Hi there! You've probably reached this page from the Freeplay website in search of the elusive 'Up Down Ready' which took Best Design in this year's awards.

UPDATE: Hello! If you've arrived here from StumbleUpon, why not go play the game now on Kongregate! With high scores and EVERYTHING.

The versions of the game that were on this page were hosted on Dropbox. Since the recent spike in traffic, Dropbox has cut off access to my public folder. I will hopefully be migrating this stuff across to an actual server, but the version on Kongregate is the official release.

I'm Delia, the Sword Lady half of Sword Lady and the Viking. You can find my teammate over here. We are third year students in the Games Design course at Griffith University, and Up Down Ready (previously known as Horse) is our first semester project from this year, made using Adam Atomic's free Flixel library.

We entered it in the Freeplay Awards for a lark, and were incredibly surprised and excited to make it to the finals and take away an award. We hope you enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoyed making it!

- Delia

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Moderate success!

Well, Henrik and I just posted the mobile version of Up Down Ready on Kongregate. Which is, admittedly, almost identical to the desktop version bar a couple of bug fixes and the addition of some touch-based controls.

I've spent an unpleasantly harrowing couple of weeks working on this, compounded by the inability to access any flash-compatible Android phones on which to test it. I have learnt a lot, the most important thing being this: YOU GUYS, IT'S SWEET THAT ANDROID IS OPEN SOURCE AND ALL, I GET IT, THAT'S ADORABLE, BUT JESUS FUCK DEVELOPING FOR IT IS HORRIBLE*. Ensuring a consistent experience for all users is a massive headache when half of them have something like half the display resolution of the other half.**

Also half of them don't have flash yet - because it's not a case of 'everyone gets the latest OS all at once'***, but rather 'oh well here is the latest OS but Samsung hasn't put it out for THEIR phones in Australia yet, who knows why.'

And in ANY case, if you are running an actual, honest-to-goodness open-source distro of FroYo such as Cyanogen, while it may 'greatly extend the capabilities of your phone' this does not actually include the capability to run Flash, because Google apparently hasn't actually released the FroYo source code yet. Go figure.

On the other hand, the new Multitouch API in Flash Player 10.1 was surprisingly easy and pleasant to use (then again, it's Adobe, so my expectations were kind of low). Touch support detection is as simple as Multitouch.supportsTouchEvents (of course, there's another potential minefield here - you can also check Multitouch.supportsGestureEvents, and given that some phones support single touches but not gestures or multitouch, you would have to create multiple input methods and different UIs and - augh, see? It just snowballs.)

This was actually all I used Multitouch for - since I was using single touches, which also automatically fire MouseEvents in Flash, I just used mouse input. I also spent some time noodling around with scaling modes and alignment, so that it doesn't look completely pants when it goes to fullscreen mode.

ANYWAY. What I am saying is that we entered Up Down Ready in Kongregate's mobile games contest (we had to upload it as a new game to be under consideration for the competition, which I thought was a bit silly, but there it is) and now we are officially downing tools on it for this year. We will hopefully come back to it in the future, at such time as we feel we can make a significant leap in quality and depth of gameplay (possibly an iPhone port or similar).

For now, we move on to Snowball. We will be crunching heavily over the next few weeks to attempt to get something, you know, functioning.

- just stab the other guy in the face straight away, it saves time

*Compared to, say, developing for iPhone. I'M JUST SAYING. I concede that developing for desktop environments has always, and will pretty much always be a compatibility hassle, but that's a different ball game and outside the scope of this blog post.

**See also: I know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

***Gosh wouldn't it be super convenient if all the users got the updates to the OS at the same time OH HEY THAT'S WHAT APPLE ALREADY DOES WITH THE IPHONE.

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