All I do is increment the win counter

by midge 25. November 2014 03:10

So I resumed in the place I left off yesterday. It's good to get back to working on this with some regularity, even though progress subjectively feels slow at the moment.

Ha. I'm working on the LevelProgress plist and I said progress was slow. Unintentional. So basically all the code I wrote tonight was boring file I/O stuff. I took my time and it seems to be working. I'll have to test the hell out of it to make sure some write error won't blow away all of the progress.

I hate to say it, but I just thought of a super low tech, easier solution than all I just did. It would have been easier and probably saved me time. Oh well, at least I got some more practice with plists.

I'll be able to use all the stuff I just wrote in game pretty soon. That means locking/unlocking levels and keeping track of stats and high scores. Weee!


//TODO - Resume here

by midge 24. November 2014 03:05

I probably put about an hour of time in tonight.

I was making pretty good progress but I have to be in work early tomorrow, so I decided to cap the time.

I was just working on the file structure for saving level progress, really nothing too exciting. I'm able to reuse a lot of the previous code about the level meta data, the read only plist.

I was making good progress, but I don't know how this week is going to play out as I'm trying to fit a good deal of social stuff in and it is thanksgiving this week. We'll see.

Well, that's all for tonight.



A little bit more!

by midge 23. November 2014 03:38

I should get an award for procrastinating today. I meant to work on this thing but did everything but.

I was at a tech conference in Orlando all last week, so I didn't really have the energy to work on stuff during the week. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there was a session on Game Development. Mostly C# stuff. It was very interesting, and made me want to start using a lot more Unity (ahem, compared to the not using it at all at the moment). A lot of cool stuff in that session.

Anyways, I continued working on my game at like 1am, and it took me a little while to get moving. No real game stuff, just generic programming.

File I/O in objective-C is super not fun. Just everything is so non-intuitive and verbose it's kind of ridiculous. So that's what I was working with tonight.

Previously I had written the read only level meta data pList for level info, now I'm working on storing the level progress which will obviously have to be writable. This stuff would be really simple for someone more practice in objective-C stuff, but I'm a little rusty.

Nothing tooooo interesting here. Hopefully I can get a little bit more done in the morning tomorrow.


yep yep.


A little bit is always better than nothing

by midge 16. November 2014 03:58

I got started much later tonight than I should have.

I did some very minor code clean up, then I wrote a header for a class to keep track of level progress. I probably want to have a stats screen to be able to read in some of this stuff for beta testing purposes.

I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow and get working on this stuff.


Training Wheels and Level info

by midge 14. November 2014 04:26

Phew, back to working on this game. Breaking the chain of failure that was not working on the game for... however many days I went without doing it. Momentum matters. Doing a lot of one thing makes it easier to do more of that thing. Not doing some thing for a long time makes it easier to continue to not do that thing.

Anyways, not to get too meta, but I did work on the meta data a little bit today. So the levels now have a "DisplayName" that shows up whenever you start any level and then fades away. This was fun because it gave me the opportunity to Name all of the levels I had made so far. I think the most entertaining to name was "Slopes For Dopes".  Naming the levels gives the game a little more character.

I made a very simple very first level called "Training Wheels". You can pretty much just hug the bottom of the screen and you have  jump over 2 little obstacles then you're done. It's a little longer than the old starting level but actually easier. It will give people more of a chance to get used to the controls.

I feel like right now, I'm working on fixing the things that annoy me most before proceeding. The display name thing helps because it lets you know what level you are on if you don't go back to the level select screen. Plus it has that sweet little fade going for it.

So that makes 12/12 levels! But it doesn't feel done. I think I'm going to add some more medium and maybe one more really long level before I call the level design done.

That's all for tonight, I'm glad to get a little work done on this thing again.


but i'm le tired

by midge 6. November 2014 05:14

I stayed up too late tonight/this morning... But I got a lot done.


Made a new easy level, I didn't even plan on doing that today. 11/12, booYa. I may add more easy ones to pad it out, since the easy ones are much simpler to create.

I found a nasty bug that only showed up on one level. I resolved the bug, but I wasn't sure exactly what was causing it. Just through blind experimentation. It was an annoying and serious bugger. On that level, you could just drop the bottom and as long as you stayed there... none of the hit detection would go off when you hit things from the side.

After much experimentation, tweaking a constant fixed this. I_DONT_KNOW. oh well.

