8bitrocket.com
25Sep/120

Professor Zombie! Released For iOS, Kindle Fire, Android – Plus Professor Palindrome! now On Kindle Fire!

For Immediate Release : 9/25/2012

Producto Studios Releases Professor Zombie! For iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire

Redondo Beach, CA:  Today Producto Studios released their newest game for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire: Professor Zombie Unscramble!

 

Just in time for Halloween - a sequel to the hit iOS game Professor Palindromes! (also released for the first time on Kindle Fire Today),   Professor Zombie!  Challenges you to unscramble the words before the Zombie eats the professor’s brain!

The Professor has left his brain out, and now zombies want to eat it!  The only way you can stop the zombies is by unscrambling the words from the zombie lexicon.

The play is simple:  press two letters to swap their places.

The action is frantic: can you make the correct moves before the time runs out?

You get 40 seconds on each level to unscramble the words.  Be sure to read the clues, as they will help you figure out the puzzle.

Any time left over from the last level is applied to the next.   The faster you work on the earlier levels, the better chance you have when things get more complicated.

Earn or buy (iOs only) “Instant Solves” to help you get to higher and higher levels!

Fun, and addictive. Download it now!  For iOS and Android, and Kindle Fire

 

 iOS 

http://itunes.apple.com/ua/app/professor-zombie-unscramble/id545106772?mt=8

Google Play

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.producto.unscramblezombies&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEwMiwiYWlyLmNvbS5wcm9kdWN0by51bnNjcmFtYmxlem9tYmllcyJd

 

Kindle Fire

http://www.amazon.com/Producto-Studios-Professor-Zombie/dp/B009BTBRWQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348592212&sr=8-1&keywords=producto+studios

Web Site:

http://productostudios.blogspot.com/

 

Promo Video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-p5ChGWHgc&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Also released today, Professor Palindromes! For the Kindle Fire.

Unscramble the palindromes!

Palindromes are words and phrases spelled the same way backwards and forwards.

Professor Palindromes challenges you to the ultimate word challenge. Can you form all the palindromes before you run out of time!?

Earn or buy “Instant Solves” to help you get to higher and higher levels!

Download it now!  For iOS and Android, and Kindle Fire

Professor Palindromes! For iOS

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/professor-palindromes-unscramble/id543642119?mt=8

 

Professor Palindrome! for Android

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.producto.professorpalindromeandroid&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImFpci5jb20ucHJvZHVjdG8ucHJvZmVzc29ycGFsaW5kcm9tZWFuZHJvaWQiXQ..

 

Professor Palindrome! For Kindle Fire

http://www.amazon.com/Producto-Studios-Professor-Palindrome/dp/B009BS0EBC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1348585588&sr=8-2&keywords=professor+palindrome

Web Site:

http://productostudios.blogspot.com/

Promo Video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xi4OwMtjio&feature=player_embedded

 

Producto Studios Information

Producto Studios is passionate about delivering great design and functionality for your new media projects. In the past ten years, we've brought to life concepts that have motivated sales teams, helped students obtain their online degrees, and marketed nationally branded products.

Our team of animators, designers, and programmers provide client focused media solutions across platforms, software and devices. From concept to beta testing, Producto works as a partner in providing innovative media solutions.

We Provide:

Game Design:

We have designed over 200 games for web and mobile in categories such as action, retro, kids, education, puzzle, word, and many more.

Programming:

Front and back end programming for iOS, Android, AS3, HTML5, Flex, XML, Word Press, ASP, PHP, Cold Fusion, MySQL and others.

Character Animation:

Animation production house featuring a veteran animation team staying on model for all the studios including Warner, Disney, Vivendi, Fox, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.

http://www.productostudios.com

 

14Sep/120

Announcing Professor Zombie! For Android Devices! (Plus a new Free Version of Professor Palindrome!)

Today we launched Professor Zombie!,  a reworking of Professor Palindrome! with new puzzles and a mock-horror theme.  In this version of the game, you must unscramble the words as fast as possible before the Zombie eats the professor's brain.     Here is our promo video:

The game is free (with tiny ads)  in the Google Play store.

