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Showing posts tagged with Amazon Fire TV

November 10, 2015

Jesse Freeman

In part two of this multi-part video tutorial series, we’ll go over how to build a simple 2d side scrolling game for the Amazon Fire TV. In the previous videos (part 1) we covered the basics of working with C# and scripts in Unity. In today’s videos we’ll go over how the inspector works, composition & prefabs.

All of these videos are recorded from my Twitch game dev channel which you can watch daily from 9:30am – 12pm EST.

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October 30, 2015

Lauren Stark

In Dev Chat – Short Answers to Big Questions, our new video series of short videos created by Amazon Appstore, developers of successful apps and games answer your questions in less than 90 seconds.

From the Big Screen to the Living Room

In this edition of Dev Chat, Philip Mordecai from Curzon reveals why Amazon Fire TV provided the ideal platform to deliver its premium content into the heart of the living room. Many traditional businesses are launching digital units as they navigate a world where customers are engaging with content in new ways, whether it be online, mobile, or through connected devices in their homes.  Curzon, an 80- year old cinema chain based in the UK is no different.  Since late 2010 the company began operating its video on demand service – Curzon Home Cinema which delivers a highly curated selection of films direct to connected devices. “We tactically chose this route because we believe that consumers want to watch when they want and how they want and that choice should be open in a legal way,” commented Phil Mordecai.

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October 20, 2015

Lauren Stark

In honor of the launch of UKTV Play on Fire TV this week, we invited Oliver Davies, Head of Digital Products for UKTV, to share his team’s experience developing the video on demand app.  UKTV is a multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every month through innovative TV channels such as Dave, Gold and Drama.

Fire TV and the Amazon Ecosystem

We’re all really excited about our video on demand app UKTV Play launching on Amazon Fire TV. It’s a great device that’s easy to use, puts a huge range of content and services at users’ fingertips and retails at a very keen price. I’m sure that it will be a big success and will only enhance our range of apps now and into the future. It’ll also be fascinating to see how the Amazon ecosystem will evolve and how the range of consumer devices will work together to offer an ever more joined up and frictionless experience for users in different environments. I’m particularly interested in the notion of anticipatory design that aim to answer questions users haven’t yet thought of asking, and I’m sure that new ways of interaction with technology exemplified by Amazon Echo will facilitate ever richer experiences for users.

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October 13, 2015

Jesse Freeman

Unboxing new hardware is always exciting. It’s even more special as a gamer and developer to open up the new Fire TV Gaming Edition. Mine arrived last week so I thought I’d take a little time out to show you what you get in the box.

For gamers the Fire TV Gaming Edition is a great value. Not only do you get the latest version of the Fire TV hardware but also our new redesigned controller, a 32 gig micro SD card and two popular games: Disney’s Ducktales and Shovel Knight.

When you open up the box you will see our new Fire TV Game Controller.

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October 07, 2015

Corey Badcock

Publish your first app to the Amazon Appstore between October 1st – November 1st and we'll help you drive installs, monetize, and scale with a Success Bundle worth up to $700 including:

   • $100 Ad Campaign with Advertise Your App

   • Doubled Earnings on up to $500 with the Amazon Mobile Ad Network 

   • $100 in AWS promotional credits

Your Apps & Games on More Devices

The Amazon Appstore is preloaded on Fire devices, Blackberry 10 and millions of other Android devices, including certain HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung phones to name a few, as well as certain Samsung and LG tablets. Fire tablets expand that reach even further - just in time for the holiday season. App purchases typically surge by 50% Thanksgiving week, and 400% during digital weekAnd when customers unbox their new Fire tablet, what’s the first thing they do?  Start downloading apps and games of course! Now is the time to develop a new app or bring your existing Android app to Fire tablets.

Want to Learn More?

Join us for a special webinar on how to make the most of the Amazon Success Bundle:

  • Register for October 14, 2015 at 7:00AM PDT (2:00PM GMT)
  • Register for October 14, 2014 at 1:00PM PDT (8:00PM GMT)


October 02, 2015

Jesse Freeman

This post was originally published by Nate Trost on Gamasutra and republished here with permission.

