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AppGameKit Showcase / WIP - Fruit Smoothie (Multi Platform)

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CJB
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Posted: 31st Jan 2016 12:20
Started work on a nice "match 3" style game (with a twist) during this weekend's Global Game Jam. Unfortunately every team at my chosen venue were Unity Developers so I was coding solo. Still, I'm pretty happy with what I have achieved so far. Looking to make this into a proper game so would love some ideas please



The current "to do" list:
Intro
Title menu
Options
High Scores
Challenge Tasks (i.e. make a 10 long chain, collect 50 green gems, etc.)
Levels / Level up / Progression system
Lives / Re-charge
IAP? Ads? Paid?
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Paronamixxe
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Posted: 31st Jan 2016 14:22
Very nice!
cheers
CJB
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Posted: 1st Feb 2016 16:37 Edited at: 1st Feb 2016 16:39
Slight change of direction for this game. It's now becoming Fruit Smoothie!:


p.s. the "Blender" is my dreadful programmer art placeholder! Is David still doing the odd freebie? I could really do with a blender! Lol.
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CJB
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2016 07:34 Edited at: 2nd Feb 2016 07:35
Spent a couple of hours on the Blender graphic last night. I'm quite happy with the result:
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BatVink
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2016 15:03
looking nice.
If you have a generic program that can handle different containers, you could make multiple levels.
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Crazy Programmer
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Posted: 3rd Feb 2016 01:00
Looking very nice. Good luck!

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SpecTre
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Posted: 3rd Feb 2016 10:25
Hey CJB just seen this thread, really like your idea and it is looking good. You could do a whole range of games with little effort using different styles of graphics and using pretty much the same code with this. A bit like Gekko's slot programs.

Each game could have a different theme with IAP for extra levels or features.
These type of games are always popular too so you never know you might be onto a winner here.

I also like the brain version as the graphic style looks good

Great work.
The Amiga and Amos were great!
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CJB
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Posted: 3rd Feb 2016 10:44 Edited at: 3rd Feb 2016 20:43
Quote: "you could make multiple levels."
Absolutely! That's on my list of things to do. I'm not sure whether to go with a level selection map, or progress by leveling up characters to unlock special features... maybe a bit of both would work?

Quote: "Looking very nice. Good luck! "
Thanks Crazy Programmer! I've decided it is time for me to make something a bit more commercial to help fund my dream of making games. This game will help me achieve that. I intend monetising this with IAP, but in a discreet way so it doesn't detract from playability.

Last night I spent around 3 hours getting animations into my little fruit characters (most of this time was taken building the atlas), however once the animations were enabled, it looked really bad. Too much motion all at once just looked a bit haphazard! I'll stick with coding the animations with particles and tweens etc. I'll post up a vid later this evening showing the game with and without the animations enabled so you can see what I mean. It definitely looks better without imo.

EDIT:

Here's a clip with the animations active. I have decided not to use these in the game. They are SO not subtle enough!


P.S. Can a kind MOD please rename this thread to: WIP - Fruit Smoothie (Multi Platform).
THANKS!
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blink0k
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Posted: 4th Feb 2016 23:42
that looks great! very nice animation (i liked it a lot) and great graphics

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Wilf
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Posted: 5th Feb 2016 08:23
That looks awesome CJB! Btw where in Essex are you from? I'm from the Chelmsford area.
CJB
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Posted: 5th Feb 2016 08:43
Quote: "where in Essex are you from?"
Hey thanks Wilf! I'm in Rayleigh - just down the road from you! Cool! Maybe we can colaborate on a project some time?

I made some good progress on the level map and intro sequence last night. Nothing to show yet, but I'm hoping to get the titles and main menu up and running at the weekend.



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Van B
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Posted: 5th Feb 2016 10:26
Looks cool - I'm actually working on a match 3 game where you match fruit to make drink... but mine is traditional grid based match3, and is for the Atari ST, which is a 30 year old, 16-bit system

One thing that I think would be awesome is if you complete the level, the berries get blended into a smoothie... like a thick purple liquid fills the jug from the bottom up, while the berries explode. I think an effect like that could be your hook - these games all need a hook, something to make people go "HA! What's that game?"

Might be cool to have powerups as well, but as ingredients... like sugar cubes, peanuts, candy, etc... whatever you can think of and can implement. A lot of the time, it's seeing what comes next that keeps people playing these games. Think of ways to constantly reward the player - spread out your content so there's always something new for players to look forward to.

Rotten berries that you shouldn't match might be a nice idea - have some strawbs with worms in them.

Static backdrops are the devil - from the looks of things, you could have foliage moving, leaves falling from trees, snow... with just some simple particle effects you could really expand on the environment.

