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Showing posts by David Isbitski

April 06, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week beginning, Monday March 30th on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Tuesday, March 31st       

The Amazon Mobile Ad Network Adds Modeless Interstitial Ads and Expands to Japan

We announced the Amazon Mobile Ad Network now supports the modeless interstitial ad format and the ability to serve ads to users in Japan.

Introducing the Amazon Dash Button and Dash Replenishment Service

We announced the Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) for the new Amazon Dash Button. DRS enables connected devices to order physical goods from Amazon when supplies are running low—like a coffee maker that orders more coffee beans. By using DRS, device makers are able to leverage Amazon's authentication and payment systems, customer service, and fulfillment network—giving their customers access to Amazon's low prices, great selection, and reliable delivery.

Friday, April 3rd

Introduction to JavaScript Part 3: Conditionals

We published the third part in a five part series covering the fundamentals of game programming. This week we covered conditionals in JavaScript and how to use them to add more complex logic into your code.


Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

March 29, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week beginning, Monday March 23rd on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Monday, March 23rd         

Game Startup Workshop Panel: Going to Market

We shared a networking session and panel discussion exploring best practices for publishing and monetizing your finished game.

Tuesday, March 24th

Amazon Fire TV Stick Now Available in the UK, Germany and Austria - Plus New Features For Amazon Fire TV

We announced Fire TV Stick is now available in the UK, Germany and Austria and that all existing Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices will be receiving a free upgrade. Based on customer feedback, this over the air upgrade will include new features such as expandable USB storage, private listening via Bluetooth and support for captive portal web authentication to enable use in hotels.
 

Wednesday, March 25th

Sign up Now for the Amazon Echo Beta SDK

The Amazon Echo team has been working on a public SDK to enable developers, content creators, and service providers to build apps and experiences for Amazon Echo. Starting now, you can sign up for a limited-participation beta ahead of the SDK's public release. 
 

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

March 25, 2015

David Isbitski

Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's always on—just ask for information, music, news, weather, and more. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word. You can pick Alexa or Amazon as your wake word. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound. Tucked under Echo's light ring is an array of seven microphones.

These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction. With enhanced noise cancellation, Echo can hear you ask a question even while it's playing music. Echo uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When Echo detects the wake word, it lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where we leverage the power of Amazon Web Services to recognize and respond to your request. Echo's brain is in the cloud, running on Amazon Web Services so it continually learns and adds more functionality over time. The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.

The Amazon Echo team is working on a public SDK to enable developers, content creators, and service providers to build apps and experiences for Amazon Echo. Starting now, we are accepting signups for a limited-participation beta ahead of the SDK's public release.  If you would like to participate you can sign up here.  Stay tuned to this blog for details on the public SDK release.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

March 23, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week beginning, Monday March 16th on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Tuesday, March 17th        

Sláinte Chugat, St. Patrick!

We shared a collection of St Patrick’s themed apps and games to help you celebrate the holiday with.

Wednesday, March 18th

Introduction to JavaScript Part 2: Objects and Functions

We published the second part in a five part series covering the fundamentals of game programming with an introduction to Objects and Functions.

Thursday, March 19th

The Amazon Appstore Turns 4!

We celebrated the Amazon’s Appstore’s fourth birthday this year with a look back and a free app bundle worth over $105! The Amazon Appstore now offers over 400,000 apps and games across 236 countries and territories running on Amazon Fire devices, BlackBerry and Android tablets and phones.

Friday, March 20th

Watch El Clasico Exclusively on Fire TV in Germany

We announced one of the most-watched football games in the world, El Clasico, would be available exclusively on Amazon Fire TV and the LAOLA1.tv app. The game was also made free to watch for Amazon Appstore customers in both Germany and Austria.

 

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

March 16, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week beginning, Monday March 9th on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Wednesday, March 11th        

Intro to Game Dev - Developer Portal Highlights

We shared a collection of tutorials on creating your first game for the Amazon Appstore and Amazon Fire devices.

Friday, March 13th

Introduction to JavaScript Part 1: Variables & Arrays

Interested in making a game but have limited, or no prior programming experience? We shared the first part in a new five part series covering the fundamentals of game programming, using JavaScript as an example language.
 

