We’ve been amazed by the variety of software that people have written for, or ported to, the Raspberry Pi. Today, together with our friends at IndieCity and Velocix, we’re launching the Pi Store to make it easier for developers of all ages to share their games, applications, tools and tutorials with the rest of the community. The Pi Store will, we hope, become a one-stop shop for all your Raspberry Pi needs; it’s also an easier way into the Raspberry Pi experience for total beginners, who will find everything they need to get going in one place, for free.
The store runs as an X application under Raspbian, and allows users to download content, and to upload their own content for moderation and release. At launch, we have 23 free titles in the store, ranging from utilities like LibreOffice and Asterisk to classic games like Freeciv and OpenTTD and Raspberry Pi exclusive Iridium Rising. We also have one piece of commercial content: the excellent Storm in a Teacup from Cobra Mobile.
We hope that the Pi Store will provide young people with a way to share their creations with a wider audience, and maybe to a make a little pocket money along the way; as well as offering commercial developers an easy way to get their software seen by the Raspberry Pi community. To start with, we’ll be encouraging the winners of our Summer Programming Contest to upload their entries to the store. Anybody can submit their own project for moderation and release. You can choose whether to make your content free or paid: the store has a tip jar mechanism, so even if you’re not charging (and not charging will get you far more downloads), you still have the opportunity to make some money from your development work if people really like it. You can submit binaries, raw Python code, images, audio or video; and soon you’ll be able to submit Scratch content too. Raspberry Pi-related media of all kinds also has a place in the Pi Store – we’re carrying the MagPi, and hope to be able to host as many of your homebrew tutorials there as possible. We’re hoping to see everything, from hobbyist content to full-blown commercial software.
As ever with things Pi, the community is going to be key to making the Pi Store great. As well as submitting your own projects (and there are tools in there to help you get started, like free sprite packages for budding games developers), you can help us out by reviewing and rating the stuff you download. The Pi Store has a recommendation engine which is tailored to you and your preferences, so the more you review, the better the recommendations we’ll be able to offer you (and other users) will be. If you rate and review constructively, it means the really great content that gets submitted will percolate up to the top, where everyone can see it. If Liz rates games I hate highly (and believe me, she does: most of her favourite PC games have customisable half-elves in them), that’s no problem: the engine reflects your personal taste, and will learn that, displaying a different selection of recommendations for everyone, once enough ratings are in. We’ll also be adding achievements and leaderboards shortly.
An updated Raspbian image which includes the Pi Store is available from the downloads page. Raspbian users can add the Pi Store application to their existing install by typing:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install pistore
We’ll leave you with a video of Storm in a Teacup in action.