Sunday 25 September 2011

Android Developers

It's tough being a developer.Pioneering new ways of doing things and trying to make alittle money to tide you over until the big project takes off. Gametrender tries to take the strain off of you by providing our marketing and translation services and we've always got our ear to the ground when it comes for other resources for developers. With that in mind I'd like to introduce 'Gto's Developers' Cave'.

Started by community lauded developer Damian Gto the website is a powerful and large forum for Android Developers. The community is vibrant and learned and very active in support of all the work that is going on. I highly recommend having a look if you're a developer.

Gto's Developer's Cave

Saturday 24 September 2011

Funding for Apps

It's fun and creative making apps, but let's face it a big reason that you all do it is to make the money.
Gametrender is always on the look out to find you new and better ways to get your apps to market and one of the best ways that we've come across in a while is Appbackr.

Using the power of the masses the basic concept is that people invest money at a wholesale price in your app, when the app get's to market the backers get a certain percentage of the profits. Looking into it the highest backed amount I've seen is 20 Thousand dollars raised so far for the port to Android of the popular iPhone game  Medieval.

The company is well worth looking into if you're trying to raise money or if you want to be a micro investor in apps.

Android Tablets vs iPad

Tablets are nothing new but a burgeoning area of applications is tablet optimized apps. The big question on everybody's lips though is whether to go for an Android tablet such as the Samsung galaxy Tab, or the iconic forerunner-the iPad 2.
In the end it really depends whether you're an Android or iOS fan. Both of the so-called top tablets offer very similar functionality but the operating systems are what makes or breaks them for consumers: The slickness of iOS or the customisability of Android.

Here to help you with your choices is our new partner, Uk based 'D-Shop'.

Stay tuned for product reviews from themselves and the latest tablet optimized apps reviews from ourselves.

Thursday 22 September 2011

App Store Alternative

Gametrender is always looking for new, better and more ways to get the best apps into the hands of all eager app users out there:So we are proud to announce I our app store is now up and running. Android market and the Apple App store are great but so many apps are drowned beneath the multitudes that alternatives like are needed to let all apps that might elude you have their time in the limelight. We are just getting started so things are a little rough and ready. Developers contact us if you want to be hosted, gamers pay us a little visit and bookmark us for the future when we get the store open properly.

Friday 16 September 2011

Developer Competition

Our app marketing service is starting to become very popular, with some developers noticing a definite increase in downloads. And that's not to mention our other popular services of app language optimisation and translation.
Our website continues to grow too with the five thousand mark just around the corner.
So here's the contest: when Gametrender reaches its five thousandth reader we will pick one lucky winner from the hat(the draw will be recorded on Youtube) to receive one of the free Gametrender services: app marketing, translation or dialogue optimisation.
The small print: you have to be a blog follower/member to win. It's free to join (see that little button on the right hand side?)  so start following and GOOD LUCK! App Developer Contest

Nintendo versus Android

About five months ago I finally took the mobile phone contact plunge and took a phone on contract. It was not just any phone though, but the much applauded Xperia Play. The first official Playstation Phone has lived up to its hype, the exclusive, at least for a time, games have come thick and fast including Backstab and Minecraft  optimised for the Xperia Play. Developers have lived up to their promises with major players like Gameloft and EA sending quality titles the Xperia Play way.
The Play is also more importantly not just the first Official Playstation phone but also an Android phone so benefits from the fantastic customisable operating system and the superb Android market. That is why the Nintendo 3Ds that I bought just a week prior to the phone arriving has subsequently been sold. Good and unique as the 3DS is I just don't have time in my life for two gaming platforms and the Xperia Play with its Android market access and continuous presence in my pocket (it is a phone after all!) makes it a winner all round.