 

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

March 10, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week beginning, Monday March 2nd on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Tuesday, March 3rd        

Great Games You May Have Missed

With over 400,000 apps and games in the Amazon Appstore there are plenty of titles to choose from. While at GDC last week we shared some of our favorite games from 2014: hidden gems, blockbuster titles and indie hits. We hope you enjoy playing them as much as we did!

Thursday March 5th

Get Started with the Amazon Mobile Ads API in Your iOS App or Game

In this post, we shared how to integrate Amazon Mobile Ads into your iOS app or game, including where to find the SDK and how to integrate the APIs into your own code.


Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

March 02, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week beginning, Monday February 23rd on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Tuesday, February 24th        

Meet the Amazon Appstore Team at Mobile World Congress

We announced that the Amazon Appstore team will be in Barcelona, Spain from March 2nd to March 5th for Mobile World Congress. If you are in Barcelona for MWC, you can stop by and check out the latest Amazon Fire devices in person.

Wednesday, February 25th

  

Build a Game Challenge with Scirra's Construct 2

We gave an overview of writing games for the Amazon Appstore with Construct 2 along with announcing a new Scirra Game Challenge contest.

Friday, February 27th

App Updates Are Now Easier than Ever

We announced an improved process for updating your app’s binary APK files. Updating one binary used to mean updating all of your app’s binary APK files. Now your binaries can be updated independently meaning you can update binaries just for specific device targets or completely new devices.
 

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

February 23, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week ending February 20th on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Monday, February 16th        

Game Developers Are Streaming on Twitch – Should You?

Twitch is a place for gamers to watch live game streams and interact with other gamers. We have started to see devs use Twitch to reach out to their audience in a new way. We shared some of our current gamedev favorites that you may want to check out.

Tuesday, February 17th

  

Making Games for Amazon Appstore Part 5: Publishing and Marketing Your Game

We posted the final part in an ongoing series around making your fist game for the Amazon Appstore. This week’s article covered tips to increase your in-app purchasing revenue.

Thursday, February 19th

Amazon Announces Talks, a Full Developer Day and Live Twitch Stream at GDC San Francisco

Amazon will be attending GDC San Francisco next month offering several opportunities to connect directly with you. If you’re a gamedev at GDC this will be a great opportunity for you to speak directly with Amazon Appstore, AWS and Twitch experts all in one place.

Amazon Appstore Now Available on BlackBerry 10.3.1

Blackberry announced their 10.3.1 OS update making the Amazon Appstore available on all Android Runtime Blackberry devices that update to 10.3.1.

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

February 19, 2015

David Isbitski

Amazon will be out at GDC San Francisco next month offering several opportunities to connect directly with you. Starting on Monday, March 2nd from 5:05pm to 5:30pm you can hear @MikeFHines talk about What Makes the Top 50 IAP Games Unique on the Amazon Appstore and lessons you can apply when generating revenue in your own games.

Then on Tuesday, March 3rd from 10am to 5:30pm we will be hosting an Amazon Developer Day covering games for Amazon Fire devices, how to build better cloud gaming experiences, reaching fans with Twitch, and applying in-app monetization best practices based on Amazon's IAP data. Technical evangelists from Amazon Appstore and AWS will be on hand to answer your questions as well as the Games Business Development team to discuss game promotion opportunities. We’ll also have devices for you to explore and test your games on, as well as a chance to win some Amazon Fire devices! Here is what the day’s agenda will look like. Click here to add a session to your GDC Scheduler.


An Overview of the Amazon Devices and Services for Game Developers
10am-10:45am

David Isbitski, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
Alf Tan, Head of Games Business Development, Amazon
Vlad Suglobov, CEO, G5 Entertainment

We will start the day off with an overview of Amazon's current developer ecosystem.  Learn how you can take advantage of AWS services specifically targeted for Game Developers, Amazon's Appstore and the new line of consumer Fire devices like Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and Fire tablets, as well as monetization services such as in-app purchasing.  Plus, hear how G5 entertainment has had success on the Amazon platform from G5 CEO Vlad Suglobov.          

