Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quick app update

So I live over here in Taiwan and the if you've seen the news you probably knew we are getting battered by a slow moving heavy rain typhoon. Well before it came I was looking for a flashlight app, well the ones on the app store were so bloated and filled with "fun" features that it drove me nuts, I just wanted a simple flashlight app.

Well after all that stuff, I decided to create my own. It's nothing fancy just an off and on button, I plan on adding a few updates in the coming weeks, what update do you might wonder? Well I would like to add a widget to put on the home screen so that you can turn on the light without launching the app.

This app was written in pure android, it was a different experience working with native android and it has a lot of cool features but some quirks, It's pretty cool though but dealing in XML is one of those quirks.

You can check it out below.

On a side note I am working on my opengl tutorials, I have a lot of code already up at the google code page; the code is also documented in the source but, I just need to write the tutorials. I'll get them up soon.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Subversion! me and you.

What is subversion ?

CollabNet : Out of the box, and in its simplest form, Subversion is nothing more than an advanced, open source version control system.

Because I'm creating some android specific gles20 tutorials.

What does that mean for me?
Well you can follow along in my blog posts to learn with me how to use gles20, my tutorials are really simple and use common language and simple metaphors and things as such.

Ok before I start pointing you towards my svn trunk, you gotta go do some research and install a subversion client if you don't already have one.

A very easy tutorial to understand with logs of pictures :

Once you have that client installed stay tuned for moar.

where have you


OK, so it's been a long time since I've written anything on this blog. A few reasons; I'm lazy and don't like to write. I've actually contemplated deleting this blog many a days but for some reason it's still up. I focus too intensely; when I start a new project I usually give it 100 percent of myself until I get to a point then I start something new and the cycle repeats.

So what have I been up to recently? I started learning opengles shaders, I gotta say after a few days of reading I really enjoy feeders, its cool. I think with shaders I will be able to do some tutorials, I know I've been saying i'll write some tutorials about something but I get distracted easily, I find learning more interesting than blogging.

I do plan on writing a few things about gles based on the android platform, why do you ask? We'll they are lacking; I mean there are gles2 tutorials out there which is cool but they are either based on c, c++, c# or they are based off the old NEHE tutorials which while are great but the way shaders work, its better to rearrange the way you think. The programmable shaders are different than the fixed func so its better to study it from scratch.

Also the tutorials I see often leave huge segments of code missing, when I am learning I prefer to have all the code right there to look at and follow, I really dont like following a tutorial only to have compile errors and then I realize parts of the codes are missing. Anyhew I will be trying to do something about shaders, I'll put up videos and what not too.

stay tuned ya'll Im serious this time, maybe

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Today I released my 6th app, whoopie... Well the more I develop the more I realize how much I don't know and how much my peers seem to understand. I feel like I'm drowning in my lame sauce trying to program but hey, I'm sure we all feel that way about something in the sphere that influences us all.

So Fruit Drop Blitz, its a interesting take on the traditional match 3 games, in this one you can move one space at a time anywhere on the board, so if you think ahead you can setup some really amazing score multipliers. That's basically the way to get high scores, think a few steps ahead and setup the fruits to smash, splat, and spray their juices all about.

The game is up on the market now, you can check it out here

You can also point your qr scanner at the image below.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Libgdx homepage redesign

My favorite game framework main website just had a major redesign. The website is shined to a polish!

If you are interested in becoming a game developer then you have to check out this framework. This link also has a great getting started video.

Check out the libgdx redesign!

Spread the word. Libgdx is used in 1.24 percent of all apps on appbrain. The most used framework out there.

Open source software and Independent game development

I have been working on some new games with my favorite framework, libgdx.

I do everything from coding, art, and some but not all music. Being a independent game developer is quite time consuming. From creating bug free code, to creating compelling art, marketing *which I don't do other than on this blog*

There are a lot of very talented coders out there but I have seen that a lot of coders doesn't have very good art skills. I wanted to start a little series where I create some art tutorials and have the artwork out there for anyone to use.

Now being a independent game developer, I am building from meek beginnings. What does that mean? Well I use free and open source software.

1. The libgdx game framework

  1. The most powerful cross platform game development framework.
  2. Supports webGL, Java, Android, Linux, Mac, Windows
2. Inkscape

  1. One of the best open source vector image editing software
3. Blender

  1. The best open source 3D modeling, rendering, animating software
4. IrFran View

  1. Used to convert image formats, resize images, do simple image editing.

Using open source software are often as powerful as the major ones sans the exuberant price tags. The main difference is the User Interface. Often I hear that open source software has terrible User Interface. I often say that it just takes a little getting use to. With that I wanted to start creating some art tutorials. I will be creating tutorials and providing the assets on this blog for download.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Slide It!

Just put the finishing touches on a new project that I started. Initially I had a much larger scope project but after continually running into coding brick walls, I had to scale back on my ambitions and start from the ground and build my way up.

