The Blog

Posts from October 2013

Oct 31

GitHub Game Off II

By Samantha Toews

Agora’s David Czarnecki has been invited, for a second year, to judge GitHub’s Game Off. The web-based game challenge kicks off in November and is loosely based on the theme “change”. Participants are encouraged to use open source libraries, frameworks, graphics, and sounds in their game. Last year, David and his colleague of judges played and rated almost 200 games.

Below is a selection of GitHub’s 2012 Game Off winners. All winning, runner up and honorable mention entries are available to play on GitHub.

 photo Winner.jpg

Help Hotfix collect stargazers and avoid enemies. Collect commits to upgrade hotfix and add new features.

 photo Winner2.jpg

Rock Kickass is a shoot’em up platformer about an android who can merge the code of the enemies he kills to gain their powers.

 photo Winner3.jpg

An addictive game where you guide little Pappu around obstacles while collecting coins, stars, and berries and avoiding enemies known as Pakias.

Oct 29

Hydra Marble Maze

By Samantha Toews

Hydra Marble Maze, a Hydra Studio supported version of Window’s stock SDK Marble Maze game, is now available for download on the Windows Store.

 photo MarbleMaze.jpg

The modified game for Windows was made available by our team following the release of Agora’s first iteration of a low-level C++ SDK, available for download on our Hydra Dashboard Downloads page. Features include Hydra Profile Data, Hydra Leaderboards, and the ability to sign-in via Windows Live.

Global Leaderboard

 photo MarbleMaze2.jpg

High Scores

 photo MarbleMaze3.jpg

Oct 25

Agora's Steven Flenory Speaks at RPI

By Samantha Toews

 photo RPI.jpg

Steven Flenory, Studio Director at Agora Games, was recently invited to speak at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Steve provided the group of mostly freshman with an overview of the company, Agora’s beginnings and how we got where we are today. By speaking to such groups, Agora hopes to provide firsthand knowledge of the technology and gaming industry, while inspiring young, budding developers and entrepreneurs.

Agora Games was founded in 2005, born from the Incubation Program at RPI. The nation’s first such program, wholly sponsored and operated by a university, is open to all start-up enterprises with a technology-based product or service.

 photo RPI2.jpg

 photo RPI3.jpg

Oct 25

Game Face

By David Czarnecki

“Game Face” will be our weekly round-up of our internal and external open source work here at Agora Games. Internal open source refers to our public projects that you can find over at our Agora Games GitHub account. External open source work refers to projects that we contribute to in off-hours and may or may not have anything to do with video games because we’re swell folks like that. Pretty simple right? Here goes…

kairos

kairos provides time series storage using Redis or Mongo backends. kairos now provides time series storage using Redis, Mongo or SQL backends. We did a couple of releases this past week. The 0.6.3 release added alpha support for SQL storage of time series data. The 0.7.0 release started adding in support for “discovery” endpoints for time series data as well as iteration handling and SQL data expiration support. As the backend support and test coverage increases, we’ve also provided a means to target the execution of the test suite with environment variables.

Contributor(s): Aaron Westendorf (GitHub, Twitter)

Oct 22

Hydra Chess

By Samantha Toews

 photo b9579f12-b58a-455b-8957-457b24c1bfbf.jpg

Agora has released a Hydra Studio supported, asynchronous Chess game for Android. Available for download on our Hydra Dashboard Downloads page and Google Play, Hydra Chess is a sample application of a Hydra integrated game. Features include Hydra multiplayer networking and in-game achievements, among others.

 photo 7c5a58cb-0d5a-4c8b-bf3c-930b7d380842.jpg     photo 7eaf25d1-a1d5-4294-9b43-42a1ddd9b8d9.jpg

In-Game Achievements                          Multiplayer Networking

Oct 18

Meet Brett, Our QA Intern

By Samantha Toews

Brett returns to Agora for a second semester after a summer hiatus. He will be assisting with both quality assurance and our current testing goals of the Hydra Studio platform.

 photo Brett.jpg

Name: Brett McNeff

Alias: McLovin

Hometown: South Bend, Indiana

School: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Major: Dual Game and Simulation Arts and Sciences and Computer Science

Tagline: “If it doesn’t work, fix it. If it works, you must be forgetting something.”

Bragging Rights/Skills: I can make a soft-serve ice cream cone taller than you’ve ever seen… And eat it faster than you can imagine. Not that it’s practical or anything.

Spirit Animal: Tiger. Powerful, agile, swift, and beautiful. I might be a bit conceited.

Song that best describes your work ethic:

Oct 18

Game Face

By David Czarnecki

“Game Face” will be our weekly round-up of our internal and external open source work here at Agora Games. Internal open source refers to our public projects that you can find over at our Agora Games GitHub account. External open source work refers to projects that we contribute to in off-hours and may or may not have anything to do with video games because we’re swell folks like that. Pretty simple right? Here goes…

chai

chai provides a very easy to use api for mocking/stubbing your python objects, patterned after the Mocha library for Ruby. In chai 0.4.4, we fixed handling of skipped tests.

Contributor(s): Aaron Westendorf (GitHub, Twitter)

Oct 16

UberStrike Facebook and iOS Games Integrate with Hydra Studio

By Samantha Toews

 photo 5fb2098f-2711-4754-b7aa-ce7906dd5f7c.jpg

Agora Games is proud to announce the integration of UberStrike with Hydra Studio. CMUNE’s free to play, #1 First Person Shooter game is now tracking stats for over 17 million users!

              PLAY **▶ **           Facebook        UberStrike.com        iPad


 photo 134d2868-f4af-4102-9c54-016f466e55be.jpg

Below is a brief overview of the Hydra Studio features used to track UberStrike’s players. To learn more about Agora’s Hydra services, visit our site.

