Tag Archives: tutorial

Android Example of a Zoomable Game Board

In this article, I describe how I built a simple game board in Android. The sample app shows a grid of squares that represents a game board. The squares on the game board come from an array of image tiles. The grid can be zoomed in or out and moved. Touch events are triggered when squares are touched. Regular and long press are handled. With this sample as a starting point, it should be easy to build a game that uses a board of squares. Continue reading

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Tutorial: How to Implement In-app Billing in Android – Part 2

Part 1 of this article was my guide on how to get started with in-app purchases in Android. It was published in July 2014. Finally, here is part 2. …

Part 1 covered the operational side of things: defining in-app products, application keys, etc. In this article, I will offer some suggestions on how to adapt the TrivialDrive code for your own app. The code provided with TrivialDrive is very well structured and we all can learn a lot from it. Most of the hard work is done in classes inside the util package of TrivialDrive. Without that package, the MainActivity would be much more difficult. The changes I suggest below are refinements on what is in the MainActivity provided by the Google team.
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For my own work, I made the transition from the in-app purchases of the TrivialDrive sample app (Figure 1, left) to the purchases of my space war app (Figure 2, right). Continue reading

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The Thirty Second Hook and Double Star

I recently read “The 30-Second Hook” on Gamasutra. It’s a very good article about the experience of the developers of Blowfish Meets Meteor. The author talks about the experience dealing with the problem of making your game appealing to players trying your game. You have to hook players quickly or, in may cases, you lose them. He writes, “people played only the rather simplistic, tutorial-based first level and put it down because they assumed this was a reflection of the entire game.”

It seems that this might apply to my Double Star Android game. Twenty levels of play are provided in the game, with mysteries, challenges, and rewards along the way. However, it all starts with a training level. If training takes too long, players might never get to the more interesting parts of the game.

The latest beta release of the game introduces a short training level.
Continue reading

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Revised – Lessons From Angry Birds

Back in February 2014, I wrote an article about how I did tutorials in a space war game app. The article was “Lessons From Angry Birds: My Thoughts on Android Game Tutorials”. The topics covered include game tutorials, engaging users, and gamification. The article has been revised a bit, primarily because the game changed names from “Starship” to “Double Star”.

… See https://blahti.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/angry-birds-and-android-game-tutorials/ Continue reading

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Tutorial: How to Implement In-app Billing in Android – Part 1

In an earlier article, I wrote about in-app billing inside an Android game app I am working on. This is the first of two follow-up articles in which I explain how to add in-app billing to your game or other app. In this article I will walk you through the steps for the TrivialDrive example program from the Android Developers website. That website provides a sample in-app billing (IAB) app. It shows you how to do simple in-app purchases and subscriptions. … The focus on this article has been on getting a working example going. That is a really important step. The TrivialDrive app will be your reference app as you move ahead with your own app. I do not recommend skipping the TrivialDrive example. There are too many things that can go wrong if you are learning the basics of in-app billing at the same time as you are adding items to your own app. Continue reading

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Lessons from Angry Birds: My Thoughts on Android Game Tutorials

I would like share a few thoughts about designing tutorials for an Android game app. The game, which is a space war game, is not extremely complex but there is enough there that a casual player might have trouble getting started. Commanding a starship is, after all, not a simple task.

In this article, I will tell you what I did about that problem. I will tell you about what I learned about game tutorials from Angry Birds and how I built that into my own app. Continue reading

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Android Fragment for an Item in a Store

I am working on a game that has items that players can buy from a store. I needed a way to display the list of items on the screen. I am using a StoreItemFragment to display them on the screen. In this blog post, I describe a demo app that I built that uses the fragment in a list of items for sale.
Each item for sale has a picture, a description, and a button to push to make the purchase. The image next to the purchase button indicates the currency used for the payment. In this demo, players pay in gold coins or crystals. I plan to use this Fragment for purchases made in the game with virtual currency, and I will use it with a second activity where the player can start an in-app purchase using real money to purchase game coins.

(Note: This is an excerpt of the blog article. Click the link for the full article, which includes screenshots, detailed explanations, and a link to the full source code.) Continue reading

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