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Pixelart
  4th June, 2015
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Blog
  4th June, 2015

Developments


IMG_9694
And so ends our journey of creation.

or, rather, HOPEFULLY ends the journey! We'll find out in about a week, whether I managed to click all the settings in an accurate manner.
With any luck, I won't end up with the horror that is the Cardagain-Issue, again!

Actually, we should know in just a few days, depending on how well Invisible Munky does or doesn't pass through Apple Review. But I can't see anything too terrible happening.. Right!?
*shrugs*

Anyway, there it is.
Yesterday I spent a good few hours entering the same data over and over and over and over and over and over again, into those stupid little boxes, which make up the GameCenter Achievement List.
So tiring doing that stuff.
006

There are 22 badges to earn in the original release. I'll probably add more later, but for now I'm just going to sit back, relax, and play through the entire game from scratch, to be sure there's nothing alarmingly dumb that I've done halfway through!

Be Prepared : The Spikes are Coming!!
..

Eventually .. Once Apple allow/not it through review..

*waiting..*
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Daily Blog
Pixelart
  3rd June, 2015
Views 3, Upvotes 0
Blog
  3rd June, 2015

Developments


A somewhat eventful day, yesterday, but one that took WAY too long!!
As I finished off the last of the levels, and got the game working toa moderately lovely standard, I figured I might as well start throwing bits and pieces into iTunes.
I've still got a number of days until Invisible Munky (hopefully) passes AppleReview, so I can relax and take my time with all the iTunesConnect gubbins.
Starting with the the description, the screenshots, the icon, I continued on and decided to tackle the GameCenter descriptions, too.
16 leaderboards are in the game. One for each of the game's themes, and one extra one to count your total number of spikes passed. Which should be interesting to see..

IMG_9670

I didn't, however, add any Achievements..

Both previous editions of SpikeDislike have had an all to familiar "plinky" noice appearing as you reach Super combos and highscores and things, but this time around, I've yet to add them in.
I've been in two minds as to whether or not I actually need them.
On the one hand, they're nice plinkity things to have going on in the background, but this time the whole game includes a proper soundtrack, so can easily live without all those extra sounds.
The entire game has in fact been stripped down to the most basic of styles, with all that crazy onscreen stuff hidden away.. The sheer chaos of the menu system is now just one long sprawling menu.
Additionally, most of the "Path" achievements are completely broken, since .. well, there's now 14 spike-heights, and I couldn't think of 14 colours!!!! I wonder how long it'll be before someone complains about that fact?!

So, in all, a lot of the "noise" is missing from the game, and it's all been simplified without taking away from the game as a whole.
But what of the GameCenter achievements?

If I DID attempt to add them into the game, I'd probably need somewhere to display what you've earned. I'd also need to draw little badge icons for all the achievements, and then spend a good 24 hours filling in the repetitive and insane amount of garbage that you need inside iTunesConnect for all the stinking badges.
To be honest, that's probably the bit that's putting me off the most, as I've done that plenty of times before, and each time it's completely drained me!

But with about a week to go until I upload the final version to Apple, that little factoid is gnawing away..

.. Should I bother with badges?
Are they essential?
Will they add too much chaos to the game?!

I'm not sure.
Stay tuned!!
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Daily Blog
Pixelart
  2nd June, 2015
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Blog
  2nd June, 2015

Developments


Yesterday was spent tweaking a few odds and sods that I never really got around to doing previously.
I, of course, added a few extra levels, and I added "OUYA Controller Button Icons" to the main menu, so it's marginally more obvious that you can use the shoulder buttons to open the Options menu and Scoreboard.

HeavilySubtle

I rejigged the RetroRaider level to add an extra element of danger, and make it trickier to get through.

Meanwhile, I set about figuring out exactly what's inside the "Free Edition!".
Since the "Full Edition" contains 15 themes (and as such 150 levels) I figured that 1/3 of that might make for a decent free version.
5 themes, and 50 levels are part and parcel of the Free edition.
Just like last time, over the course of SD3's lifespan, I'll slowly but surely add more and more back into the Free version, but I'd like to make the free version into something slightly different, giving it special themes and whatnot.
This time around, since we can specifically target OUYA, I'm thinking that it'd be nice to include some OUYA-themed levels and themes along the way.
For now, however, the 50 level "Free Edition" is pretty much locked down, and more importantly, has already been submitted AND APPROVED by OUYA Review!

But it's not out, yet!
I'm still waiting on Apple-Test#1 (Invisible Munky 2) to get through/fail review.
If it passes review, I'll instantly submit SpikeDislike3 for review, and hopefully that should only take about a week. Then both the iOS and OUYA editions will be released on the same day.
If, however, Invisible Munky 2 FAILS it's review, I'll probably release the OUYA edition of SpikeDislike3 as is, because.. well.. there's no reason to delay it any further! The iOS edition's just being an awkward bugger!!