Top Tips for Porting Unity Games to Fire Devices
10:45am-11:30am

Jesse Freeman, Developer Evangelist, Amazon  
In this talk, we'll cover important tips for porting Unity games over to Fire TV, Fire tablets and Fire phone. Through code examples, we'll demo how to support multiple resolutions for pixel perfect Orthographic and Perspective Cameras, abstracting player input to support keyboard, controller and touch, and optimization tips for C# for the best performance. We'll also show how to deploy to our devices and get your game up and running on Fire OS. You'll walk away knowing what it takes to publish to the Amazon Appstore and help expand your game's user base.

How to Evolve Players into Fans
11:30am-12:00pm

Peter Heinrich, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
We’ve analyzed the top mobile games to see what best practices make them stand out from the crowd. Several trends emerging now will amplify those best practices, and games will have more opportunity than ever to excel. In the future, the top games will have fully realized fan bases that will drive their user acquisition and engagement engines. That fan base will include players but also content creators, advocates and potential new customers —  this will open up a wider range of monetization options.  Come see how top mobile games drive more engagement and revenue and learn how to you can do this with your own game.

Catered Lunch
12:00-12:30pm

Build and Deploy Your Mobile Game with AWS
12:30pm-1:30pm
Dhruv Thukral, Gaming Solutions Architect, Amazon
Tara Walker, Technical Evangelist, Amazon
Developing a successful mobile game today is about more than just the game:  Users expect backend services like user authentication, downloadable content, and social features. Using our AWS Mobile SDK for iOS and Android, it’s easier than ever to build a game with these services.  This session will provide a step-by-step approach to add features to your game such as user identity management, dynamic content updates, cross-platform data sync, and more.  We’ll demonstrate how to use the AWS Mobile SDK to securely interact with services such as Cognito, DynamoDB, S3, and EC2.  Finally, we’ll provide a few common architecture patterns and scalability tips for AWS game backends.

How We Made a Game No Fun
1:30pm-2:15pm

Mike Hines, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
There are lots of suggestions about how to make a game fun.  Best practices are everywhere, but you can't just follow them blindly.  To create a fun game, you have to figure out how best practices integrate into your specific game.  Come see what we did wrong, and what we learned along the way.       

Connecting with Your Customers - Building Successful Mobile Games through the Power of AWS Analytics
2:30pm-3:30pm

Nate Wiger, Principal Gaming Solutions Architect, Amazon
Free to play is now the standard for mobile and social games.  But succeeding in free-to-play is not easy:  You need in-depth data analytics to gain insight into your players so you can monetize your game.  Learn how to leverage new features of AWS services such as Elastic MapReduce, Amazon S3, Kinesis, and Redshift to build an end-to-end analytics pipeline.  Plus, we’ll show you how to easily integrate analytics with other AWS services in your game.

Deploying a Low-Latency Multiplayer Game Globally: Loadout
3:30pm-4:15pm

Nate Wiger, Principal Gaming Solutions Architect, Amazon
This is a deep-dive straight into the guts of running a low-latency multiplayer game, such as a first-person shooter, on a global scale. We dive into architectures that enable you to split apart your back-end APIs from your game servers, and Auto Scale them independently.  See how to run game servers in multiple AWS regions such as China and Frankfurt, and integrate them with your central game stack.  We’ll even demo this in action, using AWS CloudFormation and Chef to deploy Unreal Engine game servers.

How Game Developers Reach New Customers with Twitch
4:15pm-5:15pm
Marcus Graham, Director of Community & Education at Twitch
Ernest Le, Director Publisher & Developer Partnerships at Twitch

Twitch is the largest live video platform and community for gamers with more than 100 million visitors per month. We want to connect gamers around the world by allowing them to broadcast, watch, and chat from everywhere they play.  In this session, learn game developers are creating engaging experiences and reaching new customers via the Twitch platform.

Mobile Ads Team at GDC

The Mobile Ads Team will be at GDC and has created a special offer just for attendees!

While attending GDC anyone who integrates the Amazon Mobile Ads API for the first time into their app or game will receive a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card.* The Amazon Mobile Ads API is easy to integrate and delivers highly-relevant mobile optimized ads from Amazon and brand advertisers ensuring a great experience for users. Members of the Mobile Ads team will also be on hand in booth #2429 to help you throughout the event.