There are no cave paintings warning of poor arcade conversions to the Atari 2600, but from a historical perspective there might as well be. Platform conversions have existed since the dawn of personal computers and gaming console systems. Whether a popular Apple game ‘ported’ to Atari or Commodore, or an arcade hit translated to the first gaming consoles, conversions have always been a part of the gaming industry. Some things haven’t changed from those early days; good conversions excite and delight players happy to have a popular game available on their chosen hardware. Poor conversions evoke a particular deep brand of distain. Decades later, the Atari 2600 port of Pac Man is still a poster child for the concept of a ‘shoddy port’. Nobody wants one of those!

They are coming to your platform, and they want 60 FPS!

At Trihedron, we have a long and extensive history of platform conversions, so it was an exciting opportunity to partner with Amazon and Yacht Club Games to bring Yacht Club’s critically acclaimed Shovel Knight to the new Amazon Fire TV. In many cases it can be a struggle to create a faithful adaptation of a game on a new system, whether due to technical challenges from hardware limitations or from trying to modernize an older legacy game on a new platform, enhancing without losing the original charm. There are plenty of conversion retrospectives which focus on detailing these issues, and exploring how various knotty problems were overcome. Shovel Knight was not one of those conversions! Instead, we will look at the factors that made Shovel Knight for Amazon Fire TV a relatively smooth conversion and why the desired end result was achieved without fountains of blood, sweat and tears. That Shovel Knight fit nicely on Amazon Fire TV wasn’t a happy accident, but rather a combination of solid technical foundations and being pointed at powerful hardware that fit the envelope of already optimized code.

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September 29, 2015

Rena Watanabe

Supporting the announcement of the new Amazon Fire TV family, Amazon’s App Testing Service (ATS) has been updated to work seamlessly with Fire OS 5 and Fire TV devices. In as little as 90 seconds, you can receive a detailed report of potential issues that could affect compatibility with the Amazon Appstore—including guidance on how to resolve them before publishing. ATS can also run your app on actual Amazon Fire TV devices, providing a comprehensive compatibility report (including screenshots) in as little as 15 minutes.

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September 17, 2015

Jesse Freeman

Last year, Amazon introduced the first Amazon Fire TV, combining voice search that actually works, fast and powerful performance, and an open ecosystem to deliver the easiest way to watch Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO NOW, Hulu, WatchESPN, and more on your big-screen TV. Since launch, Fire TV has become the #1 best-selling Amazon device category, with Fire TV Stick quickly becoming Amazon’s fastest-selling product ever. Today, Amazon is making those best-selling products even better. Introducing the next generation of Amazon Fire TV—the new Amazon Fire TV with support for 4K Ultra HD, and the new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote. The new Amazon Fire TV is available for pre-order today for just $99.99 at, and will start shipping on October 5. Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote is available for pre-order today for $49.99 at, and will start shipping October 22.  Fire TV Stick is also still available for purchase for $39.99 at

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September 15, 2015

Lauren Stark

In Dev Chat – Short Answers to Big Questions, our new video series of short videos created by Amazon Appstore, developers of successful apps and games answer your questions in less than 90 seconds.

In this edition, the people behind Ministry of Sound explain how they leveraged Amazon’s digital and physical distribution opportunities to monetize across business units and provide valuable insights into the process of developing an app for Fire TV.

Ministry of Sound is a global media and entertainment company with an impressive range of interrelated business units. In addition to their famed London club featuring dance and house music, Ministry of Sound combines one of the world’s largest independent labels with a tour and events business, a digital radio and video streaming presence and an apparel business.  Amazon facilitates sales of both physical and digital services for Ministry of Sound, meaning that they can sell physical copies of albums as well as promote their radio app all with one partner. 

