Game Progress Update #69

Game Progress Update #69

Hello World! And welcome to the sixty ninth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update.

It seems I am still having to put in an extra hour a day at least playing “Dad’s taxi” and dropping off the kids places when I would rather be working on Flappy-vaders.

Or at least I was until yesterday, when the car broke down on the side of the road. *sigh*

It’s probably going to be at least a week till I can get the car looked at, which is unfortunate. But at least it means I have fewer excuses for not working on the game! lol.

Let me tell you about what I have done this update.

Stutter during gameplay

The last Known bug/issue card in the In Progress column on the Trello was Stutter during gameplay.

This card was added to the Known bugs/issues column on the 1st march 2023, so it’s a fairly recent issue. It does specifically say on the card that the issue occurs on mobile during testing.

I have a feeling that this was relating to some screen settings which I altered a while back when I noticed that the game was running at 120fps on the Android test device I was using.

I spent several hours testing for this, (Does this really count as work? lol.) And unfortunately I have been unable to replicate the issue. The test team have also put a few hours into playing the game and haven’t mentioned any stuttering.

It definitely still happens on the PC, but as the game is targeted for mobile, I am going to mark this card as finished, and move it over to the Under Review column.

Phase 2

Having completed all of the initial stuff, by all accounts I should warrant some kind of celebration, followed by a break. But I feel like the project has taken too long as it is, so instead I’m going to dive straight into Phase 2.

Phase 2 is what I call the next step in the games development. Now all the systems are working as intended, it is time to work on developing the longevity of the game.

Although Flappy-vaders is designed to be played casually, in short bursts while waiting for the bus, or the microwave. There are aspects to keep players returning to the game. The upgrade/boost stores, the trophies, the prize scratchers etc.

I want to add a system to increase the difficulty of the challenges for the daily missions. As well as the rewards after the player has completed a few missions. This will have maybe five grades of difficulty/reward.

I also want to add timers to the reward ads and buttons. These are to limit the number of times the player can get a free daily scratch card.

I also want to ensure that the trophies are balanced. Currently I feel that they are all achievable too quickly.

Lastly there are a few changes I have decided to make to the UI.

I have added all these cards to the Trello, and assigned a couple to the In progress column.

First Phase 2 card completed!

Apparently I had the Fix bugs in Known bugs/issues column as a card in the Things To Do as part of Phase 2, lol.

As I have spent the last several weeks working through the list of bugs, and fixing them all, I think I can mark this one off as completed.

They all still need reviewing, and moving over to the completed column. But that’s a job for another day. I have created a card in the Trello for it.

Another test version uploaded

As all the bugs (That I was aware of anyway) had been fixed, it seemed like an ideal time to compile and upload a new version to the store.

If you already have Flappy-vaders installed, then it will automatically update soon. If not head over to the store page and update it from there.

That’s all for now.

As always I will be back in two weeks with the next update. Hopefully I will have a couple of phase 2 items crossed off the list.

If you want to join the test team, then its not to late. Just drop me a message on any of the channels, or simply email. I’ll get back to you soon.

Until then..

Dave 🙂

Game Progress Update #68

Game Progress Update #68

Hello world, and welcome to the sixty eighth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update.

It’s not been the best couple of weeks for working on this. As you all know, I am doing it in my spare time, and unfortunately my girlfriend is once again laid up with a bad back. Which means that I have not had anywhere near as much free time as I would have liked.

Combine that with running “Dad’s Taxi” for the children who seem to have had an abundance of appointments, and you’ll end up with a slightly stressed Dave who hasn’t had much chance to work on Flappy-vaders.

Throw in a week of ridiculous weather as well, and you start to get an idea of how this last two weeks have gone.

Dave cooling off in the hot tub

Fortunately we have the Hot tub set up in the garden still (It’s usually packed away by now) so I have been able to cool off in the water on the worst of the hot days.

Anyway, enough of the boring stuff. Let me get on and tell you about what I have done to the game this update.

