At the beginning of February, Meta’s Quest store reported that sales of VR content had surpassed $1 Billion. This is a huge growth in user spending and shows that VR is now starting to become a more important sales channel for developers of VR titles. With the Quest 2 priced aggressively low at only $299, this has resulted in the numbers of users estimated to be in the 10 million unit range. That’s a decent sized community and one that developers can target with their VR game ideas.
With Meta’s focus now totally on the Metaverse, these numbers are likely to grow significantly over the coming years and months. We’ll be keeping an eye on the VR market and we’re excited by the possibilities ahead with the current and future hardware ?
We are extremely proud to announce that the 4in1 Theory Test App (built in AppGameKit) has been awarded ‘Product of the Year’ at the highly acclaimed Intelligent Instructor Awards 2022 in the UK! This latest award joins the First Car App of the Year for both 2021 and 2019, as well as holding the title of Apple’s #1 UK paid-for app for four consecutive years.
Look out later this month for the next update and bug fixes for AppGameKit Studio and AppGameKit Classic and if you’re looking for assets or something a bit different to spice up your game project take a look at the great promotional offers on at the moment for Studio and Classic
As you may know, the team has been dedicating the majority of February to the fixing of bugs and functionalities to get GameGuru MAX ready for the launch of our Early Access version on 25th March. Progress has been both great and swift and we have even found the necessary time to continue improving MAX with the addition of new weapons to complete the shooter genre equipment the player will need. We also undertook visual and functional improvements to the Logic System responsible for connecting game objects together, making it even easier to locate and connect things like switches to lights, and keys to doors.
We’re very pleased to report that demo game projects are now making it into the builds, with the GameGuru MAX Hub (the former Welcome Screen) playing host to new demos to choose from, with more on the way!
We also double-downed on the AI aspects of the product, making sure the logic for our Zombies and Soldiers is as you would expect it to be from a modern game; a process that will be an evolutionary part of GameGuru MAX.
Finally, we changed the time of our weekly Wednesday live broadcast on our YouTube Channel, from 4pm GMT to 7pm GMT, which should provide more opportunity for users and on-lookers to join us live from around the world.
Our team is now poised to complete the majority of remaining issues collected so far, and have the necessary time to complete the polish and final tweaks prior to the big release.
A BIG thank you must go out to all our pre-order users who have supported us throughout the MAX development, and we look forward to delivering a great game-maker to you in less than a months’ time.
It’s not too late to buy your discounted pre-order copy of GameGuru MAX – they remain on sale right through until the launch date!
The next Bug Fix update for GameGuru Classic is on schedule to be released this month and it will fix all issues reported since we crushed all the bugs back in December 2021. As of right now, we have 15 issues reported and some questions, some of which we are awaiting further information from the original author; all of them a target for our bug squashing dev team.
We pledged two years ago that we would continue to provide fixes for GameGuru Classic and are very happy to have kept the bug count to practically zero for most of that time, and with your help we will continue to make sure that GameGuru Classic has a place alongside our other game-makers.
If you do have any issues not covered in the reports that are already posted, please do let us know, via the GitHub issues board, so we can include them in our March update.
TheGameCreators dev team continues to grow with the appointment of Craig Bryan (aka Scraggle on the TGC forum) who joined us last month.
Scraggle was the name of Craig’s cat back when the internet was a new thing and he had to come up with a username for pretty much everything. The real Scraggle sadly passed away over 10 years ago, but his memory is kept alive with Craig’s forum name and avatar.
Craig started coding in assembly language on a Sharp MZ-700 back in 1984 but quickly traded up to a BBC Micro where he became very fond of the BASIC language (so much easier than assembly!). In 1991 he joined the RAF where he toured the world, fixing Jet Engines on a variety of military jets, but never lost his hobby of coding games.
Craig discovered DarkBASIC in 2000 and was blown away by how easy it was to make 3D games in what appeared to be a language very close to the BASIC he had come to love. He quickly got to grips with it and set himself firmly in the TGC camp with DarkBASIC Professional and then AppGameKit.
