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Game Design & Development
Our specialized game development teams focus on developing, porting and game testing across various platforms like Internet, PC, multi-user, interactive television, mobile phones, and PDA's.Whether you need a full-scale design for a game or just one area to be fleshed out, we will do it for you efficiently and affordably.
 
Whether you require hand drawn style animation or life like CG animation, We can take your project from the conceptual stage to the final product
From storyboard creation, to modeling and animation, to compositing and Post-production, our creative team is equipped to handle each stage
We can conceptualize your story, scenes, and characters, in 2D, and rapid prototype concepts in 3D.

Game Testing & Quality Assurance

emalgam has emerged to be a trusted partner for game industry. emalgam helps extend capacity of your in-house Quality Assurance teams by providing dedicated testing teams.

emalgam offers a wide range of independent quality assurance and testing services for entertainment applications:

Game play testing

  • Functionality
  • Rule adherence
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Single player (online and offline)
  • Multi-player (online and offline)
    • Including MMO
Multi-platform capability
  • PC
  • Macintosh
  • NTSC and PAL
    • Nintendo
    • Sony
    • Microsoft
  • Handheld devices
  • Wireless devices
Online and network testing
  • Multiple modalities
    • T1
    • DSL
    • Dial-up
  • Packet examination and prioritization
  • Timing
  • Wireless and wired environment
  • Security
Beta team management
  • Recruiting
  • Pre-screening
  • Authorizing
  • Tracking (personal data, hardware data)
  • Communication
  • Forum and bug database
  • Professional verification and formal bug write-ups
  • Troubleshooting
  • Gather feedback
  • Reporting

Compatibility testing

  • Customized modular systems
  • Scalable number of combinations
  • Software compatibility
  • Operating Systems
    • Browsers
    • DirectX
    • Drivers
    • Third Party Software (Media Player, WinDVD, Flash, etc.)
  • Hardware compatibility
    • Video Cards
    • Sound Cards
    • Processors
    • RAM
    • Motherboards
    • DVD and CD ROMS
Console certification testing
  • Compliance - NTSC/PAL
    • Microsoft – TCR
    • Sony – TRC
    • Nintendo – Lot Check
  • Handhelds
  • Peripherals
Usability testing
  • User viewpoint testing  
  • User documentation testing
Localization testing
  • Text translation
  • Text verification
  • Voice translation
  • Voice verification
  • Local naming conventions
  • User documentation checking
Design consulting
  • Game play balancing recommendations
  • User interface recommendations
Defects database management
  • Online bug reporting templates
  • Priority bug/issue reporting
  • Use of in-house and/or client’s bug tracking systems

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Statistics
India is fast emerging as a key destination for game design & development. AC Nielsen estimates Indian gaming market to hit $50 million in 2005.

Our Game Development Business Unit specializes in outsourced game production services. We deliver high-quality game production including graphic design, character development, programming, mathematics, level design and quality assurance/game testing.

  • Our clients are large and medium-size game companies willing to increase their production capacity, while keeping costs under control. We have established dedicated teams for our clients in India.
  • We offer offshore resources, technology and capacity to optimize game development in all fields where outsourcing can bring tangible benefits.
  • Depending on customer needs, we assemble teams combining the right skills and a level of management adapted to the complexity of the project. For larger projects, our model also lets us dedicate onshore resources to work alongside your team, either simply as a bridge to the offshore team or as a temporary staff complement.
  • Alternatively, we have the ability to build dedicated Offshore Game Development Center for our larger customers who would like to benefit from our facilities in India to establish and host their own team.
  • We want emalgam to become the outsourced production partner of choice for leading game developers and publishers.
Our game development teams are engaged for developing, porting and testing games across various platforms like internet, PC, broadband/multi-user, mobile phones, PDAs, handheld gaming devices and consoles.  
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Game Development Methodology

Story Board
Building the storyboard is an integral part of putting together an animated feature. The process provides not only a visual interpretation of the script, it also allows designers in each area to get a feel for what is being presented on screen.

At Emalgam, we follow a specific process for story boarding which is shown below

User Interface Designing
At Emalgam, we first of all understand the user requirement and then developed the objects and before developing the complete User Interface, we work with the prototype of the interface to that we can reduce the wastage of resources in repetitive work. We try and work in iterative model on the prototype so that we can come up with User specific design in short possible time and resources.

