Electric Alley Music

Waiting for Apple Review

Core Influence is finished and has been submitted for review by Apple. As you can imagine, I am pretty anxious to see if they accept it. Android is all ready to go, I just have to push the Go Live button. I want to wait and "Go Live" with both stores when I get the O.K. from Apple, but I really want to see how many downloads the game can get. It can take anywhere from 4-10 days, I'm thinking 7. If I don't hear anything by Friday night, I'll probably go live with Android first.

I started really developing this game a little over a year ago with the intent to learn the whole process of creating a game. If you are just getting started, begin with a simple game. I can't stress that enough. You'll look at Core Influence and think, that is pretty simple looking. It is and it is not. I used 3 plugins: GPGS (Google Play Games Services - Official from GitHub), Stan's Mobile Social Plugin, and Unbiased Time. Simple put, I don't have Android/iOS native development experience and learning how to create those plugins didn't fit within my time goal. As for GPGS, there is a learning curve. What code samples they give you don't exactly give you everything you need; cloud saving, in particular. Best thing to do here, look at the sample projects in the samples folders. Look at the code and study the structure. You will end up having to develop you own scripts based on all your findings.

Also, I developed my own Powerups/Achievements/Unlockables package I ended up calling Accolades. I realize that Unity has a social api that includes achievements, but what if I didn't want to sign into a social media network and play strictly from my device? Besides, why not have fun complicating things anyway?

I do like Apple products a lot, but get your developer feet wet with Android first. I'm sorry Apple, but testing updates with a Unity developed game happens so much faster with Android. In my experience from build to playing, Android = 10-15mins vs. iOS = 40+ mins. What I did was stick with Android builds for the main part of my development, build major milestones to iOS. Unity's Game view gets the job done when switching between screen ratios and previewing how the UI will appear on different devices. With that said, If you design with a 3:2 ratio in mind, everything else will look better when planning for different aspect ratios. iPad being the most difficult, with it's odd 4:3 ratio for current generation of devices.

One of the best things about working on this project was getting Ryan Looney of Electric Alley Music involved. It was awesome to hang out and work with him again. I am really looking forward to the next game and hearing the tracks/SFXs he creates. So, if you are reading this and are in need of some tailored tracks/SFXs for your game, go visit www.electricalleymusic.com and get in contact with Ryan Looney.


Certainly been a while!

Wow, I have not updated this site in quite some time! So much has happened since my last post on April 20th. For starters, I participated in Ludum Dare 33 and produced a game called Eat Humans:

I was fairly happy with the entry, but the gameplay was kinda...meh. I barely did any focused play testing...maybe 15 minutes. As with all my previous entries, I nearly ran out of time. Mostly because I was learning so much on the fly. It was one of my best Ludum Dare experiences to date and I am expecting my next entry to be even better.

Right after Ludum Dare 33 I had to start packing for our move to our new home. I was away from doing any game development for several weeks. In November, I slowly started getting back into the groove and planned on doing Ludum Dare 34.  However, after a half day into the jam, I had to call it quits for several reasons. One, my wife needed my help. Two, I didn't have Monday off work.  I did end up with a decent idea that I will be developing later into a mobile game, but I am currently working on one and need to get that finished first. Speaking of which, I will be meeting up with Ryan Looney of Electric Ally Music on Sunday to discuss the audio for my upcoming mobile game: Core Influence.

The current version for Core Influence is much different in gameplay than my Game Jam Entry version. I am not sure how well this game will be received or if it will provide me with some supplemental income, but I am really looking forward to finally releasing a game that I am proud of.

I bought an android tablet from Best Buy on Thursday, so I can hand it over to collaborators and play testers. It is a Digiland 7" Tablet and it only cost $50 and some tax. The only thing that was a bit of a pain was loading the drivers so that I can build directly to it from Unity. These little tablets are a decent way to get your game into the hands of some play testers without having to worry too much over the cost of a device.

Tonight, I set up a way to allow for loading/streaming assets from a google drive folder into the game. Sending out links for collaborators to upload files to a google drive folder is a cinch and updating the files by right clicking the file and selecting "Manage Versions..." is pretty awesome. Older versions are kept for 30 days, but unfortunately right now you can't switch between the versions to make one the current version.  However, with a bit of coding and switching up the workflow slightly, switching between versions can happen.