Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chuffed and all that

While looking for some old references to my Skeleton Pack I found this (also found a torrent - bastards!)

I'm very chuffed at what he had to say about my service.

Indie devs try harder.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Diary of an Indie Dev #4

Have been working for a client today.  I needed to come up with a schema that persisted how the player uses their inventory items.  I couldn't really determine how many items they might have and so I need an unlimited file system.

I came up with using a Varchar of 10000 bytes for now on the server, and the choices the user makes are put into a hash table.  When it's times to serialize the data I convert the hash table to xml and then the resultant xml to string for upload to the varchar for each player.

It reverses and when I get it back I convert to xml, iterate through the child elements and rebuild the hashtable which implemented all the users choices again when they log in later.

Here's a snippet of the xml generated [ note for NDA reasons I changed the values ].  It's extensible too.  The item child can have anything inside it, such a sound effect, or hit points if I choose to add more later, without the need to rebuild the database.  ( EDIT:  Doesn't work so well at the moment as the http POST it trying to interpret my XML - Need a way to cloak it )



Monday, April 2, 2012

Diary of an Indie Dev #3

Had some success today with Android dev.  I need to develop a short course for work which focuses on Flash, making games commercially and putting it all on mobiles.  iPhones are impractical for a short course because the logical step is to teach xCode using Cocos2D, but that means I'm the only one that can teach it.  If I develop it using Flash, there are about 3 lecturers that also know Flash and ActionScript 3.0 so they just need to learn the game biz stuff, you know, marketing, Agile, bugfix, QA etc and then we can all deliver it.

So the breakthrough today was getting a swf file  running on my new HTC Wildfire S (Android 2.3) and work's Motorola XOOM (Android 3.0).  I found AS 2.0 commands weren't supported by a 3rd party Flash Player, but AS 3.0 was.  I also found a simplistic pipeline for students to come to class, setup their phone for game dev and quickly test a sample SWF to determine if they can use the phone during the course.

The student needs to do the following
  1. Install their phone sync software (HTC Sync for example-the official one for your phone) which also installs the required USB driver free of charge -that's the important part.
  2. Download Flash Player from MarketPlace.
  3. Install Adobe Flash Player 10 if you can from the Marketplace.
  4. Turn on USB Debugging on the phone and connect as a Mass Storage device.
  5. Drop the SWF on the root of the phone's storage device which is basically putting at the root of the SDRAM card.
  6. Open Flash Player on the phone, ignore errors to download Adobe Flash, and click on the sample SWF.
  7. A benchmark test was to go to (thanks Nick) to test if the Flash Player installed a simple SWF player for the browser.

We think students will want to make a build every night they go home (who wouldn't) so they can show it off to their friends.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Diary Of An Indie Dev #2

Struggled today to get the Android dev environment set up.  Concluded that cygwin doesn't like Windows 7 UAC to much.  I downloaded everything now, which took the most time.  I'm going to uninstall everything and try again later.

Read some more of Making of Prince Of Persia today.  Jordan Mechner's struggle with choosing between Film and Games reminds me of me.  Glad I'm not the only one torn between the two.

I gotta wrap up some client work, so I'll try the Android dev environment setup tomorrow.