Monster Madness for Android Shows Ease of Porting Titles [Video]


If you know anything about Android game development, you’d know that porting titles can sometimes be very costly in many ways. It consumes time, money, and other resources that studios could be putting toward creating their newest games. For this very reason, the gaming scene on Android wasn’t the greatest when it first launched.

A lot of time has passed since 2008, though, and the market had a breakout year in 2010. This is due largely in part to the advent of cross-platform game development engines adding support for Android. Some of the most popular iOS titles are now being ported to Android as the engines they use allow them to port their games in a very short amount of time. (Some have done it in as little as two days.)

Southpeak Studios shows us that you can go even further than that with a game that’s using an engine that does not yet have proper Android support. They created the title Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia. The game was originally released for the Xbox 360 and used the Unreal Engine to power its graphics and physics. As we know, Unreal is taking quite a long time to add Android support to their offering.

Even without official support, Southpeak told me they were able to port the title in a little under a month. I wasn’t afforded the full slate of details about how they did it, but the important thing is that they did it. I’m always glad to hear success stories like this because I know it’ll encourage more developers to port their titles knowing that the experience doesn’t have to be expensive and time consuming.

They showed me the game running on a Tegra 2 device – the Motorola ATRIX 4G. It’s about four years old and wasn’t the most demanding game in terms of graphics for its time, but it still surprised me just how fast they got this thing published for Android. There are tons of games on the Xbox Live marketplace that I can see being good ports for Android and I’m hopeful other studios will follow suit.

The game itself is pretty fun. It can be a bit mindless at times, but there’s a bit of substance to go along with it and things get a lot more fun as you collect more weapons and advance to different areas. You can find the Tegra 2-optimized game in the Android market today for $4.99.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Will they stop making Tegra 2 games?
    Tegra 2 is a weak chip, its by no means a “Super Chip”.
    When there are more capable chips, with more consumers carrying them, why in the world would the make games for something most people don’t have.
    And what about the Exynos chip?

    1. In a sense i can agree with you, even though i can’t agree with the more capable chip part. Because right now the Tegra 2 is the best chip on the market. From what i heard the Exnos will be comparable to the Tegra 2, and in most instances not as powerful.

      But i really don’t think this game should be tegra specific, i mean it plays just fine on the iphone/ipod touch. But i can’t even play it on my Nexus S, that seems pretty ridiculous when my phone has a better GPU than the iphone.

      1. Of course the Nexus S has a better chip than the iPhone, its has a better graphics processor than the Tegra 2 too.
        Its only the processor thats stronger on Tegra 2.
        In some cases, the Hummingbird still wins in single threaded task anyways.
        And Exynos is stronger than Tegra 2 in all aspects btw

        1. This is simply not true. While the GeForce ULV in the Tegra2 is not really great at spitting out huge amounts of Triangles and textures per frame it still is faster then the power VR SGX540 in the Hummingbird chip.
          The GeForce ULV has its strengths in rendering and vector computing.
          In the way it works it is closer to a Desktop GPU than to the other mobile GPUs.
          The difference is much like the old Nvidia, ATI or Matrox GPUs compared to the first 3Dfx Cards back in the nineties.
          anandtech has written a very good article about the Tegra2.
          Read it before you say the chip is crap.

          This is why the game designers optimize and port their titles to the Tegra2 chip.

          Or do you think, all the analysts in the companies whose job is to make decisions about where to invest money would know less than you.
          People stating things like “Tegra2 is crap, Hummingbird is better” have their knowledge from crappy benchmarks like Quadrant or Neocore.

          These Benchmarks don’t utilize the possibilities the Tegra2 offers and therefore have very limited use in evaluating this chip.

          This is much like comparing type speeds on Swiftkey and Swype where on one of the keyboards you have only French installed and both are supposed to be tested by writing an English text.

          1. “The difference is much like the old Nvidia, ATI or Matrox GPUs compared to the first 3Dfx Cards back in the nineties.”

            I remember those days. Someone would come out with 3D gpus that played quake at ridiculous fps but the nvidia allowed for new games with better richer graphics, even though it didn’t have the highest fps for the old games

          2. Now they are doing both.
            But that doesn’t count with Tegra 2.
            Thats all im trying to say

          3. Another thing is that tegra 2 has special optimizations for Adobe Flash. Of course, there won’t be any comparison with the ipad2 since it doesn’t have any kind of Flash.

          4. Flash could be optimized for the Hummingbird too.
            Its just that: They are assholes

          5. I meant that the tegra 2 itself was designed for Flash in its hardware.

          6. Do you think i give a shit about benchmarks?
            If so, explain me how a Adreno 205 can beat the SGX 540 in 3dmark?
            I am not looking at scores, i am rather looking at what instructions it supports, its pure power, and efficiency.
            The Tegra 2 fails at all of them.
            Just take a look for yourself.
            Tegra 2 doesn’t support Neon for an example.
            Nvidia just pushed it to the market to get a few quick sales, they haven’t even tried in my opinion.
            Nvidia is the KING at graphics, but Tegra 2 is just plain sad.
            And btw: Could you give me a link to the Article about Tegra 2?

    2. Exynos is weak. Adreno 220 is weak, too. Tegra 2 is pretty old chip, even if it wasn’t very popular until now, but it’s been used in devices since September last year. Tegra 3 should be the most powerful chip by far in a few months.

      1. The more apt question here is why are we not seeing these chips until the next generation is about to release? I get that there has to be time for testing and whatnot, but I can’t help but feel it’s all a scheme from the manufacturers. Hold back then chips until something faster releases, use the old chips, and then release a faster phone that has to be purchased off contract.

      2. Actually all of these dualcore processors here can get beaten by a 200 Mhz clocked Intel i7.
        Or actually, that would still beat the crap out of them…
        But for small screens, and battery life, they still win, and in size too.
        But why not put it in a tablet then?
        Because they are idiots…..

    3. Yes – much better the make games for chips that no one has.

  2. Now if only this game wasn’t specifically for tegra 2 devices, my Nexus S should play it just fine. And I badly want this game.

  3. It said item not found.

  4. I want someone to port Dead Ops Arcade from Black Ops. It would be perfect for android. If not we could we at least get some nazi zombie love???

  5. You don’t need a tegra chip set to play this game… How about porting it for all gig processors!?

  6. So, if I am not using Tegra phone … I cannot play this game?

    Lame …

    1. Thats it.
      They want you to buy new stuff, just so you can play the game…
      And then 2 months later, something that crushes it comes to the market…
      I almost feel like buying an old Nokia phone and a galaxy player or even maybe if im desperate, an “iPod touch”

  7. I guess Tegra 2 is easier to port games to since it’s close to a desktop gpu.

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