Carter Jones Adventures is right now available on Amazon devices!

by Niels Brouwers 25. September 2014 17:46

Wow, that was fast! I submitted Carter Jones Adventures to the Amazon App Store just yesterday and got a confirmation with a nice overview on which devices it is available overnight. Amazon seems to have their app submission-process pretty good under control and well-manned / automated (I suspect the latter).

Here's the link: Carter Jones Adventures it's FREE, enjoy it!


Amazon version submitted!

by Niels Brouwers 24. September 2014 23:38

No guarantees because I don't have any Amazon device to test on, but this looks promising:

Roku development VI: Signing

by Niels Brouwers 19. September 2014 19:15

Just a quick update on the Roku port of The Carter Jones Adventures: it was smoke-tested and approved so it is being prepared to be submitted right now!

I assume the submitting process will be similar to all the other stores out there, so far my experience with the Roku team is that they respond quickly so I believe that it won't be too long before it should appear on your Roku device!

 In hindsight, porting a touch-based game (even if it is arcade-like) to a non-touch based device requires a more than expected effort! Obviously, next time I might program a game I will take this into account during the design-phase :-)

Roku development V: Artifacts

by Niels Brouwers 4. September 2014 19:54

Almost there, but just not yet! Here's why it is important to be able to test your Apps/Games on real hardware: you only know what it will look like if you have seen it! One of the reasons that I kept postponing the Android release was because I only had 1 (cheap) Android tablet and, althought, it looked good on that device I was hesitant to conclude that it would look and play good on all Android devices.

On the Roku, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we had to lower the graphics resolution and then upscale that to match the resolutions that the Roku supports. After fixing the functional issues, I started playing The Carter Jones Adventures and a lot (really a LOT) of artifacts were suddenly very visible on my television! I had not seen these before on the smaller devices where I had to apply the lower resolution graphics  (maybe due to a smaller screen / different rounding  / whatever ..), but it looks really ugly and so I need to fix the graphics. This means lots of 'manual labor' and hoping nothing else breaks in the process.

So, currently I am working my way through all this and I hope to finish it in a couple of days. If only the little device would have enough memory for the high-res graphics....

Roku development IV: resolution

by Niels Brouwers 22. August 2014 20:35

Right now, the Carter Jones Adventures is running great on my little Roku device! It is actually running at 60FPS and that is exactly how it is intended!

However, I did have to switch to lower resolution mode to make this happen. As it turns out, the Roku is not extremely powerful when it comes to graphics, and also the memory is pretty optimized for the specific purposes that the device was built for.

You see, the Carter Jones Adventures contains two sets of graphics. One high resolution library and one low resolution library, all the handmade drawings are drawn at high resolution and that is what you will see on for example an ipad 2. For the lower power devices there is a low resolution library that is half the resolution of the original graphics.

Now, there are lots of different resolutions and the way we cope with that is really simple: the levels are all tile-based so when we encounter a resolution where 20 tiles will fit on the screen, we draw 20. If there is just room for 16, we will draw 16. So devices with a bigger screen will usually see more of the level in advance.

Also, there are devices that don't allow us enough memory to load all the graphics, the usual effect when trying to load the high resolution graphics is that the application will crash before even starting. My solution in these situations is to load the low resolution graphics (=less memory required) and upscale them (to 200% usually) to make them fill the screen. The Ipad 1 is in this category, and so is (unfortunately) the Roku.

 As I mentioned, the game is now fully playable on the Roku which is really cool! What is left is some minor tweaking (mapping the right keys to the user actions), removing some unused controls (touch controls are still configurable, sound is still adjustable in the UI but Roku does not allow code to change volume etc) and a lot of game testing!