Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Creating an Android 2.1 Live Wallpaper

Quick disclaimer: this isn't a tutorial, but a brief guide of what Live Wallpapers actually are and how I went about creating 'Duck Paper' - my first Android 2.1 Live Wallpaper. There are tutorials here, from Arno den Hond and here, from AndroGames.net

The Android 2.1 SDK was released today and the only major update was Live Wallpapers, so I thought I'd better find out what they are all about. What I found was quite surprising, I'd imagined that they would be some sort of animation or video playing on the desktop, a bit like MS DreamScene, but actually they are more akin to a an Android application open as the desktop. Live Wallpapers extend the WallpaperService class and the animations and interactions are handled in code, just like in a game. Realising this it seemed reasonable to try and port the only game I've written for Android, Duck Hunt, into a Live Wallpaper.

After less than an hour the first version of 'Duck Paper' was ready - as the ducks fly past in the background you can touch them to shoot them, then they fall off the screen.



Fortunately there is an example Live Wallpaper in the 2.1 SDK called CubeLiveWallpaper. This is definitely the starting point for anyone looking to create their own Live Wallpaper. I opened up this sample project, played with CubeLiveWallpaper1 and merged its Engine with Duck Hunt's SurfaceView code, et voila we have a Live Wallpaper.

Unfortunately I don't have an Android 2.1 device to try it on and it runs pretty slowly in the emulator. Once I've had it tested on a real device I'll put it in the Android Market.

Update: I've had it tested by a friend with a Nexus One and all seems well, so it is now live in the Android Market

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

live wallpaper tutorial with some code

http://android.arnodenhond.com/tutorials/live-wallpaper

mbaird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Android tutorial said...

A full tutorial with archetypes is available here : Android live wallpaper tutorial

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Sam said...

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Anonymous said...

Sir, you've said that you played with the Surface View of Duck Hunt right? so does that mean you "imported" an application and "converted" it into Live Wallpaper?

If so, I would like to learn how to do it! You see, I manage to obtain an interactive Android App and I wanted it as a live wallpaper.

Please Help me, Thanks!!

GeekYouUp said...

The source for my game is here http://code.google.com/p/android-duckgame/ and my live wallpaper is here http://code.google.com/p/android-duckhunt-livewallpaper/ feel free to browse.

Anonymous said...

Very nice, I've been using your source code as a base and I have successfully added Accelerometer as well as onShake events.

I'm just wondering if you could help me (or everyone) to develop a simple "space shooter" live wallpaper.

And is there any way I could contact you!? please, I'm interested in this new live wallpaper concept. XD

Anonymous said...

Sir, can you make a Live Wallpaper object that shoots beams?

GeekYouUp said...

Hey. Live Wallpapers have been around for quite a while now, there should be plenty of examples on line. Good luck with the space shooter.

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