but what... is it good for?

Bound by Magic: infos and gameplay

Check out this first VLOG about the game Bound by Magic. We are talking about many important stuff, like game mechanics and features, story, who we are, why do we make this game and so on and so forth. We even show off some nice gameplay footage from our early alpha proof of concept prototype version. Give it a try and watch the video. Also, check out the outtakes at the end of the video. They are hilarious!


silver lining on gamedev horizon

Hello again, dear blog. It's been quite some time since the last post here. One year, two month to be precise. Since then, my life was in utter motion what makes blogging on a regular basis rather difficult and even interfeared with my game- and software development plans and projects. Before I continue, I'd like you to know that u have to read this whole post. There are very interesting news furhter below! So, short 1.5 year recap: After a pretty long evaluation process, I finally upgraded my girlfriend and made her my wife. The install process itself took place in the circel of friends and family last year in August and was, like we imagined, a pretty great party and a wonderful day. Nevertheless, there was some time consuming organisation work to do beforehand and some install prerequisites to meet. After the wedding and the somehow stressful preparations, we travelled, vacationed and enjoyed some time off. In the last year, my dayjob was pretty demanding too, since we have been working on an exciting new CAFM software solution (C#.net), where I am instrumental in the planning and developing process.

For these reasons, and additionally because I want to dissociate from "mobile development" a little and concentrate on other paltforms, there are some changes in my planned course of action:

We stopped the development of our mobile 2d top down game "Jelly" in the prototype state and scheduled it for a later point in time. This does not mean we cancelled the work on Jelly. We presumably will work again on this promising concept after our current project (see below). Maybe we'll target other platforms like steam and gog too. We'll see. After that, we will decide, if there is still a need to continue our gamedev VLOG series about the JELLY development process.

We cancelled the iOS release of Dracoo the Dragon for the moment. The game's lifecycle is slowly coming to it's natural end after 3.5 years and approximately 250,000 downloads. Additional, there are some unresolved bugs with the ad framework on the iOS version, so we decided to put no more time into this at all. But, who knows. Maybe the little dragon returns in the future for another game. He grew so dear to us, we can easily imagine a future for this character.

So, no more fuzzing around. What is the new project?


Dracoo leveleditor 101

Already since march 2013, our free of charge download game Dracoo the Dragon awaits you in Googles Play store. Now, we are planning on releasing him on iOS/iPhone/iPad as well. I took this opportunity to explain the level editor in more detail. After all, it is public and free accessible and we treated it shabbily after the release. We did not talk about it very much. In fact, we did not talk about it at all I guess. It is quite simple to understand and equally simple to operate. One creates a new level with a certain levelpack online, pushes it to the game server and trys it out in the very instant, still being in the browser. Maybe some of you want to distribute a new and challanging level for Dracoo the Dragon yourself. Or you just play around a little while and get comfortable with the editor.

If you send me some nice levels in JSON format, I will probably set myself to work and review your levels, pack them in a new and free Dracoo community edition or just add them to the existing levels within the actual game. Given they provide our high quality standard.

It would give me great pleasure, if you grapple with the editor and the game itself. The game is created to be played and to have fun with eventually.

So, enough said. How to create a level?


Setup (2/2): Gradle and LibGDX Project

What we're about to do:

  • Eclipse Gradle Plugin
  • LibGDX Setup Tool (Download)
  • Projekte Eclipse-Import
  • Run HelloWorld

Within the scope of this post, we will finish setting up our libGDX development environment. After we already prepared our machine to develop Java by installing the Java Development Kit (JDK) and Android by installing the Android SDK (we did it here), we are going to take care of the proper implementation for the build automation tool Gradle, its integration with Eclipse and the creation and integration of the libGDX project files.

But what do we need Gradle for? Gradle allowes us the dependency and version management of the software tools and frameworks used in our projects in a very simple manner. For example, it helps us out with the updating process of the libraries like libGDX or box2d physics. In earlier days, before gradle and before other dependency management tools, it wasn't always easy to find the necessary resources, change them and link them together in the right way in your project. Gradle completely removes this burden from our shoulders. A fully fledged Gradle tutorial would be out of the scope from this tutorial, though. If you want do deepen your knowledge about gradle, feel free to check this site out.


Setup (1/2): JDK, Android SDK, Eclipse

What we're about to do:

Because the scope of this post grew a little bit larger than I expected, I divided it into two parts. This article will cover the installation process of the Java Development Kit, setting up the path variables in Windows and installing and setting up the right version of Eclipse. If you already have a JAVA SDK installed, you are free to skip this part. At least, a Java 7 needs to be present. Java 6 is not supported for our purposes. 

