AMI Entertainment Levels Up Its Game Machines With Windows Embedded

Last Updated on 星期日, 15 三月 2020 09:05 Written by admin 星期日, 15 三月 2020 09:05

BRISTOL,Pa。

Sept。

27,2011Apatronvisitsabar,ordersadrinkandplaysafewsimplegamesonabig-screenconsole。

Itsacommonritualthatsplayedoutinthousandsofeatinganddrinkingestablishmentseveryday。

Thatroutinecantakeonamoresocialdynamicwiththereleaseofthelatestversionofabar-topgamemachinethatletspeoplecompeteagainstfriends,createprofilesaccessibleanywhere,bragabouttheirscoresonFacebook,andusevirtualtokenstobuygameenhancementsthatcanboostthosescores。

ItsallpossiblebecauseofatacticalbusinessdecisionmadebyAMIEntertainment,makersoftheML-1gamemachinewhosereengineeredMegatouchLiveplatform,fromtoday,ispoweredbyWindowsEmbedded。

Abouttwoyearsago,itbecameclearthatwereallyneededtoreinventtheMegatouchplatform,saysMikeMaas,presidentandCEOofAMIEntertainment,basedinsuburbanPhiladelphia。

Wehadadevelopmentstructurethathadbeenaroundforadecadeorso,builtonLinux;quitefrankly,itwastired,anditwasdifficulttochange,andthebusinesswasstartingtoreflectthatfact。

Weneededsomethingthatwecouldinnovatewithmuchfaster。

Megatouchisthemarketleader,butMaasandhisteamknewthattoremainsuccessfulafterabout30yearsinthemarketthemachinehadtomeetthechangingdemandsofgaming。

Inthepastthatmeantnewtitlesandart;nowgamerswerealsolookingforsocialconnectivity。

Playerswantedtosharethegamingexperiencewiththeirfriendsinthepubandinothercitiesandtobragonlineabouttheirlatesthighscores。

Someonecouldbesittingdownatapuborarestaurantandachievethegreatestscoreeverachievedinoneparticulargame。

Theydhavenowayofknowingandnowayoftellingtheworldaboutit,saysA。

J。

Russo,creativedirectoratAMI。

Wewantpeopletobeconnectedandtellingtheirfriendswheretheyrehangingouttoplay。

Wewantsomeonesittingatapuborarestauranttobeabletoplaynotjustagainstthepeoplethatgotothatlocationbutagainsttherestoftheworld。

AMIalsowantsoperatorswhopurchasegamemachines,aswellasbarandrestaurantowners,toreapthebenefitsofconnectivity。

Thatincludesincreasedgamerevenuethroughplayerscompetingagainsttheirfriendsandrackinguphigherscoresandrankings,andincreasedfoodanddrinksaleswhenplayersordermoreroundswhiletheykeepplayingorurgetheirfriendstocomedowntothebarandjoininthefun。

AMIhadnetworkedmachines,buttheopen-sourceplatformmadeitdifficulttokeepthemachinesreliablyconnected,sooperatorsandbarownerswerenttakingfulladvantageofconnectivity。

AMIsBigJumpFromLinuxtoWindowsEmbedded

ReinventingMegatouchrequiredsignificantchange,whichwasachallengeontheexistingLinux-basedsystem。

Hardwareupgradesmeantnewdrivershadtobebuiltfromscratch;newgamefeaturestookprogrammersdaysorevenweekstotestandfinalize。

Linuxhasalltheaspectsthatyouwanttoseeinsoftwaredevelopmentwithsomenotableexceptions,saysBrennanMcTernan,vicepresidentofsoftwareandgamesatAMI。

OneofthebigexceptionsforuswasthatthegamedevelopmentassetsunderMicrosoftdwarfthegamedevelopmentassetsunderLinux。

Itmadesenseforustostartlookingforasolutionthatwouldhelpusbemoreefficientandeffective,anddeliverabetterproductquicker,fasterandmorecost-effectively。

SoMcTernanledhisdevelopmentteaminanewdirection。

HestartedbybringingintrainersandresourcestoteachthecadreofLinuxprogrammershowtoworkonWindowsEmbeddedStandard7。

Theintensiveclassesranforseveralweeks,butitdidnttakelongfortheteamtostartbuildingproductsandfeaturesonthenewtechnology。

Onceeveryonehadlearnedthenewoperatingsystem,theystartedrebuildingMegatouchfromthegroundup:newhardware,newoperatingsystem,newgameengine,newgames。

UsingWindowsEmbeddedStandard7openedupaworldofoptionsforhardwareselectionandevaluation。

Developerscouldpickfrommotherboardsandothercomponentsknowingtheywouldnthavetowritetheirowndriversjusttoevaluatethembecausereliable,testedWindowsdriverswereeasytofindonline。

