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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Six new servers for AdFlake

Doubling down on power

While we're busy building amazing games and improving our 3D engine tech we do not forget about AdFlake.

Over the course of the last days we have added six new servers (three database, two backend and one frontend) to our Microsoft Azure cloud hosted server infrastructure.
AdFlake now runs on a total of ten servers and everything has fail-over systems and extra redudancy, so there shouldn't be a single minute where AdFlake or one of the related webservices is unavailable.

 

In the last months we have also updated most of our games for Android and iOS, and among other things we have integrated AdFlake. While we think the great thing about AdFlake is the ability to run an efficient cross-promotion network, since updating our games the revenue jump up from about $4/day to $100/day for a single game (in this case, Airbag Frank 3D). So this made us reevaluate our games strategy and we now consider monetization with banners a valuable way to generate a healthy cashflow. AdFlake rocks!

 
Monday, October 07, 2013

Meet AdFlake.com

The new ad mediation kid on the block!

some of you might know that AdWhirl has been shutdown a few days ago. We've used AdWhirl in most of our games and when the shutdown was announced we started to build our own ad mediation service.

 

Ad Flake

 

Today, I'd like to introduce you to AdFlake. AdFlake provides free ad network mediation for iOS and Android apps including house ads and up-to-the-minute analytics. Right now we're supporting 14 ad networks, and we plan to add more ad networks and platforms (Windows Phone + Windows 8).

 

Integrating AdFlake into your app on either Android or iOS is dead simple and can be done within minutes. If you're an AdWhirl user that's great, because you can migrate to AdFlake in just seconds, just change a few lines in your delegate and you're good to go - you don't even have to change the SDK.

 

AdFlake is also open source and everybody can start a pull-request with our repos on GitHub. Check out our "Developer Resources" for more information about the SDK integration, website usage and more: http://www.adflake.com/SDK

AdFlake provides free ad network mediation for iOS and Android apps. Features like house ads, custom events and analytics + reporting make AdFlake the top choice for ad mediation on mobile.
Implementing only a single ad network yields less than optimal cash results due to a reduced click/impression ratio. Developers can easily improve their CPM (cost-per-mille) by including multiple ad networks in a single application.
AdFlake currently supports 14 ad network providers, with an open source client SDK developers can easily add support for more networks.
Improving the downloads and sales of application and games is an important topic for developers: with AdFlake developers can publish custom banners (house ads) inside their application for free, this is the best and most cost efficient way to promote applications to the existing user base.
Track ad impressions (including house ads), clicks and CTR (click-through rate) for every network is easy with the built-in analytics feature of AdFlake, but at the same time it's also a crucial tool to validate the numbers the ad providers report in their backend. 

If you've got any questions I'd love to answer them here!

 
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

we are MADE

A new era begins.

We've finally arrived. After a long and exhausting time planning the relaunch of our company we've finally flipped the switch and we're live.
drahtwerk will forever be a part of our history but from this day moving forward - we are MADE.


And boy do we love our new identity. Over the course of the past year we went through countless brainstorming sessions to find a new name for our company that has a classic but fresh feeling and a semantic to it that represents what we do.

This task is way much more difficult that it sounds, but I think we've got it right with MADE.
So what's with the semantic? MADE is an acronym and it stands for Mobile Applications and Digitial Entertainment - it perfectly describes our company and underlines that we're serious about our games.

 

 

The next step was designing a beautiful logo that fits the name and feels like a mixture between classic and "fresh, bold guys". Of course, the logo also had to work on print and black/white.
And again, the hunt for a logo was incredibly exhaustive - we've designed well over 50 logos until we were finally able to come up with our final logo.
As you're reading this blog post I guess you've probably already seen it in it's full glory, but what you probably didn't know is that our new logo has been designed with the famous golden ratio in mind.
Check out the image, it details how our new logo honors the principles of the golden ratio.

 

Of course we also had to redesign our website to match our company's new identity, so take a look around and tell us if you like it or if you find something awfully broken.

