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 🙁
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.
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.
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? 🙂
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.
Hello world, and welcome to the twenty ninth Dev with Dave game progress update! Or should I call it the “lack of progress update”.🤔
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.
Talking of the first round of tests, I’m still collecting details of people who want to be involved in testing our little game 🙂 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.
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 😛 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 “Compressor” from the effect menu. 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 “Echo” from the effect menu. 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 🙂
If you have any questions about this post, feel free to ask them on the Dev with Dave forum.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
Well, as I said in the previous progress update post, My Girlfriend and I were off to Majorca to go sailing on my friend’s yacht for a few days, before heading inland to a Hotel where My friend’s wedding was going to take place.
We landed Monday afternoon after a short and enjoyable plane ride, and were picked up from the airport by my friend who then drove us straight to the harbour where his boat was moored. The plan was to sail to a nearby bay and enjoy a few beers, a swim and a barbecue.
Unfortunately we’d barely managed to light the barbie before my girlfriend started to feel unwell. Initially we just put this down to a touch of sea sickness, but as it carried on into our second day there we were starting to get a little worried.
As she was feeling no better on the Wednesday we decided to take her to a nearby hospital, where they moved her to the ICU.
She was diagnosed with Diabetic ketoacidosis, and had to stay in the intensive care for five days, Missing both the wedding, and our planned return flight.
Despite the language difficulties (Neither of us actually speak any Spanish other than Hello, and Thank you) the staff at the hospital were excellent; and after her stint in the ICU and a couple of days in a normal ward she was discharged.
In the mean time, while my girlfriend was laying in hospital all hooked up to monitors and IV drips etc. I was still trying to make the most of our trip.
Wednesday and Thursday were spent on the boat. We sailed from the marina to the harbour where we had originally embarked. We had a few drinks and some of the other soon to be wedding guests came aboard. I even went for a swim in the sea!
On Friday we all went to the Finca Son Miranda Hotel, and got settled in. I cannot state how beautiful the hotel was. All the rooms were fresh and modern, but still maintained a traditional Mediterranean feel. It’s set in some gorgeous country side, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees with some great views of the nearby mountains.
The wedding itself was amazing, and everyone had a great time. It was lovely to meet the Bride’s family for the first time, and see my buddy’s family as well. (We’ve not seen anyone really the last year or so due to the Covid 19 pandemic.)
The ceremony itself took place in the afternoon among some olive trees in the hotel grounds. And was followed by a night of dancing, great food and awesome music 🙂
Sunday was a lot more laid back, lol. I spent most of the day in the shade at the bar by the pool. By this point, I’d already realised we wouldn’t be making our flight home so I arranged to share a hotel room with some of my buddy’s family until they flew home Wednesday.
The new hotel was close to the beach, and only a short walk away from Magaluf. I ended up sharing a room with my buddy’s brother, and brother in law, both of whom I already knew.
Aside from going out to eat and my daily hospital trips to visit my girlfriend we spent most of the time relaxing on the balcony, admiring the view and chatting the evening away.
On Wednesday I booked myself another hotel, and had barely got moved in and showered before my girlfriend called to tell me she had been discharged from the hospital and was ready to be picked up! I cannot explain how happy I was to hear this and I immediately rushed off to get a taxi.
That evening we had a takeaway on the balcony, and then went for a couple of drinks at JJs Sports Lounge (My favourite bar in the whole of Majorca) before having a quiet movie in bed courtesy of Netflix.
On the Thursday we were mostly rushing around trying to get tests done, and completing passenger locator forms, but we did get chance to have a meal and a few drinks with the newly weds
Then, almost as suddenly as it started, it was Friday and time to fly back home.
I’m sitting in the garden safe at home now as I write this, and I’m happy to say my girlfriend is now feeling completely better.
Our time in Majorca was certainly an adventure, with soaring highs and soul destroying lows. I’m glad we went though, and I’m looking forward to going again at some point in the future.
And there we go 🙂. This is the reason why this weeks update was a little thin on the ground! Lol!
Hello world! And welcome to the twenty seventh Dev with Dave game progress update!
I’ve not managed to get too much done this week after our adventures in Majorca delayed our return to the UK by almost a whole week. I’ll write a blog post about that another day though when I have more time.
More Level Design
One of the things I have had chance to get done is some more level design.
Working from the rough sketches shown above, it didn’t take too long to add the new zones to the game.
There are three new zone sub types in total, one for the pipes zones, which features a small square of coins to collect in the middle of it.
One for the coins zones, which has a line of coins for the player to follow and collect, avoiding the pipes this time.
And lastly, one for the asteroid zones which introduces pipes as an added hazard.
I tested the zones by forcing the random zone selection to pick a specific zone and sub zone.
