Game Progress Update #80

Game Progress Update #80

Hello world! Welcome to the eightieth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update.

After I finished all the outstanding tasks on the Trello last update, this update is mostly about promotion. This has made a nice change tbh. As much as I enjoy coding, it’s nice to take a break from it every once and a while*

Dave sat in McDonalds eating lunch

I even managed to get out for lunch, where I enjoyed a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, large fries and a cup of tea courtesy of the local McDonalds.

Anyway, let me tell you what I have been up to this update.

*I should point out that I still code almost every day. I meant in my spare time, lol.

New bugs found

So straight out the starting gates today, I found two new bugs. Not an ideal start. But I guess I’m happy I found them rather than them making it to production.

Menu notification bug

The first one was obvious as soon as I started the game. Where I had completed the first daily mission the last time I had played the game, I had not looked at the menu page. As a result, it was still showing the red exclamation notification even though the daily missions had been refreshed.

Coin Pack purchasing bug

The second, and rather more important bug relates to purchasing the coin packs. Google recently changed the way consumable purchases work. I think the bug is caused by either me coding it badly, or misunderstanding how the new procedures work.

The error shown in the game with every other purchase of a coin pack.

When you purchase a coin pack once, everything works fine. When you purchase it a second time, it tells you that you already own the product. However, the third time you purchase the coin pack, it works fine again.

Since this bug relates to IAP I am rating this one as top priority to get fixed.


Since I am soon going to be directing people to the website ( if you’ve not already seen it), I decided to give it a quick once over and make sure it was as good as I could get it.

I’ve received positive feedback overall on the site design and layout, but there were a couple of things I couldn’t decide upon, so I am using A/B testing to determine which option works best.

There are two things I am testing for. The first is whether the first line of text appears above or below the video. On a desktop this brings the game blurb above the crease, so that the user doesn’t have to scroll to read it.

The second is the header text on the email collection form.

I will use the data from these tests to optimise the website, once I have determined which variants work better.

Social Media Accounts

I created a Facebook page for the Game today. I may tweak the graphics used a little, but I am fairly happy with how it looks so far.

It was an added bonus that the game blurb which I copied from the website is exactly the right length for the page blurb also.

Unfortunately I need 25 followers before I can get a custom URL for the page. Hopefully I will get this soon, but for now you can view the page >here<. (Feel free to like it 🙏 lol).

Social Media Leveraging

I have started on my Social media group leveraging plan also.

The first few weeks of the 12 week plan are simply interacting with other peoples posts for now. Liking and commenting and just getting to know the feel of the groups.

I have a list of the groups I selected, and have been checking each one every few days, and going over the posts since my last visit.

Whenever I find a post which appeals to me, I like it or drop a comment. The goal of this is to build a sense of familiarity with the group users, so interacting with users and their posts is important.

I am not likely to mention anything directly about Flappy-vaders for a while yet. I may make references in passing, but there won’t be any promoting of the game just yet.

Paid promotion

This is what a lot of my AFK time has been spent planning.

My current thinking is that I am going to initially split the advertising efforts two ways. Firstly, I am going to advertise the Website itself, and getting interested people to leave their email address. Secondly, I am going to promote the Facebook page, which in turn will also guide people towards the website/email list.

Both email list and Facebook group will announce the release of the game. Simultaneously, a Google Universal App Campaign will start promoting the game as well.

Since I have a much smaller budget for this than I planned on, I’m going to have a chat with a couple of more knowledgeable people before setting anything in stone.

That’s all for now

That’s the end of this update. I will be back in another two weeks with the next one. In which I will hopefully have set up an email sequence to welcome people to the email list, as well as hopefully some results from our A/B testing.

See you all next time 🙂

Game Progress Update #79

Game Progress Update #79

Hello world! And welcome to the seventy ninth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!

Being British, my natural instinct is to talk about the weather. This is because we have such an incredible amount of it here in the UK.

A screen grab of the weather app on my phone showing this weeks weather.

Only this morning, it was only just above freezing when I woke up. So I wore my coat when I went to town to run errands. However, by the time I left the house, it was actually a lot warmer outside, with blue skies and sunshine. I was regretting taking my coat, right up to the bit where the heavens opened and a slightly early April shower drenched me.