Have different jugs! - that could be the level theme, like the standard lemonade jug you have, but add more jugs, and things that shouldn't be jugs, use them as jugs... like fish bowls and whiskey bottles and a colostomy bag (K, maybe not). As I said, it's the promise of new and interesting environments and dynamics that keep people playing these games. Nobody would play Candy Crush if all it had was candy, and no funky new candy within a few levels.

I know adding a load of content is just a load of extra work, but consider that it might pay off big in the end - it might be totally worth it.

One last thing.... refraction. If you can render that to an image, then render a sprite with that image plus a mild normal map offset, add on a shiny jug image over the top, it would look like refractive glass, would look incredible with that graphics style I think. It already looks good, but I think going the extra 5 yards would be worth it, would make it really stand out.
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Posted: 5th Feb 2016 11:19 Edited at: 5th Feb 2016 14:57
Fantastic suggestions Van B! I already have plans for unlockable power-ups (exploding "bomb" super-fruits gained by completing a long enough chains, Frozen Fruit that need a chain made around them before they defrost etc.). I like the rotten fruit idea! I'll certainly put a lot more effort into the visuals over the coming weeks. All your ideas are really great (apart from the colostomy bag! YUrrkkk!). I think I know how I could do the end-of level blend-up too! Thanks for taking the time to share those ideas you ! I'll have a play with a refraction shader for the glass jugs... (hehe... he said "jugs")...

The AppGameKit community is amazing!

[edit] Wait... why are you developing a game for Atari ST (Scrolling Trouble)?
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CJB
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Posted: 9th Feb 2016 01:30
A quick update to show where this is heading... I was playing with the idea of having the jug fill with liquid at the end of the level (thanks for the idea Van!) when I though I could actually incorporate that into the game-play. I quite like the result, and it give me more options to diversify the challenges for each level (fill the jug with Orange/blackcurrent etc. only, fill the jug within 30 seconds etc.):



I've been having a lot of fun with this! I'll put some effort into getting the visuals a bit neater. A lot of placeholders going on at the moment, and the masks don't quite line up, but functionality is getting there!
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Posted: 9th Feb 2016 03:23
I like where your going with this Sweet stuff man, keep it up!
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SpecTre
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Posted: 9th Feb 2016 13:25 Edited at: 9th Feb 2016 13:26
@CJB

Looking very good. I like the blended juice as you play, looks very effective. Is this an animated sprite with alpha transparence on it?
Cool game options and challenges available now with this. Great!

Maybe an American Diner background might be a good level.
The Amiga and Amos were great!
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CJB
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Posted: 9th Feb 2016 13:38
Thanks Spectre! The liquid animation is achieved by scrolling UV with a mask so it only shows in the jug. The colour is set using SetSpriteColor with a little maths to calculate what the colour should be based on the fruits that have been squished. I don't like the way the colour currently "snaps" to the new colour, so I'll be implementing a smoother colour change system through the use of SetTweenSpriteRed/Green/Blue.

I like the American Diner idea! Thanks
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Posted: 10th Feb 2016 00:04
That looks great CJB!
It looks like you have two oscillating shapes there. have you tried putting one at the front of the berries and one behind? i think it would give it a little more depth

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CJB
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Posted: 10th Feb 2016 01:42
Quote: "have you tried putting one at the front of the berries and one behind? i think it would give it a little more depth"
Good shout. I'll give it a try!
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RickV
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Posted: 19th Feb 2016 13:05
Hi CJB,

This game has a lot of potential I believe. It looks great already and has a good dynamic about it. Plus it looks easy to pick up and play.

Please keep working on it, I think you could do well with it in the charts.

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CJB
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Posted: 21st Feb 2016 20:58
Thanks for the encouragement Rick! It has been really hard finding time to do anything with this over the last week or so, but I absolutely intend to get this one finished. Here's another little update. Improved particle effects (we now have coloured splats when you burst a fruit rather than showers of stars). Have also improved the liquid colouring algorithm so it is much harder to make a dull looking liquid (I want to keep it vibrant ).


Have also been working on the level map... I'll post a vid of that when it is functional.
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RickV
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Posted: 22nd Feb 2016 10:06
Hi CJB,

It would be cool to have their eyes animating too. Rolling their eyes, blinking, some squeaks and pops too.

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Posted: 22nd Feb 2016 10:37
Quote: "It would be cool to have their eyes animating too."


That's exactly what I thought as I watched the video! It doesn't need all of them constantly animated, you can create the illusion with just a couple here and there at any given time.

