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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On June 19, I wrote a post about how I created a little 3-D model of my logo in Photoshop CC 2014 and had it sent to Shapeaways to be printed (see June 19 post). 19 days later and it just arrived.
When I checked their website to see the progress of it, I saw that they started offering faster, cheaper shipping options after I had already paid for mine. Oh well.
The 3-D model fits in the palm of my hand, and as you can imagine by looking at it, it’s pretty flimsy since it’s such thin lettering. Still, it’s cool that I was able to create it with a couple clicks of a mouse. It was a fun process to test out, but in all honesty, I don’t foresee myself wanting to do 3-D printing in the future until it gets much cheaper.