Emirates Confederation Cup iPad Apps

Baldscone was recently contracted by Stereo Creative to produce an app (actually two) for an Emirates event at the Confederation Cup in Brazil.

The two iPad apps collected data for a goal kicking competition around the stadiums and a second app collated all the data from multiple ipads into a single database to draw the prizes and view/export user data.

Here is a screen capture of the two apps in use (that was used for tutorial purposes).

Alpaca Farm Game v2.0

Baldscone has recently finished developing the second installment of the mobile game Alpaca Farm for Pomegranate. The latest version of the game now has an additional four levels of different gameplay, character customisation and in-app purchases. It is also now available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

On the iPhone the game was coded natively in Objective C using the very useful Sparrow framework. For Android, Sparrow’s little brother Starling was used to port the game across using AS3.

The app features in-app purchasing, particle effects, SSO Facebook integration, inbuilt stats collecting and of course plenty of new gameplay levels and GUI goodness. Watch the new teaser video game trailer here or check out the app’s Facebook page here.

Download Alpaca Farm for iOS
Download Alpaca Farm for Android

FlashBuilder for mobile release build crash fix

Ahh – this is something that I have only just come across for mobile development via Air.
Basically everything will work fine on a debug build both in the simulator and on the device (in debug mode). Then just when you are comfortable you compile a release version and somewhere in your app bang crash wallop it all stops. Thanks to the fact its not a debug version you can only rely on a global uncaught error handler to point you in the right direction:

loaderInfo.uncaughtErrorEvents.addEventListener(UncaughtErrorEvent.UNCAUGHT_ERROR, uncaughtErrorHandler);

private function uncaughtErrorHandler(e:UncaughtErrorEvent):void
{
trace(“Global error:” + e);
}

…but that only gets you part way there – and points to some Error #1009 – the old cannot access a property error or worse a VerifyError #1024. As this post will attest to I am not the only one who has had this problem.

So the culprit you ask? Well for two of my projects it seems that Flashbuilder for some reason unknown to me will forget to strip out trace() statements meaning that they will eventually crash the app when you try to trace a test value. So the easy fix (which guaranteed will save you hours if you get this issue) – just add this line to your Actionscript compiler arguments:

-omit-trace-statements=false

That simple line of code will make sure Flashbuilder doesn’t compile the trace statements, but then why should it in the first place? Adobe really you should be ashamed…

pList Validation

Ahh – its 3am and that pList config file you have been pouring over suddenly won’t compile anymore in xCode ;(
Looking through lines of xml markup at these hours isn’t fun (or easy).

Solution: Terminal + plutil!
Thank you for whoever wrote this genius little utility at Apple.
Just type plutil [path to your plist] and hit return. It will list any formatting errors and even give you a line number.
Genius.

Innocent – The Gang’s Garden

As part of a promotion for Innocent Drinks, Baldscone was asked to develop this online competition experience for kids to explore. Using pack codes from drinks packs, kids can enter three different competitions. This richly animated site has areas for uploading photos, viewing submitted entries, information packs on different seeds and even its own weather system.

From a technical perspective it hooks into a number of databases to enter kids into the various competitions and also uses a few techniques to save user data across various sub-domains.

As this site was a temporary promotion it is no longer live – see here for a video of it on YouTube.

Innocent Facebook FruitPicker Game

Baldscone was recently involved in developing an exciting Facebook Game for Innocent Juices. Games such as Flight Control and Harbour Master on the iPhone/iPad were the inspiration behind this game where the user has to navigate fruit pickers to deliver their fruit without them colliding.

Technically this game uses a custom written 2D vector physics engine to control the Fruit Pickers and line drawing algorithms involving some serious geometry and line smoothing calculations. The game was written with several optimisation techniques and hooks up to a securely encrypted back end over HTTPS and Javascript. Quite a game to work on but so far its proving pretty addictive! how people are scoring over 600 I have no idea – I only ever managed about 180!

The promotion ended but here is a screen capture for prosperity.

Parker Multi Language Brochure Software

Baldscone was asked to produce a multi-language brochure and software browser for cross platform distribution. The brochures can be constructed and published easily using a well thought out authoring system which allows for full localisation of text and images. The software launches software and Adobe PDF documents bundled and distributed via CD-ROM or USB stick.