Tag Archives: mobile

Mission Eau : being Agile with Flash Pro

missioneauintrologo
Stores/Web:
kezakeau.fr
google play
apple store

Intro : This is a serious game designed to teach players a bit about how water treatment and supply works; specifically how its organized in the Île-de-France region – around paris. The game map is loosely based on that region and divided by areas which corresponds to the master water supply facilities that share connections around the region. The map shows you which levels are accessible to play or re-play, you can zoom it or out with many graphical details. The three areas need to be completed and in order to complete one, you need to connect all buildings together by playing the game levels, and also buy the missing buildings using the coins you collect.

This is not a management game however, you do not have to save money or buy things in advance, it is balanced so you can easily get to the end without worrying too much. The action of buying or clicking buildings on the map will tell you more about what these buildings do and how they relate to others… Their in-game worth also gives players a hint on how important they are.

The challenge here was to keep the package size as low as possible yet keep the graphics at maximum quality.

missioneaumap

Continue reading Mission Eau : being Agile with Flash Pro

Sophie the Girafe 2

I’m glad to present you a new app with the famous girafe: The Safari of Sophie la Girafe!

screen568x568A fun and educational puzzle game for children between 2 and 6 years old! This adventure contains 18 original puzzles for you to enjoy with your child!
Travel to the great plains of Africa with the famous Sophie la Girafe! Introduce your child to lions and giraffes! Soar alongside eagles and pink flamingos and fly over herds of zebra and groups of crocodiles as you explore the mythical world of Sophie la Girafe.

All the scenery and environments have been especially designed with your child in mind. Your child will find it easy to move the puzzle pieces around by dragging them on-screen. The howls and roars of the savannah have been used to bring each animal to life.
Your child will be captivated by the clear, interactive interface, especially designed for younger children.

Thomas, in a previous blog post, related our issues using Adobe AIR GPU mode for a large project & how we switched to Starling. The Safari of Sophie la Girafe, is made with the GPU mode. As usual I made it with the Citrus Engine. Due to the complexity of some animations and finally because of bones/layer number I used DragonBones for running lots of them at full speed. The app works great but you may encounter some performance issue on iPhone4 due to this Adobe’s bug.

Is it my latest project with the GPU mode? Not certain, however for future apps I will focus on performances (even if on all my GPU apps there were pretty acceptables) rather than loading time. Obviously it depends primarily of the app content 😉

Silly Family, being an indie dev

Edit: Apptoonomy is no more. Selling games is even harder than making ones. I only focus on Da Viking Code now as a cross platform developer.

The game.

Hey guys, this blog post is very special for me :
– it’s my hundredth article!
– my first game as an indie dev is out!

100 blog articles
When I started blogging 4 years (already!) ago, I didn’t imagine that someday I’ll reach the hundredth article. I started mostly as an exercice in style, improving my english communication skills and coding different things for sharing (unpretentious). I continued and now when I give a look in the past I’m smiling : I can see my evolution, how I’m better as a programmer, and all the different things I did in 4 years.
Also thanks to this blog I had my first client as a freelancer! I would recommand to any programmer to have a blog and post each month an article (that’s what I’m doing since 3 years) on what he is doing.

Apptoonomy
With some friends we created a new company, Apptoonomy. So does it mean that I’m not anymore a freelancer at Da Viking Code? No way! What does a programmer on his spare time? He is programming. With Apptoonomy we mainly focus on making our own games. Let me introduce the first one!

Silly Family
silly1Silly Family is a familly-fun Puzzle Game! Do you know Suzan? Of course you do! Suzan is my father’s son’s sister’s mother’s mother! Suzan is my grandma!!!

In Silly Family, you train your logic by resolving more and more complicated enigmas about increasingly crazier families! You’ll have to find the family relationship or run through the family tree.

We offer 3 different gameplays, 5 families (maybe more) and crazy designs… not to mention the animations! Also a multiplayer mode to defeat your friend!

Obviously questions are generated dynamically, I wrote the algorithm using (family) trees and recursivity. That was funny especially managing the different languages (the application is currently available in English, French, Spanish and Italian). We’re waiting a little bit for German, it won’t be easy 😉

Being an indie dev
Silly Family is the first (finished and published) game that I made as an indie dev. It’s really a longest process than programming games for clients. A client has to be sure (or at least should) that his game design is strong and developer implementation won’t show design flaws. Otherwise programmer’s bill may be painful. I started to develop Silly Family in October 2013 so six months ago. And obviously we already had a game design document. But so many things changed during its developement. Also you can add the fact that you must be satisfied with your game’s direction, and to still have the will to work on. Anyway, it’s a very interesting experience and it improved my skills as a game designer. We’re already looking forward for the next game!

Technology
Obviously I used my beloved Citrus Engine for making this game and Starling framework. The IPA size (before submitting to Apple) is less than 17Mo! How did we achieve this size? It’s thanks to DragonBones and its awesome .dbswf format. AS3/AIR technology was perfect for making this game!

