A brand new game
for Windows, Linux, Mac, HTML5, 3DS Homebrew and more
7th July, 2015
As is the case throughout the majority of the past week, yesterday was spent mostly fiddling with my website. There are still a few minor errors cropping up on the error logs, but nothing worth hassling about. Little quirks like temporary variable usage, an old BASIC habit that refuses to go away..
If I want to disable a huge chunk of code, I tend to throw in something like "If (Aliens=Attack)" which does of course disable that section of code.. .. Yeah, I know, bad habit! Especially when PHP does that /* */ thing for blocking out chunks at a time..
But old habits die hard.
A "proper" web developer would have a heart attack if they saw even a small fraction of my sourcecode!
So I've been deleting and tweaking and fixing, as well as trying to come up with a decent way to do daily automated backups from a Laptop.
If you've got a desktop switched on all day, that's easy enough, but how to get a laptop to scan and sync two folders when it's only on for a certain amount of time, and you'd like to be able to actually use it during that time.. hmm...
Hopefully I can find a way to sync and backup everything neatly, without resorting to my old "Copy the folder, manually" methods.
Oh, yeah, and I did this choon a couple of days ago, and forgot to post it!
6th July, 2015
OK, so GoDaddy restored the backup, and I've spent the past 24 hours doing backups and fixes and all manner of server-based garbage.
I'll be watching the stats over the next few days, keeping tabs on the databases, and ensuring nothing like that happens again. Grrr.
You can read the Waffley post here, if you're interested..
I'm still tweaking, but I'm ready to get back to Spike Dislike, except my mind's too focussed on the server, so I can't seem to settle into the game code right now.
.. Which is a bit of a pain.
But most of the elements are in place. I still need to add some new challenges, but the art is in, the sound is in, the music's ready to be added in, and all in all the next big update is about 90% ready to go. So that's good.
The options menu is still UGLY, though. I really need to work on that.
ChuckABall iOS - Free Today!
All New ChuckABall is currently 100% Free on iOS.
I try not to do that sort of thing too often, but having been on the store a couple of weeks, now, it's only had 12 downloads, and is flying (/falling) completely under the radar.
I'm not all that bothered, as SpikeDislike3 is obviously the game to watch out for, but it'd be nice if a few more people played the game.
So, Free it Be..
You can Grab ChuckABall from the AppStore, and get flinging the balls.
5th July, 2015
Still working on getting SoCoder back to full strength, but things are slightly easier now that GoDaddy have finally uploaded that damned backup that I asked for, about 3 days ago.
Now it's a case of shuffling file about, and making some nice strengthy tweaks to the site.
So, last night I opened up SpikeDislike's code properly for the first time in about a week.
Over the past week I've been battling server outages, and the whole Android issue, so I haven't really had time to code any of the actual bloomin' game.
Last night I shuffled the way the menu icons are stored so I can add more themes and playmodes.
Previously, all the modes and themes were stored on a single spritesheet together, but as I'm adding more stuff, I've come to realise there really isn't much space on the sheet.
It's now split into two sheets..One for modes, the other for themes.
The way I'd originally laid it out, I had space for 16 mode icons and 40 themes.
Now I have space for 56 modes and 64 themes. Hurray!
.. I probably won't make that many, but it's good to prepare for this sort of thing early.
Over the next few days, I'll get those new 50 levels up and running, and prepare to upload the new edition, along with the Portrait mode, the Parallax switch and the Quick Retry option.
Although, that Options screen is a horrible wall of text.. Hmmm...
Oh, by the way, if you want to try out Parallax switch, Quick Retry and Portrait mode, they're all in the recent Android version, so there's that... Have a look in the insanely chaotic options menu.
4th July, 2015
It's been about 36 hours since I asked GoDaddy to upload a server backup, and STILL they haven't done it.
I've been told it can take up to 72 hours, which, given I only asked for a backup from the day before, shouldn't have been that hard of a task.
In fact, if this fails, and I end up needing "the day before", by the time the upload has happened, I'll have missed the window to make use of it, because the 7-day rotation will have been and gone.
.. I think..
Anyway, chaos.. Still chaos and still more to fix.
I'm currently unsure where the issue might've come from but I'm at least narrowing down the potential fail-points.
With any luck, things should be back to some form of normality by tomorrow, but just in case they're not, know that I AM working on fixing the site, and my fingers and toes are well and truly crossed!
.. Oh, and you can probably guess that I'm getting little/no coding done, during this time!!
3rd July, 2015
My Socoder site has been mostly inaccessible for about 18 or so hours, now.
I'm trying to sort it out, but there seems to be something wrong with the file system on the server. It's acting very strangely.
I've asked GoDaddy to do a server-restore, but if things are still.. .. weird.. I'll have to ask for a complete overhaul of my server. Very strange behaviour.
Due to all of that madness, I've had little/no time to code anything. I spent what little time I had, yesterday, rejigging the advert method of SpikeDislike3, so that it no longer slows down ingame framerate, during play.
Gah.. So much stuff to do, it's insane..
This is meant to be my nice relaxing year off..
