Tempting us with an Apple – One way Apple are targeting the Android user.

smartphones

Is the Apple attempt to coax Android users to the iphone/pad a bit cheeky? Using their Move to iOS for Android app, makes this now possible. The reasonable man would say Apple are just giving new or potential Apple customers an easier way to change from Android to Apple? The unreasonable man would say encroachment on the competition smacks of desperation.

Whatever the answer, it is not the only Apple made App that will be accessing their main competitors operating system as next year they plan to launch Apple music on Android. But rest assured mobile games fans Fierce Fun will provide the best range in mobile entertainment on the widest range of OSes.

Move to iOS9

The Move to iOS9 is a free download available on the Google Play store, and it makes it easier for people who want to change device to bring their data with them. You will need both an Android and iOS device to complete the switch process.

The Move to iOS App will allow the existing Android user move all their precious files to the iOS ecosystem. This will include files containing your photos, your calendar, your message files, your contacts and even your email accounts. So how does it work in practice? Your new Iphone or Ipad device will need to set up a secure Wi-Fi network when prompted by the App you can then go on to download all that precious, never to be found again data that for some reason you have been carting around on your phone for years. Yes I do that too.

So all this begs the question, why would one want to switch to Apple? Or why Apple feel they must smooth out the switching process with this new App. Just to let you know, here at Fierce Fun we ensure our mobile games run beautifully on both OSes. But in reality, the smartphone market has been regenerating itself frantically with upgrade after upgrade all through 2014 and 2015. Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, HTC One M9 and LG G4 are state of the art hardware and represent each of the named company’s flagship smartphone. Apple in response have given us the its new iPhone 6S and S6 Plus and a new ecosystem i0S9.

Statistics for worldwide sales on smartphones first quarter 2015 –

Table 1

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 1Q15 (Thousands of Units)

Company 1Q15Units 1Q15 Market Share (%) 1Q14Units 1Q14 Market Share (%)
Samsung 81,123 24.2 85,507 30.4
Apple 60,177 17.9 43,062 15.3
Lenovo* 18,888 5.6 16,721 5.9
Huawei 18,102 5.4 13,450 4.8
LG Electronics 15,428 4.6 11,200 4.0
Others 142,335.6 42.4 111,697.8 39.7
Total 336,054.4 100.0 281,636.8 100.0

Source: Gartner (May 2015)

All do what they say on the tin, all perform little miracles for us every day that would have seemed like science fiction to us 20 or even 10 years ago. So apart from sales figures the question seems to be what smartphone pushes your buttons and not as I had previously thought, who makes the better smartphone?

What Smartphone pushes your buttons?

I have my own sentimental preference for Nokia, a Scandinavian toilet and kitchen roll maker turned tech world leader, just that alone, will always get my vote. I heard on the Grapevine that Nokia were flirting with Android systems some time ago and liked it, but since the Microsoft corporation got wind of this treachery, that little dalliance became history. Which is a pity because as I said Nokia will always have a special place in my top pocket. Blackberry also should be given our respect for holding out in the face of insurmountable odds, that is, the obvious popularity of touchscreen technology, almost the the brink of bankruptcy. A friend in Capetown informed me,  they were still moving Blackberrys in healthy numbers in South Africa until 2013, but even there, now in 2015, the touch screen has all but leveled that field. They had it all once, however they gave away their advantage, but I am glad to hear that they may have embraced Android in tandem with developing some new technology for themselves,  as to go it alone can becoming very lonely.

 

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Okay the above title is an unfortunate and bloody saying but proof of the pudding, another awful phrase is that two great tech companies fire at the same target, you and me, the customer, but come up with completely different creatures essentially doing the same thing. I speak of course of Samsung and Apple. What Apple Iphone and Samsung Android phones have shown us is that “there is more than one way to skin a cat”.Both have flagship phones that are exceptional and I could not favour one above the other. My only buying decision would be price and here Samsung win over Apple nine times out of ten.

I use a Samsung Galaxy, my partner uses an Apple Iphone, I like both, and would not care if I changed, she only likes her Iphone, she is in love with her Iphone, and would never change, even if she received a free Android. This is cultism which is an intrinsic part of the Apple brand and is to be commended but also ridiculed at every turn. I would not find it hard to switch from one to the other and have done so in the past, dumping an early Apple PC for a far better and cheaper Dell version. It is easy if you do not buy into the cult of Apple, after all they are not the Kardashians.