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August 17, 2015

Jesse Freeman

Starting today, developers can sign up for the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview for Amazon Fire TV. This preview is designed for developers looking to get their apps and games ready for the next major release of Fire OS for Amazon Fire TV. Fire OS 5 is based on Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and API 22. Since this is a significant upgrade to the existing Fire OS 3 (API 17) for Fire TV, we wanted to make sure that as many developers as possible can sign up for the preview and test their app or game. The key new features for Amazon Fire TV developers in Fire OS 5 are support for Android TV and the v17 Leanback library. If you have an app that supports Android TV or Leanback, those features should work as-is in the Amazon Fire TV developer preview. Here are a few of the other features available in the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview for Amazon Fire TV:

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July 23, 2015

Shaun McInnis

After working on classic Nintendo franchises like Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country, Rhys Lewis made the jump from AAA to indie development earlier this year with the release of Star Drift. Combining slick shooter gameplay with intuitive one-touch controls, Star Drift quickly became a fan favorite when it debuted on iOS in February. Not long after, Lewis brought the game to Fire TV and in the process created a stellar example of how developers can adapt a touch screen game for a big-screen living room experience.

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July 09, 2015

Jesse Freeman

We are excited to announce the new Amazon Fling service. This new service is a cross-platform toolkit that enables mobile developers to build rich multi-screen experiences for Amazon Fire TV. At its core, the Amazon Fling SDK allows sending video, audio and images from iOS and Android mobile apps to Amazon Fire TV. In addition to flinging media content to Amazon Fire TV, developers can also leverage two-way communication between Amazon Fire TV and mobile apps to create engaging second screen experiences.

The new SDK is designed to simplify the process of dealing with underlying network discovery and communication technologies that normally make this type of connection difficult to implement. The SDK offers a standardized way to communicate between your apps over a local network allowing developers to focus on building new and unique user experiences. Even developers who don’t have an existing Amazon Fire TV app can take advantage of the SDK’s media playback capabilities since a default built-in receiver plays these for you automatically. This is one of the quickest ways to leverage the power of our service and the built in functionality of the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick.

What Can You Do With the new SDK?

Out of the box it is straightforward to leverage our new SDK to send URLs of videos, images and audio files to the Amazon Fire TV. This allows you to take media content and easily play them back on the big screen from a mobile app. But flinging media is not all you can do with it. If you dig a little deeper into the SDK you can use mobile devices as a second screen or a companion app to what is running on the Amazon Fire TV. Here are some great examples of how developers are already leveraging the SDK in their own apps:

Red Karaoke uses an iPhone to send audio to their Amazon Fire TV app.

Karaoke Party by Red Karaoke, one of the first karaoke smartphone apps in the market, is leveraging the SDK to display song lyrics and videos on Amazon Fire TV.  Additionally, Red Karaoke uses the SDK to send audio from the microphone on the customer’s device to the TV.  Customers can now have a true Karaoke experience in their living room.

With Fling, Rivet Radio customers get the capability to share music and videos on the largest screen in the house.

Rivet Radio, a digital news radio broadcaster, allows people to listen to news on the TV.   By leveraging Amazon Fire TV’s built in media playback receiver, Rivet Radio lets listeners easily transition between listening on their personal device to sharing content with everyone in the living room.

There are more great apps that use our SDK coming and we are looking forward to seeing what developers come up with.

Updating Your App Using our new SDK

The new SDK is available today with support for iOS, Android and Fire OS. To get started visit the SDK page and download the .zip file. You can also read the getting started documentation, which will walk you through setting up your development environment for Android or iOS, Integrating the SDK into your Android or iOS app and integrating the Amazon Fling SDK into your Amazon Fire TV app.

The SDK supports rich, two-way communications with your Amazon Fire TV app.  You can build custom second screen experiences with the following APIs:

  • Set URL of the media to be rendered: setMediaSource()
  • Get information about the media: getDuration(), getPosition(), isMimeTypeSupported(),getMediaInfo()
  • Control playback: play(), pause(), stop(), seek()
  • Playback status: getStatus(), addStatusListener(), removeStatusListener(), setPositionUpdateInterval()
  • Custom command: sendCommand()

If you don’t have an Amazon Fire TV app, you can use the Amazon Fire TV default media player (already installed). If you’ve created an Amazon Fire TV app already, you can integrate the receiver SDK that will enable people to discover, remotely install (if needed) and control your Amazon Fire TV app while flinging media content to your media player.

Already Have An App that Supports Chromecast?

