mat(c)h on github

mat(c)h is still waiting for review on the BlackBerry Appworld (for over 3 weeks now…). In the meanwhile I decided to open source it on github: https://github.com/mneubrand/mat-c-h. The repo contains all artwork and the JavaScript and Lua/Marmalade Quick version of mat(c)h. I am very happy with the visual outcome but the gameplay and game mechanics are lacking a lot. Balance is also horrible mainly due to rushing it in the end without proper play testing. Maybe someone can salvage parts of it for something useful.

mat(c)h published to clay.io and Facebook

I just finished porting mat(c)h from Lua/Marmalade SDK to JavaScript/HTML5. Here is a gameplay video of the JavaScript port:

Instead of plain HTML5 Canvas I decided to try out one of the many available JavaScript game engines. I wanted something lightweight and ended up using sprite.js. Though it did get the job done in the end, it was a painful journey and I will look into a more feature-rich engine next time or maybe even shell out the $99 to get ImpactJS.

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.

mat(c)h – the deed is done

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.

It’s written with Marmalade Quick SDK in Lua. This was my first project with the Marmalade SDK and Lua so I had a rough time getting started. Once I got used to Lua though I really started liking the language. Its simplicity is great. Though I was skeptic of the performance I’d get by using a scripting language, Lua in combination with Marmalade Quick seems to be very slick as well. Once I clean it up a bit I’ll probably publish the source code of it. I know that publishing for just the Playbook isn’t exactly getting mat(c)h in front of the largest audience in the world. I developed mat(c) for the Playbook because I signed up for a Marmalade offer earlier where you could get a free Playbook by building an app for it which uses the Marmalade SDK. I plan on porting it to JavaScript as well.

Below are some screenshots of it. I’ll try to record a gameplay video soon as well.

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Bigger Tasks in GMail

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:

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Fresh start into the new year

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.

Exciting things happening

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 post mortem/Ludum Dare October Challenge participation

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.