Moving pictures

It’s difficult to do a screen-cast of an Android game. You have to root the device to even take a screenshot, and with the game taking up most of the CPU, a live video is out of the question. The emulator that ships with the SDK is too slow to make the game run smoothly, and multitouch cannot be used on an emulated device. It would be possible to record a game session, then play it back at a slower speed while recording, but it would be hard to get sound, and it’s a lot of work anyway. It seems that the only viable option is to point a camera at the phone and live with the bad video quality. Oh well. Here it is.

There is just the game itself, but not much “around” it; the level selection screen simply shows the filenames of all levels that it can find. Because the control scheme changed, the previously developed AI no longer works, but you can still see me push around the opponents’ carts.

You might also notice that I lift my fingers when moving them between the forwards and back buttons. It is possible to just slide from one to the other without lifting your finger. However, the Nexus One touch sensor will often get confused if both fingers cross the same horizontal or vertical line, so I prefer to control it this way. It’s fortunate for me that there are so few N1s out there – to the best of my knowledge, no other phone has this problem.

At the top of the screen, you can see a bar showing how much fuel is left. If you run out before going through the checkout, too bad! I’m planning to show a little animation on the fuel bar (like a whirlpool) to indicate that fuel is being used. I will also put in a warning when you’re running low, with an arrow pointing to the nearest checkout lane.

In the top left corner is the cash value of the items you’ve picked up so far. In the top right is a framerate counter, which will of course not show up in the final version. (The current average of 40 frames per second also needs a boost, because not every phone is as powerful as the N1. I won’t be satisfied until I’ve squeezed out 60 fps.)

The only item so far is the orange, worth $1.00 in the current version. More items can easily be added. I’m not sure why I chose the dollar sign, even though we use the Euro here – maybe it’s because I’m used to seeing dollars in video games. I might change the currency (Simoleons anyone?) or remove it altogether. When the game is done, you’ll be able to damage your opponents, stealing the items they have picked up.

As soon as you pass through the checkout lane, you’re unceremoniously dumped back to the level selection screen. If you run out of fuel before that, the game should speed up until all players have either finished or run out of fuel as well, but this is not done yet.