Amazon Fire TV Twitch Broadcast

Then on Wednesday, March 4th we will be broadcasting live from GDC with a couple of special guests from 4pm to 7pm. The event is open to the public from 4pm to 6pm and you do not need to be a GDC pass holder to attend. Simply stop by the AWS Pop-up Loft on Market Street between 4pm to 6pm PST and join us in person for the Twitch stream.


We will be showcasing several new Amazon Fire TV games as well as interviewing the game developers who created them. Not at GDC? No worries, you will be able to watch the stream live on Twitch here from 4pm to 7pm PST.

If you’re a gamedev at GDC this will be a great opportunity for you to speak directly with Amazon Appstore, AWS and Twitch experts all in one place. Hope to see you there!

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

*Visit exhibit #2429 for more details. Send us an email at amazon-mobile-ads@amazon.com with your Amazon Developer Portal registered email ID to qualify. Existing apps already sending ad requests do not qualify. Existing developers who integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API into another qualified app for the first time are eligible for the offer. One Amazon.com Gift Card per participant while supplies last. Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") may only be redeemed towards the purchase of eligible products on www.amazon.com GCs cannot be reloaded, resold, transferred for value, redeemed for cash or applied to any other account.  Amazon.co.uk is not responsible if a GC is lost, stolen, destroyed or used without permission.  See www.amazon.com/gc-legal for complete terms and conditions. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon may modify or cancel this offer at any time.

 

February 16, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week ending February 13th on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Monday, February 9th        

3 Best Practices for Texture Maps on Fire Tablets

We shared three simple ways you can improve your game’s appearance and performance when texture mapping on Amazon Fire tablets.

Tuesday, February 10th

  

Making Games for Amazon Appstore Part 5: Publishing and Marketing Your Game

We posted the final piece in an ongoing series around making your fist game for the Amazon Appstore. In Part 5 we covered naming your game and how to help it stick out in the crowd.

Winners of the 18th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards from the Amazon Appstore

We congratulated two games from the Amazon Appstore on their big wins at the D.I.C.E. Awards. The D.I.C.E. Awards are the video game industry’s most prestigious honors recognizing outstanding contributions and achievements in gaming.
 

Thursday, February 12th

Too Many Methods: How to Avoid Compile Errors on Submission

We offered suggestions on avoiding Android max method reference errors in your own mobile apps and games.

Friday, February 13th

Crossy Road Comes to Amazon Appstore and We Interviewed Its Creators

Crossy Road is an incredibly popular game that recently launched on the Amazon Appstore. We sat down with the creators and asked them how they created it, what their plans are for the game, and where they see it going next.
 

 

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

February 09, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week ending February 6th on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Monday, February 2nd       

Announcing AWS Mobile SDK for Unity3D Developer Preview

AWS launched an update to the AWS Mobile SDK for Unity developers. This update helps your games handle cloud storage along with identity and user state management directly from within the Unity developer environment.

Tuesday, February 3rd

  

Get Started with the Amazon Mobile Ads API in Your Android Java App or Game

We posted a tutorial on getting started with the Amazon Mobile Ads API in your own Android apps.

Wednesday, February 4th

Part 10: The Top 50 Don't Guess. They Know.

In the final article of an ongoing monetization series, we look at how the Top 50 Games in the Amazon Appstore understand the changing behavior of their players.

Friday, February 6th

Making Games for Amazon Appstore Part 4: Polishing Your Game

We posted part 4 in an ongoing series around making your fist game for the Amazon Appstore. Part 4 covered polishing your game and making sure you put your best foot forward when releasing it.


Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

February 03, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week ending January 30th on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Tuesday, January 27th     

Getting Longer Sessions, Getting More Sessions

In part 9 of our blog series on app monetization, we talk about strategies to increase the number of minutes users spend in each session, while also increasing the number of sessions.

Wednesday, January 28th   

Making Games for the Amazon Appstore Part 3: Creating Artwork & Sounds

In part 3 of our series on how to build your first game, discuss tips for integrating artwork and sounds into your game.

