samedi 13 mai 2023

Why my games are disappearing from Android

 I made my game as clean as possible, meaning without tracking, nasty IAP or Ads... But I also use Unity, that has a tracking on its own. So for all my Unity games on Android, I need to have a privacy policy, which is what you have on this blog, linked from the Play store page.

But now the privacy policy should also be into the games, which is something I am not sure I really want to do, for 2 reasons: 1 - It's near impossible to earn anything from apps on Android, especially when trying to play fair (i.e. not unlimited IAP, no paywall, ...), and 2 - It's nasty to update an app on Android, as Google updates and breaks stuff regularly. Unity being a bit of a mess as well, it is not so interesting...

For Nyaf there is actually a 3rd reason. I have a major update on the work for the PC version, and if I do an update on Android, it might get some of the new things from the PC (not all as it would be too slow and too big for a smartphone. The original Nyaf was optimized to be light enough for smartphone. Moving to the PC was the excuse to add many cool stuff, even when it's not obvious (like high-quality encoding of the musics).

The Archives of Evil Dr BA

A collection of games I wrote over the years in Java with their full sources. Some are rather complex games, and I tried to complete them to a playable state (Sea Wars being the most complex), some simpler (Similar, my 2nd applet game from 2006).
SeaWars is a relatively complete 2D strategic game that play on maps: a global strategic map and a zoomed tactical map. On the strategic map you play as you want, with only events that you can avoid without penalties (in this version). But you don't see the enemies, or your civil ships. On the tactical map you fight. You see the enemies only if they are damaged, otherwise you need to detect them. If too far you might not know if they are in your camp or not.
It's a simple game on some aspect, but complex on some other. For instance missiles and torpedoes can follow way points then seek for a target.
It became a bit too much for one person, so I finally "fixed" the gameplay this year, adding full save, separation of surface units and submarine (by default you will command surface unit, but you can manually decide), addition of civil unit and many small changes and fixes.
And it would be the ideal game to mod, complement, or use as a base for other game: use some algorithms or ideas within another game.

Draw was SeaWars. I accidentally discovered that the tactical map of Sea Wars could do very cool effects. Draw was born. The engine below if the same, the elements you see are still missiles and torpedoes, and they think they are in a naval game :). It's the most polished "game" here, and was finished around 2009, with only additions since then, and an automatic throttle system: the number of elements allowed changes depending on the FPS. But it's also one with many parts remaining from SeaWars. I kept them "in case". One of the latest addition was to reintegrate a SeaWars mechanism...
Similar is the oldest game. Based on a Palm Pilot game (for whose old enough to remember), it was aimed at being a very light online game. And it is. Using pure Java graphics systems, it is also suffering for that. It is still enjoyable, and had some good success when it was on the web (>10.000 players), but would greatly benefit from a remake. The score are not saved anymore, as I chose to keep the ghost code that was saving in a distant MySQL server ( DBSupport.addScore(playerName.toString(), score, nbColors, sizeGrid); ). Feel free to add a local DB support, or a modern score system. I will add any change to the code!
All my code is released under MIT licence, so you are free to do whatever you want with it. The games are mostly easy to change, up to a point - some parts might not be so simple - so can be modified by children, with a little help. Feel free to share new creations or modifications. If you contact me I will be happy to share them as part of the pack here!
All the games were originally Applets, so POJO without many dependencies. They can be compiled and run within Eclipse or another IDE very easily.
The current pack is ready to run on Windows, but it should be relatively easy to run on Linux. If you can do a distribution for it simply contact me. I will help you do that and give you a free key.  For some reason explained in another post (The Giant Ball, History), a Mac version is currently not possible.
All good modifications can be shared within the pack with the authors credited! Just be careful if you use API or assets for their respective licences. Be careful that GPL APIs cannot be used as this project is under a MIT licence, which allows commercial use without sharing source. LGPL APIs can be used if used as libs only (not part of the project's sources).
You can also fetch the code from the public repository: archive on BitBucket
Buying this pack will support creating more content such as that!
If you encounter any issue, please contact me. If you are a developer, feel free to look at the code! I will credit anybody that helps! :)
Font used in the title by Gluk.

mercredi 3 mai 2023

Looking for a new Job - My online CV

 As I am currently in between Job, the last job was again a limited time contract, I developed a Json viewer so I could structure my Curriculum Vitae, and eventually show an interactive Voronoi from it, but this last is pretty much a work in progress. Also an opportunity to use Javascript, which is not a language I used so much.