We have also launched a new, updated and free (with tiny ads) version of Professor Palindrome! in the Google Play store too.

The iOS version of Professor Zombie! will be available as soon as Apple approves it.

 

 

 

 

9Aug/120

Professor Palindromes! Press Release

Here is the new press release for out newest iOS game, Professor Palindromes

Game: Professor Palindrome!

Description:

Unscramble the palindromes!

Palindromes are words and phrases spelled the same way backwards and forwards.

Professor Palindromes challenges you to the ultimate word challenge. Can you form all the palindromes before you run out of time?

The play is simple:  press two letters to swap their places.

The action is frantic: can you make the correct moves before the time runs out?

You get 30 seconds on each level to unscramble the palindromes.  Be sure to read the clues, as they will help you figure out the puzzle.

Any time left over from the last level is applied to the next.   The faster you work on the earlier levels, the better chance you have when things get more complicated.

Fun, addictive, and free!  Download it now!

Itunes Site Link

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/professor-palindromes-unscramble/id543642119?mt=8

Web Site:

http://professorpalindromes.blogspot.com/

Promo Video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xi4OwMtjio&feature=player_embedded

Price: Free

In-App Items for Purchase

  • Remove Network Ads :  $0.99
  • Add 30 Seconds To Each Level : $2.99
  • Instant Solve 5-pack: $0.99
Screen Shots
  

Producto Studios Information

Producto Studios is passionate about delivering great design and functionality for your new media projects. In the past ten years, we've brought to life concepts that have motivated sales teams, helped students obtain their online degrees, and marketed nationally branded products.

Our team of animators, designers, and programmers provide client focused media solutions across platforms, software and devices. From concept to beta testing, Producto works as a partner in providing innovative media solutions.

We Provide:

Game Design:

We have designed over 200 games for web and mobile in categories such as action, retro, kids, education, puzzle, word, and many more.

Programming:

Front and back end programming for iOS, Android, AS3, HTML5, Flex, XML, Word Press, ASP, PHP, Cold Fusion, MySQL and others.

Character Animation:

Animation production house featuring a veteran animation team staying on model for all the studios including Warner, Disney, Vivendi, Fox, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.

 

3Aug/120

Professor Palindromes, Our First iOS Game Is Now Available

Our first iOS game is now live in the iTunes store. "Professor Palindromes" is a free game for word nerds. The object is to unscramble the palindromes as fast as possible. Watch the video below, or go download it from iTunes.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/professor-palindromes-unscramble/id543642119?ls=1&mt=8

 

13Jul/120

Flash CS6 + Our Book On Flash + iOS = Surprisingly Good Performance. I Feel Vindicated

A couple years ago, Jeff and I published The Essential Guide To Flash Games through Friends Of Ed.   At nearly the EXACT moment the book went into print, the whole Apple/Flash/iPad flap blew-up the Flash world.     What we thought would be the culmination of 10 years of work in Flash games became a sort of albatross.   The book used techniques that we have developed for many years, as well as new ideas designed to get good performance from iOS.  However,  at the last minute, we had to strike all references to mobile out of the book.  Then to add insult to injury, bugs in CS4 and new ones introduced in CS5, rendered some of the examples in the book useless.   We were shattered by the experience, and decided to move on to the HTML5 Canvas.

Well, imagine our surprise when, on a whim,  we ran some tests with Flash CS6 this week and found that the techniques we developed for The Essential Guide To Flash Games now produce some really solid code with great performance on iOS.     Unfortunately, we are not in the position to write any tutorials right now about it, but we might post a video demo next week to show just how many objects and particles we can get up using a fully blitted engine when exported from CS6 to iOS.

Anyway, don't count out Flash just yet.  There still might be some life left in our old friend.

 

 

1May/120

Semifinals, Here We Come! Producto Studios Makes It Into The Next Round Of The Atari Pong Developer Challenge!

