I just upgraded Xcode to v4.6 (yah yah it took me long enough, we have been VERY busy all over the place.) BUT I am not ready to update all my devices to the latest iOS version (6.1 at the time of this entry) I always forget that I need to go get the previous SDK's. By far the easiest method is to simply use xcode to install them.


From the menu choose Xcode->Preferences and the Downloads tab. I just installed everything since we support all the way back to v4.3, actually we have v3.2 support in most of our games. I think that will change this time around. With Apple's mandate to support, among many things, iOS 6 and the new iPhone screen size (to include updates...) we can't update our older titles with adverts for our new stuff... its a 1st world dev problem... The writing was on the wall last year for a lot of this. We really slacked off on updating. I promise you we will get to it! According to analytics this will screw a couple people who play with older devices... Typically less than three in a month... I hope they forgive us! (I am sorry!!! I really am!!! Apple made me do it! Tongue out )


For now I wait to test the Doodle Army client against my recent server changes...

I have been making great strides in reading through a book on cocos2d (for iPhone) and although I have yet to go cover to cover (I keep jumping around!) I want to get a quick review out for them of the parts I did get a chance to study.


Let me just open with how refreshing it was to pick up a book you are ready for skill wise. I have a few games I worked on in the App Store and I have some [street] experience with cocos2d and this book is a nice fit. So I dive in. You might not want to use this book to start learning cocos2d. And if you read warnings, prefaces, and intros you better pick up on that from the books description real early and IF you still got this not knowing a thing about cocos2d 1) I applaud your tenacity 2) I shame you for not doing some up front due diligence... You have failed yourself. But this post is not about you, BUT if this matches what you did then hang onto the book and go check out Ray Wenderlich's intro tutorials for that (I can't leave you with nothing, this is where I started my education btw. I owe Ray a couple dinners now... I'll settle that account someday.)


So back to the BOOK! As I said I tend to read a book cover to cover, that is my preference. Schedules, releases, bugs, family are just going to let that happen this quarter. But I have been in and out of the text every down moment I had. Which is telling, considering I chose soaking up some tech text versus firing up some Minecraft. I must admit I jumped around a lot! There are some parts that build on one another. Luckily in every case I encountered there is a reference back to the moment I should be building on. Depending on your experience level you might not need that though.


A little side note on finding a specific 'thing' using the TOC (table of contents) or the index...  Since Each chapter is covers a fairly familiar game 'type' unto itself the TOC does not lend itself for specific message lookup. If you are looking for a specific CC message you will want to start in the index. What I did find interesting was each chapters game had a detailed index, so you could scan that and get a *REAL* good idea what each chapter holds. I think that is the primary way since the TOC through me a loop initially. I appreciate the cute names and the text is fun like from time to time. If your not in a mood for that you need to steel yourself for those moments. Work through it! I did. So can you! ;)


This a great concept book with enough concrete examples to get your own code moving in the right direction (including reasoning for the choice of convention in several places, which if was your only awareness of the way something was done *cough* *cough* you [I] would never have known otherwise.) I learned something new (old) from this book I missed in my grueling on-the-street training... For that I give the book high marks. Your mileage may vary, but I appreciate the alternate takes on approaches. I feel stronger because of it. Knowing they exist. 


So the best thing for me in the book... I wish the book was out when we figured out how to do Bluetooth that would have saved us some serious pain in the making of Doodle Army 2. You kids don't know how good you have it! Now get off my lawn! (and you might want to go check out this book!)


The price is not bad at all either! Check it out.



A totally thought filled review of Doodle Army. Doodle Army is not original, but it is meant to embody the best of the genre in its execution. Which is likely why it is popular enough.



It has been a long time coming! But a stable x86 build passed muster in the store certification process. It is/was slated to release 2/27/2013 (in a few days) but I found a huge bug in the zombie mini game level... In this mini game you spend the night fighting the zombie horde off... Eventually they overrun you, but you get break and a random resupply at days break. You also get to spend your points earned on ammo and health every day (if you live to see the light of day that is...)

By far this is my favorite mini game. It was sad to find an app crashing bug in it, but after I did I got it fixed... Now do I let it release or fix it with a zero day patch? I think I have to try and push it through with all the other fixes I have done.

Here is a screen shot of a bad night to get you excited... With 11 seconds to go to day, I thought I could take my hands off the keyboard to capture the moment...