2nd July, 2015
Well, @Jayenkai , I've always supported you in the past. And I warned you focusing on piracy would turn you into something untenable.
Point one : I'm NOT focussed on the "Piracy"
I'm focussed on the twat that took my game, and uploaded it to Amazon, then tried to make a profit from it.
That, to me, is a million times worse than anyone who simply finds the game online and downloads it.
That's not just taking something, that's taking something then trying to profit from someone else's hard work.
That's not just regular piracy. It's a WHOLE other thing..
For what it's worth, when SpikeDislike2 first came out, and the pirates took hold of the .ipa Apple version, I created a brand new "Pirate Themed" stage.
My intention was to only have it show up if the player had pirated their copy of the game.
The plan was simple, I upload a new edition of the game, find the source of the pirated version, and get them to inject the new theme before they upload it.
The pirate wouldn't respond to my attempts at communication, and the whole thing was abandoned..
.. But like I say.. Pirates I don't mind. I've got 340+ games, here, and I can GUARANTEE they're in places I could never imagine.
Seeing that Amazon Store item filled me with rage. And I'm 100% sure you'd feel the same way, too.
Your plan to punish your customers (however few) with ads because piracy exists only proves my point, @Jayenkai . I can't support that.
I don't plan to "punish my customers". I plan to punish myself for not having crammed all 340+ of my games with adverts any earlier.
I've always had a "No Adverts" rule, and I've followed it religeously, even when all the warning signs were to switch to things other than direct sales.
The AppStore and GooglePlay have been flagging this up for years, and I should've been the standard sheep and followed suit.
But I didn't.
I stuck to my guns, and look where it's gotten me.
I'm now having to do this, because, realistically I can't think of a better way to handle it.
It's obvious that having a paid-game on Android is insanity. Theft is rampant.
It's a no-go area, and I'm not alone in thinking this.
Android's many issues are the reason that Mobile Devs have almost exclusively switched to F2P-Evils.
I could do IAP stuff, but I don't trust my devkit to be able to re-unlock your IAP after you've formatted your Android device..
(Android owners tend to do this more often, what with all the different OS editions, and I'm NOT willing to play "fix my version" every few days)
So, realistically, IAP is not an option for me, because of fragmentation and accounts and more.
I am only one guy, and I have over 300 games to keep tabs on. IAP is out of the question.
The only (literally the ONLY) option I have left is Adverts, so yesterday I did just that.
I devised a nice simple ad method which took the entire game, pushed it down the screen a bit, and left a banner-space at the top.
This was done so that the adverts weren't annoying or intrusive, and when I tested it all seemed good.
Unfortunately, it seems that some people's devices weren't quite up to the challenge, and the Adverts were causing the entire smegging game to slow down.
As such, I've now had to reduce the adverts to "only in the main menu", where they're certainly not going to make up for loss of sales. Grrr..
Other Tweeters have suggested a "Fullscreen advert every 5 or 10 rounds", and I can honestly say that that's NOT going to happen!!!
I'm adding adverts for reasons other than profit..
Hopefully, the Main Menu Banner will do the required task.
The fact that it's locked in to MY Admob account should hopefully put off anyone who wants to do that stupid "Upload it to Amazon" bullshit.
Pirates can still grab it, and in fact so can anyone now.
The game has been set free because I've added a little advert.
I'll be watching and comparing iOS sales against Android Ads, and if it turns out to be worthwhile, I'll probably do a similar Ad-Supported edition on iOS, too.
I'm very annoyed at Android, Google, and this whole experience..
(Don't forget that the price for all this theft, is having my actual home address plastered on GooglePlay.. Which is a WHOLE other issue...)
I'm not happy that I've had to add the Ads. I HATE that I've added Ads, and this entire experiences is one of the most downheartening things that I've come across whilst coding.
I'm pissed off, I'm frustrated, and I'm still very very angry.
And, @Jayenkai, your suggestion that people who want your games should move to Apple? I wouldn't even do that for Minter.
For what it's worth, I suggested people "Buy an iPod", not "Move to Apple"...
And iPod Touch isn't an expensive iPhone. Think of it like a Gameboy or a 3DS. It's a handheld gaming platform, and it's full of the wonders of iOS.
If I load up SpikeDislike3 on my iPod Touch (5th Gen) I get to experience it in a silky smooth way.
My own PC can't handle the game like my iPod can.
Switching to the iPad makes the whole experience even more unbelievable, as the tablet throws giant 512x512 HD sprites around the screen as if they were 8x8 tiles.
(and yes, there are giant 512x512 sprites all over the game!!)
The whole experience, on a good device, makes it all worthwhile, and as much as I could say "Get a good Android device", that's not exactly easy.
Each device has good points and bad points, and buying a new phone can be a total pain in the arse!
Instead, I'm suggesting an iPod Touch, because it's fairly cheap (in comparison to the iPhone it's a feckin' bargain!) and it's a nice little portable device.
I've also had to downgrade the Android experience somewhat, because smaller hi-res devices were trying to load hi-res assets into a small amount of memory.