Our new SDK makes it easy for developers to adapt their existing apps that have Chromecast functionality to fling to Amazon Fire TV.  For more information on how to do this, check out our guides to integrating the SDK with an existing Android Chromecast app or iOS Chromecast app in the developer portal.

Get Started Today

With our new SDK, you can leverage the built in media players to send the content of your app or game directly to Amazon Fire TV. Being a developer for the Amazon Appstore is completely free- sign up today and get started. If you need some more information on building apps and games for Amazon Fire TV, make sure to check out the following links:

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)



Big Buck Bunny is copyright 2008, Blender Foundation / and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, available at  Elephants Dream is copyright 2006, Blender Foundation/ Netherlands Media Art Institute/ and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.5, available at


June 04, 2015

Corey Badcock

In April, Amazon introduced Amazon Fire TV, and it quickly became the most wished for item by Prime members in 2014.  Amazon Fire TV, made it easier for customers to watch Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, and more on their big-screen TV, and brought photos, music, and games to the living room.  In October, we brought the same experience customers love about Amazon Fire TV—ease of use, great performance, and vast selection—to a smaller and even more affordable device - Fire TV Stick, which is the fastest-selling Amazon device ever.

This week, we announced that Amazon Fire TV has the fastest growing selection of any streaming media device. In just the last 3 months, Amazon has added over 600 channels, apps and games to the Amazon Fire TV platform—more than Roku and Apple TV in the same timeframe. Popular new titles include Popcornflix, Funny Or Die, GameFly, Candy Crush Saga, and Fox News. 

For developers, one of the most exciting prospects of publishing your game on Amazon Fire TV is that you can run Android games directly on the TV. If you are already building games for Android, you can use the same codebase you currently have, and make that game playable on Amazon Fire TV.

How to Optimize Your App or Game for Fire TV

While you may be familiar with targeting Android tablets and phones, there are a few things you need to consider for your app to run correctly on Amazon Fire TV.  Below is a quick round-up of some of the great content we’ve created since the device launched to help make the transition easy.

Responsive Game Design: Making Games that Scale Across Desktop, Mobile & TV

Gone are the days where you can make a game and publish it to a single platform and expect to be successful. Like any business that sells consumer products, you need to go where the people are. That means the games you make should run on a multitude of different platforms and accept any number of different input types. With that in mind I have outlined what I call “responsive game design,” which is modeled loosely after some of the core concepts of responsive web design. It’s also a framework that will help you think about enabling your games to scale across multiple platforms.  Click here to learn more.

10 Tips for Remote & Controller

If you’re porting an existing Android app to Fire TV, you have to add support for user input from the Amazon Fire TV remote and maybe the Amazon Fire game controller. Luckily, basic controller support is already built into Android.  You can leverage the Android input device APIs and the game controller API from the Amazon Fire TV SDK to get your game ready to publish in no time. Here are the top ten things you should do in order to get your game ready for Amazon Fire TV customers.

Tips for Getting Your Android Apps Looking Good on Fire TV

While you may be familiar with targeting Android tablets and phones, there are a few things you need to consider for your app to run correctly on Amazon Fire TV. This includes understanding the layout, dimensions and orientation of Amazon Fire TV views, changes to the user experience when interacting with a TV (10’ away on average), UI and navigation patterns, as well as some other TV-specific gotchas such as overscan and color reproduction.  Here are some practical tips to help you get your Android apps looking good on Fire TV.

Building Apps & Casual Games for Fire TV Stick

Fire TV Stick is one of the most affordable devices on the market for creating apps and casual games intended for the big screen. The best part is if you are already building for Android, Fire TV stick is another great platform to help grow your audience.  In this post we cover how to get started, optimizing for Fire TV Stick as well as the hardware/software differences between the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV to help make your apps and games run great on both devices.

Reaching New Android Customers with Xamarin & Amazon Fire TV

Xamarin is a cross platform development environment that leverages the power of the C# programming language and takes full advantage of native hardware acceleration. Xamarin includes a suite of tools that allow you to test, build, and analyze your apps across all of the major mobile platforms. Utilizing Xamarin you can now publish your own apps and games to all Amazon Fire devices. This includes Amazon Fire tablets, Amazon Fire phone, Amazon Fire TV and the recently announced Amazon Fire TV Stick.  Click here to learn how to get your app or game running on Fire TV using Xamarin.