The more I play the game, the more bugs I seem to be finding. During today’s play testing session I definitely noticed something strange happening with the missile targeting laser sprites. I updated the known bugs/issues list on the Trello board.
And that’s all for now
After working on this update till gone midnight again yesterday, I’m hoping that the next update will be smoother and that there won’t be so much excitement getting in the way of it! lol
I’ll be trying to get some more level design/bug hunting done for the next one, getting ready for the first round of proper testing 🙂
Hello world! and welcome to the twenty sixth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!
I can’t believe that it’s been an entire year since the first progress update on this project. And boy, look at how much the game has changed!
The above image is a still taken from the very first progress report. I was demonstrating some of the basic systems which I had implemented, things like the controlling the player and the parallax scrolling background.
And here we have a screen capture from the 25th Update! As you can see the game has come on in leaps and bounds over the last year. There isn’t very much left to do now until it’s ready for the first round of testing.
In fact this update I have been trying as hard as I could to get the remaining tasks finished from the In Progress column on the Trello, and get as many of the bugs fixed and out the way.
Some finishing touches
The first thing I did was add a sound effect for the Second Chance boost, and implemented playing it when the boost is activated. This was pretty simple to do as all the systems and code was already in place.
The sound effect was from one of the sound packs I’d downloaded previously for this project, and is currently being used as is without any post production editing.
The next thing on the list was the scoring for the game. In the GDD this was specified to be based on the number of screen widths that the player had moved. Using the base size of the graphics, 144px instead of the actual device width for fairness. It also needed to use timer based movement to ensure that people with faster devices didn’t end up with a hidden advantage.
In the original prototype, I had it set so the score increased by 0.1 each frame, which was not what the GDD said.
I soon changed this so it worked as described in the GDD by adding a distance# variable to the player type, and recording the distance travelled by the player ship. Once this distance variable reached 144.0 then the score was increased and the distance variable reset back to zero, and the score is increased by 1 point.
After I’d played a few games with the new scoring system in place, it was decided that the score was increasing too slowly, so I changed it so it increased by one point every 14.4 pixels travelled.
I also managed to blast my way through half a dozen or so cards from the Known bugs/issues column of the Trello.
Buying boosts now correctly deducts coins from the coins total, and using a boost will reduce the inventory count by one.
I fixed a couple of problems relating to the scrolling background at game over. Zone assets now scroll by at the proper speed and bullets will continue moving also.
I also fixed bugs relating to the ship engine sound not ending at the end of a game, changing the volume of the music intro section, and the head start boost now plays the shield sound as well as activating the shield.
I did however manage to find a new bug though, so I’ve added that to the Trello also.
Until next time
And that’s all for this update! There won’t be an update for Flappy-vaders next fortnight as I’m travelling to Spain for a week to be the Best man at my friends wedding 🙂 Instead the next update will be on the 24th of September (I have checked, and double checked this date after the last time, lol)
I’m hoping to have finished off the remaining bugs, done perhaps a little more work on the level design and be nearly ready for the first round of testing.
Hello World! And welcome to the twenty fifth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!
In this update, I’ve been busy working on level design, and expanding on the zones system.
In previous builds of Flappy-vaders, the zones system had been set up with a multi dimensional array to store the zones in, but I had only used the First slot in each to store data, even though a couple of the zone types had two different layouts already.
So, the first thing I did was organise the array contents, allocating the second zone type layouts to [n,1] where they existed, and if there was not then I created an empty zone instead with only the zone marker sprite to indicate the start of the zone.
Next was to implement a system to select the sub zones from the array. I’d planned for this in the early stages of development, and had a variable called subZoneID set to 0 on the line under the one where it selected the primary zone type. I replaced the 0 with Random(0,1) for the time being, although I should have the upper limit as a constant. I’ll address this once I am further along.
I decided against creating a level editor for this game due to the limited amount of time I have for creating Flappy-vaders each week. This is a decision I am maybe regretting now, lol 🙂
The level is stored as a string, which contains the zone length, then groups of three integers to represent the x & y positions and the imageID of the sprite as shown in the code snippet below.
Because of the simplicity of the level data, I am just writing them by hand for the time being. Although I certainly wouldn’t call it fun, and it’s surprisingly time consuming.
Ultimately I would like to create 5 subzones per zone, giving a total of 25 total subzones. This should be adequate for the first round of testing. We can review whether I need to add more after some user feedback.
And that’s all for now
That’s it for this update! I’ll be back in two weeks with the next update.
I’m not sure what I’ll be doing for next time. There are couple of bits which need finishing off in the “In progress” column on the Trello.
I must also set some time aside to review the Trello and GDD to see if there is anything which needs updating there as well.