May 12 AT 8:00 AM Taylor Wimberly 1 Comment

OpenGL ES Tutorials for Android, Lack Of Android Games, And Quake Bounty Update

I love my T-Mobile G1, but I have been disappointed by the lack of quality games.  There are a few gems like Cestos, Buka, and Abduction, but we have not seen many 3D titles.  Even though the Market is still in its first year, it is failing to reach the numbers that the App Store experienced during its first few months.  However, as the number of Android devices continues to increase we will see an improvement.  In fact, some analyst are expecting a 900% increase of Android smartphone shipments in 2009.

Last month, Apple announced it had hit 1 billion downloads on the App Store in only 9 months.  A quick glance of the top paid and free iPhone downloads and you will find many games.  According to a recent survey, games were the most popular type of download with 79 percent of iPhone users having a game installed.

Apple AppStore vs Android Market

Apple App Store vs Android Market

So how many games have been released for Android?  Compared to the overall number of applications in the Market, the answer is not many.  The following chart shows a comparison of paid vs free and games vs apps.  You can see over the last two months, that the number of applications continues to increase, but games have lacked behind.

Comparison of different types of Apps.

Comparison of different types of Apps.

So what can we do to increase the number of games on Android?  Mostly, we will just have to wait.  A lot of the larger iPhone developers have no reason to port their titles to Android because of the smaller customer base, but that will change.  Now is the time to begin Android development if you want to have quality titles in place for the coming Android explosion.

The Future

As part of our effort to lobby for more games we began our Android Bounty for Mobile Quake and recently started our Top 10 Games list.  Our second bounty got off to a slow start, but has recently received some good news.  One of the developers we featured last month has been hired to start a tutorial site for Android.  His first topic:  OpenGL ES for Android with a section on a Java port of Quake.  Mike has already demonstrated his OpenGL ES talent with a demo of a Quake 3 map running on his G1.  The following is a letter from Mike posted on our Google Group for Android Bounty II Mobile Quake.

Greets,

Well I have some exciting news as my next project at Tactel US (I’m a
software architect working on Android projects) is to start a
technology blog/tutorial site for Android. I proposed basing the first
tutorial sections on OpenGL ES and with a section on a Java port of
Quake 1 as there is very little information specifically targeting
Android, OpenGL ES, and 3D engines (let alone for desktop Java on this
topic). With a bit of good fortune this topic was approved and I’ll be
providing educational tutorials on core OpenGL ES techniques and
dissect a bit of the Q1 engine and initially provide a port for the
level renderer and model loader. This will provide a kick start for
the native Java Q1 port effort and a foundation to complete the rest
of the port to Android for those inclined to do so.

Here is an overview of the sections. Note Section 3 will draw from
the NeHe tutorials that are pertinent to Q1 tech and may include new
material for Android that is not a part of the NeHe tutorials. Section
4 is on the Q1 engine and will likely contain more sections.

I’d like you guys to review this outline and let me know if there are
additional topics you’d like to see covered that fit into the general
goals of the site.

My plan is to work pretty furiously on this project and launch it by
Google I/O with at least the Q1 level renderer and model loader
completed if possible and all goes well.

Regards,
–Mike

If you are interested in the different sections of the coming OpenGL ES tutorials, visit our Google Group for a full outline.  For more information on this project, be sure to subscribe to our feed for updates.  In case you missed it, I have included a video below of the first demonstration of Auriga3D for Android.

[Market data via Sam Lu of a0soft]

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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