Thursday, July 13, 2017

Marblesared Beta build - 2017/07/14 - Bastille Day edition

Marblesared (Marbles Are Red) Marblesared Splash
image blog link

Hey Players,
Here is the Bastille Day edition 14/07/2017 beta build of "Marblesared" (Marbles Are Red) for PC and Android.
Viva la Revolution! 
Actually, no, viva la peace & quiet please, stop rioting & destroying local shops, or better yet, hold your G20 summits in backwater country retreats instead of major metropolitan centres.   It's almost like the organisers WANT to stage a bloody protest event....
Sorry, way off topic.
This edition was previously known as the "7/11 edition" because I am underpaid with poor working conditions, but I found more bugs just before releasing it...

This version brings us to the next qualitative step in readiness for proper release
- Level+item Shaders,Texturing, & Level colour control in the Video Settings panel.
(Dynamic lit Shadows next on list).
So pretty!

I held off on those features for so long because I needed to ensure it would work on low spec devices first.

All those features seem to play just fine on my Samsung Tab Pro 9.7 android,
and of course work fine on PC Windows.
On random builds there still seem to be persistent intermittent issues with hanging on the animated splash screen, which I have narrowed down to deserialisation of the savegame data file, but I cannot reproduce it in debug mode, and often running another build of the same code makes the issue go away.   Deleting the savegame application cache in Android sometimes causes the failure, sometimes it fixes it.  Exceedingly vexing.
[edit for 14 July ed.]FOUND AND FIXED!
Also, completely overhauled & fixed the shaders framework which initially did not work at all on older Android devices (e.g. Samsung GS3).  And with only 3 days to do it!  (Just like Time Team, but no grave goods were discovered ...   only post holes.)

Anyway, here is the usual blurb below:

What is "Marblesared" ?
It is a new take on the old hand-held "marble-in-a maze" type games commonly available many decades before electronic hand held games existed,
where you had to get a marble from one corner of the maze to the other, or variations on the theme.

Marblesared is designed to make the most of Android device built-in accelerometers,
enabling you to play simply by tilting your Android mobile device as if it were a physical container holding a marble.
It can also be played on PC with keyboard (or gamepad) controlling the marble.

How to play ?
- Roll your red marble to the red goal, through mazes, obstacles & bonuses.
- Help a little yellow bean get to the yellow goal.
The yellow bean can auto-navigate, and even has a jetpack for speeding to the yellow goal after your red marble unlocks it.
Only your marble can help the bean reach that yellow goal.
How? By lowering obstacles, by NOT tripping bad items, by NOT directly running over the bean and Smooshing it,
and ideally, by doing it in as little time as possible if you are competitive and want to brag a bit :-)

The target audience is early teens and older, due to the bean character being "smooshed",
and humour content (very bad puns),
There is no elite skill barrier - anyone capable of using a PC or Android tablet can play - albeit some better than others :-)

Current Features:
- Animated intro/splash screen with sound effects.
- Help/Instructions (Please read first as introduction on How to Play).
- Tutoriballs (Animated Tutorials) - disabled by default, appearing as a zoomable PIP inset image when enabled.
    synced to 1st appearance of each new bad/bonus item so players learn how to use them
- 33 hand-designed levels for each of 3 skills for Play testing:
        - "BabyBall" skill (No Bonuses or Bad Items),
        - "Normball" skill (Bonus Items - e.g. Actuator/Triggers with Drop-down walls)
        - "Hardball" skill (Bonus/Bad Items - e.g. lava pit, spiky balls, bomb, smartmine)
        - "Maballs!" skill (Bonus/Bad Items AND electrified goal for yellow bean requiring player goal entry to disable)
- Bonus items (Green), include: Actuator Pad, Wall, Bean Shield, Extra Time, Bean Powerup, PortalEntry, PortalExit,
- Bad items (Red), include: Actuator Pad, Wall, Compactor, Slicer, Spike Plate, Lava Pit, Weight , Bomb, SmartMine
- Bad/Bonus actuators exist primarily to activate the other bad/bonus items.
- Reset Actuator (Purple) clear Bad Items in Hardball, MaBalls! skill
- Player setup/name/skill/Score reset for New games (New Player games start by default at Level 1 on BabyBall skill)
- Continued games option to start at any level up to highest played for current player
- Score/countdown per level & local saved high score table for each player & top 10 player scores
- Auto Next Level countdown on each level completion.
- Game settings including Debug on/off, Sound on/off, Controller input selection for both PC & Android using inbuilt default/keyboard/accelerometer/gamepad
- SoundFX setting enable/disable
- Additional "Settings" for improved graphics quality (shaders, shadows, reflections, transparency),

Next on Todo list:
- Beta build on sale as "Early Release"
- Adding more levels manually
- Marketing/Promotion
- option to upload player total scores to internet with top 1000 player scores worldwide
- Algorithm for auto-generation of levels,
- Make it a bit more "pretty", add in music, etc...

The [expanded] app size is currently about 40Mb for Android, 30Mb for PC version, 
Download size is 23Mb for the Android .APK, 11Mb for the PC version executable installer ).

Link to my "PCAndVR" Google Drive shared directory for Windows PC download :
MortePCAndVR Google Drive shared directory "Marblesared"
The shared directory contains self-extracting Setup executable for PC, Release Notes,
and an Install-README text file with more detail on PC & Android version install/uninstall.
The PC version is a generic Windows 32bit .exe so it works on WinXP through to Windows 10 (AMD/Intel x86/x64 only)
No Windows 10 "Universal" build for ARM/Atom yet - coming soon as I get Win10+Universal SDK.

Once the game goes into early release for sale,
The link for PC will only be available to patrons & registered beta testers (see patreon link below).
Android users who install now will get a free ride on beta updates
until the game is converted into Google Play Store release mode :D

If your Android alpha version is not auto-updating past the old v20170511 or v20170512 version to the new Beta build,
try uninstalling, then reinstalling from the Google Play Store link.
If you are getting game hangs, clear the Marblesared application data/cache in Android application manager
If that doesn't work, drop me a line on one of my new social media channels.

Play Hard & Roll Ball!

Monday, July 10, 2017

PCAndVR now has an Instagram Presence

This Instagram site will be where I post PCAndVR product screenshots/snapshots, although it take a LOT more effort to post on instagram when the source is not a mobile phone... Not a PC/desktop friendly app, let me tell you. For now, I have posted the 33 Levels of Hardball skill for Marblesared, showing off the new textured, coloured gamelevel floor & metallic shader objects, (build still under review before I push it out to next beta)