2012-08-21

Super Foul Egg In The App Store

Super Foul Egg is now available from the Mac App Store!

This version includes the final menu screen, allowing players to choose the number of egg colours in a game, the drop speed, the starting number of garbage egg rows, and best of 3, 5 and 7 games. It also includes a “Controls” menu item that opens a window that shows the keyboard controls and a new icon.

It’s free, so give it a try!

The current version has one known bug. The text in the menu screens doesn’t render properly on retina Macs; it’s a known problem with Cocos2d’s TTF support. I’ve fixed this in the BitBucket repository by switching to a BMFont instead of TrueType, so I hope to get a new version up soon.

Now that’s out of the way I can write the usual grumble about the process of getting software into the App Store. My iMac refused to codesign the binary so I couldn’t release it on that machine. It kept insisting that there weren’t enough teams (or some similarly meaningless error). It was right - my provisioning profiles in the Xcode Organiser had “Unknown” listed as their team. Trying to refresh via the Organiser didn’t work. I eventually discovered that the way to fix the problem was to delete absolutely everything from the “login” keychain and refresh in the organiser, but not before I’d spent two hours fighting with the damned thing and switched to my MacBook instead.

On the MacBook, I discovered that I had too many teams. My last employer didn’t get around to revoking my access to their iOS developer team. I removed myself, but it seems that removing access doesn’t remove me from the team. I apparently have to contact Apple to do that, which I assume is because Apple love their developers so much they want to interact with them whenever possible. It’s not that they hate their developers and can’t be bothered to make a UI for that function.

In total, giving Apple $99 for the developer licence probably took about 10 minutes. Getting codesigning to work took about 3 hours. The approval process took exactly 2 weeks. Going from “ready for sale” status to appearing in app store searches took 6 hours.

2012-07-14

Super Foul Egg 20120714

Another Super Foul Egg release:

This one reduces the difficulty of the “Hard” AI to somewhere in between the old level and “Medium”. I’ve retained the old “Hard” level but renamed it to “Insane”.

I’ll get around to the last menu eventually. The problem I have with Super Foul Egg development is that I’ll add something, compile it, try out the change, and then end up playing the game for an hour or so and forgetting that I’m supposed to be writing it, not enjoying it. At that point I’ll have no time left to do anything else. Plus, I’m really sick of creating menu systems.

2012-07-03

Super Foul Egg 20120702

Here’s the first release of the newly rebranded Super Foul Egg for OSX:

This version includes the original title music/screen, plus a basic menu for choosing the game mode (practice, easy/medium/hard AI, two player). This build probably requires Lion, but I haven’t got any older OSX installs to test on.

It also includes an improved AI that I wrote months ago but didn’t get around to blogging about. The old AI tried to figure out where best to place an egg pair based on the number of connections that a given placement would make. It tried every column for both horizontal orientations, and each outcome was penalised for increasing the overall height of the playfield. The new AI creates copies of the game grid and runs simulations of all possible moves that it can make. It takes into account sequential chains, chain lengths, garbage egg removals and overall grid height. Once all of the simulations has run it chooses the move that produces the highest score.

The new AI doesn’t consider the pair of next eggs that are due to fall, but as I don’t recall ever beating it on its hardest setting (with the standard 4 egg colours) that isn’t really a concern. The main motivation for rewriting it was to improve its performance with 5 and 6 egg colours (which aren’t exposed in the menu system yet). If I remember correctly, the new version beats the old one most of the time.

2012-05-13

EarthShakerDS 20120513

It’s about time for another EarthShakerDS release:

EarthShakerDS 20120513

Changes this time around include:

  • The ability to load and save levels in the editor with user-defined names (so you can have more than one custom level, and share them with other people);
  • A “Custom Level” option on the title screen listing all user-created levels
  • Slightly re-organised level editor;
  • The ability to load and save boulder/wall/door/soil types in a custom level;
  • Fixed for the latest devkitARM;
  • Updated to the latest WoopsiGfxGameTemplate (fixes SDL version);
  • Start button can be used to test a level in the editor;
  • Select button can page through level editor menu panels.

I need to finish off the file requester in the level editor and it’ll finally be done.

Looking through this code again, I’m astonished at the level of spaghettification. On the other hand, I did knock the whole thing up in a couple of weeks.

2011-08-19

Really Bad Eggs OSX Demo

Here’s a preview release of the Mac version of Really Bad Eggs:

For those of you without a Mac, here’s a screenshot:

I’ve been debating what to do with the game when it’s finished. I can either:

  • Open-source it on BitBucket;
  • Release it via the Mac App Store;
  • Release it as freeware on this blog.

If I want to release it on the Mac App Store (which would be neat) I’ll need to sign up for the Mac Developer Program. That’ll cost me $99 that there’s little chance of recuperating. There are a couple of Puyo Puyo games on the store already for bargain prices. I haven’t tried them so I’ve no idea if they’re any good, but Really Bad Eggs would probably need to be free to get any downloads at all. I won’t put advertising in the game, so there’s no chance of making any money from it.

I’ll also need to replace the graphics and sounds. I haven’t been able to track down the original developers so can’t get their permission to use their assets. I’m sure they’re great people and would have no objection to me using them, but I’d rather not get the game pulled due to a copyright dispute. Fortunately I know a couple of great artists who have expressed an interest in helping to replace the graphics, so that’s not too much of a hassle.

Releasing it as freeware is much cheaper (it’s free). If I can get the game listed on something like MacUpdate it should get plenty of exposure.

The last option is to open-source it. As a huge fan of open source software I’d love to do this, but I’m loathe to supply a finished game that someone else can release via the App Store themselves.

Anyway, the game in its present state is playable but has no presentation screens. The CPU is set to its hardest level, and restarting a game requires the player to restart the application. It has a few improvements over the DS version:

  • The larger screen let me include the blocks at the bottom of the two grids;
  • The garbage egg landing animation is more effective;
  • Eggs drop off the bottom of the losing grid when a game ends;
  • It includes the original background graphic from the Amiga game rather than the truncated DS version;
  • The incoming garbage indicator is in the original Amiga position at the edge of the screen, rather than on a separate screen where it can’t easily be seen.

Have a play and let me know what you think. Controls are included in the readme.