Wednesday went swimmingly well, with all the pieces falling into place, and everything being awesome and cool.
It stands to reason, then, that my Thursday didn’t go quite as well.
I decided to try my hand at getting Invisible Munky 2 into the AppStore.
It started with me having to upgrade my “Icon Resizer” tool, to account for the 150,000 new icon sizes that have appeared since iPhone 6 and Plus came out.
I also just about managed to figure out the new “Launch Screen” sizes, and .. hopefully.. put those into the correct place, with the right filename.
A test compile showed everything working as expected on the iPad, and the various emulators, so I took a chance and set about switching over to “Distribution” mode.
This is where everything started to go downhill, as I had to tackle provisions/certificates/profiles and whatnot on my own.
I’ve done this stuff before, with my previous games. “What could possibly go wrong?!”
After a good couple of hours, I finally gave up, and decided to try again tomorrow..
Wish me luck!
About a week ago, I booted up the MacMini to test compile SpikeDislike3 onto my iPad.
I was SHOCKED by how poor the functionality of the MacMini was.
Slow, unresponsive, and certainly not what you’d call “Useful” in any way shape or form.
I guess that’s what happens when you buy a Mac Mini in 2010, and only ever use it to compile iOS games, and then more or less stop compiling iOS games, thus leaving the MacMini abandoned and unused for the better half of a year.
.. or something like that.
So, the MacMini was all but a bust. .. But I can’t let that stop me from making an All New SpikeDislike on iOS, can I?
Of course not!!
I hopped onto the Apple store, and ordered myself a new one. It’s cost me £569, so that’s going to be my minimalist target for SD3 sales. If I reach that, I break even, and anything else is just happy funds!
The new MacMini arrived yesterday, and I plugged it in, set up the Devkit in a completely painless manner (which is a DRASTIC improvement on how it went, 5 years ago) and got SpikeDislike3 running on the iPad in just a couple of hours, between unboxing and playing SD3!
After that, I figured I’d try out the “Quicktime can now record your iOS games, via a simple Lightning cable” thing, that Apple keep banging on about.
I booted up Quicktime Player, clicked “Record Movie”, and .. Wow! It REALLY does work!!!
It’s incredible how silkily smooth the thing can record videos, especially at that high a resolution.
Next, I loaded the clip into iMovie and spent about 10 minutes cutting it up into the video above, before rendering the video, and uploading it to YouTube.
In all, the “Making a video” effort only took about half an hour from connecting the iPad, to having the video on YouTube. Obviously, I’d have to make BETTER videos in future, but as a quick test, that all went wonderfully smooth.
I’m impressed, and delighted that the new MacMini is working as well as it is.
Over the next day or so, I’m going to head back to Invisible Munky 2, fix up the Touch controls, and try submitting it to Apple as a “New Setup Test” project.
A lot of yesterday was spent fiddling about with new Challenges. In actuality, I only ended up adding one single challenge type, but I also spent a LONG time ensuring that the challenge was indeed do-able.
I’m going to be honest, and say that a lot of these challenges are going to be tricky for newcomers, but hopefully the fact that the “3 fails = unlock” mechanic’s in place, will help that, somewhat.
Meanwhile, I also fiddled about with the Matrix mode a bit, too.
I spent a decent amount of time making it all blocky and “grid-based”, like the old Retro theme from SD2, but for some strange reason that actually resulted in a HORRIBLE mess whenever you tried to move.
I’m not sure why that is, but it’s probably something to do with the fact that I’ve added a slight amount of inertia to the camera, this time. That’s certainly been a cause for a few quirks along the way, that I’ve had to deal with, including the whole “1 frame behind” issue that I was having with the spikes.
Anyway, I’ve opted not to “griddify” the Matrix’y theme, and it now plays “Not horrible” again.
Undo can be super-handy, sometimes!
This morning, I’m battling with Twitter.
A short while ago, Twitter introduced a new “Easy to use!” way to reply to things, which is less messy and leaves more space for your reply. Essentially, the “New Reply” strips away everybody’s @names, leaving just a single link back to the previous post.
In many ways, this is a nice thing, as when you’re in the middle of a conversation with 5 or 6 people, it can typically leave about 3 characters for your reply to fit in!!
But there are two ever-so-slight issues with this new method.
First, it completely breaks “Conversation View”, as they haven’t bothered to fix that so that it takes into account the new format of tweets.
Secondly, it breaks DIFFERENTLY depending on your client.
Now, I complained about this on Twitter yesterday, and got people suggesting that it’s because I was using the “Rubbish, Outdated Tweetbot App”, but this morning I switched over to the OFFICIAL iPad app, and.. well..
The official iPad app isn’t showing the “New Replies” AT ALL..
This basically means I NEED to use the WebApp to check for all replies.
And since I now have 9 Twitter accounts, and the crappy WebApp only allows one login at a time, it also means I need to log in, and out, and in, and out, and in, and out, over and over again, just to check for any replies in any of my different accounts.
