Posts about Development

  • A modern game like Kula World

    Have you ever played KulaWorld on the PSX? We were a little more than children back then, but we both remember it as a stunning puzzle game. We’ve started talk about it and quickly got nostalgic: oh, there hasn’t been a game like that in ages!! So… why wouldn’t we made one ourselves?

    That’s how we decided to start our new project: a mobile game inspired to KulaWorld. With a little refresh to the design and some adaptation to the game dynamics to make it more modern, our intention is to give homage to the original game.

    Internal temporary name: kulo - which means absolutely nothing, except that those of you who speak Italian could find it rather funny :P

     

    Very very early development

    We made our last game, Bovine Simulator, with Unreal Engine - and we really loved it - but we always like to try new things, so this time we’re using Unity instead. Up to now it’s going great; we’ve managed to make the ball move with the correct restraints, and we’re experimenting the overthrown around the edges (which is harder than it seems >_<).

    On the design side, we’re taking inspiration from origami and papercraft (have you ever played Kami? Because wow!). There’s still a lot of work to do, but this is how our prototype looks like now:

     

    What now?

    The idea is to keep this blog updated and make a dev journal worth of its name. We’d like to update every friday-or-so, with a summary of what we achieved during the week: development challenges, design headaches, experiments and so on.

    So… see you next week!

    Posted on Nov 11 2016 - 6:56pm with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • iOS8 + Unreal Engine 4 + Test Flight + Game Center

    Last week, we sent Bovine Simulator to the AppStore for review. We were super happy, because we were finally releasing our first game!!  There were some minor bugs, but it was OK, since it was some kind of experimental project for us. We even uploaded screenshots for the new iPhone 6, just to be super up-to-date.

    BUT…. we did not count that, a couple of days later, iOS8 was released… and, of course, it wasn’t working. Aaaargh!

     

    issue #1: iOS8 + UE4 and landscape mode

    For some reason, the game wasn’t accepting anymore the landscape mode, and it was loading weird (look at the image below).
    The .plist file looked ok, the settings on UE4 were correct too, but the app was being displayed in a weird way. Well, after some headache, we discovered that upgrading to UE4.4 solved this issue (we were using 4.3 at the time). Wonderful!

     

    issue #2: iOS8 + UE4 and the missing provisioning

    But no, it wasn’t wonderful. Because at that point, we started having major problems packaging the app for distribution. UE4, for some reasons, did not include in the package neither the provisioning, nor the resources file. 

    (Just to let you know, you can check your app’s signatures by running this command:

    codesign -dvv Payload/UE4Game.app

    ​We searched on the internet, and we weren’t alone: they suggested us to unpackage the .ipa file, and the sign it again manually using the xcrun command. But something was still wrong, since we got an error stating that our “.plist file had been modified”, and it could not sign it. What? We didn’t even touch it! :(

    After some more deep googling, we found out that you have to remove a .xcodeproject folder from your UE4 project before packaging. Appartently it was creating some conflict within UE4. After removing it, we could be able to easily package everything from UE again. Fantastic!!!

     

    issue #3: can’t connect to GameCenter Sandbox :(

    We were super happy, then. We uploaded our .ipa to TestFlight website (we used that a couple of years ago for Venice tides, too), with our ad-hoc provisioning, and we sent the test version of the app to our devices for a final control. Guess what? We got stucked again: Game Center wasn’t working anymore. 

    Before iOS8, we had already created some sandbox account for GameCenter, and everything was working fine. Now, when trying to open GameCenter from within the game, we got an error saying that it could not connect the account. 

    Our first idea was to reset the device (it used to solve the issue), but that wasn’t the case. We found some very useful articles (like this, and this) that helped us a lot. What we had to do was to test the app with TestFlight inside iTunesConnect (and not externally from the old website, as we were doing). By doing that, an option should appear in your device under Settings > Game Center, called “Sandbox”, that will let you test all the Game Center features.

     

    issue #4: no more ad-hoc provisioning for TestFlight

    We uploaded our .ipa to iTunes Connect then, but in the “Prerelease” tab we were getting this error: Build does not contain the correct beta entitlement

    Wow… What we had to do was to recreate the provisioning (so that it will list, among entitlements, a property called “beta-reports-active: true”, package again the application and re-upload it to iTunes Connect (you have to wait about 10-15mins until Apple process your app).

    Well… we tried again, and again, and again, but our new provisionings never had the beta-reports property. Why?!?

    By the way, to check what entitlements your build has, you can run this command:

    codesign -d --entitlements :- “Payload/UE4Game.app”
    

    And, you know what? We were generating an ad-hoc provisioning, because in the past we always had to use that to beta-test apps with TestFlight. And no-one told us that wasn’t necessary anymore! Now you can upload to iTunes Connect your final build, with the AppStore provisioning. Before sending it to Apple for review, you can directly test your app with TestFlight and, when everything is ready, just send it to Apple right away.

    Wow! That’s wonderful and way better than before actually, and we’re super glad it works this way now. But let’s be honest: the process had been very very harsh, and it would have been nice to get some news from Apple about how to handle this new changes to iTunesConnect.

     

    But hey, all's well that ends well :)
    Now we only have to wait for Apple’s approval. We’ll keep you updated! 

    Posted on Sep 23 2014 - 11:32am with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • Venice tides on iOS 7

    Already on iOS 7? We discovered a small issue on Venice tides with the new iOS. 
    The picker to change your personal 'acqua alta' level is not working anymore. Well, actually, it is working, but it disappeared :P If you try to move your fingers on the screen you can hear the click click sound of the picker and see the value changing on top. So, the picker is there, but it's invisible! 

    Don't worry, we're working on it. We plan to release an updated version in a couple of days.

    Btw, we've googled the problem but it seems we're the only one having it. We'll let you know how we solved it, in case there's someone out there that needs help with the same issue :)

    Posted on Sep 30 2013 - 8:50pm with 0 comments. Write a comment
  • Apple approved our Venice tides and Venice tides lite two days ago *____*
    After a first scary moment when we found a small bug (luckly server side, so we could fix it immediatly), everything went fine! We're pretty crazy about stats right now. It'll pass, we know, but at the moment we just have to check them every half an hour or so :P

    We're using Test Flight Live, App Figures and iTunes Connect for app's stats. Test Flight is just wonderful for live data: we check it mostly for the lite version (it has more traffic), it shows returning and new users, plus stats on some customized checkpoints we set during the testing phase.
    App Figures has stats on sales, trends, ads and - our favourite feature - rankings. We discovered there that we ranked 10th on Weather category in Italy and many more countries (wow!!). It shows iAds stats too, but iTunes Connect seems far more reliable for that.

    So, how is it going? The full version got some nice downloads the first day (we promoted it on Facebook - it's mainly a local app, after all), but that's it for now. The 'acqua alta season' (november to january) is over, so we think that's pretty normal, we expected that. What's surprising, instead, is the free version. We're getting a lot of download from any kind of country: not just Europe, but Russia, Singapore, Kuwait... anything, really. And, well, we're flattered :)
    The real problem now is that iAds (which we included in the lite version) does not support most of those countries. We're gonna try adMob, mediated with iAds (which, basically, means that we serve iAds first and, in case it has no ads to show, we switch to adMod). We checked on the internet and it seems like adMod has a better fill rate :O Well, we'll let you know ;)

    Posted on Feb 26 2013 - 11:59pm with 0 comments. Write a comment