Working with multi-resolutions assets

When we’re making mobile apps we have to support lots of resolution from 480 x 320 to 2048 x 1536 if you only target iOS. Adding Android support you have to extend it to 2560 x 1600 (for the Nexus 10)!

If your graphic designer made its design into a vector format, it will be easy to fit exactly to your screen size, and you will only fight with the different ratios format.
However if your design is made with bitmaps, you have to, firstly, be sure they have been made for the highest resolution you would like to support! When this is done, you will use a SpriteSheet to have all of your assets in one (or a little more) place.

In this blog post we will see how to manage multi-resolutions assets based on a Starling app.

Continue reading Working with multi-resolutions assets

Belle et Sébastien, fighting Android’s APK 50mb limit

It’s already time for a new app, Belle et Sébastien!

IMG_0067IMG_0068Belle et Sébastien is a famous old french book and there was a TV series. A movie is planned for the end of the year.
In this mobile application, we discover B&S’ world: an album introduce the characters and relates several informations based on elements existing in the movie: Génépi, snow, WWII, wolf, sheeps…
There is also a game, a kind of Where’s Wally?. Through pictures from the movie, you’ve to search hidden characters, animals, objects, etc.

Android’s APK 50mb limit
The development was going great until we had to release the application for Android. The app is 90mb, we wanted to be sure that it could be downloaded via 3G on mobile phone for iOS devices (limited to 100mb). When we uploaded the Android’s APK it fails because of its size: an APK can’t exceed 50mb!
I didn’t know that, what a mess! Quickly, I heard about APK expansion files. Apart form the APK, we’re able to upload two obb files, each file could be up to 2Gb! I can’t understand why Google is limiting APK to 50mb when the final application could be up to 4.05Gb. Anyway, that was the way to go. Note that you can also download yourself a zip and save the its content on disk to be used in your application, but it sounds so much user friendly to have everything downloaded at one time!

The issue finally was: how to use this obb file with AS3/AIR? I discovered this Actionscript Native Extension: Android APK expansion files, and everything worked like a charm!

To generate an obb file (don’t forget to add .obb extension to the file):

./jobb -pn air.com.europaapps.BelleEtSebastien -pv 1 -o /Users/Aymeric/Documents/Workspace/Flash/2013/Europa\ Apps/BelleEtSebastien/obbToUpload/air.com.europaapps.BelleEtSebastien/main.1001001.air.com.europaapps.BelleEtSebastien -d /Users/Aymeric/Documents/Workspace/Flash/2013/Europa\ Apps/BelleEtSebastien/bin/images

More informations there.

Available on iOS and Android, gives Belle et Sébastien a try! Note that translations are coming 😉

Monsieur Bear’s ABC and the myth of not being able to run SWF vector graphics on mobile


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I’m glad to present a new application I’ve developed: Monsieur Bear’s ABC. Available for iOS and Android.

Monsieur Bear’s ABC
mb1A funny animated alphabet book designed by the talented Virgo!

Virginie Aracil aka Virgo is back in the app world for a new adventure! Now, she comes with an alphabet book, Monsieur Bear’s ABC! This cute little bear will help your child discover the letters, the sounds and words in an original and acidulous universe. With hilarious animations, cartoon sound effets and a French Touch style, this application will give hours of fun to your child!

– An alphabet book completely animated !
– Cute drawings !
– Discover Monsieur Bear, the bear made by Virgo !
– Original animations and fun sound effets !
– Available in French and English !

Technology?
mb2Like Sophie la Girafe, Monsieur Bear’s ABC is built using AS3/AIR technology with the Citrus Engine framework on top of the display list.
I won’t explain the choice of the display list and the gpu mode, it’s well described in Sophie la girafe’s article (here we have the same problematic).
However behind this catchy title, it reveals a strong reality: no one think we’re able to run correctly swf on mobile. Please have a look on this thread on Starling‘s forum. I know it’s Starling forum, it’s normal that everyone recommend the Starling’s way. But common’ guys, if you tried this app how the hell would you be able to make it running with Starling? The DragonBones framework, would be a way… but it won’t correspond to many animations, and it will be so long to do all the animations for it!
Here no one think it would be possible to make this project on the display list. At first, I tried to just run the swf animations but it was crap then tried using the rasterize process but it wasn’t good too. I was in a blind alley. Then I remember that I’ve already been able to run many SWFs correctly on the display list (again the goal isn’t to target 60 fps with particles, blur etc), so why I’m not able to run correctly this swf? I contacted the graphic designer: each model is made in Illustrator. I grabbed ond of them, it has so many points: 500 000! Everything became obvious… There are optimizations in code, there are also optimizations on graphics!! And obviously it should be done before code optimization 😉

Using directly SWF format, I was able to rescale everything to the perfect screen dimensions and it’s priceless! Also the final weight for all the animations is 7Mo. This is just impossible to achieve using the spritesheet way.

