Scott Purcival

Game Programmer

December, 2017

HowTo: Change Region Code on Samsung Gear S3

By on 29 December, 2017

YAAAY SAMSUNG PAY! 😀

UPDATE: I have been told there is a new, safer method than the one below which requires no flashing and minimal chance of bricking. I HAVE NOT tried this new method, but it can be found here.

Hey All,

I’m happy to say that I have successfully converted my cheaper UAE import Gear S3 Frontier to an AUD model, and now Samsung pay works flawlessly, and I have received the Tizen 3.0 update! 😀 😀
If you want to do this to your own Gear S3, follow the steps below, but BEWARE: This can BRICK your device! There is a very real inherent RISK in flashing firmware, especially non-standard firmware. If you brick your device, I will not be held accountable, however, I will try to help where I can. Just be prepared for a bricked device – and know your contingency.

Big shout out to the following members on the xda-developers forums for their info and guides;
adfree – for providing the firmwares
namrepus2010 – for making the main guide I followed
xedamen
BiggPharma
Honestly Annoying

WARNING!! AS WRITTEN, THIS IS ONLY FOR A SAMSUNG GEAR S3 MODEL SM-R760. THE FIRMWARE HERE IS FOR A FRONTIER.
(I have been lead to believe that you can do this to a Classic, but it will believe it is a Frontier now. Classic firmware may be available at the firmware link below.)

I CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW RISKY THIS CAN BE – THIS IS SERIOUS NERD TERRITORY

STEPS
1) Download:
netOdin (this is the program that will flash your watch – it requires a WiFi card to work)
Combination Firmware FTMA_R760XXU2BQC2 (aka Service Firmware – this is special technician only firmware that will let you change the country code)
Stock Firmware R760OXA2BQC5 (this is the standard firmware that comes with your device – we will reflash this after we make our changes)

BEWARE!!!!!
Before you flash anything, you must make sure that the firmwares you have are compatible with your device!
The links above are to suit model SM-R760 ONLY!!!
More firmwares can be found HERE.

To check your device/model/firmware;
On your watch, go Settings->About Gear
Model Number must be SM-R760
go to Settings->About Gear->Software Information
Software Version should be R760xxx2BQC5 (where xxx can be any number combination)
if your software version does NOT match this, all is not lost. This method should work with any firmware starting with R760xxx2 – but I have not tested on any other firmware. The important part is the number in the spot where the ‘2’ is, matches in all the firmwares. Going back from a ‘2’ to a ‘1’ (or a ‘3’ to a ‘2’) will brick your device.

More info:
If you care – the model number break down is as such
R760xxxyzzzz
R760 = model number
xxx = country code
Yzzzz = firmware version – Y = major revision, xxxx = minor revision (NEVER  roll back a major revision!!! minor is ok.)

Now that you have the software and firmware files to match your watch, follow this excerpt from the post at xda-developers (original post – do not download any files from the original xda post – unless you have a Classic, and you seriously check your version numbers – I have not verified them)

INSTRUCTIONS:
—————-

1. Check reactivation lock is off
– On your phone, go to Samsung Gear App
– Go to Setttings Tab, choose “Find my Gear”
– Make sure Reactivation Lock is off

2. Connect your watch to your PC
– Hold down the home/power button until you see the “rebooting” screen
– Release the home/power button then quickly press it three times to bring up the boot menu
– Quick press the home/power button to cycle through the menu to “Download (wireless)”
– Long press the home/button to confirm the menu selection
– The phone will then go into WPS mode
– Double press the home/power button to change to AP mode
– On your PC, enable WiFi and connect to the access point on you watch.
NOTE: Until you successfully connect to NetOdin, your watch may display red text stating “Connection Timeout” – this is OK
– Open up NetOdin. You should now be connected to your watch (you should see the IP in the NetOdin window and “Connected to xx.xx.xx.xx” on your watch face.
NOTE: I had to disable Windows Defender public firewall temporarily for NetOdin to work properly

3. Flash combination (service) firmware
– Load the unzipped .tar.md5 file into the “AP” box of NetOdin, wait for it to finish checking then click “Start”. This should take about 10 minutes to complete after clicking “Start”.
Watch will now reboot.

