2012 November 22 - 02:01 Games for the last 4 years

I’ve been thinking about what I’ve done for the last 4 years, and compiled a list of the games, not counting ports or variants of games. Also not counting games where I’ve only done the programming part as a contractor.

Tilt – 2009
Connection – 2009
Steam of War – 2009
RIFT – 2009

UMAG – 2010
Jet Velocity – 2010
Cubor – 2010
RoboPop – 2010

Eternity – 2011
Jet Velocity 2 – 2011
Toad Trouble – 2011
Surroubble – 2011

UMAG2 – 2012
Tharsis – 2012
A Tilted Puzzle – 2012
RectRot – 2012
Truck Game(unnamed/unreleased) – 2012

I’ve started to work on a smaller project named RAGE-GIRAFFE, and I have a new larger project planned. But after that I might consider getting a normal employment instead of running my own company but for now Im on a new project with mu online the casino pro games.

To start, recent studies completed by several noted research and scientific organizations have proven that playing video games could help improve the quality of life for the disabled and mentally ill.

The main study, conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus in Berlin, Germany, found that playing video increases grey matter (basically, the size of your brain) and helps refine learned and hardwired skills.

In layman’s terms, playing video games directly affects and impacts regions of the brain responsible for memory, spatial orientation, information organizations, and fine motor skills, amd if you’re really into games you can also play Casino games as baccarat online which is great for those wanting to make money online.

The study also reinforces the claim that, like exercise, playing games for as little as 30 minutes a day, can improve your life. (Read here for other video game trivia and facts.)


2012 September 21 - 02:09 More Stage3D stats

This are the stats for my game Tharsis.
Based on 1,009,505 game starts.

Context fail 18.87%
DirectX 9/10/11 39.59%
OpenGL 8.12%
Software 33.42%

Which means the game was only playable for about 47% of the visitors. (Software is insanely slow).
Thats sucks big time, but probably still way better than Unity/Shockwave/Java/WebGL.

Context fail is something that any serious site could easily fix by setting the correct wmode.

Software is pretty high, may be that the game has been viewed by a lot by users in poorer countries where cheap embedded non compatible GPUs are more common.


2012 September 11 - 14:58 My main project at the moment.

Some of the cars for a Stage3D game I’m working on.

The textures and UV mapping are a bit sloppy done, but the car is pretty small when in the game so it didnt make any sense to spend too much time optimizing the UVs or painting more detailed textures. I will improve the textures somewhat.

And some really small screenshots from the actual game.

It’s all work in progress though, so things might change quite a lot.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time creating tools for creating the levels, it’s been fun work.

All the light is real time, I would probably be able to get better light at lower performance cost if I’d use prebaked lightmaps, but it a lot more work creating unique UVs for all surfaces and then pre-render the light. Now I can go from the level editor to the game with just one button push and ~2sec export time. Also pre-rendered lightmaps would increase the download size, I want to keep the core game under 5mb and each level (which is loaded as it starts) under 300kb.

The libs I’m using are Away3D and Box2D.


2012 September 10 - 21:31 Dev

My main project is moving along nicely, it’s starting to become really pretty, although pretty might not be the word the target audience would use. :)
It’s scheduled to be completed by late November or early December.

I decided to postpone the plans I had for a vehicle shooter since the mouse-lock in Flash 11.2-11.4 does not seem ready to use yet.
I can see it working for panorama viewers and maybe interactive architecture visualization, but its too slow and imprecise for games. Need to get subpixel mouse movements at 60hz for games. And preferably without mouse acceleration. But while that game is on hault why not try Overwatch, its a shooter game that many people love. If you are interested there is also a Overwatch boosting services that can help you level up your character much faster and make your gaming experience better.


2012 September 8 - 05:11 Why Stage.mouseLock (in it’s current state) is not great for games.

[Edited this post some, large part of my issues was due to mouse acceleration, the rounding was only part of the problem.
This post is a complete mess but I wrote it at 5am…]

With Flash 11.2 Adobe finally introduced mouse-lock, finally we can make FPS or third person games with mouse controlled camera.

I haven’t gotten around to try it out until now, and I noticed that even-though MouseEvent.movementX/Y are typed as Number they are always floored to ints. D:
Combine this with that you have no absolute mouse position when using mouse-lock (you only got the delta change) you have a huge problem.

