Archive for the 'Op-Ed' Category

The Atlanta Game Dev Podcast

When I first started this blog a few years back I was a flash developer who decided to try out this Unity thing. Since then I’ve started my own game studio, had some awesomely successful games launched (some self published, some contracted out by other companies), and tried my best to post answers to incredibly annoying problems I come across.

For those of you who visit this blog often, I thought you might be interested in my podcast: The Atlanta Game Developer Podcast. I sit down with Cartoon Network’s Brad Merritt (His blog is the bullet pattern blog that you should totally read) and we crack wise and talk about all things Game Dev.

I don’t usually self promote things like that, but hey – maybe you guys will dig it.


Remembering why I hate AS3

I’ve mostly switched over to Unity development, but once in a while a client will request a game in Flash and I take the job. It’s been about a year since I’ve done any AS3 work, but I picked it back up pretty quickly.

I started building my baseclass with all my reusable methods and started with the once I use the most (Pause, fadeIn, fadeOut, etc).  I started knocking everything together and it was going just fine, but then after adding in several classes I noticed that my alpha transitions started to hang randomly… how curious!  Here’s an example of my base class: Continue reading ‘Remembering why I hate AS3’

iPad 3 and the Retina Display – It will make you a liar…

Recently I was hired by some folks to build them a game for their iOS news stand app. I’ve done this a few times before so I figured that this would be an easy, no headache job. The game was to be developed in HTML5 and Javascript, also not a problem and I’ve done it several times before. Here’s the twist – the client wanted to take advantage of the new iPad 3 Retina display. I hadn’t yet purchased an iPad3, but I quickly looked over the specs: Retina display resolution is 2048 x 1536. Shouldn’t be a problem! Continue reading ‘iPad 3 and the Retina Display – It will make you a liar…’

Unity Android and OpenGL ES 2.0 – another cautionary tale…

In my previous post I mentioned how excited I was to finally get over a huge crashing issue I had with Zombie Room AR. While that post is still completely accurate, my total celebration was a little premature. A couple of days after pushing out the latest fixes I got another email from a user experiencing a crash… Seriously!? I just.. but I… come on…

So here I sat with ANOTHER crash happening – this one was crashing in the exact same way, and once again it wasn’t putting together a report of a stack trace for me to find the underlying problem. Whiskey sure is tasty! Continue reading ‘Unity Android and OpenGL ES 2.0 – another cautionary tale…’

Unity Android and the Android Market Licensing (LVL) – a cautionary tale…

If you’ve been following this blog then you no doubt know all about my augmented reality game Zombie Room AR. What you may not know is how much of a struggle I’ve had trying to support it. If you look at the demo version in the android market you’ll see a crap  load of 1 star reviews saying the game crashes and that I suck and other idiotic comments. Over the past year I’ve been an Android developer and I know that the Star ratings and comments are on par with youtube comments, so I’ve brushed most of these off…

Unfortunately, the one thing these comments have in common is that they’re right… the game just crashes on a lot of devices… mysterious crashes that leave me scratching my head in wonder. The strangest thing is that when the game crashes, it just sort of exits. Typically when a program crashes on Android you get a box pop up with a “Force Close” or “Report” option. If you click “Report” it sends a stack trace to the developer, which will give him a clue about what the problem is. I never got one stack trace, so I had absolutely nothing to go off of. I have 4 different Android devices I test against I have not ever been able to reproduce this issue. In some cases I’ve had customers reach out to me by email asking what the deal is… and I’ve never had a good answer for it… Until today. Continue reading ‘Unity Android and the Android Market Licensing (LVL) – a cautionary tale…’

Fighting Piracy…

A few weeks back I noticed a sharp decline in sales for Zombie Room AR. I’ll have zero sales days for a couple days in a row now and again, but typically they pick back up as another university or country finds it.

After I hit 6 days in a row without a sale, I decided to check around and see if I could find out why. I looked through the visitor stats and saw that target image was still being downloaded around 10-50 times per day.  I looked at the free version downloads, and they had pretty much dropped down as well, so it wasn’t making much sense.

I dug through the referrers and found a Russian blog that was sending people to the target image. Upon visiting the blog, and much to my chagrin, I found a direct download to the full version of the game.  Interestingly enough, they had revved the version number too!  (Real Full Version is 1.1.1, Pirated is 1.1.2) Continue reading ‘Fighting Piracy…’

Demonstration at the Experimental Games Lab

For any of my Atlanta readers, I will be giving a Unity demonstration at the Experimental Games Lab at GA Tech tonight at 7pm.  This will be a beginner’s study where I will walk everyone through making a simple game and then let the class direct from there. I’m not sure if we’re going to need to use all of these assets, but if you want to attend please bring a laptop with Unity installed (preferably 3.3) and download the following packages:

Hope to see you there!

Edit: Forgot to add the explosion pack!