Does anyone here own ... a Blackberry Playbook? Yeah yeah...
[/quote]

Yes.
[/quote]

Cool. Thanks for speaking up. I honestly didn't think anyone would reply, so this is good to know.

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[quote name='nullsquared' timestamp='1336829385' post='4939558']
Fellow Playbook developer here [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] I'm not using their native SDK, though, I'm using Marmalade (so I can deploy to iOS/Android/Playbook at once).

The App World is an interesting place, as people are desperate for good apps. I'm about to release an app called Phyzicle on the App World: ...

It's gonna be $1.99 so we'll see how well it sells on the App World... Either way, I believe the $10,000 incentive is for BB10 (their smartphone platform), not Playbook OS.
[/quote]

Ok, that video is absolutely epic, and I hope that your release works out well for you! The mixing of the colours was very great.

I was not aware of Marmalade, and I'll have to check that out.

Yeah, sorry I was confused a little bit about the whole $10,000 incentive thing at first. From what I understand, they're still committed to put BB10 out for Playbook, but with the less than certain release date of some time after BB10 phones come out / some time before the end of the universe. I hope they don't take too long, because it looks pretty nifty.

Also... I tried to send you a private message, but it said that you can't receive any more messages. Is your message box full? Edited by taby

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Ok... so, average users do realize that when you vote someone else's post down (for absolutely no reason) that it's permanently documented in a database, and that multiple GD.net folk have the ability to see who did it, right? Just checking! Edited by taby

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[quote name='taby' timestamp='1336872573' post='4939683']
Also... I tried to send you a private message, but it said that you can't receive any more messages. Is your message box full?
[/quote]
Hm, that's odd. I don't really go on Gamedev too often anymore anyways, so feel free to shoot me an email at nullsquared at google's email (heh, avoiding spam)

[quote name='taby' timestamp='1336872718' post='4939684']
Ok... so, average users do realize that when you vote someone else's post down (for absolutely no reason) that it's permanently documented in a database, and that multiple GD.net folk have the ability to see who did it, right? Just checking!
[/quote]
I'm not sure if this is directed towards me, but I just want to throw it out there that I rated Tom Sloper down for responding to such a detailed, intriguing post with a mere "Yes."

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[quote name='nullsquared' timestamp='1336875252' post='4939690']
...
[/quote]

OK, I will fire off an email to you. Thank you.

Given that you are in the habit of giving really decent replies here, I don't think that it's my place to question your opinion here. I thought that it was maybe just some random punk going around randomly downrating random posts. I do apologize for jumping to conclusions. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/mellow.png[/img] Edited by taby

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[quote name='nullsquared' timestamp='1336875252' post='4939690']
I'm not sure if this is directed towards me, but I just want to throw it out there that I rated Tom Sloper down for responding to such a detailed, intriguing post with a mere "Yes."
[/quote]

Fair enough. I do own a PlayBook, but I don't develop on it.

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Tried going through the automated code signing setup in the Native SDK's IDE, and it failed with an error to the effect of "you've registered too many times". Tried using the commandline to manually perform the setup, and it failed with an error to the effect of "you haven't registered yet". Yes, conflicting errors. Tried emailing them for support, and they replied that I should check out their developer support forum. Of course, I already had, and it was where I got the basic rundown of the commandline tools.

RIM missed a use case scenario or two when they designed their developer tools. It's an automated process, with only a handful of steps and options, meant to be bulletproof and straightforward.

Alternatively, I could pay RIM $250 to get personalized support for this one issue. Forget that.

I did not have such grief when developing and signing plugins for IE and Firefox.

This is what happens when coders and suits are left to construct tools for software developers. Does RIM actually wonder why developers avoid their platform? Have fun with your continued death spiral, RIM. Edited by taby

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[quote name='taby' timestamp='1339552175' post='4948687']
Does RIM actually wonder why developers avoid their platform? Have fun with your continued death spiral, RIM.
[/quote]That about sums it up.

It also describes how both iOS and Android enjoyed their respective successes.

The more variety and quality you allow the better you will tend to be.

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Indeed, Android is looking mighty tempting now. My wife can port the code to iOS, if she wants; I'm not paying $1000 for a developer license (ie. A Mac). [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] I'm done with RIM before I even started, and I feel entirely vindicated about everything that I've said about them in the past. No one can ever sincerely say that I didn't try. If RIM falls, and if they leave pension holders empty handed, and if the province of Ontario has to bail those poor people out, then I'm gonna laugh. I've been all "crazy" about this on Twitter for a long time now, and people just laughed back then. I might be crazy, and I might be dumb, but you don't have to be a genius to spot the second coming of Nortel.

To be fair, I can perhaps try again when BB10 is released for the PlayBook, if that ever happens.

