Is it that time again? It’s the last day of the month & it’s Halloween (ooo spooky!), that means I have been summoned to my dark little corner of the internet for my (slightly) regular monthly dev log. As always, I’ll discuss what I’ve been up to, what’s new & what’s next. Let’s begin…
It’s been a crazy one, if you didn’t already know last month I set a deadline. I said I wanted Jelly Toss uploaded to the store on or around the 28th. It ended up being a couple of days late (which I expected) but I’ve been working overtime this month getting things finished!
Things have been far more productive than the past couple of months. There’s plenty of progress and plenty to talk about. I’ll try to include it all and get straight to the point or I’ll end up writing a book.
Game over screen
The first week started slow, I still got stuff done but compared to the rest of the month it was a warm up. Last month I’d just finished with the ads/continue screen, seen here:
The thing is the game over screen that connects to this still used built in, plain graphics. And was really nothing more than a replay button and a personal high score (using player prefs). First things first that had to change:
It now fits the theme & even includes a share button which is something I hadn’t done before! It creates a custom pic, like this one:
Making it much easier to share your high score!
Moving on from that I HAD to finish the customisation screen, which was in the same state the GO screen was. Everything was still in place holder mode & this NEEDED to be finished if I want to release the game. Did I do it? No. I moved on to small jobs, also needed but not a high priority. So, in no particular order…
The review pop up, which was copied from Don’t Drop Dan (Pretty easy to implement). Greatly improved by fixing bugs, one I found causing it to ignore the ask delay (self explanatory). Another that stopped the iOS native pop up code being built on android even if it wasn’t called (fixed using preprocessor directives). Now my life is so much easier moving forward with this reusable asset!
The Alex.theDev(4); splash screen is now in! A pretty easy task but it’s cool regardless!
New shiny tutorial pop up added to the start of the game (on the first time you play only).
Updated sounds – I added sounds a while back but since then I’ve added the collectible, new screens, buttons & more. And it all needed noise!
And the final thing I can’t show physically is the updated saving & loading (rather than playerprefs). Set up in a similar way to my previous games using a binary formatter. This is much better, I added score, currency & even set up the variables for locking and unlocking costume pieces.
Before I started on the last screen, I put it off for one more job. I added 2 new hats and a set of eyes! I know what you’re thinking, more? Isn’t there enough already? Yes, but these served a purpose and you’ll see why in the next section. I added another crown & this nice tiara:
On top of that I added a new platform type, the tiny platform (different width). This could have really waited until the first update, but I liked the idea so I put it in. It increases the difficulty just a touch:
Note – Also created a remove ads cap which was going to be free when you removed ads. But I decided against that and approached IAP a little differently (next section).
With all that done it was time for the main job. This was the biggest this month by far! Firstly it went from looking like this:
It uses the save file from earlier to detect what is locked and unlocked, displays feedback for locked items and allows you to unlock it using your saved jelly.
There’s also a gold lock, these are premium items (devs gotta eat). Which links directly to the in-game store, also added this month. Items are sold in packs rather than separately, plus to top it off there’s no remove ads, buying anything from the store removes ads automatically. Awesome!
The store cycles through the items on a blank jelly, which was a nice bonus feature. (side note – the prices are set correctly it just returns 0.01 in editor because it cant connect to the stores)
Bugs, bugs & more bugs
Many bugs were fixed this month, there was plenty of testing and too many to count, but here’s some of the main ones:
Camera glitch – when pressing play before the jelly hit the first platform, the camera would follow the player early causing this visual bug.
Hat stuck in player – if the frame rate drops at the wrong time the hat can get stuck inside the jelly. Ruining the physics. I fixed this for the most part by improving collision detection & running a check then moving the hat manually. However, this can still happen on laggy devices. If your device is really old, jelly toss might not be for you 😦
Moving platforms – probably the most game breaking bug I found. The trajectory line is rendered in world space, which means if the camera moved when you’re on this platform. The line would break, making it near impossible to jump. Fixed by tracking the camera & adjusting the positions accordingly.
Muted on continue – An example of a minor bug. Many of these about, they aren’t too problematic but they are better squashed. When you used an extra life, the game would continue but everything was silent. Easy fix.
I missed the deadline by a couple of days, day 1 I still had some game stuff to work out (including a final test – on device). From there I started preparing the store pages (icons, screenshots, the rest).
My next problem was navigating all the new store stuff, it’s been a while since I last released and now both Google and Apple have new data stuff to fill out. Google play also changed how leaderboards are set up, which used to be incredibly easy, now there’s extra hoops to jump through. At first it’s confusing but I got through it.
And now it’s finally on the stores! (well, pending approval) if all goes well and it doesn’t get rejected for any reason, it should be on your phones in no time!
Next month should be a little easier, there’s no deadlines now. Time to make a start on updating my games. A jelly toss update will be top priority, I expect people to find some bugs I couldn’t & they will need fixing alongside a small content update and optimising.
Then it’s back to the plan, I want to go through all my old projects. I’ve come a long way since Egg Ed and there’s plenty I can now easily add to my old projects that I couldn’t before. So expect to see some of that! I’ll also post a quick update on here when Jelly Toss is available, don’t miss it!
Until next time… (which won’t be long!)