On Android there is nothing built-into Android which provides scoring functionality (leader-boards, vs friends) out of the box at the moment. This meant 3rd-party developers have been left to fill that void, and one was quite popular named OpenFient. However OpenFient closed late last year, but that still doesn’t solve our problem.
Released today in a private beta, OpenKit aims to try and fill that void by being completely open source (however, it isn’t yet) on the client and server side meaning everyone can have a lovely experience and 3rd parties can improve it (nicer login, graphics etc).
It is promising a lot from the landing page which is currently live which includes;
- Cloud Data Sync across platforms. This means that if you like to switch between an iOS and Android device, your game data is all in-sync.
- Facebook + Twitter login to your data. While this will probably be smoother on iOS due to Apple working with the two, on Android this will be a little less smooth than 2 clicks (but this could be solved if Twitter+Facebook hired Android developers, however we will save this rant for another day).
- Leaderboards because everyone needs them
However, this is just the start as due to it being open-source someone could easily add tournaments and other features. Personally, I would love to see Google sign-in as on Android this is buttery smooth (thanks to Google Play Services).
Here’s the PR announcement:
OpenFeint Co-Founder Peter Relan Launches OpenKit: A Backend-as-a-Service for Cross Platform Mobile Developers Seeking Cloud Data Storage, Leaderboards, Social Network Integration and More
In the “Post OpenFeint Shutdown” Era, OpenKit Offers Open Source; Open Data, Developer Friendly Backend-as-a-Service; Experienced Dev Team, 500 Developer Sign Ups, 50 Private Beta Developers and a Dozen Developer Endorsements
BURLINGAME, CA–(Marketwire – Feb 1, 2013) – Peter Relan, the co-founder of OpenKit, the first completely open backend-as-a-service (BAAS) platform for mobile developers with a guarantee of no lock-in of developer data, today announced that over five hundred developers have signed up for OpenKit since it was announced last month, and an official private beta program is being kicked off today.
OpenKit is for Android and iOS developers interested in providing Cloud Data Storage for Game State, Leaderboards, Achievements, Multiplayer Features, Push Notifications, and In-App Purchases to their games — with the freedom to host their own backend service. The source code will be made available under Apache (for client code) and AGPL (for server code) licenses. Developers planning to participate in the private beta and/or contribute to the open source project can register at http://openkit.io
Relan created OpenKit in response to GREE closing the OpenFeint™ service (co-founded by Relan in 2008) last month, and a broader need in the industry for an open architecture that gives developers the backend services they need to prosper in the Post-PC era, without getting locked in.
Rob Segal, Get Set Games – “Being able to abstract out key components of any project and leverage them for multiple platforms eases many development effort pains. The team at OpenKit understands that and we’re looking forward to collaborating with them to realize that focus.”
Public Support for OpenKit
Industry-leading iOS and Android developers have thrown their weight behind OpenKit including Pascal Bestebroer of Orange Pixel, John O’Reilly & Greg Harding of Flightless Ltd, Davide Pasca of Oyatsukai Games, Warner Skoch of Vertex Blaster, Manuel Martínez-Almeida of ForzeField Studios, Jason Tartaglia of Around the Clock Games, Lachlan Laycock of Pre Play Sports, Darren Sillett of Mighty Mighty Good Games, Richard Weeks of Total Monkery, and Laurent Mascherpa of Massive Finger.
“On December 13, we announced the OpenKit project to solve the recurring problem in 2012 of developer furor over APIs. Hundreds of developers signed up immediately to tell us what they wanted,” said Relan. “Today we are unveiling the momentum of support behind OpenKit, with the goal of providing all important mobile back-end services for mobile game developers. Even iOS developer who have access to GameCenter services today, recognize the importance of cross platform development for Android, and have come to us in large numbers asking for OpenKit. There is a reason: OpenKit is a single API and service across iOS and Android.”
The team of developers building OpenKit is the team that built the Joypad developer SDK, adopted by over 100 developers for making tablets games remotely controllable by smartphones. The Joypad team pivoted in December, co-founding OpenKit with Relan and an EIR from YouWeb. http://openkit.io/about
Relan also announced that OpenKit has selected 50 private beta developers who want to help refine and extend OpenKit 1.0, which is expected to be available to all developers in public beta in February, and go live into production by March 2013. Developers planning to participate in the private beta and/or contribute to the open source project can register athttp://openkit.io
Unlike OpenFeint, OpenKit is not intended to be a user network: developers can take their user data and OpenKit source code and host their own backend service. OpenKit will provide a universal authorization service for any user network including Facebook, Game Center, Twitter, Google+, GREE, etc.
Version 1.0 Features
- Cross Platform Cloud Storage for game save state
- Cross Platform Leaderboards
- Authentication Services for Facebook and Twitter