Thanks to everyone who's supported Shadowrun Returns on Kickstarter.  The game is most definitely on for iOS and Android tablets, Mac, and PC.  After six days, Harebrained Schemes's idea is just about 200% funded.  If they break $1 million, they'll add a second major city to the game.  I'm dying to see a Shadowrun version of Berlin, Tokyo, or Shanghai!

Revitalized gaming properties and genres are all the rage this season, and one of our favorites has just gotten off to an explosive start on Kickstarter.com this morning: the return of Shadowrun as a 2D, turn-based strategy game for PCs and Tablets!  Jordan is the original creator of the Shadowrun pen and paper RPG, and his team at Harebrained Schemes will be building the game with Moai if it's successfully funded.

In their own words:

Shoot Straight. Conserve Ammo. And Never Cut a Deal With A Dragon.

Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun, is back and Shadowrun Returns (for Apple & Android tablets and PCs) is the game that Shadowrun fans have been waiting for a long time. A graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat, Shadowrun Returns is not only going to make some old geeks (like us) very happy but it will introduce new players to a dynamic gaming universe that is beloved around the world.

If you're interested in this game or genre as a player or a developer - please back Jordan and the Harebrained Schemes team today.

 kickstarter project backer

    Go, go, go guys!

    - Mike.

 

Most of the improvements this revision were from our contributors, so a *big* thanks to AJ, Byron, Chris, Evgeni, Joar, Nathan, Odie, Rodrigo, Thomas and Tommo (did I miss anyone?) as well as all our awesome past contributors.

Also, a big thanks to the companies using Moai (you know who you are) for sharing your feedback improvements.

There is a breaking change in the Box2D wrapper. See my forum post.

There's more on the way. Expect to see Revision 4 along with more documentation in a week or so.

Release notes after the fold.

In the last few months, some have been arguing that Android is just not worth it as a supported platform because of the stream of inbound support requests and device specific problems.  But those of us on Moai team have also be hearing strong evidence to the contrary from our friends in the industry - one game studio with a higher ARPU on Android than iOS, several that are seeing outstanding monetization on Kindle Fire, and another that pursued an agressive cross platform strategy, weeded out many platforms that weren't worth the effort, and kept Android as a must-support platform.

Todd recently took the debate a step further by sharing the Zipline Games Studio perspective from supporting Wolf Toss on 500+ devices (Android 2.2 and above), and expressing a strong opinion about the importance of QA.  Here are the best bits of his post on TheNextWeb:

"In January, Wolf Toss was featured on Android Market, and shot up to a million users in a week, with over five hundred different Android device types. Yes, there were lots of users complaining of bugs and resolution issues, but it didn’t stop our average review exceeding four stars.

The team and I spent long evenings and every weekend testing on each Android device we identified as having an issue... Guess what we found after weeks of testing? Yes, there were device differences but most of our problems were rooted in classic software engineering issues. We did see some crashes on specific devices, but the catalysts were devices that have less memory or run more processes which were causing the underlying issues to be exposed more often.

Revision 2 is going up now. This Revision restores the missing doxygen docs, tweaks some APIs and fixes a number of bugs and broken samples. Release notes below the fold. Look for the next release with documentation later this week. We'll also starting bringing in some of the pending pull requests and contributions.

We are very pleased to announce that Moai Cloud has moved out of beta and is now at version 1.0. When you first login to your dashboard the first thing you'll notice is the new look, but the changes go much deeper than that. They include:

  • Access to 5 Moai Direct services
  • Vastly improved logging support
  • Detailed Metrics and System Monitoring
  • Easy integration of admin dashboards for your services
  • Protect and secure your services with Client Keys and API Secrets
  • Transparent Ops including horizontal scaling, OS management, hot standby servers & backups

This has been a long time coming. I owe all of our developers a brain dump on what the future holds for Moai. In no particular order, here’s what’s on our radar both around features and our own internal process maturity. More after the fold...

Thought I'd share some statistics on the day Moai went to 1.0:

  • Moai developers: 6,454
  • Moai-powered games installed: over 5 million.
  • Moai Cloud services deployed: 1,430
  • Moai Cloud API requests served: over 26 million.

Thanks to all of you for making it a great Beta period.  Here's to a great next phase with Moai 1.0 and beyond.

At long last Moai 1.0 is here, with a new SDK and cloud release, and a whole new look. Pricing for Moai Cloud is posted and we're granting every Moai developer free use of cloud services (through the Studio plan) through April 30th. There have been a lot of small improvements and a few big changes, like the collection of Moai Direct Services that can be plugged into any existing game.

For those of you deep into your current projects with the SDK, we've also provided the legacy branch, which is a snapshot of .95 taken right before the big merge. We just ported Wolf Toss to Moai 1.0 and the transition was mostly straightforward. That said, if you are in a critical stage of your development you may want to hold off for a week or two while the dust settles.  The plan is to update a lot more frequently going forward, so let us know if you run into any issues and we'll do our best to provide a speedy update.

We're going to be spending most of the coming week expanding our documentation of the framework as well as the samples.

As always, the best place to see what's changed in the SDK is our commit history on github.

The Moron Test Game Play The Moron Test Game Play

Team Moai: Hi Berkeley!  Please take a minute to introduce yourself and your company.

Berkeley: Sure.  We're a small video game company of 5 people.  We're hiring too! We released The Moron Test in April, 2009 and it became a #1 game.  Since then, we've been keeping the franchise going with more content and new versions of the game on different platforms.

 

Team Moai: The Moron Test has been a huge hit - one of the most installed mobile apps ever. What numbers can you share with us?

Berkeley: Apple showed it recently as #11 in their all time most-downloaded list.  We have over 25 million installs for the franchise.

 

ReadWriteWeb published an infographic today on HTML5 Hype vs. Reality in gaming.  The infographic looks at endorsements, performance characteristics, and top 10 title lists for Facebook, iOS and Android games.  Since Zipline Games did the leg work that went into that infographic, we thought we publish the full resolution version here.

html5 in gaming infographic preview

Click this image to see the full, 2-page-tall infographic.

Horns and Halos Intro Screen

Harebrained Schemes, the developer of the hit mobile game Crimson: Steam Pirates, released another mobile app made with Moai earlier this month: Horns & Halos PhotoboothHorns & Halos Photobooth gives people a fun way to "photograph the inner angel and demon in everyone" and then share their creations with the world. 

Congrats to Harebrained Schemes.  Over here on the Moai team we love to see cool ideas like this turned into polished mobile apps and released out into the wild.

 

GDC logo

Headed to GDC in San Francisco the week of March 5th? Let's get together to talk Moai and games. Moai team members will be at lunch on Weds, March 7th to answer questions, ooh and ahh over game demos, and explain how things work in Moai.  We'll also be in and around the show for four days straight.

If you're interested in meeting up for lunch, post in the forum thread. Want to meet the Moai team at a different place / time or have us crash your killer GDC party?  Email us at "contactus" @ "ziplinegames" dot "com."

- Mike.

It's been a busy January at Zipline Games. In addition to the Moai platform and community growing by leaps and bounds as we get close to our 1.0 launch, our in-house title Wolf Toss now has over 1 million players and a 4.5 star user review average across Android, iOS, and the Chrome Web Store. As part of the success of Wolf Toss, we want to share our experience from the launch to help other Moai developers. Mike has started a Gamasutra-featured blog series on the topic, and I've just shared some of our top takeaways on MobileDevHQ.  Here's an excerpt of the good stuff from that article: