Penultimate dump - weeks 19 to 26 of making a game

Let's start with the good news: this should be the last post during development. The next one should be the announcement of the public release.

This screens looking pretty finished, wouldn't you say?

I've been able to keep development rolling along, despite many distractions, like civic engagement/participation, vying for my time. All the parts that I wanted in the game are now present.* I've managed to keep the scope creep to a minimum, so when I say that everything's in, I'm not saying it's exactly how I would want the game to be. Like any artist, I have trouble "putting down the brush" and stop making little tweaks. Okay sure, trying to get rid of app crashing bugs is perhaps more than mere tweaking. 😅 Balancing and compatibility issues aside, the game creates the in-scope experience I went for.

Speaking about issues, that's most of the work that's still left to do. Polish and bug fixing might sound boring, but they're very important things to finish. After all, having the game crash when you press two buttons at the same time might easily cost me players.

Previously, I already put in the work so the game could run on a large number of resolutions and aspect ratios (3:2, 16:9, 3:4 ...). The thing that's giving me trouble now is having the game run on devices on the low end of the Android versions supported by the game (in theory). I'm using too much memory.** I might have to scrap the lower end of Android version though, seeing how it's a lot of work and those lower end versions barely have any (app downloading) users left.

But anyway, the game's in its final stretch. It will finish too late for any "spending Christmas with the in-laws, get me away from here, digital escapism" sales, but then again, perhaps it has a better chance grabbing any kind of attention outside the Discount Zone.

Oh yes, welcome to all those wonderful new readers, I hope you stick around for the release. 😍 Speaking of which, the next update might try to shine a light on this stumbling dev's effort to do some "marketing".

* With the exception of standardized Google Leaderboards, I implemented my own simplistic high-scores board instead, because I was tired of having to spend a lot of time integrating features that possibly nobody wants.

** As it is, the game is downloadable for versions as low as SDK/API 15 (Android 4.0.3). The problem is, while I have around 256 MB of memory to work with on my own phone (main test device), Android 4.1 only gives me 64MB, and Android 4.0 even limits it to 48MB. That is a problem, since I went for the hand-drawn look, with lots of bitmaps to load in, and a lot of memory being used.