Game Progress Update #77

Game Progress Update #77

Hello World! Welcome the the seventy seventh Dev with Dave Game Progress Update! It’s been another busy couple of weeks here in Dave’s world. Work on keeping up my existing apps and games on the various stores has become a bit of a priority and has taken up quite a lot of whatever spare time I would ordinarily have spent working on the game.

It was also Valentine’s day this week, which I spent having an enjoyable chinese meal with my gf while we watched Douglas Trumbull’s 1972 classic, Silent Running.

As always I have managed to get some work on the game. I have split my time two ways mostly this update. The first half of my efforts was spent on working on the remaining Trello card. The other half was spent on planning and implementing a social media strategy, preparing to promote the game.

Level Difficulty

I have been working on this card for a while now. It is the last remaining card on the Trello board which isn’t a bug fix. Carrying on from >the last progress update<, I have been mulling over how best to handle this.

My current thinking is to have a wider range of zones created, and record a maximum speed for each zone. I plan on doing this by manually setting the specified zone for testing, and also manually setting the speed variable each test.

This is proving to be quite a slow process, not helped by the fact that the game is quite a lot of fun to play.

I have so far created several new zones. Compared to the first few zones I made, these are more varied in the objects used. I have also made more use of the ceiling to floor pipes which I thought were lacking in the other zones.

Social Media

The other half of my efforts have been spent working on the marketing strategy.

For those who have not been following along, I am going to be concentrating my marketing in three specific areas.

  • Organic social media promotion
  • Paid advertising
  • Website with email capture to build email list

The general plan for the three areas are as follows..

Organic Social Media Promotion

As I mentioned in the previous progress update post. I have already selected and joined several Facebook groups which seem to fit the target demographic. I am planning a series of of scheduled posts to these, as well as regularly checking and interacting with other peoples posts.

Paid advertising

Paid for advertising is a little less well planned. I’m not entirely decided on how much budget will be available for this. I expect I will use a variety of adverts to direct people towards social media or the landing page during the pre-launch campaign.

Then I will switch efforts to promoting the store page with a Google UAC advert when the game is finally released.

This will coincide with a renewed effort on the social media front as well.

Website with email capture to build email list

As I am just using a simple landing page with email capture for this, I haven’t really been able to use SEO to bring people to the page. Instead I am planning on using social media and adverts to drive people to the landing page and to leave their email address.

Once the game is closer to release, then I will use the list to send a few emails (A week, before, the day of release, and a few days afterwards) to announce the release to those interested.

Perfectionism strikes

I have also decided that I don’t like the text at the end of the game which says “Tap to try again”. It doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the UI particularly well.

Instead I will replace it with either a button with the same text, or a duplication of the two buttons from the title screen (the menu hamburger and the play button).

I would still like the button(s) to remain hidden until the speed has reduced enough, just like the current line of text does.

I have added this to the Trello as a new card in the Known bug/issues column.

That’s all for now

That’s all I have time for this week. I’m already two hours late publishing this post, and I have still to create the social media posts for it as well!

I’ll be back in two weeks time, with the next update. It’s a special one next time as it’s number 78. This marks THREE YEARS of me working on Flappy-vaders. If time allows, I will try and do something special to celebrate this.

In the mean time, It’s time for me to go.

Catch you all later 🙂

Game Progress Update #76

Game Progress Update #76

Hello World, and welcome to the seventy sixth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I’ve not managed to get quite as much done as I would have liked to do.

It was my girlfriends birthday at the end of last month. She had a lovely day, we had a party in the evening with drinks, a buffet and a few friends. Unfortunately, she overdid things and has been laid up on the sofa with a bad back since.

I also have been suffering with a toothache the last couple of days. This has not helped my concentration or my ability to work on the game.

On the plus side, It’s a lot warmer now. I hope that the worst of the winter is over. I am looking forward to getting out with the laptop or tablet.

