Haven’t posted one of these in a while. That’s mostly because I’ve been busy finishing off my to-do list, but also partly because I’ve been distracted with some other work. Today, I think I can claim that the game is ‘feature complete’.
I made #34 out of 47, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? Here’s the link. I realize this is partly (largely?) a marketing move, but I skimmed the site, and it’s a pretty decent list of Android-related blogs. I already follow many of the blogs listed, and I’ve found a few others that I’m going to add to my Reader list.
And since they created a badge for me to show off with, here it is. I might just add this to my site, since I got quite a kick out of it
I sure hope so I’ve cut out a few of the suggestions I’ve received, mostly because I don’t want this to turn into the never-ending project. I’m currently working on one major addition – an upgrade system. Once that’s done, I think I’m going to call this finished, and get ready for release.
What’s the upgrade system? There was a somewhat consistent theme in the feedback I got from my beta testers – the first few levels of the game were too easy, and there was no incentive to collect the diamonds. So I’m trying to address both issues with an ‘upgrades store’.
This shows some of the new animations / effects in the game, and also shows the 3 kinds of level themes I’ve built around the snow/mountain world art. Hopefully that breaks up the game a bit and makes it more interesting. I hesitate to call this ‘final’, since that would make it the 3rd ‘final’ trailer for the game. But I’m definitely getting closer to the end.
I recently flashed an ICS-based ROM on my phone. Since I’ve been working on the transition screens for showing and hiding ads in Neil Rajah, I discovered pretty quickly that my game wasn’t fetching any ads on this phone. If I hadn’t been working on that, I doubt I would have noticed. It’s not like you really miss the ads, they’re almost always fairly annoying.
At first, I thought I had broken something in my code. Then I tried Bus Jumper and that didn’t have any ads either, so I suspected Mobclix. But I eventually realized that none of the ad-supported apps on my phone were fetching ads. After some Google research and some poking around on my phone, I discovered that the ROM I’m using has a pretty interesting feature – it blocks access to over 30,000 websites that are ad servers, pornography sites, and so on. Mobclix and AdMob are blocked, so is Flurry. I didn’t go through the whole list, but it looks pretty comprehensive. And this is done in a very elegant way, nothing brute force like revoking internet access permissions from the app. An attempt to access these sites will simply fail, and the app won’t know why. (For those who are curious about the details – the /etc/hosts file has an entry for each of these domain names, all of which point to 127.0.0.1. This means that any attempt to access these websites will be redirected back to the phone, where it will fail).
As a user, I think this is a great idea, and I’m quite enjoying running my apps with no ads on the screen. But as a developer of ad-supported games, this makes me unhappy. It’s not like I make a lot of money through ads, but that is pretty much my only revenue stream from my games, and losing that won’t be a good thing.