Weekly Roundup –  http://textcraft.net

In both Tuesday and Thursday’s classes, we got stuck in and helped out our Designers with their games. Near the end of Tuesday’s class, we were all asked to write on the board, under the name of our games, what still needed to be done and were instructed to categorise the tasks as either:

  • A – Designer’s could do it so they should do it
  • B – Either the Designer or Programmer could do it, depending on who got to it first
  • C and even possibly D – Programmers should do it.

I did all that I was instructed to do by my two teams on Wednesday, which turned out to be only one thing for Splop!, finding out, and implementing a way to hack-proof, as best as possible, the watching-an-ad-only-every-6-hours feature. This was challenging to plan for and make, but I had so much fun doing it. The basics of what happens is when you enter the Sugar Store menu, a request gets sent to a time server to get the current UTC time, I then convert it to the UNIX time number, compare it to a dated version of a UNIX time number saved out from the last time they watched an ad, and if the time difference is greater than, or equal to 6 hours, then make the Watch Ad button interactive again, then when the ad is finished, the new time is saved and the button is set as not interactive, and next time the Sugar Store menu is opened, the same loop occurs.

On Thursday, in class, SpaceRace had come up with a few things they wanted me to do to their game, that they hadn’t thought of before we left class on Tuesday. These changes to the game were as follows:

  • Alter how the ship selection works – Instead of scrolling to a ship and then having to click on the ship to select it, I was instructed to make it so that the ship that was scrolled to automatically becomes the selected ship. 
  • Ability curve – This one was badly named by the Designer’s as they meant ‘Agility’, but what I was instructed to do was to make it so that the different Agility values of each ship would actually change the speed that the ship would move at.
  • Change the way you paint your ship – Each wanted colour is a whole new sprite with different shades of the wanted colour, instead of how it was where the colour of the whole sprite was changed to a close-to-solid wanted colour. It looks a hell of a lot better, I must admit, but it also means we now have 18 ship sprites, not 6.

Dramatically cut down the app size from 83MB to 42MB by getting Alex to better compress audio and delete all the unnecessary assets from the project. This brought us down from the 83MB to 57MB and he admitted defeat, so I came in and compressed all the sprites and images, which cut down the size of the app that additional 15MB. Solid effort all around. If you want to understand why I wanted the app to be under 50MB, refer to the last blog post I made about the limitations of the Android platform.

Release date is this Tuesday, it was delayed for a reason I can not remember at this moment. I am sure the Designer teams will have more things they want done before the games have been published for real, and us Programmers will find out tomorrow what they are. I have asked my teams if they had anything for me so I could preemptively do them, but both groups stated that they are at the stage where they can publish.

I tried to get all that was wanted from me done for Studio by the weekend, as I wanted to focus on doing Final Project stuff this weekend, although Friday was dedicated to helping finish up the apps, as the release date was supposed to be on Saturday, but as you know the release date is now tomorrow.

Actually thinking about it now, doesn’t it take a while for Google Play to check out the app to make sure it is safe before they publish it on the Play store? It may be sent to be published tomorrow, but may not actually be on the store until a few days from now.

This is Daniel Jochem, signing out.