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Superapp Game

Felipe Andrade
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 5
Hi Carol and Andrew, what do you suggest to be superapp game characteristics?

What native APIs we can use and what devices to target with these APIs?

Thanks in advance.
Felipe Andrade
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31079
    
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Felipe,
Welcome to JavaRanch!

Is Superapp the name of a game or is it like a "killer app" thing?


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Felipe Andrade
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 5
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Felipe,
Welcome to JavaRanch!

Is Superapp the name of a game or is it like a "killer app" thing?


Hi Jeanne, you can find more about blackyberry super apps at thedevblog and BB developers page. I would like to know use cases where it applies to my games on blackberry devices.
Carol Hamer
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 26
Those superapp links are quite interesting -- they do a good job of pointing out some of the special advantages of BlackBerry. In the same way most of the 'superapp" features are about integrating your BlackBerry with your messages and other online activities, a "superapp" game would likely be integrated with games you play online. For example, a lot of games don't need to run in the background and receive notifications from the Internet, but there are definitely gaming applications for that. If you're playing a MMORG where there's stuff going on the the game universe all the time, you might want your BlackBerry to be notified, if, say, enemies are approaching.

One advantage that BlackBerry has over some other platforms is the server-side API that allows you to push messages to you app. This is great for a multi-player game because the client app doesn't need to poll for updates. You can have the game running in the background, and if something happens in the game universe, you can have your game notify the user with a subtle icon on the home screen (or even have it do something less subtle). Another advantage is that your game can check if the device is currently connected by WIFI (generally much cheaper for data download), and can download game data in the background for later use. Also, as Andrew showed in Chapter 11, you can integrate with the smartphone's GPS and maps to do a real-life chase game.

BlackBerry gives your app a surprising amount of access to the user's home screen, messages, personal data, etc. Beware, of course, that while this may help you make an app the user loves, there's also tremendous potential to create an app that makes the user very angry (especially: wasting the battery, wasting memory, too many intrusive alerts, downloading too much data, misusing the user's personal info, etc.).


Learn BlackBerry Games Development
Felipe Andrade
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 5
Carol Hamer wrote:Those superapp links are quite interesting -- they do a good job of pointing out some of the special advantages of BlackBerry. In the same way most of the 'superapp" features are about integrating your BlackBerry with your messages and other online activities, a "superapp" game would likely be integrated with games you play online. For example, a lot of games don't need to run in the background and receive notifications from the Internet, but there are definitely gaming applications for that. If you're playing a MMORG where there's stuff going on the the game universe all the time, you might want your BlackBerry to be notified, if, say, enemies are approaching.

One advantage that BlackBerry has over some other platforms is the server-side API that allows you to push messages to you app. This is great for a multi-player game because the client app doesn't need to poll for updates. You can have the game running in the background, and if something happens in the game universe, you can have your game notify the user with a subtle icon on the home screen (or even have it do something less subtle). Another advantage is that your game can check if the device is currently connected by WIFI (generally much cheaper for data download), and can download game data in the background for later use. Also, as Andrew showed in Chapter 11, you can integrate with the smartphone's GPS and maps to do a real-life chase game.

BlackBerry gives your app a surprising amount of access to the user's home screen, messages, personal data, etc. Beware, of course, that while this may help you make an app the user loves, there's also tremendous potential to create an app that makes the user very angry (especially: wasting the battery, wasting memory, too many intrusive alerts, downloading too much data, misusing the user's personal info, etc.).


Hi Carol, thanks for your quick response. I've few more questions to you.

- What are the main advantages of Blackberry push messages over the iPhone push notification API? What devices support it?
- How can we use in-app purchase in Blackberry games?

Regards.
Felipe Andrade
Carol Hamer
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 26
Felipe Andrade wrote:- What are the main advantages of Blackberry push messages over the iPhone push notification API? What devices support it?

Actually, I'm not that familiar with the iPhone push notification, so I don't really know how they compare. One of BlackBerry's advantages has traditionally been that they provide a server-side API and a dedicated network for BlackBerry. iPhone may have decided to do something similar.

Felipe Andrade wrote:- How can we use in-app purchase in Blackberry games?

If your billing model is to distribute the game freely and then have the user purchase the complete use of it (try-and-buy), BlackBerry App World has infrastructure to help you distribute license keys. You can send a batch of valid keys to BlackBerry App World, or you can implement a license server that BlackBerry App World can contact. For that, they handle the billing, and they send your server identifying user credentials (such as the PIN of the smartphone) so you can return the corresponding valid license key for BlackBerry App World to give to the user. You have to implement the part in the application that validates the license key and unlocks the complete version of the game yourself. However, BlackBerry gives you a lot of options such as built-in cryptography APIs and the option of writing data to the SIM card.

If your game sells anything else (eg. unlocking levels or special items, etc.), you have to implement the billing yourself. And, in that case, if you distribute your game on BlackBerry App World, you'll need to discuss with RIM how you will pay them a share of the earnings.
Felipe Andrade
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 5
Carol Hamer wrote:
If your game sells anything else (eg. unlocking levels or special items, etc.), you have to implement the billing yourself. And, in that case, if you distribute your game on BlackBerry App World, you'll need to discuss with RIM how you will pay them a share of the earnings.


sorry, what do you mean when you talk that we have to implement the billing... Is there an App World API to help developers get payments directly from the app?
Carol Hamer
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 26
Felipe Andrade wrote:sorry, what do you mean when you talk that we have to implement the billing... Is there an App World API to help developers get payments directly from the app?


I haven't seen one. If you want to sell the app or the license keys through BlackBerry App World, then BB App World will handle the billing. On the application itself (as far as I know) they don't have an API to help you with automatic billing. But you have standard options like SMS, plus it's not hard to integrate with a browser and redirect the user to PayPal, etc.
Felipe Andrade
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 5
Thanks for the quick reply!
Carol Hamer
author
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 26
BTW, I say "as far as I know" because I haven't gone over all of the specs for the new version (6.0) yet. Logically they ought to provide an API to allow you to securely connect to BlackBerry App World and bill the user's account (showing the appropriate warning message to the user). If they haven't implemented such a thing yet, they should.
 
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subject: Superapp Game