Thursday, 30 December 2010

Coming Soon.. Blockman Gets

Let's just plain ignore all the bugs, and focus on something that hasn't blown up yet!

I started Blockman Gets with a fresh Cocos2D-based engine.
I figured, if things aren't going to work, I might as well just plain scrap it all, and redo from start. so, Blockman Gets is me redoing from start.

A new engine, a new game, and a whole bunch of sprites, some of which are about 3 years old!
That's the way to do it!!

Blockman Gets is coming along nicely, and it'll be great to see if this (finally!) is something that works on an iPad!
.. Because, let's face it, this game would rock your fingers off, on an iPad!!!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The continuing iPad Bug...

I could've sworn I'd fixed that!!
Apparently, though, the iPad hardware is doing something entirely different to what I'd like it to do, and not at all what the Simulator says it will...
*insert swearing here*

Never mind, new game on the horizon while I work out StringyThings' little issue..

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The iPad Bug...

Here's what Stringy Things looks like on a classic iPhone/iPod display..

Nice and simple, exactly as expected.

When the game runs on a Retina capable display, the wonderful language that Apple gave us will automatically pick up any files that are labelled as "@2x", and load those instead of the normal versions.
That basically means that you can make all your sprites twice as big, twice as clear, and then leave it to the iPhone to pick which one it wants to use.
It's a FANTASTIC idea, and it works brilliantly.

You get lovely hires displays, and everything works neatly.

Of course, when you're snipping your sprites, it's good to know which one it's using.
If I need to cut a 256x256 image into 32x32 sprites, but it loads the 2x one, then the sprites I need to cut will instead be twice as big.
I accounted for this with a simple bit of code.
If Screen=Big, Double sizes!
That worked great!
Everything was fine.

Until this happened..

The blinkin' iPad!

For some strange inexplicable reason, the iPad, (even though it has a larger screen, and CAN/WILL achieve everything that the retina display can do) completely ignores those wonderful little @2x files, and instead loads the small ones.

This basically means that, although my "Screen=Big" code kicks in (what with the iPad saying it's got a big screen), it actually only loads the little pictures.
My sprite cutter ends up cutting strange missized chunks of random bits, and attempts to use those as if there's nothing wrong.
But there IS something wrong.
And it's blindingly obvious.


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Stringy Things Update

Available Now ($0.99/£0.59/equivilant)
Click here to find it at the App Store

After waiting for what seems like Months for it to go through, Stringy Things v1.03 should now be appearing on your iPhings.
The update brings a whole mountain of new stuff along with it, from simple bug fixes, to new tilesets, a brand new Gameplay mode, and even a whole extra game to keep you occupied.

There's plenty to do, and it's the first of the free updates that'll be coming thick and fast! (Or.. as fast as Apple can review them, anyway!)

More soon!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Stringy Things on 4.0

Anonymous said...
Is there something so technologically advanced about Stringy Things that allows it to run ONLY on iOS 4.1 or above? It would be great if it would run on the thousands (millions?) of devices that will never be able to run iOS 4.0 and newer.

Of course, the simple answer is No.
There's nothing technical stopping me from releasing this on 3.x, or probably even 2.x
It's a simple throw of a switch, a recompile, and a sending to the AppStore.

The problem though, for me, is that without any 3.x devices to test it on, I'll be doing it blind.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Coming soon to Stringy Things

I've STILL not started to work properly on Game 3 yet, but I've made a huge amount of progress today!
A few Memory Leak Fixes
A New Gameplay Type (Arcade)
A slightly rejigged menu system
2 Letter Word allowances in Strings
A slight profanity filter, for when I start adding "Pick a Random word" type games. Can't have it swearing at the kiddies!

And then I did this..

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


On Wed 20th October 2010, 00:30GMT, StringyThings was finally released in the App Store!

Available Now ($0.99/£0.59/equivilant)
Click here to find it at the App Store

A collection of word games for those "Need a quick word game" moments.

The first release is the test release, to ensure my somewhat old-school coding style can get past the Apple sensors! Now that I know it can, we can have some fun.

I'll be adding an extra word game with each and every release, and if I run out of word games, I'm sure I can pluck a few other thinking games out, from somewhere!

For now, there's two games, and each one is a nice and simple relaxing game.

