Back to Unity

This summer I made the decision to halt development with Java and LibGdx to give Unity another try. The reasoning behind it being that coding just takes way too much time away from the whole game design process. To prove the point I started out looking at some of Brackeys YouTube tutorials. Safe to say I was convinced and just to have something to work on I decided to pick up my very first game design (since I already had the assets lying around) about that 2D soccer action/adventure and turn it into a proper re-make. Two weeks later it is now released on itch.io! With that out of the way, there is no excuse left to not start fiddling with the next project.

Pixel Art

We are working on and off with our first major game title. It will take a while since we are learning many things along the way – among other things how to draw basic pixel art. It’s fun but at the same time a massive project. We try to apply simplicity while looking for the right feel so at the moment a lot of experimentation is going on. For now focus is on environments with basic 9-tile setups, but also backgrounds and various sprite objects. Trees is another thing we look at.

On another level we have sketched prototype maps and brainstormed about possible content and events for the storyline. We have a pretty decent box for it and the past summers sudden re-interest in D&D-role and basic tabletop games has certainly pushed this effort forward. Hopefully we can soon share more tangible information about this project! 

Ready For Sleep

In a series of unfortunate events, we never managed to upload the app to Windows App Store. The process was everything but smooth. There is a number of reasons for why this is unusually complicated, but it all boils down to that using the specific command for probing processes that prevents the computer from entering sleep requires administrator privileges. While it is perfectly possible to make an app and even build a working public executable – this drawback basically makes it virtually impossible to publish it online via Windows Store or similar. Perhaps Universal Windows Apps are easier to make and get published, but these specific Windows apps written in C# that requires anything special must to go through a very complicated signing process that is impossible to debug. We initially thought that the AppX container would work for this but it now seems like a dead end. Project is put on ice for now.

New Horizons

Over the past weeks I have worked on my very first (well, since 20 years back) modern Windows app! Quite impressed by how far the Visual Studio suit has come over the past years. Tried it briefly on a Gadgeteer workshop five years ago, but never got around to try it properly. Looking forward to see and test how Windows stands out as a viable development platform.

The Ad Sponsored Creative Economy

We have some thoughts about ads and being an indie developer that we would like to share. In the past we have frowned upon ads for being a waste of space and aesthetic expression. It is not a unique position, but lately we have challenged ourselves to rethink this position. What if ads could be the way to build a sustainable business model for small passionate indie studios like ourselves? We have in the past months quickly realized that there are literally thousands of small indie developers that ponder the same question. A recent article even talked about the death of paid apps so the only way forward for the broad mass is in-app purchases or ad support. Well, for once we are gonna take a very constructivist stance towards ads and see where that leads us.

Imagine if a lot of people would realize that ads may be a subtle and playful way to enable young creators to do the stuff they dream about. From now on we will focus on social media and help support fellow developers by having a look at their apps, think positively whenever ads are shown, knowing that everytime we take part of their offer a small developing team gets to build their own dream future.

Mars Live Wallpaper

Screenshot of a new Mars Live Wallpaper (Well, should be called planetary probably since it includes Earth, Moon, …) that we are working on. It looks really good but we will tweak it until it looks truly amazing.

Live Minecraft Wallpaper 2.0 Update Notice

After a long long time in the making (not kidding!) we can finally announce that the best Android Live Wallpaper around just got twice as good! With more items and more than 2.5 Million downloads we aim to double that amount soon. Based on the LibGDX engine it is now significantly more stable than the old version and better adjusted to modern phones and tablets (and TV’s?!).

Get it while its fresh: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=studio.coldstream.minecraftlwp

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ARGB to RGBA and vice versa

Integers (int32) can be tricky when expressing color values and the right way to do it is a bit of shifting:

rgba = (argb << 8) | (argb >>> (32-8));
argb = (rgba >>> 8) | (rgba << (32-8));

Apparently libgdx and android differs in these two ways of expressing integer colors.

Tween Engine

One of the things that made AndEngine really useful was paths and different modifiers. With those it was possible to animate and fade just about anything. Tween Engine takes this to a whole new level and handles interpolation tasks for any attribute regarding any given object. Sort of. But it works!

However, as we are getting familiar with Gradle and Android Studio the library needs to be added. Step one is making “libs” directories in both core and android and put the tween-engine-api.jar and tween-engine-api-source.jar into those folders. Step two is adding them to the corresponding dependencies sections in the build.gradle file:

compile fileTree (dir: "libs", includes: ['*.jar'])

Finally it is a good idea to rebuild the project, and that is it! A perfect and essential complementary library for every libGDX project.