Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Second time's a charm!

Hello, mid week update.

Both games are back up, links are new.

To explain, it's a bit lengthy.  When I uploaded them for the first time over the weekend, I used the new version of Java.  Didn't understand why it would cause the APK to say "It hasn't been signed correctly" when you try to install, though my understanding that it does it for older versions of Android.  This was Java 7/8 I used, the game uploaded on Google Play otherwise Google would give me errors for unsigned or corrupted APKs.

Well, I figured I'll just use Java 6 and try again, however my stupid self deleted the keystores from the recycle bin.  Didn't realize the importance of keeping these, I didn't even write down passcodes either... so I had to make two new APKs listings in Google Play and deactivate the first ones.  Google Play won't allow you to delete your games (unless I missed something) you can only unpublish/deactivate.

Due to time constraints I was able to upload one APK per night, because I spent hours trying to recover deleted Recycle bin with third party programs which didn't work out for me, so last night I just bit the bullet and started over.  I have keystores and made sure I have backups of them just incase.

Over the past four days, this process has gave me much frustration.  Half of it was because of my stupidity, the other half feeling I've felt betrayed by how creating a workable APK takes from Construct 2 to finish.  I mean, once you make the game you have to:

-Export it using Cocoonjs
-Create a project in Cocoon's compiling website and MAKE SURE YOUR PACKAGE NAME IS CORRECT
-Compile your C2 export and get it via email in a few moments
-unzip and get the "unsigned_release" version and rename it to rid the long name (you'll thank me when you have to do the next steps!)
-Place it in a new folder in your C:\ directory otherwise be prepared to type alot.
-Download BOTH Java 6.  Not the new version, GET V.6.  Requires you to create an Oracle account
-Download the Android SDK (for zipalign, don't get it third party or you will have a bad time)

This is the part where PROGRAMMING is REQUIRED!

-I had to open a tab in ludei's site on how to sign and zipalign my apk otherwise Google Play will not take it.
-I had to learn to type command prompts to create a keystore, sign, and zipalign the project.
-write down your keystore and keypass codes, DO NOT LOSE THESE (wish I knew that)
-If you're a newb at command prompt keycode entering, it's always going to stay blank, so you have to remember what you type.
-Upload and prep your APK for publishing.

It might seem short, but if you're a beginner with a Constrct 2/Cocoonjs app this can take you hours.  Days if you have time constraints and muckups.  The process is easier now that I've done it several times, but it's time consuming as hell.  

As a personal note to Scirra, I like you guys.  I really think you've done a good job but your software is misleading.  Maybe in a business sense you can politely mislead consumers into making games with no programming knowledge, but when it comes to publishing, users will have to bite the bullet and learn it.  Thing is, they'll be spending hours on the internet getting answers after hours of being confused on how to create workable APKs.  You have to learn how to properly name your apks (lucky ludei explains that) There are some tutorials out there that explains certain points... but other things you literally have to find by doing some digging. 

Like the Java 6 thing... I mean, how the hell are we supposed to know using the free new version of Java won't allow Cocoonjs apks to install on many devices?   I'm almost compelled to do a youtube video about but here's the thing, why do we have to go through all these hoops?  Perhaps I would of liked a little more warning than "requires use of 3rd party" for publishing.  It's one of the reasons I'm thankful there are smarter people on the internet that figured this out months ago, otherwise you'd have many frustrated customers on your plate.

Cocoonjs, despite my gripes about it has actually came through, albeit you have to really vanilla your app for it to function at more than 20fps.  Intel's XDK is actually quite sluggish.  It's easier to work with, but when it comes to game dev, the end justifies the means. 

Okay, I had to get that off my chest.  For the rest of you Android users, I hope you enjoy!

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