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…

Exporting a sprite sheet from Flash into Unity animation

I didn’t even realise Unity had an animation timeline until recently, in my Space Turd project I used scripts to time things appearing on screen – when actually I could have made it easier for myself by using tweened animations, something I love in Flash.

Flash is still my favourite tool for drawing and animation though, so for this new project (which currently I’m just calling “Glob”) I wanted to animate the character of Glob to blink and look from left to right.

So I animated this in Flash, and I was happy with it. It’s so nice to use Flash’s timeline again, it’s been too long! And it’s super easy!

timeline in flash

Now to move this into Unity

I thought this bit would be where it gets difficult. What I didn’t know until recently though is that you can export a spritesheet from Flash, which is more of an industry standard for games. It puts all your animation onto one image.

If you right click the movie clip containing the animation you can select “Generate sprite sheet”, which exports a file like this:

glob eye spritesheet

You might not be able to see the white above, as the background is transparent.

Then in Unity you can load this as a sprite (putting it into a folder called “Sprites” automatically converts it. Then you have to tell Unity how to split this file up into it’s different frames.

First I selected “Automatic” but it for some reason wanted to merge the first 2 frames, so had to select the 2nd manually. Which wasn’t difficult, just making sure it’s the same width and height as the others.

Animation in Unity

So I opened the animation window, and got a familiar timeline. It looks similar to Flash but works probably more like animation in 3DsMAX. There’s a record button, and changing any property of the object is recorded. So I dragged it to 30 seconds, swapped the sprite for the “blinking” frame, and saved it.

unity timeline

Unity creates an Animation file which saves in your project. It also saves an “Animator” file. Not sure what this is yet, but I deleted it and the entire animation was deleted, so it’s essential! Here’s the contents:

animator I’ll post more info about this “Glob” project here. But in the meantime, here’s the repo on GitHub.

My 1st & 2nd games built in Unity

I’ve been spending a lot of my spare time recently creating a Unity 3D game. I’m still very much a beginner at the platform, and each game I work on feels like the first. I’m still learning, but getting faster with each project.

The latest project has taken me months already, fitting it in around work and other commitments.

But I’m not going to write anything about that yet (okay that’s a lie, I’ve written plenty about that over on IndieDB already – click here), because I haven’t yet blogged about the games I created first.

The 1st game – ReTardis

Because I was a total beginner, I started on a ridiculous project that wasn’t to be taken seriously at all (hmm, that sounds familiar, this applies to my 2nd & 3rd attempts too!).

I did add it to Newgrounds though, you can play it in the browser – click here.

The 2nd game – Starbug Thruster

Starring the spaceship from Red Dwarf, one of my favourite comedies as a teenager, this game was based on the physics used in my previous game, but simplified for mobile touch interface. You only have to touch the left or right of the screen to thrust up and in a direction.

I loved making this game, and based the story around Blue Dwarf, the text-based game I created many years ago, and which people still play (because it’s awesome, and the most rewarding game you can play).

I spent some time creating it for mobile, although abandoned that idea when I realised using a spaceship which is someone else’s IP isn’t a good idea. I might bring back the idea in a future game though. You can play this in the browser on the Newgrounds website – click here.

starbug thrusting starbug thruster hitting overhead beams Starbug thruster screenshot, knocking over boxes

The 3rd game – Attack of the mega turd from space

Yes. You read that correctly. This is another ridiculous game. It’s so ridiculous I wrote about it how ridiculous it is here.

Intended to be another silly learning experience, I’ve actually been putting a lot of effort into this game. And I’ve been learning a LOT. I think my next Unity project will be a lot quicker, as I now actually know what I’m doing.

Here’s a sneak peak of the progress:

progress of attack of the turd from space

Okay that screenshot doesn’t actually feature a turd. But there’s more to this game than the title.

I’ll be posting more progress and screenshots on IndieDB – click here.