Summary

The devil seems to be in the detail, the small differences of functionality that may appear on the OS of your phone and not the other. But both OSes have phenomenal capability and this is a indication of how far technologically the smartphone has evolved. Our personal preferences may impact on the phone we choose, maybe because of the interplay with the phone, how it feels in the hand and where certain buttons are positioned. But also our personal preference for which company we would like to entrust our information. This will increasingly play a part in our choice.

Apple and Google seem to be two heads of the one beast but they do have different agendas and see the world through different lenses. This is something to consider when choosing your hardware and software products in phones PC or cloud services. You must ask yourself with whom do I trust with my digital existence?

Games Development & Production – Process and Documentation

gamesdevelopment

To help game development students and other devs, we have provided some of the games development documentation, templates and processes we used when making Java mobile games. Most of the documentation is general and could be applied to any project. Though some are a number of years old, the same game design principles should apply.

Game Development Project Management

Hope some of them provide useful – if so, please share them.

Fierce Fun’ers

 

Take the T-Shock Test for Irelands Election 2016

T-Shock Test 2016

The Almost Epic Gladiatorial Combat of Ireland’s Election 2016

featuring H-enda, Joan from the block, Geri & Mikey

irishonlinegame

Like the gladiators in ancient Rome, the plebiscite ( that’s us, the plebs, by the way ) of today’s Ireland can now witness our great and not so great ‘wannabe’ leaders prove their prowess in the field of combat in the excellent Fierce Fun mobile free to play game T-Shock Test. As Gladiators are from Rome it might be better to compare our Irish political combatants to the great warriors from Ireland’s own captivating myths and legends.

In all human cultures there is a mythology of heroes and villains, wise folk and fools, greedy and good. From the Viking Sagas to the Folklore of the Far East, all connect in a way that is unique to the human fireside storytelling tradition. Vladimir Propp in his seminal book Morphology of the Folktale pointed out the similarities and common traits in folk memory stories from all over the world. Irish myths share a common bond with all others. 

In Ireland Taoiseach means chieftain or leader, the Gaelic word dates back as far as the language can be traced. In many other countries around the world, aspirant leaders like to dress themselves in the flag and look to the future, in Ireland, our lot, like to dress themselves in a kilt and look to the past. They seek to invoke the spirits of our mythological heroes to assist in their quest for glory.

So let’s take our hopeful leaders and put them centre stage in one of the most famous of Ireland’s mythological tales The Tain. A tale from fado fado, (long ago) of heroes, villains, greed, hubris, friendship and betrayal. I like to call it the battle for the cattle as it sets Irishman against Irishman in the pursuit of the great Brown Bull. Sounds perfect let’s assemble our cast of players from T-Shock challenge.

Queen Medb, Cú Chulainn, Fergus mac Róich and Goll mac Morna all provide great examples of celtic leadership and wisdom. But which of the current ‘wannabe’ leaders should we allow  associate with these legends? Feel free to let your imagination run wild, I did. I like to imagine, a cross dressing Enda, as the fetching Queen Maeve, they both have great bone structure, don’t they?

What about Gerry as Cu Chulainn, now let’s be honest, he does look a little like an Irish Wolfhound and he is the consummate Ulsterman in the cast  of characters. Joan can be Fergus, we don’t stand for gender quotas here. I just think she has the hair for it,and I am sure she could grow a full mustache if push comes to shove. And Michael can be Goll, nobody knows what Goll looked like, so we will imagine him as a bald christian brother teacher type, much like, you know who?

The Battle of the Cattle or The Tain and its modern equivalents featuring –

Enda Kenny as Queen Maeve –  Both like to talk a lot of bull. Both have lands in the Connacht. Both want to steal the Brown Bull of Cooley or is that a Red Bull from Clooney, I can’t recall exactly. Anyway suffice to say with Mayo men at their beckon call, they ravish the country while making the population fall asleep (with lengthy mono tone speeches and rubbing of hands ). They manage to set the country into a state of bullish anarchy with the haves fighting the have nots and the medieval money men ( bankers and the bondholder ) getting rich on the side lines. Sadly it sounds familiar.

