Game Progress Update #34


Game Progress Update #34

Hello world! Welcome to the thirty fourth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!

As I said earlier in the week, unfortunately my girlfriend had to spend a week in hospital thanks to her diabetes so I have had very little time to work on the game and the website. She’s much better now and I’d like to thank everyone who wished her well on social media. You are all awesome <3

This time round I have just about got the unread notifications working on the menus, so the player can be informed when there are new menus to see. (e.g. a new boost being unlocked, or new daily missions to look at)

I’ve also managed to get the website back up and running, and have reinstated things like the forum and user creation etc.

Unread notifications

So carrying on from the last update, I finally managed to get the notifications to draw over every button, but when I went to the store pages I noticed that the notifications didn’t slide up and down with the rest of the icons when the player scrolled the screen.

So I added a line to the code to ensure the notifications moved with the rest of the UI elements on the page, compiled and ran the code again only to discover that the notifications were also being given to the store divider images. This shouldn’t have been the case as I was already testing to see if the elementType property was set to uiButton before drawing the notification sprite.

This turned out to be because the dividers were actually buttons *sigh*. I changed these to uiImages instead, which they were supposed to be in the first place. Compiled the code and ran the game once more.

This time the notifications were appearing only on the correct elements and were scrolling with the buttons on pages where the player can scroll. The problem this time was that the sprite depths were wrong and although they appeared above the buttons like they were supposed to, they also appeared over the top of the title bar at the top of the screen.

Having resolved all these issues it was time to make sure that the notifications were checking to see if the showNotify property of the button was set to true before placing and showing the sprite onscreen. This was achieved with a simple If check, and worked perfectly, resulting in no notifications being shown.

Just to prove that it’s working properly, I then went and manually set 3 of the buttons to show notifications, simulating the path of notifications that would guide a player to a recently obtainable powerup or whatever.

The very last change I made was to unset the showNotify property on buttons which have been pressed.

I still need to find all the events in game which will cause a button to display a notification and add the code to do so at each one, but that will have to wait as I’ve run out of time for now.

Website

After all the palaver with the website over the last month or two, I think I can safely say I have got it all back up and running now.

I’ve sadly had to delete all the accounts associated with the forum, so if you had one before then you’ll have to re-register. Sorry about this. But the forum itself is back up and working as before. Hopefully the reCaptcha will keep the spammers at bay this time

I’ve sadly had to delete all the accounts associated with the forum, so if you had one before then you’ll have to re-register. Sorry about this. But the forum itself is back up and working as before. Hopefully the reCaptcha will keep the spammers at bay this time 🀞

The eagle eyed amongst you may have already spotted the new “Bugs” menu. This takes you to the Bug library page which is just about working now, but still needs some extra polish. It will be ready though in time for the first round of game testing.

That’s all for now

And that’s all I have time for. I’ll be back again in two weeks with another fun packed and exciting (lol) Dev with Dave game progress update. Unless of course the universe conspires against me again and we’re invaded by Godzilla or something like that.

Game Progress Update #33

Game Progress Update #33

Hello world, and welcome to the thirty third Flappy-vaders game progress update!

Unread Notifications

I’m actually still trying to get this to work. It’s proving to be slightly trickier than I imagined (Either that, or I’ve made a mistake somewhere which I have yet to discover)

As you can see from the above picture, the code is now placing the icons, but it’s not paying any attention to which buttons are supposed to have them and is instead placing them seemingly at random.

I need to go over the placement code again to see where it’s going wrong and I hope it’s something fairly simple to fix.

Website security

I’m fairly certain that the security issues with the Dev with Dave website have been resolved. As such I’m hoping to get the Forums, User registration and the bug tracker for Flappy-vaders all up and running in the next week or two.

I’ll announce it on social media when everything is finally back up and running as its supposed to.

Bug Reporting

I’ve decided to go with Yannick Lefebvre’s Bug Library plugin for WordPress. This seems to do all the things which I’m looking for in a bug tracker including Captcha integration. (After the issues I’ve had with the site, this seems like a good thing to have)

This is the final thing I think before I can start the proper testing of the game, so if you haven’t already given me your Google mail address and said you want to be part of the trial, then there is still time! Just drop me a message on Social Media and I’ll add you to the testers list.

