Revisiting AStar performance

I was testing on an ipad Mini 1 and saw there was a noticable lag when the pathfinding had to do its work. I always knew this was not optimally coded. It also was a lot of code, and a lot of code is hard to optimize. So I integrated another AStar implementation into my game that runs much faster. To notice the lag more evidently I zoomed my map  out for a factor of 4 to reach a far away target tile.

Astar was bogging down my FPS

Now it runs smoothly on low end iOS 9 compatible devices like the iphone 5 and ipad air and up.

See the difference in this video :

Final Push with Icon Hell

I am going to the gruesome phase of the final push towards the Apple App store.
It is fun to make a game, but it ain’t fun to get all the other assets in the game in order to get the approval of Apple to submit a review request.

That is what I call : Icon Hell!
And hell it was…..

When I started making this game I had the icon assets managed by Cocos2D. This is nice, because with a small number of icons you can get a releasable archive. This was always messy of course, but it worked. Then Apple started with a mechanism called Icon and Launch Assets. This is nice because dependending on the target version you can provide icons from iphone4 until the latest iphoneXS Max.

All is well, all icons and launch screens of various sizes dragged in.

Making icons is still fun

When you have pixelart it is better to make each icon look it’s best

But I knew I wasn’t done. You have to edit info.plist a number of times. Got this error first (did not expect a first time right).

So i scoured the internet and I tried to insert this into info.plist :

When I validated my project (Xcode 9.4.1), I got a valid archive message!? Was this my lucky day?
Nope, I sent the archive to apple for real now to let the validation happen on Apple’s servers.

Then I thought… Icon-76@2x is the correct icon size for that?
After validating a load of times, I discovered that CFBundleIconFiles does not help me at all providing the correct icons.
I removed these completely and started looking for answers on the big bad web….
After many hours and countless stackoverflow suggestions I found a stackoverflow post and it mentioned something about the Target Membership.

This is how my Icon Asset settings looked before I corrected it :

This can be found in the side panel of the Assets folder

This was some remnant of the Cocos2D setup ( I know I should move towards a new framework :-) ). So i selected the correct target membership (what’s this for anyway? ) And now it looks like this.

I was certain this was the correct format so this was definitely an improvement. But one validation gave me this :

This was a lot easier, because of the support of iOS 7 I needed to add the following xml to info.plist

Now the problems are completely gone and can make builds for testing etcetera.
One thing bugged me though :

CFBundleShortVersionString corresponds with Version in the Xcode label and CFBundleVersion corresponds with the Build label. That was a head scratcher too! I think Apple will never name things as they appear in the GUI.

 

Released Valleybomber into the App Store

As Cocos2D (for Objective C) is dead. I need to move on with another framework that will suit my needs. My eye has fallen on LibGDX and Godot engine. The first thing I had know is :

  • Does it run on iOS?
  • Does it support tiled tilemaps?
  • Does it have an ActionSequence framework like Cocos2D?

LibGdx does tick the boxes in all categories, but I needed to see it for myself.
I had to make a small game to see if it could be published on iOS…
And yes it does!

See the result here :

vb

It is in the App Store here :

Valleybomber in the App Store

Well.. Libgdx supports tilemaps and it has a form of Actionsequences.
The only thing is that it looks kinda slow. And that’s a bit disappointing coming from very fast Objective C.

Next Godot!

LipSync in The Lost Adventures

A lot I invested in creating dialogues because it is one of the greatest gameplay features in Point and Click adventures alongside puzzles.

My characters lacked believable mouth movement and that bugged me. So after I found the right software to do this, I added lipsync to my point and click adventure engine. But I needed to invest a great deal in tooling to be able to support a quick pipeline of voice recording files to in game voice acting.

I have lip-syncing for over quite a few months, but I finally made it stable in the last weeks.

I recently started adding some youtube videos recording the progress of the game and ‘LipSync’ is the first episode…. Here it is :