Enter Gerry our hound of Ulster. Now CuChulainn had a major role in The Tain and has been known to talk some bull himself. Primarily he is famous as a warrior, now the old fighter needs a rest and here he is looking for the Taoiseach’s pension, what better rest can you get? Just like the our Danish friends say – IF Carlsberg made pensions, they would make it a Taoiseachs pension. So CuChulainn has a lot to fight for, and as some folk like to say in the North good luck with that. 

Joan aka Fergus also features in this great battle pointedly for her / his backing down and making a deal to save his position. Thats sounds familiar as well. Fergus is a deal maker in the original story and likes to avoid a fight, so is Joan, funnily enough. Fergus also stands by idly and lets CuChulainn slay his good friend and ally Ferdia in the name of peace. For shame Fergus. 

I am sorry to say for Michael, that his character, Goll Mc Morna is not in actual fact, featured in the Tain but we have to use poetic licence here as there simply is not a suitable character for you to play. So I picked out Goll, who I think suits Michael perfectly. He is not universally liked, although he is a member of the Fianna (Fail) and a friend of its leader Fionn Mc Cool despite the fact that he did kill Fionn’s Dad. But worse still, Goll then went on to betray his gang the Fianna and in turn the whole country for greed and power, and lead the them into disaster. Also sound all too familiar.

So there we have it, the potential leaders and their inspirational mythological mascots, but do they have what it takes to beat the bondholders, eradicate the euro bankers, and dodge the TD-Rex ? You decide as you take them into the combat arena. Take your favourite politician out for a bit of physical endurance with the T- Shock Test. It is the only game in town where you the voter get to watch your politicians pummel or get pummelled.

 

Hashtag Love

hashtag

Hashtag Love

The obsession is growing and shows no signs of abating whether it be for promotion of a business, a life hack, creating a global conversation or attempts to break the internet (don’t hashtag that by the way), the humble and previously unloved hash symbol, now called hashtag is here to stay… (for the present, anyway). After looking at the hash symbol for years on my keyboard and never having occasion to use it, I was amazed when it was reworked as the metadata tag of choice in the late noughties initially and primarily for Twitter, but now also used by Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest.

We at Fierce Fun

We at #FierceFun like all game developers are reliant on them increasingly for marketing, and the phrase “where would we be be without them” springs to mind. Our new game #Big Bad Quiz will use a lot of pertinent hashtags to our enterprise, such as #MobileTrivia #BagMan to name a few. Our hashtags are intended to identify chat and interaction on the social media channels which may be pertinent to our business here at Fierce Fun. The hashtag allows us target the right people more accurately than previously on microblogging sites and so get our product out there. The Fierce Fun marketing content would ideally reach those interested in free online apps, quizzes, trivia games, trivia questions, for their smartphones. We would hope to reach them as seamlessly and easily as possible using the trusty hashtag.

Do no harm (to yourself)

Of course with the popularity of the hash tag comes responsibility, there are many ways to mess up the message, as millions of people everyday create new hashtags any one of which could be in some tenuous way relate to you or your product, service or cause. Hashtags cannot be copyrighted they are in the public domain and anything can happen. In business the more generic hashtags cannot really reflect or affect a brand’s identity. When a brand establishes a hashtag for itself, they may be using a campaign competition or promotion, but this can easily come back and bite them in the backside as it may be used as a vehicle for disgruntled employees or customers in the Twittersphere. Despite your best intentions many businesses do not anticipate the negative spin that could be put on a promoted hashtag.

A Little Misunderstanding

There is a great example of an international hashtag misunderstanding, which I credit to an article entitled  Hastagology 101, by Jonathon Crossfield of Content Marketing Institute, but in fact it went viral at the time. It refers to the death of ex United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. A hashtag soon rang out with the announcement #nowthatchersdead. Across North America this hashtag was taken to mean Now that Chers dead. Same language different meaning. This is happening all the time and regional appropriations of terms, names or perceived celebrities is going to increase with the increased use of the hashtag. In the bible of the English language, (as perceived by those of us living close the source),  the Oxford English Dictionary, they give this following definition –  Hashtag – A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media sites such as Twitter to identify messages on a specific topic. But what about certain hashtag with acronyms which can be easily misunderstood or misinterpreted. One popular one is #FTW which is often taken to mean F*** the world, but in fact, I am led to believe, actually means For The Win taken from the US game show Hollywood Squares which would translate as a huuh haah moment as you throw your fist in the air triumphantly.  