I got beers last night with a few friends. That was very valuable playtesting for my little game. The consensus was: "Level 2 is waaay too hard". They were right. I moved it to be level 8 now. So it will be a short, but somewhat challenging level that shows up later in the list.

Nap time!



Now everyone just calm down.

by midge 4. November 2014 04:18

I got some good work done tonight.

I was actually quite bothered by the problem with the touch not working in certain areas on the phone, especially towards the bottom of the screen in landscape. It makes sense for my game to use that if you want to play right handed and still want to see most of the level coming up.

Turns out it was just a setting on the iphone. I don't know if I can disable it programmatically, but you can change it from the phone settings. I'll probably put it in the instructions. Disabling the control center from within apps will do it.

I didn't work on any levels, but I did actually write some code! Only a very little bit, but it was very productive. I think putting the game on testing devices will speed me up a lot. Now I want to show my friends, and I don't want to have to explain away why things look messed up or certain things don't work yet. I just want them to work.

I made it so the "play now" button works... it just goes to the first level. I may make it use some logic or whatever based on your progress. But for now... just the first level, deal with it.

After beating a level... the "Next Level" button now works. It just takes you to... you guessed it... the next level. I might put some logic around this to have some more complicated behavior, but if if this works, I might just stick with it.

I added a working title to the Main screen "CAVERN COPTER".

I made the buttons much larger so they were easier to hit, and especially much wider so you can use your left or right hand to reach them quite easily.

Then some very minor stuff for button placement. Very good progress.

I like switching around tasks once in a while, it makes it feel "new" again.

The future is now.



Big Milestone

by midge 3. November 2014 03:13

So the other day I was pretty good. I finished up that level I had been working on, and I created an additional. This placed me at 10 out of 12 levels. I didn't really feel like working on a level today, so I did something I was kind of saving as dessert - I renewed my ios dev account and tried putting the game on an actual test device.

This had been a little bit of a pain in the ass when I did it for work a couple of years ago. It was far easier this time. I think I learned a little bit from the previous experience, but I also think they streamlined the tools a lot. You could just start trying things and the UI would be much more helpful, like oh I see you don't have this, would you like to get that? Sort of thing.

So I now have my crappy little game on my phone!!!

Some quick observations - playing with your right thumb obscures the screen a little bit, you can't see what's coming. People will probably want to touch the bottom of the screen if they are playing right handed. I could compress the screen and just give some dead space on the right they could use as a button so that they can still use that area and not feel like they're handicapping themselves by not being able to see whats coming. Or... hell I could allow them to invert the game to travel in the other direction. That would actually be pretty easy.

I think the controls are actually EASIER on the phone. The touch screen is just so responsive and easy to do a quick tap with, that it seems simpler than the button on my mac air. One consequence of this... I will probably need more levels. I think people will smoke through these 12 faster than I expected. I could probably make some of the dummy starter levels about 2x as long in no time. There's nothing to them.

Also... really weird bug where if you touch in the middle bottom of the screen, the copter seems to dive. I don't know what that's about yet.


I've made 10 levels

by midge 1. November 2014 23:00

I swapped the order of flappyCopters2 and the new one windingNarrows because flappyCopters2 is still more difficult. They are, however the same length.

windingNarrows isn't the most inspired level I've done, but hell... Just gotta get it done. 10/12 for levels. Getting there.

I think I've sapped all of my will to work on this thing today.

I've been thinking about doing the work to renew my dev account and get this game on actual test devices. That might make it fun, because then I can start showing people on my phone.

Even if I only manage 2 levels this upcoming week, I'll still be done with levels in a week. That's not too bad. Then it's back to dev. I can't quite say just adding polish, but most of the major development will be done. I've underestimated this thing consistently, so I don't want to make any predictions, but after finishing the levels, I'll be in a pretty damned good place for the game. 


I finally beat level 9

by midge 1. November 2014 21:23

Before I started trying a quickly looked at the level in the level editor and made it a little easier at a few key points later in the level.

After several/many (who's counting?) attempts I beat it. So it is possible. I may add some developer cheats so I can configure to start at different way-points so play testing is easier.

I want to do more work on the game tonight, but I don't know if I'm up for making another level.

I shouldn't get hung up on trying to make these in order, I can always sort them later by difficultly.


About the author

Hi, I'm Midge.

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