After a month under review mat(c)h is finally available on BlackBerry World. Check it out here: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/22459301/
For my February #1GAM I finally finished Geo Crack. I originally wrote it as an entry to a Windows 8 Hackathon and it actually won the Edutainment category. Finally I got around to polish and publish it and it has just been released on the Windows Store here.
You can see the gameplay in the video below:
I also integrated clay.io leaderboards and published it on the clay.io platform. I first heard about them when they sponsored js13kgames and using their platform has been an awesome experience so far. Integration is very easy, the often claimed 1-line integration really applies in this case, and uploading it was straight-forward as well. I’ll definitely publish more #1GAM entries there. mat(c)h got pushed to Facebook as well as clay.io makes Facebook integration a breeze. Depending on how Facebook/clay.io/BlackBerry Appworld go I might publish it to other platforms as well.
For my already delayed February #1GAM I’m currently working on a Java4K entry. I hope the size restrictions will let me finish this one relatively fast. At the moment I am playing around with an artillery game prototype.
I just submitted a first version of mat(c)h for the Playbook to the Blackberry App World. For a while there it looked like I’d fail already in the first month of onegameamonth. mat(c)h is a match 3 game with a mathematical twist. Instead of matching colors, etc. one has to match a number by picking three numbers a,b,c so that a times b plus or minus c is equal to it. It’s inspired by a tabletop game I used to play as a kid.
Below are some screenshots of it. I’ll try to record a gameplay video soon as well.
I recently started using Google Tasks quite a lot and found the default window size of it in GMail quite frustrating. Usually annoying UI issues on sites can be easily overcome with userscripts. I couldn’t find any which would handle this issue so I wrote one myself. It was a bit tricky because the way GMail adds the tasks after the rest of GMail has already loaded but after fiddling around for a while I found a solution using a MutationObserver which works quite well. The script is available for Chrome here. You can see the result in the screenshot below:
Lots of things happened in the last months under which most of my pet projects here suffered. I finally finished my Master’s and graduated and just started a new job. I am excited that I could turn a hobby into a full-time job and started working at GREE as Android game developer.
I wanted to make it a new year’s resolution to create one game prototype per month in 2013 anyways so the #onegameamonth project by McFunkypants was perfect to join for that. Hope that the rewards section there is going to add some extra motivation. For January I am working on finishing the Marmalade based BB10 game I started a while ago. Deadline is Jan 19th so I hopefully get this done soon.
There is also a major droidtext update with some long postponed fixes in the pipeline which will most likely get done in January as well.
Lots of exciting things happening at the moment. After a seemingly endless amount of time I finally finished and successfully defended my thesis! I am also going to switch jobs (currently in the final offer stages with 2 companies) soon and take a 1 month trip to India between jobs. Very excited for all of that!
Because of all of the above there was not a lot of time for side projects in the last months. I started submitting “Geo Crack” to the Windows 8 Store but so far it failed certification multiple times. It is quite annoying that MS doesn’t give you a complete list of issues from the start but instead add one minor issue each time it failed certification. Turnaround time on a submission is ~5 days which makes these iterations quite painful. On top of that the Win8 trial version I used to create Geo Crack just expired so I am going to have to get a license and resubmit once more. Hopefully I can get this done fairly soon.
While I initially planned on submitting Geo Crack and working on a BlackBerry app (to qualify for a free BlackBerry Playbook in this offer from Marmalade) for Ludum Dare’s October Challenge, none of that got done on time. But things are picking up now. Below you can find a preview to a number puzzle game I am working on for the BlackBerry Playbook. Still refining the
I hope to get a first beta version of it done this weekend and submit a version to the BlackBerry AppWorld before the India trip.
js13kGames ended a while ago and bomb.js unfortunately didn’t make it into the top 10. In the end a total of 61 games were entered and a lot of high quality entries were amongst them. At least my as3fxr synth port got a shout out at the presentation at onGameStart
Between js13kGames, job and finishing the first draft of my thesis I had not enough time to participate in the last Ludum Dare 24. To make up for it I am going to participate in the currently ongoing Ludum Dare October Challenge. The premise is simple: Make a game — Take it to Market — Earn $1. To finish the challenge I am going to release an ad-supported version of Geo Crack on the Windows 8 Store (currently in certification) and hope that it at least makes a few bucks.
On the October Challenge resource page there is also an opportunity listed to get a free BlackBerry Playbook by releasing an app built with the Marmalade SDK on the BlackBerry Appworld. If time permits it I might give this a shot as well.
I finally finished up my js13kGames entry bomb.js. You can check it out on the js13kGames entry page here: http://js13kgames.com/entries/bomb-js/.
The background music was created by rez from chiptune.com who thankfully gave me permission to use it. The tune is called “Bubble toast (score)” and is in the .mod file format. To play it back I use an extremely stripped down version of jsmodplayer. Every line of code which wasn’t essential to play back this specific .mod was ripped out and instead of dynamicaudio I reused the jsfxr routine to create a .wav file.
To save space all graphics in the game are drawn with canvas primitives instead of graphic files. Usually I created them in inkscape first with the simplest shapes possible and then translated them to canvas calls. Though this procedure was a major pain in the ass it allowed me to pack some nice graphical variety into the 13kb limit.
For minification I use Closure in Advanced Mode followed by UglifyJS. I also experimented with JSCrush and Packify. In the end though those tools are replacing recurring sequences of characters which is very similar to what zip compression does anyways. So they ended up loosing whatever they gained in bytecount when I created the zip in the last build step. Their runtimes were also horrible and it took minutes for them to process the entire script. The entry ended up being 12816 bytes, well under the 13312 bytes limit.