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over 7 years ago

Marmalade’s take on developing for Lenovo devices

We’re about a month into the competition, and you’re probably still familiarizing yourself the multi-touch, multi-user development tools and brainstorming potential app ideas. We thought it might help to give you some insight into how one of the major players in the game development space, Marmalade, designs for the Lenovo platform.

Mike Willis, head of studio at Marmalade Games in London, makes a few great points about the advantages and challenges of developing apps for the YOGA Home series of PCs and tablets. Marmalade is currently using Lenovo devices and multi-user, multi-technology (MUMT) to transform traditional board games such as RISK and Scrabble into interactive gaming experiences.

Here are some key things to consider, according to Willis:

  • Create a more social experience. “Normally, we’d design mobile games where you’d think about an asynchronous single-player, multi-player experience. Designing with the multi-touch feature was very different. The opportunity with these games was huge: we were re-creating that board game feeling where you’re all sitting around having a much more social experience.”
  • Take advantage of the large screen size. “It is important to make sure you are designing to take advantage of that big screen. If you are coming from mobile and are expecting games to be presented on a 4x9 screen, then you have to blow it up to the size of some of these new devices. You need to make sure your assets can handle that and your rendering systems will be able to recognize the frame rate.”
  • Let the main player stay in control. “Obviously when you have four players around a huge device, and you are all trying to play, you constantly have to try to make sure that the person who is actually playing feels like they are in control and the people around them don’t get too disoriented.”
  • Take context into account. “There is a secret element in the Scrabble tile rack so we had a challenge as to how to communicate that experience to make sure people were not cheating and they were able to play the game as effectively they would normally would. So, we created some companion apps for Scrabble people could download and then connect their mobile device to the main device and have a secret view of the game as well.”

Read the full interview with Mike Willis on Lenovo’s blog.

One more thing — we’ve got a new, optional API resource!

Thinking about building or updating an educational app for the Multi-Hack? You might want to check out the BrainCert Virtual Classroom API, which lets your app deliver live classes, meetings, webinars, and conferences to an audience anywhere. There’s a free level for the API, and Multi-Hack registrants get 20% off all BrainCert platform tools and services throughout the hackathon. More info is on the resources page.


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