Dave trying to work, with a cat running laps round his head.

It would sure be nice to get some coding done without Khaleesi getting in the way, lol

Anyway, let’s see what I managed to get done this week…

In this update..

I managed to get an amazing amount done in the >previous update<. I left only one card still to do in the in progress column of the >Trello board<.

  • Level difficulty

I also planned on trying to get some of the new bugs which had appeared recently fixed also. Sadly, fate had other ideas.

Level difficulty

Despite spending most of my spare time this update thinking about how to adjust the level difficulty. There is little to show for it here but a few scribbled ideas on paper,

I refuse point blank to scan in 4 pages of notes (and awful handwriting) and use that for the blog! I think I have left it a little late to mock some of the ideas up in or the game itself to demonstrate the ideas.

Initially I was thinking that I may increase the gaps between obstacles in relation to the speed of the players ship. I think if this was proportional, it would still give the impression that the game was getting harder. It would be a gentler transition for the player however.

I am now leaning towards having several sets of levels which are only selected if the speed is inside a specific range. Even if this means having 2 or 3 similar levels which simple have larger spacing between the objects.

Social media leveraging

I had a quick run through of the Facebook groups I had considered as potential groups for marketing my game in. Of the six I originally selected, I have decided that four are ideal for my needs.

As I said in >this previous blog post<, it is important when you join a new group to interact and get to know the community before trying to promote your game. Any group with active administration will frown upon newcomers who just spam the group with promotional material.

I have developed a posting plan for each of the groups. These plan out over the next few weeks, a number of posts which fit the group which I shall be posting. I will also try and comment on a handful of other peoples posts in the group as well.

I don’t expect I will post anything about my game in any of these groups for a month or two yet.

And that’s all I’m afraid..

That’s all there is I’m afraid. It’s time to publish this post, and share the social media posts. As much as I’d love to squeeze in a couple more hours working on the game, I need to do other things.

Fingers crossed, I will be able to do much more to the game in time for the next update. I also hope that the universe won’t throw quite so many obstacles in the way.

Until next time…

Progress Update #75

Progress Update #75

Hello World! And welcome to the seventy fifth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!

I started writing this post on Monday of this week. This was the first time I managed to get a few hours spare to work on Flappy-vaders since before Christmas. Which feels like it was ages ago now.

As with any project after a few weeks break, I first need to refamiliarise myself with where I was last. Fortunately, the last progress update was a big help with reminding me. I also had the Trello board and the notes I kept using OneNote.

Coming back to a project after a break of a few weeks is still one of my least favourite things as a developer though.

Jobs for this week

Looking back over the last few blogs, I realise that the cards in the Things to do list on the Trello are increasing at almost the same rate that I am completing them! I am unsure if these are actually vital to improve the quality of the game, or if this is perfectionism creeping in.

I will keep an eye on this, as I don’t want to be creating work for works sake. However, currently in the In progress list are the following tasks which I will be trying to get done this update.

  • Level difficulty
  • Add timers to rewarded ads
  • More scratch card skins
  • Balance trophies

I’m sure I won’t get all these done this time round, but I feel confident and I will give it my best shot.

Rewarded Advert Button Timers:

Most of the work had already been done for this. I’d mentioned previously that both rewarded ad buttons work in different ways. So one of the first things I did was to ensure both worked the same way.

I added code to update the countdown text and return it to the usual message when it had expired. I also added a check to the button press code to check if the timer had expired or not.

Once I’d finished, I noticed that the timer on the Daily prize screen was displaying seemingly random times (certainly not the 5 minutes I was expecting! lol). But it didn’t take much debugging to discover I had missed a variable name when copying and pasting code and at one point it was checking the coinsAdvertTimer variable instead. Correcting this fixed all the issues, so it’s time to put the card in the Under Review column and move on to the next job.

New skins for scratch cards

I had a quick google for free images, and found a few which I could use to complete the task quickly.