By Steve Fulton

Atari announced the semifinalists for their Pong Developer Challenge today, and Producto/8bitrocket Studios made the cut!   Now we have to actually make the game we designed.   I can't wait to get started!

25Apr/120

Four HTML5 Canvas Game Demos Running Full Screen On An iPad 2 (video)

By Jeff Fulton

Four HTML5 Canvas games with touch controls running from our web site as full screen apps on an iPad 2. Notice the smooth performance in Mobile Safari. These also run on the Kindle Fire web browser with similar performance.

Music:  "Short Term Memory Lane" by JJ And The Real Jerks.

7Nov/110

Texture Packer Makes Sprites Easy to Export From Flash. For Corona, as well as Cocos2d, and more.

I have a huge new gig that includes taking 100's of pre-existing Flash animations and using them  to create a cross platform mobile application for a kids television network. The goal is to take the current Flash site (luckily in as3) and create a mobile version that will work on almost any mobile (iOS and Android only for now) device. We are using the iPad2 (1024x768) as our target platform and then creating a  "bleed area" that will allow us to fit the app landscape onto every iOS and Android device we can find without doing any image swapping.   We chose Corona for this development because it has the best combination of power and rapid application development.   The Corona simulator and and scale = "zoomEven" build property makes this a dream to complete (so far).

Since Corona is so good at letting us target and test on 6 or 7 of the most popular devices, the cross-platform scaling issues I originally thought would take the most time upfront were handled in about 1 day. This gave me extra time ahead of schedule to test out both SpriteLoq (look for a future examination of this Corona-only targeted tool) and Texture Packer.   My goal was to find a relatively simple method to create animations from all of the individual .fla and swf files and use them to populate mobile application .  My goal was to then use Lua script to control them where necessary. An NDA stops me from showing the actual content that I am using for the app, but I have created a suitable (read ugly but functional) demo .fla that I can use to demonstrate a small portion of the power of Texture Packer.

I started with Texture Packer because it is cross-dev environment, so it can create data and tile sheets for use in Corona, Cocos2D, JSON (so I assume HTML5 but I have not had a chance to test it yet), Unity, CSS, AppGameKit and about 7 or 8 others.  Texture packer is very powerful and can create data and tile sets from more than just swf files. You simply feed it a series of png, jpg or BMP files and it will be able to use them in the same manner as a .swf animation.

First let's take look at the .fla I used:

I created a very modest animation on the time line that simply changes the color of the Red Ball using a classic tween across 20 frames.

I then opened up Texture Packer and selected Corona TM SDK from the left-hand  Data Format Drop Down and then dragged my texture_test2.swf into the Sprite area where it reads the time-line and attempts to pack my 20 frame time-line animation onto as small a space as possible.

The next step is to choose a data file name and then click the "publish" button in the center of the top button bar. This will create both a packed PNG file and a lua data file that describes the animation frames.  I chose "jeff_fules.lua", but that was just me being cheeky. I should called it TexturePacker_rules.

To use the sprite, you must next fire up Corona, create a new main.lua in the same folder as the jeff_rules.lua and the jeff_rules.png.

The the main.lua file the we are about to create just be in the same folder as the jeff_rules.lua and jeff_rules.png (for it to work on all of the various build platforms).

 

--[[    main.lua      
Texture Packert test
Jeff Fulton 2011    --]]       
require "sprite"
display.setStatusBar(display.HiddenStatusBar)
local sheetData = require "jeff_rules"
local spriteData =sheetData.getSpriteSheetData()
local spriteSheet = sprite.newSpriteSheetFromData( "jeff_rules.png", spriteData )
local spriteSet = sprite.newSpriteSet(spriteSheet, 1, 15)
local jeffSprite = sprite.newSprite(spriteSet)
jeffSprite.x=200
jeffSprite.y=200
jeffSprite:play()
print ("jeff sprite");

Here is the small main.lua showing our sprite (you cannot see the color shift animation of course).

TexturePack makes it very easy to take Flash timeline or png series animations and turn turn them into cross-platform packed tile sheets for use in mobile and other applications.

