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Released: Patchy!

Yes indeed, Frozen Fractal’s first officially released game is there! It’s called Patchy, and it’s a retro arcade-style land-grabbing game for Android. This post is about its inception and also describes some bits of the technical implementation. Design Patchy is the spiritual successor to my one-weekend Ludum Dare entry Park... Continue reading

Bigcanvas

Ladies and gentlemen, Frozen Fractal presents… Bigcanvas! It’s an infinite online canvas that anyone can draw on. The ‘why’ is described within the app itself, so have a look! This blogpost focuses on the technical aspects, i.e. the ‘how’. Just for fun and challenge, efficiency was one of the main... Continue reading

Graphics are born

It’s been over two months since my last post, in which I announced that I was abandoning JavaScript for the development of Turtle Paint, and switched to Ruby instead. So far, it has been a great learning experience, and I’m loving this language more every day. There are a number... Continue reading

New application: Crossword Finder

Once upon a time, over a decade ago, I wrote a simple program in C++Builder to help my father solve crossword puzzles and cryptograms. It would let you type a word with blanks such as f....al and it would tell you which words would fit. When my father asked whether... Continue reading

Goodbye JavaScript

The JavaScript server code for Turtle Paint is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. People had warned me beforehand, but there’s no teacher like first-hand experience. The problems in a nutshell: Immaturity. Often, there are five different Node.js libraries that do approximately the same thing, but all of them are buggy... Continue reading

Turtle Paint

No, the Frozen Fractal blog is not dead. It’s just been, well, frozen. A lot happened since the last post: I got a job at Google, moved to London, and made a little game for Ludum Dare that I’ll post about later. But a lot also didn’t happen: I didn’t... Continue reading

Feature cuts

Back to work after a much-needed break, I have gained a better perspective on the current state of the game. I concluded that, if I am to finish this game on time, I’ll have to reduce it in scope significantly. The following are the changes that I made to the... Continue reading

Bits and pieces

Game development can be a pain sometimes. Remember my writings on threading last week? This week has been more of the same kind of stuff: engine improvements, code cleanups, bugfixes, and only some small new features that are actually visible. Did I say visible? I meant “audible”. The biggest change... Continue reading

Threading

More work on performance this week. Things were getting a bit too slow for my tastes, meaning that they would likely be unplayable on medium-end phones. This work involved quite a bit of refactoring (which is jargon for “creating new problems to replace your old ones”), so I now have... Continue reading

In-game graphics

As announced, I made a large sprint this week to bring the artwork closer to completion. I think it’s about halfway done now, but I’m getting more and more experience with this, so the second half should go a lot faster. Here are some screenshots of the game as it... Continue reading

Title screen

Like I announced, lots of work on graphics. In-game graphics are beginning to come together, but are only halfway done, so the overall result still doesn’t look too good. The title screen is mostly finished, though. I had to trade in a bit of “obviously being a shopping cart” to... Continue reading

Let chaos reign!

I’ve been looking at my crappy placeholder graphics for too long. Every time I launch the game, a tiny voice at the back of my mind tells me how shitty it still looks. Every time I show it to someone else, they comment how they initially only saw the red... Continue reading

Toast!

I more or less finished one of the first powerups that you’ll encounter in the game: the toaster. When you pick it up, it appears in the item box at the top right. You can then tap a point on the screen, and your cart will fire two rapidly spinning... Continue reading

Game architecture

Although games vary wildly in appearance and mechanics, the structure of the underlying classes and objects is often similar. There is a “world” object, which contains everything else; there are multiple “entities” representing stuff in the world, there’s a “renderer” which tells each object to draw itself, etcetera. My game... Continue reading

Performance measurements

After a week partly filled with lots of food and other Christmas celebrations, I’m back on track. I’ve done some polishing to make the game more game-like. There’s now a neat countdown at the start of the game. You can start racing before the countdown ends, but there’s a little... Continue reading

Activity flow

In Android, generally speaking, each different screen presented to the user is called an ‘activity’. Until recently, the only activity in the game has been the game itself. I’d already added a few menu screens this week, like you saw before, and have now been working on putting it all... Continue reading

Menu layout

Like last week’s, this post is a day behind schedule as well. Since I’m working on my part-time side job on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it was a silly schedule anyway – changing to Thursdays to accommodate. Today, I designed and implemented the look of the game’s menus. At first, I... Continue reading

Game structure

Sorry, no screenshots or videos this time. Instead, I’ve worked on the overarching structure of the game, the bits that should make you keep coming back. I have coded some menu screens too, but they don’t yet show the correct data and most of them don’t even fully work yet.... Continue reading

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