Sunday, March 30, 2014

Almost done

Okay, here's the update:

I spent most of the day figuring out how to publish this app.  Didn't realize the red tape that needed to be cut to get to this point.  I have my Google Play account made, downloaded the Android SDK on this machine, and now I'll have to create a key to sign the APK.

It's late in the day for me, so I'll continue this Monday after work.  Once that is done, I need to figure out how I can get Google adsense on the app so I can make it free.  Being my first commercial app I'm a bit exhausted dealing with every little roadblock, while I understand that it's work It should be easier after the first try.

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On a different note, I'm seriously considering moving into another platform.  Right now the two big giants in indie game engines are Game Maker Studio and Unity.  Right now I'm doing this solo, as much as the appeal of Unity sounds, its more for 3D projects despite the 2D tools they just added.  I've been reading that Game Maker has exports for purchase that supposedly does the work for you rather then relying on 3rd party exporters and fine tunings... but I have yet to see that for myself.  Unity offers more flexibility in which comes with a far steeper learning curve and more expensive for versions that export.  Though I see them as more of a console game maker than a mobile one.

Needless to say, while I admire my time spent using Construct 2, it's just not cut out for commercial games if all there exports revolve around barely-known 3rd party exporters and distributors.  I mean people I asked hardly ever heard of Tizen or Kongregate but totally know about Steam.  Some of us did buy C2 with the intent on some kind of profit, but there's just too much hurdles to jump over.  It's a good learning tool but if you plan on earning some extra income but don't want to deal with the headaches of 3rd party support and last minute coding for app submission your time is better spent elsewhere.

I'm hoping Baxter's Pocket Venture will earn me just enough capital to purchase the other game engine of choice and start over with another franchise.  I can still use C2 for the last 3 Baxter games I have planned but the thought of dealing with the time consuming 3rd party exporting and submitting makes me nauseous.



Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Conundrum

Hello, this is an early weekend post but here's the skinny:

Baxter's Pocket Venture is done.  As in, everything is ready to go.  Thing is, creating a workable APK seems to be my last (or second to last hurdle sans Google Play.)

I'm working with two different compilers, first is Cocoonjs.  Believe it or not Cocoonjs seems to of given a far better compile as of late.  My only gripe I had was that the hidden walls don't turn invisible, but a bright transparent texture.  The second is the file size.  I trimmed the game down to a 7.6 MB in Construct 2, but the finished signed APK is double that.  And for some reason when installed on my phone it's triple that...

Second compiler is with Intel's XDK, in which I couldn't use before because I was running Windows Vista.  Now I have Windows 8 and was able to try it out.  It emulates fine and its very quick to work with, but the exported version was choppier and had no sound.  I've skimmed through some forums to find a fix but to no avail.

Can't even get my phone to be recognized by either PCs.  To face facts, my phone is pretty severely outdated now (It's nearly a 3 year old phone!).  It's a 2.3.5 model compared to the new 4s that are out there.  I suppose this is one of the biggest complaints why Android didn't have a lot of games at first, as the OS changes far more than Apples.

However it's looking like I'll be relying on Cocoonjs to finish this project.  I'm still running some tests right now to narrow the problems, but I just don't like the file size.  Even Angry Birds was only 2-4 MBs.  The sound files bumped up the file size along with some background assets that were around 300px wide.  I wonder if I would have the same issues on Apple?

Anyway, that's the news.  I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Almost there!

Well gang, the game is finished.  Added an intro cutscene with a new piece of music that fits the tone of this game very well.  I wanted to make a video for youtube tonight, but I was concentrating on getting a stable APK.
 
 My final obstacle right now is finding a good way to make a stable APK to submit to Google Play.  I'm using the new Intel XDK converter, and seems I've hit a point where I can't tell if my game was compiled or not, so I'm sifting through help files.

This XDK tests the game better than Cocoonjs has, but it keeps failing when I try to build the APK, not sure what's going on but it looks like I'm low on time tonight.

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In other news, GERD sucks.

I think I've hit my fourth night where I would go to bed, and in an hour or two I wake up feeling like I'm being choked to death, and I have to force a burp out.  Despite eating 6 hours before bed, my stomach feels as it's still breaking down food as I'm in and out of the bathroom.  I'd end up eventually going to bed 2-3 hours later, but as you can imagine I still wake up around 6-7 am.  Sometimes the pets want breakfast and wont let me sleep in so in total I've had to function on 4-5 hours sleep. 