Today we discuss the matter of installing a Java respectively Android development environment. We prepare everything to run and debug LibGDX Code on your computer. It is necessary to meet some software requirements.

I will explain the required steps and settings for a windows system with the IDE Eclipse. Of course, everything discussed applies in slightely modified form to Mac OSX and Linux too. A very good alternative for eclipse is the IntelliJ IDEA from jetbrains, especially in the form of the Android Studio. I for one prefer the Eclipse IDE.

Lets take a moment to talk about Java first:

Java is a widely platform independent, object oriented programming language. But what does this mean in this context?


Joomla: obituary notice

I can't help myself, but I got the strong feeling that something regarding the content management system Joomla changed over the last couple of years. And I do not mean the good kind of change. Ok, it is true. I may have overslept some changes. And I may have missed some major releases. But should there not have been more release to miss? Does Joomla have such long release cycles? Or switched the former very active community with its component- module- and template developers to another cms tool like Wordpress? At least the graphic a quick google lookup revealed, suggested so. Market share 2015 up until now: 60.7% Wordpress, 7% Joomla, after all, second place in front of Drupal and Blogger.

Yet there is this feeling of solitude, searching the web at 3am for components and modules from solely canceled and discontinued projects of former major players, not even compatible for the last major Joomla release. Abandoned and deserted project sites with last updates mid 2013. Therebetween, fee-based components, promising god and the world while not giving me the opportunity to test or try them beforehand. At least, there seems to be some artists around which are publishing their Wordpress templates for the big J too. (Source)


Jelly LibGDX Game

Is there something more aweful than some really bad puns in an youtube video? Right. There is not. Except being the one who have to do the puns. As compensation for the bad joke in the beginning of the video we have many, many more informations about our new game Jelly, which we will dissect piece by piece over the next couple of blog articles and video tutorials, before we finally recreate it for good. I am introducing the gameplay to you, the main character of the game and the ideas behind it. Natually, there is much unused potential at this very stage in development and the concept is far from finished. But hey, we have enough to do a 'proof of concept' and do the refine work later on.

Jelly is going to run on Android, iOS, Windows and Linux. What we need to create this multiplatform experience, what to take care of and what pits better to avoid will be be topic on the next few articles and videos. I expect some subjects to emerge and re-emerge every couple of weeks. For example: LibGDX, Eclipse, Gradle, Git, obfuscating, monetization, install different SDK's like Analytics, gamepad control and so on.


LibGDX Dev Tutorials

Dear blog. It's me again. I had (and still have) the conviction that someday, I am going to design and implement one hell of an awesome 2d game. Until then, I kill my time wrapping my head around various gaming concepts and occasionally developing prototypes and proof of concepts. As chance would have it, Sebastian and me were working on a very promising idea the other day. So we decided to draft a quick protoype in libGDX. As you would expect from us, we did not finish it to a degree to pitch it somewhere. But in our humble opinion, it should be a pretty solid foundation.

We thought about it and came to the following conclusion: This blog will serve us as platform to document the process of development for this game. There will be examples, code snippets, tutorial videos and explanations to every part of creating the game. We will break bigger problems down to solvable, more understandable smaller problems. Since I often found the solution to a problem I had on various blogs and development sites, I thought it is about time to share my solutions the same way.

Here you can see the first video on this topic, which was already taken in october last year (one can easily realize how rarely there is time to advance projects like this).


hello world!

It is time. This has been overdue long enough. The whole world forces their opinions and '2 cents' on the internet's mind about everything and nothing when I sit quietly beside and keep my mouth shut. This changes now. Hereby I officially start my own software development blog. I planned to do so for quite some time now. If it wasn't about time. So, what will be my topics? Since I work as C#.net developer and engage in 2d game development with Java in my spare time, this will be my first priority. I want to discuss various techniques, maybe dissect some code snippets and walk you through my/our game concepts and ideas.

The attendive reader has already noticed i switched from singular to plural. So, who is there else? It's simple: I work with several friends on various projects. There are graphic artists, other software engineers, audio people, hands for marketing and distribution and so on. And the many, many friends which keeps testing and reporting bugs and cheer us up if something goes the wrong way and a gameplay or concept blews up in our faces. ;) Thank you all. I guess it takes some more people than us core nerds in front of eclipse, which engage in the nitty gritty technical details. But first and foremost there will be articles and videos about game development.

So, I'm looking forward to the future, and should there be, against expectations, some human beings interested enought to keeps reading my blog, giving in to my bad grammer and worse spelling and enduring my wicked, inexperienced style of writing: You're the real mvp!

See you next time


public class HelloWorld { 
    public static void main(String[] args) { 
      System.out.println("Hello World!"); 
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