Thursday 15 September 2011

App gaming goes to the Movies

Ever since the first pixel ponged off of a virtual bat and the first time an invader entered our space, video games have been founded on the twin pillars of fun and technology. Gamings swift rise in the use of technology is remarkable and very similar, but much swifter then the early days of film.
Movies over a series of decades progressed from black and white silent film, to many tens of years later soundtracked colour films and eventually the third dimension as we have it today.
Video games quickly rose from black and white symbolic graphics to the almost photo quality, three dimensionally capable, gesture controlled, triple aaa soundtracked, hundreds of million selling franchises that we have now.
But for both forms of entertainment we seem to have a new is better attitude. A new game or movie will come out and all the hype, hyperbole and excitement surrounding it will push thoughts of other old games out of our heads.
In the movie industry, whilst not desirable, it is not damaging to the industry. The reason why is that in the course of a year an unfeasibly large amount of blockbuster movies aren't released. There are enough released that they can co exist quite contentedly together. If a patron wants to watch all of a seasons top movies then it is quite possible that they can. It is also quite feasible that older but no less brilliant movies like Star Wars and The Godfather et al can also exist and be viewed alongside the latest blockbusters as the weight of their names has enshrined them in the public consciousness, to such an extent that even though they are made with outmoded technology and techniques they are still very much enjoyed by viewers today.
Video games however have the problem that sometimes the technology of bygone years is so far removed from todays that it would be very hard to enjoy a relatively old game. Just as it would be unlikely for a modern person to watch a circa 1900 silent movie, so would it be unlikely that a gamer would enjoy a game of Pong other than out of curiosity.
Gaming still needs to mature its technologies to the point, at least from a graphical perspective, that a game created today could still be enjoyed in fifty years time and not be absolutely cringeworthy and embarrassing to play. Just as a game of chess by its very nature is not technologically dependent, this is the position that gaming needs to be in.
However when it comes to mobile gaming there is another hurdle to games enshrining themselves in our consciousness as evergreen heroes, aside from monoliths like Angry Birds. That hurdle is both Android and I phones strength and Achilles Heel. As mentioned previously in any one year it is fully possible for a film buff to enjoy all the big releases. However with smartphone gaming there are so many big releases that it would be almost impossible for a gamer to keep up with them all
So whilst gamings rise can be correlated to that of movies from a technological and state of the industry perspective we still have a long way to go.

Sunday 11 September 2011

App of the week: 'Stardust' -inspired by Nasa

If you're going to do something then do it well. Or in the case of Damian Gto's  " Stardust": Superbly!

Here's your checklist: Do you love games? Do you love games that challenge and yet relax you at the same time? Do you love brilliant graphics and great sound? and some optional checks: Do you like Mars? Does Space interest you? And what about the great work NASA does?

Well check one , more or all of the above and Stardust might just be on your game wish list. Inspired by NASA's Mar's exploration Stardust takes the simple premise of an image matching game and does it with such panache; style and love that the game shines out from its peers.

Does it actually have any peers? Well, yes if you're looking for a card matching game. A very resounding no if you're looking for a card matching game with great playability that uses actual images taken from Mars as its card set.

Space is out there-Stardust is a lot closer and just a download away on the Android Market.

Naming Apps WYSIWYG

Have you ever wondered where these app get their names from?The Android Market and rivals are inundated with apps so it's interesting to see some of the marketing strategies that are coming out from app developers in a very congested market. Of course major app developers always have a trick or two up their sleeve and Sony has come up with an Ace of Spades by quite simply naming one of their new apps with a foolproof name that does exactly what it says on the packaging Video Trimmer. What does the app do, trim videos of course! The Video Trimming app has many rave reviews and is well worth checking out.
Superb marketing by Sony, wysiwyg(what you see is what you get) is strangely enough a concept not properly explored in the App Development game as developers try more and more outlandish names to make their creations stand out. Leave it to an old grandmaster like Sony to make back to basics fashionable again. As for the app in question, its simple and trimmed and the high quality you could expect from Sony.

Expected app features

App gaming is a very luxurious hobby with us lucky spoiled gamers wanting even expecting certain sets of features. So what sort of features do we want, is there an expected feature set and do these features actually help to sell apps?

