Amazon GameCircle v2 has been released bringing Whispersync for Games and its other features, which until now have been restricted to Kindle Fire, to iOS and Android.
The GamesCircle APIs are free to use and mean you can store game data in the AWS Cloud. This means devs don't have to set up, maintain, or pay for any servers of their own; players don’t lose their game progress, high scores, or achievements when switching between devices; and gamers can interact with one another across mobile devices.
Making the announcement on the Amazon Mobile App Distribution blog, Peter Heinrich writes:
We know programming for multiple platforms is standard practice for many developers—iOS support has been a frequent feature request—so we’re excited to make GameCircle available on a whole new class of devices. GameCircle and Whispersync are free for you and your players. Plus, when you integrate GameCircle achievements, you automatically get access to Achievement Reports as well. These reports help you get a better understanding of how players interact with your game so you can make sure they're having a great experience.
As well as support for Android devices that support API level 10 and above and iOS 5.0 and up, GameCircle v2 also introduces some new features. The new version of Whispersync simplifies how game data is saved to the cloud and provides a completely automatic mechanism for resolving multiple conflicting updates, even when data is received out of order, from different devices, or from different versions of a game. The service also manages network connectivity, and will queue updates for later if a device is temporarily offline. You need to use a local key-value store to save your players’ game data (similar to Android Shared Preferences or iOS User Preferences) and the Whispersync client handles everything else.
The other new feature, Achievement Reports, gives games developers access to analytics that provide feedback, for example, on whether an achievement is too hard or too easy to obtain.
(click on image to view larger version)
Peter Heinrich's blog post includes some guidance on how to initialize Game Circle on iOS and refers iOS developers to appropriate online documentation. He notes:
We find that most developers are able to integrate GameCircle in less than a day or two (often in just a few hours!) , but we’re constantly working to increase the ROI of your valuable time.
The best products and ideas always spring out of identifying and addressing a general and widespread need. In the case of programming it's the time required when coding for searching the Internet for [ ... ]