So, if you want a rather old but rather good software developer/analyst, here is my CV. And I am very very good at finding and fixing bugs, and quite quick at it too :)


Online CV

mardi 27 octobre 2020

NYAF Press Kit

 



NYAF Press Kit



NYAF is an enjoyable and relaxing experience featuring fantastic music and sounds recorded by the developer, his son and a friend. The game contains a full automatic save so you can quit at any time without losing your progress.

"NYAF is also a different hidden object game, where the engaging music together with the fluid control create a fluid experience", says Alain Becam. “I tried to make the game very dynamic”.

The backgrounds and the characters of NYAF are all hand painted and unique, some scanned from 1 by 1 meters canvas, from the artist Sébastien Lesage. The originals on canvas glow in the dark, thus the light green colour.

The pieces of music are from several great musicians, Chris Huelsbeck, Chan Redfield, Chris Collins, LiQWYD, Alexander Nakarada, Jean-Philippe Rameau and have been selected to match the current stage/game.


NYAF is also 4 games in one: NYAF, MMPG, YANYAF and a secret one! Play NYAF to unlock the other games, 2 will get unlocked by progressing in it, for the last one you need to find the secrets.

NYAF
  • Find the hidden characters on hand painted backgrounds. 
  • Select between 8 levels of difficulties.
  • Earn coins that you can use to buy 2 dogs that help you find the hidden characters.



MMPG
  • Battle the opponent in a massive minimalist fighting game. 
  • Unlock units by playing the other games.
  • Your units are placed automatically for you but you can always erase them to put them at another place. 
  • Use brute force to get more units or try to go as far as possible being a strategist. 
  • Once a level has been won, you can unlock it.



YANYAF 
  • Find the small symbols in an infinity of generated backgrounds.
  • No goal, no ending just for those who want a challenge looking for tiny symbols.



Additional Information

About Alain Becam
An independent developer in Heidelberg, Germany, he started programming when he was 11 years old, always mixing game and science-related programming, and never stopped since. After his studies he did 4 years of R&D in Game development, then worked on serious gaming for a short while, before a long pause from full time game development to work in an international institution. He never fully stopped developing games and other tools, from a naval war game (https://tgbb.itch.io/the-archives-of-evil-dr-ba) to a powerful but ugly name generator (https://tgbb.itch.io/alname-generator) with many in between, like a collection of stereoscopic 3D experiments for the now-defunct auto-stereoscopic HTC EVO3D. NYAF is his first leap to Steam.

vendredi 16 octobre 2020

YAF - Privacy Policy

We do not collect any information of any kind ourselves. We only want our customers to enjoy the game and have fun.
There is no login.


YAF is written using Unity. Unity does a minimum collection of the user's hardware information and offers optional advanced analytics, that we do use in YAF and Days of The Tokens (but not in the other games). This game also use Unity Ads.


Please consult Unity's Privacy Policy for more details.
As of the time of writing, the 30th August 2020, it is summarised in "1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)", "I play a game built with Unity software, what should I know?", 1st and 2nd paragraphs:

"Some Unity developers use Unity’s Analytics and Ad services" -> We do
"Some Unity developers may collect your information independent of Unity." -> We don't.

As we use Unity Ads, please consult the full policy for all details.

dimanche 30 août 2020

Days of The Tokens - Privacy Policy

We do not collect any information of any kind ourselves. We only want our customers to enjoy the game and have fun.
There is no login.

Days of The Tokens is written using Unity. Unity does a minimum collection of the user's hardware information and offers optional advanced analytics, that we do use in Days of The Tokens and YAF (but not in the other games). This game also use Unity Ads and Unity IAP.


