Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hello, World!

As Jeremy mentioned a few posts ago, we've been working on a rewrite of the WallpaperService code that is the foundation of all of the Live Wallpapers that we release. I'll dive into that topic in my next post. Right now, I figure that an introduction is in order. :)

My name is Bill Roeske and I've been handling most of the low-level and graphics programming duties here at Kittehface since the beginning of April. I've also contributed to wallpaper design, coding, and art - particularly for NA and EU Flags, Dynamic Paint, Easter Meadows, Prismatic, True Blood, Chroma Wave, and Koi.

Like Jeremy and many others, I came to mobile development from the video games industry. Being only a five-year veteran before making the change, I feel extremely privileged to have worked with some really fine people on the Rock Band, Halo, and Bomberman franchises.

Most of our work here has been on Android Live Wallpapers, which isn't as different from developing video games as it may seem. Both need to run fast and smooth. Both need to present graphics that look good. Both are at their best when they're highly interactive. Quite often in both, your work only has a few seconds to prove itself or be discarded in favor of something more interesting.

The big differences? Well, at the moment, mobile projects generally don't take years to develop. Some of our wallpapers don't even take over a month for the initial version. Product updates are a breeze to deliver, which directly results in more frequent updates driven by feedback from all of you.

Finally, for Live Wallpapers anyway, we get to cheat a whole lot. Like, a ton. Most games offer a whole world with intricate detail from every angle and infinite ways to accidentally break it. A Live Wallpaper scene is more like a diorama, which actually works out the best for everyone. Detail is focused where people will see actually it, and because of that laser focus, we can get a great looking scene running smoothly in the background of a phone. Generally without the world-destroying bugs, too.

As you can probably tell at this point, my posts will most likely explore the more technical side of what we do. I hope that it's something you are interested in reading about, because there are some pretty cool things that happen under the hood every once in a while. And as people around me well know, I generally can't shut up when I see or do something that I think is cool!

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