You can pick from a bunch of play styles, too, so if you'd prefer a fast paced timed game, or a nice slow thinking game, you can go for either.

There's a whole lot more StringyThings to come.

For now, it's in the AppStore, nice and cheap!

Friday, 8 October 2010

3 days later...

It's been one heck of a productive week, this week.
Since moving the MacMini from the downstairs dining room, up to my bedroom, I guess I kinda spurred myself on a bit.
... Either that or I've not been sleeping, and instead coding away like a crazy maniac.
It's the latter!

So, what have I been working on?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Okeydoke.. Let's try this one..

The "Everyone says I should do it this way" method...

- (UIImage *)addImage:(UIImage *)top toImage:(UIImage *)bottom at:(CGRect)rect withBlend:(CGBlendMode)blend {  
// Draw image1
[bottom drawInRect:CGRectMake(0, 0, bottom.size.width, bottom.size.height)];

// Draw image2
[top drawInRect:rect blendMode:blend alpha:1];

UIImage *result = UIGraphicsGetImageFromCurrentImageContext();


return result;

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Another day, Another Nnngh..

This morning I woke up with a plan in mind.
I don't have a whole lot of time on Saturdays, so I was slightly rushed.
With a short amount of time, I decided not to bother messing about with OpenAL just yet, and instead wondered what might happen if I try leaving the audio looping in silence.
Bit quirky, but it could work. .. maybe..

So, I opened up CoolEdit, and tried to set a loop.
and tried...
and tried...
and gave up.

Then I downloaded and installed Audacity.
and tried..
and tried..
and gave up.

Then I remembered something that CAN set up a loop.
I opened up ModPlugTracker (FFS) opened the wave, set the loop, saved the wave.
Piss easy! Once you try using a program with a build date of March 2002..

So, with the looping wave saved, I hopped over to the Mac, opened up XCode, and then immediately had to close it all up again while it did it's update.

Finally ready, I popped the audio file into the engine, finally got to test it, and found that it ignored the preset loop and just looped the whole thing, start to finish, over and over.


Aw well, I've more time tomorrow!
OpenAL it is.. (assuming OpenAL isn't about to bugger up all this Battery Saving work that I've been doing. If it does, I'm f'ked!)

Friday, 24 September 2010

Additional Apple Development Related Migraines

Note : Apple Development based Swearing ahead.

On Tuesday I got my new iPod Touch (finally), but haven't had the time to play about with it yet, due to working extra shifts this week.

Gah, everything all at once!

Wednesday I just about had time (grr) to faff about with even more bloody license garbage, and really enjoyed how much garbage I had to go through, just because I'd given Apple more of my money.

Thursday, no time, no work done, but I did notice that, inexplicably, Cardagain's audio was now linked to the "Alert" sound volume, and not the bloody iPod's volume.

Fuck, Apple!! What the hell!?!

Friday, time to piss about and make all the necessary fixes.

PlaySystemSound does exactly what's asked of it, but only does so through the Alert volume.
I needed to fix that, and today I spent about an hour trying to tweak that over to AVAudioPlayer methods.

Job done, and I gave it a test, at which point I found out that the stupid damn AVAudioPlayer adds a 0.2 second fuckup each time it tries to play something.

Fuck, Apple!! What the hell!?!

So, next time I get some free time, I have to start all this again, with YET ANOTHER set of Audio Methods.

Hey, Apple.. It's a SODDING IPOD!!

It's JOB.. It's Actual Functional Job.. The purpose of the device... is to PLAY AUDIO!
Why in the name of hell have you made it so god damned hard TO PLAY AUDIO!!!

I've NEVER in my life seen a language as completely fudged together as this!

You suck!

Hurry up, Mark Sibly! The world needs you!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The haphazard plan...

I've got games coming out of my ears, but absolutely nothing to show for it.

Here's how things are, currently.

1. Arcade Slots : Still where I left it.
2. The Framework : Slightly ahead of where I left it. I've recently added my super-duper wordlist into the engine. Info below.
3. Stringy Things : Word Engine helps, but trying to formulate ways to make it chunky, without losing the complexity of the DS edition.
4. Puzzobomb : Considering that I'm going to have to make levels for this! Argh! Sprites drawn
5. Maze thing : Not entirely formulated yet, might offshoot into about 3 different games at this rate!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Progress Report...