I then set about in assembling these assets and creating new skins for the scratch cards.

The first one I did was the Jack O Lantern one. This uses a palette of reds and oranges with a black contrast. The carved pumpkin image

Thirdly I made the UFO one. This used a more grey scale palette, and featured an image of a UFO I again found on the internet.

Lastly, I made the gem stone one. This was the most involved to make, and features a green/blue palate.

I noticed as I was working on the above image to show off the four together, that it says match 3 to win on all of them, when instead, it should probably say match 2.

I will change the text next time I open

Balance trophies & missions

The next job was to play a few dozen games of Flappy-vaders, and to see how I got on with the dailies and the missions.

Obviously, I had already given some thought to the targets of the missions and trophies. I had recently done some work on changing the mission values so that they were more optimised. Today I will be looking at the trophies side of things.

One of the things I wanted to avoid was grouping of the awards. For example, the travel distance daily, score points daily and the travel distance trophies could all (and in fact did when I first implemented them) be awarded at the same time.

Instead, I would much rather a nice even spread of awards to help with the longevity of the game.

The table below lists the updated daily missions, how the targets are calculated, and the missions and targets.


Travel distance
Collect coins
Collect daily prize(s)
Score points

50 + (50 * level)
10 + (10 * level)
1 + (1 * level)
50 + (50 * level)


Travel 25
Travel 1000
Collect 25 coins
Collect 500 coins
Play 5 games

Play 100 games
Unlock all upgrades
Unlock pickups

I’m happy with how spaced out the awards are now, so I am going to put this card in the under review list on the Trello.

As I have also been playing with the sound muted, I think it might be worthwhile to add a visual indication that a trophy and/or a daily mission had been completed. Otherwise without the fanfare, it is very hard to tell that the award has been won.

I don’t know however whether to add it during the game, and visually notify as well as playing the sound. Or add a line of text (and maybe a particle effect or flashing colours) to the game over screen?

Bugs and Known issues

On top of the “Collect `n` daily prizes” mission not displaying the number of prizes the player needed to collect. I also found another bug, which I added to the Known bugs and issues column of the Trello.

This one relates to the about scroller. When the about button is pressed, the CRT border and scanlines disappear. I have a feeling this was a result of editing the game to record footage. In the trailer I recorded for the game, the scanlines and CRT border were removed from the game, and then added again in the video post processing. I am hoping it will be a relatively quick fix, but it will have to wait till next week now.

That’s all for this week

That seems to be all the time I have this week to work on the game. I am happy I have got a lot done, and that there is only one card left in the In Progress list.

There are also now 4 cards in the Known bugs/Issues list which I will endeavor to fix in the next update as well.

In the next update I will also discuss how I have been trying to leverage the social media groups I joined before Christmas to try and build the audience for the game.

Anyway, until then. I will see you all in a couple of weeks.

Progress Update #74

Progress Update #74

Hello World! Welcome to the seventy fourth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update.

It’s the last update of the year, so I have tried to make this a good one. Although you know how life has been here the last few months. No doubt more obstacles will be thrown in the path of progress before the week is out.

Still, lets just put our best foot forward and try to make it to the end of the year!

Let me tell you about what I managed to do this update.,

Jobs for this update

We started the week with two cards left over on the Trello. I dragged the last three cards over from the Things to do list. This left us with the following tasks to do this update.

  • Increase difficulty and rewards for the daily missions
  • Level difficulty
  • Add timers to rewarded ads
  • More scratch card skins
  • Balance trophies

I doubt I will get all these done. But I will do my best to work through them all though, as it’s the last update of the year.

I also aim to get a new build uploaded and pushed out to the store. This is so the Beta team can spend the festive period playing Flappy-vaders and hunting for bugs. As well as looking into the social media groups I joined the other day.

Increasing difficulty and reward of daily missions

The first thing I looked at this update was where I had left off with the coding last. The Daily missions.