4. You will need to re-enter flash mode (Step 2)

5. Flash CSC file from stock firmware
– Load the unzipped CSC_xxx.tar.md5 file into the “CSC” box of NetOdin, wait for it to finish checking then click “Start”. This should take about 1-2 minutes to complete after clicking “Start”.

6. Factory reset
– In your Gear, go to Settings > Gear Info > Reset Gear > Confirm
NOTE: BiggPharma got a warning at this stage that Reactivation Lock was on. Don’t know why they got this message as they had definitely turned it off in step 1. They ignored it (no guts, no glory!) and was fine. Your mileage may vary. I however did not have this happen (I also got this warning – hit ok, no problems – SP)

7. Set CSC code
– In the Gear, go to the Tizen Keystring app
NOTE: screenshots of what your interface will look like:

– Type in the following code exactly: *#272*719434266344#
– You will be taken to a list of CSC codes that you can scroll through. Find the code you want to change to and select it. I used “XAR” for US so that i could use samsung pay.
LIST OF COUNTRY CODES HERE (I used XSA for Australia – SP)

8. Reflash complete current stock ROM
– Load the unzipped CSC_xxx.tar.md5 file into the “CSC” box of NetOdin, wait for it to finish checking.
– Load the unzipped AP_xxx.tar.md5 file into the “AP” box of NetOdin, wait for it to finish checking.
– Load the unzipped BL_xxx.tar.md5 file into the “BL” box of NetOdin, wait for it to finish checking.
– Click “Start”. This should take about 15 minutes to complete after clicking “OK”.

You are done!

And that’s it!
At this point I reconnected to my phone, and my watch started two urgent updates, one to Samsung Pay, and the other update was the new Tizen 3 update.
did have issues with some widgets not working after the Tizen 3 update, but one more final watch factory reset resolved those issues.

GOOD LUCK! 😀

The Ballmer Peak

By on 19 December, 2017

Game Screenshot

The Ballmer Peak

At the start of this year, I promised myself that I would release a game to the app store by the end of the year.

I started out working on ‘Tower’ – which was progressing really quite well, however, I hit a roadblock with art. I progressed as far as the free assets would allow me while retaining my creative vision for the game aesthetically. I did not have the spare money to spend on assets which I really only partially liked anyway, and with work and studies I found myself too time poor to learn 3D modelling, and so the game was shelved.

I then saw a new possibility in ‘Jeeves’ – the team project we are still currently working on for our Major Production, however the planned completion date is not until mid 2018, and I wanted the game that I put out there to be and example of my own work and so I decided that it would not fit the bill.

In a flash of inspiration an idea for a top down zombie survival RTS game struck me. It has unique game mechanics which bend the definition of the RTS genre, and I was receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback on the idea, but at this point, I would think it would have taken too long to make – and therefore was not an ideal candidate for publishing by the end of the year.

It was in a team meeting for ‘Jeeves’ that I was making a joke about how I avoid burnout through a finely balanced mix of energy drinks and bourbon, that the possibility of making a game mechanic from this struck me.
A quick brainstorm later, and I had a solid idea for a novel game using a traditional game mechanic, interwoven with a modern control scheme and a somewhat complex, but intuitive scoring and power-up system. The goal of which is to embody the essence of long coding sessions into the wee hours of the morning, and the hunt for the elusive Ballmer Peak.

At this point I am ~3 days into development. The art is all my own bar from the pixel font and falling pizza and V can assets (the both of which I will be replacing in short time). The font is free for commercial use and the author will be credited in the credits (when I make them).
I am really enjoying honing my pixel art skills, and quite enjoyed making the sound effects with wet sponges and real falling pizza.
As of writing this I am actually watching a video on Facebook integration. At this point the plan is to store and share high scores.

I personally think the game is at a fun to play state. I got this impression as I found myself cringing and yelling “OH NO!” at about the 1 day, 10 hour mark in a particularly good play session. XD

Anyway, let me know what you think about it below!
Play it HERE! (WebGL) or HERE (Android)

Cheers,
Scott.