Hi there, Yaniv from SOOMLA here. If this is the first time you are visiting SOOMLA, you might be asking yourself what is SOOMLA about? But, if you’ve been here before, at least I can give you some explanation about what’s going on lately. This post will try to answer both questions. SOOMLA is and has always been about helping mobile developers do more together. We are doing exactly that with the virtual economy framework for mobile games we’ve developed, and we would like to do the same with the dynamic storefront. The feedback we’ve received lately from some of the 2,000 developers that use our store platform, is saying that we need to add more flexibility around the design of the stores. The way we are planning to answer this requirement is by changing two things:
- Allow games that use the Virtual Economy Framework (project.soom.la) to seamlessly connect to a server. We are planning to offer that in two flavors: self hosted on your own server and free hosting by SOOMLA.
- Open the storefront as an open source project so that developers can extend, modify and add themes.
Exciting Times for The Virtual Economy Platform Developers
This is great news for the store platform users but it’s actually even better for the Virtual Economy Framework users. The community around the SOOMLA framework is growing rapidly and we’ve seen more than 1,500 downloads in the last 30 days. Many of the framework users have also told us they would like to be able to leverage our server services and the change will allow exactly that.
Platform Support During the Change
Now, as you can imagine, this is a major change in the architecture or our platform. We want to do it very quickly, which means we have to limit support to the In-App Purchase Store solution in the meanwhile. More specifically:
- We are not allowing new accounts to be created for the Store platform.
- Anyone that already has an account can continue to work with the store solution.
- The SOOMLA Project – the Virtual Economy Framework is a great way to save time if you are building In-App Purchasing into your design. It is community supported and we monitor issues and offer additional support as needed. We just added Cocos2d-x JS bindings and there are more goodies coming soon.
FAQ about the new storefront platform architecture
- The Store dashboard will be available in April along with a server solution.
- The Store editor will be available in April with the ability to edit the in-app economy, prices, goods and item images. In June we are going to add the ability to edit the UI look and feel.
- Storefront as an open framework – the code is already available on Github – https://github.com/soomla/storefront-themes but it’s still not documented well enough. We are planning to have it fully open in the first week of June with community generated themes, full documentation and much more.