I had been working on a system which increases the difficulty and rewards of a daily mission. Once that mission has been completed a set number of times.

However, as I said in the last update (which you can read >here<), it didn’t work too well. There was a bug which caused the reward to only show the correct value when the app is first run for the day. Every subsequent run would see the reward value drop to the base score.

It took rather longer than I had hoped to fix this issue. All the code seemed to be correct, but I did eventually find the mistake.

It checks to see if the missions have expired during the startup when they are loaded, . If the missions needed to be refreshed, everything was ok. But if the missions hadn’t expired, I found that the code to calculate the reward values was being called BEFORE the mission progress data was loaded in! So all missions were appearing to be at progress level 0!

Once I knew what the issue was it was simple to just move that line of code to later in the function.

New bugs 😢

Adding the code to increase the difficulty and rewards of the daily missions has introduced a new bug. It increases the number of days which the player needs to collect a daily prize, but it doesn’t show this change. The mission simply reads “Collect a daily prize” regardless of how many the player is required to collect.

I have added it as a new card to the Known bugs/issues list. I will attempt to fix it at some point in the future.

Add timers to rewarded ads

There are two places in the game where rewarded ads are used. There is the button in the Daily Prizes screen which rewards you with a new scratch card. Also there is a button in the Coins screen, which rewards you with n coins when a video is watched.

Both these need some kind of timer to be displayed to show the player when an advert is next available.

What I would like, is once the button is pressed, that a period of time must elapse before the player can press it again. So instead of the text reading “Get 10 coins with a video”, once it’s pressed, it will say “Next video available in 00:05:00”.

Once the count down is finished, then the text returns to the previous string.

I am unsure if I will create a new script for handling the rewarded ads and their timers. It might be easier to simply add the code to the existing scripts which handle the daily prizes and coin purchasing.

//	This type is to store the data for the rewarded video timers (might consider moving this to the player script if its problematic to implement)
Type tRewardedAdsData
	coinsAdvertTimer as integer
	prizesAdvertTimer as integer

I added the new variables to the UI script in the end. Their functionality is largely tied in to the User Interface, so it makes sense. (At least currently, lol. I left a note in the code about moving it to the player script if I had too much trouble implementing it)

I defined the variables as integers as previous count downs have been using Unix Time. Although this one will only be for 5 or 10 minutes, so I may switch it over to use the Timer() function which returns a float.

I decided to functionise the code which provided the time in UnixTime. This made it easier to call from serveral places rather than duplicating the code.

I also realised that the two rewarded advert systems must have been written on completely different days because they are not remotely similar. One creates its own self contained loop which handles playing the advert, then checking and awarding the reward. The other is more integrated into the main loop.

Sadly, I ran out of time before completing this card. It’s an hour to go until this blog post and accompanying social media posts are due. So I had probably best call it a day.

Pressing both buttons now stores the delay timer value in the appropriate variable. The text on the button is also changed. The next thing I need to do is to get the text to count down, which should be straight forward.

As you can see from the image above, I also need to work on the actual text for this button. It works fine in the daily prize page however.

New build released for testers

The latest build went live earlier this week. If you would like to be involved in play testing the game then its not too late. Simply drop me a message on social media and I’ll sign you up.

This also led to me doing some of the basic setup for the store page while I was on the site and had a few minutes spare.


I also purchased a domain for the website, and made an attempt to set up a landing page (it’s still a work in progress, but feel free to have a look and see

The key elements are there however, the trailer video, call to action, email capture etc.,

I still need to connect the email form to MailChimp or whichever service I am using for it.

That’s all for now

There is still a week of social media and working on things left to go before I take a break for Christmas, but the next Dev with Dave progress update will be available on the 19th of January, next year.

If I don’t speak to you before, have a happy Christmas and a Brilliant New Years.

