Developer Success Story: Sarah Northway on Porting Rebuild Game to the BlackBerry PlayBook With the Adobe AIR SDK


When Sarah Northway first wrote to us about her post-apocalyptic, turn-based zombie game Rebuild, we were curious to know about her story and how she found the porting process to PlayBook. Rebuild is a game created using Adobe AIR, and RIM has put a lot of effort into making sure its BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR is a solid product that would allow developers to create compelling games with. It turns out that RIM is doing a great job and according to Sarah, porting Rebuild to the PlayBook was “extremely easy”. The entire process from setup to the game being available in App World took all but a few days, and according to Sarah the iOS version was “still waiting for review a week later”. Read more about her experience porting to PlayBook below.


The story according to Sarah:

“RIM pulled an Oprah stunt at the GDC Choice Awards this year and gave free PlayBooks to everyone in the VIP seats, including Independent Games Festival nominees and their hangers-on (ie: me). I’d been curious about the device and wondered how easy it would be to port my popular strategy game Rebuild to the PlayBook using Adobe AIR. Turns out: extremely easy. After one day of project setup, a second day of development, and a couple days waiting for RIM to approve my account and the game, Rebuild is now available in the App World. To compare, I sent Apple an update for the iOS version before I started, and it’s still waiting for review a week later.

At first, I found it a bit of a pain to juggle security certificates and install a dev token on my device just to load my test app onto it, but once that was done, loading new versions onto the PlayBook for testing was a breeze. I can compile, package, install, and run my game in a debug mode in a few seconds with a single call. Overall the experience was MUCH easier than developing with Adobe AIR for iOS. And Rebuild runs like a dream.

So it looks like RIM is doing a great job and needs to continue to put more resources into the Adobe AIR SDK. Perhaps the company can work to lower those security certificate pains and perhaps kill the dev token process. Overall, this sounds like a really positive experience and a big win for both developers and RIM.”

Check out Sarah’s Rebuild game in App World at this link.

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