Scott Purcival

Game Programmer

The Ballmer Peak (Part 2)

By on 20 January, 2018

The Ballmer Peak (pt. 2)

-LAST WEEK-

So I took a short break from working on Ballmer Peak for a couple of weeks, then I came back to it.
At this point it was early in the new year, and as I had made a promise to myself to release something to the app store, I thought it best that I get it over with, and launch it, if only in early access Alpha.

I cleaned up the game, and started to implement what began as Story Mode, but ended up being the first 4 tutorial levels. I added a sort of credits screen, and replaced any art that could be the subject of a copyright issue, and set about uploading it the the Google Play store.

There were a bunch of hurdles to overcome, and I still find the whole process rather counter-intuitive – but my game is Live! And to date it has had 18 installs :O (thats about 17 more than I expected…) I hope these 17 people appreciate the update to version 0.3 that I pushed today :).
Among the major learning points were;
– Learning how to create a certificate and sign an apk for the Play Store
– Everything about navigating the Play Developer portal. Everything.

-TODAY-

I left the game on the Play store for about a week before working on it again. One of the major points i wanted to work out was in game music – as i feel this really sets the mood for a game, and everything feels a little bland and unfinished without it.
I didn’t want to use any off the shelf music, so after working with my nephew for a couple of weeks on some tracks, and really listening to what other games had done with their BGM, I came up with an idea of what i thought good game music should sound like.

Starting with the idea that I wanted the music to sound digital and computer-y, I spent some hours making and revising a track in an Android app called Music Maker Jam.

I then connected the BGM track to the coding rate in the gameManager in game, so that the music will speed up and slow down with the coding rate of the player, as a sort of non-visual cue.
Finally I created a static reference to the audio source in engine to allow me to keep the music playing uninterrupted across scenes, and I added audio feedback to button presses in the UI.

After toiling away for most of the day, i had a really nice menu system, credits, a tutorial, a free play mode, but still no high score system – which was really a problem, since outside of the tutorial, the only other game mode, freeplay, really only had one goal – beat your own high score.
For now, I thought the best implementation would be a platform independent local storage method until I decide how I want to host the leaderboard online. After a quick search I found the native Unity PlayerPrefs interface, and was able to save and load High Scores locally.
I intend to later upload any local high scores to the online leaderboard once it is created.

I then set out to upload my updated app to the Play Store, which was another learning experience. But once again, my app is LIVE! 😀

Hopefully my next update will be an online leaderboard, and some of the first chapters of Story Mode 🙂
In the meantime, feel free to Play it HERE! (WebGL) or HERE (Android)

Cheers,
Scott.


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