The plan for this fortnight

After all the bugs I got fixed in the last update, here are only two bugs left in the known bugs/issues column on the Trello board.

  • Distance Issues
  • Stutter during gameplay

I am hoping to get both of these fixed and maybe even have time to start on the Phase 2 stuff.

Distance issues

I’m hoping this will be a simple bug to fix, so I have chosen this to be the first thing I look at.

The problem is that the Daily missions and the Trophies seem to check the distance travelled differently. For example, I completed a daily mission (Travel 25m), but the Trophy (Travel 25m) was not.

I need to look to see whether the code which compares the distances in the two cases is the same, or at least using the same calculation to work out distance.

Step one is to look and find where the two checks are made. This involves simply reading through the code and following its order of execution. Although its not a particularly fun or interesting thing to do.

I found the code which updated the daily mission distance variable in the IncreasePlayerScore() function. It is increased by 1 every time the player travels 144px (in game size), it’s the size of an old 4:3 TV episode on a widescreen device.

The other piece of the riddle was in the Trophies script. It was however calculating the distance in a completely different way.

Once I had found the issues, it was a fairly simple job to get both sets of code producing the same results.

Stutter during gameplay

Sadly I didn’t get this one finished this update. I managed to get as far as thinking about how I am going to determine what is causing it.

I haven’t even managed to grab any video of it happening. As I cannot replicate the issue on demand as yet. Intermittent problems are the worst kind.

I’m certain AGK Studio has some commands for performance checking. I will look into those and see if they might be helpful for this.

Phase 2

I did manage to get some thought put into Phase 2 however during some AFK time.

Phase 2 is mostly about adding longevity to the game play. I will be adding systems to increase the reward and difficulty of the daily missions; as well as looking into how we can adapt the levels depending on the speed of the player.

I’m leaning towards creating more levels and then give each level a speed rating, so the are not selected if the game is going to quickly or slowely. Then I just need to create several sets of levels so no variety is lost as the player speeds up.

Anyway, I shall talk more about phase 2 once the stuttering bug has been resolved.

That’s all for now

Once again I have run out of time, and the deadline for publishing this blog post draws near. So I shall sign off for now. I’ll be back in two weeks, with another fun packed and exciting* game progress update.

See you all next time!

* May not actually be fun packed or exciting

Game Progress Update #67

Game Progress Update #67

Hello World, and welcome to the sixty seventh Dev with Dave Game Progress Update.

Thankfully this time round I did manage to find some time to work on Flappy vaders. Since I started this project I have definitely had a lot less free time to work on it than I expected.

But I don’t think I’ve done too badly. The game really does seem to be taking shape. And it definitiely helps with motivation knowing tha the end is nearly in sight! 🙂

Let me tell you what I have done this time round.

The plan for this fortnight

So this fortnight I am back on the bug fixes. There are three bugs in the In progress column of the Trello. Now I have finished working on the promotional video, I shall attempt to finish them off as well.

  • Bullet X speed issue.
  • Upgrades store issue.
  • Scratch card prize issue.

Before I can do anything, I must remove the edits I made for the video in the previous progress update.

Removing the edits.

As I said in an earlier post, I’ve employed two methods to help make removing the edits I’d previously made a little easier.

Firstly I have written a log in my OneNote of the changes I made. And secondly, I have used a Keyword in the comments so I can ctrl-f and find each edited section.

This only took an hour or so to complete, using the keyword to search for changes. If I discover any further issues, I will refer back to the log of code edits.

Scratch card prize issue

When the player gets two pairs on a scratch card, the game awards the lowest prize value. This seems wrong to me, and the player should be awarded the highest.

I fixed this by reversing the direction that the game searched through the fruit by value. This way the player should be awarded the prize with the greatest value.

I would like to say that this is done, but I would be irresponsible to just leave it without testing it. I’ve obviously ran it a few times now just to make sure it worked ok. But statistically, the chances of getting a pair of pairs is remote, and I have run out of daily prize cards. Because of this I have decided to edit the code so I can control the outcome.

