CubiX Review

by DeanLogic Z30

As a member of an app developer group, you have the opportunity to hear of an app that you might not find looking in an app store. I usually try to help test the apps from the Baby Steps: BB Dev group before they get to the app world, but I didn’t have the time during this app’s development. Now that it is launched, I took the time to download it and give it a look.

Cubix on BBW

CubiX is a side scrolling time touch game. In other words, a game that requires the user to touch the screen at the right time for the right amount of time in order for the player piece to keep advancing. The game was built using Unity, which they make you proudly display on the splash screen.
Game Warning

The second splash screen displays a warning to those who might suffer from epileptic attacks. So, take heed.

Because, welcome back to the 1980′s!

Now, I love the 80′s and pretty much wish to relive the glory of my youth. Hot pink and bright colors are part of the 80′s and all of this game. It might make the game a little hard to read, but you can’t complain that the user interface is boring.

Once you get past the start you are on to the first level. AgeTDev (aka Tom) has added a little help for when you are getting started with the game. That’s a good thing, because when he was looking for testers he wanted

users who would be okay with doing 70 attempts before passing the first level

Consider yourself warned.

As mentioned, the game play is that you tap the screen to make your hot pink cube jump to avoid or purposedly land on objects. Flat objects are good, as long as it isn’t the water. Pointed objects are bad. When you jump, the hot pink cube will rotate, allowing for more interaction with obstacles as you scroll along.

On the first level, there are pauses to help you learn the game, which make it feel like you are entering a slow motion round house kick. And when you fail, the screen zooms in on your complete failure to give you the feeling that you’re crashing off of a cliff. A couple of nice touches to the game.

It only took me 30 tries to complete the first level. The first pack of levels is free, with 2 unlocks.

The second pack is an in app purchase. In app purchases have been a hot topic in the developer group. We are always trying to figure out what is the best way to get monetary reward for our efforts, yet encourage people to try our apps. If you join AgeTDev’s BBM Channel (C003CC64C), he is planning to give away the 2nd pack. Also, you’ll get updates on when other level packs will be available.

CubiX is a fun game and falls into the easy, but hard and addictive  category. If you need something to brighten a boring day, then this is definitely the game you need to download.

Check out CubiX in BlackBerry World! You can find it at http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/55551887

Meetup for BlackBerry 10 release 1.1.3

by DeanLogic

I just got the update 1.1.3 for my Meetup for BlackBerry 10 app in BlackBerry World. I didn’t put in all the changes that I wanted to, mostly because of issues that came up while I was making the upgrade. Beyond my computer having problems, Meetup had a DDoS attack, which brought the app down for over a week. Unfortunately for my app reviews, a few people downloaded the app during that time and couldn’t get the app working. Because of that, I decided to release the app with what I had changed and then start another version with some more changes.

In this release, I added event chat/discussion. Event chat/discussion is where people can make comments about the event before and after the event. Usually this is helpful when people are planning things before the event. It is somewhat helpful for the Organizer when people leave reviews after the event. To get this to work, I modified a ListView to look like a chat screen.

Event Chat

Event Info

Event Info Menu

I also updated the App Settings menu. The Privacy Policy and Change Log now open in a WebView instead of opening the browser. I also added some text about joining the BBM Group for app support and subscribing to the DeanLogic BBM Channel, with a button to open the channel. Adding the channel was a little more work than expected, because when I ran the app on my phone, the BBM Channel would automatically open up. I used a tip found on the Internet to check to see if the uri was added before triggering the Invoke. Then I just add the uri when the button is pressed.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get Join BBM Group to work. Apparently there are still some bugs in that with the API or maybe just general inability to do so or something. I think it will be fine for people to join the Channel, because the Channel does offer chat.

actions: [
                    ActionItem {
                        id: aiBBMChannel
                        imageSource: "asset:///images/Channel-d.png"
                        title: qsTr("DeanLogic Channel")
                        ActionBar.placement: ActionBarPlacement.OnBar
                        onTriggered: {
                            bbmChannelInvoke.query.uri = "bbmc:C004DD717";
                            bbmChannelInvoke.query.updateQuery();
                            bbmChannelInvoke.armed();
                        }
                    }
                ]
 attachedObjects: [
Invocation {
                        id: bbmChannelInvoke
                        query {
                            invokeActionId: "bb.action.OPENBBMCHANNEL"
                            invokeTargetId: "sys.bbm.channels.card.previewer"
                        }
                        onArmed: {
                            if(bbmChannelInvoke.query.uri != "") {
                                trigger("bb.action.OPENBBMCHANNEL")
                            }
                        }
                    }
]

