WindowsPhone has too many walls!

So anyone that reads my Tweets probably sees me banging on about my game Space Jelly Jump. It’s a little Phonegap experiment. Plugged again. Anyways, it’s on Android and iOS and I had a crack at pushing it to Windows Phone last week.

Unfortunately, Microsoft threw up so many walls it’s just totally not worth it.

The first wall – software

None of the development software works on mac. I think it’s time to concede that not all developers use a PC. When you’re #3 and only 2% I think you should be a little more open to supporting more platforms.

The second wall – cost and process

Again, when you’re lonely at number three why put so much cost and time to developers trying to contribute to your market? The cost is only $21 but that’s still a wall.

The third wall – the Windows UX and approval process

Apple and Android are kind of on the same page in terms of games. It’s kind of up to developers to implement navigational systems. Microsoft has it’s own unique UX guidelines and a strange approval system that looks very stringent. But then when you look through the actual store it’s all over the place. I’m not sure why they’re so strict in their guidelines but so lenient in reality. But for me it’s not really worth the risk. I cbf making changes to fit in with Windows.

The fourth wall – Internet Explorer.

Everybody hates and no longer uses Internet Explorer. It’s down to less than 10%. Microsoft realise this and give developers everywhere the finger by just going in a different direction anyway. Chrome and Safari are nearly identical (webkit), Firefox is pretty easy to cater for but IE … sheesh. Sometimes it seems like there’s a mole within Microsoft purposely placed there to tear the place apart form the inside. Since Phonegap is built using the system browser everything turns out balls on WindowsPhone.

So farewell for now Windows Phone. Farewell Microsoft. My game was never going to change the world or get that much attention, but the fact that I can’t publish a package Phonegap Build has already made for me is pretty shit. The above reasons are exactly why you’re stuck at the bottom and not moving.

CSS calc doesn’t work on Samsung Browser

Damn you Samsung and your non-support for a handful of random things.

The latest one I stumbled onto is CSS Calc. I’ve found calc to be really handy, but mostly because I’m just really lazy.

Calc let’s you do things like

width: calc( 100% - 20px );

It’s great for quick sneaky margins.

Anyhow, after looking at Space Jelly Jump on a Samsung the score panel had gone all funky monkey. It turns out it’s this calc stuff.

I used this alternative to fix it. Probably won’t be using calc again.

This goes with border-radius where you have to specify each corner just for Samsung Browser. Blast!

Building my first PhoneGap game!

So recently I just published my first native mobile game – Space Jelly Jump. It’s been a very exciting, challenging and rewarding experience. I thought I’d share some of the links that really helped me along the way.

1. Kenney’s Assets
Kenny seems like a lovely chap who has made it his mission to design public domain assets for anyone to use within their game/application. He also provides fonts and sounds. The majority of my app comprised of assets from Kenney. Thanks Kenney!

2. Phonegap Build
When I first started out I was building on my local machine to Android and iOS. I found it really messey and the documentation all over the place. When I started using Phonegap build everything seemed so much simpler and easier. All my projects are stored on Github once checked in phonegap build pulls and builds. I can download the packages and put them directly on to devices. It’s great!

3. Myanomo
Myanomo is an online Android simulator. It probably sounds pretty simple but I had so much trouble getting my local one to work and not be really terrible. Myanomo let’s you upload an APK and test online. It’s a lot like browser stack but I don’t think Browse stack let’s you run APKs. Anyhow, it’s on an older Android too so it let me pick up some bugs I couldn’t see on my Nexus.

I’ll probably add some more later but I think that’s a good start. Now to look for the next game idea!

A few resources for front-enders

I thought I’d share some of the great things I’ve discovered and used across the web in recent months.

Zepto minimal javascript library
Zepto is a great jquery like framework that’s perfect for mobile based solutions primarily because of it’s tiny footprint (9kb). I’ve used it for a few projects and really enjoyed it. 

Screensiz.es
Screen sizes is great to quickly pull resolutions and a number of other stats for any device.

Subtle Patterns
Sometimes you need to give your projects a little texture. Subtle patterns is a great resource to get repeating patterns for your project.

Google Maps Style Wizard
Most implementations of maps are the default style. I’ve found that my clients and clients of my employer (Big Mobile) enjoy branding extending to their maps. I guess it’s nice to carry-over the theming onto maps. Google maps style wizard let’s you define the colour, styling and visibility of practically everything that goes onto a map. The output is pretty easy to copy-paste into your Google map project.

 

ZAMPLE+me

zample-dribble

In case I haven’t bragged to you already, check out my new side start-up Zample.me. It’s a mix between surveys and data visualisations with a super minimal UX.

We’re starting to get some really positive feedback and reviews that are nice in a validating kind of way.

If you have the time, checkout Zample.me and we hope it inspires how your startup shares data, and builds an experience for the simplest task with a unique solution.

new-startups.com