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There are some people who are developers with good design skills and an eye for detail. I have worked on myself to be more like that person over the years. I am one of those awesomesauce developers that designers love to work with - Find out more...

Unfamiliar place to search for solutions when your code doesn't work

When our code doesn't work as expected, we usually do one thing. Google.

On Google the first few answers are usually from stackoverflow.com, blogs or forums. But there are times when even Googling doesn't help.

If the code or project you are dealing with is open-source. A great place to look for and get answers is the 'Issues' section on Github.

In my case, I was wondering why mirage in ember.js tutorial wasn't working well for me. All I had to do was go to Ember.js on Github and navigate to Issues tab. Then search for the keyword 'tutorial'

Booyah! I found my answer instantly.

P.S. If you don't find existing questions, just open a new issue and you will get much better answers as it comes from the creators.

DoTween - The Big Demo

I love DoTween, and have been using it extensively at work and personal projects, ever since I heard of it.

Tweens are a great and cheap way to get a polished look for all transitions and animations in your game or mobile app. Stop coding movement by hand for menu items, HUDs, simple translations etc. if you are still doing it.

So I made a small 2d demo in Unity5 with DoTween, where you can play with different types of tweens, including an option to choose a different tween for different axes (X and Y)

Its open-source btw, and you can play with the code yourself on github.

Click to open the unity web player in new tab (Firefox, Safari recommended)
If Chrome blocks, follow instructions.

Easing is an important component of making your games and interactive experiences Juicy. If you don't know what Juicyness is watch this amazingly cool super awesome video of two game developers showcasing their demo.

10 productivity tips to not give up on your game project

These tips are not just for game development, this applies to almost anyone who wants to create stuff and can apply to any project in your life.

ExtraCredits is a really good youtube channel for anyone who is interested in making games. Today I saw this video on their GameDesign playlist. It gave some amazing tips as listed below. This is just a summary for those crazy people who prefer reading instead of watching videos, like me :)

1) Don't plan a project that will take you more than a month
This is a great point. After years of having dropped projects, prototypes and trying to do too many things, or everything that excites me at the moment. I guess this is a must follow.

2) Its gonna take you more than a month, if you plan for a month.
Haha, yes, so true. But don't panic, but if you hit 3 months, its time to revisit.

3) Don't spend too much time designing
Don't spend too much time designing stuff you don't know if you can build yet. Experience is way more valuable than end result at a beginner level game designer, indie experience.

4) Set milestones - every week
This is going to be a deal breaker if you miss it. It is so important to keep track of how good your estimation skills are, and how much time you actually can dedicate for your project.

5) Break milestones - if something takes more than a week, break it into smaller ones.
The main advantage of this is already mentioned in the previous point, but a more important advantage is you feeling closer to the end result and having a sense of momentum and progress.

6) Send yourself producer emails - what you did, and what you plan to do this week
This is what makes points 4 and 5 valid and trackable, and as you progress, imagine being able to look back at your own reports and learning from your production experience.

7) Review the game at least once a week
Just 30 mins will do. It is easy to forget where you are especially, if your day job or school gets in way. Warning : Its really common to let 2 weeks slip by - and MOST people give up when that happens due to a feeling of no progress gets in your mind.

8) Don't worry about production values - looks, sounds good is not as important as you think
Because these are distractions truly, until you ship a couple of titles out on the web or any platform. There are tons of games which look ugly and still has a player base.

9) Don't spend more than 1 hours, trying to do anything yourself
Stuck? - above 1 hour - look up tutorials/existing solutions. You don't want to learn to build everything. If you do, time to think, do you really want to build games, or just understand how things works and become a specialist.

10) Make people play your game, early and often to get feedback, doesn't have to be complete
The best advice I got for this point is from this article by 2dBoy.

Personal notes - This is specific to only certain cultures. Most of your friends will not give you honest feedback to not hurt your feelings, especially if you are a little "pussy boy nice guy". Most people might leave your game in 10 seconds, if you were not standing behind their shoulders. So playtest it with kids, or people who you don't know etc. And don't be too nice when you ask them for it, because you will make it awkward for them to say no, or say negative things.

So a very valid place to find feedback is on the internet. Here is where things get tricky, its really good to be hated than being ignored. And most people on the internet have very low attention span, so the game that you put months of effort into is just another free game for them. And it is not their fault, it is your responsibility to catch their attention in the first 10 seconds and hold it.

