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!

Adventures in a foreign land

Adventures in a foreign land.

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚. This is the reason why this weeks update was a little thin on the ground! Lol!

Game Progress Update #27


Game Progress Update #27

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.

Bug Hunting

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 πŸ™‚

Until next time…