Of increasing popularity in recent times are services like Openfeint providing online leaderboards and friend matching for online games. Services like this make it easy to share, play and compete in games.
Other features can range from the simple, such as a dedicated pause button, to more traditional gaming features such as multiple difficulties.

Many of the top mobile apps are very savvy to the worth of a good feature set, such as multiple tracks in racers or different character wardrobes, both of which amongst others can be used to perform micro transactions and gain money for the developer.

It is interesting to see the direction that some developers are taking app features. Increasingly those already mentioned such as leaderboards are becoming mundane and the best developers are integrating dedicated phone features into increasingly varied uses, such as the use of GPS for location based gaming.
It seems that the more features we have the more we want, and
as long as the developers keep producing the goods we'll keep on being astounded by our phones.

Saturday 10 September 2011

Travel Friendly Apps

Being a frequent traveller I often have the dubious pleasure of whiling away time at the airport duty free ( five hour plane delay! Thanks Easyjet!) As a general moan duty free is not what it once was as homegrown shops now seem to be much more competitive.Anyway not to digress, this isn't a travel blog after all, but I've kicked off the post talking about Airport shopping as there is one particular product on shop shelves that should be of particular interest to App Developers as a source of revenue : The ubiquitous travel games.

Coming in at an average price of about seven English Pounds they can be found all over the airports, I assume they exist elsewhere but here is where they are at their most noticable. Monopoly; Ludo; Draughts;Backgammon etc. They're a good idea and should be having probably existed as long as long haul flights have, but as a technocrat I firmly believe that now is the time to move on.
Let's face it you're probably only going to use it once and then lose the pieces, also why pay such an exorbitant rate if you can get a smartphone app that can do the same. And of course if you're lucky enough to have a tablet then the large format will be even more enjoyable.
It's not just the cost saving and longevity that would make a travel app better then the physical game but all the extras that can be added: leaderboards; high score tables; a list of your destinations and winners of games for previous journeys-the list is endless.
So frequent flyers say no to airport shops-your phone is the future so use it!
Best Ludo game .
Great Travel Hangman Game-Who needs paper?

App Developer Contest

Just a post for our developer friends out there. If you fancy your chances and want to get competitive than give this a go :

If you're a developer finding this contest from my link then write back and let us know how you got on. Remember that we're still needing developers to add their details and credentials to our database.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Google Offers on Android Market, when?

As a frequent researcher of Android related apps and technology I'm often on the net looking for inspiration for articles. It's an onerous task but frequently rewarded with many interesting tidbits-things we should really know as technocrats but which slip beneath our radar. Whenever Google does something we should be all over it- especially something as phenomenal as Google Offers, in a nutshell Google has now taken the torch on from Groupon and is attempting to do the same thing that Groupon has succesfully accomplished-ie give offers out to consumers. Perhaps with their enormous power Google will provide an even better service. The catch being that as far as my research indicates Google Offers has only rollled out in the  USA so far , so let's hope that it becomes global sooner rather than later.

This article ,however, is not about the new Google service( a more in depth analysis can be found at ), what this article is actually thrusting towards is what Google Offers could actually be, harnessed to the power of the Android market.

Push notifications and location based offers become a big game winner for such a service when leashed to an always on smartphone. So whilst the rest of the world waits with bated breath to see when Google Offers will get to their doorsteps now is the time for enterprising developers to start making the apps that will become the authoritative application to use when the service is rolled out. So early adaptor developers get busy: A huge opportunity is just on the horizon.

android games

The new fourth estate: Android App Journalism

Where to get a job as a game reviewer?Luckily for us Gametrender is not a traditional app reviewing or game reviewing website as these are as prevalent as rain  in a thunderstorm on the net. However between our general analysis of the state of smartphone gaming and plugging our various services we do occasionally venture into pure reviewing and it' s interesting to see how app  game developers different personalities affect the way they treat with you,for example Orangepixel self professed lovers  of games and responsible for some of the best retro inspired app games , such as Super Drill Panic, are brilliant to work with,  some other companies not so much. We wait with interest to see how the new breed of online journalists take on this task.Reviewing Iphone and Android apps is never easy as there are so many quality apps out there. Here's a superb commentary I found whilst researching this article:
android games

