Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fireworks Live Wallpaper v1.2

  - New Feature: Additional firework type: Sphere
  - Update: Faster particle rendering, more particles
  - Google Play Link (full)
  - Google Play Link (free)

We updated our particle system recently to handle large numbers of particles better, and so this update moves a number of the firework effects over to that method.  We've also added a new firework type called "sphere" that uses a very large number of small particles.

A number of the others got their numbers tweaked and in general things use more points than they did previously, and feel a little more full as a result.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Unium is in approval!

We've checked all our boxes, and are on our way to shipping the game.  Twenty achievements, over 100 levels, well behaved in both landscape and portrait on a wide range of devices.  Oh, and pretty sweet music too!  To the right is an iOS landscape screenshot.

As a result Unium is now waiting for Apple's thumbs-up, and then we'll get everything available and ready for purchase!  We're really happy with how much puzzle we achieved from such a simple concept, and hopefully players agree.  To begin with we're keeping it simple and simply putting the game for sale, no ads, no in app purchases, etc.  We realize this is a more difficult route to monetization these days, where pay-to-unlock is king, but hopefully folks will take a chance and enjoy themselves.

The puzzles work well with a mouse too, we we'd love any support for our Steam Greenlight campaign.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Unium Progress & Greenlight

We've moved forward steadily over the last few days.  Currently we stand at 97 puzzles, just a few more to go to break the three-digit barrier!

As of today achievements work for both Play and Game Center, and we fixed a few outstanding issues.  The main remaining work is sound, and based on early work I'm quite optimistic about the results.

I've gone ahead and set up a Greenlight page for making a Steam version as well.  We have a fully functional PC version currently and it plays well with the mouse, the main work we'd need to do is options for resolution and implementation of Steam achievements, so I have no doubts about being able to deliver if we're approved.  Any folks that are interested, your support on the Greenlight page is much appreciated!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Unium: Developing a minimalist puzzle game

A little while ago we started working on a simple puzzle game, with just about the simplest goal I can think of -- drawing a single line.  You're presented with a grid of tiles, and can start drawing a line from any point on the grid.  Any tiles you pass over with your line flip color, and your goal is to turn all the black tiles white with a single unbroken line.


There are a couple of wrinkles to the formula.  Grey tiles don't change color, so you can optionally pass over them.  You can also overlap the line, causing the underlying tile to flip each time: white becomes black becomes white again.

So far, this has turned out to be a pretty fun and contemplative puzzle game, so we're working our way towards making it into something we can actually ship.  Along the way we've developed a stark, fairly minimalist aesthetic feel that I'm pretty happy with.  Take a look and see what you think!

Friday, December 19, 2014

OpenGL Config Crash on Smart Watches

After being pretty excited to have gotten a collection of watch faces out and working so quickly, of course an issue had to show up.  In this case we got some crash reports from folks about the Moto360 and the Sony SmartWatch3.  We were kind of surprised, honestly, since we'd been testing extensively on the various emulators and on a LG G Watch R and hadn't seen a single issue.

So, we acquired a Moto360 to test on, and lo and behold it did indeed crash.  After fiddling with bluetooth debugging for a bit, we finally got a working callstack.  So, what was the problem?

Well, we use OpenGL for all this stuff, and when you instantiate an OpenGL viewport you make some requests about color depth, whether you need a z-buffer, etc.  That's all well and good, but it was failing to return a valid viewport on the 360.  As it turns out, we request a 16-bit buffer by default, and the 360 only supports a 32-bit one.  That's something we've never seen from a chipset before.

Our code wasn't tolerant of this situation and since we've never had the problem, it had never really been an issue previously.  So, we made some changes, and now we handle it properly.  Hopefully that wraps things up across the various devices that were seeing a crash, and lets everybody run these with no problems.

As a result, we've updated these products to version 1.11.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Billiards Live Wallpaper v1.2

  - New Feature: Custom table images
  - Google Play Link (free)
  - Google Play Link (paid)

This update allows you to design your own felt patterns!  Or, well, not pattern if you prefer -- there's nothing keeping you from picking a photograph or something either, but the image will mix with the felt texture and lighting so we make no promises about results.

Still, you can get some really nice results out of the proper image, like the example here on the right.  Hopefully folks enjoy!