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Stranger In a Strange Land: Playdek Coming to Android

David Neumann
United States
Whitefish Bay
Wisconsin
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In life you have to do a lot of things you don't f*cking want to do. Many times, that's what the f*ck life is... one vile f*cking task after another.
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Playdek Bringing Summoner Wars to Android Later Today
Later today, Playdek will be bringing their award winning port of Summoner Wars to the Android platform. The game will be available for Android devices and Kindle Fire as well.

The Android version will have full cross-platform play with the iOS version, although there is an update for the iOS version which is needed for cross-platform play to work on iOS devices.

The download will be free, with factions, reinforcements and mercenaries purchasable via IAP. Playdek is introducing a "Faction Pack" which will allow you to get all nine factions, all their reinforcements and Mercenary Pack 1 for $8. Otherwise, you can pick up individual factions for $2 apiece.



Not a Summoner Wars fan, but still looking for some juicy Playdek goodness on your iPad? Well, Brad has the chance to talk with Playdek CEO Joel Goodman and got some of the reasoning for the appearance of Summoner Wars on Android as well as Playdek's plans for Android in the future.

Brad Cummings: Why was Summoner Wars selected as the first Android title?

Joel Goodman: Summoner Wars was a great development and product fit for us to lead with for Android. Internally, it was the first title we developed using our now current engine tools, which streamlines the interface, font and icon process for us. It also is a head to head two player game, which allowed us to focus in on a refined play experience for cross-platform play, and ensure that all of the cross-platform functionality between Android and iOS works correctly. This also will carry over for us when we roll out online digital tournaments later this year, as a good product test case for that feature. Finally, the in-game purchase options in Summoner Wars are quite extensive with all of the faction pack options, and they allow us to test and work out the IAP needs for new Android marketplaces that until this point we have not released product for.



BC: People have been asking for Android titles for a while, why was now the right time to begin supporting the platform?

JG: Well, it’s certainly not from a lack of desire! We know that many people have been waiting to play Playdek games on their platform of choice, and we are ecstatic to be able to finally move into the cross-platform arena with Android. The timing hasn’t been so much as now is the right time to do it, in as much as we needed to take a few extra steps to get there. We took some development engine strides forward in our products since Summoner Wars, especially in the area of online features and backend architecture. We also rolled out our login system for online play, as everyone now understands was needed for us to maintain cross-platform play for all of the features we will be incorporating into our online gaming experience. The system had to be independent from Game Center or any other platform specific application, and yet still support some of the features for those systems that their particular users expect to have.

BC: What types of Android device are supported? Are there any restrictions?

JG: We support all Android devices that have a GPU, with the exception of those with a Mali chip. All Mali chip devices will be supported in a future update. We also support all Kindle Fire devices, excluding the 1st Generation Kindle Fire and the Kindle Fire TV.



BC: Is there an achievement system for Android users? Will Game Center Achievements still work for iOS users?

JG: Achievements will be available through the store you purchase through. Google Play customers will use the Google Play Games system, and Amazon customers will use the Game Circle system. None of this should affect iOS users, except that they will be unable to directly compare their scores with Android users for now. We plan on eventually releasing our cross platform rankings and leader board system for online and tournament play, that will unify those types of achievements across all platforms that our products are on.

BC: Are further expansions for Summoners in the works? Can we plan to see second summoners or other content soon?

JG: Summoner Wars has an extensive depth of game play content, which is wonderful to have as a developer. We do not have a firm timetable right now, but what we would like to work through in our future content deliveries for Summoner Wars are the four remaining factions for the Master Set along with The Filth and Mercenaries, as well as the Second Summoners sets. We would like to complete the content balance for the game, so that it is completely set up for online tournament play through our multi-platform system.

BC: Any hints on what Playdek hit may be coming next for Android?

JG: Currently we are working on Agricola for Kindle devices, and we will follow with release timing for that as soon as we have it. We also have other products in the works for Android that currently we aren’t at liberty to discuss yet, but we will let you know as soon as we can.


For those of you who haven't picked up Summoner Wars for iOS yet, you can grab it for iOS Universal on the App Store. For Android users, the game is still propagating through the Google and Amazon servers and should be live sometime later today. I don't have links to share right now, but we'll try to add them to the post when they do go live.

EDIT: I just heard from Playdek that they've been forced to evacuate their offices due to the fires that are burning out of control in Carlsbad, California. Due to the evacuation, they will not be able to launch the game to the Android servers until tomorrow. That is, assuming they can go to work tomorrow. I'll let you know if it doesn't seem like tomorrow is going to work, either.

This also means that the servers for their other games could go down due to power outages, and they will not be there to reset them. If you experience issues in a Playdek game, it's likely this is the reason. Again, everything should be fixed tomorrow.
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