More About Construct 2

In my last post, I wrote about my experience using Construct 2 to build HTML5 games. Since then, I have improved the Maddie Bear’s Sticker Hunt game to support touchscreen devices/game controllers and hidden areas. I’ve also created a game for toddlers that I was able to export as a native iOS application, started listening to the C2 Podcast, and the generous folks at Scirra gave me a review license for Construct 2 so that I may write/record tutorials how to use the software.

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If you’re interested in Construct 2, you should definitely listen to the C2 Podcast by Alvarop and ArcadEd. They talk about their experiences using Construct, monetization and have special guests. I really enjoy listening to it as I’m working on games.

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If you haven’t checked out my Maddie Bear HTML5 games yet, they’re now both smartphone/tablet compatible. Maddie Bear’s Sticker Hunt is under constant development, but you can check back periodically for updates and enhancements.

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I also created a simple demo game for toddlers that I’m going to turn into a video tutorial course. It will be a great way for people unfamiliar to Construct 2 to see what it can do. It will cater to those who download the free version (4 layer limit and HTML5-only publishing), but I’ll also show you options on how to publish to an iPhone if you have a paid license. It’s also compatible with smartphones/tablets, so you don’t need a computer keyboard or game controller to play it.

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HTML5 Games with Construct 2

I recently discovered software called “Construct 2” that allows you to easily create mobile and HTML5 games. The only “problem” I have with the software is that it’s Windows-only and I do 99% of my work on a MacBook. To get around this, I was just drawing all of the artwork on the Mac, uploading it to my webspace and then switching over to my PC to run Construct 2. Then I found VMware Fusion, that lets you run numerous Windows operating systems on your Mac.

Now I can draw in Adobe Flash on a Mac environment and then switch screens and build a Construct 2 game in the Windows 8 environment, it’s pretty handy.

You can check out 2 games I made in Construct 2 at: www.MaddieBearBooks.com

Android TV

In July,  I signed up for the Android TV Developer Program. Without notification, they shipped me the developer’s kit and I received it yesterday in a plain brown box with a plain white box inside of it. There wasn’t any paperwork saying what it was or why I received it, but thankfully I remembered filling out the form months ago.

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It’s about the size of the Amazon Fire TV and the game controller is almost identical, as well. One side of the device is smooth and shiny, the other side has triangular points and an LED light. It also comes with a USB developer cable you can use to hook it to your computer, or you can always sideload .apks via wi-fi and Terminal/Command prompts.

Since I had recently ported one of my games to the Fire TV, I was able to modify the files to utilize the Android TV controller by using the codes on this page.

So far, my impressions are that it’s just like the Fire TV except with less features, which is to be expected since it isn’t available to the general public yet. If you’re not a fan of the Apple TV or being stuck in Amazon’s ecosphere, it will definitely be worth checking out, though.

Maddie Bear Comics Now in iBooks & Paperback!

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The Maddie Bear Comic Strip Collection Volume 1 is now available for the iPad and Macintosh via iBooks and in paperback format.

The iBook version includes: 93 Comics with Interactive Author’s Commentary, Behind the Scenes Sketches, and bonus video.

The paperback edition includes: 93 Comics, 82 Pages, Author’s Commentary, and Behind the Scenes Sketches.

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Maddie Bear’s Birthday: Free Kindle Edition w/Paperback Purchase

Amazon recently announced their new children’s book Kindle publishing tool for children’s book authors. If you have a children’s book written and illustrated, you can use the tool to upload your .pdf file and it will convert it to a Kindle-ready book to sell on Amazon. I decided to test it out this morning with my children’s book, “Maddie Bear’s Birthday.”

The nice part is, it gave me the option to let customers who purchase(d) the paperback version to download the Kindle version for free. So if you’ve already purchased the paperback copy of Maddie Bear’s Birthday through Amazon, you should get a free download of the Kindle version on their site.

You can pick up your paperback copy here and the Kindle version here. However, if you’re looking for a more interactive version of the book with animations, narration, sounds, and a mini game, you can get the iPad app here.

Kwiksher: Under New Management

Alex Souza, the creator of Kwiksher, announced that he will be leaving the company, and Naoya Yamamoto will be the new owner. Readers of my blog may know that I’ve been a huge supportor of the Kwik Photoshop plugin for storybook apps created in Corona SDK. The tool makes app development so much faster and easier, and I’ve developed a friendship with Alex over the years since I first began using Kwik.

You can read Alex’s good-bye statement here: http://kwiksher.com/2014/09/02/alex-farewell/

For users of Kwik, this has a few changes in the works, which are covered here: http://kwiksher.com/2014/09/02/kwiksher-future/

It’s hard to imagine Kwiksher without Alex, but I wish him the best of luck in the future. Knowing him, the next big project is just around the corner.

 

Maddie Bear Books Revamp

Today I updated www.MaddieBearBooks.com with a new look and feel. It’s now one continuous page instead of different subpages. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, so I’m going to use it for a week before I decide if I should keep the new style or not.

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I also just got done drawing the 55th comic strip for the site, so the collection is adding up nicely. I’ve already started prepping the iBook and paperback versions. The comic strip collection book is going to include author’s commentary, additional artwork and some behind-the-scenes sketches. The paperback version has about 42 pages right now, so I’ll probably start publishing it when it’s around the 100 page mark.

Maddie Bear Comics

One June 24, I started a new comic strip series based on my Maddie Bear book & mobile app series. I didn’t really advertise it, I just made posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Behance. Since then, I’ve been getting about 50-100 readers a day. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been reading the series.

There’s no business model, no marketing, or source of income from the comics, it’s really just a labor of love. It forces me to come up with a new idea and to draw everyday, which is nice to exercise my creative muscles.

Check out the comics here: http://www.MaddieBearBooks.com/comics.html

Maddie Bear Comic #10
Maddie Bear Comic #10

Tile Review

About a year ago, I pre-ordered a product called “Tile.” Tile is a little white square that you can attach to objects that you don’t want to lose. If you do happen to lose the object, say for example your keys, you can open the corresponding iOS app and it will make the Tile ring.

Tile: Do Not Adhere to Pets
Tile: Do Not Adhere to Pets

Set up is pretty straightforward. You install the app on your iOS device, press the “e” on the Tile and the app will walk you through step-by-step. When you’re looking for whatever Tile is attached to, you can look at it’s location on a map in the Tile app and have it make the Tile start ringing as you track it down.

To test it, my wife hid the Tile somewhere in the house and using the app, I had to find it. It took me about a minute to locate it as it was ringing. It was in my daughter’s stuffed animal basket, by the way. I haven’t done any long-range tests with it yet though, to see how well it tracks it on the map.

Personally, I keep mine in my wallet in case I misplace it throughout the house. I haven’t adhered it to anything yet because I like the freedom of being able to attach it to multiple objects. Plus, working from home, I don’t have too many chances to lose my stuff. It’s still a nice piece of mind to have, though. Order your Tile here.