Below is the process of how we develop the User Interface for games at Emalgam:

Game Programming
Once the requirements are gathered and we have a well defined user interface, the programming for the game takes place. Here also, we try and follow the practice of iterative development so that redundancies are discovered very early in the life cycle of the project and hence, no loss of time and money occurs in the repetitive work.

Code reviews are conducted on an ongoing basis. Typically, upon completion of each module, its code is reviewed to ensure that coding is done according to laid out guidelines and that code is correct, readable, clean and maintainable.

Backend Development
This is the phase that runs parallel to the programming phase as, the backend development. According to the programming schedule and the requirement the backend of the game is developed.

The backend development of the game will include developing a database to store the scores of the users who submit the score after playing the game.

The database will have data stored in terms of the highest scorer first. People scoring the same score will be sorted based on the other parameters such as time, date of scoring etc.

The game will access the database to display the results of the highest scorers after the user finishes the game and submits the game. The interface of the game will show top 50 scorers of the game till date and the user score of the current users if his/her score does not appear in top 50 list (that means the interface will show 51 records at a time).

Game Testing
Test Planning is done at the onset of project in project planning phase. Test plan outlines the types of test to be performed, resources, tools and responsibilities for test related activities.

For unit testing, the developers, themselves are made responsible for the quality of the module they are developing.

Integrated Testing: During the integrated testing the entire game is deployed on the internal test server for QA Testing. Issues would be assigned to the development team and they would be resolved by the team. QA Engineer does a final verification of resolved issues before finally closing them.



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Game Development Infrastructure

Hardware Infrastructure
- We have workstations for Game & software development, testing and support facilities.
- High-end workstations, cards and infrastructure for professional Multimedia work.

Internet Connectivity
We have a dedicated leased line for all our development facility supported by a backup broadband cable link incase the leased line fails. All the facilities have dedicated dialup terminals in the offices incase of extreme contingency.

Dedicated Servers for application Hosting, Testing and Client presentation:
For websites and application hosting, testing, client presentation and for sensitive data storage, we have co-location servers with one of the best data center in USA having multiple OC3 connectivity and all the latest Firewall installed.

We have an internal hosting server on Real IP for our clients to view the status of their development work on production servers at any phase of their development cycle thereby providing complete transparency in our facility. Apart from this we have a rack of servers at our development setup in India with 16 independent IP with Linux, NT, .Net, Java, ASP, MySQL, MSSQL and Oracle Support.

Accessibility and Security
Depending upon the criticality of the area and the services within, different types of physical and access restrictions have been imposed within the development centers so that our clients can be absolutely certain that their data, systems and processes and other confidential information, including IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights) do not get circulated, inadvertently or on purpose.

For certain very sensitive projects undertaken by Gateway, we have implemented even stricter security systems, including isolation of the project area from the rest of the center, secured physical access to the project area and many more.

We have implemented Safeboot Data Security and Access Control software in our facility, which implements 1024 bit encryption to confidential and secured data of our client, which is in production and development servers at our facility. It secured data in removable media as well as on the hard disks. Safeboot also secures information flow through our mails to clients, which is one of the best products in its range.

We have deployed electronic card based access control systems.

Contingency and Disaster Recovery :
The physical infrastructure at all our development facilities has been planned in such a manner that practically nothing has been left to chance. All foreseeable contingencies have been taken into consideration and consequently have been planned for.

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Mainstream

Focus on the Player
Every player genuinely wants to be the focal point in the game and desires to control its outcome. Games don’t have to be easy – they shouldn’t be easy. The more difficult a game is, the more is the satisfaction of having completed it.

A player wants to feel that it’s up to him or her to be able to win or lose. This feeling of achievement is packed into virtually every game – evident in all the bestsellers. There are games that heavily rely on a story and the player is a central figure in the story. In such games, the story and game move along simultaneously. The concept of the game is such that a player has complete control over his or her destiny in the game.

Keep it simple
Simplicity is often underestimated. A gamer doesn’t want to read dozens and dozens of documentation to be able to start playing a game. Just a few quick pointers and perhaps a quick tutorial at times, should serve the purpose. Yes, advanced features and functionalities should be included but it’s very important that a player learns quickly how to play the game. At least theplayer should grasp the basics within such time. If a game fails to catch the player’s attention and interest immediately, it’ll probably end up gathering dust in the basement…

The design of the interface and menus play an important part. We avoid incorporating bizarre controls, for example - the Fire button mapped to the F key. In a 3D-Shooter game, by and large, one should utilize a similar set of controls as other games in the genre. The menus should be simple and easy to interpret. We’ve reviewed a lot of games where menus are made from symbols and lacking any text or tool tips. This is most definitely not recommended as a player tends to interpret symbols in a subjective manner – by mixing symbols with text and/or tool tips, the desired result can be achieved.

