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28th June, 2015
One of the new themes sees me playing a bit more with Monkey's Skewing. The Transform and Matrix commands let you do some weird things with sprites. I never bothered to use them in the past because it's generally hard to pull off a good effect with them, that doesn't just look like you're pissing about with fancy effects! But during SpikeDislike3 I decided to experiment with it a little.
You can see it used best in the Pseudo-3D theme. No 3D is used, and only simple skewing is involved. The graphics are skewed .. um.. downwards a bit.. and the "floor" is lowered so it's in the center of the graphics instead of the top. In all honesty, that's a REALLY simple effect, and I personally think it turned out really well, given how simplistic it all was.
The hardest part was drawing graphics that (mostly) manage to line up with the skewing effect. .. Those Boxed-Spikes took a good number of attempts to get right!.. 'ish!
Yesterday, I headed back to my latest theme, and a whole lot of maths.
It seems obvious to me now, but I was having really weird issues with the theme looking completely different, in different resolutions.
Turns out, the skew is (obviously) at a different position, depending on how far across/down the screen the skew is happening.
You start the skew at 0,0 then by the time you hit 100,100 the co-ordinates will be offset by however big the skew is.
Took me AGES to wrap my head around it, (thankfully this is only in 2D, because 3D maths is even worse!!) but I "think" I've managed to get it all sorted.
The effect now, at least, looks good enough in multiple resolutions and ratios, and that's a good thing.
.. I think!
Annoyingly, it's such a stupid little effect, that all of that hard work will pretty much go unnoticed!
27th June, 2015
SpikeDislike3 is getting a lot of attention, around the net, so I thought it'd be nice to keep a In-The-Media Page all about it's journey.
SpikeDislike3 is available from the AppStore
PocketGamer gives SpikeDislike3 a score of 8 out of 10! Wowie!
iPlay Apps.de take a look at the game.
27th June, 2015
I really should be getting back to Boxsplosions, but watching SpikeDislike3's journey through the AppStore has been so much fun!!
Yesterday, @CraigGrannell posted a glowing review over at PocketGamer.co.uk
8 out of 10?! And a Silver award!? AWESOME!!!
Afterwards, I chatted to Craig on Twitter, and was expecting his "visual" complaint to be the light-squinty nature of the Snow theme, and the dark-squinty nature of the Lava theme.
Instead, he actually mentioned Motion Sickness due to all the parallax.
I'll be honest, I hadn't given it much thought. As most of you know, I get a LOT of motion sickness myself, so I figured that "Just me" would be a nice enough selection of people to test that out.
Apparently not, though, as Craig suggests the amount of parallax scrolling going on was giving him issues.
As such, the next release will have a new option to disable the nasty evil parallax, and leave the game in a much less interesting way, so that ... hopefully.. Craig can play SpikeDislike3 even more
So, if that's a high, where's the low? There's always a low...
Aaah, of course..
The wonderful world of Android.
The .apk is now being rampantly traded around the web. As I know fully well, Android people really don't give a munky about bothering to pay for things. Take take take, gimme gimme gimme.
I knew this going in, but I had faith. I had faith in people to do the right thing.
I figured, if I get maybe 100 or so sales, then that'd be a good set of Android figures. I can live with Piracy, as long as folk are also willing to occasionally pay for things.
The actual ratio is shockingly worse.
I've sold 7 copies of SpikeDislike3 on Android, and from a slim picking of piracy sites, at least 300 people have downloaded it.
My only consolation is that those sites are rife with viruses and other evil malware things, and quite frankly you've only got yourself to blame, if you end up with yet another virus running rampage on your computer.
I have no sympathy for you.
Meanwhile, because GooglePlay are complete arseholes, the cost of all this piracy is the fact that my home address is being splashed directly on the GooglePlay site.. So, yeay for me. I make about ?2.50 from sales, and I get my privacy invaded in the most remarkably stupidly moronic way.
The wonderful world of Android..
From here on in, the iOS version will be the most well-kept edition. It already has the online GameCenter scoreboards, and achievements, and in the future will be getting the "better" updates!