I'm still hopeful that everything will run smoothly, and am still estimating a June 17th date.
.. But god only knows whether that'll actually happen!
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Daily Blog
Pixelart
  1st June, 2015
Views 6, Upvotes 1
Blog
  1st June, 2015

Developments


A busy day, yesterday, as I set about building more of those Mission/Level things for SpikeDislike3.
I've now got marginally different Mission modes for 10 of the 13 themes, although "Super X!" seems to appear a fair number of times!
With only 3 more sets of levels to create, I'm pretty much nearing the end of development, although there's a bunch more extra bits that I might end up throwing in.

Anyway, I figured now's about as good a time as any, to give you an idea of my target release schedule, or rather, the things that have to happen in order for me to launch the game!

1. Invisible Munky 2 : Release
I have to wait for that game to get through Apple Review, just to be sure that my current framework CAN actually get through review, and that I managed to just about get all the correct things into place, in order to get a game onto the AppStore.

2. Invisible Munky 2 : Testing
I've literally NO IDEA what'll happen to the game, if run on an iPhone 6/6+.. Not a smegging clue! (Those Emulators have a tendancy to lie!!)

I'll have to hunt the twittersphere for testers, mmethinks.
Once the game's released, I'll need it double-checked to ensure I clicked all the right buttons, and set the correct settings, in order for the game to run Everywhere!!!

3. SpikeDislike3 : Submission
Now, assuming everything turns out OK with Invisible Munky 2, I can then submit SpikeDislike3 in the same way, which would take another week or so to get through Apple Review, before it turns up on your iPhings.

Twitter_Header_1

Est. Release Date (If All Goes Well)
Approx 17th June


... However.. If anything goes wrong, we're going to end up being delayed at the rate of roughly 1 week per issue that needs fixing!
The good news is, everything that needs fixed in Invisible Munky will be similarly fixed at the same time in SD3, so it *should* be a case of fixing both things simultaneously, thus only requiring one week's worth of testing and uploading and waiting!!

Hopefully all will be well, and the game will hit the mid-June target.
*fingers crossed*
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Daily Blog
Pixelart
  31st May, 2015
Views 4, Upvotes 0
Blog
  31st May, 2015

Developments


Guess who forgot to hit the "Submit for Review" button on Invisible Munky 2!!?
That's right!!

I blame Apple.. It used to be that you'd have to have iTunesConnect open at the same time as Application Loader, and juggle the two until it did what you wanted to.
Recently, though, they've completely overhauled iTunesConnect, and I found myself doing 99% of the tasks via the Windows Laptop. By the time it came to uploading the release, I was using the Mac, and stupidly forgot all about the "Submit" button.
D'oh!

I realised, late last night, and clicked the button. (And then had to fix a few things on the page, because it was being fussy!)
IM2 is now winging it's way through the week's worth of ...Sitting around until they bother to review it...

Fingers crossed that I haven't stupidly forgotten anything else!

Meanwhile..

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Daily Blog
Pixelart
  30th May, 2015
Views 4, Upvotes 0
Blog
  30th May, 2015

Developments


OK, I *think* I managed to post Invisible Munky 2, correctly, to iTunes Connect!
Unfortunately, due to the world in which Apple operates, we're going to have to wait just over a week to know for sure, as we wait for it to get through the stringent Apple Review gubbins.
No doubt, even if it's as broken as Cardagain is, it'll still get through, so I'll be counting on the masses of Twitter-folk to let me know if it works on all the different types of devices that are out there.

My findings : The "RUN!" button in XCode is best avoided for your final compilation. Instead use the Build option in the menu. Be sure to Clean, first!
A simple concept, but one that my stress-riddled brain wasn't contemplating at the time..!

So, with that done and dusted, I got back to thinking about SpikeDislike3's missing themes. I left enough menu space for 15 themes, and those last two weren't decided yet.
I tried out a couple of themes..

First, an "iOS7" inspired theme.
SD3_028

It looked ok, but once it was in motion, all those thin lines made for a terrible in-motion graphical frightfest! It really wasn't good on the eyes, and made for a lot of unnecessary deaths.
In truth, the "Lava" theme is similarly hard to see, but that was done on purpose, whereas this one was just rubbish!!!
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Daily Blog
Pixelart
  29th May, 2015
Views 6, Upvotes 1
Blog
  29th May, 2015

Developments


RAWR!!!

Wednesday went swimmingly well, with all the pieces falling into place, and everything being awesome and cool.
It stands to reason, then, that my Thursday didn't go quite as well.

I decided to try my hand at getting Invisible Munky 2 into the AppStore.
It started with me having to upgrade my "Icon Resizer" tool, to account for the 150,000 new icon sizes that have appeared since iPhone 6 and Plus came out.
I also just about managed to figure out the new "Launch Screen" sizes, and .. hopefully.. put those into the correct place, with the right filename.

A test compile showed everything working as expected on the iPad, and the various emulators, so I took a chance and set about switching over to "Distribution" mode.

IMG_9605

This is where everything started to go downhill, as I had to tackle provisions/certificates/profiles and whatnot on my own.
I've done this stuff before, with my previous games. "What could possibly go wrong?!"

After a good couple of hours, I finally gave up, and decided to try again tomorrow..
Wish me luck!