Things have been superslow with Arcade Slots.
Each day that I try to do something, I remember that there's 100 other little "Keep Apple Happy" bits and pieces that I must do.

It's almost put me off iDev, because I can't seem to get into my games the same way that I usually do.
Normally I'd copy my framework folder, open the folder, open the BlitzMax code, and begin.
And that'd be that.

But with iDev, there's SO much more to it.
Little bits here and there, hundreds of tweaks to do, and god only knows how much faffing around I have to do, just to achieve the simplest of things.



So, for the past two days, I've been working on a Framework.
Just like my Blitz framework, it'll and up being just a click/open/start.
In this case, I'm forming a Template for XCode, which when started, creates a basic shell of a game.
It's nothing amazing, but it's a simple enough start that you then don't have to worry about all those niggling little bugs, cropping up and destroying your game-code-time!

I'll post more on that in a couple of days time. Lemmie see how much cool stuff I can cram into it first!

THEN I'll get some games done!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Slow progress on Arcade Slots

There's a mind boggling number of little things I have to remember, that I'm amazed I remembered them all in Cardagain!
I guess the first time, I was double checking every little thing, but this time I'm not bothering to do that.

.. That'll teach me!

Hundreds more little things were tweaked, today, and the engine's almost at a 5% complete state!

This is a really rubbish video, but hey, it's got sound, now!!

More to come.

slowly, probably!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Platdude meets the iPod

I'm still not sure that a proper JNKPlat game will work on the iPhings, mostly due to how annoyed I am at Onscreen controls.. Booo, Hiss!
They're ok, if they're offset, and nice and chunky, but if they're removing screenspace that's used for the game, or even worse, if they're over the top of what you're trying to look at, then they're pretty much useless.
And JNKPlat needs a LOT of buttons!!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Reel World...

Since I'm giving AGameAWeek a little rest, I can now concentrate on iPhings a bit better than I have been.
There's been some crazy "Why won't it do that!?" issues with Arcade Slots, mostly based on memory issues.
As I try switching the game from one set of reels to another, it'd try loading in a mountain of images, which all clashed together, and resulted in Evil Nasty Crashes..

I'd been trying to focus on fixing all that, but with AGAW continuing on in the background, and the horrible nasty illness that's been here for the past few weeks/months, it's been a struggle.

After a couple of days off, I'm back in the middle of the action, and I've spent most of this morning solving those memory bugs.

I've made a simple "Load new reels" button on the front menu, which when clicked, will erase all current reels, erase all "fruit", and then reload everything generating a nice new batch of reels and "fruit", ready for the next game.
This happens over the course of about 20 frames, being about 0.7 seconds on the emulator, but slowing to around 2 seconds on the iPod Touch (3gen,8gb)
It's a short gap between tapping the button, and having the selected slotmachine up and running, and it'll have to do. 'cos that's as fast as I can get it!
Meanwhile, I also did a deadly-bulk-test, and left it reloading and reloading and reloading and reloading and reloading (on the iPod) for about 5 minutes, whilst filling up the little debug console, and Leak tests on the Mac. All seems nice and happy, so I'm going to leave the reels where they are, now, and actually get into the lovely bits of the game.

Tomorrow starts the lovely bits.

Getting Game #1 up and running, and having it 100% playable.
Should only take about 3 weeks to get that bit done ;)

(no screenshots, it's still looking about the same!!)

Friday, 13 August 2010

The signature was invalid....

Don't you hate it when stupid things cause you to lose insane numbers of hours from your day?

Yesterday I noticed a little Code-Sign warning popping up in XCode. It hadn't happened before, and I thought something might be up with Arcade Slots.
So, I hopped back over to Cardagain, and recompiled it, only for the exact same message to appear!

Oh no!!
What's happened!?

Why is my Code Signing/Developers Certification thing no longer working?!!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Adding Buttons..

Although my previous video of Arcade Slots did have a pretty button on it, it wasn't a reusable one.
Today was the first Arcade Slot work I've done since the video! eek!! slow progress..
Anyhoo, I decided to make reusable buttons.
What a chore!

After a strangely insane amount of tweaking and refitting of little tiny awkward bits of code, and some finger crossing, I finally got it all working.
Up to 20 buttons, all flashing when needed, scalable to different sizes, multicoloured, pushable, clickable, and sending reports to the game whenever they're pressed.