The Nexus7 2012-edition did this, and failed spectacularly.
It's hard to know what will/won't work on each device (Fragmentation, again) so I instead settled for the lowest common denominator, and relied on pixel-scaling instead of the hi-res assets.
For the most part, that's not really noticable, but once you hit the Invisible Munky levels, you can definitely see it!!
There's still another thing that makes the iOS edition a "little" bit better.
GameCenter works wonderfully, especially when you count the Highscore tables for each of the Infinity levels.
The Android edition is the second best, because GameCenter adds so much more to the game (and this is in fact true for ALL my highscore-based games)
If I could make use of the Android Play thingumy, that'd be nice, but I'm not sure how to do that in Monkey. I simply *haven't had the time to look into it.
If anyone would like to give advice on that, feel free.
Meanwhile, settle for the second best Android version, and since it has adverts you don't need to pay for it, and hopefully I don't need to keep getting pissed off about people uploading the bloody thing onto other sales platforms, now that those adverts are in place.
.. Now, I just need to figure out why the hell Socoder isn't working..
2nd July, 2015
It's been about a week and a half since SpikeDislike3 appeared on Android and iOS.
In the space of just over a week, it's managed to do "fairly" well on iOS, and has sold over 100 copies. True, that's not amazing, but at least it's something, and it's great to know that at least 100 people still enjoy good gaming!
Meanwhile, on the Android side, the game has now sold 12 copies. Of those 12, at least one was a pirate, and that copy ended up being splashed over every damn piracy site you can imagine.
Not only that, but one arrogant little shit had the audacity to upload MY GAME to the Amazon market, and CHARGE FOR IT.. essentially making THEM money from MY hard work.
(* the offending item has since been removed from "sale", mostly because I ranted my fucking arse off, to Amazon)
I spent a lot of last night utterly pissed off about the entire Android situation. It's bad enough that Google gives away my bloody home address, without having all that piracy bullshit thrown right in your face. Try typing SpikeDislike3 into google, and rather than it going "Hey, we sell that game!" it goes "Oh, you must be looking for the pirated .apk file!"
If anyone is wondering why Android constantly gets the crap-end of games, and has to put up with shitty clones instead of the larger proper versions, then this is pretty much it.
All wrapped up in a neat little week-and-a-half package, this is why Android gets the shitty stuff.
Fragmentation is terrible.
Piracy is terrible.
Outright Fucking Theft is terrible.
And it's all available on Android.
Last night I uploaded an update to SpikeDislike3 on Android.
The update contains adverts.
This is the first time I've EVER put adverts into ANY of my games, and when you hit over 340 games, 99% of which are FREEWARE, it really has to have been something truly bloody awful that makes you cross that line.
Well, this is the line, and this is me crossing it.
The "wonderful" world of Android has pissed me off so much, in just over a week, that I've shoved a great big stonking bloody banner advert into my game.
I hope you're happy, Google...
If anyone wants to complain, you can easily find my address online, because .. Fucking Android...
1st July, 2015
For all that I've done over the years, I rarely get noticed. I'm ok with that, but other people see "Made LOADS of games, never got noticed" as some kind of terrible failure.
Instead, I see it as just a fun little hobby, and I continue to do what I do because I still get enjoyment from it, after all these many many (many!) years.
Recently, somebody stumbled onto my site. I'm not sure how, whether it be via my GameJolt archive, or something to do with SpikeDislike3, or whatever. The reason isn't important.
What is important is that they posted a link to Reddit, asking people if they had any ideas why I was still squandering away in the depths of the unknown.
The Reddit thread led to many questions, a few answers, and an absolute boatload of page-views. Google Analytics is most definitely showing a Spike for today!
There are some Spikes that I DO like.
Now.. If only that'd translate into sales...!
You can find the Reddit thread, here. There's a lot to read!!
30th June, 2015
An old favourite returns..
Yesterday, I managed to get three themes into the game. Three!! Well, technically one of those was that horrible nasty brightly coloured mess, but rejigged so it's not as dazzling on the eyes!
The second was, of course, our old friend Basketball, which does it's standard thumpy ball sound as it hops along the floor.
I've not yet added in the hoops, though. I should probably go do that...
The third theme is yet another "Green grass/blue skies" theme. There's a fair number of those, now.. I really need to stop making lovely grassy themes!!
I have one more theme to add, to make it up to 20, and then work out what sort of special features the new themes have, and add some nice challenging challenges into the game.
29th June, 2015
As I continued, for a ludicrous amount of time, to fiddle with theme #16 yesterday, I found myself finally getting around to tackling a second new theme.
Over on the TouchArcade forum, Coolpepper43 suggested doing a Psychedelic theme, and so I attempted to do that.
To say that the theme ended up as a tragic mess of nastiness would be a bit of an understatement.
I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm all for themes that go ever so slightly off-the-wall, and the Lava and Snow themes are slightly evil on the eyes, but..
Geeze.. That is NOT pleasant to play!! Imagine that, but with all the colours swirling about, and a further rotating colourscheme on the underlaying-background..
Theme scrapped. I'll try something a little less drastic, I think!