In order to distribute your game to friends and family for alpha and beta testing you’ll need to set up developer accounts with Apple and Google. Both of these will charge you a yearly fee so don’t set them up before you are ready to distribute your game for external testing.
Lets step through each platform separately.
Setting up a developer account with Apple requires a Mac and is a two-step process. First you'll have to set up your account on Apple Dev then create and set up your app on iTunes Connect. To be honest with you, it's a pretty painful process (compare the length of this section to the length of the Android section...). If you don’t own a Mac, you may be able to complete the registration process using a virtual Mac from a site like MacInCloud. Alternatively you could borrow a Mac from a friend for this part of the process. For the rest of this tutorial will assume you have access to a Mac.
Start by going to this link and clicking ‘Account’ from the top banner. Sign in using your Apple ID (or create a new one if you don’t already have one).
Next you'll need to join the Apple Developer Program.
After you have signed up and paid your enrollment fee your Account screen will look like this.
Start by clicking the 'Certificates, IDs & Profiles' button. In this section we will create an iOS Certificate, give your game an App ID, add your iOS devices and create a Provisioning Profile.
Under 'Certificates', click 'All' then '+' on the right.
Select 'App Store and Ad Hoc' under 'Production'. At the bottom of this page, you should see a link to download an Intermediate Certificate. Download this certificate now.
Follow the below steps to complete the Apple certification process:
- Enable your Keychain by clicking the 'Mac' symbol -> System Preferences -> iCloud -> Keychain.
- Open Keychain Access (found in Applications -> Utilities).
- Keychain Access gives you access to a number of different Keychains (login, iCloud, System, System Roots etc.), each with their own Categories (Passwords, Keys, Certificates). Navigate to 'login' and 'Certificates'.
- Double click on the downloaded signing certificate to add it to your Keychain. You should see this appear under 'login - Certificates'. Click it once.
- Hit the 'Keychain Access' dropdown menu on the top left of your screen (next to the Apple symbol) and select 'Certificate Assistant' -> Request a Certificate From a Certificate Authority.
- Fill in the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) Information as seen below (note Common Name can be anything you like) and hit 'Continue'. This will download a CSR file (usually to you desktop).
- A private and a public key set should now also appear under 'login - Keys' within Keychain Access.
- Hit 'Continue' within Apple Developer and select the downloaded CSR file. Hit 'Continue' again.
- Download the iOS Distribution Certificate.
- Double click the downloaded .cer file and it will appear in your Keychain Access under 'login - Certificates'.
Congratulations, you now have an iOS Certificate.
You'll need to create an App ID for your new game. Hit 'App IDs' under 'Identifiers' and add a new App ID.
Fill in your game's name and select 'Explicit App ID'. It is recommended to use a reverse domain name string as your Bundle ID - e.g. "com.companyname.appname".
Select the app services you require (I have never used anything other than Game Center and In-App Purchases) and hit 'Continue'.
Review your information and hit 'Register'. Your game should now appear under 'App IDs'
Register your Apple device to enable testing on this device. You'll need to give your device a name (this can be anything you want) and add it's Unique Device ID (UDID).
Your UDID can be found in iTunes under 'Devices' while your device is connected via USB. It's a little bit tricky to find. You'll have to go to the 'Summary' page and click on the Serial Number of the device to display the UDID.
Click 'Continue' to add your device.
Click 'All' under 'Provisioning Profiles' and add a new Provisioning Profile.
Select 'App Store' under 'Distribution' and click 'Continue'.
Select the App ID of your game from the dropdown list and click 'Continue'.
Select the iOS Certificate you generated earlier and hit 'Continue' again.
Enter a descriptive name under 'Profile Name' and hit continue.
Download your Provisioning Profile and save it somewhere you can find it easily.
Next you'll need to navigate your way to iTunes Connect (link here). You may be asked to sign a few agreements before you can move on. If so, fill in all the relevant details and sign any required contracts until you get to this screen
Click 'My Apps' then hit '+' and 'New App'.
Under 'Platforms', tick 'iOS'. Select the Bundle ID we create earlier. The SKU can be anything you want, it's just a unique identifier that's not visible on the app store. Select something which is easy to remember. Leave 'Limit User Access' blank the hit 'Create'.
This will take you to the App Information screen of your new game. Fill in as much information as possible (see section below for information on privacy policies).
Hit save when you're done. You can leave the other sections of iTunes Connect until we've uploaded our build file. For now, lets move on to Android.
Setting up a Google Play Developer account is a breeze. Navigate your way to this website and sign in using your Google account (or create a new one if you don’t already have one). Read and accept Google’s Developer Agreement, pay your registration fee and complete your account details and you’re all set!
Once you’ve made your way into the Developer Console you can go ahead and click ‘Add New Application’
Fill in the name and language of your game and hit 'Prepare Store Listing'
Next, fill in as much information as possible in each of the tabs. Fields with a star (*) next to them are essential and need to be filled in before we can start the publishing process.
Intel XDK will take you game and build it into an APK file. This will be the subject of the next blog post. You can leave this section for now.
You need to upload an APK before you can fill in the content rating questionnaire. Leave this section blank for now.
In the next part of this post we'll go through how to configure your game in Intel XDK, Google Play and iTunesConnect.