Tuesday, December 31, 2013

GameCenter Leaderboard list

It seems I cannot bring up the list of Leaderboards for my game Heroic Patterns. I can easily bring up any individual leaderboard, but not the whole list.

I tried a few wild card strings for the category name, along with trying some gibberish, but this was all to no avail. The leaderboard that comes up is the default one. Which is something set in iTunes connect. I really don't want to default to any particular leaderboard. I really want to show the list.

Once the list comes up the player would be able to scroll along the list and simply pick the leaderboard they are really interested in. I have no good context way of knowing which to show the player, and only having a simple and obvious button to bring up the leaderboards makes it difficult for me to even guess which they might be after.

I think the current showing of the default leaderboard is probably the worst I could possibly do though. It is very likely that this leaderboard has around a 13% chance of being the one they want to view... I may have to come up with some clever algorythms to see if I could show a more likely leaderboard, even if only brings my chances of the right one showing upong request to say 50%. In fact I would be happy with 50%.

  1. I could show the leaderboard associated with the last pattern that the player attempted. That I am sure would increase my odds of being right by at least triple. Of course they could simply be going to check out which other leaderboard would be a good one to spend time on. Still a realistic odds improvement.
  2. Now I have best score and total score leaderboards per pattern.... So I could also check and if the player just scored a close or better personal best score for the most recent pattern played. If it is close of is now their best score. I could assume that they want to see the personal best score leaderboard. This I think would double my chances of having the correct leaderboard for the player.
  3. hmm, working on a third probability...
Now I have those ideas, if I do not get an answer to showing the leaderboard list from the marmalade forums in the next few days. I will implement those probability enhancers I have listed above, hopefully with more ideas coming along.

Have a good one,
Da Voodoochief

Monday, December 30, 2013

Back again and ready for the new year

I am back from Utah and back working on my games.

I have done a little work on Hoopfighter to bring it up to the SDK version I am currently using from Marmalade. Other than that I had to wait for Apple to reopen their iTunes connect site (it was down for a week for maintenance etc). Once it was back up I was able to add in an important person to my mobile provisioning file.

Next up was to get the new leaderboards setup for Heroic Patterns. That was easy, though I have yet to marry the code to handle these new leaderboards. It was funny, while in Utah my friend Colby got  a higher personal score on one of the patterns, and this caused me and my daughter to have to beat his new score. It was good fun, and once I add in the new leaderboards it will be immortalized for everyone to compare with. A big plus for the app I reckon.

I hope this new year brings me some level of success, and by that I mean thousands of people playing my games. The big number for me to beat is 10K players for a game. If I can beat this number with my newest releases it will be fantastic. And Heroic Buttons is planned to come out next week sometime. wish me luck eh :) Oh, and if ya own an iOS device.. I would it if ya downloaded it.. but more when I release the game.

Other than that I will continue to play Marvel Avengers Alliance and Torchlight 2 no doubt.

Have a Happy New Year everyone, and I hope you coming year is filled with pleasant surprises and wonderful memories.

Da Voodoochief

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mostly a Hiatus now

I will be away visiting friends in Utah over the Christmas period, so it is unlikely I will be blogging over that time. In fact I doubt I will even be thinking about development work, or that's my plan anyway.

This last week has been very busy for me at work. I have three projects after I inherited a few more than my own regular job. This has kept me very busy working on getting builds and milestones ready for delivery right before the holidays. I appear to have managed just that, but at a bit of a cost. Nothing else has been done on my own code. In fact I started bringing up Hoopfighter to the latest Marmalade SDK, but have not had any time to finish that. Maybe I'll be able to get that done once I get back to California.

I fervently wish everyone a wonderful time over the holidays and hope you stay safe and warm,

cya in a week,
Da Voodoochief

Monday, December 16, 2013

Heroic Buttons Launch Delayed

I am gonna have to delay my launch of Heroic Buttons. I just don't have the time before the holidays, especially as I am going to spend Christmas with some close friends in Utah with my family. This means I have so little time for the promotional side, and I simply don't want to do that.

Put it out and then leave it to dry is not what I wanna do. So instead I will wait to the new year. I have to wait till then as part of my marketing strategy is to get my kids school friends to download it after being told about it by my kids. If they aren't at school, then they canna do that eh!

Still I have everything in place already, the only ting left is the URL for the iTunes store, and I won't have that till I go live.

so I will spend the time finishing up the few remaining tasks on Heroic Patterns and decide on what I am going to do next... Heroic Simon, or maybe Heroic Tagger...

Here is a link to the promotional video just to keep ya entertained while ya wait for the release.

Heroic Buttons Promotional Video from Robert Toone on Vimeo.

I hope you like the tongue in cheek nature of the promo video.

Da Voodoochief

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Texture Packer 3.2.1 Update for C++

I grabbed the latest Texture Packer last week as it has had several modifications recently. Though in all honesty I didn't really NEED anything new. What got me intrigued though was the statement that I could now output Header files.

I am using C++ and so it is really useful to have a header file with the name of the graphic element in an enumeration so I can use this name all over my code for the drawing of my sprites. What I have been doing is writing all my data out into a *.cpp file and simply cutting the table from the bottom of the file, and then pasting it into my header file. A simple enough process when I update my graphics. However it can get tedious, just a little bit.

So back to the 3.2.1 texture packer. I was excited about the ability to simply cut out my cut and paste stage so figured the update would be good. I have to say that the updates are always smooth and seamless with this useful tool, and this time was no exception.

So then I created what I needed to for creating my header file and stopped the bit of code creating the enum data in the cpp file. As it happens it mean't I simply copied script from the cpp creating to the header creation.