Every time I make a new game this comes up. Your game's name is a trademark, and in a sad twist of events your chosen name is someone else's trademark! :(

For US check the trademark database (TESS) and see if they have even bothered to trademark into more than just music and extended their trademark to cover digital entertainment markets. Take some time to look at companies trademarks (e.g., Rovio's Angry Birds) and compare it with other popular titles. The grey areas crop up quick. The language and breadth of a trademark's declared written language matters. There is all kinds of fair use laws too. Infringement on an artists likeness, is it parody? How much likeness is allowed. I read about these going both ways all the time... and I am drawing a blank on an example on good examples both ways! (help! anyone?) Weird Al comes to mind, but he asks artists if they mind... Although even that can get messy in the telephone game world of he said she said (for the record I really like Mr. Yankovich's response to all that drama.)


So where to start. I promised an entry point... I always check out TESS http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp


It costs a bit of money to get trademark, and more so if you pay a lawyer to go research a conflict. Then once you have it you must defend it to keep it. That is why any mention/use of another's trademark is frequently met with swift responses oftentimes. Then there is parody, even that is a minefield of potential litigation to navigate... :P


Even before you acquire the full legal trademark a step, that I am aware of, is to start MARKING your stuff (tm), You see that little TM everywhere... That is the warning sign that you intend to or have trademarked what is marked. And it more than just names. It gets complicated rather quickly... too quickly...


I am not familiar with the governing agencies outside the US and I must also declare IANAL (I am not a lawyer), but I know a good one who has done me right, steered me clear, and has a background in patent and dabbled in trademark law. If you get serious, consider a lawyer, it might lead to something (not just fees paid out!) We recently had to defend a property that someone tried to trademark (and claimed WE infringed on) only to discover they had little ground because we had been in market on the App store a year before they even announced development (luckily for all we worked it out and were happy to be compensated to give up rights to the name so they could use it. great game too! Keeping our name was likely to occur if we fought it, and royally screwing them. I hope we get treated the same way when we are big and screw up with a trademark snafu (or in this case a lawyer team screwed up!)


I'll ask my lawyer friend if they want to be publicly named before doing giving him a plug... I think they like working in the shadows... That is a lawyer thing isn't it?

I got hit with this issue the other day after importing a project out of Team Foundation Server, but this 'can' happens when switching workspaces which is where I saw it before, but the fix is the same and is trivial. Simply clean your project.

Go to the menu Project -> Clean

Then rebuild.


Share the profit by shouting your love for me far and wide. Twitter will do... @orionnoir


It has worked every time for me (once I remembered.) I am hoping taking time to write this down does the following:

1) helps someone else in their time of need.

2) helps me remember this simple task instead of me staring dim witted at the error message and throwing my arms up in another fit of nerd rage...

#2 is likely behavior that will remain unchanged. For the rest of you I hope this helps. ;)

Meredith Cook, of MulchMedia.com, gave a great talk to the local Adobe user group meeting (PDX Adobe) here in PDX about her experiences helping make Flip the Bird. I was her colleague/wing man to handle any technical questions, but that is not what made it great. She is a thoughtful, well organized speaker, no ones time was wasted for the sake of the well organized narrative she gave. I may be biased, but her story was well received.


All the nitty gritty details (and links to the updated slide deck) can be found here on her Blog.

She did a great job, the meeting location was much improved over the closet they got stuck in last time (so I am told.) It was fantastic to meet the organizers and people in the community interested in learning and already doing this kind of thing.

For all the people having trouble with Doodle Army using a Samsung Galaxy S2, specificlly the I9100 version

We know there is an issue that typically manifests itself as a crash right around reaching the first checkpoint after the turtorial (for most people.) We have been pulling our hair as to why and someone finally responded with enough details for us to sort out a lead! And further digging turns out there is a known issue on this device that has a work around baked into our framework of choice (Cocos2d.)


This gives us something to work with. Hopefully we get a fix soon, this has dogged us for a few weeks now.

While our website is under reconstruction there is not a place for cool reviews. So we simply will have to settle for a link from one of developer blogs. Thanks for the great review. I am looking forward to the larger review to follow. I hope the game keeps on giving as the initial impressions!




"If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart."
Greek philosopher

This quote got me thinking about how my misfortunes are much less than so many others and even if the day has me down, I am still way low on the amount of misfortune I bring to the heap. Just saying. I am grateful. Of course this quote could ALSO be a criticism about how generally selfish people are and not wanting to 'share the load' with those less fortunate... Something to think about.

I'll get back to code and tech posts soon enough. Still a ton of work to do on Android's Doodle Army Boot Camp, and ramping up on another round of server fixes for Doodle Army 2. Windows 8 is hovering in the back too. That was too much work to just abandon it... too much... but the cocos2d template needs a lot of work still too.

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