And you will be ignored. A lot! Especially if you put the game to the wrong audience, which is what marketing is all about. So make sure you don't get disheartened because you barged on this facebook group just to promote your prototype and everybody didn't just play your game immediately and give feedback, stopping everything they are doing in their life.

Happy game making :)

Game development live blogging - Part 2

Alright yesterday I left a body-less snake alone in Part 1.

Today I am going to make it attach with its body, and have you test-drive the snake in the editor, even in "Edit mode"... Fancy! I know, that's one of the strength's of Unity3d's editors.

Recap : So far, in the editor, edit mode, I am able to drag the snake's head GameObject, and snap it to the grid. Now its time to link them together.

Usually in the past, I always hold them all in a single array like data structure and keep updating their position using code, by shifting their position data from head to body 1, and body 1 to body 2 and so on. This time I am going to try a new approach. Let's do it the Unity3d's way.

First I am going to declare a new variable called "nextPart" of type SnakePart. I realised, each part's responsibility is only to pass its old position to the next body part. This will be a chain effect and the entire snake will move. Also we never use the body part's position in any snake game, except for to check collision between head and all of its body parts every time the head moves.

Added this line to SnakePart.cs script
public SnakePart nextPart;

Now the editor inspector looks like this

Now drag and drop, body1 to the next part. Do the same thing with body2 and drag and drop that GameObject onto body1's SnakePart script. Now the link is formed. For the sake of aesthetics, lets make more body links, by copy pasting the existing body parts. Highlight "body2"on the hierarchy window and pressed Cmd + D until I see body3, 4 and 5.

Now to drag them all as a snake, I need to pass the previousX and Y position to the nextPart of each SnakePart until nextPart is null. Also I am going to remove the code in Start() method, as I assume the snake body locations will be setup correctly in the beginning due the snapping feature.

So I introduce a new public method called SetSnakePosition(), and use it to set the position.
public void SetSnakePosition(int x, int y)
if (x != this.X || y != this.Y)
if (nextPart != null) nextPart.SetSnakePosition(this.X, this.Y);
this.X = x;
this.Y = y;
this.transform.localPosition = new Vector3(this.X * gridConverter, this.Y * gridConverter, 0);
The above code does two things, it updates the position of the linked snake part behind the current part & it sets the correct localPosition by converting grid co-ordinates into world co-ordinates using the gridConverter scaling value.

In next part we will do more exciting things in the snake and get it to move using the method we wrote above.

Application could not be verified, when installing app to iPad Air

Solution : Delete the existing app on the device and try again.

Note : You don't have to do this all the time. It happens only when a version of the app is installed from the AppStore or from an Ad-hoc source like Testflight.

I hadn't seen this error before, but it happened to me on XCode - version 6.3.1 (6D1002) with an iPad Air. But around the internet it seems to happen to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus too.

Game development live blogging - Part 1

I'm starting a project called "Snake On Acid" using Unity3d engine. Its the classic old Nokia snake game, but with all the game development magic I have learnt so far in my career.

It is going to have what I believe are some interesting time based twists, amazing sound and flashy graphics with lot of juicyness! Much in line with super hexagon's style.

Lets start..

I have setup a basic project with some graphics inspired from Neave snake. I hope to change the graphics later. I have a "gameboard" background graphic object (with sorting layer : background), a snake game object with three snake body objects (sorting layer : foreground) and a main camera object.

Oh I also have Demigiant's DoTween plugin added to the Unity project. There's going to be some amazing tweening :)

Now to make the snake move, but with some tween magic. I am going to focus only on the head snake object and attach a script to the body. Body part will be a prefab, and will be replicated at run-time. They might behave like a link-list.

Object called "body0"is going to be my head. Also I need measure my gameboard units. Looks like each snake body part is 0.22 units in size. Hmm, I would want my top-left to be 0, 0 for my snake grid. Right now the center is 0, 0.

Here is the setup for snake's head object
Now I am going to move the background so that 0, 0 is at the top-left.
Oops, the camera seems to have shifted. So I'm going to UNDO. Then add the camera as a child to the gameboard object, and then move the gameboard.

Now to fix the awkward snake head ready to bash the wall problem. If I start the game, and the snake moves left, it would die immediately. I will need to measure the width and the height in grid units soon. For now I will focus on moving the snake elsewhere.

Okay I moved the snake's head down, and oops, I notice that downwards is negative y. So I'd rather have bottom-left as 0,0. I like the right as +X and top as +Y.