Game Progress Update #73

Game Progress Update #73

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

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, fortunately, not in the catastrophic disaster filled way that the previous month or two seemed to have been. Although both the oven and my kettle broke, which are pretty disaster like from where I sit. I was boiling water in a saucepan to make tea with for more days than I care to think.

However, I have a new kettle now and hopefully, we will be getting a new oven in the next few days 🤞.

This week I have spent my time at the keyboard working on the In progress list on the Trello board. And the time AFK I used to work on the pre-launch marketing drive.

What’s on the cards today?

There are two cards still waiting to be done in the list on the Trello, these are..

  • Increase difficulty & rewards of daily missions
  • Level difficulty

Increase difficulty & rewards of daily missions

Carrying on from last weeks update >here<, I have been playing and checking the game most days and have made the following discoveries.

At first glance, everything seems to be working correctly. But a little more digging soon revealed that the first time the game is run in a day, it works fine. But every subsequent time it’s run, for some reason the reward isn’t being calculated correctly and displays as 10 when it should say 20.

The target calculation seems to be working properly. I had shortened the number of times a player had to complete a mission type in order to speed up testing. I managed to get 3 of the mission types levelled up to at least the second level.

When I was getting ready to mark it off as done, I noticed it wasn’t working properly (Typical). It took a few days to even verify that it was happening, as the issue only occurs on the first run of each day.

Unfortunately it proved to be a somewhat troublesome bug to locate. I ran out of time before I managed to resolve it. But I will resume again next week.

Pre-launch marketing plan

The other thing I spend most of my away from my desk time doing, was working on the pre-launch marketing plan. I will of course be following my own advice from the blogs I posted on promotion earlier. You can read the first one >here<.

The plan is to start building hype for the game as soon as possible. I will be using organic social media and paid adverts to try and grow an audience. Although as the launch grows closer, I am concerned about what kind of budget I will end up having for that.

I have found a few target-demographic type groups to join on Facebook. These will be investigated once they have accepted my requests, and if they are suitable for my needs, then I will see about posting regularly and becoming part of the community.

I have also decided on a few suitable hashtags to use for other social media. Although I haven’t yet decided exactly what platforms I will be using for promotion as yet.

Quite a large part of the planning, will be deciding what media assets I will need for the various posts and ads over the duration of the prelaunch.

I also am planning on using a landing page with a form to capture email addresses.

I will share more details on this in the next update, but I am aware that the time is getting on and I am already late publishing this post.

That’s all for now

I think that’s all I have time for this update. I will as always be back in two weeks, on the 8th of December. But then I will be taking some time off from sitting behind the computer to spend some time with the family over Christmas.

Normal service will resume in the New Year, and the first Update of 2024 will be on the 5th January.

So until then, I will see you all in a fortnight.

Bad Game Dev Habits

Man using a laptop to code with the text "Bad game dev habits & how to beat them" overlaid.

Bad Game Dev Habits & how to beat them

I was talking with some friends the other day about bad game dev habits when it comes to making games. Since I seem to have more than my fair share of them, I decided to write a blog about them and how I am working to prevent them.

For those of you who don’t know, I have been coding for at least 35 years.  I learned my craft back in the days of 8 bit computers and BASIC.  I am also entirely self-taught, so I have no doubt picked up a few bad habits along the way.

Let me tell you about some of the worst habits I have with regards to game development. As well as what steps I am taking to avoid repeating them in the future.

Not commenting clearly

This is a big one for me, as I am a champion for clear and concise commenting in projects.  I’ve even written about it previously >here< on the blog.

Comments which make sense six months down the line can save hours of reading through the code when you return to the project.  Especially if you have been working on other, completely different things in the meantime.

I try and leave single line comments which describe what a variable is or does, above the line where the variable is defined.

//	Sets the players initial velocity

I also leave blocks of code at the top of a function definition.  These contain the usage parameters of the function, as well as a couple of lines of code with a usage example or any information which may be helpful.

