Bubblision – Sprint 5 complete & SunUp #11

Well, Sprint 5 actually went rather well, so well in fact that I completed all the tasks I’d assigned to the sprint and also a few more besides.

One of the tasks I hadn’t planned to complete this sprint was implementing analytics on the game. Mobile games track a lot of data about how players use their games (whether the player realises it or not) and this guides a lot of the decisions about how games develop and make money over time. In my case Bubblision isn’t intended to be a money-spinner but is intended to be a “toe in the water” and a good way of learning a lot of things before I take on a more ambitious project next year. Analytics is therefore something I wanted to get in to Bubblision and also before getting other people to try out the game.

I spent a lot of time looking at the various options for analytics. I think it’s fair to say that Flurry is the market leader right now but, because the data collected is stored in the US, I had a few reservations with regard to the Data Protection Act (specifically not transferring data outside of the European Economic Area). I obviously don’t intend to capture any personal data but I think this remains a consideration (as Flurry’s Privacy Policy mentions, see section on ‘International Transfer’). Aside from that concern, Flurry looks great.

However, I’ve decided to use Game Analytics. They’re based in the European Economic Area (Denmark, in fact) and, having read through a lot of the documentation and support… the service gave me a good feeling. They insist on various things, such as your game having a Privacy Policy (something I agree with), as part of the sign-up agreement you agree not to use the service to store any personally identifiable information (again something I agree with) and they provide an opt-out service for the analytics tracking (Flurry also does this). They also provide an SDK for hooking directly into Unity so implementation was simple and I can see my real-time data being recorded by their service (albeit all originating from my testing at the moment).

The original block of tasks I’d planned to complete during this sprint were largely concerned with sound in the game. I hunted around for various free sound effects but, in the end, decided to create my own sounds (with a retro 8-bit feel) using SFXR.

The list of all the tasks I completed during Sprint 5 is as follows:

  • Fixed a problem with the Google docs spreadsheet I use for time tracking
  • Upgraded the project to Unity 4.3.1
  • Added sound for NPC bubble collisions
  • Added sound for NPC bubble burst
  • Added sound for player bubble burst on spikes
  • Added sound for collision between player bubble and NPC bubble
  • Removed the lighting effects on NPC bubbles (I’ve decided this wasn’t a good idea)
  • Removed the transparency in the lines defining the game area (looks much nicer now)
  • Implemented code to slow the NPC bubbles if the player collides and their colours match
  • Added code to calculate scores
  • Improved the particles for player bubble burst and used different particles for colour matches
  • Implement analytics
  • Game lifecycle/restart – implemented buttons on the start screen and end screen to start the game. Also added code to go to the end screen when all NPC bubbles have burst.

Video of current game play (without sound I’m afraid):

SunUp #11

  • Did a lot of research on game analytics
  • Refactored some of the existing Bubblision code for clarity