Saturday, 21 April 2012

Apple Bin Update

New Levels for Apple Bin!

Another ten new levels have been added bringing the total up to 90 all up!

Added some more new physics elements and re-tweaked a few of the harder early levels.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Free Developer Resources

Lets get this out of the road right up front...I'm a tight ass when it comes to spending money on development resources. I'm still dipping my toe in the water to get a feel for the WP7 platform and trying to gauge the effort / reward ratios and as such don't really want to drop a heap of money to produce something. So below is a list of resources I've used or intend to at some stage for my game Apple Bin. Hopefully this will be useful to someone, if you've got anymore feel free to list them in the comments.


Having a custom font for your app really gives it a unique style. Font Squirrel has some top quality fonts, all you need to do is find the one for you!


There are a fair few free graphics sites out and about. I've found this one to be good as a starting point for a lot of vector graphics. I think I've got about 4-5 elements from here but have altered them before putting them in Apple Bin


Kevin McLeod has some amazing tracks suited to games of all shapes and sizes. The interface is a bit clunky but stick with it and listen to the tracks on there and i'm sure you'll find something to suit your game or app.

Lots of great sound effects in here. Grab Audacity to strip down the audio and customise it.


Expression Encoder
I've done a little tutorial on my blog on this tool for getting a video onto YouTube. I think it's an excellent tool for getting something together quickly and easily.

Game High Scores
This is a free service, I've always intended to incorporate this but have never got around to it. From all reports, easy to use and did i mention it was free? :)

Physics Engine
Based on the box2D engine, really active community and some really talented contributors.

Allows you to use the Farseer engine and setup everything in blend. This is what I've been using for Apple Bin and have found it great.

*Not free but awesome

Check out the artist Soundroll in here. Tracks are about $10-15 but they all top quality.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Apple Bin - Paid...err i mean Pro released

A few people has asked for a version minus the ads, well here it is. This is pretty much the same as the free version in that the trial is ad supported. Purchasing will remove the ads from the top banner.

This is the latest release with 70 levels, 7 unlocks and a funky sound track.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Selecting Theme within Expression Blend for Windows Phone 7

Just saw a great Expression Blend presentation by Shane Morris (@shanemo) which he shared a tip that is a little gem.

In the device tab you can flick between dark and light themes as well as picking the accent colour. I've always been changing it in the emulator which is a bit of a pain. Design time ftw!

Apple Bin - 1.8 Update

Just a quick one to let you know that Apple Bin 1.8 has just been submitted to the marketplace. Really happy with this drop. 10 more levels, re-did a lot of the graphics to make it more consistent. Fixed up a couple of niggly bugs.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Using Microsoft Expression Encoder to put Windows Phone videos on YouTube

This post will show you how to use the free version of Microsoft Expression Encoder to upload a video of the windows phone emulator to YouTube.

First grab the Expression Encoder from the following link:

Once installed, fire up the screen capture utility which can be found in the start menu.

Hit the options icon in Expression Encoder. I like to set mine to 60 fps, but you can play around with these to see what gets you the balance between quality and size.

Next you need to run your app and hit the beg red record button in Expression Encoder. You should get a red selection screen to allow you to select the windows phone emulator.

You should then be able to record the emulator action. When you've finished hit the stop button to bring up all your recordings. Select the 'Send to Encoder' button in the lower right corner.

 Once it's in the encoder you can trim bits off it and insert snippets etc. Once you're happy we need to encode the video. Select File -> Encode

After your video is encoded log in to YouTube and upload it.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Creating a Radial Effect in Blend

Today i'm going to show you how to create the radial effect i use in my free game Apple Bin (shameless plug, check it out here ).

There are a couple of advantages in doing this in blend. Download size is a lot smaller and you can animate colours rotation scale etc.

I'm doing this on windows phone, but same technique can be used in WPF or Silverlight.

Fire up blend and add a canvas on your page.

Now we want the path tool from the toolbar on the left.

We need to get a nice equal triangle (i'm sure there are better ways of doing this but it works for me). I line up the path points with three points on the page like the center and edge points of the canvas.

 From there, just grab your selection tool from then tool bar and scale it back till it's roughly in the center halfway up.

Now we need to change the point of rotation, which is the center dot of the triangle. Using the selection tool, grab it and drag it down to the pointy end of the triangle (maths term).

Ok, now we've done that, copy and paste the triangle then go the the transforms box on your right. Select the angle tab and type in 15.

This will rotate the 2nd triangle around the point that we moved 15 degrees.

Keep Ctr+Cing and Ctrl+Ving and adding 15 to each angle transform as you go until you get all the way around.

Now we're getting somewhere! Highlight all your path elements in the tree on the left. Right click and select compound path.  This will make them all one element which is a bit easier to manage.

Now you can muck around with the fills to get the effect you want. Usually a radial gradient fill looks pretty cool. I'm fading the alpha on this one as well so there's no hard lines.

And there we have it, a radial effect in blend!