Schwartz Engine

Schwartz Engine

About This

I develop Android Apps and games. I play board games and I am an experienced GM in warhammer Fantasy Role Play (1st and 2nd Ed). I am also painting and sculpting miniatures.
Yes that's right I am a freak - No mistake there. I am using this media to track my work and organise it a little.

Got my Asus TF700T Infinity Pad Back From the Dead

AppsPosted 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.

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.

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.

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! ;-)

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The Twisted state of App pricing...

AppsPosted by Carsten Schwartz Oct 21, 2016 23:11
After 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...

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Now There's a Video!

AppsPosted by Carsten Schwartz Oct 13, 2016 10:53

Now I've made a Video showing the starting of a new game in A Dungeon Horror Deed Pilot it took me a while and I'm still not fully satisfied but it is OK as a start. Marketing a game is not easy but I knew that smiley

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Refactoring - Often a god thing!

AppsPosted by Carsten Schwartz Oct 09, 2016 09:43

This week I have refactored a lot in the engine of ADHD!. There was just to much repeatable code, now it is simpler and easier to maintain. When I have more than one solution of equal quaility to a problem I always opt for the one that will be easiest to understand and maintain. And this helped a lot and I only had a couple of minor bugs that I fixed in the transition.

So the newest release contains this and a graphical enhancement to give the users something, a refactoring is often not seen on the user side even if it makes a product more robust and easier to maintain...

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On Google Play Meta Data

AppsPosted by Carsten Schwartz Oct 03, 2016 11:06
Oyezz - Oyezz!

Just got a wake up call from Google after updating the description of the shop for A Dungeon Horror Deed Pilot. I added that the game was inspired by old RPGs like WFRP and board games like Arcadia Quest which it is. Google responded that this was against their metadata policy. Fair enough, you are not supposed to use existing trade marks to promote your App.

So I had to change the text back to avoid the used of the registered trade marks, and then send in a new APK and everything went back to normal. So here is a tip:

Do not use registered product names in your shop description if you want to avoid your updates being rejected...

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Game Launch!

AppsPosted by Carsten Schwartz Sep 21, 2016 22:23
This evening I launched the game ADHD! aka A DUNGEON HORROR DEED on the Google Play store. And to make a first update I changed some of the graphics and uploaded a new APK.
It's great that this first installment is finished, so now I'll take a well deserved nights sleep and see what happened to my entry in the morning.

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Buuug Hunteeerrrh!

AppsPosted by Carsten Schwartz Sep 14, 2016 21:55
Beware when you have some code that draws in a graphical context of some kind that can be called from two different places at the same time or called twice so that the first call not is finished when the second is called.

I have been hunting for a bug that crashed my game and simply closed the App with no warning due to a construction like this. Use Locks objects combined with synchronize in your renderers, handlers or whatever to indicate if they are active and not must be called to create some kind of race condition. Anyway bug solved and the App has been enforced and is now more robust...

I got the solution and improved it at stack overflow.

And during this fixing process I revisited and fixed another annoying bug that have been irritating me, even though it is a small thing, that players not will see unless they where told. So all in all I'm almost ready...

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Plot reviewed

AppsPosted by Carsten Schwartz Sep 12, 2016 23:03
Finally I've played the game through once again, I'm close to finishing. Just need to investigate a few quirks. There is some game testing on the power of monsters making it unbalanced and other details like that. Nearing completion is what I say!

Along the way the old games from the C64 and Amiga days have inspired me.
I've read a lot of old stories on how differnt games where made back then to inspire the finishing and construction of the architecture of this game. There is a lot out there. The story on the rise and fall of the Amiga Computer, the creation of games like Dungeon Master, Maniac Mansion, Exploding Fist I and II for C64 and others have given me great ideas for this retro 2D tile RPG.

Read som of it here:

A History of the Amiga

The Creation of Dungeon Master

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