Now although this sounds great and all dandy. It wasn't, or isn't. In fact it simply doesn't work at this time. I have emailed Andreas with a question in respect to me messing this up and am just waiting on a reply at the moment. Still I figured anyone else trying this might be interested to read my problems, or if they have the secret sauce they may be able to share some with me. As I would love to have this working.

What happens?
Well the header creation does in fact happen. Only the values I use in the main reference file creation are all null. So if I ask for any value I simply get an empty string printed. I am not sure why. I really thought it would work the same as the main reference file output.

I will of course do an update when I find out more on this, but if you can help me, then please message me on twitter, or email, or post in the comments.

Da Voodoocheif

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Heroic Buttons Promo part 3

Getting boring isn't it, being at part 3.. and yet so far to go.

Well I have been working on the Promo video and I am very close to having it complete. Once I get some last piece of voice over it will be ready for the world.. Only the promo says that the game is currently available, and well, it isn't. In fact it cannot be ready until I have everything in place. I think....

That is a grey area of course. Do I really need to have all the promotional stuff ready to go before releasing the game? What is the big deal about doing this all at the same time. Not like I have print Ads that will be promoting the game or anything. As you can tell I really am in two minds about this whole thing. I cannot come up with much of an idea why this is important besides getting some form of immediate at once media sensation type thing might work out.. Only I don't believe my piddling efforts will have much of an impact to be honest.

So here I am thinking about this instead of working on the promo stuff. bah!

I reckon once I have a bit more stuff ready to go, namely the video is finished and the iOS fan forums layout is done I can then go live. So if I get my butt into gear, it should be in the next few days. though I also want to print out a couple of hundred business style cards promoting the game for my children to give their friends with iOS devices... Maybe I'll add that to my short list.

Da Voodoochief

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Any Plan part 2

I have been trying to forward my Promotional plan for Heroic Buttons, and here is where I am at...

Extending my notes with the possible Tweets I will be making. 3 Full tweets and several possible swap in parts. also a number of Hashtags I can attach if there is room.

Tweets are ready.. WOW, great start eh!

Blog post ideas in note form. I only really need the idea for the post and also some sort of title. I am not great at coming up with Blog post titles. So my notes now include an outline of 7 days of posts all fully related to the Launch week of Heroic Buttons in some way.

Blog Posts read.. Wow, even better eh!

Finding 7 iOS forums to post on with the announcement of the game. This has sort of gone better than I would have suspected. though I now see this is more work than I initially thought it would be. There is also an ongoing commitment to the other forum posters to answer follow up questions and comments. This is not simply a one time deal, this will cost me time socially interacting. Which is a plus as enjoy that kind of thing, but also a time sink which makes subsequent writing of games slower. Still I have managed to find 5 suitable places so far and joined them all where necessary. I also one more that was having site issues, so I may go back there. However with my new found understanding of the work involved in this kind of thing, I may cut this back to 5 sites. Of note is that I looked at several posts of this kind on these forums and found some nice examples of other games being announced. I will base my post on theirs, but now I realize I need a bunch more promotional material generated to do this properly. Some good insight, lot more work...

Sites research is good... Wowza, but much more work found.

I have done nothing else so far on the other points, but will get to them once I have gotten all the new promotional materials ready for the sites. This is some unexpected work, but will be good to do.

So in summation, I would say it is going well, but I am not sure I can actually get the game published before Christmas at this point. In fact I do not believe I can make it this year. which is a real waste of a good Christmas purchasing bonanza time.

Da Voodoochief

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Any Plan is better than No Plan at all

This is something I firmly believe in. If ya have a plan then it is easier to modify than to come up with a plan in the first place. Though I understand some people are not good at altering plans.. But I am.

So here I am with my new game Heroic Buttons all set and ready to go live as it has already passed Apple testing. Now what should I do with this? I don't want to just put it out, I know that.. doom it to failure for my lack of thought, gah No thanks.

So I decided to come up with a pan. For that I needed my Pen and Pad. Then I wrote several ideas down as they came to me. Here they are below...

Promotional Notes for HB,
  1. A Week of tweets
  2. 2x Facebook posts
  3. Find 7 iOS forums or fan pages to post a link on
  4. Blog 7 days in a row about HB
  5. Ask people who have iOS devices to download and rate the game for me.. it is Free!
  6. Press release?
  7. Use a promotional service?
  8. Setup a HB web page on my site
Most are fairly obvious, and I chose 7 because I did... I figure before I go live I will accumulate most of this stuff, and make the final decisions on whether the optional ones will happen or not.

I am very excited to have this plan. Usually my plan is get Reveiws and such, but that never went well. This time I think I have bitten off something I can easily chew. Then next time for Heroic Patterns I can probably get more of the same.

I am also sure you are thinking that I hassle all the people I know with iOS devices already with y products, but that has not been the case. This time I am ready, I'll get the kids all fired up with their friends as well and I should be good.... I hope.. I just need a plan to get school kids to download the game now, hehe

Da Voodoochief

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

People Who Inspire

I love to work with my friend Paul. We have a great rapport and help push each other to achieve more and in a better way......

I love what I do, creating games and experiences for people to discover. I also know that this is only a small part of the real world. The real world, the one not in Cyberspace can be demanding, and exciting and frightening. In fact it can be all these things at once at times.

My friend Paul (and his family) has been going through this kind of real life experience. He has just welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world, and very close to that he has had to say goodbye for the final time to his father. His father was a really nice man, always calm and thoughtful and considerate.

Now I don't know Paul's father as well as I know Paul and his brother, but then again... I don't need too. You see I know Paul and his brother quite well and I know how wonderful those guys are, and by extension I know just how wonderful their father must have been to raise them this way.

Mine and my families thoughts go out to Paul and his lovely family during this exciting, tiring and emotional time.

Love you all,
Da Voodoochief