I hope 20's enough, 'cos I really don't feel like tweaking all my none-variable numbers!!

Next, creating some sort of display limit, or overlay, or something, so the reels don't take up the whole of the screen..
Annoyingly, a simple overlay would completely mess up my previously created gradiented background.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Cardagain Update

I actually uploaded this on Friday, and it even went into Review-Mode on Friday, but it's taken the Apple Guys all weekend to actually review it.
My guess? They couldn't stop playing it.
Yup.. That's the only possible reason I can imagine, anyway!

Cardagain 1.1 should be ready for download right now, and contains a whole bunch of different card decks, and a fair few backgrounds, too.
Everything's all nice and Retina-Ready (I forgot to add a Retina Background, last time! silly me..) and it all plays a little smoother, with a simple new Loading screen being used to keep things nice and organised.

No new gameplay types, yet, though.
If you'd like to see something special, let me know!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Free Cardagain!

Cardagain's been set free for a few days.
The price hops back up to 59p on Sunday, but in the meantime you can let all your friends see how addictive it actually is!

Simple Card based fun for all the family. Give it a try, and spread the word.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Arcade Slots : A proper start..

Today I finally got all my little bits and pieces together, and started to build up a proper edition of Arcade Slots.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Cardagain updates inprogress

I finally got my different decks to load, today, although it took some tweaking to get it going. Now to spend a bit of time making up even more silly decks.
To the right is a preview, and is from the recently released Windows/Linux/Mac quicky edition of the game, which you can get here. (But the iPhing version is infinitely better. Touchscreen beats Mouse, hands down!!)

Meanwhile progress has slowed in Arcade Slots, not because it's not working, but because I'm struggling to come up with game ideas that aren't insanely copyright infringing!

I'll probably just slam a bunch of my older sprites together, and see what pops up.

More info as it happens...

Monday, 2 August 2010

Tutorial 1-3 : The Beat Box

Tutorial 1 : The Beat Box
A multipart tutorial teaching sprites, views, sounds, clicking and more!
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, More to come.

It's probably about time that we started to draw things onscreen.
In order that we can then do things, as we play, we need to setup a "PerFrame" function, and get it to run every few milliseconds.

Let's do both things at once. We'll set up a timer that ticks every few milliseconds, and also add the function.

Tutorial 1-2 : The Beat Box

Tutorial 1 : The Beat Box
A multipart tutorial teaching sprites, views, sounds, clicking and more!
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, More to come.

For our multiple sprites, we need an array to hold them. Within .h we'll make an array to do that.

Tutorial 1-1 : The Beat Box

Tutorial 1 : The Beat Box
A multipart tutorial teaching sprites, views, sounds, clicking and more!
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, More to come.

Today, we're going to create one of those little apps where the player taps a few boxes, and then the app plays a tune/rhythm based upon the locations of the highlighted boxes.
If you've played with TonePad on the iPhings, you'll know what we're aiming for.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Cardagain - Next

Only time will tell whether people jump on the Cardagain bandwagon, but in the meantime I'll be making my first set of updates.

First up, I want to design a couple of extra deck's, so you get a little variety in the game. I'm not sure if different decks will help your memory at all, but.. what the hey, it's worth a try, right?!

Second, I'll probably make the cards appear more randomly, or at the very least, make it an option.. Gets a little boring looking at the same "circle-square-square-circle" starting point.

Extra options mean a different frontend is in order, and I'll take the time to neaten up the edges a little, and tweak a few of the oddities in the game.

Shouldn't take too long.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Cardagain : Live!

After a stupid waiting session, my App got reviewed and (amazingly) approved, all within the space of a single hour, according to the emails I received!

Awesome stuff!

Cardagain is now available from the AppStore, right here, so go grab it and give yourself a nice little mental workout.

... It's now way past my bedtime!
CULater guys.. Have fun!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Taking far too long....

Drawing these sprites took far too long..
Moving the sprites over to the iPod took far too long..
Making them swoosh about took far too long...
And then trying to take the screenshot took forever!

I'm sure the Mac used to ask me where I wanted to save my screenshots.. Now it just seems to throw them randomly around the harddrive!!
Then trying to cut the image out!
Geeze, what a chore.

I'm so glad I still have the PC, and the ability to just bring up PaintshopPro, do a tweak or two, then save images very very quickly!
Much easier.

