Schwartz Engine

The Asteroids CloneApps

Posted by Carsten Schwartz Mar 14, 2018 15:34

Yep that's right while learning to code TypeScript to keep me shard I have my first version of an Asteroids Clone that you can try out HERE.

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[SPACE]: Fire
[Left Arrow]: Turn Left
[Right Arrow]: Turn Right
[Up Arrow]: Thrust, be careful!
[Down Arrow]: Reverse Thrust, be even more careful!
[H] Hyper Space, don't try this at home!

[S]: Start new game

I have learned a lot about TypeScript and had a lot of fun recapping Vector math and reading about the mechanics of the classic game. There is a lot of sites on the web that talks about this old Classic.

Still need to do a lot yet, I will up date the game as I go along. Buttons are also needed to make the game playable on a mobile device and there is some of the game mechanics that crashes the ship to often and now hyperspace and security when ship reappears on the screen after a crash, but OK for a first demo :-)

Coding with Visual Studio Code on LinuxApps

Posted by Carsten Schwartz Mar 09, 2018 15:32

Yep that's right, I have been using Microsofts Visual Studio code on my Linux Box to play around with TypeScript, which is a really nice game development platform for the WEB. You can see a Demo of Triangle Collision I made Here.

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It was a guy on the WEB that had made some nice starting points for working with TypeScript, who got me interested. And funny Enough Microsoft has made an IDE that can be used for developing TypeScript Apps. It looks a lot like Visual Studio, but has reduced functionality. And the great stuff is that they have made a version for Linux.

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TypeScript is an extension of JavaScript and compiles to .js files. You can make classes, interfaces and I don't know what, If you're into OO development it is fairly easy to start using. I have inspired by the tutorials at Tyler Green and Typescript Games started making my own clone of the notorious Atari Asteroids Game from way back to learn the stuff, and then it is also a nice recap on Vector Calculus.

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After a good start I had some problems being able to have one file per class I made. It turned out I had to use a reference tag with a path attribute (/// <reference path="../Commonlib/Vector.ts" />) to include other '.ts' TypeScript files and then add their paths in a file list in the files section of the 'tsconfig.json' file which defines the build of a typescript project.

And BTW! - I like the concept of using json for configurations instead of the dreaded non human readable XML ;-)

There are other ways to include/import classes in TypeScript and I went to great lengths to try them. I even installed a Virtual Windows using Virtual Box to try and see if the Visual Studio Community edition was better at this. Strangely enough Windows almost runs at normal speed inside Virtual Box. So with a more powerful laptop than my old i5 2 core clunker, you might as well stick to Linux and the run any Windows Development in a Virtual Box instance.

It's all About PerspecitiveApps

Posted by Carsten Schwartz Feb 23, 2018 12:23

I am currently in between jobs and have some time on my hands. So I am rummaging around in my game on google play and noticed that the fake perspective my isometric kind of tile game was not faking it well enough, so of I went to fix it!

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As you can see from the original walls that seemed to look like a column that was wider at the bottom than the top. Of course I wanted the opposite effect, so that it looked like the column was thinner at the bottom which is further away when you look at the dungeon from above.

So I edited the graphics and tried them out in the editor I have to create levels for the game, and it looks better, even though it is difficult to create an illusion of perspective...

BTW! I can recommend the program InkScape for graphical work, it has a lot of great features that allows you to make Icons and the like.

In the Land of the Uknown UnkownsApps

Posted by Carsten Schwartz Nov 30, 2017 07:26

Yep that's right there will always be bugs. Even though my retro pixel RPG 'A Dungeon Horror Deed' have been play tested again and again I found a bug the other day. It goes to show that even relatively simple games, are complex. But it was easy to fix fortunately, because I have focused on maintenance when designing the game engine.

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When you create software, you create a huge amount of paths and combinations of paths through the code that even the most intensive automated and manual testing never will ensure to be a 100% error free. smiley

So what seems to be robust and good code can come back and bite you in the ass. But I fixed it and that feels good smiley

Ubuntu - is it still a good choice for me?Apps

Posted by Carsten Schwartz Nov 19, 2017 11:46

After using Windows 10 in the work place for almost a year now, here's my take on the experience. To begin with I thought that the promises from Microsoft, on this being a good fast new system, might be right this time. So I was considering using this instead of Ubuntu if it proved to be as good as it was hyped to be. But I was to be disappointed.