If you're a SpikeDislike/AGameAWeek fan, but don't have an iOS device, grab yourself a cheap'ish iPod Touch. They're currently about ?160'ish on Amazon, are wonderfully well made, and will bring the world of iOS Gaming to your fingertips (/thumbtips!?)
And whilst you're at it, see if you can pick up an OUYA, too.
26th June, 2015
By now I should be mostly done with Boxsplosions, but unfortunately, and yet again, I've found myself wasting the day away doing not much more than SpikeDislike3 things!
.. and a lot of that has been playing!
Alarmingly, Rychan has been reaching amazing heights on the GameCenter scoreboards, easily slaughtering most of my best scores. Of course, I'm all too aware that people are much better at SpikeDislike than I am, but to see such HUGE scores shows just how compelling the game can be, once you find yourself hooked in!
Meanwhile, I've spent some time working on this..
Portrait Mode is missing from the current version of the game. If I'm honest, I'm not entirely sure the iPhings can keep up with that much stuff!
SpikeDislike might not be much of a looker, but trying to get an infinitely scrolling parallaxed background onscreen, isn't exactly easy to do, especially when you then have to scale it to minuscule proportions, thus greatly increasing the number of sprites that have to be onscreen at a time!
I've got the code in place, and will be throwing it onto my iPod Touch (5th Gen, with iPhone5's sized display) for testing, because that's the device that will likely struggle the most. A whole lot of vertical space, and hardly any horizontal. It's NOT a good screen resolution for a game that plays horizontally.. eeek!
25th June, 2015
One month, Three games!? Sure, why not!!
It might not be "AGameAWeek" but getting 3 games onto iOS in a month is still a pretty decent achievement, especially when they're all nice and big.
As you might know, my old MacMini (from 2010) was starting to rot away due to lack of use.
This month, knowing that SpikeDislike3 was due to arrive, I attempted a quick test compile, and.. well.. it didn't go very well.
So, out with the old, and in with a brand new MacMini.
Further compiles were quick and painless, and everything went smoothly.Read More
25th June, 2015
I honestly never considered the time it takes to restart a level in SpikeDislike3 to be all that much. If nothing else, it gives you a second to stop, breath, and prepare for the next attempt.
But bloody hell, the number of people asking for a "Quick Restart", is MENTAL!!!
Yesterday I spent a good number of hours rejigging the way the saves work, and a lot of other things necessary for the new "Quick Restart" to work properly. (Previously the saves only saved when the menu reloaded, but if the menu never reloaded, the game would never save!!)
It's been a shocking amount of work, but I've now got a new quick-menu in place.
It'll default to being switched on.
You can switch it off in the Options menu.
It currently only appears if you fail a level, although I might tweak that, I'll have to keep playing with it, and decide on what's best.
Expect this new QuickRestart menu to appear in the next release, which should be some time next month. ...I prefer to add awesome new themes, rather than rubbishy boring menu-based features!!!
24th June, 2015
After a good 28'ish hours, the game appears to be picking up pace. Hopefully the pace will stay up for some time, and not peter out in the way that most of my games tend to do!
First day's sales (keep in mind that Day One was only about 4 hours) was 9 whole sales.. oooh!
Day two's not shown up in my stats, yet, as it's too early in the day for that sort of thing. Apple's timezones and schedules are all over the frickin' place!! One day starts at one point, and ends at a completely different one.
Meanwhile, I was coaxed online to "hack" my way into getting PromoCodes. My issue was that the link wasn't showing up, at which point someone on Twitter said "Why don't you just go directly to the URL?"
.. I had in fact already considered this, but over the past few weeks I've been chatting with the Apple Tech guys, and they were bemused as to why the link wasn't showing up.
I figured it probably wasn't the best time to be poking and prodding around with things like that, so I left well alone.
But now SpikeDislike3 is out, and I'm struggling to get Reviewers interested..
Yeah, I've kinda "hackied" my way into getting those promo codes. Apologies to Apple, but .. seriously, you guys. Come on!!