I have to admit, even for Twitter, that’s taking the smeg..
It’s bad enough that their stupid “Upload a GIF!” thing is completely broken on other clients, and that their “Handy! Upload more than one picture!” thing is similarly bodged on other clients. I used to think they’ve been purposely outpacing other clients, just to break compatibility and hopefully get rid of them all.
But this time it’s different.
This time, they haven’t even got the flaming thing to work on THEIR OWN CLIENT.
If you’re going to start introducing new features, make damn sure that they actually work, first!
Yesterday I started playing about with all the different gameplay styles that’ll make up the majority of the levels in SpikeDislike3.
If you’re keeping track, you’ll remember that WAY WAY way way way back in SpikeDislike 1 (Made in 2011, still works on most/all iOS devices!) there was a nice little Challenge mode to keep you entertained. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a whole lot of levels. 36 levels were more or less all there was.
A shame, as it’s a nice enough idea, I just ran out of steam with it.
This time, however, it’s taking centre stage, and will make up a whole bunch of the Levels that you’ll be working your way through, in order to unlock the entire game.
I’ll try my best to keep things obvious, as well as short, and hopefully not too difficult, whilst still being tricky enough that it’s fun to play.
The first brand-new mode I’ve added is “Sheep Race”… Which may end up not being a sheep in the final varsion, but which certainly seems to make the game a teensy bit more difficult.
Just when you think you’re done with your menu system, you suddenly realise you’ve not got any options on the titlescreen!
An hour or so later, and I’d half-wrangled old code with new, to produce a button that when tapped, opens up the old Options menu nice and quickly.
The menu also works when you hit the B or U button on the keyboard, or when you hit a shoulder button on your gamepad. (Assuming I coded those properly, 2.5 years ago..)
For reference, N or O on your keyboard, or the right shoulder button, should open the Scoreboard panel, too.
I’m probably not going to remember to tell you that, anywhere else, so be sure to lodge it away in the back of your mind for future reference! Although, if you’re playing on PC, you’re more likely to click the buttons, so keyboard controls aren’t all that important.
Lots of testing required to ensure all the buttons and gizmos work as they’re supposed to, so I didn’t have much time for anything else important.
Oooh, except I did also format my old MacMini and order myself a new one, but it’s a Bank Holiday Weekend, so we won’t see the results of that for a good few days.
Yesterday I planned to do one thing, but ended up doing something completely different!
I’m not entirely sure why, but it might’ve had something to do with me listening to an 80s compilation at the time.
WARNING : Listening to music can seriously damage your planned development schedule!
Suffice to say, my 80s themed theme now looks much more 80s themed, and I even created a silly “thing” for no good reason.
Why did I do it? Not sure.
Why did I stick it online? No idea.
Is it silly enough to count as marketing for a game I’ve yet to finish!? .. Sure, why not!!
Lots of background work, yesterday, as I continued to work on the menu system.
The two circles on the right currently show the topmost highscore of the level selected, as well as the last score.
Now you can either tap the circles, hit a shoulder button on your controller, or hit the B button on your keyboard, to slide that section across, revealing a better scoreboard, alongside other stats like the most spikes you’ve passed, best combos, and things like that.
Over on the left, you’ll not notice a good old-fashioned zig-zag, which does a fairly decent job of separating that tenth level, which will be the all-important “Infinite” stage of each theme.
The menu’s coming together nicely, and is much more manageable than either of the previous two games’ chaotic sprawling menus of insanity!
I kept it simple!! If that doesn’t generate buttloads of sales, I don’t know what will!!!
I spent some time, yesterday, playing around with the menu system for SpikeDislike3. It’s starting to look fairly usable, now, with it’s little bouncing “Next Level” thing, and all the spikes and stars in the right places.
I still need to add some sort of boundary to the left, so that the “Infinity” levels are more apparent, but for the most part, the menu is nice enough, and actually functions the way it’s supposed to!
In the above video, you’ll get a feel for how the menu currently works.. (With apologies for that odd glitch that happens in the video. I need to get the MacMini up and running again.. That was WAY better at making videos!!)
Stars are awarded for completed levels, Spikes are awarded for failures, and just like Sheep Goes Left, if you end up with three spikes on a level it’ll open up the next level for you, because I’m not a mean-spirited evil crazy-person!
Annoyingly, because I’ve now created a “10 levels per graphical theme” rule, and have 13 themes ready and waiting, I’m going to have to make a LOT of levels to pad out the game!!!
Yesterday was most definitely a day of two halves.
In the morning, the world was colourful and happy.
But by the evening, they’d gotten all dull, worn out and grey.
With over 10 themes now happily playing together in the engine, I really should get back to working on that menu system.
I’ve a lot of elements to put into play, but hopefully it won’t be too complicated. After all, I did plan ahead quite a bit, this time around!
Over the next few days, I should have finally decided on a proper set of level numbers, and will have to start thinking about achievements and things like that.
There’s so much more yet to do!!