Porting your game from iOS to Android

So you created a C/C++ game for iOS that gives joy to iPhone and iPad gamers from around the world. How can you deny this joy from all loyal Android users? I can’t, so I had to port Pop Corny to the Android platform. It was a very interesting experience, full of gain as I say, and I think it would be nice to share some information and knowledge on the subject. Continue reading

Android & Pop Corny == true

Yeap it is true! Pop Corny is finaly available on Android devices. It was a huge effort trying to support all those diverse devices, but it is going better than I expected. Pop Corny is available since yesterday and until now I only had one complaint for not running. I consider this a success. 🙂

The game is a free download available from the Google Play Store. You may also scan this on your Android phone to get it:

Pop Corny QR Code

It is likely that I will blog about my experiences on bringing Sylphis3D and eventualy Pop Corny to Android here and on AltDevBlogADay, so stay tuned. Meanwhile download the game and enjoy it!

[Press release] Pop Corny comes to Android on July 15

Successful iOS independent game Pop Corny comes to Android on July 15, 2012

Larissa, Greece – NLOGN today announced that Pop Corny, the greatly successful indie game for iPhone and iPad, will be released for Android devices on July 15, 2012. Free to download, Pop Corny challenges players to test their reflexes, targeting skills and accuracy as they make popcorn by shoot corn kernels to feed Mr. Pop Corny’s eternal hunger. Set inside a theater or outdoors in the countryside, Pop Corny is a simple, yet highly addictive casual game with gorgeous cartoon artwork, and stimulating salsa beat music. Continue reading

Writing portable code: A process full of gain

Lately I am spending some of my time into porting my game engine to the Android platform. It is a rather refreshing, interesting, rewarding and also frustrating experience. All at the same time. The process helped me learn new lessons and remember some old ones I had forgot.

Getting confortable

First of all I realized once again that we people get comfortable. And oh boy we get comfortable! I remember myself a few weeks back being frustrated with XCode 4 and how it was slow and sluggish compared to XCode 3, how I don’t like the new environment, etc. Well, no more! All it took was a few days in Eclipse. Dialog windows popping up behind the main window, >500ms on most clicks on files, kitchen & sink user interface, can go on forever, and all you really basically get at the end of the day is just a smart editor and debugger that only works for the Java part. Compare that to XCode with its memory profilers, time profiles, filesystem profilers, network profilers, battery optimizers, the very helpful OpenGL state inspector and logger, there is really no relation. I had forgot how it was to develop on other platforms, and how amazed I was initially with the special treatment that Apple gives to developers with its tools. What amazed me more is that I don’t come from such a “comfy“ background. The initial version of Sylphis3D was developed in parallel on Linux and Windows, mostly using no IDE at all, and I never found the tools a problem. As it turns out hardship builds character, while comfortness breaks it.

Portable software is good for you

Building portable software is highly valued in my mind, because it helps you be a better software engineer while making better quality software at the same time. You get to learn many different development environments, understand their design decisions, workaround platform differences, think further ahead, etc. All these require you to get a deeper understanding of your code and your dependencies. Always pushes towards a more organized code structure and reveals bugs that would otherwise go unnoticed until Murphy’s laws decides it is the worst time to trigger.

So if you are a software engineer, don’t get too comfortable with your development and target environment. No matter how attractive that environment makes it! Make your code portable, to keep yourself and the code in better shape. After all wouldn’t it be cool to run your code on a future toaster?!

Beta testers on Android wanted – Ask inside

Pop Corny on Android Sony Xperia X10 Mini

If you follow me online you probably know that the last weeks I have been porting Pop Corny to Android. I can say that it is a great experience and I myself can’t wait to put it out there. I am also going to blog about my experience and will try to provide any valuable information about the process. However the plague of Android that hears to the name “fragmentation” is creeping in, and I need your help to fight it!

Yes that is right, if you have and Android device you can be my soldier. Do you have what it takes? Are you prepared to suffer finger damage from extreme screen swiping? Do you know the history of pop corn? Are you prepared to play a game that will probably crash every 5 minutes and not throw the device out of the window? You do?! Just register on the form and I will contact you with more details:

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A BETA TESTER

To tell you the truth this is going to be more of an ALPHA-BETA testing phase as I don’t have an Android device myself. I did try out 2-3 real devices but it is quite likely to take some time until I can have a stable beta running on most devices. This will require patience on your side. If you are not interested yourself, tell a friend. I will need all the help I can get! If you also happen to have an old device (new ones will do too! 😀 ) that you don’t mind sacrificing in the name of game development, I would gladly accept it as a testing device, and you would gain a special place in the game’s credits and more importantly in my heard. For this contact my directly at my email: harkal at gmail dot com.

Lets get it started!!

Launching on the AppStore in the year 2012

[Also posted on AltDevBlogADay]

Today is somewhat an important day, as it is exactly 60 days since the day I can officially call myself a published indie game developer! It was February 3rd when Mr. Pop Corny rushed (actually it crawled thanks to Apple, but I will get to that below) into the AppStore after an 8 month development time, and the dream came true. So it seems now it is a good time to share some of my experiences regarding launching on the AppStore. I will try to provide some insight that I wish I had from other projects prior to launching my own. Continue reading

Tag Cloud

I had some free time today and got the idea to create a tag cloud with the english reviews of Pop Corny. So I dumped all the US and UK AppStore reviews to a text file and there you go:

I am a statistics junkie.. I know! 🙂

My game design hat

One of the main traits that an indie developer must cultivate is that of wearing many hats. All indie game develepers will tell you about it, and it is the first thing you will realise when going indie. Wearing many hats is usually the result of small budgets. Small budgets mean less heads, but equal amount of hats. What I learned through the course of developing my indie game is that your success depends on how well your head fits those hats. Your game will simply be as good as the worst fit.

One of the hats I had to wear for the development of “Pop Corny” was that of the game designer. The closer I had ever come to game design before this, was playing games with a little more inquiring spirit than most players do. This can definitely be interpreted as a bad hat fit. It was clear that in order to have a successful game, I had to find clever ways to improve the fit. This of course could be done by adjusting the head (becoming a better game designer) or by adjusting the hat (adjusting the problem itself to something that I would handle). It was obvious that I had to do the first as much as possible, but without the later I was not going to go far. Continue reading

Unveiling Pop Corny

Honestly I can’t really describe how excited I am to finally be able to announce my first game! Since the first line of code I ever typed in a programming language, all I wanted to build was a game. It turns out that only many years later the timing would be right for it to become a reality. Some of you might already knew that this was coming if you had read my last #altdevblogaday post. A few days ago I unveiled the game’s icon to the game’s Facebook page. If you like it please like the page and share it as I am certainly going to need the word of mouth in promoting it.

I will not yet go into details about what the game is about (apart from obviously being about a popcorn loving crazy looking monster!), I will save this a for few days later when the AppStore review process will be coming to an end. A teaser video will also be released so keep an eye open for it.

Also if any of you happen to write for a game review website or you know a friend who knows a friend that has a cousin that got married to a girl that reviews games, please let them know I would be glad to send then the game!

CU!

p.s. If you are not a Facebook guy you can follow the game’s twitter account for updates: @MrPopCorny