How To Port GameMaker Studio Applications To BlackBerry
March 12, 2014
BlackBerry 10 OS (abbreviated as BB10) is the latest operating system on mobile devices developed by BlackBerry Ltd (previously Research In Motion). Despite a turbulent few years, the telecommunications company has received investment and claims to have large cash reserves. BlackBerry Ltd recently vowed to continue developing consumer products – at least for the time being.
The BlackBerry World app store on BB10 offers a meek selection of titles; this represents an opportunity for GameMaker Studio users. Porting your game to BB10 grants you access to a hungry market of loyal consumers ready to give your game a shot. Doing this is possible thanks to GameMaker Studio’s HTML5 module.
BlackBerry Ltd are quite flexible with the languages you can use to make your apps, and HTML5 ticks the box for creating a packaged .BAR file, the native application format for BB10.
The porting process requires you to tweak some game mechanics and modify game settings prior to exporting. You will be using the Command Prompt in Windows, and you will need to download some files to package your game in the .BAR format. You will also have to register as a BlackBerry developer, which is quick and entirely free. You can do this when you create a BlackBerry ID on their website.
To test your game without a BlackBerry device, simply download the BlackBerry 10 Device Emulator. The .BAR file you create must be flagged to run in the emulator (as detailed in the guide above). You should also test your application on a real BlackBerry device if possible though.
Beyond using HTML5, there is currently no other way to port a GameMaker Studio application to BlackBerry devices. Normally it’s possible to use a utility to port Android apps to BlackBerry, however this does not work with Android games created in GameMaker Studio.
Update: According to a GameMaker community member, as of BlackBerry 10.2.1 this is now possible »
YoYo Games, the developers of GameMaker Studio, have expressed no interest in producing a BlackBerry export module, perhaps due to BlackBerry’s dwindling market share. GameMaker competitor Unity already offers a BlackBerry export module.
Considering that GameMaker Studio supports lesser known platforms like Tizen, perhaps the addition of a BlackBerry export module would be a logical step towards rounding out the engine’s selection of modules.