Other than the weather keeping me on my toes, I’ve been busy fixing the last few remaining bugs. I’ve also been busy with the marketing plan, which I would like to have got finished by now, but sadly I haven’t.

Anyway, let’s look at what I have managed to get done this week.

Tasks remaining

On Monday I moved all the cards from the known bugs and issues list, to the In Progress list of the Trello. I also took ownership of them. These are the six remaining cards.

  • Scratch card prizes
  • Issue with collect prize daily mission
  • Match 3 texts on scratchers
  • Tap to try again
  • AA Turret fire sound
  • Intro problem

As they are all bug fixes rather than bits which need new systems creating. So I am hoping that I can get all of them finished in time.

Bug fixing

The big task of the week was to get the last few bugs fixed, leaving us (hopefully) a completed game!

Match 3 text on scratchers.

This was the first card I chose off the list. It was a simple case of editing the four scratch card images to change the text. I had put match 3 on all of them, but you can get a prize from only matching two.

Image of a Flappy-vaders Scratch card

I had the project files for the images, so it was a straight forward task to edit out the text, and replace it with the correct value.

The biggest issue was that I couldn’t remember which font I had used, only that the name started with an ‘m’. I do have it written down in the documentation, but I didn’t need to look it up in the end.

Tap to try again text.

I noticed that the “Tap to try again” text didn’t really mesh with the way the other controls worked, so I have decided to change it to a button instead.

After my first attempt, the button placement was ok, but needs to be higher up. I also noticed that the text colour needs changing from white to black, but that is handled by a different function.

The second attempt sees the position perfect, and the text is now black.

For simplicities sake, even though there is now a button, I am leaving the code in place which just checks for a screen tap once the speed has decreased sufficiently.

Issue with Collect prize daily mission

This issue relates to the text on the Daily Missions screen. When it is the Collect Daily prize mission, the text remains the same, where as the number of daily prizes to collect increases each time.

This was a fairly straight forward issue to fix, I added a conditional to the line where it created the mission text. If there is more than 1 prizes to collect, it now uses the target value in the text string.

I could not verify this card worked though. So it is still in the list, but I believe it’s working.

AA Turret fire sound

During playtesting, it felt like the the sound of the aa cannons didn’t follow the fading of the other zone elements as the scrolled off screen.

I fixed this by adding some code to reduce the volume of the effect once the cannon has scrolled off the screen.

Scratchcard prizes

The card suggested that winning two strawberries didn’t award the player the prize. Instead the player got 10 coins and a “sorry, you did not win” message.

I could not replicate this issue. I played over 40 scratch cards in flappy-vaders, and ended up only getting 3 strawberry wins. Two maximum prizes of 950 coins, and a 2 strawberry win of 95 coins.

About scroller issues

I noticed that the about scroller would render zone sprites on the scrolling text sprite.

I fixed this by hiding all the zone sprites in the same way that i do with the CRT overlay when rendering the text, and then restoring them straight afterwards.

A new build

Having completed all the cards in the Trello, the next thing I did was to compile a new build and get that uploaded to the store.

This reminded me that I still have to create the store page for Flappy-vaders. This also gives me a reason to write a guide on ASO, which is important for increasing organic reach of your game’s store page.

I’m hoping that the testers don’t find too many more bugs in this build 🤞

The competition

There’s still time to enter the competition. I’m giving away a Dev with Dave mug, like the one I’m always drinking tea out of.

The link below takes you to a Facebook post on the Dev with Dave, where you find out how to enter.

The closing date for the competition is the 31st of March, so there’s still time for you to enter.

Marketing plan

Now the game is approaching completion, I need to get the marketing plan finished so that I can move up to the next level of marketing.

I already have created a 12 week plan to leverage social media, but I am also looking at running paid adverts. As I explained in the last update, due to real life stuff, I don’t think I quite have the budget spare that I wanted to spend promoting my game. But I am still planning how the ads will look, even if I can only use a few of the channels I want to use.

Once I am a little more decided on what I am doing, promotion wise, I will write about it. I don’t think I can really right now. Please stay tuned however.

That’s all for now

Now that all the Trello cards are done, the next update will be entirely devoted to marketing.

I am going to try and have at least all aspects of the marketing strategy outlined roughly, even if the details will still need working out.

