Probe Mobile Update #1 - (Weekly Post)
Updated: Apr 22
Hello again fellow gamers and devs!
Just wanted to update everyone on the progress for the Probe Android mobile port. Because of the engine I used to originally make Probe in (Clickteam Fusion 2.5) there are several things I will have to, and am currently working on, changing and updating to make it more accessible on Android Google Play phones and tablets. Currently figuring out resolution issues. I recently got a new phone from a carrier switch for free and it's resolution is much different from that of the average 1920x1080 resolution. It is more on the end of ultra-wide resolution so I am trying to make it fit both as best as I can with this engine which will take some time. I do have an old phone that may work better with 1920x1080p resolution so currently I am trying testing on both to make sure it works well on those multiple resolutions. On my new phone resolution, most gameplay elements seem a little small in comparison to the overall resolution/display so if I can resolve that I absolutely will. Unfortunately, it is a possibility that in the long run I may have to just make it fit inside black bars on the outer edges for devices like mine with the wide display making it a bit less user friendly for some. All the more reason I am switching to Unity for all future projects but at least the majority of phone/tablet users will have the appropriate resolutions...based on the Google Play user data research I did at least.
Currently, this is the best I can get it to look on my phone (without Google Play enacting it) excluding audio options and speed boost (notice the black bars on the left and right which I am working my best on to try and correct. Also there won't be a joystick, just Left and Right D-Pad arrows for ship movement since I found the joystick movement unreliable or buggy - also will remove the keyboard prompt button displays and fonts for score value displays needs to be packed):
Originally, when I first built the game as an Android app, the game kept crashing on boot because initially I removed all unsupported extensions and code for Android export because it kept flagging it every time I built the game/app as including unsupported extensions. I spent a full 6-8 hours trying to get the original final developed PC version to work on my Android phone. I spent most of that time removing object type after another until I got down to no objects and no code to try and find out what was causing the game to stop crashing on my device to no avail (aside from a fresh new app). Then I said "Screw it!" and built the full game WITH the unsupported extensions against the engines recommendations and it worked fine -_- welcome to game dev. BUT on the bright side that let me know I can't just go in and delete it all...I have to convert little by little to the Google Play console code and gradually remove/replace the elements/code one by one that mostly include leaderboard and achievement aspects as well as controls which also will take some time...not as much as having to rebuild the game in Unity but still a step in the right direction.
I will be working on this vigorously over the next few weeks to try and get it finished, tested and the approval process started for release on Google Play as soon as possible but still no guarantee on a date. I also will have to make an all new trailer to reflect how it plays on mobile and take new screenshots. So still quite a bit to do but at least it will be FREE (with minimal ads or you can pay to remove ads). On that note, I also will try my best to make sure the ads aren't super invasive or punishing while keeping the game fun and fluid. If you want to be a mobile tester to give that kind of feedback and have an Android phone or tablet to test on please contact me via OfficialNateBitGames@gmail.com (Subject: "Probe Mobile Testing") and I will add you to the list of testers and send out emails and links to the play store beta-test downloads. Just please be as active about feedback as much as possible via email or from the beta app store page.
As far as my next big planned post ("What I learned from releasing my first indie-dev game") ... that may be delayed due to the amount of time I will have to put into the mobile release but I will try my best to get both done ASAP. Just don't forget, I do this as a hobby on the side currently and have a day job (technically a night job, but still). Releasing on mobile will also be a nice refresher to releasing a game but on a different platform. Perhaps I can consider it an abridged mobile Post-Mortem and compare it to a Steam release. I don't want to delay things further but also want to get the information out there for other devs or interested gamers as soon as it's available so thank you in advance for your patience.
On a side note I would like to congratulate my good friend David Rosler on his second consecutive game jam win via a Kindred Game Jam for the game he helped develop "Luminary Garden". They did a great job! If you like a chill casual strategy/puzzle game check it out for FREE on itch.io: https://hamishsmithers.itch.io/luminary-garden The previous jam game he worked on that also won a previous Kindred Game Jam was very fun but a bit more intense in terms of gameplay similar to Overcooked...instead of food it's gear/item crafting...it's called "Flippers of Steel". You can also play it on itch.io here for FREE: https://jannamoon.itch.io/flippers-of-steel
Hopefully I will have some bigger updates on the Probe mobile port next week and can get that next "Special Topic" post out as soon as I can but until next time stay safe, keep playing, developing and never stop reaching your goals...if anything set them higher each time you reach one. Take care!
Nate Bit Games