That’s all for now

And that’s all I have time for this time round. I’ll be back in two weeks with another update, remember if you don’t already then please follow us on Social media to keep up to date with the project.

Until next time πŸ™‚

Dave

Game Progress Update #32

Game Progress Update #32

Hello world, and welcome to the thirty second Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!

Unread notifications

One of the biggest bits which had been missed from previous builds of Flappy-vaders was the little red exclamation marks on the various menu buttons to indicate that there was a new unlock or something which hadn’t been viewed by the player.

The keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that the main menu button has always had the red notification icon, but that was just there to demonstrate the visual aspects of them. There is (or rather was) no code to actually determine if an unread notification is necessary.

This was the biggest part of the game I’ve managed to get any work done on since the last update.

It’s not finished yet, but I have made a start on it. πŸ™‚

The notification icons will work a little something like this.

I have added a “hasNotify” property to the button type (Buttons are the only UI elements to have notifications so this makes sense).

There will be a function which is called whenever the UI page is changed, which will check each button on the current page to see if it needs a notification icon, if it does, then it will show the icon on the button.

I still need to write a function which will set or unset the hasNotify flag on the buttons if necessary, but this shouldn’t be too hard. I also need to add the code to the ChangeUIPage() method so that the notification is drawn when required.

This should all be done for the next update.

Website Security

The website is still not 100% back to normal I’m afraid. It was decided that I should do work to the game as a priority so that’s what I have been doing. I did manage to get a few minor tests/changes done but the forum remains down.

I’m now almost certain though that the removal of the original Captcha test at login and/or account creation was to do with a plugin being updated and not a third party acting maliciously.

I’ll post some news on the social media when the forum and everything else is restored.

Game Testing

Due to the issues with the forum etc. I’ve still not started the actual first round of play testing yet, so there is still time to get in touch with me and I’ll add you to the list of testers.

The game currently Android only, so I’m afraid iPhone users will have to wait to play Flappy-vaders.

I’ll be launching the testing soon after the website is restored to full functionality.

That’s all folks..

And that is about all I have time for this time round. I’ll be back (hopefully) with another update on the 25th of this month.

Until then πŸ™‚

Game Progress Update #31

Hello world, and welcome to the thirty first Dev with Dave game progress update.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and that your 2022 has got off to a good start.

It’s been an odd start to the year for me, for a few reasons, but let me tell you about them in this slightly late project update πŸ™‚

The Forum

Firstly, It appears that at some point over the last twelve months the Captcha I’d implemented had stopped working. This opened the floodgates to hundreds and thousands of dodgy forum accounts.

I had noticed there was a disproportionate amount of forum traffic, but it wasn’t until the other day that I noticed that there was no longer any Captcha when I logged into the Dev with Dave site.

Unfortunately I can’t remember how I had set up the Captcha the first time round. I know I had definitely done it because I remember having to tick the I AM NOT A ROBOT box before, and all the details for the website are entered into the Captcha website.

However, the thought of an external force disabling anything on my website was enough to set the alarm bells ringing and I decided to conduct a full security review of the Dev with Dave website.

Unfortunately as part of this I’ve had to not only disable the forum but also delete every single forum user account from the site. The website only allowed me to do this 250 at a time, and there were over 22,000 of them by the time I had disabled account creation.

However, I could find no evidence of foul play and I think that I was using a plugin which no longer provides Captcha 🀷

I will be further testing that the website is secure before I open up user registration and the forums again. In the mean time, you can still stay up to date with Flappy-vaders with the Dev with Dave Blog.

Updating things

I have spent more than a couple of hours this last week or two sat in the car waiting for people. In order to maximise my time spent working on Dev with Dave, I’ll often bring the tablet along and spend the time working on various things.

This time round I have managed to update the Trello board and the GDD as they felt like they had been neglected a little.

The Trello board is public so you can have a look and see how I use it to keep track of the various aspects of creating the game. The board is found here at https://trello.com/b/OpQv8TCD/flappyvaders

I’ll get the GDD saved as a pdf and get it uploaded to the website as soon as possible, but I’ll have to find a new place to put it until the forum is back up and running again.

