These past two months have been so all over the place and busy for me that I totally forgot to do a post for August and now I’ve almost forgot about September too. In this post I’m going to write about what I did in app development land in August and September. However, I’m going to try to keep it short because I need to jump back into working on various tasks. The rest of this year is going to continue being busy with app development and a lot of important things going on outside of app dev as well.
In August I finished working on Master Fantasy RPG Soundboard and released it on the Apple, Amazon, & Google Play app stores. The app turned out like I wanted it to and I enjoyed working on it overall except for the testing phase, which was the most stressful aspect of working on it. After finishing the app and testing it on various devices I ran into an issue where the app crashed on most devices except for newer ones. After trying an assortment of different fixes it turned out to be in the code in regards to the way I had sounds loading in the app. None of my other soundboard apps have long load times, but while I was working on this soundboard app I created it with a different way of loading sounds in mind. I thought it would make the app load even faster than my other soundboard apps while also delivering any sound pressed instantly like the others apps do. However, it turned out that I was asking too much of the engine I used for this app and that’s basically what caused it to crash. So to fix the issue I changed the way that I make the app load sounds back to how I do with my other soundboard apps. Which I guess lead back to the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That saying definitely applied to this situation and I could have avoided some stress and long nights.
So after fixing the load issue that caused Master Fantasy RPG Soundboard to crash I started working on promo images and a simple trailer video. I wanted the video to be simple but also give the viewer a good idea of how efficient the app is at playing sounds instantly, and how vast the sound effect library is within the app. This app like all my other apps does not require a data connection to be used. After downloading the app you can use it anytime regardless of how bad your data connection is or lack thereof. I had the idea of this fantasy soundboard in my mind for the past couple of years, but kept pushing it back to work on other apps and updates. I’m glad that I came back to it and completed it. I think it’s a neat companion to use during board games, role-playing, and reenactments. I’m sure people will use it in those ways and other ways I haven’t even thought of like people have done with my other soundboard apps. There are some pictures of working on some of the sound and visual design of this app on the July App Development Report. I do plan on having a picture section on this site eventually that showcases some of the photos I’ve taken of my “behind the scenes” app development and design processes. As of now I mainly post those types of images on my Instagram, on these monthly progress posts, and sometimes on my Twitter.
In September I decided to work on an update to my Rest, Relax, and Reflect app. I’ve been told by some of the users of the app that they wished it had a Thunderstorm section which I agreed and thought it should as well. I’m not sure why I didn’t include that section initially. I probably rushed myself to release it so I could dedicate time on another project. It’s not a super popular app but adding a Thunderstorm section and making some other improvements wasn’t going to take long and were going to improve the app nicely so I went for it. One of the first things I did is take pictures for the Thunderstorm section and while taking some of those pictures I decided to take some pictures for some of the other sections to replace the background pics that I didn’t take myself. So now all of the background pictures in the game were taken by me except some of the fireplace photos. Taking the pictures myself for the other sections helped me incorporate the animation effects better and gave the app the perspective I wanted it to have more in those sections.
In between taking and editing the photos I also worked on the Thunderstorm section animations and sound. Audio is more important to me in this app than animation so I spent more time on it. After working on some audio I played around with some different rain and lightning effects until they felt right. Then I separated the intensity levels into low, medium, and heavy like I did for the other sections. After finishing the thunderstorm section and incorporating the new backgrounds for the rain & snow sections I decided to replace some of the fireplace photos as well. I looked around on the internet for public domain fireplace photos until I found a couple that I thought looked great and would play well into the fireplace animation that’s kind of realistic but also kind of looks computer generated.
I also made the background thumbnails in each settings section(except Space Travel) react to whether or not the Black & White option is on or off. Before, the thumbnails would stay in color regardless of if that B&W option was on or off. Now the thumbnails change to black & white or color depending on what’s chosen for that option. It’s a small change but its neat and makes sense that it should react that way. I’m kind of surprised that I didn’t do that when I initially created this app. Regardless, I finished the update last month and testing went well so I released it soon after. It’s available on the Apple & Amazon app stores, and I also released the app itself for the first time on Google Play. I decided to make it free(with ads) on Google Play since its been out for years on the other app stores. It’s still ad free on the other app stores which does deliver a more simple and less distracting experience, which is good for an app that’s main goal is to help the user relax.
If you would have asked me a couple of months ago what my last app of 2018 would be I would have told you Master Fantasy RPG Soundboard, but yea……..another app idea popped up in my head that I thought would be a great idea to try to finish and release this year. It’s an app that revolves around Christianity and the bible. I’m a Christian and I believe in God, but I’m not one that shoves it in peoples face. I also recognize that some Christians are hypocrites, which gives the rest of us a bad name. I’m not trying to prove anybody right or wrong, or make judgements. I just want to create a simple to use app that helps others and myself learn more about the bible, and hopefully this app will accomplish that. I’ll just leave it at that until the next progress report post. Alright, I wrote that I wanted to make this post short but I ended up writing a few long paragraphs so that’s all I’ll write for now. I’m sure I’ve left out some things that I worked on and am going to work on, but these posts are supposed to be overviews without going into a lot of details. Until next time ∞