So, Glob is on the Google Play Store! Download it now for no reason

screenshot…although don’t get too excited, it’s completely pointless and doesn’t do much.

Although some of the sentences it generates can be quite amusing. And you can check back periodically to see other stupid stuff that he might have been doing.

I’ve blogged several times about Glob, read those if you’re interested in the progress. But for now lets just focus on the fact I’ve finished something. In my spare time and everything!

Get it here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.DavidDickBall.Glob

From Beta to Production

After testing on a few devices (I still haven’t found a better way than actually having those devices though, which is quite limiting) I pressed the button that promotes the latest version into the app store. Yes, the actual Google play app store!

This means people could find my game and download it!

I can’t work out what those people would make of it though, as it’s so pointless. I might get some low ratings. Or I might get nothing at all. I assume there’s some sort of Google algorithm for what apps get shown at the top of the list, and without any likes or reviews or downloads I assume mine will be very low down.

If you’d be kind enough to rate, that would be very nice but don’t worry about going overboard, I know it isn’t exactly 5/5 material!

Anyway this was a bit of research to see what the entire process was like, and tbh it was pretty easy, and I’ve written down some things I need to remember, so it’s an unglorified success, so… on with the next project!

Final iterations and promotion to beta

So I’ve been making slight adjustments to the glob app (can’t really call it a game as it doesn’t do anything!). I had a problem with the percentage-based layout which wasn’t working quite how I expected, but I think was because the image borders weren’t quite flush with the anchors, causing slight percentage problems when scaled to resolutions much larger than I can in the editor preview.

The constant building and uploading, then fixing building and uploading cycle is getting a bit annoying. But I don’t know a better way!

One thing I did discover is you always need to increment the version when uploading a new file to the Google developer console.

incrementing version

You need to increment both numbers to make this work, which is a bit annoying if you forget, but is essential or it won’t be uploaded.

Promoted to Beta

So I pressed the button that promotes it to beta.

promoted to beta

This doesn’t mean anything, other than it’s now in a different tab in the developer console!

Automatic updating

It looks like Google takes care of any updating of the app that needs to be done. At least on alpha/beta (and I assume in production too). Just upload a new file and it pushes to phones, although this is a bit slow. Slower than I’d like, so I did still have to email the file to myself to test faster.

So I’m uploading something to the Google Play store

New game

globTo call it a “game” is a bit misleading. This latest project is more of a random gibberish generator, something I wanted to create which was quick and no stress. Although I had the silly idea of showing how long since you last opened the app, which it turns out was a nightmare. I hate anything to do with time. Especially DateTime.

Anyway I called it “What’s Glob been up to?” a random generator that tells you some nonsense that Glob (the little alien blob) has been doing since you last checked. If you check again after just a few minutes it’ll say “Glob has just been doing x” but if you check after an hour, it’ll tell you something a bit more interesting and lengthy.

Testing on my phone

So when the app was mostly finished I exported to my phone. A process I wrote about here. This step actually took a long time of going back and forward, to get the font size correct, and make sure the interface elements scaled as they should. Turns out, the Unity way of doing percentage widths is quite tricky! I longed for CSS (especially flexbox), which makes more sense to me.

 

Signing up for a Google developer account

This part was easy, and you can do it by going here. It costs $25, which is a bargain compared to the Apple app store account tbh!

After this, I wanted to upload my apk file to the “Alpha” section.

Digital signing

First problem, uploading my app failed.

upload failed

And that’s because it wasn’t digitally signed. I had no idea about this step, but it’s basically a file you need on your computer with some sort of credentials. Turns out I can use Unity to add this, and I found a YouTube video of this friendly chap which explained how to do it. Pretty easy really.

The most difficult part of that is what to call myself! I don’t have a company, so just used my name. Apparently you’re supposed to keep and use the same file for all your apps. So I’ve kept the file somewhere agnostic from a project.

uploading

Ooh it’s uploading now!!!

Entering details

So there’s loads of details you need to enter about the app after it’s uploaded.

Standard stuff, upload an icon, some screenshots, provide description, and even do a content questionnaire, which asks some pretty oddly-worded questions like:

poo coils

“Flatulence cloud”??!!!

“Poo coils”?!!!

Nope. This project doesn’t have any of those.

nazi

No it doesn’t!!! And why are they singling out the Nazis? What about all the other totalitarian evil dictatorships? Are they allowed?

So in the end I got these ratings:

content ratings

 

So the last thing I needed to do was upload icons for every one of their specific aspect rations which was a bit annoying. I know it’s nice to give me the control, but can’t they just resize them?!

The last one is a bit odd:

tv?!!

I don’t think I want this working on a TV. It’ll look pretty crap if it did. It’s made for a portrait aspect ratio. Good thought though, how can I make my app work in both aspect ratios? I haven’t found an alternative to media queries yet. 

Alpha/Beta etc

So you can choose to put the app into alpha or beta before publishing. As I’ve no idea I chose alpha, also because I want to see the full extend of the process!

Then I pressed publish.

Scary stuff!

Now to wait a bit for it to be approved…