//	null = UpdateZones( speed# as float)
//	This function updates the positions of the zone sprites and maintains the 
//	distance variable

Lastly, I also leave the occasional comment on blocks of code to explain what it does where necessary.  Some code is so simple that it doesn’t need a comment.  Sometimes a single comment will suffice for four or five lines of code.

//	Creates the sprite and sets the properties
SetSpritePosition(bgLayers[layerID].spriteID[0] , 0 , 0)
SetSpriteSize(bgLayers[layerID].spriteID[0] , width# , height#)

Even with Flappy-vaders, I recently found myself trying to find out what a variable did because I had not commented it, or indeed given it a sensible name.  This leads us nicely onto the next section…

Poorly named variables

When I first learned to code on the ZX Spectrum, all some variables* had to have single character names.

Nowadays there are few limitations on variable naming outside of coding conventions.  The trick with variable naming is to use as few words as possible to accurately describe what the variable is or what it does.

So when I was working on Flappy-vaders the other day, and found a variable called missionTotals which itself is quite an ambiguous name, I was understandably miffed.  But to add insult to injury, I hadn’t left a comment explaining what the variable did either.

I eventually found comments in another function which explained what the variable was intended for, but again, that was time wasted looking through the code which could have been better used for writing it.

* I had mis-remembered this, It was only some variables, like strings or for/next loops which required a single character name.  For regular variables, you were much freer and could even use spaces (although the compiler ignored these)

Overwriting graphical projects with single layer images

It’s not just the programing side of things where bad habits can cause hours of extra work down the line.  Graphical assets are just as susceptible.

One of the most frustrating things I have found myself doing inside Paint .net (my favourite free paint tool) is removing the layers of a project file so I can copy/paste the image into another image, and then accidentally overwriting the original project file with the single layer one.

This could easily be avoided by copying the existing project file into the new project folder, leaving the original existing project file untouched.

Not saving the ttf file or even writing the font name down

Sometimes you need a specific font style to base a logo around or the like.  You know what it’s like.  Hunting around font sites looking for the perfect font.

It doesn’t usually take too long to find a few suitable candidates, and before you know it you have the logo created, and saved and forgotten about.

Until the next year, when you need to reproduce the logo in a higher resolution for some promotional material.  But you’re on a different PC now, this new one doesn’t seem to have the font you used installed.

Thanks to the time which has passed, and the fact that the project you worked on needed a dozen fonts, you have absolutely no idea what the font you used for the logo was.

I have lost count of the number of times I have done this.

These days when I am doing this, I not only write down the font name and URL, but also the sizes and whether or not I used Bold or Italics.  I also ensure the font .ttf file is stored in the project folder with its license file.

Leaving (often rude) debug stuff in production

As I said at the beginning of this post, I learned to code in the 80s on a ZX Spectrum, using BASIC.  There was no fancy IDE with auto code complete and intellisense.  And there definitely wasn’t any debuggers or tools like code stepping or break points.

I learned early on that if I needed visual confirmation of a section of code was being executed, I could simply drop a print statement into the code to display on screen that the code had been executed ok.

This is how I prefer to debug now.  It comes as second nature to me.

Now somewhere along the journey through the years, I started using random words to make it easier to track down debug statements.  I could simply use the search function to look for the specific word I had typed in the print statement.  The more unique and less likely to appear in other comments, the better.

Because I have the mind of a 14 year old boy at times (we never truly grow up), a lot of these unique debug phrases were erm, rude.  Often they were several words strung together, any one of which would have your granny clutching at her pearls.

Now, sometimes, these debug lines hide in the depths of the code, and only show themselves on very very rare occasions.

So occasionally that they have gone unnoticed when we are cleaning up a project ready for release to production.

On at least one occasion, they have made it onto the store!

These days I use a simple search of the entire project for every Print or Debug.Log command in the entire project and make sure that they are commented out.


