Going Rogue with Your Game App: An Introduction to Marmalade SDK

Do you want to increase the reach of an advanced game app you’ve worked hard on for one OS by going cross-platform but don’t know where to start? Or are you a novice developer interested in making your game cross-platform without investing hours upon hours learning a new OS development suite?

The Marmalade SDK is a C/C++ based application program interface (API) that gives you the tools to go rogue with your app and port your app quickly and efficiently.

Going Cross-Platform with Marmalade SDK

While Marmalade interface allows you to develop games from the ground up, the primary benefit of incorporating this SDK into your app programming repertoire is porting a game app cross-platform, whether that be from Android to iOS or smart phone to desktop.

Most importantly, Marmalade absorbs most changes in underlying platforms, meaning you don’t have to spend hours upon hours debugging just to convert a game you’ve already put a ton of effort creating on one OS for release on another.

Marmalade currently supports conversion between the following operating systems:

  • Smartphones: Android OS, iOS, Blackberry OS, Tizen OS, Windows Phone
  • Desktop: Windows (XP and above),Mac (OS X 10.8 and above)
  • Smart TV (available to Marmalade Plus and Pro Licensees): LG Smart TV, Roku

For a list of all supported devices and versions, click here for more information directly from Marmalade’s site.

Working with Marmalade

The basic version of Marmalade, available for free here, includes four “flavours” which provide varying functionality to make cross-conversion simpler and quicker:

  • C++: This flavour provides all of the functionality to create a C++ game and allows you more control over the technical development of the game.
  • Juice: This flavour simplifies porting of iOS games to Android devices.
  • QuickThrough Lua, a simple and extremely fast programming language, this flavour gives you the ability to rapidly create 2D games without advanced programming knowledge.
  • WebThrough combining C++ with HTML5, this flavour helps you develop apps for the web and create hybrid apps with other coding languages including CSS and JavaScript.

The variety of flavours and conversion tools of the SDK provide superior functionality for programmers with a variety of skill sets and needs. Marmalade allows novice app developers the functionality to quickly release games on other platforms as well. Arjun Dayal, the Android Product Lead of Pocket Gems stated in an interview that “the platform growth that’s been happening has been…tremendously powerful and for developers like Pocket Gems, it’s [Marmalade SDK] a tremendous opportunity to get your games out to your fans all over the world on multiple devices.”

“the platform growth that’s been happening has been…tremendously powerful and for developers like Pocket Gems, it’s [Marmalade SDK] a tremendous opportunity to get your games out to your fans all over the world on multiple devices.” – Arjun Dayal

Resources to Get Started

Utilizing any new program may seem like a challenge at first, but many resources available for free on the internet can help you get a jump-start on learning Marmalade and developing your skills with the program.

  • The Marmalade Tutorial Site provides a variety of tutorial videos and step-by-step guides to get started on the various Marmalade flavors.
  • The Marmalade Help Desk has resources including an FAQ of common questions and technical issues, aform to report bugs that arise during development, a helpdesk for Marmalade Pro/Plus users, a forumwhere community members answer questions about the SDK, an API and settings reference tool, and aform for directly contacting the developers with any other questions you may have.
  • Creating Your First Marmalade Game is a comprehensive 2.5 hour YouTube video that walks you through the initial stages of installing and configuring Marmalade, developing the key components of game development, game scene management and user interaction, and packaging the game for public release.

Final Thoughts

Aaron Lee, staff writer for e-magazine Develop, stated that “Marmalade has blossomed into a trusted SDK for cross-platform development,” and the tools and resources available definitively reach the high standard expected of app development API’s. The Marmalade SDK, through a variety of modes and comprehensive OS support, provides superior assistance with game app development for a simple arcade game to an advanced RPG. The user-friendly nature of the interface and the many resources available directly from the developers of the SDK make Marmalade a vital addition to the toolkit of any developer regardless of skill set. If you’re looking for a way to make app development quicker and easier, an excellent starting place is going rogue with Marmalade SDK.

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