Game development for wearables

Game development for wearables

Hannu Kuusi bio photo By Hannu Kuusi

Game development for wearable devices is something I’m eagerly looking forward to. I dedicated one morning to work with a digital pet prototype I had in mind, something of a mix between Tamagotchi and gardening.

Currently it’s not straightforward to get an app running on both Android / Tizen and Apple devices. The new Apple Watch can finally have it’s own applications without needing the phone app to be there as well but there is no SDK’s which would support Apple Watch yet, Unity has this on the roadmap but it’s going to be a long wait.

Samsung Gear S3 is running on Tizen which would be supported by Unity if the Tizen version on Gear S3 would get it’s update, the current 2.3.x on S3 is not compatible with Unity which needs Tizen 2.4 or newer. Using older version of Unity for the development is not an option as it reintroduces bugs which cause Tizen store submissions to fail.

Right now there seems to be no simple cross-platform solution to easily allow game development for both Apple and Samsung wearables using single codebase. On Apples side things depend on Sprite Kit and Swift and on Samsung the support is not there yet with Unity and Tizen.

I used Cocos2D to create the prototype and then packaged it with Tizen Studio, after few minor issues the game was running smoothly on Gear S3. To get this same prototype running on Apple Watch it’s likely that separate project is needed and I need to dive into the world of Swift and Sprite Kit.