I've got one small batch of both SpikeDislike3 and ChuckABall codes, but am mostly using them for "Strict" Promo usage only. I might grab some more later, for spammyness, but don't hold me to that. I'd rather not make URL-Hacking into a regular event!!
23rd June, 2015
After 20 (TWENTY!) days in review, SpikeDislike3 is finally available on iOS!
And it's about damn time, too.
Feel the full dislike, as you bounce your way through the 15 different themes, and 150 levels of spikes!
You can buy the complete SpikeDislike3 straight from the AppStore, right here.
If you're one of those people who have an Android device, you can find a similarly lovely 150-level edition of Android-SpikeDislike3 right here.
There's a couple of tweaks to the Android edition, though. First, there's obviously no GameCenter integration, and I haven't even looked into the whole GooglePlay online stuff. So, basically, you're going to have to take screenshots of your scores if you want to compete with other players.. Oldskool!!
Secondly, the game is of a marginally lesser quality. I DID originally put the hi-res assets into the game, but on some Android models, it was crashing whilst still loading, due to lack of memory.
*tsk* Android fragmentation...
Instead, I've used only the low-res assets, and scaled them ingame. Since 99% of the art is actually chunky pixels anyway, there's not much difference, but once you hit the Invisible Munky level, you can definitely see the difference!! Sorry about that. :
If I can figure out a better way to deal with this issue, you'll see an updated version pop up.
Anyway, there we go. It took twenty days, but it's most definitely worth it!
I hope you all enjoy SpikeDislike3, and that you get as much enjoyment out of it as the previous editions.
And, of course, there'll be extra juicy stuff coming up, once I make it
22nd June, 2015
Oh, boy, did I sleep, yesterday!!
Saturday night was FAR too hot, and I couldn't settle at all. I spent most of the night lying in bed, listening to music and not achieving anything at all. Sleep wise, I got around about 2 hours total, leading to a very very sleepy Sunday!
Suffice to say, Sunday I got NOTHING done.. Nothing at all, except for sleeping.
Lots and lots and lots and lots of sleeping!!
Dev-wise, I'm a bit closer to getting a good feel in Boxsplosions, but it's still not quite there, yet. The projectiles are moving too quickly, and everythings a bit small and squinty..
I think, today, I'll be focussing on that, and hopefully things will slot into place.
21st June, 2015
I'm still fiddling about with the level generator for the new Boxsplosions game. Currently it's coming up with either of two level styles.
Either the arena a HUGE and has one or two targets to hit, thus leading to a huge chasm where not much happens, or it's generating a teensy tiny level that's completely flooded with millions of little bloody targets, which completely kills any sort of gameplay mechanic.
It's going to be hard to get it to balance that out, without ending up with incredibly similar looking levels.
It can get a little bit quiet, when there's nothing around for miles!!
I'm now wondering if I should start to design something else to fit into the world, be it graphical styles or music or different soundscapes. .. Or the whole lot in themes.
No idea if I can keep that up, though...
I'm also finding that I need to set the right sort of zoom for the camera, too. Too far out, and everything is small and unreadable. Too far in, and the huge arenas become overwhelming.
It'll be hard to figure out a LOT of the things that are going to be needed for this game to work successfully.
20th June, 2015
Further rejections, this month, as a game gets rejected from yet another format. I'm not going to give them the publicity of a good rant, but suffice to say they rejected Invisible Munky 2 because, within the End Credits, I bothered to thank the people at OUYAForum.com, who helped me when I needed to test the game's physics.
("OUYAForum.com" is Onscreen between 1:44 and 1:49)
Because of that very very very small mention (of an unofficial forum, btw) the game was rejected from their store.
The game, with it's end credits intact, is also available on iOS, where they apparently don't give a munkys that the mention is in there.
The mention is there as a message of thanks, to the people who DIRECTLY helped me settle on the game's physics. If I didn't thank them, I wouldn't feel good about it. That's what thanks are for, and that's why they get a mention in the end credits of my game.
So, sod the reviewer that told me to remove it. Whoever they are. They can go to hell if they think I'm going to "Fix" that.