So we’re all hard at work getting Wind Up Robots ready for the store and as we were doing that I was thinking we ought to look at the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablets as additional platforms. So I hurried on over to Best Buy and picked up the hardware so we could test it all out.
To cut to the chase, I am quite impressed with the Kindle. (I haven’t had the chance to really dig into the Nook yet but I’ll get to it). First off, the UI that Amazon rolled for the tool is very well done and it’s the first time I’ve been impressed by the design, images, and feel of a tablet UX that wasn’t the iPad. Other tablets have done reasonably well…but also fallen short of the experience that for many people is the default – Apple’s. But Amazon put good effort here and it shows.
Second – Wind Up Robots looks and plays great on the Kindle. The game was made using Unity3D and with the Android plug-in we just exported and run. It was simple and what’s more, the hardware kept up wonderfully with a game that’s designed to be pretty intense on the CPU. I was frankly expecting a noticeable drop in frame-rate but quite to the contrary, the Kindle even performed better in some ways than the iPad, specifically in touch response. You can see us testing the game on the Fire in in the video below.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the 7″ form factor, it’s too small for me, but other guys here like it and if my main activity is reading eBooks, then the smaller form makes for easier reading…so I may not be the target audience here.
But most importantly (to me) this is the first place I’ve been motivated to make the effort to put my product in an Android app store. Now that Amazon has taken a big step toward the moderated, managed and at-least-slightly-walled garden app store, suddenly they have my interest as a developer. For all the Android hardware that’s being sold the dirty little secret among developers is that Android customers simply don’t spend any money which makes for a lousy business model. (see more here) But I for one am very encouraged by the Amazon store and how it looks like a great step toward finding and training a body of customers who aren’t looking for everything to be free. (Not that free is always bad, but always free is bad). Of course time will tell if Kindle Fire customers act more like Amazon customers than Google customers – but I for one am impressed and ready to roll the dice.