Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blobby Volley for Android: Progress Report 6

The work on my Blobby Volley clone is going quite well. This week, I had a talk with my friend, who's doing the graphics and here's what he managed to come up with:

Looks nice, doesn't it? These are just concepts though, and I'm still waiting for full size backgrounds.

I worked for about 11 hours on the code. I added pause, win and lose overlays, as well as some very basic AI. You can play with a bot now (!), although it's still quite stupid. As a matter of fact, it only moves to the position where the ball is predicted to fall (I spent quite a lot of time writing physics equations for ball movement). It takes into account the fact that the ball can bounce from the walls on the left and right. Unfortunately, it disregards the net almost completely... Oh, it also knows how to serve, although sometimes it doesn't quite make it over the net :) There's plenty of room for improvement, but I have a couple of good ideas on how to make it play better. To be honest, even now the bot is able to score a point from time to time when I play with it.
pause overlay
win overlay

BTW, the screenshots above are enhanced with Device Art Generator - the official Google tool for wrapping screenshots with real device artwork. To me they look much better than plain images. Don't you think?

I just took a look at Google Play, and it turns out that Daniel Knobe - the author of the original PC version of Blobby Volley released it's Android version yesterday, as promised before. It has between 10 and 50 downloads, costs around $1.25 and there's no free version, so I think my clone can still be successful. Judging from the screenshots, it's just a one-to-one Android remake of the original game, which doesn't look that good and isn't really optimized for mobile devices. I haven't had a chance to play it yet, but I'll probably buy it to take a look at the features and copy the best ones to my app... adding additional stuff, to make it even better.

This week, as soon as a friend of mine leaves on Tuesday and I don't have to work as a city guide anymore, I'll try to spend some time on improving the AI, fixing all the bugs I can find and maybe adding some options to the options screen. I should be able to spare more hours for my game now, since my Italian course has finished. There's a chance that some of the backgrounds will get completed before the next progress report, so you'll be able to assess my designer's skills.

Download the current game apk here.

P.S. Remember about the free Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps Coursera course which starts tomorrow. If you're an Android beginner or just want to revise your knowledge and get to know other developers - go and sign up.

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