AddFrameScript magic
It’s very a common way to make vectors animation with Flash Pro. For example Tiny Thief is a beautiful game using vector graphics (that’s very easy to rescale everything!!). However they used Scaleform technology to export on mobile, and not Adobe AIR.
With iOS (using AIR) we’re not able to reload SWF which has code in them (a simple stop() on the timeline is considered as ABC code). It means if a SWF has AS3 code, you won’t be able to dispose it and reload it. It will always stay in memory. When you’ve more than 300 SWFs that’s a big deal 😀 So obviously the solution is to not add any code in this SWF, but how are we able to stop animations easily or do other operations? Using the undocumented addFrameScript method:

_currentAnim.addFrameScript(_currentAnim.totalFrames - 1, _animCompleted);
 
function _animCompleted():void {
      _currentAnim.stopAllMovieClips();
}

That was a very simple example. Using this method you’re able to inject code to a specific frame of a MovieClip. And it won’t cause any problem to be unloaded and reloaded! Obviously it is a bit harder to manage because the code isn’t directly in the swf, and so if you change your animations don’t forget to change the addFrameScript code too. But if your code is well organized, it shouldn’t be a big deal!

Rdrct.it
Now let’s follow this link: http://rdrct.it/monsieurbearsabc. Depending on your OS you will be redirected:
– on a website for all the computers.
– on Google Play for Android.
– on the App Store for iOS.

That’s a very convenient way to share a link, isn’t it? There is also a powerful feature, if you open it on your mobile and you already have the application installed, it will open it! Don’t wait anymore, give a try to rdrct.it too!

Live4Sales, a Plant vs Zombies clone

Edit : Nape version

One week after the Osmos demo, I offer a new game made with the Citrus Engine based on an other popular game : Plant vs. Zombies!

If you have never played this game, try it now!

This is my clone made with the CE working as a browser game, air application, and on mobile devices :
The web demo. I didn’t make a preloader, to have the same source code between each version.
There is no end in the game to be used as a stress test!
Sources are available on the CE’s GitHub.


Continue reading Live4Sales, a Plant vs Zombies clone

The Citrus Engine goes on Haxe NME, welcome to the CitruxEngine

One month ago I started to work on the CitruxEngine. I was very confident with Haxe performance on mobile and NME cross platform opportunities. And now, I can say those are awesome!

In April 14-15th, I was in Paris to assist to the Haxe conf 2012. It was really cool, Silex Labs has made a good job! Conferences were very interested and the community greatly friendly. And I had the opportunity to make a lightning talk concerning my contribution to the Citrus Engine 2D game framework and its port on Haxe NME. The presentation was a bit from scratch, but that was a good experience! I’m very happy to be the first to start the lightning talk, since there were very serious projects 😀

CitruxEngine Github.
CitruxEngine Demo. Simple demo which have been tested on Flash & CPP (using left/right key and spacebar) and iOS (touch & accelerometer). There are sound, animations (idle, walk and jump) and physics.
The port is currently not finished!

I will not present some code here. If you are already familiar with the Citrus Engine, there will be no problem. Take a look on the example on Github.

HTML5
When I started the port, I would the CitruxEngine be as cross platform as possible. HTML5 is promising, and Niel Drummond the man behind Jeash has made an incredible job! However I found that the Haxe NME Box2D port has not very good performance with HTML5. So I’ve dropped the HTML5 target at the moment, but I keep an eye on Jeash!

Box2D
Thanks to Haxe NME, Box2D runs very well on mobile! This is mostly the reason why I’ve started the CitruxEngine. The Citrus Engine uses the AS3 Alchemy version of Box2D which has some differences with the original. It seems there is a bug with the Haxe NME Box2D port : the beginContact & endContact listeners are fired all the time if a dynamic body is on a static body (like a hero on a platform), whereas it fires only once if there are 2 dynamics bodies. This behavior is blocking me.

SpriteSheets
I made my test with the spritesheet haxelib which uses SpriteLoq. At the moment it works well. I’ve not made serious test with animations.

Level Editor
I love how the Citrus Engine handles Flash Pro as a Level Editor. I would like the Haxe NME version handles it as well. But at the moment we can’t read AS3 code in a SWF file (it is the way that class and properties are defined), so I need to think to an external way. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the Level Architect!

Console
The console is really a cool feature of the Citrus Engine, it will be available in the CitruxEngine too. I’ve started to implement it, but it’s not ready yet.

I will continue to work on the CitruxEngine, but now I’ve to focus on my school project using Objective-C, it’s really hard to get back when you have tested Haxe power ! In less than two months I will be graduate and looking for a job, future is exciting.

Thanks to postite & elsassph for their help!