WewereabletorightawayleveragethebenefitsofMicrosoftitselfplusthethird-partypeoplewhomakestuffforMicrosoft,McTernansays。

Wedidina16-monthcyclewhatwouldprobablytake30monthstogetdone。

Rugged,Always-ConnectedSystemsBenefitDistributors,Operators,BarOwnersandGamers

AMIdesignsgameswithplayersinterestsandpreferencesinmind,butthereisachainofadditionalstakeholdersbetweenAMIandthatplayer。

DistributorspurchasemachinesfromAMI,thensellthemtooperatorswhoinstalltheminbarsandrestaurants。

WiththenewMegatouchLiveserviceandML-1machines,AMIissharingintherevenuefromgameplayforthefirsttime,whichmakesitevenmoreimportanttoensureanengagingplayerexperiencethatwillresultinprofitsforeverymemberofthedistributionchain。

Broadbandconnectivityenablestrackingofrevenue,aswellasotherkeydetailsoperatorsneedtokeeptheirmachinesrunningandprofitable。

Automatedalertstelloperatorswhenacoinboxorbillacceptorisalmostfull,soitcanbeemptiedpromptlyandgamerscankeepplayingwithoutinterruption。

Gamesettingsarestoredinthecloudandcanbeupdatedandadjustedremotely,allowingoperatorstocustomizegamemenus,age-appropriatesettingsandpricingoptionsbylocationwithouttravelingtoeachmachine。

Diagnosticsandfixescanalsobeperformedoverthenetwork。

Foranoperatorwhohasanetworkof30machineslocatedwithina50-mileradius,thatsasignificanttimesavings。

Noonewantstogooutat10:30onaFridaynighttofixamachine,butthatsthetimethesethingsneedtobeoperating,saysBillLayne,productmanageratAMI。

Servicingmachinesbecomeseasierandlesstime-consumingbecausetheWindowsEmbeddedplatformisresilientanddurable。

AndthatdurabilityisespeciallyimportantinwhatMcTernanhalf-jokinglycallsthehostileenvironmentofabarorrestaurant,wherethemachinesownerisntpresenttowatchhowgamershandlethemachinesorwheretheyputtheirdrippingdrinkglasses。

Attheendofthenight,McTernannotes,thebarownerislikelytopowerdownthefrontroomswithoutbotheringtogothroughashutdownroutinefortheelectronics。

TheML-1machinesareengineeredtobouncebackaftersuddenshutdownsandotherroughhandling。

WindowsEmbeddedtechnologyalsohelpsensuresystemsecuritythroughBitLockerencryptionandAppLockerprotection。

Gamerscantrustthattheirprofileandcreditcardinformationisprotected。

GamedevelopersknowthatthegamesoftwareisprotectedfromhackerswhowouldtrytopiratesuccessfulgamesfortheirownusewhichofferspeaceofmindtobothAMIsowngamedevelopersandthird-partygamemanufacturerswhosetitlesarelicensedforMegatouchLive。

Andalways-onconnectivitymeansthatnewgametitlesandupdatescanbepushedoutonline,withoutwaitingforoperatorstofindtimetodotheinstallationthemselves。

SincetheWindowsEmbeddeddevelopmentenvironmentalsomakesiteasyfordeveloperstocreatenewgamesmorequickly,AMIcanoffergamersmoregames,moreoften,givinggamerssomethingnewtoplayonaregularbasisandtemptingthemtocomeplayandeatanddrinkattheirfavoritepubmoreoften。

ThisalsogivesgamersmorechancestobuilduptheirMegatouchLivescoresandachievenewrankings。

GamerscanalsoposttheirhighscoresonlineviaFacebookConnect,andcaninvitetheirfriendstocomedowntothepubtoplayorchallengefriendsfromacrossthecountrytobeatthoserecords。

TheFutureofConnectedGaming

Beforetodayslaunch,AMItestedtheML-1andMegatouchLivewithoperators,barownersandgamers。

Operatorslikedthereliablesystemandeasymaintenance。

Barownerslikedtheattractivemachinesnotjustfromahospitalityperspectivebutaspeoplewholiketoplaythegamesthemselvesjustbeforeopeningorafterclosing。

Gamershaveenjoyedthecrispnewgraphicsandresponsivegameplay。

FutureadaptationstoMegatouchLivewillbuildonwhatcustomerslike,anddeveloperswillbepayingcloseattentiontocustomerfeedbackastheycreatenewtitlesandfeatures。

Networkconnectivitywillbeavitalcomponentofnewdevelopments。

ThekeyconsiderationwillbehowtofosterasocialexperiencethroughMegatouchLivegames。

ManyattributesthatinthebroadergamingworldhavebecomekindofexpectedarenowavailableintheMegatouchplatform,AMIsMaassays。

Buttheyreavailableinaninterestingenvironment,whichisinthebar,intherestaurant。