I was going through bank statement recently and saw a charge from Amazon that looked off. A strange amount around $40, in the wrong column. What’s this? They gave me money for once. And this wasn’t the first time, I just hadn’t noticed in previous statements because I see “Amazon” and figure it was something I bought. So what’s the deal??
Well, I signed up to be part of their Developer program about a year ago, and submitted that Ninja Toss game I made after teaching this lesson and it turns out it finally started paying off. Not much. All in all, its only been $138, but now that feels like free money. And of course I gave it all back to Amazon by buying a Kindle Fire which I’m sure is why there’s an uptick in sales of the app in the past few months.
That Kindle arrived today, with all my info already baked into it. It says “Justin’s Kindle” in the top right, and when I went to purchase my own app to see how well it played, it didn’t even ask me for a credit card or even login info. So Amazon has made it purty easy to buy Apps. More reason for the increase in sales.
So this is great news for Flash developers because we’ve talked a lot on this blog about iOS apps, but thats not the only game in town, and with the Kindle Fire taking off like it is, there’s a ton of opportunity to export your Flash projects to Android and submit them to Amazon to sell.
She’s finally ready! Which some of you past buyers know already because you hopefully got the project file links a couple days ago. The videos guides are also available now, so be sure you download those as well.
So yes, its done ! This latest Starter Kit was a fun one to make, and as usual I got a bit carried away making it better then originally planned, and also making it easier to customize for you guys. One of the things I spent some time on at the very end was going back and adding some simpler code for preset vector definitions for shapes you could use in your stack. And the stack is of course the meat of your level. So you can easily add these shapes…
- Squares / Rectangles
- Triangles / Right Triangles
And that image above shows the exact code to create and add a new stack object to your level. I’ve highlighted where you define the image name to use (no need to add the file extension) and where it says usePentagon that will end up telling Box2D to make a pentagon collision shape for the object.
Other properties you might notice…
- breaksOnGround – YES or NO whether or not the object will break when it hits the ground
- breaksFromNinja – YES or NO whether or not the object will break when a ninja hits it
- hasAnimatedBreakFrames - YES or NO whether or not to play a 10 frame animation of the object falling apart (you’ll need to animate that yourself )
- damagesEnemy - YES or NO whether or not the object can cause damage to enemies
- density – how dense the object is, higher numbers make it more dense
- angleChange – change the angle from 0 to 360 degrees.
- makeImmovable - YES or NO whether or not the object is static or dynamic. Static objects won’t ever move
- points – how much the object scores if it is breakable.
- simpleScoreVisualFXType - right now the template has three options breakEffectSmokePuffs, breakEffectExplosion, or breakEffectNone . If you choose either of the first two values, when the object breaks it will play an animation over top of the image of a sequence of either smoke puffs or an explosion. You can add as many other break effect animations as you want. These are a much simpler way of showing the object break apart because it doesn’t require adding a custom animation for each specific object. But you can do both if you want.
And the Enemy class is pretty similar to the StackObject class. The only big difference is that the Enemy can have a damage factor and separate frames to show a progression of damage inflicted. So the first collision against an enemy could show a bandage on it. Then the next collision could kill the enemy. The amount of damage it takes to kill an enemy is up to.
Sooooooo…. I think I’ll leave the rest up to the sales page to fill you in on all the other fun features.
This Starter Kit has two purchasing options. Either a Personal License or Developer License. If you want to make a game for yourself or your own company, the personal license is fine. If you want to build a game for a client using this template, then you need to purchase the Developer License (you’ll pass the cost onto them). Both options are available here. Just remember with both licenses we do expect you to modify most of the artwork to make the game unique to yourself or the company you are developing for. So replace the ninjas with something else and add new background art.
And if you want to purchase the Personal License version of this kit with our iOS App Development course AND get 2 of our other Starter Kits, you can visit this page.
Alrighty, Happy Development!
Mac folks using Dreamweaver CS5.5 may need to pay attention to this because I had this exact error when playing with PhoneGap. Shane Hogan has posted up a detailed article (with screen shots ) about the allusive Camera.h error. And again, you may or may not have this problem. Not everyone on the Mac is seeing this. So its a mystery…
Read Shane’s Solution Here…
And for those chomping at the bit to get their hands on my Angry Birds-style template, you’re mere hours away. IT IS FINISHED! I just need to document the code a bit more. Afterwards I’ll upload a zip, then begin working on the video guides, then finally the video tutorial. So I’ll do things a bit backwards this time, but that will get this in the hands of everyone as fast as possible.