Action & Reaction
Action doesn’t necessarily mean violence. Something needs to be happening constantly in a game, and when it does happen, the player should be able to notice it fully. For example, killing an opponent in a 3D Shooter game should be a bloody affair, building a police station in a Strategy game should decrease crime, killing the opponent in an RPG should generate an intermediate victory and maybe, a few spoils.

Background Story
The story behind a game is very important. If you read any of the various game development articles, newsletters and magazines, there is a definitive emphasis on graphics and eye-candy. Graphics are an integral part of game development but at times, could mean very little if the story is non-compelling. However, this is not true if a game tends to be a path-breaking one. For example, Doom did not have a very well conceptualized story but it was still a raging success simply because gamers had never before seen anything like it.

As a general rule, the story is very important – a gamer wants to be a part of the bigger picture. For example, nearly all RPGs are powered by invigorating storylines. However, a good story doesn’t necessarily mean a complex story. A story should not be over-complicated.

Graphics
Stunning graphics are an integral part of the overall game package. Graphics greatly enhance gameplay and all of the above factors. It is meaningless to have, for example a great storyline and poor graphics. They will cancel each other out. Good graphics communicate the overall game to the player. Ideally, one should make use of the latest and state-of-the-art graphic engines when required or build a great graphics engine from scratch when any of the existing ones are insufficient to serve the purpose.

Brilliant graphics are an important factor in any game ratings. Along with gameplay, graphics formulates the core of a game.

Relation to Player
A great game needs to incorporate features that a gamer can relate to, in one way or the other. For example, The Sims – the world’s most successful game until date has many facets to it that players can relate to in real life situations. However, it is not essential that all players relate to the same thing.

For example, an individual who’s just seen a Sci-Fi movie might want to search and purchase a game that allows him to fly a space-craft or participate in a game belonging to that genre. Alternatively, a person who’s a D&D and medieval earth fan might find characters such as Orcs & Elves, fascinating and hence go on to purchase games that focus on this period.

A game that asks its players to solve complex mathematical equations will most likely, not be popular since a very few gamers would be able to relate to it.

Sound
Yet another integral part of a game is its sound. Sound encompasses background scores, voice-acting, character reactions, FX, situational music and the lot. For example, in Baldur’s Gate II, the background score is situational and hence, very interesting. The music changes from the languid when conversations take place, to the dramatic when a battle is being waged. The overall increase in the tempo and style of music greatly increases the overall gameplay.


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Flash

Gameplay, as always is the main focus for any game. Gamers are now only too happy with powerful and innovative games that can be produced with Adobe technologies such as Flash (especially ) and Shockwave. This presents a tremendous opportunity to blend the addictiveness of excellent gameplay with fast online playability and fast downloads.

Emalgam is ideally positioned to accomplish the above. By combining our native Adobe Game Development skills with our gamer’s perspective and experience, delivering world-class bespoke solutions is just the beginning of the tasks that we can do.

Adobe’s Flash brings to the world, the various tools needed to cater to games for internet audiences. And Emalgam here is to utilize the same. Using Adobe based technologies such as Flash and Shockwave, we can:

Create rich, engaging graphics in our games and merge it in a fluid manner with absorbing gameplay.
Create environments online to play and/or download these games by optimizing file sizes.
A playback device that can interpret the download movies

Harnessing Vector Graphics
Arguably, the most important aspect of any game (besides gameplay of course), is excellent and compelling graphics. Gamers want to be transported to worlds such the ones that can be seen in Halo, EverQuest and Myst. These worlds are, gorgeous,to say the least.

Albeit the restrictions posed by games developed in Flash may not exactly match up to Mainstream game development, our designers working in Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, or Fireworks keep working with the tools they are comfortable with, knowing that our work will be usable in Flash and it’ll still possible to create engaging gameplay.

Flash truly delivers broadcast-quality images over the Internet.

Small File Size
Inherently, bandwidth is a consideration and an important one at that. Flash addresses this with compressed movies that can be easily downloaded even with dial-up connections.