Slide It! is a classic slide puzzle game that we all remember from our childhoods. I even went so far as to use natural wood textures and some relaxed music with tactile feedback buttons to just give it a real low key vibe.
Developing this simple game was a challenge and actually took me over a month just to work out the logic and some other things as the base framework. I plan to expand on the work I've done here to continue to create more interesting games and sharpen my development skills.

You can check the game out over at Google Play store by following this link .

                                                                    or scan this qr code

I have a video on youtube that gives a little walk through on how to solve the puzzle and play my game. In this version there's no dragging only clicking next to the empty tile to swap positions.

I would appreciate some feedback, feature requests etc.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Appbrain, but isn't that a ....

a pay per download site?

Today I noticed that my game Brexel, was listed on, I have no idea how the game ended up on there, as I though developers had to pay to list there apps on that website and its a pay per install type service.
It looks like appbrain just copied the google play page, stars, ratings, screen shots, descriptions and all and put it up there. I am happy because the more exposure for my games the better.

I'm happy to see my games getting out there and do plan on continual improvements as I learn to become a more proficient game developer.

Click here to see the appbrain page

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Leadbolt, what...?

OK this is like my 3rd blog post and I'm talking about mobile ad networks to get revenue, why would I say Give leadbolt a try?

Check below for more details!

Honestly though I have to share my results with just a few apps that were learning experiences. I created three games so far my first attempt at a game, which was influenced heavily by Arkanoid. Break!, I previously made a post about that game. I also created another Arkanoid inspired game called Brexel. This one was head and shoulders above Break!, It had online scores, better graphics, dynamic sounds, amazing music, it was just an all around better game. You can check it out below.

Then I made a third game Beach Runner, this one was the most advanced game I ever made but there's a lot of room for improvement in the game play.
I will write a more detailed blog post about that in the future.

What does all this have to do with mobile advertisers? Well when I launched my first game around December 2011, I had google admob displaying banner ads in my games. From December 2011 to May 8th 2012, I've made about US $21.00 in total from admob, now when you initially release an app that's when you typically get most of your downloads.

Now over the past week I implemented leadbolts mobile ad units in the same games and I have seen really shocking results. In one week after implementing leadbolt I've already generated US $5.00 dollars.

Now keep in mind that my apps aren't downloaded many times and also from looking at my scoreloop daily user score reports and the information from leadbolt on a good day I get about 100 users but typically its between 10-50 users per day, so from about say 50 users per day over a one week period I made US 5.00, while over 6 months using admob I've made US $20.00. I think that shows leadbolt has to be the way to go for mobile developers who would like to get a little more income per month.

Now I am no where close to being paid yet since I need to reach US $100.00 to be paid but for the simple fact that I using leadbolt  in one week I made a 1/4th the revenue I made in 6 months on admob has proven to me that this is a path I want to take.

I would really recommend you go over and SIGN UP for leadbolts amazing service.

A few more things, using leadbolt you have direct contact to someone who will always answer your questions within a timely manner. You have their email address and skype contact information. Using admob I haven't been able to find a good way to get in touch with google about anything, even when I do send emails I get a cookie cutter email response that can be really frustrating when you have real issues that pop up. I haven't had that issue with leadbolt and my account manager.

Also to mention implementing their sdk is very simple, there is on .jar file that you add to your libs folder and  the rest of the work is done through the web interface that leadbolt offers.

I would really recommend anyone who has tried any other mobile ad networks to give leadbolt a try, they have may different types of offers with very high eCPM. Here is a short YouTube video about the ad types they provide.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mobile game development....

and me.

I decided to use develop for the android market for many reasons.
1. Only a one time $25 dollar fee to sign up.
2. Android is growing very rapidly.
3. Almost real time feedback on apps or games that you release.
4. There seemed to be many suitable frameworks to build from.
5. Google Android is mostly open source
6. Starting in Java saves headaches.

I will go into more details on the above list in future blog posts but those were just a few of the reasons why I decided to develop for android.

Now that I knew what platform I would develop for the next step was to find a framework to use. After much research, trial error, quitting and starting over, I decided to use the LIBGDX framework. LIBGDX is an opensource framework developed by badlogic and nate sweet. You can find more information on the framework here, the blog here, and their forums here.

Now that I had my target platform, development framework, now all I needed was an amazing idea. After a lot of thinking I decided to take on the technically challenging Arkanoid. After a bit of cold feet, I got started actually writing semi functional mobile code about 5 or 6 months ago. My first Android Game Break!

I chose this seemingly simple game because the game mechanics are straight forward, the ball bounces off the walls, paddle, and destroys the blocks and the player gets some points. If the ball falls below the paddle, the player loses a life and if the player loses all their lives its game over.

With such simple game play mechanics one would think it should be easy to create such a game. Well for me, it took me about one and a half month to get the game. The game play is very fast and can be quite challenging, once you get the feel for the game it becomes a little easier to handle but it does take some time.

Even with such a great framework and a fairly easy to use programming language, It was still very technically challenging to get something to even show up on screen. Then actually implementing the above stated mechanics in code.

You can check out the game for yourself.

to be continued....