Primary testing

I know in the last update I said I was thinking about using Discord to manage the bug reporting for the testing, but after some thought I’m not sure how effective this would be.

I’d much rather use the forum or perhaps one of the dedicated bug managing plugins for WordPress, but given the security issues I’ve faced recently, I have been unable to pursue an investigation into which would be the best.

That’s all for this time

Unfortunately what little time I did have to work on Flappy vaders this time round has been spent mostly on tightening security and making sure nothing too nefarious had taken place. I’m hoping that I’ll have a better update for you next time round.

I know I have a terrible track record with this, but the next update should be up on the 11th of February.

Until then πŸ™‚

Game Progress Update #30

Game Progress Update 30

Hello world, and welcome to the thirtieth Dev with Dave game progress update!

The downside of doing this project in my spare time is that some weeks I have a lot less spare time than others. Like this week for instance, where (it feels like at least) I had a dozen different appointments to take the children to, I’ve been swamped with work in my regular job, and our tumble drier has broken πŸ™

Because of this, I’ve had a lot more time to chase down and fix bugs in the code, but not so much time to work on creating a new build or getting it uploaded ready for testing.

There’s also no video this week I’m afraid, I’ve simply not had time to make one.

Bug fixes

Since I’ve been playing the game a lot on my phone, which has a display aspect of 20:9, it’s allowed me to spot a whole load of sprite issues relating to the Left and Right hand edges of the screen and sprites. All of which have now been fixed (🀞 hopefully anyway, lol).

I have also fixed the coin total bug, so the coins the player has collected during the game are now added to the players coin total at the end of the game.

Play Testing

I’m still working on how best to handle bug reporting for this. Ordinarily I’d set up a GitHub page for the project, but that would mean each user having an account to add bug reports.

My current plan is to just use discord to try and manage the bug reporting.

I’m going to be building a new test build at some point in the next few days. Hopefully this will be the build to begin the test.

And that’s all for now

In the next update, I’ll have more news about the first round of testing. If you haven’t already messaged me on social media to let me know you want to be involved in the test, then what are you waiting for? πŸ™‚

I’m also hoping to have a blog post written about creating and uploading the APK for testing, as well as no doubt finding some extra bugs in the game! lol.

Anyway, until next time πŸ™‚

Game Progress Update #29

Game Progress Update #29

Hello world, and welcome to the twenty ninth Dev with Dave game progress update! Or should I call it the “lack of progress update”.πŸ€”

Over the last two weeks all I feel like I have managed to do is find more bugs in the game 😟 There is definitely something wrong with the guidance lasers on the Missile zones! lol.

The Very First Build

I decided to test the first build on my Samsung Galaxy S20 FE before uploading to the store for testing, and I’m glad I did as I found a few bugs which had slipped through the previous testing.

The biggest and most annoying which I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed until now, especially considering how many hours I’ve put in to playing the game, is that the coin total doesn’t increase between games.

I also discovered several visual discrepancies with sprites which don’t appear or disappear where they are supposed to when playing on the S20’s 20:9 display aspect. These will be addressed before the next test build.

I’ve added the bugs to the Trello board and will attempt once again to get a build ready and uploaded ready for testing.

Testers

Talking of the first round of tests, I’m still collecting details of people who want to be involved in testing our little game πŸ™‚ All you need to do is drop me a message on Social Media, and when I’m ready I’ll be in touch to grab some details from you.

Remember that this test will be Android only, so if you’re an iPhone user then I’m afraid you won’t be able to take part.

Until Next Time!

And that’s about all for this progress update. I’ll try not only to have the game built and uploaded for the next update, but I’ll also try and document the process of making the test build using AGK Studio.

Don’t forget if you do want to help test Flappy-vaders then drop me a message on social media.

Until next time..

Dave πŸ™‚

Creating a sound effect in Audacity from start to finish


Hello world!

In this article I’ll be going over the process of creating one of the sound effects used in Flappy-vaders.

I’ll be using the latest version of audacity, which is available for free from www.audacityteam.org. I’m assuming you all know how to download and install software, so I won’t show you how to do that πŸ˜› lol

The sound I’ll be creating for this video is the sound the asteroids make in the game.