It's WIP threads like this that give me motivation to pick my projects back up
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Posted: 23rd Feb 2016 04:19
Hi CJB

Just reading a few threads while i have a time out , see this WIP game , just wanted to say i very much agree with the others on here , this game has plenty of legs , cleaver twist on a very popular game and its coming along very nicely ,
I can see this game doing very well and hope you get the pliability just right , good luck with this game
i see you are in Rayleigh and Wilf is in Chelmsford , well i am not a million miles away in Romford

mick
CJB
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Posted: 24th Feb 2016 00:57
Quote: "It would be cool to have their eyes animating too. Rolling their eyes, blinking, some squeaks and pops too."
Absolutely agree with this. I'll get on to doing some animation once the mechanics are sorted.

Quote: "this game has plenty of legs...I can see this game doing very well...good luck with this game "
Thanks micky4fun!

Quote: "i see you are in Rayleigh and Wilf is in Chelmsford , well i am not a million miles away in Romford"
Awesome! Would be great arrange an AppGameKit meet up... maybe for a Game Jam

Here's a quick peek at the level map progress. This is a simple placement editor that stores a bunch of meta data about the level markers as they are added (sprite position, level number, image filename etc.). This will all be saved out to a levelmap file for use in the game. It also has simple sprite culling, not that it really needed it with such low numbers of sprites involved, but a good learning exercise for me.

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Posted: 24th Feb 2016 01:20
Getting better and better! Keep up the great work!
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Posted: 24th Feb 2016 08:40
This is looking so cool! Love the splat effect. That alone make will make it satisfying to play. Great concept. Keep it up.
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Van B
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Posted: 25th Feb 2016 10:45 Edited at: 25th Feb 2016 10:49
Looks great, really well drawn map theme there, it suits the game perfectly.

One little thing... for my own sanity, I'd lock the level path sprites to a fixed radius from the previous, so each sprite is equidistant. Adjusting all those sprites manually would wear down my nerves I think
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Posted: 25th Feb 2016 13:18
Quote: "I'd lock the level path sprites to a fixed radius from the previous, so each sprite is equidistant"

I would do the same but also looking more like stepping stones. I think it would be alright to give it a random look. Aslong as they are not touching and dosnt just look thrown together. I think it will do fine
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CJB
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Posted: 25th Feb 2016 14:55
Quote: "I'd lock the level path sprites to a fixed radius from the previous"
That's not a bad idea... I'll add that to the editor. Thanks
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CJB
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Posted: 26th Feb 2016 02:21 Edited at: 26th Feb 2016 02:21
This evening I got level numbering and star-ratings onto the level markers:
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CJB
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Posted: 9th Mar 2016 16:14
I had a couple of days off work so decided to put them to good use!

Progress over the last 4 days (inlucding weekend):

My backend server is now setup. A MySQL database is built, and I currently have two tables for this game - One for user data (lives, score, coins etc.), and the other for level progress. both are using the deviceID as key. Completed two PHP scripts that are the "middle-men" used for sending and receiving those values between the app on the user's device and the database on my server. All tested with AppGameKit and working wonderfully! This means I can move on to the next stage of development which is where things really start getting fun: Turning it all into an actual game (as opposed to just a sweet game mechanic).

Next job on the list: Lives! Lives are to be represented by hearts displayed in the top left. If player fails to complete a level successfully, a life is used up. Lives can regenerate over time or be purchased with coins that can be earnt during play or bought via IAP (thinking ahead to monetisation). I'll keep you posted on progress with some screenshots later.
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Posted: 9th Mar 2016 22:21
Cool progress! You're much more techie than I am! Keep it up. I look forward to seeing more screen shots.
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CJB
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Posted: 11th Mar 2016 09:15 Edited at: 11th Mar 2016 11:52
I wanted the lives to continue to replenish even when the game is closed, but I didn't want the app to use the device clock to calculate this as it would give users an easy way to cheat (set system time a couple of hours ahead and hey-presto! Full lives!)... so I added a little server-side php script to return the amount of time (in seconds) since the game was last saved. Works beeaaaaudifully! For anyone interested, here's what I came up with ( lastsavetimestamp is an timestamp field in my save-game table on the server which stores the date and time of the last game save) :

+ Code Snippet
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BatVink
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Posted: 11th Mar 2016 13:57
Quote: " I currently have two tables for this game - One for user data (lives, score, coins etc.), and the other for level progress."


You should also create a stats table. You might not use the data immediately, but you will regret it in the future if you don't. Things to log...