Check out some of the logo concepts that have never seen daylight, keep in mind that they'd look better in color :)


So much news! We also took the time to incorporate our company as a GmbH, that's  the legal structure most big companies use so it's safe to say that we're big boys now.

 


So what else is coming up? Besides working on our company's rebirth we've spent a lot of time on our 3D engine tech called "drahtkern". drahtkern has been powering all our games and over the years it became a powerful tool with a complete toolchain that includes everything from level-editing to blender plugins. The whole engine is uber-crossplatform, it runs on nearly every platform that offers OpenGL and a C++ standard library. There are no dependencies on third-party UI frameworks (or any other SDK/framework) like GTK, QT or Cocoa to render the UI. Every button, label or widget is rendered through our engine with our own UI framework. Check out this screenshot of drahtkern with the editor visible. The game that's being edited is Type Kill. (Type Kill is not yet available)

 

 

And we've got even more in store: we've developed our own C# compiler+virtual machine (interpreter) that already supports the most important language features like delegates, automatic variables or automatic properties. Isn't that too slow? Well no, first off our compiler is not emitting MSIL but our own byte-code tuned for high-performance games. We've got lots of byte-code instructions that are designed for vector arithmetic. And what's probably more important is that we've also developed a native compiler that generates actual C++ source code whenever it's invoked from within the engine! So basically you've got your game running in drahtkern, developed in C#, you pull down the engine console and type "vmcompilenative" and BAM! it will generate actual c++ code for you to just drag into your xcode or visual studio project.

 

 

We're doing C# development in Xamarin Studio with network capable debugging support for our engine. And, well, if it's necessary we can go back to native C++ anytime or even mix C# with C++. And that's just the technical stuff that makes development with our engine so much more fun. Visually drahtkern delivers next-gen features like screen space ambient occlusion, realtime soft shadows, volumetric fog, rays of god and many other features as seen in AAA games. I'll hopefully find some time soon to go into detail with a cool feature and explain how we managed to bring it to life. 

 
Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

...and a Happy New Year!

XMAS 2012 TEASER

 
Friday, July 20, 2012

Airbag Frank 3D released for iPhone, iPad and iPod

Finally! After all this time.

I'm highly pleased to announce that Airbag Frank 3D has finally been approved by Apple!

 

Airbag Frank 3D is now available as a free download in the games category in the Apple iTunes App Store. Grab your free copy here and don't forget to tell your friends and write a review on the iTunes store.

 

We're also really pleased with the performance of Airbag Frank 3D on the Android platform. With more than 45,000 downloads in it's first week and many positive reviews we can safely assume that the mobile gaming community is enjoying the game. Airbag Frank 3D also scored many reviews on several Android related gaming sites world wide:

 

And here are a few reviews in varying languages from the gamers themselves, sampled directly from the Google Play Store:

Shockingly addictive On first playing this I thought it would only hold my attention for a few minutes. Despite the fantastic presentation of the game, 'randomly bouncing around' didn't strike me a very compelling central game mechanic. But, once you start getting upgrades and realise there is a measure of strategy in how you use the jetpack and fruit it suddenly clicks and becomes immense fun. I'm still not sure it'll hold my attention for months or anything, but the number of times I've picked it up for one go and still been at it half an hour later speaks for itself!

OK.... Great app. I just downloaded and have been playing for two hours straight I recommended this to all of my friends. I recommend it to all of you also. ;)

Eccellente Tutte le App Android andrebbero scritte con questa cura

molto divertente e sicuro posso far giocare i miei figli senza che acquistino per sbaglio qualcosa!

Semplice ma geniale Fantastico passatempo complimenti agli sviluppatori

And if you like the game, don't forget to like it on facebook.

 
Saturday, July 07, 2012

Airbag Frank released for Android

Submitted for iPhone, iPad and Mac.

teaser

 

Our second big game Airbag Frank 3D has finally been released on the Android platform.
For the first time we've decided to release an app on the Android platform before releasing it on the iOS platform.
However, this is mainly because of the time it takes Apple to approve an app.