I suppose it isn't too bad, but four days in a row kinda blows.  Today I went out and bought some enzyme supplements and changed my diet around.  I got ballsy and started my coffee habit over again few weeks back, which is a no-no for GERD sufferers, last night I also ate a pint of icecream with cuppochino 3 hours before bedtime, which was my OTHER mistake so I bought it all on myself.  Even Green tea I have to give up.  Today was nothing but water, fruits, some veggies and a very small dinner.  I feel okay, but of course I'd feel this way until night time and my stomach decides to be an ass.  Plus I have to get up one hour early tomorrow so I plan on hitting the sack early just incase I get a repeat of the last four nights.

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I'll hope to have an APK done mid week... hopefully.

Cheers!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Updates

Hello!

     Good news, I've managed to pry my old hard drive from my PC into this new machine today, turns out the front casing had to be removed in order to access the remaining drives, the case was a fight in itself.  So I was able to recover all my important files, mainly documents, music, and Construct 2 projects.

Everything on Baxter's Pocket Venture is as it was before the calamity, had to do a test on the browser and now it seems the game lags a bit on Firefox, no sound on Internet Explorer (big shocker) but runs like butter (buddah!) on Google Chrome.

This weekend was almost a wash, had to finish my taxes on Saturday and had a long update getting Windows 8.1 installed today, but did manage to work on Construct 2 and Baxter's Pocket Venture.

Some adjustments from my last testing:
-Modified the jumps, you're much lighter in air now.
-adjusted difficulty
-removed achievements
-added more sounds
-added bonus level
-adjusted hit detection boxes
-you start with 2 lives(hits) before you get Game Over

I did say this was going to be my final testing, my goal this week is to finalize this game and figure out how to add ads to the game without hindering gameplay.  The game will be free with ads, and 99 cents for ad free.

That's not all, now that I've further completed this engine I'm already planning on making three more games in the Baxter's Pocket series.  Not to spoil much, but a few tweaks with the playerbox allows me to make some neat ideas for future titles.

Another hurdle I will need to pass is advertising.  I didn't realize how difficult it was when I finished Baxter's Venture to get the word out, I understand that I'm a fish out of water and people take some serious prodding to try something different but it looks like I'll have to rely on word of mouth.  My initial plan is to send a free copy of the app to the likes of app reviewers and Kotaku, not sure how that would work though.

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I'm seriously considering buying a 3DS now... Bravely Default and a new Zelda that's a blast from the 90s, they're getting all the good games aren't they?  

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Ramble off!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

So... that happened.

Hi, just giving a heads up for my absense as of late.

My PC's motherboard has finally quit, or perhaps that is what I was led to believe.  My first guess was the power supply unit, the new one I bought just over a year ago, died... which would make it my second PSU that quit in a span of 2 years, did everything from stripping it to it's main components or "breadboarding" if you will, even used an old weaker power supply, changed some items from my motherboard (battery), did every thing I could find using my Xbox 360's crummy internet browser.

Well, I had to suck it up and buy a new machine.  Eager to get back into the fold after a few days of nothing, I decided to reinstall my PSU and good videocard and lo and behold:

It didn't turn on....

Put back the weak PSU this new machine came with and it works like new.... so I'm sitting here looking at my old PC case nearly stripped and kind of pissed.  My old dummy PSU must of also been a dud because I always used it when issues came up.

So here I am, typing this and looking at THREE dead PSUs... maybe I need a new power strip, or there are surges that are messing up my PSUs, this last one I had as a Corsair brand 600 CX which is labeled as the holy brand and THAT failed, nothing seems to last for just a bit over a year and it craps out.

So I'm stuck with a windows 8 machine, but at least it has an intergrated videocard on it, stronger RAM and its a more powerful quad core processor than the last one.  I just need at least a 450w+ PSU and I can use my good videocard again.

I need to also get my other hard drive out of there, my old PC's casing is dumb, the have the HDD where you have to find a way to pry all those metal innards to get to the screws, or I can find a zig-zagged phillips screwdriver and get it out.  I have my backup HDD with all the monthly PC backups but I can't seem to extract them properly.

So hopefully by this weekend I'll be back up and running and reinstalling some key software like Photoshop and Construct 2, at least I have a functional PC for the time being.

Stay tuned, sorry for the delays.