And now the List – Top Ten Hashtags 2015

Of course the list depends on your favourite hashtags and it is a matter of taste and choice. But remember it is always hard not to look what’s trending as it blinks at you from the left hand corner of your screen. Because everyone loves a list, here are my top ten hashtags 2015 – I have collated these myself and they are an amalgamate of  top ten lists, and from a limited amount of research. The top ten lists vary greatly from Twitter to Instagram and to other channels. But I think the hashtags below are worth a mention, in no particular order they are regularly listed among all channels top ten – #Selfie #friends #Family #style #FridayFeeling #Food #Quiz #100HappyDays #LoveWins #FromWhereIStand

Brief Summary

Briefly to sum it all up, the hash tag is a tool like any other it can be used for good or for bad. It has many great business capabilities especially in the  marketing area and used wisely can provide, not only contact with those whom you want to reach, but also can provide precious feedback, which can be invaluable as we plan future campaigns. In #Fierce Fun we employ our hashtags when appropriate, for example when promoting our new games like #BigBadQuiz and we find it a very useful for our marketing efforts. This once lonely button on my keyboard is now starting to wear away from overuse. What a plaudit for the little character or symbol that is following in the footsteps of its bigger brother the @ symbol.

Press Release: Big Bad Quiz live on Google Play and the App Store

bigbadquiz_home

For Immediate Release

Trivia just got a whole lot tougher!
It's the Big Bad Quiz hosted by the one and only Bag Man

Dublin, Ireland - 14 October 2015: Irish mobile app developer Fierce Fun have today released their trivia quiz game Big Bad Quiz on Apple and Android platforms. Big Bad Quiz is a fast, fun and furious trivia game, hosted by the quirky quiz show host The Bag Man. Bringing personality and humour to the trivia genre, the game features over 150 levels of relentless tough trivia questions.

The Bag Man challenges all trivia players to test their brain power in the Big Bad Quiz

Game Description
Big Bad Quiz is designed for TV quiz show fans. It’s a fast, fun and furious trivia game hosted by the one and only Bag Man. He is one crazy quiz master who has scoured the universe for the toughest questions ever. With topics covering sports; music; movies; history; celebs; and more - the full game features more than 150+ levels of ultra fast non-stop rounds.

With only seconds to answer each question, a brisk brain and fast fingers are needed. No waiting, no connections, no selections - players just start the game and start answering straight away. The free version contains a limited question set. For the full set of trivia questions, players have a number of in-app-purchase choices.

Full Game features:
- Fast, fun & furious trivia
- 1000’s of great questions
- More than 150 levels
- Immediate play, no selections, no connections
- Online High Score table
- 5 types of bonus points
- Correct answers provided
- B-Factor showing your personal speed & accuracy
- Online connection not needed
- Hall of Fame
- Extra lives by sharing
- Report a question or answer
- Funky soundtrack and effects

Game Details
Publisher: Fierce Fun
Platforms: IOS/Android
Genre: Quiz, Trivia
Apple App Store Page
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/big-bad-quiz/id1003825133?ls=1&mt=8
Google Play Page
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.bigbadquiz

Press Kit URL:
http://fiercefun.com/big-bad-quiz-press-kit/

Fierce Fun
Fierce Fun is a mobile game development company based in Dublin, Ireland. It specialises in viral and cross promotional game systems. In addition to original IP products, the company also provides custom game and app development services. The company is a registered Google Play and Apple App Store Developer.

 

Top 10 countries for Trivia

So where are the world’s trivia fans located?  Here are the top 10 nations for trivia players.

1. United States
2. Germany
3.  Russia
4. France
5. United Kingdom
6. Spain
7. Brazil
8. Italy
9. Argentina
10. Mexico

According to Google Play 2015

Game Production Coordinator – WE Part Time

The Coordinator works with a game’s production staff to ensure the timely delivery of the highest quality product possible. They are the key link between the digital marketing and production team.