Frank always wanted to fly! Help Frank reach for the stars in this incredibly cute and dazzingly fun game.

Launch Frank from his slingshot by dragging back the rubberband and catapult him into space.
Use your arsenal of powerful fruits and jetpacks to help Frank reach new heights.
Along his way Frank will encounter a variety of monsters that might help him to travel further.

  • EXPERIENCE REAL 3D WITH 3D GLASSES 
    Airbag Frank features real 3D rendering that pops up of the screen, all you need is a pair of anaglyph 3D glasses: red/blue, cyan/magenta and yellow/blue are supported. 
  • MEET THE MONSTERS 
    There are many unique monsters to discover in Airbag Frank. When Frank lands on a crunch, he can ride on his back for a short time. Or steal the balloon from a skullorm and fly away with it. 
  • MORE THAN 30 UNLOCKABLES 
    Improve your reach by unlocking better slingshots, new fruits, monsters, costumes, jetpacks and more. 
    There are over 30 items to unlock and buy in the Airbag Frank shop. 
  • FEATURE COMPLETE FREE VERSION 
    Yes! This is game is free, but there is not a single feature missing. But we do have a gold version that you can buy for the price of candy bar if you want to support the developers and ensure continued development of Airbag Frank. 
  • IN-APP PURCHASE FREE 
    Yes, the game is free and you don't need to buy additional content to actually make it playable. The game does not even has the option of in-app purchasing, so you can let your kids play without worrying that they will spend all your hard earned money. 
  • OPTIMIZED FOR THE LATEST DEVICES
    The game looks great on all devices but if you're one of the lucky owners of one of the latest devices you can enjoy highly detailed models with realtime shadows and more special effects!  

 

Check out the trailer for Airbag Frank 3D below:

 

Airbag Frank 3D is a great, family friendly game with awesome graphics. The feature that I personally like best is the anaglyphic 3D rendering. What's anaglyphic 3D Rendering? What this means is that you can play Airbag Frank 3D with a good old pair of 3D glasses (red/green or cyan/magenta) and the game will have an incredible visual depth. It's something that has to been seen, and I think we're the first to really use anaglyphic rendering in a mobile game.

Let us know what you think about the game by writing a comment, and don't forget to let your friends know about the game.

 
Friday, April 06, 2012

Happy Easter!

...and a teaser

Happy Easter

 
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yay! Zombies now available

Multi-Kill!

Yay! Zombies now available

Yay! Our newest game Yay! Zombies has been approved by Apple and is now availble on the App Store.

If you haven't read the previous blog post about Yay! Zombies here's the abstract again:

Yay! Zombies is an action-fueled slice and shoot casual game with accurately simulated ragdoll zombies, highly polished visuals and emerging sound-effects. 

Slice and shoot ragdoll zombies and cut off all their limbs for extra points in this incredibly fun game!
Hit a running hand to get one of many power ups like "Freeze". But avoid the bombs, they'll end the game in "Classic Mode" or you'll lose five seconds in "Blitz Mode".
Dissect all limbs to get a humiliation bonus or earn combos by slicing multiple zombies at once.

Also, check out the über epic trailer below and let us know what you think, by writing a comment or posting on the Yay! Zombies facebook page.

 

 

Yay! Zombies is now available on the App Store and for a limited-time the price has been set to $0.99 so grab it while it's hot!

Don't forget to follow us on twitter (@drahtwerk) and like us on facebook to stay up to date!

 
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Unveiling twitflicks.com

The best movie rankings on the web!

And we've got even more to unveil! It has been sometime since we've released our last web-app so this is something for the web-aficionados.


It's called twitflicks and you can check it out at www.twitflicks.comtwitflicks is a web-application that generates movie-rankings based on what the people on twitter have to say about it. What makes twitflicks so great (besides the epic design) is that our rankings are not based on the latest releases or the box-office results, they're based on twitter buzz.

