30 Day Dev Final Week and a kinda sorta Postmortem

Mark 30daydev

I started 30 Day Dev on a whim. About 30 days ago I happened to see a twitter post from @liamtwose about 30 Day Dev.  I thought, why not?  I wanted to start a new company and lay to rest Sputnik Games.  Even though 30 Day Dev starts in about a day from the publish date of this post, I decided to start right away. This post described the last five days and is a postmortem of sorts.

What I did

The last 5 days was about polish polish and more polish.  It’s all set up for me to start writing games under the Retrostalgic moniker starting in 2016.  This last week I’m outlining what games to make for 2016 and which to start with.  I hope to have a lot of releases for 2016.

The past 30 days was about setting up game template in Xcode using Swift, designing a brand and website and setting up a bunch of social media accounts.

I already have a great template for Phaser and needed one for Xcode.  I’ve been playing around with a few template designs over the years but never liked any of them.  So I took the time to make something I loved and I’m crazy happy about it.

I originally set up a template where I wrote games in Phaser and Typescript, complied it to javascript and loaded the javascript game in a custom wrapper. I worked great but performance on some devices were just not up to speed.  Maybe someday soon it’ll be worth it but now I’ll stick with native code.

What I’ve Learned

Blogging is hard.  I really hate writing long format blog posts.  I feel I’m just not good at it.  It takes me forever to write a post.  All this time writing I could be making games. That’s why you see the posts getting shorter and shorter. Then I tweeted I’d post this on Friday but that was Christmas so of course that didn’t happen. Then I stared writing this post this morning.  It’s 6 hours later I’m still trying to finish this post.

My kids HATED the Sputnik Games company name.  Really HATED it!  They told me this after I told them the new name which they “like a lot”.  Ummm yeah.  I wish I knew this earlier.  Seems like a lot of peeps didn’t like the name.

I need to consolidate and focus on less.

I love everything retro and I’m embracing that for 2016.

The Future

The game dev blog posts will now contain more game dev images, videos and code. The post will be shorter but more relevant.

Instead of writing long blog posts I’ll be using Twitter, Snapchat and/or Vine and possibly YouTube to document the Retrostalgic journey.  I’m intrigued by video but I want to have the short videos always available and not disappear after 24-48 hours like snapchat.

I’ll still write in the blog but they be short.  It’s not going to be solely about game development either.  There will a lot of game development posts, yes, of course, but it’ll be centered around the things I do which is game design, photography and the roller coaster day to day life.

Sputnik Games will get one more website redesign to keep things very simple.  A one page design with links to the games on the iTunes store.  I also have to update a couple of games with updated SDKs.  They still make money and as long as they do they be updated.

I’ll be moving all my old posts from Sputnik Games blog and this one to the new Retrostalgic blog.

For me it’s more than just #30DayDev.  My 30 Day dev is every day.

Rescuing data & Rat Rods – Days 23-24 – 30 Day Dev

Mark 30daydev

Days 23 & 24

The whole weekend was spent trying to save whatever data I could from the dead iMac.  Took most of the two days.  The iMacs hard drive would get too hot from all the copying that I had to shut it down for awhile about every hour for 30 minutes.

I got about 80% of my work off of it.  The rest will have to die with the iMac. 🙁

I want to smash the hell out of it.  Maybe I’ll film it.

I think I’ll focus on photography the rest of the year with some game creation in the evenings.

The image is of an awesome rat rod I saw on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey.  LA Rocks.




Video of Template – Day 22 – 30 Day Dev

Mark 30daydev

Day 22 30 Day Dev

The video shows what the Apple TV and iOS template looks like in the simplest form.  The video is of the Apple TV version.  The options screens has different options based on what platform and whatever else I need for a game.  For this simple demo I’m showing the Apple TV number level indicators.  It’s tap and swipe controlled and specifically designed for the new Apple TV remote.  It will work with game controllers as well.  Just need to attach one to the Apple TV and player 1 controls the navigation.

The starfield is the placeholder for the game scene.

Game Template UI – Day 21 – 30 Day Dev

Mark 30daydev

30 Day Dev – Day 21

Template is almost done.  Both Apple TV and iOS input controls are complete.  One codebase for both platforms. Sweet. I’ll do a video of it this weekend most likely so stay tuned.

The custom shader looks great and I’m finally comfortable with it.  It’s very customizable from swift too.  Everything from the curve of the glass to the thickness and amount of scan lines are editable.  You can turn it on and off if you prefer too. I also plan on adding other retro styled shaders in the future for different games.

I have multiple buttons that can be added or removed with one line of code making customization super easy and fast. This will help me turn games around very quickly in 2016.

Next step is to add screen controls for iOS and touch.  That code is already completed from my other games and I just have to add the class files and design the buttons.  I plan on adding user customization for the screen controls.  That was a big success in my Aerolite Asteroids game.  Aerolite needs updating but still runs very well.  That was my second game I wrote for iOS for the first iPhone using Cocos2D.  Wow.  That was a long time ago now.

Today I’m listening to Sevendust. Yeah Baby!


Rejected App and Christmas Card Photo – Day 20 – 30 Day Dev

Mark 30daydev

Day 20 started with a rejection from the iTunesConnect review team.  They couldn’t find the ads in my game.  You see, I don’t want to bombard people using my app with ads all the time.  What I’m doing is only showing an ad ever few game plays.  This way the player has a feeling of uninterrupted game play. Well, the review team didn’t play it enough since they simply didn’t see an ad displayed.  Because of that, the app was rejected.  As a reminder to myself and others, put a description in the App Review Team notes section when submitting, detailing where to find the ads.  This way there aren’t any future rejection surprises. I had to do this with the Apple TV and game controller code.  The Apple TV requires the gameController.framework to use the Apple remote as a controller.  The review team must be flagged to check for extended controller support if the game controller framework is part of the build.  I had to put a note for the app review team that the game does not support the extend control and only the Apple TV remote.


I appealed and they got back to me pretty quickly but my app was still rejected because I selected the radio button that the app uses the “Advertising Identifier”.  Submitting to iTunesConnect is a moving target.  This used to not be the case.  They also mention that I shouldn’t have the AdSupport.framework as part of the build. Guess what.  It’s not included in the build.  I have to guess that these replies are generic copy and paste canned responses.  I hope that the game will make the 22nd deadline.  It’s been in review for two weeks now.

30 Day Dev

Most of the day was trying to deal with a migraine.   Migraines fucking suck.  After popping 6 ibuprofen and waiting in pain, I was able to see straight again and had to finish the final edit of my Christmas card.

Progress on the game template is still on track.  I should have a working template this weekend.  Lots of life events are happening this week and next so I hope I can keep up.  I’m adding a “Press A to Start” screen that’ll be used in some games.  This is for game controller support.  It’s something I implemented for the Wii U and will be put to good use on iOS, Apple TV and later the Typescript games.  I want to make the screen fun and animated like old school title or loading screens.  It’s very art heavy and I might need to find someone to collaborate with to do the art.  My daughter can only do so much. 😉


Today I’m listening to Disturbed.  LOVE this band!!!