Introducing the Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV

Fire TV and Fire TV Stick both support HTML5 web apps. The Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV is a new open source project intended to help developers get up to speed quickly creating a simple media-oriented app for this exciting new web platform. Features of the project include an example user interface designed for the 10-foot user experience, support for the Fire TV remote control, and sample components to create and customize a media app. You can learn more about the Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV here.


April 29, 2015

Jesse Freeman

We are excited to announce that Amazon Fire TV will now support the use of USB-connected external storage such as flash drives. This will enable customers to expand the built-in storage on the device so that they can install even more apps and games! For developers, this now allows you to specify if your app or game should be installed to the external drive or internally which was originally the default option. This is also a great opportunity for game developers who may have had concerns that their game would be too big for the Fire TV’s built-in 8 gigs of storage.

How to Modify your Android Manifest

Making the switch from storing your App or game to external storage is a simple process that will require a small change to the manifest file. To enable your app to be installed on USB storage, modify your Android manifest (AndroidManifest.xml) to include the installLocation attribute of the <manifest> element:

<manifest xmlns:android=""

android:installLocation="preferExternal" ... >



The value of installLocation must be one of the following three values:




(Recommended for most Apps) Install your App on external USB storage when available.


Fire TV chooses where to install your App.


(For Apps that play DRM-protected media) Install your App on internal device storage.

 If you are using a 3rd party framework or IDE, check with their documentation on how to enable this. In Unity for example, you can change this in the publishing settings when you have Android selected as the target platform.

While we strongly suggest enabling this behavior for most games, be aware that Apps, which play DRM-protected media, should use the ‘internalOnly’ flag, to maintain stability if USB storage becomes unavailable while your App is running. Also, you’ll need to decide if you are going to give you App or game write access to internal or external storage.

A New Interface for External USB Storage

The Fire TV platform will provide the user interface to manage USB storage, to fail gracefully if that storage is disconnected or becomes unavailable, and to enable the user to manage the space on both device and USB storage. Please note that external USB storage is not available for Fire TV Stick.

Ready to Publish Your App or Game to Fire TV?

Check out the following links below to learn more:

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)


April 22, 2015

David Isbitski

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers providing a place for the industry to collaborate, network and share best practices for creating compelling game experiences. This year Amazon hosted a full Developer Day with sessions that covered building Android games for our full line of devices, Amazon Echo, Fire Tablets, Fire TV and Fire Phone, how to build better cloud gaming experiences, reaching fans with Twitch, and applying in-app monetization best practices based on Amazon's IAP data.

These sessions were previously only available to GDC attendees, and we’re excited to announce that we’ve made all of the Amazon GDC Developer Day sessions freely available online. Enjoy!

An Overview of the Amazon Devices and Services for Game Developers
David Isbitski, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
Alf Tan, Head of Games Business Development, Amazon
Vlad Suglobov, CEO, G5 Entertainment

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 Echo, 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
Jesse Freeman, Developer Evangelist, Amazon   
In this talk, we 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
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.  Hear more about how top mobile games drive greater engagement and revenue and learn how to you can do this with your own game.

Build and Deploy Your Mobile Game with AWS
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
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.  Watch 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
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
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
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 how game developers are creating engaging experiences and reaching new customers via the Twitch platform.

Amazon Fire TV Games on Twitch

Garnett Lee and Tyler Cooper hosted a steam during GDC this year on Twitch. The guys were joined by representatives from 2K games for XCOM: Enemy Within, Tellate for Game of Thrones, Ep. 2, Tripwire for Killing Floor Calamity and ended the night with Hipster Whale and a Crossy Road competition! If you are a gamer interested in seeing first-hand what the current batch of Android games looks like on the big screen be sure check out the stream here

Ready to Submit Your App or Game?

For more information about getting started with the Amazon Appstore, Amazon Fire devices, or how to submit your game check out the following additional resources:

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)


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