Roku development II: unlock your device!

by Niels Brouwers 12. August 2014 22:46

Ok, so I got the Roku and after playing around with it for a while I decided to see if I could download the Carter Jones Adventures on the little device. I fired up Visual Studio, then did a fresh build and hit publish. The marmalade deployment tool popped up and after configuring the deployment for Roku the package was successfully built.

I then started reading on how to get the zip file to the device (of course I could have done that already...) . To start with, you need a Roku developer account which you can request / configure through the Roku website. Through the same website, you can enable your device for development, which I also did.

Once your device is configured for development, you can telnet to it (for debugging, you can open telnet on port 8085). Also, enabling your Roku for develpoment, opens up a neat little webservice that enables you to download your application to it. I figured I was all set and ready now, so I downloaded the executable to the Roku, that worked fine. Then on the device (on my TV using the Roku remote), I went to 'My Channels' and selected the app I just downloaded.

The result was an endless 'Loading' in the top left bottom of the screen.....huh?

So I tried the 'Hello World' example, same thing....weird! Then I checked the debug information in the telnet, it said this:

------ Running ------
Starting.
BrightScript Micro Debugger.
Enter any BrightScript statement, debug commands, or HELP.

Current Function:
001: Sub Main()
002:     print "Starting."
003:     ndk = CreateObject("roNDK")
004:     retval = ndk.start("pkg:/app",["--debug"])
005:     print "Returned - " ; retval
006: End Sub
'Dot' Operator attempted with invalid BrightScript Component or interface refere
nce. (runtime error &hec) in ...AAU2vt0i/pkg:/source/main.brs(4)
004:     retval = ndk.start("pkg:/app",["--debug"])
Backtrace:
Function main() As Void
   file/line: /tmp/plugin/KBAAAAU2vt0i/pkg:/source/main.brs(4)

Local Variables:
global   &h0020 rotINTERFACE:ifGlobal
m        &h0010 bsc:roAssociativeArray, refcnt=2
ndk      &h0080 Invalid val:invalid
retval   &h0000 <uninitialized> val:Uninitialized
BrightScript Debugger>

------ end ------

The above message is pretty non-descriptive, but as I learned, it means that the Roku device is not yet enabled for development by the Roku team. So, just beware, if your device is not white-listed by Roku for development, you can 't actually use it to deploy / side load your application!

After figuring that out, a quick email exchange with Roku whitelisted my device, and I was ready to go!

 

Roku development I: unboxing

by Niels Brouwers 8. August 2014 20:40

The great people at MadeWithMarmalade sometimes collaborate with platform vendors who wish to increase the amount of Apps / Developer adoption of their platforms, this results in the so called developer offers. The Carter Jones Adventures was initially released under such an offer (for the BB10 platform).

It is pretty safe to say that without these kinds of incentives, my endeavours in the games/app development would never have been made public like The Carter Jones Adventures is now. I am just the kind of person that needs some external pressure to get things finished and pushed out to the public.

So, now there is a new developer offer and it involves the Roku - a pretty unknown device in the Netherlands but in the US it apparantly is, it is often compared to the Apple TV or Google Chomecast line of products. In short, it is a small device that plugs in your TV through HDMI and makes your TV smart by adding media streaming capabilities (netflix, hulu, etc.) and....games!

I will be porting the Carter Jones Adventures to this little box, using the crossplatform MadeWithMarmalade SDK. To get started, I received my Roku 3 last week.

 

 

The connector was flat, so that required a converter but that was quickly solved. Once I hooked it up, I noticed that this device is rather snappy - unlike, for example, the Sony Bravia smart televisions that we use at our office, this device responds instantly to a button press. Setting up for consumer usage is pretty easy and I was quickly adding channels and checking out the features. Impressive little device, so far.

 

In my next post, I will get a bit more in-depth describing how to set the thing up for development and some issues that I ran into with that.

Back from holidays!

by Niels Brouwers 15. July 2014 05:33

And they were great!   Just before I left I managed to push The Carter Jones to the Android store, that makes four in a row:

 

 

 

 

 

All made possible through the magic of cross-platformness by MadeWithMarmalade - they have actually made the 'starter' version free now for everyone to use! That is some pretty cool tech that they are giving away right there: develop your game/app on windows and publish to all the stores with the push of a button, so easy - and so native!

I don't work for them, but used their SDK for The Carter Jones Adventures and they are really supportive and just a cool bunch, be warned though, it is C++ you will be coding in and that is not for kids.... (unless you choose some of their alternatives which I never tried, so no opinion about it).

Anyway, I think we got all bases covered, right? A port to Tizen failed, after multiple submissions and vague reports with failure descriptions that made no sense to me. A Windows Store port is still on my wish list....Amazon / Nook maybe? Who knows, I'll dig into it once I get some time!

 

 

The Carter Jones Adventures IOS version will be available starting tomorrow!

by Niels Brouwers 5. December 2013 06:21

It has been a while but now it's finally here!

The IOS version of The Carter Jones Adventures should hit the App Store tomorrow! It will run on all devices capable of running IOS 7 and a special version will be released for the IPAD 1 (sorry, you will have to wait for it, but we wanted to make it available for the most devices at once).

If you played the game, let me know your thoughts, where can it be improved what did you like or not like - I'd love to hear your comments!

Twitter: @NielsBrouwers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarterJonesAdventures

To celebrate we've discounted the Black Berry 10 version to just $0.99!!! Would you like us to discount the In App Purchase for Windows Phone as well? Tell me if you do, if enough of you ask for it...who knows?

Will update soon!