Skip to main content


Well, progress is going a little slower than anticipated, mainly due to the fact that I finally got into the Starcraft 2 beta, so my spare time is being split between Anguna and Starcraft.  But that aside, things are going fairly well.

The framerate issue from before is trivial to fix, so that's been addressed.

Performance was more interesting.  If I render the entire background every frame like I planned on doing, things USUALLY worked fine, but would occasionally get sluggish if the device was doing stuff in the background (checking mail, getting push notifications, doing whatever else that crazy thing does).  So I decided as a workaround to prerender each background to an offscreen surface, then just blit that to the main display every frame.  Which worked fine, except that there was some sort of odd behavior in the graphics system where it wouldn't actually destroy/release memory from offscreen surfaces when I was done with them (or at least do so in a timely fashion), so after about 10 room transitions, I'd run out of memory and crash.  Of course, since it was only on the device, it took quite a while to figure out exactly what was happening.  Turns out Apple has a nifty tool called the Iphone Configuration Utility which, believe it or not, actually runs on windows!  It lets you view the device console logs in real time, which was amazingly helpful in tracking down the issue.  Fixing it was then just a matter of reusing the same offscreen surface for every room, drawing over the last one, instead of destroying and recreating them with each room transition.

I'm also running into long load times -- I'm not sure how I managed to see only 5 seconds before, but it's often taking 7-10 seconds to load the resources for the game, and that is with them being marginally broken up.  That's a bit higher than I'd like.  I think that I might be able to reduce the perceived load time by doing part of it while showing a splash screen, doing some more at the game start, etc, but I'd still like to get that a lot lower.

Overall, though, things are running well.  The first dungeon is completely working (although a lot of the UI to make it really play right is missing, such as life bar, subscreen, button for activating secondary item, etc), and the first little chunk of the overworld is mostly functional.  (the graphics for the bridge to the desert area are messed up right now).

I really need to start messing with the UI now.  Which should be a lot easier than it was on the GBA or DS, but still a good amount of work, as it's going to be completely different than the GBA UI, meaning a lot of it will have to be completely rewritten from scratch.  So that's my next task....(well, after I play some more Starcraft 2).....


Grats on working on the iphone. I hope your game does well. :)

Make sure to advertise it on some game sites when its done.

Popular posts from this blog

Retrospex 32 Review

RetrospexInternational recently sent me a couple units of their new handheld device, the Retrospex 32, a new dedicated GameboyAdvance emulator handheld.  To make the unit playable out of the box, they pre-loaded a handful of homebrew games, including Anguna, which is why they were kind enough to send me 2 of the units to play with.  I was pretty excited to get my hands on the device and try it (I loved my old GBA micro with a good flash cart!), and see Anguna running on it. So here's my thoughts after playing with it.

Their website lists the Retrospex 32 for £59.99, which is around $100 USD. It seems like it's marketed toward people into retro-gaming (which makes sense for a dedicated GBA emulator device). At that price, with that target market, and such a limited set of functionality (why not make it a multi-machine emulator, and emulate all the old consoles?), it would hopefully do a really good job of it.

The short version of my review: it doesn't. It has one job (emula…

Making the game fun

The real trick for Spacey McRacey (as I'm calling it now) is going to be making it fun.  And that's what I'm rather unsure about at this point.

I have a game design that basically works. The technical issues are mostly sorted out, I just need to get a few more implemented before I can seriously play test it.

But fun? It's hard to know if it's actually going to be any fun to play.  With a 4-player party-style game, it's seems like it might be hard to hit that fine line where everyone is close and competing, where everything feels exciting and tense, as opposed to tedious and boring.  And despite envisioning my game as fun, it might just be boring to play.

Some of that comes down to tweaking it. Tweaking the speeds, difficulties, etc, will make a difference. (If it's too easy to shoot people from behind, then it will be nearly impossible to hold a lead for very long, which could ruin it and make it no fun. If it's too hard to kill the guy in front, it wil…

Killer Queen

So at PRGE, I played an arcade game that just left me amazed.  Killer Queen.

It's a 10-player game. You have 2 cabinets linked together, and 5 players huddled on each one. Each one is a team of 5 people, working together to play a simple one-screen 2d platformer.  But what made it work was the high quality game design.

First, the game is relatively simple, yet there is a lot going on at once.  One player plays the queen, the most important and powerful character on the team. The others start as workers, but can become warriors who can fly around and attack in a very joust-like flappy contest of height.  The real trick is that there are three completely different ways to win: either collect a bunch of berries and bring them back to your base, or ride a REALLY SLOW snail across the screen (while other people try to kill you, and you hope your team protects you), or kill the enemy queen 3 times.  There's some other things going on as well (using berries to upgrade, capturing upgr…