The first thing I did was try and imagine what an asteroid hurtling at great speed through the atmosphere would sound like.  I imagine a mix of roaring wind to represent the speed, with a burning crackling sound to convey the heat of re-entry.

I had a look through the various asset packs I have and found the following two sounds which matched fairly closely what I had imagined previously.  RagingFire.wav which is the sound of a fire burning, and WindHauntedHouse.wav, a sample of the wind whooshing.

So, lets combine the samples and add some post production editing to create the finished effect ready for the game.

First, lets load the wind sound effect into Audacity. I usually do this by just dragging and dropping the samples into the editor, but you can press ctrl-o or select Open off the file menu to load a sample as well.

Press control a to select all, then choose β€œCompressor” from the effect menu.Β  This levels out the wind noises and gives a more constant whooshing sound. The original wind sample went from loud to quiet to load and back again.

Next press Control a again to select all, then choose amplify again from the effect menu.  Set the value to -9.0 decibels and press ok.  This lowers the volume back down after the previous step.

Now Load in the fire sample as well. Again, I just dragged and dropped it in from the folder I have it stored in.

Control a again to select all, then choose β€œEcho” from the effect menu.Β  The echo gives the sample more of an impression of size and an overall spacey feel as well.

Lastly, press the tracks menu, choose mix, then mix and render to combine the two tracks into our finished sound effect.

All that’s left now is to export it as a Ogg Vorbis file, as that’s the format I’m using in the game.

And there we go, that was the whole process from beginning to end. Unfortunately I can’t supply the samples so you can follow this yourself as they are not free media and I don’t have the distribution rights. However you can enjoy the finished sound effect by playing Flappy-vaders πŸ™‚

If you have any questions about this post, feel free to ask them on the Dev with Dave forum.

Game Progress Update #28


Game Progress Update #28

Hello world, and welcome to the twenty eighth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!

Since the last update I have spent the majority of the time searching through code and playing the game trying to track down and remove the last few things in the Known bugs/issues list on the Trello board.

For the most part I was unsuccessful, lol. I think I only managed to get a couple of bugs moved over to the Under review list.

Bug fixes

Despite many many hours of bug hunting and play testing, I really haven’t managed to get too many of the remaining issues fixed.

The problem with the Alert flash carrying on when the player dies when it’s active has been fixed. I’d already created a function to deactivate the flash, so I simply added a call to this function between the end of the game and the main menu.

As non of the remaining bugs are show stoppers, I’m going to leave fixing the rest for the time being and instead concentrate more on getting Flappy-vaders ready for play testing.

Preparing for play testing

Now that the game is nearing completion, it’s time to think about getting things ready for play testing. This is an important stage as it’s the first time the game gets exposed to people who don’t necessarily work in the industry.

I’ve already made a start on creating the Google Play Store entry for Flappy-vaders. I’ll create some text and visual assets for the store page later, the next job is to create an .apk of the game ready to upload to the store.

Once the store page is created and the game is uploaded ready for testing, I’ll be giving some of you guys the chance to join the team of testers. So make sure you stay tuned!

This first round of testing has two main objectives. Firstly to gauge opinion of the game, and to help tweak it to make it more playable; and secondly to help narrow down any bugs in the gameplay or issues with the user experience.

Other delays

When I started this project, I decided to use AGK Studio as it was ideal for running on the low spec computer I had decided to use for this project. I had already been using AGK Classic for many years and I consider myself to be an expert in the language.

Since the start of the project, TGC have added a couple of changes to AGK Studio, firstly in the way In App Purchase works, and secondly they have introduced App Bundles into the compilation process.

Both of these changes are brilliant, but unfortunately I’m going to need to read up on these and it may add a small delay to release of the project.

Until next time

And that’s all for this update! I’ll be back once again in two weeks with another exciting update for you πŸ™‚

I’m hoping that by the next update I’ll have a build of Flappy-vaders uploaded to the play store ready for play testing, but in light of the last few updates and the delays which have been suffered, I’m not making any promises, but I shall do my best to have it done on time. lol.

Until next time!