For each mouse update you may lose up to 1 pixel of movement. I’m not entirely sure how often MOUSE_MOVE fires but lets say once per frame, at 60 fps you may lose up to 60 pixels worth of mouse movement per second. That’s terrible.

It also seems that the MOUSE_MOVE event fires very unevenly, often being around 100ms between events, making the movement very uneven. It needs to fire at around 60hz for an first person shooter.

I’ve tried this on Flash Player 11.3.300.257 and 11.4.402.265 on osX Lion. Really hoping there is something wrong with my computer.
[Edit: Tried it on my windows7 machine, same result in both IE and Firefox.]

[Edit2: Its possible that the problem is incresed by mouse acceleration, if the OS settings for mouse acceleration affects the movement values. Later: Yes they are.]

Btw, a bug, MouseEvent.clone() does not clone the movements values. So you need to set those yourself.

To sum things up, what’s missing in Flash (currently 11.4) for games. Without these it’s not possible to make a decent FPS like game.
1. Raw mouse input without mouse acceleration.
2. Mouse input at 60hz
3. Sub-pixel precision on mouse movement.


2012 August 12 - 18:11 RIFT for Mac

RIFT on the Mac App Store has performed better than I expected, yesterday is was #4 on the “Top Paid Games” list.
I’m not quite sure if this list is unique per country though. My AppStore application is set for Sweden.

RIFT on mac app store

Update: As I suspected it’s only #4 for the Swedish AppStore, it’s #21 in the US, #24 in the UK.
It’s still featured on the frontpage for all markets.


2012 August 7 - 15:06 RIFT on Mac App Store with AIR3.3

Today (or well maybe late yesterday) I finally got RIFT approved by Apple for their Mac App Store (MAS).

It’s not a straight forward process to get an AIR application to the MAS, Adobe have no docs on this even though they advertise it as a feature of AIR.

I finally managed to puzzle something together using the guide at:
Combined with some steps described in this forum thread:

The guide at pigsels.com cover most of the steps, the only thing you need to add is the larger sized icons (512 and 1024) and the app-sandboxing now required by MAS. This is covered in the forum thread adobe.

Anyhow, here’s RIFT on the Mac AppStore.
It includes all the extra levels you can buy using MochiCoins in the web version as well as the pastry skin, and on top of that an fullscreen mode.


2012 June 29 - 17:31 New Project

Here’s an image of a project I’m working on at the moment, it’s still early in dev though.


I’m also adding the finishing touches to a new puzzle game which will be released in both a mobile and web version.
I’ve earlier during the spring released a mobile version of Tilt for the Amazon app-market and Barnes&Noble’s Nook tablet.


2012 June 27 - 14:48 Tharsis Stage3D stats

So, I released the mars game a while ago, named Tharsis after a large region on mars.

Here are the stats so far on the GPU support. Based on 122,807 game starts.

Context fail 14.42%
DirectX 9/10/11 59.79%
OpenGL 0.34%
Software 25.53%

Context fail is most likely where the site the game is played on has not set wmode=direct.


2012 June 11 - 13:55 SWF version and Flash Player version

Since I always keep forgetting this, here are the SWF versions and what version of the Flash Player that they correlate to:

As arguments to the mxmlc:

-swf-version=9 (flash 9)
-swf-version=10 (flash 10, 10.1)
-swf-version=11 (flash 10.2)
-swf-version=12 (flash 10.3)
-swf-version=13 (flash 11.0)
-swf-version=14 (flash 11.1)
-swf-version=15 (flash 11.2)
-swf-version=16 (flash 11.3)


2012 May 20 - 02:55 D:

One of several bugs I’ve stumbled on for 64bit Flash on IE8.
64bit flash player bugs


2012 April 13 - 00:17 Flash 11.2, Stage3D hardware support

Another update on my Stage3D support surveys (data collected from an swf embedded on this site for a few days), this time only from users using Flash 11.2.
Flash 11.2 adds support for olders drivers, now from 2008 and later instead of 2009.
I was hoping this would increase the percentage of hardware support but in reality the difference seem very minor.

46% DirectX9 Direct blitting
41% Software Direct blitting
11% DirectX9Ex Direct blitting
2% OpenGL Direct blitting
(based on about 2,000 participants.)

59% of my visitors have a supported graphics card, just an increase of ~2% more than Flash 11.0-11.1. :(
I guess the problem is that there are a lot of computers out there with very basic GPUs, old computers at schools, low-end laptops etc.
There’s no hardware support on Linux, but very few of my visitors use that so it should not affect the data above.

