July 11, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Amazon has launched a new initiative for Android developers looking to make games for the Kindle Fire that are a little more social and powerful. The new GameCircle makes it possible to compete with other players and save progress across devices, and it may just be a sign of things to come.
GameCircle is a new set of API’s that developers can build into the games that they create for the Kindle Fire. It provides a standard, central API to deliver achievements, leaderboards, and sync. The system has been in beta with select developers like Imangi Studios (Temple Run) and Spry Fox (TripleTown), but interested developers can sign-up for an access invitation at Amazon’s Developer Portal.
Here’s what GameCircle offers developers:
- Achievements that can track and store earned trophies, scores, treasures, awards, and other features. The system can notify a player as an achievement is unlocked or access them on-demand later.
- Leaderboards that display the top performers of a particular game, a user’s position in the rankings, and what percentile that person fits into. It can be filtered to show daily, weekly, or all time scores.
- Sync settings that can save in-game progress and “pick-up exactly where they left off when restoring a deleted game or switching devices.” So if you delete a game, all of your achievements and progress will be restored when it is reinstalled.
The “pick up exactly…” quote stuck out to me because Amazon has been rumored to be in the process of developing a phone for more than a year now. Amazon wasn’t talking about people who own multiple Kindle Fire devices when they made that comment; I’m sure device syncing is geared towards people who have a Kindle Fire and may wind up buying the Kindle phone likely to be released this year.