I moved the snake head as top as possible, the Y value was 3.29. Now 3.29 / 0.22 (height of snake body) is 14.95, I could try to make 15 units. So 0.22 * 15 is 3.3. Let us see if 3.3 goes outside the border. 

Nope it seems to be perfect. Lucky me. Hope the same happens in X axis. Lesson learnt, next time, make the graphics to scale and proper units.

Now to check the X axis as planned. Let me drag it as far right as possible. Its 24 units measure with the same technique as above. So there it is my gameboard is a 24 x 15 grid.

Alright now to define some basic scripts and move snake body, starting with head. I'm choosing the head and placing it in the middle of the board (12, 7)

Now I will add a new script component called "SnakePart.cs" to the snake head. I am adding some variable as needed.
private float gridConverter = 0.22f;
private int maximumX = 24;
private int maximumY = 15;
public int X;
public int Y;
Now gridConverter is 0.22 because snake width and height is 0.22f. Next I need to place the snake in the right position on Start()

void Start ()
this.transform.localPosition = new Vector3 (X * gridConverter, Y * gridConverter, 0);

Next it would be nice to drag the snake's body and snap to grid in the gameboard. That would be cool. I remember there used to be a script attribute called [ExecuteInEditMode]. I am going to add that to the top. Then I need to write some code inside Update()

void Update ()
this.X = Mathf.RoundToInt (this.transform.localPosition.x / gridConverter);
this.Y = Mathf.RoundToInt (this.transform.localPosition.y / gridConverter);
this.transform.localPosition = new Vector3 (X * gridConverter, Y * gridConverter, 0);

Notice how I have repeated a line in Start() and Update(). I will refactor that later if needed.

Here is the final script

using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;

public class SnakePart : MonoBehaviour
private float gridConverter = 0.22f;

// private int maximumX = 24;
// private int maximumY = 15;

public int X;
public int Y;

// Use this for initialization
void Start ()
this.transform.localPosition = new Vector3 (X * gridConverter, Y * gridConverter, 0);
// Update is called once per frame
void Update ()
this.X = Mathf.RoundToInt (this.transform.localPosition.x / gridConverter);
this.Y = Mathf.RoundToInt (this.transform.localPosition.y / gridConverter);
this.transform.localPosition = new Vector3 (X * gridConverter, Y * gridConverter, 0);


In the next part, I will link the snake body, enjoy dragging a live snake in edit mode. For now I love how I can do that with snake body already.

P.S. I have commented the maximumX, and Y because it gives compiler warning. I just can't stand it! Will use it when needed later.

Dependency Injection - Simplest tutorial ever!


I have been hearing about Dependency Injection often. So I googled and found this very useful post by James Shore. The article begins with the below excerpt.

When I first heard about dependency injection, I thought, "Dependendiwhatsit?" and promptly forgot about it. When I finally took the time to figure out what people were talking about, I laughed. "That'sall it is?"
"Dependency Injection" is a 25-dollar term for a 5-cent concept. That's not to say that it's a bad term... and it's a good tool. But the top articles on Google focus on bells and whistles at the expense of the basic concept. I figured I should say something, well, simpler.

Read the rest of the article here

Storing and retrieving AS3 'Class' in SharedObjects

I recently wanted to store and retrieve AS3 Classes in SharedObjects. This could be particularly useful when dealing with an embedded resource. The key functions which help you achieve this are getQualifiedClassName getDefinitionByName

Bejeweled, Candy crush like Match-3 game clone source code jam

Today I had to make an assignment for this company I had applied for. After passing round 1, the second round was an assignment. The task was to make a clone of Bejeweled which auto-plays itself, until no more matches can be made.

The game can be stopped using a button or when no more matches are available. When it is stopped either way the user can click on any 3 gems to convert it to a wildcard gem. So the game can be played forever without any end.

The whole thing took about 5 hours, with about 40 mins break in between and few other miniature breaks. I have always wanted to participate in game jams and make a time lapse video, so I took this opportunity and made one.

Also I am giving away the source code on Github. It is made with Starling framework using AS3, so it should be portable to iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and Web without any hassles.


Play online
Click here to play the game online (hosted on my Dropbox)

Source code
The source code is available on my Github. It has a 5 x 5 grid, but position and dimensions of the grid and dimensions of the gems can be changed easily as I have used const variables at the needed places.


Time-lapse Video
Check out the time-lapse video below to see how I coded the whole thing

How to make time-lapse video
How to install ffmpeg on Mountain Lion

What are the best fonts for programming ?

Good page with example and screenshots. I am about to try Ubuntu Mono.