IMG_9606

Looks gorgeous, though!
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Daily Blog
Pixelart
  28th May, 2015
Views 3, Upvotes 0
Blog
  28th May, 2015

Developments


A quick video..


About a week ago, I booted up the MacMini to test compile SpikeDislike3 onto my iPad.
I was SHOCKED by how poor the functionality of the MacMini was.
Slow, unresponsive, and certainly not what you'd call "Useful" in any way shape or form.
I guess that's what happens when you buy a Mac Mini in 2010, and only ever use it to compile iOS games, and then more or less stop compiling iOS games, thus leaving the MacMini abandoned and unused for the better half of a year.
.. or something like that.

So, the MacMini was all but a bust. .. But I can't let that stop me from making an All New SpikeDislike on iOS, can I?
Of course not!!
I hopped onto the Apple store, and ordered myself a new one. It's cost me ?569, so that's going to be my minimalist target for SD3 sales. If I reach that, I break even, and anything else is just happy funds!

The new MacMini arrived yesterday, and I plugged it in, set up the Devkit in a completely painless manner (which is a DRASTIC improvement on how it went, 5 years ago) and got SpikeDislike3 running on the iPad in just a couple of hours, between unboxing and playing SD3!

After that, I figured I'd try out the "Quicktime can now record your iOS games, via a simple Lightning cable" thing, that Apple keep banging on about.
I booted up Quicktime Player, clicked "Record Movie", and .. Wow! It REALLY does work!!!
It's incredible how silkily smooth the thing can record videos, especially at that high a resolution.
Next, I loaded the clip into iMovie and spent about 10 minutes cutting it up into the video above, before rendering the video, and uploading it to YouTube.

In all, the "Making a video" effort only took about half an hour from connecting the iPad, to having the video on YouTube. Obviously, I'd have to make BETTER videos in future, but as a quick test, that all went wonderfully smooth.
I'm impressed, and delighted that the new MacMini is working as well as it is.
Over the next day or so, I'm going to head back to Invisible Munky 2, fix up the Touch controls, and try submitting it to Apple as a "New Setup Test" project.

Wish me luck!!
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Daily Blog
Pixelart
  27th May, 2015
Views 3, Upvotes 0
Blog
  27th May, 2015

Developments


A lot of yesterday was spent fiddling about with new Challenges. In actuality, I only ended up adding one single challenge type, but I also spent a LONG time ensuring that the challenge was indeed do-able.
I'm going to be honest, and say that a lot of these challenges are going to be tricky for newcomers, but hopefully the fact that the "3 fails = unlock" mechanic's in place, will help that, somewhat.

SD3_025

Meanwhile, I also fiddled about with the Matrix mode a bit, too.
I spent a decent amount of time making it all blocky and "grid-based", like the old Retro theme from SD2, but for some strange reason that actually resulted in a HORRIBLE mess whenever you tried to move.
I'm not sure why that is, but it's probably something to do with the fact that I've added a slight amount of inertia to the camera, this time. That's certainly been a cause for a few quirks along the way, that I've had to deal with, including the whole "1 frame behind" issue that I was having with the spikes.

Anyway, I've opted not to "griddify" the Matrix'y theme, and it now plays "Not horrible" again.
*phew*
Undo can be super-handy, sometimes!
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Daily Blog
Pixelart
  26th May, 2015
Views 4, Upvotes 0
Blog
  26th May, 2015

Twitter Rant


This morning, I'm battling with Twitter.
A short while ago, Twitter introduced a new "Easy to use!" way to reply to things, which is less messy and leaves more space for your reply. Essentially, the "New Reply" strips away everybody's @names, leaving just a single link back to the previous post.
In many ways, this is a nice thing, as when you're in the middle of a conversation with 5 or 6 people, it can typically leave about 3 characters for your reply to fit in!!
But there are two ever-so-slight issues with this new method.

First, it completely breaks "Conversation View", as they haven't bothered to fix that so that it takes into account the new format of tweets.
Secondly, it breaks DIFFERENTLY depending on your client.
Now, I complained about this on Twitter yesterday, and got people suggesting that it's because I was using the "Rubbish, Outdated Tweetbot App", but this morning I switched over to the OFFICIAL iPad app, and.. well..



The official iPad app isn't showing the "New Replies" AT ALL..
This basically means I NEED to use the WebApp to check for all replies.
And since I now have 9 Twitter accounts, and the crappy WebApp only allows one login at a time, it also means I need to log in, and out, and in, and out, and in, and out, over and over again, just to check for any replies in any of my different accounts.

I have to admit, even for Twitter, that's taking the smeg..
It's bad enough that their stupid "Upload a GIF!" thing is completely broken on other clients, and that their "Handy! Upload more than one picture!" thing is similarly bodged on other clients. I used to think they've been purposely outpacing other clients, just to break compatibility and hopefully get rid of them all.
But this time it's different.
This time, they haven't even got the flaming thing to work on THEIR OWN CLIENT.

If you're going to start introducing new features, make damn sure that they actually work, first!

FFS, Twitter..
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