Game Components
A game consists of a number of components: the core Flash movie, sound clips, video clips, code, additional Flash movies, and graphics. Packaging all of these components into a single file makes for a large movie or a large game. We utilize Flash to chunk out not only the main movie, but also the different media types for your game. This means that each file can be downloaded on demand. The end result is a more efficient game designed for an online community.

Small Plug-in
Much of the flash player’s success depends on the gamer’s small file size. It takes less than a minute, even over a dial-up connection to DOWNLOAD flash player, the plug-in required to play flash games online and is almost instantaneous for broadband connections. The incredible speed at which the Flash 5 Player has infiltrated internet users is an apt case in point for how easy it is to download and install. Even PDAs these days support the Adobe flash player. Also many versions of Windows PocketPC have flash player in-built, as a regular feature.

Game Criteria
To churn out games, we divide the entire process into three parts:

Game Design

Graphics have to be created for the game. This is the first step. We use tools such as Fireworks and Freehand for the same as the UI between various Adobe products is largely consistent.

Game Development

This is done with Flash because it has the features that enables us to import graphics created with Fireworks and Freehand, and then put these into a movie.

Game Hosting

This is the final stage. Just as a PC game runs from a PC, a flash enabled online game would need to run from a website. We use Dreamweaver as the definitive tool for this purpose, again because the interface is largely similar.


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Java Games

Emalgam offers its services in the development of Java based solutions. We make use of the Java platform to develop a whole range of comprehensive solutions ranging from web based applications to applications for mobile phones.

Java is an object oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Java derives its syntax from C and C++ but does away with the complexities of the base languages. All Java applications are compiled into byte code making them portable across platforms. A Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is required to execute and display java based applications.

FEATURES OF JAVA

The popularity of the Java platform is due to the following features:
Portability: Java programs are platform independent. All code is compiled into Byte code which is interpreted by the Java Virtual Machine. Java applications can run on any platform that has a JVM installed.
Dynamic: Java can dynamically load classes at runtime. New methods and properties can be easily added to a class without effecting existing methods.
Object Oriented: Java is object oriented i.e. Java code can be broken down into reusable components.
Secure: Java includes a host of security features that ensure no unauthorized code can access the main application. The security mechanism in Java also determines the system resources that the application can access on the machine that it is running.
Robust: Java is a robust programming language that provides built-in exception handling. Compile time checks are performed to detect errors.

SOLUTION AREAS

Java technologies can be used to develop a wide variety of applications. Some of them include the following:
Web Based Solutions: Java can be integrated with a wide variety of databases such as Oracle, SQL Server etc to develop dynamic websites, e-commerce applications etc.
Gaming Solutions: We use Java technologies to develop interactive games for the web as well as for mobile phones.
We use J2ME to develop games that are portable across all mobile handsets. Our range of mobile games include word games, puzzle games, card games, betting games etc.

JAVA TECHNOLOGIES

The various Java technologies enable the development of a whole range of applications from web based applications to mobile/wireless applications. At Emalgam, some of the Java technologies that we work on include the following:

JAVA EE

Java Enterprise Edition is a programming language that can be used to develop server side Java applications. The foundation of Java EE is based on Java SE (standard edition). Over and above the specifications provided in java SE, Java EE defines specifications for web services, XML, RMI, Enterprise JavaBeans, and Servlets etc. Java EE enables the creation of applications based on a Service Oriented Architecture.
A whole range of third party tools (such as NetBeans IDE, Ant, Jedit) to extend the Java EE platform are widely available.

J2ME

J2ME or Java 2 Micro Edition is a programming language that makes use of Java to develop applications for devices such as cell phones, PDAs and consumer electronic devices such as pagers, set top boxes etc. J2ME has various components that are required in order to run applications. The components are as follows:

Profiles: J2ME has a set of profiles that it uses to communicate with the devices. Each profile is has a set of APIs that required for a particular device. Each profile corresponds to a device and a profile meant for a device say cell phones cannot be used on other devices such as ovens. Profiles contain the specifications required to run the application on the various devices.
Configuration: In order to implement a profile a configuration has to be used. At present 2 types of profiles are available with J2ME: Foundation Profile (for consumer electronic devices) that uses a CDC (Connected Device Configuration) to implement the profile and Mobile Information Device Profile (for cell phones and other PDA devices) that uses a CLDC (Connected Limited Device Configuration) to implement the profile.
JVM: In order to run the applications on the device a JVM is required to be installed on it. The specification of the JVM required is provided in the Profile for the device. The Java Virtual Machine is referred to as KVM.
J2ME applications can be tested and emulated on a PC. The applications can then be uploaded to the device on which it is to run. Since J2ME runs on devices with limited hardware resources, many features/functionalities available with the Java standard edition will not be available.

