First Game Jam in 20 Years

The last time I participated in a game jam was a couple of decades ago. Yes, literally 20 years ago in 1995. When I saw the announcement of the MeatlyJam I was interested and I decided almost immediately that I was going to be part of it. ¬†It then took me 2 more days to commit to that decision and send in my registration. ūüôā

The file of art assets was released before the game jam started, but I didn’t have any time to play around with it. ¬†I looked at it and tried to get an idea for a game, but nothing was coming to me. ¬†When the jam started on Friday morning I was at work, so I couldn’t start on it until later that night. ¬†Then when I did start, I knew I wasn’t going to have the full weekend to work on it, so I truly needed to keep it simple. I didn’t want this to happen:

simple

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Relearning Game Development

I first started programming in 1983 (read about my programming history¬†here). ¬†I don’t remember what I programmed on the Ti-99/4a, but I do remember one of my first programs on the VIC-20 was flying birds program, straight from the book that came with it:vic_20_flying_birdsIt wasn’t long after that when I started making games. ¬†Sadly, none of them have survived my various moves across the country, however my friends still remember playing the games that I made – they were pretty fun for the time.

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Influencing Viral

I’m a software developer. ¬†I make mobile games, among other things. ¬†I’m also a Dad to two teenage children. ¬†The combination of the two leads me to watching what they’re doing with their mobile phones.

Back when the indie game “Threes” came out I bought a copy and played it. ¬†I didn’t mention the game to my kids, but not too long after I saw my older daughter playing “2048”, so I said:

“Oh, I see you playing 2048. ¬†That’s really just a copy of another game called Threes. ¬†Do you want to play that?”

“Uh… OK. ¬†I’ll try it.”

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Corona SDK Volume Sliders

If you are developing mobile apps with Corona SDK that use volume controls, here’s a quick tip for implementing more natural feeling controls. ¬†Assuming that the control is a slider with values from 0 to 100, all it takes is one line of code:

volume = (math.pow(3,sliderValue/100)-1)/2

But since I really like seeing things work myself, I’ve built a very small demo project that you can download and run:
screenshot
VolumeSliders.zip

If you would like to read more on why this formula works or why it’s even needed, this page may be interesting for you:¬†http://www.dr-lex.be/info-stuff/volumecontrols.html

Multi-language Apps with Corona SDK

Language SelectionsI was looking at the various mobile app stores and their ability to push apps out to countries all over the world and I thought that I needed to write an app that took advantage of this worldwide distribution. My reasons for doing so were two-fold: first, it was an exercise in learning, which I’m always up for; second, I thought it may actually help increase sales in foreign countries (or at least couldn’t hurt).
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