Saving texture memory is a HUGE deal when building mobile applications and just this simple example was able to demonstrate that Texture Packer can cut the file size in less 1/2 when compared using the individual png files that are exported directly from Flash. Each of those files for my test were 1K, while the Texture Packer png file was 8K. That was a total savingis on 12K, which might seem in significant, but a 50%+ texture pack rate across 100's of animations will certainly give you a leg up when trying to target some of the older platforms (I'm looking straight at you iPhone 3).

If you are doing any type of mobile development I suggest you take a look at Texture Packer. It certainly is going to save me a lot of time and headaches on my current projects.

9Feb/110

Are Apps Dead?

The Wall Street Journal has a story this morning about a meeting  of mobile business entrepreneurs in New York, where some of sentiment ran this way:

"Apps are going to die away in favor of simple mobile websites"

You can the whole story here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704364004576132530157431902.html#ixzz1DTM6ooO5

I'm not sure I totally agree with the sentiment...at least not for games.   While you can probably build most other apps in HTML5 and scale them for a mobile browser, games are still not easy to build, at least for iOS.

Still this is a shift from last year when everyone was talking apps, apps apps.  The reality of running a business that sells units at $0.99 each, or tries to sustain itself on low eCPM must be setting in...

-Steve Fulton (8bitsteve)

6Jan/110

Quick IOS Packager Test Results

Over the last few days I have been experimenting with creating a very simple arcade game in both HTML5 and AS3. The HTML5 version I packaged up with PhoneGap and tested on my iPod Touch. The AS3 version I wrote twice. The first version uses built in Sprites and the second version uses a single blit Canvas.

All three versions share the same basic code base. The AS3 versions rely on the EFG framework optimized package classes from our book, while the HTML5 relies on the optimized Canvas functions from our forthcoming Canvas book. All three versions employ the use of tile sheets and object pooling.

The game is very simple. It is just a space ship at the bottom of the screen that can shoot bullets up the screen. Nothing more.   I added some "buttons" to the iPod screen to act a little like a "Game Boy" interface.

Here is a picture of the app in the Xcode Simulator (for the PhoneGap version):

As you can see, it is a very simple app. The fours black squares on the left are for movement and the three black squares on the right are "action" buttons.   This is just a sample layout that Steve and I are testing.

Movement and Button Events

Both the AS3 versions and the Canvas version had problems with button events. The events certainly fired off, but storing a true or false into an array of button presses for the down and up events worked spotty at best. While both versions worked fine in a desktop browser, the Flash versions seems to cache up events and the ship would get stuck on the sides of the screen.  The Canvas version was even worse. On a physical device or on the simulator the array used to store true and false for the button events seemed to not work at all (very strange). Now I would have spent more time trying to figure out these control issues if the performance had been good, but...

Performance

None of the three versions performed very well at all. The first version I tried was the As3 version using Sprites (with the GPU option turned on). When more than 1 missile was in the air, the FPS dropped to under 20, and got to as low as 7 with 4 missiles in the air. I turned the GPU option off and was able to keep the FPS between 20 and 25 with 4 missiles in the air. For comparison, the desktop browser version can have 1000+ missiles in the air and stay pinged at 30 FPS.

I tried the Canvas version next. This version uses Javascript and the PhoneGap XCode template to package up an Objective-C app out of Mobile Safari code. It performed better than the GPU version of the AS3 Sprite code, but not better than the the AS3 Sprite non-GPU version. With 4 missiles in the air it could not crawl above 20 FPS.

The Final version I tried used a single blit canvas with the GPU turned off. It was the worst of the bunch, only achieving under 15 FPS and below.

Verdict

This certainly is not an exhaustive, scientific test, but it proves to me that even simple arcade games will be very difficult to create on the current set of IOS devices using these technologies. Now, my iPod touch is 1 year old and  I didn't try these on a iPad, but my hardware is probably closer to what most users will have. Games made using the Canvas or As3 will probably need to be of the simple puzzle variety for the immediate future.

Have you had the same, worse or better success? Share your experiences below.

(8bitjeff is Jeff D. Fulton)

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