When his 15-year contract with the RAF ended in 2006 he decided (some might say foolishly ?) to abandon his engineering career and follow his dreams of a career in coding. Taking his ‘end-of-contract bonus’ he put himself through University and got a BSc in Game Development.
From there he worked with UK-based ‘Iguana Entertainment’, where he was one of the team that wrote ‘Big Kahuna Reef 3’. Team 17 got in touch and asked if they could write a version of their iconic games “Worms” for Facebook and Craig was the lead developer on that project.
Sadly, Iguana Entertainment went into administration, and Craig returned to engineering, working for Jet2 until Covid happened and everyone was furloughed or made redundant.
Craig's entry “Infection” in the Tower Defence competition caught our attention, and he totally impressed us with his enthusiasm for all things game-related, his professionalism and his coding expertise and knowledge - so we snapped him up to join our dev team!
Finally, Craig has a claim to fame! In 2005 he appeared on the UK TV programme “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” alongside Chris Tarrant – and went on to win £8000 – the drinks are on Craig!
Dale Schultz is a retired software engineer living in the woods of Maine, US, where he spends some of his time writing programs to control his German themed model train layout. He is the creator of RemoteSign - initially created for displaying model train arrival and departure boards but has since evolved into a comprehensive system for controlling almost any device, including his model train layout. The train layout software and RemoteSign were written in Visual Basic (Windows) and C++ (Arduino).
He heard about AppGameKit in October 2021 when his son mentioned that he was writing a game that ran on his phone. He tried out AppGameKit Classic IDE (2D Tier 1) and was impressed by the cross-platform capabilities and that one could use either Basic or C to code apps. His first AppGameKit app was an Android version of a RemoteSign display with the clicking split-flaps, as well as a modern station display that can display actual real-time train schedules for German and Swiss railways.
The ability to broadcast to a phone directly from the IDE makes checking the code on a physical phone very easy.
Next up, was a very simple app to control a German main and distant signal.
He followed this up with an app that communicates with his train control software allowing his phone to be a controller for the layout, dispatching trains, starting events such as thunderstorm sound effects, switching lights on and off, etc., but most importantly, the ability to control a train as it proceeds along its route. Images taken along all the routes are displayed on screen in a cab simulation, and the state of the signals are also superimposed on the images in real time. The user can control the speed (and special functions) of the train and must also acknowledge signals, etc., that indicate that they are paying attention just as in a modern train cab. (If the user fails to indicate their attentiveness, emergency brakes are applied just like the real thing!)
When controls in the cab are clicked, Dale wanted to blur the outside image for a moment and asked in the AppGameKit forum how one could blur an image. He was swiftly informed about shaders and that led him to also set the amount of ambient light on the train layout so that day and night light levels can be simulated in the app. When the headlights of the locomotive are flipped on, the headlight beam is also added to the image!
Dale was impressed with the text to speech functionality of AppGameKit and was able to use that to make prototypical announcements and verbal warnings to the locomotive driver, even in German!
Dale is currently working on an AppGameKit app that allows a user of RemoteSign Sequencer to trigger scripts remotely from a phone over a network, essentially creating a customisable remote control device that can be used to see the status of, and switch things using RemoteSign. For example, if one is using a RemoteSign ESP (plus a relay) to switch on an outside light, one can see if it is 'on' or 'off', and change the state from the phone app.
Dale explains, “The app has been designed so that a wide range of device types can be controlled with radio buttons, toggles, colours, text, numeric values or percentages. Colours, text and bitmaps on the buttons can be defined in RemoteSign Sequencer and result in a user interface on the AppGameKit side that is dynamically defined. This allows for tremendous flexibility in controlling things, such as dimming or setting colours of lights from the AppGameKit app. It is starting to sound like an Internet of Things (IoT) application ?”
Because the train cab control is only for his own train control software there are no plans to release it publicly, but the RemoteSign ScriptRunner will likely be released publicly for RemoteSign Sequencer users when ready.
Dale said, “I don’t regard these apps as true gaming apps, but this is an easy way to code cross-platforms apps.”