Check out the full interview below:
With more than 20 PC games and mobile applications under its belt, Finland-based company 10tons Ltd. has vast development experience across multiple platforms. In 2012, the game developer decided to release applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. After an enthusiastic response from engaged BlackBerry users, the company recently ported applications to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device, with an eye towards creating even more engaging and visually-appealing games on the platform in the future.
10tons Ltd. CEO and co-founder Tero Alatalo talked to us about developing applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, porting apps to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device and why his company is excited about developing apps for the BlackBerry 10 platform moving forward.
Q: Describe your experience developing for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?
Tero: The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was one of the easiest devices we’ve ever worked with. We leveraged the BlackBerry Tablet OS NDK, which is based on easy and straightforward C-styled interfaces and uses widely adopted standards like Open GL ES. Our core technology is built using C and C++, so it was quick and easy to port our applications and integrate BlackBerry PlayBook tablet support. With this level of familiarity with the technologies and tools, it didn’t take us long to have our games running on the platform.
Q: How easy was it to port your C/C++ based applications to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device?
Tero: It was barely any work to port our BlackBerry PlayBook tablet games to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. The BlackBerry 10 OS is logically thought-out and we were surprised when we learned that we didn’t have to change a single line of code to get them running on the Dev Alpha device. Everything just worked.
It’s also very important that BlackBerry 10 uses standard compilers and supports widespread APIs such as OpenGL ES. I consider Open GL ES as the standard for graphics on mobile devices, so it’s really important that both Open GL ES 1.1 and 2.0 are supported. It’s one of the things we evaluate before expanding our technology onto new platforms.
Q: Why are you excited about the BlackBerry 10 platform?
Tero: We're looking forward to BlackBerry 10 being a very solid gaming platform with all devices having OpenGL ES 2.0 support and fast GPUs and CPUs. This means that the minimum spec of the devices is considerably higher than on other platforms out there today, so game developers don't have to spend time trying to think how to bring optimal experience for people with low spec devices.
Q: Do you plan to develop more BlackBerry 10 apps?
Tero: We are excited not only to continue supporting the best games from our existing catalog for the BlackBerry 10 platform, but also to develop all of our new game releases onto the BlackBerry 10 platform. We want to be active with BlackBerry 10 for a number of reasons: We want our games exposed to as wide an audience as possible; BlackBerry 10 has proven to be a very easy platform to work with; and we’ve noticed that BlackBerry World is a less cluttered app environment with less competition from dozens of similar apps, so it’s easier to get noticed. I would definitely recommend considering having BlackBerry 10 as a part of your distribution strategy.