February Dev Diary: Pushing Buttons

Is it that time again? It’s the last day of the month, that means I have been summoned to my 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…

Last Month

The goal was simple, a video on YouTube and a game on the stores. Though I feel February has been incredibly productive I’ve only managed to do one of two tasks. I focused on finishing the game, I’ve been working hard, tracking my hours & posting more on social media again. It’s been going well! 

This Month

Deadlines

Before I begin properly, I’d just like to say this game was supposed to be a short game jammed out over a week. Instead I spent the last month & half working on it (+ a day or two before Xmas). Jelly Toss, I said 2-3 months, it ended up being several. Don’t drop Dan had a similar story. In fact, Egg Ed was the only game I said would take a week and it did. 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I suck at timing. I love working towards a deadline because it really motivates me to get work done & even when the deadline passes, usually it doesn’t demotivate me.  I’m too busy having fun developing, I just extend it and continue. It works. I’m getting games made, late of course but they are getting finished. 

Anyways, there is a point to this story. I’ve created this very helpful image to help you all with my future projects. Now when I say “game will take this long” refer back to this for a more realistic time frame:

Pushing Buttons

There’s plenty of features required in every game, and all of these needed adding to my latest project. The game itself was pretty much finished but it was missing some core mobile game components.  Starting with advertisements, I haven’t gone overboard with ads this time, there’s no rewarded ads it’s just a simple pop up after each game:

My ads come from the usual providers: Unity Ads, Google Admob & Applovin. Once ads were working I had to add the one thing you can never miss, sound. Luckily I have a collection of royalty free sound and music, it just required searching through and finding what works. Eventually I had a few sounds & loops to try. After playing around for a couple of hours, I found the ones I wanted to use and deleted the rest. Somewhere in between all this I also created a keypad/password level to make things harder:

Finally, I could add the settings, because you can’t have sound without adding a mute button. In here, I could also add the mute notifications, credits, access to the privacy policy & an opt out button (so users can request to delete their user data held by Unity). Now all that is finished I could move on to making things look a little better. This mainly included a small UI update so everything wasn’t using built in components. The settings screen looked like this:

That’s just not good enough, I can’t say it has improved much but anything is better than the above:

I also improved the timer bar, added typefaces (fonts) to each piece of text (title, instructions, etc.) and finalised the game over screen. This included adding a leaderboard button, personal high scores and so on. Told you I’ve been keeping busy! Oh, I also added a skip button on the instructions screen to speed things up, along with an extra level that tells you to skip:

There’s still some minor things I’d like to do to improve the UI. Firstly, some of the buttons still require icons, the majority of them don’t really need text. Excluding a bonus level type I’m thinking of adding (which may come in the update). Square buttons also need updating, at the minute they’re too simple, I could also add a new level that relies on the button shape.

I’m currently in the process of submitting version 1 to the store, it’s still a little rough around the edges but it’s not bad. As soon as it’s submitted I will be working on a small update to clean things up, at this rate you may see the updated version before you see version 1. But at least the game is finally finished!

The Video

Sadly, I got next to nothing done on the editing side of things this month. The video has been pushed back for hopefully a final time but it will be the main focus during March. It’s been 8 months since my last video so one is definitely due!

Next Month

The game should be on the store soon (depending on review times). A small update will follow (as usual) & for the next couple of weeks all focus is shifting to this video, because it’s pretty late already. After that I’m not quite sure… May be moving on to the next game, we will see how things go. In the meantime there’s plenty of work to keep me going. 

Until next time…

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