For the next test I should use Google Analytics instead of my own (very simple) tracking which I used now, that way I can see how the GPU support is per country, I got a fair amount of traffic from China lately which may have affected the numbers.

The good news are that users are really quick to update their Flash player, I’ve already see over 60% of the visitors using 11.2 just a few weeks after it’s release.


2012 March 29 - 19:41 Video #2 :]

It’s fun to get to do some 3d graphics again. :)


2012 March 25 - 23:18 Stage3D Project

While I’m working on projects for clients during the week I try to put in some work on other projects during the weekends. One of those is a 3d driving game, sort of, not quite sure what the final game will be like.
It’s my first projects using Stage3D, Flash 11’s new APIs to leverage the GPU.


And a short clip on youtube from an earlier build.


2012 March 19 - 17:45 Stage3D hardware support update

A couple of months ago I did an automated survey on the visitors of this site to figure out about how common supported hardware for Flash 11’s Stage3D is.
Time to repeat that to see if it’s improved.

The new numbers are: (based on about 1000 visitors)

46% DirectX9 Direct blitting
43% Software Direct blitting
8% DirectX9Ex Direct blitting
3% OpenGL Direct blitting

About 57% has a supported GPU/Drivers.
The result in November last year was about 51%, so it’s a slight improvement at least.
The drivers requirements will be relaxed some in Flash 11.2, so I hope to see a little higher numbers in another few months.


2012 February 11 - 23:42 Contract work and UMAG2

The UMAG2 release went as planned. It’s currently only running on my own domain, umag2.com.
One annoying thing is that I’m using mochimedias mochi-social API to handle the login/registration, and lately their service has been a bit unstable. :(

I’ve completed the kongregate version, using their auth-API and Kreds for microtransactions. Now I’m just waiting to get approved for release, games that uses kreds needs to be approved by kongregate before they go public. After the kong-version I’ll start releasing it on some other sites before I turn on the mochi-distribution.

I’m a bit low on funds at the moment, UMAG2 was expensive and time consuming to create. So for the next few months I need to focus on contract work.

My mobile projects for Nook and Amazon has been fairly profitable, at least if it keeps at this level for a while.


2012 January 31 - 02:06 UMAG2 Almost ready for release

So, things are pretty much finished for the UMAG2 release. Finally got approved for MochiCoins last night.
The finals servers are up, web server, game server, mongoDB replica sets and all.

Still gotta say that it’s likely to be some bugs in my multiplayer server which will only surface during heavier load.

I do have a really tricky sync bug in the game, it has only happened a few times and is impossible to reproduce in a controlled environment (despite massive automated testing), but it seems that some part of the collisions/physics once in a couple of thousand games differ on one of the clients connected to the same game.
It’s possibly caused by cos/sin/atan which may produce different results depending on system, so I’ve implemented non flash-native functions for them. But problem remains.

I’ve rewritten some math stuff today which possibly could be the cause of it, but have no way of confirming it.
I had a similar problem in UMAG1, which is why I rewrote everything from scratch for UMAG2, but apparently a similar problem snuck in.

Either way, it’s not a show-stopping bug.

I’m amazed at how active the beta testers have been, got over 40,000 games played now by only about 30 people.


2012 January 19 - 23:49 UMAG2 Closed Beta Clans

Here are the clans from the closed UMAG2 Beta.


2012 January 16 - 17:36 UMAG2 Release date

So, UMAG2 will be released on the first of February, over at umag2.com.

Top features include:

  • Players can create and administer clans.
  • Simultaneous turn mode!
  • Team games and 8 player games.
  • Customizable player badges and tanks.
  • Separate games for guest and registered users.

Then I will likely take a break from that project and work on something else for a while, but my plan is to try and release some more features on it later this year.


2011 December 26 - 20:07 UMAG2 Beta

Launched the UMAG2 closed beta a few days ago, it’s for a limited user group and I think all the slots are taken now.

UMAG2 is mostly done, there are a few things left to implement and a bunch of things that needs more polish.
The Beta has gone supricingly well so far, nothing major that breaks the game completely. There’s been people online almost around the clock since I opened it, despite only inviting about 50 people.
The forum.

So what I need to do now is find a sponsor for it, it will most likely feature micro-transactions for some decorative items, but it would be nice to get a lump of money upfront to lower my risk.