At Emalgam, we make use of J2ME to develop a whole range of solutions for mobile phones and PDAs.

JSP

Java Server Pages (JSP) is a Java technology that can be used to developed dynamic web enabled applications. JSP is a server side scripting language uses Java and markup languages such as HTML or XML to generate dynamic and interactive web pages. JSP code is compiled on the server. When a client requests for a JSP page, the server parses and executes the code and returns the output as plain HTML to the client's browser.

Elements
The Elements that make up a JSP page include the following:
Scripting Elements: Scripting elements are the code snippets that are included in a JSP page. All JSP scripting elements have to be enclosed within “<% and %>” tags. JSP scripting elements contain standard Java commands and can also contain HTML and XML tags.

Directives: Directives provide the JSP compiler with the basic information about the page. This information is used in executing the page. The various directives available are: page (used to set the page level attributes such as content type, language etc) , include (used to specify the file which is to be included within the JSP page) and taglib (used to specify the library of custom tags that are required to be used).

Objects and Scope: In case a Java class has to be included in the JSP page, the Objects element can be used. The scope element can be used to set the scope of the code,

Actions: Action tags can be used to specify the action that is to be performed while the JSP page is being executed.

JSP can be used to create a host of interactive database driven applications ranging from simple personal websites to complex e-commerce and other web applications. A JSP Container installed on the web server is responsible for parsing and executing a JSP page. A JSP Container includes a set of servlets that handle the JSP application.


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Skill Set

We have emerged as the leading online community for game development of all levels.
Our expertise encases all facets for writing all sort of 2D and 3D Gaming programming and applications development, for instance by using the latest 3D engines, scripting languages and animation techniques, our experienced and qualified team deals with all kind of requirements, whether it be a beginner's choice or an expert gaming action.
Most importantly, we endeavor to offer compelling solution and eminent support to our growing community of prospective players and customers.

Java:
Java is an amazing platform since it brings down development cycles drastically, while still supporting object-oriented coding. Besides, J2EE authorizes enterprise software initiatives by providing a comprehensive set of tools for the development of cross-platform, vendor neutral applications.
Most interesting of all, code reusability is a focus area of the J2EE. Reusability leads to faster development, lowered costs, portability, and flexibility in the choice of solutions.

Our development team utilizes J2EE and Java Applets to create powerful and extensible gaming applications.


Java 3D:
The Java 3D API provides a set of object-oriented interfaces that support a simple, high-level programming model you can use to build, render, and control the behavior of 3D objects and visual environments.
Using Java 3D API, we incorporate high quality, scalable, platform-independent 3D graphics into applications and applets based on Java technology with ease.
We provide Industry-based gaming solutions to help clients drive their company into real action.


C Scripting:
C-Script is a simplified version of C++, the language used for professional programming. Capabilities of this real programming language with multitasking, arrays, structs, pointers, global and local variables, string and vector functions, and file I/O when amalgamated with our proven expertise, allows us to develop innovative gaming solution.


Microsoft Visual C++
Creating characters, placing effects, defining movement paths and modeling actors is all part of our game. We efficiently use Microsoft Visual C++ and its huge library to import 3D formats, levels, textures and 3D models etc while developing popular 2D, 3D games.


XML
XML has emerged as the standard data format, and recognized by all the platforms & applications across the world. XML is used in a wide variety of applications, especially due to its ability to provide descriptions and instructions along with the information being conveyed, and due to its platform independence, which makes it ideal for uses involving inter-application communication, data transmission, storage searching, retrieval and presentation.

With the experience gained in working with various gaming application, we have the know-how to customize our solutions to suit the Customer's requirements. Using XML, we innovatively apply the technology to unlock its potential and develop thrilling game solutions.


Open GL
A set of OpenSource (LGPL) libraries permits programmers to write games and other real time interactive applications that are 100% portable across a wide range of hardware and operating systems.
With our potent knowledge and practical experience in the open source platform, we help clients to create game systems of any complexity with the highest possible quality.


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