Guest post by Jeffrey Murphy
When we tasked the BlackBerry Team in Malmo, Sweden with putting together a demo showcasing the power of gaming on the BlackBerry 10 operating system we were excited to see what would come from the land that brought us IKEA, Daniel Alfredsson and ABBA! And they didn’t disappoint – the Rocking Chair Game was born.
The Rocking Chair Game is an interactive game controlled by the BlackBerry 10 operating system, utilizing its powerful multi-tasking capability, as well as the ability to extend beyond a single device by Sensing inputs from a variety of sources, Understanding the context of new information received, and Adapting to real-time inputs to enhance user engagement and interaction. The Rocking Chair Game shows not only the native features in 10.2, but also the unlimited possibilities within the hands of talented and imaginative developers.
“We wanted to make something that would stir the imagination of developers, showing BlackBerry 10’s ability to expand beyond the device in a game with both technical and physical controls,” noted Software Developer Johan Larsby, who along with team members Par Kjellberg (Software Developer) and Marcus Hannerstig (UI Designer) had only a week to pull together the demo. The Rocking Chair Game is a native application designed in Cascades UI Framework, using existing APIs and open source frameworks (source code is posted on GitHub for the BlackBerry community). The game is installed on a BlackBerry Z30 device running the BlackBerry 10.2 OS. It serves as a hub connecting the input controllers, namely a BlackBerry Z10 and/or BlackBerry Q10, and all other hardware. Par observed that “developing an application with Blackberry 10 is very quick. We actually housed our technical and design contributors together so as not to slow down the development process. The tools in the BlackBerry 10 development environment made it easy to prototype the UI, and get immediate feedback. We got to work on making it look better and behave better at the same time.”
The Rocking Chair Game – Sense, Understand and Adapt:
Sense inputs and data connections.
- Rocking chairs control the paddles via accelerometers in the mounted devices.
- Technology: Hardware interface, HDMI, NFC to connect controller devices, Accelerometer – Controller, Bluetooth – Controller to Game accelerometer data.
Understand the context of the real-life situations.
- Counter-measures (fan, lights) are employed through device screen-taps.
- Technology: Bluetooth – Controller message to game; Bluetooth – Game to Arduino (microcontroller that controls fan and lights)
Adapt to what’s happening to enhance relevance and user interaction.
- Adapts and communicates via Bluetooth to the game controllers (Z10, Z30) and the counter measures (Fan, Lights)
- Technology: Cascades UI Framework, APIs – HDMI Screen, Accelerometer, Arduino board, NFC
Marcus put the demo in context, and had some sage advice for BlackBerry 10 developers, “While this demo is whimsical, it is meant to inspire. Developers can see the possibilities available on this powerful platform. My one piece of advice would be this: there are so many features available in BlackBerry 10, you are tempted to cram them all in to your app. Keep it streamlined, and stay focused on your goal!”