Since I have a bit of history with app development and am usually bad at only doing one thing, I have been developing my third app in my spare time, when I am not recording videos: Ghost Sonar for Android and iOS
Ghost Sonar is a Ghost Hunting Tool for professionals and beginners alike and will help you detect anomalies in your environment!
Ghost Sonar uses a variety of sensors in your phone or tablet to interpret your environment. Anomalies are detected and interpreted through the available sensors in your phone, EVP signals are being interpreted through amplifying the underlying signals that are being picked up by your devices microphone.
I kind of have a knack for novelty entertainment apps, I don’t know what makes me come back to them. One of these days, I should really make a silly little game or at least participate in Ludum Dare again! Until then: Let’s hunt some ghosts!
Camera Kaleidoscope for Android & iOS” target=”_blank”>iOS creates beautiful displays of art by mirroring parts of your camera image in certain angles. You can create an incredible beautiful kaleidoscope painting with just your camera,your environment and your creativity in seconds! It uses simple geometric shapes and maps the camera as a texture to it to avoid using hardware intensive shaders!
– 11 beautiful kaleidoscope modes, more to come with every update
– Simple and elegant UI
– Switch between your front and rear camera
– Take Screenshots and save them to your gallery, to share them with your friends
Check out some of the screenshots Lauren took with it. It is a fun little time killer and I am sure great entertainment for kids 😀
Since this app requires a lot of processing power, you might experience lower frame rates on older phones. I am continually trying to improve this app. If you have ideas or suggestions, make sure to leave a review with them in it! 🙂
Detect and hunt ghosts and spirits with EMF meters and EVP detection: Ghost Hunting Tools makes use of a variety of sensors in your phone and gives your easy-to-use access to EMF meters and EVP detectors to detect and hunt ghost and spirits. The included EVP analysis with the over 1000 words strong dictionary analyzes to captured EVPs and in combination with the sensors for the EMF meter and other environmental reads, it will approximate the meaning and select the closest corresponding meaning.
It is more of a novelty entertainment app and I hope can send some shivers down your spine or creep out your friends! Download it now for free for Android or and iOS!
It has been a long weekend, but I created a playable prototype under this Ludum Dare’s theme: An Unconventional Weapon!
You know what happens, when you throw items into a running washer? Always wanted to know? Transform this useful household utility into a weapon of destruction!
Get cash for causing chaos and upgrade your washer or buy even more deadly things to throw into the drum!
Let’s do a quick Post Mortem, shall we?
This time I might have took on a bit more than I could chew, but in the end I was able to create a playable prototype; I wasn’t able to bring the prototype to the polished state that I would have seen it, but I am quite proud of what I have achieved in the little time I had available.
I have not worked with Unity 5 (or Unity’s new UI system that was introduced in 4.6) prior to this jam and encountered some deprecated functions and some UI behaviors. I still don’t fully understand every aspect of the UI (especially proper scaling of UI elements over different resolutions), but I learned a lot and I think I should be able to figure out the rest soon.
This time I also opted for plenty of sleep and a bit of social interaction during the weekend, instead of burning myself out. You have to allocate a whole weekend for it and if you burn yourself out, you will be pretty much useless on Monday or even more days, depending on how little sleep you got. I had to catch up with some work today, so I am glad I did not overdo it.
Taking a more relaxed approach somewhat forced me to go into overdrive on Sunday, leading to very sloppy code that would make myself shudder, if I was to take a look at it right now. I still streamed for the most part and enjoyed that. Thanks again to everyone who came by and tested builds for me!
Overall have worked roughly 18-20 hours on this prototype and if I would have committed more time to it, I definitely would have been able to polish the game a bit more.
What did I learn this time?
Focus on the key parts first. No really, don’t do too much cutsie stuff , before the prototype isn’t running. I know it is tempting to create a cute tophat for your washing machine, but maybe make sure that the game is having all the features it needs first.
Creating the 3D low poly assets and the artwork for the game was much faster (and more fun) than I anticipated. If you are willing to let mistakes go and just go with a not-perfect asset, you can create a lot of content in a short amount of time. A quick & dirty look can be fine, as long as it is consistent.
I really, really enjoy game development and I am gaining a footing with C# and Unity 5.
Make a detailed to-do list. List all the assets you will need and then work through them. You might think, this will just waste time, but if you have a to-do list to work through, you will less likely be distracted by another task or forget something.
Coming up with fun ideas before the compo started (see below), helped me to get into the mood, but also alleviated the stress of a “What if they pick a theme, I have no ideas for?”-scenario and gave me some time to get started with the game right away. After last time, where I had a total mental block, this really took the edge off.
I am giving away a Steam key for GameGuru! If you want to join the raffle, scroll to the bottom of the post and enter there!
Not too long ago, I was contacted by the developer The Game Creators, to check out their engine GameGuru. It is available on Steam for ~20$. After some initial fun with it on my stream, I figured I would give it a closer look and do a quick introduction / first impression video on the engine. As a game developer with experience, I can not be considered an absolute beginner, so I have other standards. I tried to stay as open-minded as possible, with an absolute beginner as the end user in mind.
Note: GameGuru is an early access title on Steam, so updates over time, might resolve issues I might have encountered with the engine.
I also wanted to leave a few additional words here on my blog, for anyone seeking more information.
GameGuru states to be the easiest and most enjoyable game creator out there. I will have to say, that you will be able to create game quickly IF you accept a few limitations.
You will only be able to build first person games. There is no easy way to switch to another perspective or control style, if at all.
Indoor levels can only be created with pre-made parts.* If you want anything kind of geometry, you will have to build that in a 3d modeling program and import it into the game. If you have no experience with the creation of games, chances are, you won’t be able to do that as well.
The editor allows editing only top down, which makes placement of items, enemies and geometry tricky. Sometimes you can’t see what you create with the terrain tool until you are in the game. You can make changes to the game while you play it, this feels very finicky and impractical. I would love to be able to tilt the editor camera. I assume it has been left out to keep it very straightforward and less prone to problems.
You won’t be able to easily edit standard behaviours of your character*, those of enemies or certain events in the game; this will require to work with the LUA system in the background and at that point I feel you can as well learn to work with other (free) engines like Unity or GameSalad.
The performance is bad. I run a pretty might right and as soon as I encounter 10-20 enemies at the same time, and my system slows down drastically. For most use cases with this engine, this won’t be an issue; I am just pointing it out.
I think that this engine is a fun little tool to play around with for kids or someone that is thoroughly intimidated by the thought of writing a line of script or code and that can work with these limitations that I listed above.
* Since GameGuru is currently in Early Access, many of the features that are planned are not available yet. It might be worth, checking out this tool later down the line with the following additions made to it:
Character creator – personalise your game characters using this simple creation tool
Construction Kit – the ability to easily create building structures for your games
Improved AI & gaming techniques
Enhanced explosions and particle effects inc fire/smoke
Under water swimming and effects
Lazer weapons for Sci-Fi games, Spells for Fantasy games
HUD systems; compass tool, map, inventory
Melee attack & other combat & interaction game choices