I altered two lines to get the game working closer to how I wanted. I changed the line which selected the random fruit from random[0,9] to random[0,1] so only two possible fruits could be selected.

The second line was one to award myself an extra 10 game cards every time I run the app 😉 lol. I will be removing this line before the next test build is released.

Then all I had to do was play a few scratch cards until I got one with two pairs. Then see which prize it awarded me. It didn’t take too many turns until I found one, and I could verify the code worked properly now.

Upgrades Store Issue

This is one of the pain in the ass bugs which I have tried to look into before. There is a note on the Trello stating that I couldn’t reproduce the issue. This is from back in June when I last looked at it.

As you well know it is an awful lot harder to fix a bug if you cannot reproduce it.

Fortunately, I think I have managed to reproduce it this morning, which is nice. Lets hope this means I’m halfway towards fixing it!

Explaining the issue

The above picture is from the Upgrades store page. Each panel has an icon, an upgrade progress indicator, a line of text and a price with a coin icon.

For some reason, all of these seem to work perfectly except for the Self destruct one.

The line of text should only read Unlock when there are no yellow squares lit up. That is to say before the player purchases an upgrade for the first time.

Once the first upgrade has been purchased to unlock the item, the text should change to “upgrade” instead of “Unlock”, and the price should change.

However, as you can see in the image above, although its working ok for the Head start, it is not working as it’s intended for the self destruct powerup.

Neither the text nor the price has changed. The price is supposed to increase with each upgrade purchased.

To add to the confusion, once the Self destruct is fully upgraded, the price and the text do actually change. However, neither of the things it changes to are correct.

Oddly enough, filling in the yellow blocks seems to work correctly. My first stop was the UI script to see what happened when the button is pressed to buy an upgrade.

Fixing the issue

After a couple of hours of running the game, testing, reading code and repeating, I finally found the problem! (Although I did go for a 20 minute walk outside to get some air. I find it helps thinking and problem solving)

When I wrote this, I had actually copied and pasted the code handling each of the panels on this page. They are all virtually identical, with only a few minor differences.

Whilst doing this, I had apparently overlooked a variable. *sigh*

// Updates price if its not max level, otherwise clear price (and hide coin?)
SetUpgradeText(upgrades.selfDestructUpgrade, ui, 64, "SELF DESTRUCT")

Instead of selfDestructUpgrade, the function was being passed the data for the headStartUpgrade instead. Since none of these values were changing, neither were the text or price being displayed!

At least it was a simple fix once I had spotted the error. 🙂

Bullet X Speed issue

Lastly, I looked at the bullet x speed issue bug.

When the Anti-aircraft guns shoot, their bullets seem to drift left, which was noticeable when playing the game.

After checking the maths to make sure I had the angles and Sin/Cos correct, I started to experiment with alternative solutions.

The first idea was to alter the angle of travel. Since the sprite was drawn in the correct angle, there was no need to rotate it. All I had to do was change the bulletDirection constant.

This seemed to fix the problem, although it took a while to determine the best angle to resolve the issue. I also had to adjust the spawn point of the bullets a little.

All that was left to do was leave a note on the trello card and slide it over to the under review column.

In the next update

So that leaves us with just two bugs or known issues to fix. There is still the discrepancy as to how distance is measured between different types of challenges, and the occasional stutter which seems to have appeared.

Hopefully I will be able to get these fixed for the next update, then it will be a case of running through the Under review column and ensuring that all the bugs are fixed and working as expected.

Then it will be on to phase 2! Which is where I add some extra detail to the game mechanics to increase the longevity of the gameplay, as well as some extra zones and skins for the scratch cards (Possibly)

And that’s all for now

But, for now it is getting close to 3pm so I should wrap this up and get the social media posts prepped and ready for posting.

I will as always be back in two weeks with the next update. 🙂