My wife got me probably the most excellent gift ever. I had seen the first version of this that came out a while back, and for whatever reason didn’t get it. Then totally forgot these cabinets existed until yesterday. So my head pretty much exploded when she gave this to me. Quick review: It is a thing of beauty. Feels VERY well made, not cheap. And dog-gone-it, the buttons and joystick really play like arcade controls. It couldn’t be better. Although if they make a third version in the future with some improvement like two joysticks, I could see myself getting it.
So after paying $10 for a collection of old Atari games that work with the button and joystick controls, I went crazy searching for more games that work with it. Pac-Man IS one of them (which I already had ). And then, I realized, ”wait… how come MY games don’t work with this?!” And two hours later, one of them does (video proof below).
So AS SOON as my Angry Birds-style Game Starter Kit is done, I’ll post up how to get this working with your Cocos2D games. I found most everything I needed online already, but it won’t hurt to post even more tips for everyone. It is easy with the right code.
The big question: Any one else own one?
Jeremy Hicks’ new lesson is finally here! We teased it a few weeks back by uploading a lengthy preview on Vimeo , so our apologies to anyone waiting patiently for a while. But the wait was worth it, I think. He’s put 10 hours of screen time into this, and MORE is coming. At least one more lengthy session will be emailed to early buyers, and if you all have any suggestions or questions on things you’d like to see in the final session, go for it.
For you human and non-human readers, here’s some bullet points of what’s already included in this Optimizing Flash for iOS or Android Export tutorial series…
- Exporting artwork for sprite sheets in Flash
- Using Texture Packer to create sprite sheets in Flash
- Converting the JSON output from Texture Packer to an Actionscript 3 object
- Texture Map for reading in the converted JSON object from Texture Packer as an Actionscript 3 object of coordinates
- Building the Image Class
- Creating Vector Objects, an optimized array to use less memory in the processor at run-time
- Good coding habits for clearing out references to prevent memory leaks
- Animation Classes that extend the Image Class for frame sequences
- Learn alternatives to Event Listeners to reduce CPU overhead and possible memory leaks
- Use Resource Loader to manage references so you only have one copy of a resource in memory
- Application Model Class, all of the application’s core data will go in this class to reduce replication and runaway code
- Entity Class, built off the Animation Class
- Extending the Entity Class for the Ninja and Enemy Class
- Moving enemies across the screen
- Object Pooling with the Enemy Pool
- When to use Timers vs Enter Frame
- Collision detection
- User interaction
- Keeping score
- How to deploy the Flash project to the iPhone for a true test of the memory usage and frame per second rates.
And if you’re wondering, why bother to optimize your Flash code? Well Jeremy learned the hard way that exporting a Flash project to the iPhone isn’t so smooth at first. The frame rate can be pretty clunky without optimizing things. But after going to hell and back to learn everything he’s teaching us, his Flash-to-iOS app, Yin the Master of Yo
, is available in the App Store and running very fast. Its also a great game!
And for the first 25 buyers of this course you’ll get a free promo code to download the game.
I really had no idea what PhoneGap did until Lawrence (our usual HTML5 instructor) brought this course to me. But after playing with it, and even teaching a very small part of this course myself, I bring ye all good tidings. This is an amazingly quick way to build Apps, especially if you’ve already got some background with HTML, HTML5, CSS, and the usual stuff you code with for web development.
If you want the official story on PhoneGap, just visit their site here, and definitely check out the example video. You’ll also notice they just got bought by Adobe, so even though Dreamweaver CS5.5 already has built in functionality with PhoneGap, we can expect even more integration in the future.
Want my lay-man’s take on it? You can use Dreamweaver to build an App (iOs or Android), and PhoneGap basically translates your usual HTML code into native code that the device will use. The great part is that, in general, the same code gets used for Android or iOS. So with one click , you can publish to both. And previous to watching this course, ahem, I didn’t even notice this little menu option below in Dreamweaver CS5.5…
Cool huh. Guess I should actually explore these updates I pay Adobe handsomely for.
So if you publish the PhoneGap template, you’ll get something like this right off the bat…
It gets much cooler than that though. You can check out the sales page for more details. And this is a multi-session course, so he’s got 7 hours in the bag already, and more sessions coming. Lawrence and I have bounced around some ideas for things we’d like to see in the final session(s), but if you’d like to chime in, feel free to email us. The price of $30 is a little more than usual, but this will be well worth it!
For those curious how the final project for session 4 of my iOS App Dev Course is coming along. Still to-do: Enemies to sling at and scoring. I’ll teach a lengthy tutorial and make a Starter Kit out of this when its all done…