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Global Android App Phenomenon

Pseuds bandy about the fact that we are a global village, connected by the information superhighway an event in a far away land that our ancestors would never have believed existed can affect us right in our own homes. Hence Hurricane Irene becomes akin to a global blockbuster movie with people on the edge of their seat wondering what will happen next, the credit crunch drives up the price of bananas in Sierra Leone, and the destruction of a large twin building changes the whole world forever. What else unites the world, technology of course, and nothing more so than mobile phones. From Bombay to New York , Iphone and Android phones are immensely popular, as well as the phones the apps and games for smartphones are universal in their popularity.
So is gaming a social , world encompassing phenomenon, it will be interesting for readers in technologically poor countries or travellers to those countries to write comments on this post. But speaking for connected countries the moment I realised that Angry Birds had upgraded itself from a smartphone app sensation to a phenomenon was when I worked into a small food supermarket in the small Israeli town of Haifa and saw an Angry Birds magazine. In Hebrew!

android games

Vodafone App Developer Contest

Vodafone is a giant in the mobile communication industry and is starting to throw it's substantial weight behind app developers. Browsing the net for developer resources I came across their competition that they are running

For all app developers interested I believe that the gist of it is to create an app that will help 'phones be more accessible to the elderly and handicapped people. So a chance to develop apps, which is what we do best anyway, make some serious cash, and help disadvantaged people. Definitely an opportunity not to be missed.

android games

Mobile Genres : Endless Running

Depending on a platforms capabilities there have always been certain genres associated with different platforms. The Nintendo Wii for example will always be associated with motion control games, normally of a childlike persuasion. Pc games will always be known predominantly for RTS and other mouse friendly games.
Touchscreen mobiles in the relatively short time they have been around have carved out a surprisingly large amount of genre niches. That is not to say that these types of games only exist on this platform but it would be hard to argue that touchscreens aren't the best suited for them.
This article is another one of our series articles in which Gametrender will discuss some of Smartphonings favourite genres. The one that is up on the podium this week is 'Endless Running'
A very reviewer friendly genre as it does exactly what it says. The character normally runs from left to right with inputs from the player normally limited to single finger jabs usually associated with an action like jumping. Scores are normally totted up by how far the character runs and the challenge is tempted up by adding obstacles along the way.
So far so simple, so you'll be asking what's good about it and why should you play it. I've chosen a brilliant endless runner called DIVERSION   as an example to show exactly how good a polished version of this genre can be.
Diversion is by far the best endless runner I've played. At first appearances it's apparent how much effort has gone into the game. The graphics are superbly rendered in 3d being easily on par with a mid generation Playstation One game. The music is all jingly and bouncy filled with adrenalin and hinting at the potential for manic kinetic energy.
The avatar you play with has a lot of personality. A female protagonist has been chosen perhaps in a cursory head nod to the legendary Mirrors Edge. The avatar its imbued with personality , and adding to the games sense of polish and fun is upgradeable. With lots of different outfits waiting to be bought or unlocked. Not only that but part of the fun is that each outfit bestows different skills which it is up to the player to find out.
On to the game itself, firstly it must be pointed out that it has lots and lots of levels, hence a lot of longevity.
Of course it wouldn't be up to much good if the levels lacked variety, but variety they do have in bucketloads-floating minse,slides,jumps,warps,ziplines to name a few. Timing is crucial on each of these as you attempt to get the highest score.
Diversion-Superb Endless Runner
And just when you thought that they couldn't possibly lavish any more love on this game then up they come with... Boss Battles! Very Impressive stuff and certainly a great poster child for app gamings beloved Endless Runner genre. 
android games