Thursday, January 29th   

Promote Your App to a Global Audience with Localized Screenshots

The Amazon Developer Portal has recently introduced functionality that enables developers to add localized screenshots when targeting different countries.

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

February 02, 2015

David Isbitski

Today’s mobile developer must engage customers with app experiences that run across an array of devices and platforms yet remain responsive and powerful.  The AWS Mobile SDK can help bring the power of the cloud to your apps while enabling you to build high quality mobile apps quickly and easily across multiple platforms including iOS, Android and Fire OS. 

AWS recently launched an update to the AWS Mobile SDK for Unity developers. The developer preview of AWS Mobile SDK for Unity helps your games handle cloud storage along with identity and user state management directly from within the Unity developer environment. The AWS Unity SDK contains a set of .NET classes that enables games written with Unity to utilize AWS services. Supported AWS services currently include: Amazon Cognito, Amazon S3, and Amazon DynamoDB. The AWS Unity SDK also contains sample code that illustrate how to call AWS services from a Unity Game. The AWS Mobile SDK for Unity is compatible with Unity 4.0 and onward, and supports both Free and Pro versions.

My colleague, Mudeem Siddiqui, elaborates more on some of the key benefits here:

Safeguard AWS credentials: When you use Amazon Cognito, your game is provided with temporary, limited-privilege credentials that it can use to access AWS resources. This means your game can access the resources it needs and that you can follow security best practices by not hard-coding credentials.

Store and sync across devices: Amazon Cognito allows you to store user data for your games, such as user preferences and game state, in the Amazon Cognito sync store. You can then sync this data across a user’s devices to help make their experience consistent across their devices. Amazon Cognito can automatically send a silent push notification to a user’s devices when data in the sync store changes so you can synchronize the latest data right away.

Store game assets in the cloud: With Amazon S3, you can store your game’s assets such as images and videos in the cloud and download them at run time. This reduces the size of your game’s binary, thereby avoiding the AppStore Over the Air download limit.

Store game data in a NoSQL database: You can store your game data that is shared across users in Amazon DynamoDB, a NoSQL database that offers high throughput, and low-latency at any scale.  


For more information on the AWS Mobile SDK for Unity check out the following links:

If you haven't registered for an Amazon Appstore account yet, you can create a free developer account here and immediately get started testing your app on Fire devices. For more information about getting started with Amazon Fire devices and the Amazon Appstore, check out the following free resources:

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

 

 

 

January 26, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week ending January 23rd on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.
 

Wednesday, January 21st       

Part 8: Making It Easy to Buy

In part 8 of an ongoing monetization series, we look at how the Top 50 Games in the Amazon Appstore make it easy for their customers to buy.

Games from the Amazon Appstore Nominated for 18th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards

We shared several Amazon Appstore published games who were nominated for the 2015 D.I.C.E. Awards. The D.I.C.E. Awards recognize games, individuals and development teams for their contribution to the entertainment software industry.

Thursday, January 22nd

  

Making Games for Amazon Appstore Part 2 - Game Design 101

We posted part 2 in an ongoing series around making your fist game for the Amazon Appstore. Part 2 covered the basics of game design and how to capture your creative ideas.

 

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

January 19, 2015

David Isbitski

Here is a quick recap of new posts for the week ending January 16th on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog.

Monday, January 12th      

Making Games for the Amazon Appstore Part 1 - Picking a Framework

In part one in a five part series, we cover picking a framework and why you should use one designed specifically for game development.

Tuesday, January 13th

How to Build Fire TV Controller Support Into Your App Using Unity

We shared a free training video that covers building a Unity3D game from scratch for Fire TV including testing your game on a device.

Wednesday, January 14th

  

Part 7: What Do You Put in Your Store?

In part seven of an ongoing monetization series, we look at how the Top 50 Games in the Amazon Appstore decide on what to sell to their customers.

Friday, January 15th

Best of 2014: Publishing Your Android Apps and Games to Amazon Fire Phone

We recapped the top Fire phone posts on the Amazon Apps & Services Blog during 2014 to help get you started with your own games.

 

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

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