Naturally this also makes the latest and greatest movies appear in our top rankings, but they will be next to classics you might have missed. So twitflicks is a great way to discover great movies whether they've just been released or not.

twitflicks logo

But how are the rankings established?
The ratings available on twitflicks are generated by parsing the messages that are posted by the twitter community. But we're not just looking at them. We have developed our own lexicographical analysis to determine whether the tweet about a particular movie is positive or negative.
And we're taking it even further, we're determining the strength of the emotion towards the movie contained in the tweet.

The emotional analysis is not an easy job, but it gets worse: we can't just parse the tweets we get from twitter until it matches the name of one of our movies in the database. Folks on twitter typically use hashtags and abbreviations to communicate. And we have to do the same. twitflicks automatically generates the abbreviations and hashtags for movies as they're commonly used.

Yes, it does happen that we mistakenly identify a positive for a negative. But consider that our rankings are typically based on thousands of individual reviews and not only on a dozen people's opinions like most other movie review sites.

It took us about ten million tweets and a little more than a year until we had perfectly adjusted and tuned our algorithms. We're not trying to compete with iMDB or wikipedia in terms of information about a movie, but we're confident to say that you'll get the best and most unbiased user based reviews on the web.

 

And if you're developer and you want to build a cool mashup or tool, we've got you covered with the twitflicks JSON API that grants you full read access into our database. It's extremely easy to do searches, request a list of buzzing movies or get all the details about a particular movie. Visit the API page on twitflicks.com for more information.
 

 
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Unveiling Yay! Zombies

Who said zombies can't jump?

Unveiling Yay! Zombies

It's a great pleasure to finally announce our upcoming game Yay! Zombies.

We've been quietly working on Yay! Zombies for the past six months and we're more than happy to finally introduce the game to the interwebs:


Yay! Zombies is an action-fueled slice and shoot casual game with accurately simulated ragdoll zombies, highly polished visuals and emerging sound-effects. 

Slice and shoot ragdoll zombies and cut off all their limbs for extra points in this incredibly fun game!
Hit a running hand to get one of many power ups like "Freeze". But avoid the bombs, they'll end the game in "Classic Mode" or you'll lose five seconds in "Blitz Mode".
Dissect all limbs to get a humiliation bonus or earn combos by slicing multiple zombies at once.

Check out the über epic trailer below and let us know what you think, by writing a comment or posting on the Yay! Zombies facebook page.

 

 

The accuracy of the ragdoll simulation is absolutely amazing and the ability to chop off individual body parts, like a hand, makes things so much more fun.

Something that's not visible in the trailer is the main menu and game over screens we have designed for the game. 
If the game is over we don't just present a simple textbox overlay containing the score, we're displaying a goregous UI with a zombie-ragdoll that's got the score strapped to it's chest. We spent a huge amount of time polishing every single aspect of the game from gameplay to userinterface, the result is amazing.

 

So what engine is it running on? Yay! Zombies runs on our own engine called "drahtkern". drahtkern is a powerful 3D engine that has been designed from the ground up to run on low-power mobile devices but it's also capable of scaling up to incredible visual quality on higher end devices and computers. Next-generation graphic effects like shadow-mapping, bump-mapping and parallax-mapping are already built into the engine and we're eager to use these features in our upcoming titles. 

The engine also comes with a physics engine, support for many model formats, a sound system and many more amazing features like the ability to develop games (or parts of a game) not only in C/C++ but also in Java. The Java code will be compiled to native machine code during compilation or engine startup, so it's really zippy!

Among all these features drahtkern is also multi-platform that means we will be able to ship Yay! Zombies on the Mac and Windows and even release the game on Android. However, further development depends greatly on the success of the game. If we are not able to spawn a solid user-base for the game it does not make sense to spend further development time on the game, instead we're going to focus on new releases.  

 

Yay! Zombies will be submitted to the App Store on Friday, 16th March and an official release date will be announced soon.

Don't forget to follow us on twitter (@drahtwerk) and like us on facebook to stay up to date!

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