If you like this then read our follow up post

Monday 5 September 2011

App to English:Optimising Android apps language

As promised here's the update on our latest marketing drive. If you recall we were offering to 'optimise the language' of apps that were translated badly from a foreign language into English. Our first client was . With over 14 games on the Android market he wasn't doing too badly for himself. However doing my research he stood out like a sore thumb because of how badly his app descriptions were worded.:
 ''Original Description:
Try new gameplay in match3 style game. Beat highscores.
Train your logical thinking in a new fascinating game. Its something between match3 game and puzzle game. Slide gem on another gem of the same type to create new supertype. Two or more neighbouring gems of the same supertype (depending on level) would be removed.
Challenge other gamers in pursuit of highscore.
In case of any issues, please, mail to''
As you can see first impressions would show that he seriously needed to get some professional help. So help we did:
''Try this new and fascinating 'Match3' style game. Compete at your best and you might just beat the highscores. Maybe!
If you're a logical thinker you can only get better with this app, if you're not then what better way to get that brain training? In a unique fusion of a 'Match 3' and puzzle game this will draw you in as you frantically smash those gems together to get the elusive supertypes. As the levels progress the supertypes smash together and get erased gaining you a higher score and a shot at the leaderboards.

In case you have any issues please mail:''
Over the next few weeks I'll be mailing him and others back to see if the language fixes helped them at all. From my side of things the campaign had got off to a roaring start with now an official partner of Kidga games and linked in his apps.

A Kidga game.
This is one of Kidga games many games that I've helped to optimise.

Old skool not cool: Android Gamings homage to the past.

Old Skool
If youre a gamer of a certain age then its inevitable that at one stage you definitely chucked away the gdp of a small African country on coinops in the arcades. Well now thanks to the marvel of  the internet and throw away app gaming we can get back to the sordid past of impossible  levels, ridiculous learning curves and pixelated graphics. Now the problem with nostalgia is that its often very wrong, we only tend to remember the positive. Thats why I’m loving “Meganoid” great reviews from lots of websites made me give this platformer a go. Five minutes and numerous spike and fall related deaths later made me glad to be in 2011, for me any way old school gaming nowadays just seems far too frustrating! Moores law says that computing capacity will double every few years, well Gametrender's  law says that 5 minutes of game time now should be twice as fun as it was ten years ago.Progress please! Whats  your thoughts: Old skool to the back of the class or still top marks?

When will we know? App gaming's coming of age

Being a long time gamer I remember quite a few stand out moments of my gaming career, those beautiful awe inspiring jaw dropping feel good moments that make being a gamer worthwhile. My list probably differs a lot as everyones would. Metal gear solid on playstation was superb , the cinematic beginning just immersing you so much in a time when cinematics where just taking off. Final Fantasy VIII had a gear start too with the hero and the villain squaring off in a brilliant sword fight. When Resident Evil was still fresh and full of tricks I was shamefully one of those who jumped as the zombie dogs sprang through the  window. Well I could carry on the whole day about these stand out moments but , and heres the point, I haven’t yet had one of those moments with mobile gaming. Whys that low production values? Not enough time investment to become involved? Well whatever the reason I think that when we start to have these standout moments thats when we know mobile gaming will have come of age.

Build it and they Will come! App Translation

Initial uptake after my marketing email was very good indeed with about three developers contacting me for work straight away and some for future work.
Another new client was Central Bytes  . At this stage I was about to turn from a fixer of descriptions into a scriptwriter(almost)
We are very interested in your proposition.
We can provide link to your website in credits window inside game.
I am attaching 2 files to this email: game description and app dialogue.
Thanks a lot!
I'd like to say that I did a good job on the games improved English description
But the real work was only starting! The developer had also emailed me his APK file which I had to go through with a fine tooth comb and change his awful English into something at least vaguely understandable! All I can say is thank goodness it wasn't a RPG, as it ended up being a very late night indeed for what was probably only about a thousand words of dialogue!