App Settings Menu

App Support Form

Cascades and auto animation

by DeanLogic

While I am trying to work on the next release for my Meetup app, I decided to take a little diversion to make a simple game app. Well, simple game app has taken a little bit longer than expected, but while working on the code, I learned a little unexpected feature about Cascades. When you want to place an item in a Container, you can let the Container handle the placement, or you can set the X and Y coordinates for the control (which is a subclass of a VisualNode). The values to set are the TranslationX and TranslationY, which doesn’t sound like something for setting coordinates, but more to do with language. If you set these values and do nothing more with the control, then nothing in particular will happen. However, if you set the values in a way to place the control outside of the visible area and then later set the values to be in the visible area, then you will see an animation happen.

In this video, the buttons move to the end point (on or off the screen) when triggered. I used my video camera pointing at my computer monitor. So the quality is not the best.

In this video, I move a Container and everything in it to a spot in order to hide the gaming board. Because I used a Java based web screen capture, not all the frames are captured, so it is hard to see the animation. But, in real time, the Container slides up to cover and down to uncover the play area.

The quality of the demonstration goes back to the annoyance that Adobe Captivate is not part of Adobe Creative Cloud. I was thinking about putting How To videos with my apps using Captivate. I will probably have to figure out how I can do it using Edge Animate.

Fly FLy Up Testing and Review

by DeanLogic Z30

As part of being a developer you end up spending some time in developer forums. Usually those forums are part of the official site for the development tool or application. But, sometimes you end up in a fan forum that happens to have a developer forum of its own, like the one on CrackBerry.com. And sometimes when you want to find an active group of new developers, you end up in a BBM Group for new developers called Baby Steps: BB Dev.

Well, that’s where I found myself when a user named Tom asked for some help. Tom was dipping his toe into Unity for BlackBerry 10. And apparently one of the issues with developing is not being able to know for sure if the app will work on all the devices. Luckily for Tom, he was in a group that had users with Z10s, Q10s, Q5s and one guy had a Z30. I am that one guy.

For testing, Tom chose the route of sharing his updated bar file with the group testing his app. I used vnBb10 to side load the app for testing. It took several revision to get to the released version, but it was fun getting there.

FlyFly Up BlackBerry World

Fly Fly Up is a color matching game. Which means, the player selects a color to match a color presented in order for the game to continue. What you want to do in Fly Fly Up is to keep the red ant, Elliot, flying up and up on his jet pack that indicates your selected color. The premise is simple and the game starts out easy, but if you are a little slow on the finger press, the game gets hard quick.

“Touch quickly. Touch softly. Touch only when necessary. ” – Lloyd Summers

Sage advise. The game is addictive because you want to do better and better to beat the high score.

Check out Fly Fly Up! in BlackBerry World! You can find it at http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/49730421

Painter Help And Review

by DeanLogic Z30

A little while ago, a guy named Joe gave me some help creating a Chat Style ListView.  While I was working on my app, he was working on his app called Painter.

BlackBerry World Painter

BlackBerry World Painter

Joe is still making updates to the app, but it is a great app already. You are given the option of brush size, opacity and color. There are also eraser options for when you want to clear something.  For basic doodles, this would be fine. But, you can also load an image to make your doodles on top of. Of course, with the opacity option, it makes it a great tool for capturing images on your phone and then highlighting something in the image.

Highlight something

Highlight something

But, it gets better. Joe setup Painter as an option for editing images. So, instead of opening Painter and then loading an image, you can use the Action Menu on an image an “Open in Painter”.  This way, you don’t have to keep Painter on your first page of apps, because it is always there when you need it.

Joe asked for some help on the Invoke action and some other ideas, which I did my best to explain and he graciously gave me a “hat tip” in his app.

Hat Tip to DeanLogic

Hat Tip to DeanLogic

I have made some suggestions for future updates and it sounds like Joe is going to make some nice feature additions in the future.

Check out Painter in BlackBerry World! You can find it at http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/46330888