Please consult Unity's Privacy Policy for more details.
As of the time of writing, the 30th August 2020, it is summarised in "1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)", "I play a game built with Unity software, what should I know?", 1st and 2nd paragraphs:

"Some Unity developers use Unity’s Analytics and Ad services" -> We do
"Some Unity developers may collect your information independent of Unity." -> We don't.

As we use Unity Ads, please consult the full policy for all details.

vendredi 10 juillet 2020

The Giant Ball - Where does that come from?

In 2006, I was working in Sweden at the now defunct University of Gotland, in the Game department, doing development mostly, but also research. Aside my work activities, I also developed games in my spare time, mostly proposed free as applets on the Giant Ball website.

But the first game on this web-site, as you might have guessed, was the Giant Ball. A strange idea on several accounts, a failure in term of revenue (the days I got the most visits, Google decided my ads value was 0), and a success as an experiment.

The idea is both very simple and quite weird. A giant beach ball, 1275km of diameter, somehow arrives on Earth and stay still until pushed. Of course it is no easy task to push such a big thing, so it needs many persons pushing it simultaneously. To push it, the first version was only using the visit: once started, the game would count one push. That was way too simple and strange, so a red button was introduced. Press to charge, release to send hits.
Then another issue, I wanted to do an online multiplayer game, and I was not a flash developer. I was used to C++ and Java, so went with Java. I wrote the server, and went to do the web-game in an applet, in 3D...

Bad idea.

It might have been the only multiplayer game using Java 3D, we will maybe never know.


It worked (it got the red button after the screenshot, I did no try to run it again :) ). But you had to install Java3D, manually. So, while Java was at that time installed pretty much everywhere, and the applets were running straight away, that was not the case for Java with Java3D. You got a message asking you to install it instead, and that did not help the game.

So for a long while, the browser game was in 2D and in 3D, it would use Java3D if installed, or fall back to a 2D version. Actually the ball was kind of more 3D in the 2D version, at it was raytraced in real-time. After some years, the 3D version got dropped.



Naively,I wanted the game to be cooperative, without an official competition. Of course, it started to work only when it started getting some competition 😅.

At the end if got 83 countries, more than 100.000 players, so that's a success. A sad success actually, as it showed that Africa was pretty much fully absent from the internet at that time. Of course my sample was not that large, but all others continents (well except Antartica) were present.

It was supposed to be Ads-supported, as at that time I needed to rent a physical server to run it. Let say that the Giant Ball, and the others games I pushed there, were pretty much my gift for all the visitors, a gift that was not free on my side 😃. As far as I remember I got 3-4 € from the ads, so not enough to receive anything, and it simply disappeared after a while.
About the other games, they are now on Itch.io, the 2 biggest having been enhanced and completed, and might come to Steam. They all work on PC desktop now, and are still written in Java. I am still looking for persons that would like to build a package for Linux for them. On Mac, only the smallest would work, as it uses plain Java AWT and does not do anything fancy, and actually was done in a way that would keep updates to the minimum (only when you do something). But the 2 others uses a pretty fancy game engine I wrote to support several thousand of quite smart units (they are all autonomous and uses attached sensors), and relying on a very well done graphics engine for applets, Pulpcore2D, that stopped being supported when the applets stopped being relevant. Some persons made it standalone, I adapted it a bit, also changed the mp3 streaming part I used, so they are now desktop application. Thanks to that, I also added many things that couldn't be in an applet, and sadly removed the centralized score saving (that needed the server).
Well, all these explanation to come back to the Mac port. Apple in its habits of killing whatever is not their interest decided to stop supporting some graphics API that were central in normal 2D Pojo graphics, so Pulpcore is both slow and flashing on a Mac. Without replacing all the graphics layer by something else (like LWJGL), it is probably impossible to fix...
I still need to work on the Linux port. Funnily I am pretty use to applications on Linux, but not desktop ones 😉, and I run only VM Linux, so I need to go back to it. My only issue is on how to bundle Java with the game.




And what about the Giant Ball? Well, it might do a comeback ;)