Overall, dipping my toe into the Android waters has been a unique experience in comparison to anything I have ever done on the PC. Considering that I favor C++, and to that effect have been coding for microchips as of late. It took no time to get back into a JAVA frame of mind.
For what it is worth, I actually like the paradigm shift. The challenges as far as user interaction, and screen real estate make for some interesting solutions and compromises; never had to worry about that on the PC. This leads into what I find both fascinating and beneficial about mobile development. Literal instant feedback.
The wife and I spent sometime dropping of gifts and visiting family. This gave me the chance to show of my progress and get some feedback in the process. The experience was kinda surreal, considering I never really had anyone test my games on the PC of whom I can actually sit and watch. It was kinda gratifying to hear both the positive and negative feedback. I instantly saw what worked, what did not work, what should be added, and what should be taken out.
As far as drawbacks. First off, I'm thankful that I save all my old phones and never sell or trade them. I just throw them in the "bottomless box-of-tech-junk". Testing via the emulator blows because it so slow. Hardware is the way to go, its faster and plus it is just so cool to see your work on the phone right away.
At the moment, I am testing on a Galaxy 4 and HTC EVO 3D. The game runs super fast on the EVO and seemingly "normal" on the Galaxy 4. That at least for me is frustrating because at the end of the day you can't control "hardware". More than likely the only doable solution would be to lock the frame rate during the game loop and hope that would make the game device agnostic.
At this point, I'm pretty much happy with my progress learning wise. Although, I still consider myself a beginner on Android and I have miles to go before I sleep. Which rules out any truly ambitious projects that are worthy of annoying ads or even a price tag. For now I want to create some non-gaming applications and really dig deep into what Android can do and then come back around with better chops and do something interesting game wise.
However....before I go down that path. I still have that Photoshop itch, so I'm leaning towards two more small simple games. A game for my daughter that will teach her colors and shapes. A a game for my 9yr old son, to help him with his math (multiplication and division).
Tomorrow I am going to run the game through its paces some more on a couple of different devices and test it with a few more people. If all I goes well. Critter Smash should be in the Google Play store before the end of the weekend.
I'll try to post a video of the game play tomorrow....
Hope you guys had a Merry Christmas. Cheers!
(In Game Shots)