That’s I think all I can think of for this post.  I’ll leave you with some general advice which will hopefully save you from wasting hours of your time in the future.

  • Make sure you save often, and back up your project.  Use a source repository like GIT, especially if you are working as a team.
  • Ensure you have a copy of every asset used in the creation of all the assets you make.  Put them all in a folder, and never use the original file to work with, always copy it and work with the copy.
  • Keep a written log of what you have done/changed and what you are planning to do next. I find OneNote is ideal for this.

I hope this post is of some help to you all. Feel free to get in touch with me to let me know about your bad game dev habits.

Game Progress Update #72

Game Progress Update #72

Hello world! And welcome to the seventy second Dev with Dave Game Progress Update! I feel like this last couple of weeks has been a little better than the last one.

There has still been plenty of unwanted drama keeping me away from the keyboard, but I have managed to get a bit done to the game. I’m starting to think I should give up my career as a developer to instead write for the soap operas.

I even had to contend with Trello going down while I was trying to finish this blog post! Which is most unusual. Anyway, lets have a look at what I did manage to get done this week..

Plan for this update

Carrying on from the last progress update, there are the following things to do in the In progress column of the Trello board this update.

  • Review phase 1 cards
  • Increase difficulty and rewards of daily missions
  • Level difficulty

There are only a handful of the review phase 1 cards left. These are ones which needed boosts to be unlocked and purchased first, which I didn’t have the coin for. This time round I will edit the game to award me several thousand coins. I couldn’t do this last update as I was away from the PC, playing the compiled version on my phone.

Review phase 1 cards

Once I had added the line which awarded the player 250,000 coins, it was straight forward to test the remaining phase 1 cards.

It only took an hour or so to play the game enough to have completed the last few cards. Well, to be honest, I probably could have done it in half the time, but the game is quite addictive, lol.

The cards were fairly straight forward to check. They were things like the head start not playing the shield sound effect, or purchasing or using boosts not changing the UI values accordingly.

I also made sure that I removed the line of code which award the extra coins for testing purposes, when I finished testing.

Increase difficulty and rewards of daily missions

Reading back over the code..

At first glance, it didn’t seem as though I had added much in the way of code to handle the progression of the daily missions.

There was a missionTotals[] variable, but there was nothing in the comments or the like describing what it’s purpose was. I had actually commented it’s definition, but nothing helpful about what I was intending to use it for.

A little digging later, and I found that in both the load and save daily mission data functions, I had referred to the variable in the comments as “the mission totals count”. It’s my belief that I had intended this array to store the number of times each daily mission had been completed.

No matter how many times I say about HOW VERY IMPORTANT commenting your code is, for exactly this reason; I still find myself causing extra work by not doing it.

Making some changes

Going from here, I added a second variable to the type which is to track the current level of each daily mission. The plan is that once the specific mission types Total has exceeded a set value, then the total is reset to zero and the level value is increased. The level value is used to determine the difficulty and reward of the mission.

added a line to the calculate the reward function for missions, which just times the level value by ten to get the reward value.

Changing the target value however, was a lot trickier. Each mission type has its own initial target value ranging from 1 to 50. Ideally, I need to write a function like the one which calculates the reward value. This would allow me to As I felt on a bit pressured for time, I am kludging it for now, by simply multiplying the initial value by the mission type level value. I can always revisit it in the future if the values need changing.

I need to get the test build uploaded so I can test this. In order to check the code works, I need to play the game for five days consecutively. (Unless I cheekily change the value, so I can check it later this evening once the roll-over has happened 🙂 )

I still need to verify that this all works, but that will take a few days unfortunately. So I won’t know the results until next week.

Level difficulty

I didn’t manage to get any coding related to this last card done this time round. I did however get some thinking done about how this will work.

The issue is that as the game speed increases, it makes some of the zones very tricky to get through. It can leave the game feeling as though the difficulty suddenly ramps up, disproportionately so at times. So the plan for this card is to devise something to lessen this effect.