Learn more about Hydra Studio

UberStrike Stats

Total Players: 17 million

Monthly Active Users: 800,000

Facebook’s #1 First Person Shooter

Largest 3D Game on Facebook


Leaderboards

 photo compleader-2.jpg

UberStrike.com – Community Global Leaderboard

Hydra Studio’s user based Leaderboard service is now powering UberStrike’s global leaderboard on their community website. This service enhances player connectivity by providing users with rankings based off of any stat a game is tracking on profiles. Additionally, Leaderboards increase a game’s replay value by constantly challenging players to improve their skill.

 photo 2827ad6a-e72b-45c7-a601-79726352c6ea.jpg

Hydra Studio Dashboard – Leaderboard Updates

UberStrike currently provides a global leaderboard to players, but the CMUNE team has plans to implement in-game leaderboards and to expand their leaderboard offerings to include daily, weekly, and monthly rankings.

 photo 273d8b4f-a1af-404b-8e37-aed6da767883.jpg

Hydra Studio Dashboard – UberStrike’s Leaderboard Creation


Analytics

Hydra Studio is automatically tracking the 17 million users playing UberStrike, individual player profile data, and other fundamental project statistics (total profiles, active users, and profile activity). This essential information not only provides developers with a quick snapshot of player engagement and retention, but drives game advancements by powering additional Hydra Studio services such as leaderboards.  photo f8abda27-bc31-48c3-af0a-4f17ea3056d5.jpg

*Hydra Studio Dashboard – A small snapshot of the extensive individual Profile Data gathered by Hydra Studio for each UberStrike player. *

Oct 11

Game Face

By David Czarnecki

“Game Face” will be our weekly round-up of our internal and external open source work here at Agora Games. Internal open source refers to our public projects that you can find over at our Agora Games GitHub account. External open source work refers to projects that we contribute to in off-hours and may or may not have anything to do with video games because we’re swell folks like that. Pretty simple right? Here goes…

authy-ruby

authy-ruby is a Ruby library to access the Authy API. Our pull request to simplify the gem as well as to fix some warnings with newer versions of RSpec when running the test suite has been integrated.

Contributor(s): David Czarnecki (GitHub, Twitter)

batsir

batsir is an execution platform for stage based filter queue execution. It’s built around the excellent Sidekiq project. Our pull request to fix conditional notifiers has been accepted and integrated. The 0.3.6 release of batsir incorporates this fix.

Contributor(s): David Czarnecki (GitHub, Twitter)

kairos

kairos provides time series storage using Redis or Mongo backends. From our last larger point release, 0.5.0, in which we introduced the ability to provide callers with the ability to customize the fetching of data from a timeseries, we’ve released 0.6.2. This includes a new API for fully customized data reading as well as a number of fixes for various method arguments.

Contributor(s): Aaron Westendorf (GitHub, Twitter)

salt

Salt delivers a dynamic communication bus for infrastructures that can be used for orchestration, remote execution, configuration management and much more. We’ve contributed a number of pull requests to be more explicit about versioning and changes within salt formula as well as to fix a few issues ( #1, #2) with using the nginx salt formula.

Contributor(s): David Czarnecki (GitHub, Twitter)

stripe-ruby

stripe-ruby is a gem for interacting with the Stripe payment service. About 7 months ago, we submitted a pull request to breakup the tests into smaller files. This has finally been integrated and we can all rejoice at leaner and focused tests.

Contributor(s): David Czarnecki (GitHub, Twitter)

torus

torus is a service implementing the Carbon protocol to store time series data using kairos and an HTTP server to query and analyze the data. With the 0.5.0 release, we have renamed “condensed” parameter in “/series” to “condense” to match latest kairos as well as adding support for macros, which are the basis for exposing kairos‘ custom read functionality. Again, kairos provides time series storage using Redis or Mongo backends.

Contributor(s): Aaron Westendorf (GitHub, Twitter)

Oct 8

Saints Row IV launches on Hydra Pro

By Samantha Toews

 photo fc4647e4-5064-43e5-8696-e2cebfc8e1e5.jpg

Agora Games is proud to announce the successful launch of Saints Row IV on Hydra Pro (available on Xbox360, PS3 & Steam). Through great partnerships with Volition and Koch Media, the Saints Row series is now tracking stats for over 15 million users, and has empowered players to share over 20 million pieces of user-generated content!

Official Saints Row Website

Saints Row: The Third & IV Stats

Supported Platforms: Xbox, PS3, Steam

Total Players: 16 million

Total Characters: 12.8 million

Total Screenshots: 9.6 million

User-Generated Content: 1.9 TB and growing

 photo 16e12b9e-0947-46f4-9352-7e26494df203.jpg

Below is a brief overview of the customized Hydra Pro features used to power Saints Row IV. To learn more about Agora’s Hydra services, visit our site.

User Generated Content

 photo 96ffe7e5-99dc-4c07-8e2d-2a193b5d75cc.jpg

Supporting character creations, in-game screenshot capture, upload/download queues, community sharing, content tagging and more. Players can now download characters from Saints Row: The Third and update them from Saints Row IV.

 photo 08d29aeb-222a-4627-bd54-537316c36b2d.jpg

Players Profiles

 photo 8eec0b4b-1677-4d06-8f6b-ebd8d1593651.jpg

Tracking Game Performance, Progress, Achievements, and other essential lifetime data for all players.

 photo be7cc235-e954-40ad-a95c-be00ab5a928c.jpg

Leaderboards and Community Aggregates

 photo c6e7597e-7a9f-427b-8702-912454b7cf69.jpg

Powering global leaderboards both in-game and on the Saints Row community website.

Everything Else

  • Feed Services
  • Account Login/Auth
  • Challenges
  • Social Notifications