Mr Nibbles Forever – Out now on Google Play

Mr Nibbles Forever – Out now on Google Play

The title says it all! The game is now finally out on Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.mikecann.mrnibblesforever

It took me much longer than I had originally expected when I started it back in January but im happy to say that no matter how it performs on the marketplace I feel as if I did it justice. I tried hard not to get fed up towards the end of the project as I tend to and put the hard graft in to get the monetisation and gameplay right.

I missed the deadline for the iOS version today as its still waiting to be approved by Apple but im hoping it wont be too much longer.

After that I plan on doing an Amazon build of the game and perhaps a content pack or two depending if I get more than just a handful of players :)

Mr Nibbles Forever – The Final Beta (11)

Mr Nibbles Forever – The Final Beta (11)

It’s been 3 weeks since the last update but lots has happened in that time.

I have tried hard to stick to the plan I made for myself on the 21st of June. A quick recap:

20th – 26th July
1) Create game trailer and publish to landing page.
2) Contact media and other social networks, point to landing page.

27th July – 2nd August
1) Final bug fix and polish pass.
2) Contact more media and social networks.

3rd – 9th August
1) Release Android version of the game.
2) Contact media and social networks.

So the first task was to make a trailer for the game which I managed to do:

Its not perfect but im pretty happy with how it turned out with only a weeks worth of work and a very limited knowledge of After Effects and Game Trailer making in general.

After finishing the trailer I had a week of bug fixing and polish before I took the game to Playup Perth, an indie games meetup here in Perth.

The meeting went well, people enjoyed playing the game. It gave me a few ideas for expansions in the future and hinted at some small things which I could implement immediately. So heres a list of the things I managed to fix and implement over the past few weeks, some 40 hours of work:

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Oh that reminds me, we also have a new icon for the game designed by Woody:

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It looks great in my opinion, he did a stellar job there.

We also have a new company logo for Epic Shrimp:

epic shrimp logo

This one is by my friend and ex-colleague Alan Mac, great work there Alan, even if you did manage to sneak in your little trademark in there (points to anyone who notices).

So the time for the release is almost here. So long as this new beta for the game looks okay then I hope to send some emails out to reporters to give the game a play and hopefully a review then in a week or two I hope to push the game to the store!

As usual if you are interested in testing the game you can use this public beta link: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/uk.co.mikecann.mrnibblesforever or send me an email for the iOS version and ill add you as a beta tester: mike.cann@gmail.com

Mr Nibbles Forever – Pre Release 10

Mr Nibbles Forever – Pre Release 10

Its been almost exactly a week since the last developmental release of Mr Nibbles Forever. According to the plan this week should have been about implementing the landing page and gathering feedback from people, as I managed to get the landing page sorted in the first week I decided to spend the time developing the game instead.

So this week I have concentrated on decreasing the loading times for the game. On my Nexus 7 the loading time was about one minute which is way too long. The main reason for the load times is the way I construct the levels.

As mentioned way back in my second post for the game the levels are made up of pre-defined chunks:

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These chunks are individual scenes. I did it this way because Unity doesn’t support nested prefabs and I wanted the ability to change properties of some of the elements of the levels as I was developing. The problem with this however is that to construct the levels I must first load the chunk scene, then extract its contents and build a level.

Unity’s scene loading system is very slow and causes the game to pause and stutter if you try to do it at run time. As a result I put a “build” button into the editor which runs through a small script which loads all the chunks into a specially built “Release” scene:

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So now all the chunks are available in one single scene at startup removing the scene loading issue while the game is running. This is great but it does now mean that the initial load of the game is gigantic as it has to load 80 chunks with thousands of game objects at startup. The result is the game takes a minute to load.

To solve this problem I modified my “build” process so now instead of simply importing the chunk scenes it also processes them a little bit. One common technique in optomising game performance is to use object pooling to reduce the amount of new objects that are created at runtime.

I know that the levels are going to have large numbers of certain types of objects such as spiders, nibbles and level tiles, so what I decided to do was record the unique properties for each instance of the objects such as their position, rotation, sprite type etc. I could then delete those objects from each chunk.

Now when a chunk is used in a level, it simply requests an existing instance of that object type from a global pool, then sets the unique properties on the object such as position and rotation.

The result of all that work is that the load times have been cut in half. So now just 30 seconds on my 2012 Nexus 7. There is probably more room for improvements there but considering that the deadline for the game is coming up, im happy with it for now.

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In addition to that performance work, I also had a little more time to work through a few other small bugs and one more feature.

A few people had suggested to me that it would be good to add a “remove ads” option to the game as many people would be happy to remove the ads for a small fee. Well it wasnt a huge amount of work to do it so I put it in.

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So now, you no longer need to watch an ad when you want to start or restart a challenge:

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Well that’s it for this week. The plan for next week is to plan the game trailer and to experiment with full-screen post process effects again which will hopefully add a whole lot more to the individual visual aspect of each outfit.

As per usual if you are interested in testing the game on Android then join the community page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/100690884724496136044 or for iOS email me: mike.cann@gmail.com