Playing time per session
Playing time per game
Games played per session
Average score

The last one is very useful for user engagement... "You are in the top x% of players".
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CJB
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Posted: 11th Mar 2016 17:14 Edited at: 11th Mar 2016 17:15
Thanks Mr V. Such a good idea! I hadn't considered capturing those types of metric yet, but know they'll be super useful later on.
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fubarpk
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Posted: 15th Mar 2016 15:14
Looks great CJB
Def onto a winner I say
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CJB
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Posted: 6th May 2016 13:25
I'll post up another vid this evening to show current progress and how it all fits together. Still lots to do but having trouble finding hobby time at the moment due to work and a DIY Decking project in the garden (which is taking FAR too much time and money right now!).
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Looking forward to it! Last video looked awesome. Regards decking...is it just me that catches myself thinking "Undo" when I make a mistake in real life only to think Oh...no, you can't do that!
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CJB
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Posted: 6th May 2016 15:36
Quote: "catches myself thinking "Undo""

Haha... It's a slippery slope man. During my Uni days I would literally THINK in C++. It's a weird feeling. Creating path-finding algorithms in your head for the optimum path to walk along... it's just all messed up! HAHA!

printf("Thankfully I'm much better now.\n");

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Yep, all better. I can tell
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Glad I'm not alone. I often drive down the road wondering how I would create an algorithm to allow the fastest speed through the bends.
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I had a brief look on the apple appstore and am wondering is it not up there yet or perhaps has it a name change ?
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Hi fubarpk. I haven't finished it yet! Not had much "hobby" time lately. It's almost done, but still missing a few essential elements to really make it a proper game.
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CJB
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Posted: 30th Aug 2016 23:38 Edited at: 31st Aug 2016 00:09
A progress update! (It's been SO long!). I've had a little spare time to do some work on my game recently, and I really want to get this game finished and published before I move onto my next game (which is going to be in 3D!). Here's a quick vid of how things are progressing. It's actually a game now Still a few things I want to add before publishing (not least of all actually monetising it somehow). I bet I'm not alone in saying I'd love to be able to make enough money from my games to be able to write games full time. Anyway, here's how things are coming along:



p.s. Sorry for the fuzzy vid - shot on wife's Galaxy S2
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Posted: 31st Aug 2016 02:42
That looks very professional.
Looking forward to seeing the 3d stuff later.
You are not alone in the need to monetize.

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Posted: 31st Aug 2016 07:51
looking fantastic!
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Posted: 31st Aug 2016 19:35 Edited at: 31st Aug 2016 19:36
Looks very good CJB, I have liked this project from the start with the brain version! Well done.

I think monetisation is a big area where some thought needs to go in to make some money. The best way seems to be give the game away and unlock levels or upgrades with money.
Simplest is normally the best although I haven't tried it myself haha.

From Paint Pot I have a lot of downloads of the lite free version and no where near that amount for the full version as I put the 2 versions up.
I think I will update the Doodle Draw and Paint Pot games into one and give it away free this time with an unlock for extra features or something to make it into the full version, this way only one version is installed and it gets to a wider user base.


EDIT - Also I would say get this on the Apple store to make more from it. Looks very professional and I think it would do well on there.
The Amiga and Amos were great!
My website LEAP - Download Paint Pot here!
CJB
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Joined: 10th Feb 2004
Location: Essex, UK
Posted: 12th Sep 2016 16:29
Quote: "That looks very professional."
Quote: "looking fantastic!"
Quote: "Looks very good CJB"
Thank you!
Quote: "I would say get this on the Apple store"
Yes. I do intend publishing to the Apple store. I got an Apple Developer account set up months ago, but haven't attempted anything with it yet. As this project gets closer to publication, my enthusiasm is increasing and I find I am getting quite a bit done. My family have been doing some alpha testing for me and pointed out some minor issues that I have resolved (next level would become available even if you didn't win any stars, added a "tap to play" prompt to the level selection box, coins would appear from the end of the last chain of fruits, even when squishing individual fruit etc... all fixed).

I have also added the first unlockable item - the Pour Spout! You can now fill glasses of smoothie when the jug is more than half full of juice. Some level challenges will be based on making certain flavour smoothies, or a certain number of smoothies etc. When you fill a glass, you get a graphical representation of the juice you made on-screen using a sprite for the liquid juice ,coloured using setspritecolour with an overlay sprite for the glass - I thought I was going to have to build those into a single sprite using getimage, but the performance is still strong as individual sprites so I'm going with that for now. Right now they just pop onto the screen whenever you use the spout, but I'll be adding something to animate that soon.

I'm wondering whether I should add an indicator to show whether you have completed a goal during the level, or leave it for when the timer runs out as it is right now.

I still need to build the IAP shop - I think this is just going to be for coins as consumable items, and then coins can be used in-game to buy lives and unlocked features. Is there anything wrong with having IAP and some subtle ads in the same app?

V2 T1 (Mostly)
Phone Tap!
Uzmadesign
CJB
Valued Member
13
Years of Service
Recently Online
Joined: 10th Feb 2004
Location: Essex, UK
Posted: 16th Sep 2016 16:42
I'm thinking of doing a Kickstarter to get it "over the line".
V2 T1 (Mostly)
Phone Tap!
Uzmadesign

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