Posts tagged: gamedev

The never ending 10%

I’m currently pushing through what I believe to be the last 10 percent. There’s a quote on the page I linked to:

The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.
-Tom Cargill

So when I thought I was going to be able to complete all the features and fix all the bugs for an end-of-March release of Squishy Bugs, I was enthusiastically wrong. It’ll be done when it’s done.

Right now I’m toying with the idea of stripping the half-baked features and uploading a new version to show off the new features that are completed. These would include:

  • option to turn on/off sound
  • option to turn on/off music
  • game now features music by ozzed
  • if it’s the phone’s first time playing the game the “Start” button does not jump right into a game but instead starts the tutorial
  • game now gathers (but currently does nothing with) various metrics (games played, balls throw, bugs squashed, how much time was spent on the settings screen, etc)

The unfinished features are something like:

  • WaggSoft account registration (can register/login but error catching needs work)
  • metric gathering (Google analytics)
  • menus are getting overhauled, using libgdx widgets. Still need to learn how to scale fonts and graphics in these widgets.

And then there is the list of things to even start on. Like, adding more power ups. Adding high scores. Creating the WaggSoft account management page to allow users to change their username and update their email address, etc.

I’m learning so much and I’m going to be so happy when I can say the game is done. This was meant to be a “quick project” to work on while I took a short break from codename Space Fight. At least the skills are transferable. And Space Fight will be better because of it, and the development should be much quicker than it previously was.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Squishy Bugs Release Soon

Squishy Bugs is scheduled for release soon, barring any surprises/complications. I haven’t gone through the process of submitting to the Android market, yet, so I’m expecting something as simple as uploading and pressing a button marked “Publish”. I hope there’s no signing any packages or hoops to jump through, and if there are that the instructions are simple. I’ve already created and paid for my Android market account. I’m already set up to receive funds through the market. All systems should be “Go”.

I’m just polishing up the last little bits I can in the time permitted. Just last night I started working on the tutorial. I would like to believe the game is simple enough to figure out without instructions, but it can’t hurt to be prepared.

I hope to have the tutorial finished tonight or tomorrow. Then I can go back to fixing the last couple (low priority) known issues. And then adding sound effects. And hiding the advertisement when not on the menu. And then tweaking the scoring system. And then… there’s a whole list of things left to do. Oh yeah, I kind of still need to add squishy bugs to the game. You know, the things that give the game its name? Yeah, they’re still not in here. And finish building the web site…

I’m still on schedule for a December 24 release. Progress will be posted here, as usual.

Android Market Pricing

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately on how to price a game on the Android market. I’ve given myself a deadline for codename Squishy Bugs (by the way, that’s the new name for codename Frog Fly). I plan on having something, anything, but hopefully something playable and fun on the market by December 24. There’s no strategic plan for that date, I just told myself I’d have the game playable and on the market by Christmas. December 24 just happened to be the furthest date away that still fits the deadline.

Now that a date is set, what do I do about the price?

I’ve been considering the following plan. First, the game gets posted to the Android market December 24 essentially as a fully featured demo. All power-ups and game-play elements are in place but users are restricted to a limited level set. And the game would be ad-supported.

Then I continue to polish the game. The December 24 demo would be considered the “first 90%” of the game. When the game is at a semi-polished level, somewhere in the last 10% of the development cycle (for those not in the know, the last 10% of development is the longest part of development) then I put a new build of the game up on the market with the lowest possible price point. $0.99. And I remove advertisements from the new build.

Early adopters get in at the low low price of $0.99 and get to play and suggest features as the game reaches completion. This could be a month, it could be half a year, but they get in at $0.99. And when that last 10% is done then the price raises to $1.99 (but not without a nice sale price for the first week or two to transition new purchasers into the product).

At least, that’s the thought right now. I’ll be continuing development on the game. I’m trying to post new screenshots every Saturday but there’s really not much new to show. It’s the same sort of screenshot every time. And I suppose I should get WaggSoft and the forums operational some time soon, too. I’ll need those forums to get feedback on demo.

Shadows and Light in SpaceFight!

I had fun with this one, too. Shadows!

I had the theory churning in my head and this tigsource thread helped me solidify it in my brainspace.

It’s not something I absolutely needed in SpaceFight! but it’s kind of a staple for 2-dimensional games. Mostly, I was trying to wrap my head around an alternate method of accessible area mapping. When working with “lighting” it’s important to forget about the light. What’s important are the shadows. Now I can try working these ‘light sources’ into the accessible area map, placing one at each available node, and I could have that efficient accessible area mapping algorithm I’ve been looking for.

Staypressed theme by Themocracy