My name is Stephen and currently an IT Professional doing administration and support, however I've always had a deep passion for software development. I've started mobile application development when I got my first Android phone in October 09. This blog catalogues all my progress with creating mobile apps for not only Android, but eventually iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7. Hope you enjoy.


Creating a High Score Board [Part 2]

Tagged: ,

So in spending a few more days researching all sorts of ways to do a high score board and getting no where. I've decided to turn my time to testing out these High Score Services, like ScoreLoop or OpenFeint. The first thing I did was read up on their articles on techcrunch then some first hand research, downloaded 2 games that use these systems.

I downloaded a Tic Tac Toe game that uses OpenFeint, and on start up it immediately prompted me to sign up for OpenFeint, there was a button on the side saying "don't use" but actually if I had just downloaded a Tic Tac Toe game and was prompted with this w/o knowing what it was, there's a good chance I would of moved on to another Tic Tac Toe game. Not to mention it took a LONG loading time using my network connection to get to that screen, it must of been caching something.

Then I downloaded a game called 4 corners that used Scoreloop. It was extremely seamless integration. The game loaded up with a normal menu and let you immediately play, a quick pop up showed up saying you weren't setup for High Score submissions, but I was playing. And most gamers know you dont get your high scores on the first try. So I liked that it let you play without even noticing the game uses Scoreloop. Then when the game ended you were able to configure your Scoreloop profile if you choose, or you could be player_#####.

So I wasn't ruling out OpenFeint, but with my quick testing, I decided to go with Scoreloop.

Downloaded the SDK, integrated very well, already got a high score board up and running with my highest score so far. I dont know if i consider this a feature or a limitation at this point, but the Scoreloop scoreboard will only show 1 score submission from a device.

For example, if you played the game 2 times and got the highest score out of everyone, 500, then you also got 475. And someone else was also playing and submitted a few scores like 400, 325. Finally a 3rd person submits scores like 450, 425.

You would think the scoreboard would look like this:
1)500 by A
2)475 by A
3)450 by C
4)425 by C
5)400 by B
6)325 by B

But with those exact scores in a Scoreloop scoreboard is
1) 500 by A
2) 450 by C
3) 400 by B

As I said I'm undecided this moment if that should be considered a feature or a limitation...yes no one person can own the top of the board but at the same time no one can prove consistency. Thoughts?

PS: Already got an idea of my second card game to implement.

Creating a High Score Board

Tagged: , ,

Seems like it would be the simplest thing to implement...I mean games of the 8-bit era had them...yet it has become quite a troublesome thing to code.

I've tried just creating a file and having the program save/open the file, however I couldn't get it working at first and honestly just gave up trying to do it this way. Because I knew it was a non efficient way to do it and if I worked on the code for some time, it really couldn't be used to anything else, so i didnd't see it being worthwhile.

So i decided to try using the Android's own SQLite database management. I almost had this working, got the database to create and able to add new items...however trying to pull them out in a ListView was quite troublesome., so in my searching for help on getting my SQLite code working properly. I came across many services that offer their own SDK and implement a scoreboard and other goodies.

I decided to sign up for ScoreLoop, www.scoreloop.com it gives a lot of crazy options that I don't foresee myself using, including in-game purchases. But it does have social network integration and global high scores. So i just finished the download of the SDK and in the meantime I will be reviewing how it works, it also supports iPhone.

I really don't see much promise if I release this game without a way to track scores. My only other option from my searching/coding the last 5 days is to make a website that contains the high scores. Which actually I would prefer over something like Scoreloop, but I don't even know where to begin for that. So I'll try to review ScoreLoop...if it places it's branding all over my application I'll most likely avoid it and I'm back to square one.

Acey Deucey, Android is nearly ready

Tagged: ,

As promised here is the progress report, screen shots and some code insight on my first project, Acey Deucey.


The code for the project is actually not a lot of Android specific functions. Besides the XML layout files and the android methods to utilize items in those layouts, the code is simply just a lot of math. Equations using card values, bet values to find the difference between the cards, if the bet can be raised, what the payout odds should be.

Which actually should lead to easy porting, which I hope to do once it survives the criticism of android users everywhere and help me build my multi-mobile device portfolio.

To do list before putting it on the market:
1) Test w/ different screen sizes. I can do this with the SDK emulator.
2) Get the local scoreboard working, an online on is being researched to see if its possible (and free)
3) Change the XML layout code from AbsoluteLayout to LinearLayout. The book I was reading from was based on 1.5 and used AbsoluteLayout, this new book I'm currently using to guide me stated that AbsolutelLayout was deprecated and is not recommended which actually should help with step 1 because AbsoluteLayout used specific pixels as measurement for how big or the location of an object [like a card] which resulted in great results for one device, but not for another.
4) Draw an icon.
5) Type a great post on this site and link it as the apps' homepage within the market details.