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Jul. 17th, 2017 @ 11:04 pm Emojulution Match!
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The android game I wrote last month is available for download (see bottom of this post).

Gameplay

It's a variant on an augmented reality match three game. Physically walk around to change which square is highlighted with a light grey background. Click that square to place the next tile there. The next tile is shown at the bottom of the screen. Match three of the same type in a row, and they vanish forming a new type. Then try to match three of *those*. When you reach hearts, match three hearts of any colour and they vanish entirely (but give lots of score).

For instance, three fish next to each other in a line make an octopus, three octopuses make a whale, three whales make a blue heart, three hearts of any colour vanish entirely. And similarly for the three other starter animals.

Only vertical and horizontal. But if you make a line of four, or two crossing lines of three, they all vanish. They only give one new tile, but you get more points.

It would be trivial to play if you could just click on a square, but it's surprisingly addictive when you play it walking about.

Be careful not to walk into the middle of roads! It's surprisingly easy to make that mistake when you're concentrating on your location in the game.

The screen wraps round, so you can always keep walking in one direction rather than walk in the opposite direction. It's best to start by figuring out which compass direction corresponds to which direction on the grid :)

Tips: When you complete an octopus, think about where you're going to put the fish to make the next octopus next to the first one.

Details

If you open the .apk file on an android device, it should ask if you want to install it. You can only do so if you agree to install apps which come from me not the play store. I think that should work but I don't know for sure.

It is very early stages. It seems to work on one or two devices, but I haven't tested it more extensively than that. It will hopefully be ok, but I don't know for sure. I would appreciate knowing everyone who tried it, just whether it ran ok or not, and if the game itself seemed to work.

It still has some UI from the open source OpenSudoku game I based the code on. Don't pay any attention to the menus or help.

File:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/md5sjt25xe3eean/emojilution-debug.apk

(Let me know if the link doesn't work. You should *not* need a dropbox account to use it, but you may have to scroll to the bottom of the screen to continue to download without one.)

Feedback

I would appreciate knowing everyone who tried it, just whether it installed ok or not, and if the game itself seemed to work.

Lots of things are known to be unfinished, so don't waste energy enumerating what's missing in menus etc. Do let me know anything that seems to prevent me playing the game. Do ask if it doesn't run or it's not obvious what to do. Comments on what's fun and what isn't are very much appreciated!

Thank you!

You can also comment at http://jack.dreamwidth.org/1038552.html using OpenID. comment count unavailable comments so far.
About this Entry
jack
From:fishpi
Date:July 18th, 2017 08:45 am (UTC)
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Hey, that sounds interesting. I'll try and give that a go this evening.

Is there a reason you haven't uploaded to the Play store? I've done it myself, and it's not hard at all. It'll make it easier for people to try it out and avoid the need to enable installing APKs from unknown origins (which I hate because it's an all-or-nothing switch).

These days on the Play store you can also create beta streams that you share invite-only if you want, to avoid hordes of people downloading pre-release code and leaving 1-star reviews.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:July 18th, 2017 09:22 pm (UTC)
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Cool, thank you!

No particular reason, I just didn't know how difficult it would be (and this binary is very beta, maybe alpha).

Where do you start? It seems you need to sign up for a developer something, and there's a fee, is that right? Is it fairly straightforward getting something into the system; I wasn't sure how much approvals process there was?
From:fishpi
Date:July 19th, 2017 09:16 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
If you go to the Play store developer area (https://play.google.com/apps/publish/signup/) they should explain it pretty well. I think it comes down to:

Register for an account. I think there's a trivial fee to stop people from spamming the system with thousands of accounts, but I don't think it's anything to worry about. I don't remember how much it is, but it fell well within the "things I spend on my hobbies without even thinking about it" range.

Create a signing certificate, and register the public key on your Google Play developer account.

Integrate the signing into your APK build process. If you're using Android Studio, this is done with a wizard. There's a command-line option too. I've never set it up to sign by default, I just manually create a signed APK whenever I'm doing a release.

Upload your APK and give it a name and description.

Conceptually that's about it. I guess it's about 30 minutes work by the time you've faffed about with IDEs and such.

I think nowadays it's a bit annoying because they insist on having screenshots and a banner image (logo / background for the top of the app page) if you want to have a Play store listing. The banner image in particular is annoying, but you can create something pretty crude. I don't know if you can create a beta listing without this.

I don't think there's any serious approvals process. It's not like the Apple App Store. I assume they check your upload for known malware and being an obvious clone of someone else's APK, but I've never had any issue with it.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:July 23rd, 2017 03:02 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! That sounds plausible.