Kindle considerations


#1

I noticed that only one of the user contributed games is available on the Kindle, and I was wondering why others aren’t. I’m also wondering that if someone is starting to create a new game using ChoiceScript, what should the developer do, or avoid doing, to make a game more easily ported to the Kindle. My primary interest is in releasing Kindle IF apps (with a secondary interest in releasing apps on other hand held devices), and that’s really why I’m here, because if I wanted to release games only on the web, I can do that (and have done that) without using ChoiceScript. I suppose I could send an email to the CoG support address to inquire about this, but I figure if I have the question, other people might too.

So, what can be said to help developers ensure their ChoiceScript games can be ported to the Kindle with minimal or no problems?

If this has been addressed already in another thread, I didn’t see it. Thanks in advance for any replies.


#2

From speaking from some the guys from CoG I believe that they take the game and fiddle with the formatting and coding to get it ready for kindle and iOS release. That being said you probably will need to make a very good game for them not only host it but also carry it over to kindle.

It is also possible they don’t do kindle games since they only put broadsides on kindle and nothing else. I know for a fact that they will never charge for games on Android market since it has a 24 hour no questions asked return policy and because most interactive fiction games can be completed in under that time period, trying to makes revenue there may be a problem.

Kindle may even have some kind of return policy like that as well.

I don’t speak for anyone over at CoG, so I can’t say anything or certain.


#3

Thanks for the comment, @mattnoles. I noticed that all of the CoG games are advertised as being available on Kindle, not just Broadsides; I even have Choice of Zombies downloaded on the Kindle. Of the user contributed games, however, I only see Wizards Choice advertised as available on the Kindle. The fact that Wizards Choice is available on the Kindle means that it is possible for user contributed games to be ported to Kindle. So I’m hoping someone can say what is necessary, beyond turning out a great game, to have one’s game ported to Kindle. I understand that CoG would have to approve any game that is sold as a Kindle app, but I’d also like to take any precautions possible during development to give my game the best chance of being ported to the Kindle in case CoG does approve it.


#4

Ok and sorry as It ha been a long time since I had looked into kindle games.

I do think that he only real precautions to go forward with would to not use any copy righted material, including plot and pictures. Stay away from other themes from other major books.

But like I said, I think CoG can definetly work with you to get the game ported as long as it is written in the latest version of CS.


#5

I think it’s merely a matter of time, I do believe they’ve only just recently started porting games to Kindle and as you can imagine, their priority will not be the porting of user-made games but their own.

I also believe that Wizard’s Choice is a special case, on the android appstore it isn’t on the “hosted games” developer account but rather the author’s own. This leads me to believe he may have very well bought a commercial license from CoG to distribute the games himself (and so probably sorted Kindle out where other Hosted Game Maker’s cannot).

That’s my speculation.

@mattnoles - They charge for Choice of Zombies on the Android App Store


#6

@CJW

Does the Android market still have the rediculous return policy?


#7

It’s 15minutes as far as I’m aware.


#8

Ok that’s much better since it used to be a 24 hour policy


#9

Yea, that would’ve sucked somewhat…


#10

@cjw

Yes I remember CoG writing about it probably a year ago or so


#11

@CJW and @mattnoles, thank you both for the info!


#12

What is the procedure for porting a choicescript game to the Kindle? Aside from the tweaks necessary to make it work well on the platform, is it just a matter of running an app to convert it to Kindle – or is it a proprietary process only available to Choice of Games?

Just copying the files over to the Kindle (the real one, not that new-fangled Fire device) would be a decent option for testing or personal use, but as of version 3 their experimental browser won’t allow offline browsing.


#13

@eposic
@RichardAE
Here is the Kindle’s (KDP) or Kindle Direct Publishing site. You can find all the necessary information on publishing requirments and formatting here.


Precise guide here:
http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/digital/otp/help/Building-Your-Book-for-Kindle.pdf
This is more targeted toward writing with Word, but some of the formatting and info can certainly be applied to this.


#14

Just a note, no matter what you need to contact CoG before publishing (as per the ChoiceScript License).


#15

@Reaperoa, certainly any commercial activity involving CS will have to be worked out with CoG. My questions are of a technical nature. I’m curious as to what I have to do or avoid in a CS game to make it a candidate for porting to the Kindle, from a technical viewpoint. Like @RichardAE, I don’t know the process used by CoG to port CS games to the Kindle. As @mattnoles pointed out, there are KDP docs, but those are not for Kindle apps, but for .mobi eBooks. (I’ve published a T&T supplement as a Kindle .mobi eBook, and it was the KDP docs that helped me do it.)

Kindle apps are Java based products, not JavaScript. There are proprietary Kindle libraries used for creating the display for Kindle apps on the low end Kindle and the Kindle DX, for instance. I think Kindle Fire might use Swing, which is standard Java, but I’m not 100% sure about that. In any case, I’m pretty sure that you can’t just port JavaScript straight to the Kindle, so CoG must have some Java program that will parse and run CS files and display them correctly on the Kindle. If that’s the case, and if I muck with the JS in a CS-based game, am I destroying any chances of the game ever being ported to the Kindle, regardless of any licensing agreement I need to make with CoG? I take it from the responses that no one really knows, except CoG and the author of Wizard’s Choice. So I guess I will have to contact CoG if I want to know.


#16

@mattnoles, thanks for the info!

@eposic, I uploaded what I’m working on to preview and it was the same as you expected – just a title page and the contents of Index.HTML with the “please enable Javascript” message comes up.

For now I’m am just putting my stuff on a web server so it can be accessed through Kindle’s experimental browser. Works pretty well.


#17

@eposic
Yeah I am definitively not the most knowledgeable on this subject as I don’t even know the difference between a Kindle App or Book.


#18

@eposic Just mentioning it for anyone that basically things ‘Oh, hey, I can do this, I don’t need to run it get it hosted by or talk to CoG.’ It wasn’t actually direct to you at all as you already appear to be the kind of person who understands how this stuff works.


#19

@eposic I too get the distinct impression summed up by your last sentence or two.

So far as I’m aware none of the hosted games have yet been ported to Kindle by CoG itself–even the most popular hosted game–so I can only assume it’s no easy feat, even without the author using bespoke JavaScript stuff to enhance their offering.

All I can suggest is to decide exactly what you want to do with your game in terms of JavaScript enhancements and then contact CoG directly. Unlike most of us here (myself included) it sounds to me like you actually have sufficient technical know-how to have a pretty good idea of what the limitations might be, so should be able to present CoG with a few succinct questions on the subject.

If you do, and if successful, I for one would be most interested in hearing of your findings. I see Kindle as having the most future potential for our games.


#20

Okay, I’ve heard from Dan Fabulich, and he has said that any use of the *script command in a CS game will not directly port to the Kindle. Any custom JS written for a game will have to be converted to Java before it can be used in a native Kindle app, which means extra work and thus a delay in releasing a CS game on Kindle.