I’m unsure if I want to implement any of the following methods to try and add a bit more playability to the game.,

  • create a system which adapts the levels by increasing the distance between obstacles slightly.
  • Create several new levels, and develop a system to separate slow and faster levels.
  • Tweak the existing levels so they work better with a wider range of speeds

Ideally I would like to create at least twice as many zones as there are already, to prevent the game from becoming too repetitive, too quickly.

GDD Update

As well as all of the above stuff, I took the opportunity of updating the GDD with all the changes which were marked in the completed cards I reviewed from phase 1.

There aren’t many changes. The biggest ones were relating to the daily prizes and missions. There are a few minor changes however as well.

Click the link below to download it.

Click here to view the GDD as a pdf

That’s all for now

Once again I’ll be back in another fortnight with more news about the game.

I’m aware that I need to be working on the marketing strategy, especially considering how near to completion the game is. Aside from one video trailer I made, I’ve not really done anything on this apart from a few pages of notes. I’m not sure if I should include this in the progress update, or perhaps write a separate blog post about it. (Or maybe both, lol, who knows)

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. I’ll see you again in two weeks.

Game Progress Update #71

Game Progress Update #71

Hello World! And welcome to the seventy first Dev with Dave Game progress Update.

I’m sad to say that it’s been another of those weeks where nothing has gone to plan. I’m already two days late starting this blog post.

Unfortunately, my girlfriend’s diabetes put her in hospital again this week, so my available time to work on Flappy-vaders has been dramatically reduced. It doesn’t help that my car is off the road as well. So, I have had to be finding other ways of getting around.

Taxis are the easiest and quickest, but most expensive. We also have those Lime electric scooters and bikes around here, which are cheaper than taxis but are slower. They are great fun though. Lastly there are busses. Busses are slow and uncomfortable and take an age to get anywhere. They are cheap though.

I’ve also spent more time than usual simply walking places. I like walking, it gives me chance to listen to books on Audible and enjoy the scenery.

Anyhoo, lol, In the little time I have had spare, I have managed to get a little bit of work done on Flappy-vaders. Let’s dive into what’s been done since the last update, without further ado.

Reviewing Phase 1 Trello Cards

In the last Game Progress Update, I finished with one remaining card on the Trello “In progress” column. That was to review all the cards which had been completed and moved to the “Under review” column for evaluation.

The one solitary benefit of my girlfriend being in hospital was that I got to spend a few hours sitting in a waiting room playing Flappy-vaders and working my way through the cards on the column.

I won’t list the individual cards here, as I think that would be a little dull tbh. But feel free to check out the Trello board >here< and see for yourself.

The only ones I couldn’t verify were the ones which involved unlocking and using the boosts. As I was away from the computer and playing the compiled version on my phone, I couldn’t simply add more coins to my total so I could play it.

Planning Phase 2

I have also managed to get some work done on the planning for the difficulty increases as the player proceeds with the game. I’m already thinking 1000 coins is too much for the boost unlocks.

I’m planning on increasing the difficulty and reward for the daily missions as the player progresses through them. For example, the player would need to complete “Travel 25 distance” mission maybe two or three times, before the distance increases to 50 and the reward gets doubled as well.

I’d also quite like to tweak some of the trophy values. They have all been tested now, and the harder ones need to be made a little tougher.

And lastly I would like to at least double the number of zones, with new patterns for the obstacles and enemies.

That’s all for this week

I’m happy to announce that my girlfriend was discharged from hospital after a couple of nights stay. She’s not a hundred percent better yet, but I’m glad she’s home.

Work on the game will proceed as normal next time round hopefully, as I feel I have had more than my fair share of bad luck and interruptions.

In the next update I will attempt to look more deeply into the promotional strategy I will be using for the game, as well as trying to get on with making the Phase two changes to the gameplay.