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).


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 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 22 – Learning Android Development

Click here for the latest version of the game. Remember, left-arrow key to jump and right-arrow key to blast. Beware, it’s extremely hard right now because I was testing how far Steel can jump (3 chopped trees is the max) and the insects have gotten harder to kill. If you make it to where there is no ground beneath you anymore, consider it a win. I have yet to implement a finish.

I know this is an android dev blog post. I am testing it on the android as well so don’t worry.   Android is my primary target, but for implementing things I first test them all on the desktop version because it compiles way faster. I have only released the desktop version out on this blog because I plan on putting a price on the android version. Probably somewhere around €0.60, but I’ll release the final version on the PC as well and for free if you don’t feel like paying for the mobile version.

First thing I added today, or rather removed, is the range the sunblast can go. Now the sunblast can only go 7 units ahead of Steel before dissappearing ( if sunblast.position().x – steel.position().x >= 7). This was implemented to prevent you from firing like crazy in the beginning so that the blasts reach and kill the insects way before you actually get to them.

I also added some improvements to the world (read: made it harder). Everything’s faster now, blocks move at a speed of 6 units per second instead of 4, and insects at a speed of 4. That means insects will be going backwards a bit while patrolling up and down so it’s harder to evade them.

I also implemented a second background, I’m not really sure about it. It does give the game some more depth, but at the same time I feel the colors are a bit distracting. I probably will make it more grayish to avoid that.

Day 21 – Learning Android Development

Today was rather productive, or at least that’s how I feel. I came up with the obstacles for the game. The first obstacle is a chopped tree, which must be jumped over.



The second obstacle is a robot insect which flies up and down.



With that I got the obstacles designed so far for the first level of the game. Let me get into some of the story. The game will be called “Steel’s Run”. Steel is trying to rid the world from robots who have recently started showing up, and the only way he can do that is by using the same technology which created those robots (his helm). With the helm, he gains some powers, the first one that I created is called sunblast. A blast of concentrated electromagnetic energy.



The first level is out in the open. That’s were Steel’s adventure begins, with the insect-robots and chopped trees, further levels will be getting close to the place the robots are coming from, and will be getting harder.

I’m planning on polishing the first level and the graphics up a bit more as well as the gameplay, and that will be my release for my 30 day android development goal. After that I will continue with the second level whenever I have time, because I’m starting my master this monday.

Right now Steel can shoot as much as he wants, but I’m planning on putting a kind of stamina bar which limits the amount of sunblasts you can shoot, while waiting for the helmet to harness energy to create more. Also the level is very repetitive right now because I haven’t done any level design, only for testing mechanics.

I did collission detection for sunblasts and trees, sunblasts and robot-insects, trees and Steel and finally Steel and the robot-insects. Robot insects die out of one sunblast.

Here’s a playable pc-version of the game so far. Use the left-arrow key to jump and the right-arrow key to fire. It has no end so when you stop seeing grass under Steel, close the program :) (you need the Java Runtime Environment for the game to work).

Day 19 & 20 – Learning Android Development

Yesterday and today were spent working on my new game. I’ve mostly been working on the design. The character’s name is Steel. He’s basically a head with attached arms and legs, no torso, and he’s wearing a big red steel helmet. In total Steel’s running animation has 5 textures. It looks way better than 3, and I suppose 9 would be way smoother but I want to move on.

Steel before





















I also worked on the background of the game. I made some mountains just using different tones of gray with the brush tool in photoshop. They serve as a background layer that moves very slow compared to the floor below Steel, this gives an effect of depth.

the mountains

What I still want to  implement graphically is maybe a better grass tile, and also a block tile which will serve as the obstacle Steel has to jump over, and an enemy type. Maybe a second background layer that goes between the mountains and the grass, some hills with a speed between the grass’ and the mountains’?

Technically, I added jumping. This time it’s not a constant y-vector speed but rather a recursion, slowly decreasing the speed as Steel goes up and when he reaches a top point he goes down, starting out at the same speed as the last loop going up. This gives a good gravity effect, but of course using the real equation for projectiles would be better, but hey, It’s my world, I define my own physics. :p