– Ensure the production directory structure is followed for all projects
– Ensure key game design documents are updated each week
– Ensure QA and publishing checklist are completed for all projects
– Track and coordinate production  tasks
– Compile and send out regular reports on game production projects
– Work with the Project Manager to identify and allocate resources
– Keep the digital marketing team updated on new game assets and features
– Attend and take notes in any team production meetings

Ideal Qualifications:
Strong interest in games design and mobile app production
Good work ethic and an ability to learn quickly
3rd level qualification (business, games or marketing)
Highly organised and efficient with an excellent attention to detail
Good interpersonal and team communication skills

Terms:
Duration          3 months, part time
Days                  3/4 days per week (10 to 4)
Location          Docklands Innovation Park, East Wall, Dublin 3

Note: this is a work experience position – training will be provided. Contact us via the About Us form.

Ireland’s Fastest ISP (Internet Service Provider)

internet

So here we have it. A list of the top performing Internet Service Provider (ISPs) in Ireland. This list was taken from Steam, the global online gaming portal developed by Valve. It has close to 100 million users and as it hosts online games, it gives a good indication of the performance of ISPs as regards heavy download usage.

The table was compiled in September 2015 and shows the average download rates for Steam clients on the most popular Internet Service Providers, sorted by the number of bytes delivered to each network.

As it is just for gaming, obviously it is not a true measure of overall performance. However it is a useful indicator of those providers that have some serious download pipes!

 

Network Average Download Rate – Mbps
Liberty Global 39.2
HEANET HEAnet Limited,IE 24.4
MAGNET-AS Magnet Networks,IE 16.8
EIRCOM Eircom Limited,IE 11.2
VODAFONE-IRELAND-ASN Vodafone Ireland,IE 10.5
DIGIWEB-AS Digiweb Ltd.,IE 9.9
AS-BTIRE BT Communications Ireland Limited,IE 7.5
IBIS-AS Imagine Group Ltd.,IE 4.5
H3GIE Hutchison 3G Ireland Limited,IE 4.3

WebGL: The Future of Interactive Web Animation

webgl-html5
WebGL (Web Graphics Library) is a cross-platform, royalty-free web standard for a low-level 2D/3D graphics API based on OpenGL ES 2.0, exposed through the HTML5 Canvas element as Document Object Model interfaces.

Ok, in plain English!. WebGL is a JavaScript library for displaying interactive 3D and 2D graphics within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins. As it uses a computer’s GPU (graphics chip) directly, it is very fast and allows for smooth animated 2D and 3D graphics.

It is supported by all the major browser vendors such as Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), Mozilla (Firefox), Opera (Opera) and Microsoft (IE).

As animation plug-ins such as Flash, Unity and Silverlight are not supported by default in many browsers, WebGL offers a cross platform solution for online and mobile animated graphics.

Fierce Fun can produce WebGL animations optimised for all the major browsers. For more details, please contact us.

 

Big Bad Quiz goes Beta

Big Bad Quiz is now in beta testing and will be published soon.

The Big Bad Quiz is played like a real-life quiz show, with fast-paced rounds, bonus points, and of course, our much “loved” host: the Bag Man. He will break you down with tricky questions about sports, movies, history, and everything in between.

Featuring:
– The coolest quiz host around: The Bag Man
– A large database of tough trivia questions
– Super fast rounds and levels
– High score tracker to compete with your friends
– Save points after each round, for quizzing on the go

The Big Bad Quiz is packed with plenty of tough questions that will come at you in a random assortment, meaning it’ll truly test your brain power. While playing, you will be asked questions on a mix of topics, so be ready for historical questions to mingle with questions about the latest musicians. Be warned though, you will have only a limited number of lives before the Bag Man busts you out of the game and forces you to start from scratch. Add to that the fact that you’ve only got a few seconds to answer, and you’ve got yourself a tough game. There will be no memorizing the answers either, since the questions are randomly selected each round, making the Big Bad Quiz endlessly re-playable.

The Bag Man will be challenging you every step of the way, making sure that the questions get harder with every round, and not holding back with the insults when you get some questions wrong. If you beat the Bag Man, you’ll have the chance to get some serious bonus points to boost your score. Make sure to check out the leaderboards every day to see how you and your friends stack up!