<a href="" rel="tag"><img style="border:0;vertical-align:middle;margin-left:.4em" src="" alt=" " />android</a>

Expanding into Android App development

So marketing campaign firmly underway we were quite happy bimbling along and re-translating the occasional app on the market and had just finished another optimisation for a client called when he emailed back with an interesting proposition: ''I had an idea here. I got the hangman application which was made ​​entirely in Portuguese. I need to translate it to english, but i don't know what words are easy and hard. So i need to help with that. I have de source code of game all done, beucase i did it in portuguese. So i need only the translated words. I don't know if a english hangman application will be good sold at android market, but if you want to translate that for me''
(Please note his use of English and you will see why I thought he'd be the ideal client!)
And so with that simple email I was started on the road that would eventually lead to being a partnered publisher on the Android market itself!

Sunday 4 September 2011

Android Games on holiday

Mobilephones have in recent times joined the staples of a man's pocket, adding to the dynamic duo of keys and wallet most people wouldn't consider leaving the door without their mobile phones also.
These miniature computers,thanks to app access now have virtually unlimited uses: communication device,gps,alarm,camera,watch being among some of the most basic functions that we can enjoy. However there are some hard engineering facts that stop us using them to their full potential: they're just too damned easy to break!

Engineers have done a superb job in recent use in making mobile components faster,cheaper,more reliable and ever more powerful, however there is a pressing need to make them much stronger. Recently on holiday I was spending a lot of time poolside and down the beach. I'd unconveniently forgotten my camera at home, but whereas my mobile normally quite easily fills that gap I was reluctant to expose it to the sand and heat of the beach. Swimming laps in the pool I thought to myself that my experience would be enhanced if I was able to time my laps using the phone or listen to music. With its built in accelorometer it would have also been great to have an app that could analyse my swimming stroke and give me advice. That app sadly will not be invented for the forseeable future as phones are not pool friendly. Even sat relaxing around poolside I was reduced to reading a Kindle as in direct sunlight my xPeria Play's screen was just too hard to see.

Again on a bicycle tour down the Majorcan coast I was reluctant to bring the phone for fear of knocking it, on another note functions such as Google Goggles and Google Maps would have made the bike trip more enjoyable, but international internet access rates are far too steep to to be using the bandwidth for such activities.

Motorola Defy:A step in the right direction
So engineers you've created for us in the form of these great Modern Android Phones and other smartphones a new exciting generation of device, but it's akin to having a Ferrari supercar and only being able to drive it on sunny days on flat roads. There is a lot of potential being left untapped.<a href="" rel="tag"><img style="border:0;vertical-align:middle;margin-left:.4em" src="" alt=" " />android</a>

Saturday 3 September 2011

From humble beginnings: Traditional gaming inspiring app gaming

Android gaming and smartphone gaming is arguably one of the most cutting edge fields in entertainment today, a developer has the ability to virtually create a game within a few hours, the tools and technology that developers and gamers have access evolve at a phenomenal rate. And more importantly unlike traditional gaming industries the Android market has a massive amount of freeware resource tools to draw on. But there is one issue that no amount of cutting edge tools can solve: that of creativity. The ideas of game designers must come from somewhere, recent games I've played give a very strong case for traditional non technological games being a very good source of inspiration.
  Pocket  Soccer by Rastergrid Entertainment especially got me thinking about this issue. The game it must be said is very good, with a slick presentation, three difficulty levels, lots of playability and polish. Of note was the way the game was played, on a simple playing field players take it in turn to push one of the players represented by a disc with the teams flag on it, to score goals. The influences are two fold with traditional football being a clear influence, flick football being another and interestingly enough the Rts staple of turn based games. Arguably without the developer drawing on these influences, whether consciously or not, the game of  Pocket Soccer would not exist.
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Thursday 1 September 2011

Expanding the Android market in China and beyond

It's a well known and much lauded fact that the Android market is undergoing a huge expansion and will soon overtake the app store in terms of sheer content. However like much of the world there remains a terrible gap, that of language. For true global dominance it will be necessary for both google and apple to expand heavily into largely language barred areas like China and India.
Through our prolific following Gametrender wants to ease the way by helping to get developers apps translated into foreign tongues. We've initially made contact with interested parties in China who will help us to get this underway.
So true global dominance awaits for the app developer cunning enough to use our service.
Quality apps for all, not just the English speaking elite!