App Store (iOS)

Can we just call them apps?

Apps are everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere you look, you’ll find apps.

It wasn’t always that way.

On Windows, apps were “programs.” On a Mac, they were “applications.”

When Microsoft took up the term, following Apple’s App Store — THE App Store — Apple fans cried foul: They should be “progs,” they said, because Windows has programs, they said, and Mac has applications.

On gaming consoles, apps were once games, or discs, or cartridges. Music used to be CDs, or tapes, or vinyl. Cameras used to be cameras, but now they’re apps. Everything is an app. Social networks are camera companies now, which, again, are just apps. Websites were once just…

Xamarin Live Player makes debugging mobile apps as easy as scanning a QR code

Xamarin Live Player makes debugging mobile apps as easy as scanning a QR code

Debugging mobile apps on a desktop device is a pain, especially if you’re a new developer trying to get started. You have to install a bazillion resources just to start, and testing an iOS app with a Windows PC is a hassle, to say the least. Xamarin’s new Live Player wants to change all that, and make debugging an app as simple as scanning a QR Code.

Normally, debugging an app means installing gigabytes of SDKs and emulators, which can take…

Moonfrog taps FarmVille creator to build epic Baahubali mobile game

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, a major film from Indian director S.S. Rajamouli, debuted this week. And it is accompanied by a new mobile game from Moonfrog Labs, dubbed S.S. Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Game.

The mobile game is a major release on Google Play and the Apple App Store. To create it, the Bangalore, India-based mobile game publisher Moonfrog Labs turned to Mark Skaggs, co-creator of FarmVille, who moved to India in 2016 to work on games for the Indian market at Moonfrog Labs. Skaggs is betting that India’s game market will be the next China, which is now the world’s largest game market.

Moonfrog created the real-time strategy game in partnership with filmmakers Arka Mediaworks and Rajamouli’s Baahubali, with support from Graphic India. You could call it a major transmedia creation, Indian style.

This game is based on Rajamouli’s two-part Indian epic historical film, Baahubali, with an all-star Indian cast. The game is not a recreation of the film. Baahubali: The Game takes place in the Baahubali extended universe, where the player gets to be a part of the epic. The game was released this week in four languages: Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.

Above: Mark Skaggs, speaking at GamesBeat 2015.

Image Credit: Michael O’Donnell/VentureBeat

With Baahubali: The Game, the players act as Senapatis (generals or commanders) who serve the kingdom of Mahishmati. They train an army, build defenses and join forces with Baahubali, Kattappa and the other heroes of Mahishmati to push back the ruthless Kalakeya. The game gives the Baahubali fan a new entry point into the film’s universe as a player, where the fan can experience the challenge of being a general with the command of an army.

The end goal is for the player to prove their skills by building the strongest army, the best defended Rajya (outpost), and a working economy with food and gold to protect the kingdom of Mahishmati from the Kalakeya.

Above: Moonfrog’s Baahubali: The Game is a mobile strategy game.

Image Credit: Moonfrog

Skaggs led the design at Moonfrog Labs, where he is a director and board member. He previously led teams that created some of the world’s most popular social games – such as FarmVille, Empire & Allies, CityVille, Treasure Isle, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth, and Command & Conquer Generals. His games have reached 365 million people.

“We’re using our expertise as game makers to give Indian players the opportunity to experience the characters, environments, and battles in the Baahubali universe up close and personal,” said Skaggs, in a statement. “Great film franchises like Star Wars live on in the minds of players even after the film ends on the big screen. This game will let people live, play and experience the universe of Baahubali in new ways.”

He added, “God is in the details. And as you upgrade the game to various levels, you see the details on your own Rajya in the Baahubali universe. The challenge of bringing the epic world of Baahubali into a small screen was met by the art team watching the film over 100 times to recreate the extended universe with nuances such as iconography, colours, architectural styles, weaponry and clothing styles into one game board. From concept sketches to 3D models and paint overs, every detail of the game went through a labored process of creation, development, and building.”

Above: Moonfrog’s Baahubali: The Game runs on…