Anyway, I hope you all have an enjoyable couple of weeks, and I’ll be back in a fortnight with the next Dev with Dave Game Progress Update 😊

Game Progress Update #78

Game Progress Update #78

Hello world! And welcome to the seventy eighth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!

This is a monumental update, as it marks three years of work on the game. I know that Dev with Dave originally started in June, but I have taken a fair amount of time off for things like Christmas.

I regret not using an app to track how many hours I have put into working on this game. That certainly would have provided an interesting statistic.

However, Since the game is so very close to completion, I felt like celebrating. I have been trying to organise a few prizes for a competition for you all! More news on that later!

Also I have not forgotten about the blog regarding keeping your audience safe. It’s taken a little longer than expected, but I am still working on it whenever I can.

Anyway, time is short today. I really want to get this post finished by the deadline if possible, as I’d like to do other things later. So on with the update!

What’s on the cards?

Just like the last update, at the start of this fortnight, there was only one card remaining on the Trello “In progress” list. That was the level difficulty one.

The Flappy-vaders trello board.

The goal of this card was to try and find a way to balance the game play a little, as the player got faster.

There are also five cards in the “Known bugs/issues” list, but I do not expect they will take a lot of work to do (Famous last words…)

Level Difficulty

After considering the pros and cons of adjusting the spacing of the existing zones depending on the players speed, or limiting zones so they only appear when a specific speed is reached.

After some experimentation (read as many many many hours of playing the game) I found that the existing system worked better over a greater range of speeds that any changes I made. With perhaps the exception of one or two of the zones.

I also added a few new zones. These were sketched out on paper first, and were then created in game. To save time I didn’t create a level editor for Flappy-vaders. Instead, each zone is stored in a string where the length of the zone, and then the coordinates and image used for each sprite.

It was a little frustrating creating the new zones by hand, especially with this week feeling so busy. But I didn’t think it was really worth the effort. Especially considering how small the individual zones are.

I am going to mark this task off as done, and that leaves nothing but bug fixes and little tweaks to be done.

Bug fixes

I even managed to fix the first of the bugs! (Despite adding two more to the list during testing)

The bug was related to the games CRT overlay disappearing when the about scroller was called. After some code following, I found the issue was from when I was last recording footage for promo stuff.

When I am making game play videos of the game, I remove the CRT border scanlines from the game when I record footage. These are then reapplied in post production as the video is edited. I had commented out all the lines where the CRT border was toggled to on for this. However, once I had finished recording, I had missed uncommenting a line.

Leveraging Social Media

The rest of my time was taken up with finalising plans for the social media side of my marketing plan for the game.

During the creation of the game, I have occasionally dropped a mention of the game in various Facebook groups etc. Now the game is almost finished, I am getting ready to step up my organic marketing plan. I just need to decide on the last couple of aspects.

My goal was to create an eight to twelve week social media plan for the related groups. When I was explaining this to my buddy the other day, he asked if I was going to upload these plans and share them like I have everything else. The answer is maybe.

I have actually planned it all out on paper (as is my way I have created a daily check list to help maintain group activity as well. I am aiming at checking each group 3x a day, those times being 10am, 2pm, and 8pm. Then commenting on other peoples posts, especially if it is particularly relevant to the game. These times are arbitrary, and are just convenient for me. I will review them after a week or two. Depending on how often the groups receive posts.

For those familiar with Pareto’s Principle, I am using an 80/20 approach with sharing about my game. Meaning, that out of 10 weekly posts, a maximum of 2 of them will be about my game.

Other marketing channels

I as hoping to be at least best part done with the plan for paid ads by now. Sadly events in the real world have severely limited my options with this. My car broke down recently, and sadly it is beyond economic repair. Because of this, I am not sure if I can still spare the budget I was hoping to allocate to this.

I will probably plan for all methods I was planning to implement. But only put into action those which I have budget to do effectively, if the budget is indeed limited.

That’s all for now!

I haven’t had time to release a new test build as yet. I will probably hold off on that until the last half a dozen remaining bugs are fixed.

But I expect to have fixed a whole lot of the bugs by the next update. I expect the next test build will be the final one unless we discover any more bugs in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned to Dev with Dave on social media for news of the competition.

Until next time 🙂