One day, I'll be happy to use a Mac.

Today is not that day.

But hey, looky!

Incase you can't quite fathom what that's meant to be, perhaps the following youtube video will enlighten you.

Project #2 is currently Arcade Slots iPhing, a remake of the fantastic DS game.

It makes a change from those rubbishy "Ooh, look at the fruit go round" slot machines that are incredibly dull and uninteresting, plus there's some nice interesting features when you get further into the game.

I'm not entirely sure what the credits system will be like, just yet, or how many games will be made, or even what I'm going to be doing instead of the blatent copyright infringement..
I'm sure I'll come up with something!

Good thing I have an archive of over 200 games to pick from, really!

Appy Day!!!

Unfortunately, I don't mean 'Appy, as in "My App was Approved"
Still not even in review, yet. *sigh*

What I do mean, though, is that I'm kinda in a App-Making mood, and I feel I want to push on with a few experiments.
Nothing that says "This is my next game", because I'd rather be sure the first app gets approved, first, and also no Tutorial stuff because, again, need to know people can follow any of my teachings without being lead into a bleek pit of dispair...

If I'm ever going to make any wordgames, I'm going to need to port over my massive Wordlist stuff to the iPod.
I might spend today faffing about with that, seeing if I can get it to work.

Otherwise, I'll probably just play about with some sprites, or something.


.. or I might fall asleep!

Friday, 23 July 2010

...Still Waiting...

If you've been watching the twitter updates, you'll know I'm still waiting.
(oops, haven't linked to my twitter, here, have I! @Jayenkai I'll add it properly later.)

Seems the whole "Flashlight" incident has slowed things down quite a bit. Or maybe things do take this long, usually.

The status is exactly the same as it was yesterday. No change.

I'll keep you updated as we go.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Waiting Game

Until I get back an "Approved" status, I'm holding off on doing any more tutorials.
Sure, they were fun to do, but if folk follow my tutorials into a cataclysmic void of 1980's unapproved coding techniques, then they're going to be disappointed.

I'll wait.

If Apple are fooled by my "Well, at least it works" methods, then I'll tutorialise a few bits and pieces.

Meanwhile I wait..

I wait for someone out there, in a mysterious lab somewhere, to be the fourth player of Cardagain, and then reject it with a great big red rubber stamp.

(They still use great big red rubber stamps, right?)

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Oh, FFS...

So, today's the day!
Or is it tomorrow..?
Or next year, at this rate..

Today is, most likely, the most frustrating damn day I've ever had in my life.

At approximately 12:30, I opened up the Apple website, and clicked "iTunes Connect", where I'd finally be able to upload my app, for the very first time.

It's now 15:53, and due to the site being screwed beyond a joke, I've still not uploaded my very first app, and I'm now about to leave the Mac, and go get ready for work.
I'm really really really ticked off about the whole damn experience.

Cardagain should be on your iPod sometime in 2011.

Slightly later : Uploaded, now awaiting approval!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Oooh, Hello!

I figured that having iPhing games constantly mushed in with's weekly freeware games would all become crazy and chaotic, or thereabouts.
So, here's AGameAWeek iDev.
Pretty much the same deal, but most of my iPhing stuff gets posted over here, so the people who are visiting without iPhings don't have to constantly deal with all my rants and raves about the do's and don't's and can's and cannot's..

or, something like that!

Anyhoo, a quick story so far.

1. May, Jay bought a MacMini
2. June, Jay paid for his Dev Licence.
3. July, Jay go crazee trying to learn new-age coding styles, to get his first game going.

I'm an old-skool coder, brought up on hundreds of variations of Basic, from the Amstrad CPC's Locomotive, through Amiga's Amos, right up to PC's Blitz.
Having to learn "proper" coding has definitely been somewhat of a struggle!
But I'm getting there, slowly but surely!

In the next few weeks (or sooner?!), I'm hoping to have my first game up in the App Store (Cardagain), and if all that goes well, I'll start posting a nice little tutorial for anyone who's similarly struggling to make the Basic->Icky coding switch.

Shouldn't have to wait too long, the game's nearly done, hence the creation of this blog.

It's all coming soon!

Right here!

But, you know, not weekly! The whole "AGameAWeek" has no chance of being done, at this rate!