So the answer is stick to Ubuntu, I have to say my Windows 10 experience have gone through some classical phases:

- Great! It starts up fast and seems to be fast in the day-to-day work
- Great! It shuts down fast
- Oh no! I wast just forced to do an update, and have to wait...
- Oh no! Now it starts booting slow again...
- Oh no! Performance and user experience degrades continuously over time
- Aaand! the fonts look like crap due to bad anti aliasing on some screens!

The system is not better and the tile interface, does not help to give a better experience either, so I have to repeat that I am not looking back!

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The shift to Ubuntu on the home front has proven to be the right decision for me.

In fact the more I learn to use Linux the better I like it, recently I got Android Studio running and tried out Flutter/Dart for cross platform development as easy as if it had been on any other platform...

Retrospective on A Dungeon Horror DeedApps

Posted by Carsten Schwartz Oct 22, 2017 15:04

Blog imageAfter having my first real worked through game on Google Play for more than a year know, it is time for a retrospective.

I knew it would be a tough call to market the game alone, but I do not regret trying it, it has been fun and educational. I still think $3 for a game is cheap, and I will keep to my guns, but I guess I have to try something else regarding marketing of the Game. I have used a lot of time refining and strengthening the game and it is quite stable currently. My conclusion is this:

Even though I have not sold that much, working with the game gives me peace of mind and is quite fun and that is price less!

So I will continue developing the plot in my own pace, because it is fun and keeps me sharp. I feels like back in the Commodore 64 and Amiga days when the IT game world was relatively young and yes I am an old nostalgic man but I like it ;-)

Got my Asus TF700T Infinity Pad Back From the DeadApps

Posted by Carsten Schwartz Feb 28, 2017 15:46

I've had a TF700T for some years know resting loyal but idle in the top drawer of a cabinet in my bedroom. I gave up on it because it was turned into a snail by an update from Asus. Slower than running against the wind uphill on a suface of melasses. I had tried earlier to flash it with an alternative rom but to no avail.

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Then the other day I succeded in rooting the tablet and got Cyanogen Mod installed. I was full of hope as the blue icon of the Cyanogen Mod showed up on my tablet screen. But to my horror the tablet seemed to work, but was still a wimpy crawling shadow of its former glory.

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Then I started searching the web for things like fastest rom for TF700T, and fell over a writ by a guy that praised a specific Rom called TechFusion+ V4. Words like smooth and the be fastest rom ever where all over the page.

I went to the site he had described in so many positive words and found a how to guide and links to downloads for the Rom and Special developed google apps for the TF700T. This guy, it seems had made an optimized set of files to make the TF700T great again.

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Since I already had installed clockwork recovery, I quickly copied the downloaded rom and google app zips to the tablet and fast booted into recovery. I wiped the tablet from CWR, installed the zips and rebooted. Shortly after the TF700T returned from the dead, it is now faster than when I bought it and have started using it again - great stuff these custom roms I say!

A note of caution though! Do not, and I repeat - Do not update Any Google Apps like Chrome or Gmail. I say so because the updates are not developed specificly to perform fast on a specific device. You will end up with a slower device, I updated these and got very unresponse when running Gmail, Chrome and Google Play. Then I went into recovery factory reset, reinstalled the rom and reinstalled google apps and the tablet was fast again. So do not update Google Apps like Chrome, Gmail and Google Play once you have made your device faster with a rom and a special set of Google Apps...

Use your refreshed device for browsing, writing text and playing games, do not update the core google apps. And you will be tempted by the apps themselves, the Chrome browser for example has a nasty habbit of asking you to update saying something along the lines of There is a better version of Chrome, do you wish to up date? when you browse certain pages on the web. Be carefull what you click on out there I say! ;-)

The Twisted state of App pricing...Apps

Posted by Carsten Schwartz Oct 21, 2016 23:11

Blog imageAfter releasing my newest App on Google Play, I sat down and checked out the prices of similar Apps the other day. There was a lot of pricing set at $1-$2. A lot of them with inlaid commercials and in game purchases, my newest game do not have any of this.

Have I priced my newest release to high? Well, a lot of Apps spouting commercials and in game purchases, sells at around $1.5, free at first becomes an annoyance of commercials popping up and repeating questions asking you to buy this and that extension. These infinite requests for buying extras or reading commercials seems to be the business model of the day. Many people think that this is the normal order of things, and I started thinking I might have priced ro high...

But recently when I was having break at a café reading magazines it occurred to me that you easily buy a cup of coffee for more than the $3 I charge for my recent release and I had just bought two magazines at $7 a piece, with out thinking of the price. So buying a game at $3 where you will not get pestered by commercials and where the App won't be acting as a salesman for in game purchases is kind of cheap in my book.

So when things are very cheap, they are in fact annoyingly so...