Day 30 – Learning Android Development

The Game

The app has been published! you can find it HERE or you can just search “Steel’s Run” in the Playstore (Developer: Sierens Apps).  Would be nice to receive some feedback!
The free desktop version can be found HERE (left arrow to jump, right one to shoot).

Today

Before publishing the app, I designed the icon. Here’s how it looks:

 

 

 

 

I think it looks good enough, especially the background. The character could get better graphics but that would’ve taken hours and hours so i just enlarged the existing sprites. I could have also added the typical glow in the center of the icon but opted out from doing it.

Then I went on to create a feature graphic, which is just a rearrangement of the title. You can see it on the playstore.

After that I published my first real app! The challenge is done!

The Journey

It feels good to have achieved my goal. Looking back at my first post, I set out to develop and publish an app in 30 days, all the month of September. No more, no less, and I stuck to it. It doesn’t matter if my app doesn’t even get 50 downloads. What really matters to me is that I set an intrinsic goal and I achieved it. I started something and finished it. I created something instead of consuming. I feel really satisfied with all this.

Then there’s also everything I learned along the way. I developed a good base for programming in java, having had no experience with it before. I got introduced to XML and learned how to deal with it, and how it is a very powerful language for representing content. I got some experience with Eclipse, together with the Android SDK and the ADT. The combination of Eclipse and the ADT provide an amazing development environment experience. I can’t live without them anymore. Not to mention the awesome libgdx library for making games, which lets me easily create a desktop and android version of the game.

I will focus on getting my master’s degree now but that doesn’t mean I wont start new projects in the near future. I look forward to expanding Steel’s Run, adding new levels, new features,etc. Creating something has always felt amazing and I wont stop doing it.

Day 29 – Learning Android Development

The game is done. Get the desktop version HERE. The only keys to press are the left arrow key(touch left in android) and the right arrow key(touch right in android). I have done everything I wanted with it before I release it tomorrow. I still need to do the app icon design but I’ll do that tomorrow.

I did the title and credits, it’s the best I could do in 1 hour. OpenDyslexic is very pretty!

I also worked on transitioning from title to game. The first time you open the game, you get the title. If you die or win, you go back to the title, but only in the android version. I don’t know why in the desktop version the title gets skipped when you die or win and it jumps back right to the start of the game. It works fine when you open the game for the first time though. I’m happy all works well in Android.

I also added sound. Whenever there’s a collision there’s sound. I used Bfxr for it.

I’m happy with how the game is so far. It is very challenging, and yes, it can be finished. I have tested all sections of it and have been able to do them. I look forward to adding more levels when I have more time.

To remind you, the desktop version is free and the one I linked here at the beginning of the post will be the last one fro quite a while. The Android version will be paid, I’m thinking somewhere around 0.70 to 0.85 cents and will be available, hopefully, tomorrow or Monday.

Day 28 – Learning Android Development

Today I had a productive afternoon. I set up a screen capture software that captures my screen. I set it up to take a picture every 10 seconds. Later I made a video out of it so you can see my productive 3.5 hours in just 1 minute!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFTixyXMrEw]

As you can see on the video, I was able to make the whole boss encounter under that time  plus a few screens for when you lose or win. A commenter on the last post mentioned I could use OpenDyslexic as a font instead of my crappy one so i did! It’s a free to use font made -but not only- for  dyslexic people. The maker is Abelardo Gonzalez. He says:

you can sell anything that uses this font. But I’m not going to give permission for you to sell this font, by itself, alone. But you can sell a book with this font,programs with this font, etc. And if you do use this font commercially, let me know, and I’ll promote it here, and to others that can use it.:)

So there’s no problem with me using the font :) I’ll contact him to let him know my game uses his font. Here’s the numbers in OpenDyslexic, they are the ones I use for the position of Steel:

I also used the same font for making the win and lose screen you see on the video. Here’s the lose screen:

I really like it! I’m looking into the sound right now. It wont be anything serious just simple jump/collision sounds. I also need a title screen.

Day 26 & 27 – Learning Android Development

HERE’S the latest version of the game

I haven’t done much over these two days. As I said on my last post, I just started my master so I’m busy with that, but from tomorrow until Sunday I’ll be free to work on and finish Steel’s Run. The last push!

Nevertheless, I’ve been able to implement some things to the game on the little free time I got these 2 days. For one, I finished the level design. So the obstacles are all set. The level is now 400 units long. It’s hard, it’s very hard, for those who like a challenge this will be a good game to play on your android while you’re waiting on the bus, or at the wait room of your dentist’s office, etc..

I also added a progress status on the top right corner, this gives you an idea of how far in you are in the level, and what’s left to go. Mind the crappy font design, at least it’s mine :p.

What I still want to add before first release: sound! some basic event sounds like when Steel runs against a chopped tree. A boss to complete the level, which will come after you do 100% of the obstacle course, and more things.

Day 23 – Learning Android Development

HERE is the latest version as of today of Steel’s Run. Remember, left arrow to jump and right arrow to shoot. I changed the level’s layout of obstacles (robot insects and chopped trees), making it less monotone and less harder than yesterday. The level is not yet complete, I’d say its around 33% complete, so if you manage to get where there’s no obstacles you have won, but remember that you only did 33% of what’s to come :). also the game still has no ending so stop when there’s no obstacles anymore.

Here’s the layout of the level so far. green dots are grass, red dots are insect robots and brown dots are chopped trees.

I changed the insect’s speed back to the same as the grass’. It makes it easier to design the level. They still patrol up and down. I also changed the trees’ color to a more pale tone, that way you no longer get distracted by them

What I would like to add is a percentage on the top right corner which indicates how far you got. Say you died half way, it will said 50% complete. That way you can brag to your friends!

What do you think of my game? or my progress overall? Please leave me a comment! I would like nothing more than to hear your constructive criticism or feedback.

Off-topic

For some reason, I got a lot of traffic to my blog today. After some investigation I saw that around 20 people (of which I presume most are tweet-bots) tweeted my blog post of yesterday. No idea why, maybe they just snatched it randomly out of Hacker News as some of them had a variant of HN in their twitter names. Still, lots of traffic compared to the other days! see for yourself.