A team of a handful or two of people that I worked with once would spend each day answering hundreds of support questions by email and teletype and thousands of support questions by phone from a customer base of hundreds of thousands of basic dial-up ISP subscribers. We helped them get their tools running. Tools that we didn't even create. We enumerated the vast majority of possible problems over time, solved them, documented them, and then saved the documentation to a database. Human experience, combined with the quick database lookup of known problems and solutions led to the fast support response rate per team member. We were paid well. I came up with the idea behind this document-based strategy on the bus to work. What's the deal with RIM? I don't want C++ nor OpenGL support, just RIM support. It's not very customer-friendly to have a miserly service policy. RIM supposedly has billions in its war chest and thousands of employees (solution), and only a fraction of the number of developers on Apple or Android (problem). A bounty like $9000 is nothing if your tools are broken, and you refuse to offer free, private support. Why do you think the ISP thrived? Great private service by the people on all levels of the ISP that were paid well to generate happy, loyal, stress-free customers, for one. RIM may want to do a circuit of the universities in each province. Preaching your developer tools is a good way to convert customers. The ISP had open houses, for personally showing customers and potential customers how to use the tools, by following the tutorial papers that we handed out. I had the honour of writing some of these tutorials. They ate it up like candy, and literally too in a way, because there were donuts, and it was generally awesome. I just don't get that vibe from RIM, and it's not like I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm pretty sure that Apple practices service tactics that are similar to the ISP's. Hmm. RIM's not so eager, and its sinking them, faster and faster. It's crazy. Edited by taby

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LOL, you are in for a shock when you see Google's developer support for Android ( or any other product for that matter ). Google has absolutely NO developer support; none. Zip, zero, nada. You will run into known bugs that are logged in a database from 3 years ago, with no activity. There are no phone numbers to call, no paid support available as an option, no people actively monitoring the forums. On top of that, their build tools are a freaking joke, especially things built around the Chromium build system like NaCL.

Seriously, if crappy dev support is what is turning you off RIM, forget Google! They make RIM look absolutely saintly. The only saving grace for Android development, is the size of the community compared to the Blackberry development community.


To the actual question, yes I have a Playbook ( im a gadget whore ), and no I don't develop for it. I did some brief work with [url="http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2012/05/02/A-quick-look-at-RIM%E2%80%99s-Gameplay-12-SDK.aspx"]Rim's Gameplay[/url] SDK, which actually has a ton of potential. On top, their C++ stuff from QNX is pretty solid, as is their Webworks stuff for HTML5 development, but their legacy Java stuff is awful and full of cruft and dust.

Frankly though, outside of Microsoft, they are all pretty terrible at developer support. ** note, I've not dealt with Apple in this capacity yet, so I make no judgement. Edited by Serapth

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[quote name='taby' timestamp='1336606246' post='4938814']
Does anyone here own or develop on a Blackberry Playbook? Yeah yeah... I'm being serious.
[/quote]

I've done some development on the system using NME ([url="http://www.haxenme.org/"]http://www.haxenme.org/[/url]) and the NDK. There's also App Game Kit ([url="http://www.appgamekit.com/"]http://www.appgamekit.com/[/url]).

The performance of the Playbook is nice. The eclipse based editor can be finicky at times, but you can export a makefile.

Depending on the type of game you want to make, I would strongly recommend NME. Games developed in NME are written in haXe (similar to Actionscript 3), and will run on [color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(255, 255, 204)]iOS[/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#666666][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(236, 236, 236)], [/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(255, 255, 204)]Android[/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#666666][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(236, 236, 236)], [/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(255, 255, 204)]webOS[/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#666666][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(236, 236, 236)], [/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(255, 255, 204)]BlackBerry[/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#666666][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(236, 236, 236)], [/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(255, 255, 204)]Windows[/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#666666][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(236, 236, 236)], [/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(255, 255, 204)]Mac[/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#666666][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(236, 236, 236)], [/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(255, 255, 204)]Linux,[/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#666666][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(236, 236, 236)] and [/background][/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(255, 255, 204)]Flash. If you are using Windows, FlashDevelop is an easy way to develop NME application with full debugging support (in Flash). Compiling for any other platform is simply a matter of changing the project config or running a command on the command line; super easy stuff. haXe performance, using Flash bitmap, is pretty good on most platforms, but can suffer on lower end Android devices. There is also support for sprite batches, which are mapped to OpenGL ES 2D textured polygons.[/background][/size][/font][/color]

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I've been given a PlayBook and Dev Alpha to build a game to show off at Blackberry Jam on July 12th. Webworks is a nice toolset and works well, but HTML5 performance isn't up to scratch for any serious games.

I've had to move to C++ and am using ofxQNX port of OpenFrameworks. It's easy to get started with, but performance is, again, not what I expected. How do teams like Hexage get away with such smooth games despite (clearly) refreshing and drawing sprites across the screen every frame?

On the point of selling apps, I'd probably put mine on the store for $1 and hope for the best. As a first year uni student, any money is good :D

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FWIW, RIM has since written back. Twice, in fact. So, I'll chalk any delay up to a chaotic work environment. I didn't respond. I'll wait for BB10.

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[quote name='nklsrh' timestamp='1340585161' post='4952498']
I've been given a PlayBook and Dev Alpha to build a game to show off at Blackberry Jam on July 12th. Webworks is a nice toolset and works well, but HTML5 performance isn't up to scratch for any serious games.

I've had to move to C++ and am using ofxQNX port of OpenFrameworks. It's easy to get started with, but performance is, again, not what I expected. How do teams like Hexage get away with such smooth games despite (clearly) refreshing and drawing sprites across the screen every frame?

On the point of selling apps, I'd probably put mine on the store for $1 and hope for the best. As a first year uni student, any money is good [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]
[/quote]

Nice. Let us know when your app/game is on the store (if you're not a RIM spamsockbot that was specifically created to spread some good cheer, never to return). Edited by taby

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