Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dolphin Diner

After a long summer of work I am pleased to announce that Dolphin Diner has been completed and I am working through the process of publishing.  It is exciting to finally have a real game in the app store and not just a dumb calculator!  The graphics came out looking amazing if I do say so myself.  Please see for yourself.  I spent a year learning how to use Blender. That is one hard program to get your head around. 

Now I just need a million people to buy it so I can pay for my kids colleges.  :) 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Moving on to something new

After the calculator got out there and did reasonably well, I was encouraged.  Maybe this is a thing I can do.  Lua is a pretty cool language and is as simple as languages get.   Corona is pretty straightforward.   So the next thing I started was a simple keep a balloon in the air game with a bee theme.  I say started because even though you can code in a language and understand the sdk, that doesn't mean you know how to create a working game.   Plus there is the problem with the graphics.   You have to have something to push around the screen.   Unless you plan on paying someone to do all your graphics for you, you need to learn how to use photoshop very well.   After coding this game for a few months I only got through 2 levels and the code was a mess.   When I say coding I mean coding, game designing, creating graphics etc.  You will find as I did that you spend as much time designing the game as coding it.   I found myself asking myself questions like "What is the theme of the game?  What makes it fun?  What types of characters does it have?  What do these characters look like?". 

   After, getting two levels finished I realized I didn't have enough of these questions answered completely.   You would think that a simple balloon pop game would be pretty straight forward but it really isn't.   The game design was mess and I realized that I needed to start over and come up with a better and more well thought out theme.   I guess I didn't want to just put out a crappy game.  There are so many of those out there already.  One more would just be a waste of everyone's time.

   But all is not lost.  It was all a learning experience.  I realized that I did not know how to code in an OOP fashion.   When I learned Lua I just learned it in a procedural simple fashion.   I need to also learn to code better or the code would be unmanageable.   I also realized that the code needed to be data driven.   That means one master file that drives the code.   If each level can not have its own code.  If you end up with 75 levels that would mean 75 modules and that would be totally unmanageable.  Everything would be duplicated over and over again. 

    There was really just so much to learn it is hard to fathom.  I ended up having to learn more that I could ever convey in a forum post, an example of which is something I mentioned in the last paragraph.   I had to learn how to break the code up into modules.   When you start writing a game you logically just start coding and your file just grows and grows.   At some point you realize this just can't continue and you have to start breaking up things into different modules.   When I started coding there was one way to break up things and then a year later everyone changed to a new method of doing modules by passing tables with meta tables associated with them.   In the middle of everything I had to refactor things based on the new method.

   So how does one learn how to code in an OOP fashion and learn an SDK and learn how to create a game anyway.   I started browsing the web looking for clues where I could find them. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Calculator Update

So just so you know I was never able to get Apple to accept my calculator.  They rejected it 3 times.  No matter what I did they said the Apple store didn't need another calculator.   It was quite disappointing.  However, I did get it out on the Play and Amazon stores.  I priced it at 99 cents just because I wanted to test how all the payment stuff works.  Not because I expected it to make any real money.   To date I believe around 250 people have bought it on the Amazon store and around 80 on the play store.   So take that Apple.  Some people did want it!  

Now for the bad news.  If I do a google search for the calculator you can find it freely downloadable on many, many sights.  Some look like they are directly sponsored by China.  This is why everyone is putting ads in everything.  Not because it is a better way to make money.  It is because if they don't they don't make any money at all.  It is sad that this is the state of things for Indie app developers.  I see that Corona has some licensing logic that can be employed for  the play store, but not for Amazon.  I will have to look into this some more.  I hate ads.  They basically ruin the game experience in my opinion but maybe that is what we are stuck with if there is no other choice.  Uggg. 

I don't even see how ads might work if the app is loaded in a phone in China.  But that is something else to look into I guess. 

My goal is simple.  I am just trying to make some extra bucks to help pay off college costs for my kids.  So if I can't make any money at all because of these pirate sights then all this effort could end up being a giant waste of time. 

If anyone out there ever reads this and feels like helping just buy this:

I'm back

Well it has been 3 years now and lots of things have happened.  From the simple calculator I started working on simple shooter game which turned out to be a disaster because I basically don't know how to code a game.  But I learned a lot from the experience and basically scrapped it and started over on something different.  I haven't written anything this blog in years because frankly I didn't know if I would be able to complete anything really because there was so much to learn and I didn't want to chronicle the path to failure.  Well after 3 long years of toil I am getting closer.  Still months away mind you, but closer.  There was just so much to learn and with only youtube as my guide it just took time.
I am not sure what I want to do with this blog, but I was thinking if I recorded the basic steps I took to developing my first real thing it might serve as a guide for someone else who might want to attempt such an undertaking.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Figured out how to post to the Amazon market today.  That was pretty easy compared to the Google play store.  Most of the assets can be directly copied from the Google play store.  It is interesting how the different companies have such a different process for doing exactly the same thing.

  Now I just need to get access to a MAC some how so I can do a build for iTunes.   I wish you could do this from an iPad.   I have a couple of those.

  I am looking forward to downloading my app only my Kindle Fire.  Fun times.  Fun times

Monday, March 3, 2014

I am trying to learn a new trade so that I can earn some extra cash so that I can send my daughter to college.   Colleges are so expensive you know.  Wish me luck.  If you happen across my calculator in the play store say something nice.  It is my first app.  You have to start somewhere.  I wonder what the angry birds guys first app was.  Maybe "Irritated chickens?"
Finished with my calculator today and tested it on my galaxy tab.  Seemed to work fine.  Actually, found some bugs.  Hard to believe there were bugs in a simple calculator but there were.  In any case, all fixed now.   Now for creating the endless stream of icons that you need to publish to iTunes and Google play.  I don't understand why I can't just give them one big image and have them pragmatically create all the other sizes they need.  But oh well,  another day making icons wont kill me.