Yearly Archives: 2014

Jim Sterling’s Jimquisition

Are you looking for an insightful perspective into issues regarding the game industry?

Are your capable of listening to someone who probably does not share your opinion?

Are you capable of assimilating potentially provocative thoughts in-order to further your own understanding?

The Jimquisition
The Jimquisition

Then the entertaining, often outspoken non-journalist Jim Sterling is the man to see. Here’s the latest episode of The Jimquisition from his channel:

Video Editor Hunting

When starting her YouTube channel my sister needed editing software in-order to make her video content. Being a Windows user new to creating videos, she naturally picked up Windows Movie Maker.

windows_live_movie_maker_logo

She found Movie Maker to be a straight to the point, easy to use software which allowed her to add basic features such as text, transitions and colors. One negative she found was difficulty in adding voice overs as she was unable to find a built in feature for adding them.

Ultimately Movie Maker proved too simple in its offered features so being an iPhone owner iMovie was her next choice. It provided themes, background music and the ability to upload her videos directly from her phone to YouTube which helped her create and upload content faster.

imovie_logo

Continue reading Video Editor Hunting

Extra Credits – A Resource for Game Designers

I was talking to a friend the other day on the topic of personal game design interview experiences. I mentioned mine could have gone better if I’d have had a deeper understanding of game design. To this he recommended that I start watching videos from a YouTube channel called Extra Credits.

So far I’ve watched about 26 of their videos in about a day, and I fully intend to watch every last one. They’re that good!

If you believe games matter, then check them out too. You wont be disappointed.

Android – Notification Based Popup System

Notification delivery via your Android application is a feature in high demand. Luckily to meet this demand Google provides a free service by the name of Google Cloud Messaging (GCM).

gcm-logo

Implementing GCM in your Android application already has great tutorials out there so I wont go reinventing the wheel. Our team used Google’s GCM documentation, and as the mobile developer responsible for the client side implementation I followed the Implementing GCM Client guide.

Lets start from where you’ve already implemented a push notification system, and your Android application can receive data from your server via GCM. This article is about adding some icing to that delicious cake of yours, by offering an alternative behavior and some features to those posted notifications.

Push Notification System Requirements

To add some context our requirements were. On clicking the delivered notification in the users notification area. If the application was in the:

  • Background – Bring the application to the foreground opening the applications first activity (commonly know as the MainActivity) displaying a popup containing the notifications full message.
  • Foreground – Opens the applications current activity displaying a popup containing the notifications full message.

After some research I came across a question on Stack Overflow that both asked and answered how to implement what I required. The answer was to use pending intents. My addition to that answer is that this pending intent should contain multiple intents. Now lets see exactly how to do it.

Continue reading Android – Notification Based Popup System

Red Stallion Gaming – Android

Shortly after joining Red Stallion Gaming, a video game publisher in Bahrain. I started developing their Android mobile application.

rsi_logo
Red Stallion Gaming’s Parent

When I got my hands the app it was setup to communicate with a Web API, could only perform simple login and game download. There was plenty of work to do, and my efforts in this project were most notably:

  • Redesigning a new look and feel for the app.
  • Improving the login feature, as well as adding social media integration’s, for sign in and sign up.
  • Adding purchasing functionality with payment methods such as PayPal and Red Stallion Gaming virtual currency.
  • Adding a SQLite database for persistent storage to significantly reduce the data requests to the server, and improve the users experience.
  • Adding Wishlist, Library, Forgot Password and Search features.
  • Adding basic DRM measures.
  • Implementing a procedure, with built in token refreshing, of communicating with the existing API and a newly developed API to collect data for a smooth user experience.

The result of all this work was me completely redesigning, refactoring and implementing the mobile application. It’s been a lot of hours of work, but its finally released!

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There’s lots more work to do on it, and in the mobile side of the company, but I’m happy to say that we’ve taken our first step.

 

A House For Two

“Sir?”

John roused himself; he had drifted off after the clerk had emphatically given her unwelcome opinion. “Just give me what I want” he’d said bluntly. Disheartened the clerk slowly retreated.

A brawl ago, John declared to his wife that he despised these delusions; but she scarcely listened anymore. Had she ever? Could it change? Was it him?

She insisted that every weekend he drag himself to a store. Sentenced to collect the next latest and greatest distraction. He blamed her, she blamed him. A house for two strangers.

Today would be different.

Trudging home there were bridges to cross.

house_for_two

Unpacked

Writing this I wanted to experiment using ‘vagueness’ with implications in the confines of a drabble. Since both are a challenge to an amateur such as myself, from the vacuum that is my consciousness, my greatest concern is whether the balance is right to allow for those implications. Perhaps it’s about time I unpack it a little.

The subject matter is hollow marriages, with three main ‘topics’.

The first is the store. It is intentionally vague/generic to convey the view that the stores are an analogous collection of material distractions that they use to ‘fill’ their hollow marriage. The protagonist is at the point where he is disconnected and can’t make distinctions anymore.

The second is around the state of the marriage. I very lightly touch on concepts like self-blame, blaming the other, breakdown of communication, delusions between the couple, and the delusions they sustain for society.

Finally the last, is the final sentence designed to allow room for interpretation, where the two main factors are the concept of ‘house’ vs ‘home’ (up until that point I’ve only made references to a house) which requires some cultural understanding, and the second is the bridge.

The bridge serves for interpretation in either/both a literal and metaphorical sense, it’s up to the reader. In an attempt to put it concisely, I see the final sentence as touching on the struggles of dealing with a hollow marriage. Will he or will he not cross the bridge(s) to home? Is the essence of the question though there are a variation of other states that a reader might consider. Such as, despite his will, can he? Does the bridge have to lead to her?

Compressed Gamers Index

The entries in this Compressed Gamers Index are listed in descending alphabetical order. Please leave a comment if you think something should be added/changed/removed.

Use the anchors below to jump quickly to the relevant area:

Bundle Builders

Deal Finders

Online Stores