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Building for Android TV with Unity

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Building for Android TV with Unity

So you're porting your game over to Android TV using Unity 4.6. And it's not working and not getting approved by Google you say? And you've tried everything? Even sacrificing a goat in the name of the dark lord, you say? Well, the latter won't work! That's just silly!
You should be sacrificing a pig, not a goat. Geesh.

So anyway, what you need to do is write a proper manifest with all the right permissions. Unity 5 does most of this for you, so it shouldn't be a big problem. For those of us temporarily stuck in 4.6 though, it's a big problem. So here's the manifest you need:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" package="com.unity3d.player" android:theme="@android:style/Theme.NoTitleBar.Fullscreen" android:installLocation="preferExternal" android:versionCode="1" android:versionName="1.0">
  
  <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
  <uses-permission android:name="com.android.vending.BILLING" />
  
  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.gamepad" android:required="true"/>
  <uses-feature android:name="android.software.leanback" android:required="true" />

  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.touchscreen" android:required="false"/>
  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.faketouch" android:required="false"/>
  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.telephony" android:required="false"/>
  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.camera" android:required="false"/>
  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.bluetooth" android:required="false"/>
  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.nfc" android:required="false"/>
  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.location.gps" android:required="false"/>
  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.microphone" android:required="false"/>
  <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.sensor" android:required="false"/>
  
  <application 
        android:icon="@drawable/app_icon"
        android:banner="@drawable/banner" 
        android:label="@string/app_name" 
        android:debuggable="true" 
        android:isGame="true">
    
    <meta-data android:name="isGame" android:value="true" />
    
   <activity android:name="com.unity3d.player.UnityPlayerNativeActivity" android:label="@string/app_name">
  
      <meta-data android:name="unityplayer.UnityActivity" android:value="true" />
      
          <intent-filter>
      <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
      <category android:name="android.intent.category.LEANBACK_LAUNCHER" />
    </intent-filter>
    
  </activity>
    
</application>
</manifest>

 

Note: remember to add a banner.jpg to Plugins/Android/res/drawable-xhdpi/  (if you're on Unity 4.6.X)

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Making a trailer (while carrying a baby around)

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Making a trailer (while carrying a baby around)

June saw the birth of our beautiful daughter Isolde, and with it came a very natural drop in productivity in regards to Animal Drivers. It's been an emotional rollercoaster for us as a family, especially with the stress and worries of an imminent C-section. It was all suddenly over, and then we had a new person in our little family! 

My deadline for this whole Animal Drivers project had been "before the birth", but I totally missed that. I knew once she was born, I'd have very little time to work on the game. In between nappy changes, crying fits that require constant carrying and walking around, etc; I still managed to get a trailer cut and out on YouTube.

AE_Timeline.png

Recording it in 60 FPS required a workhorse of a PC, and I couldn't do that on my Macbook Air. But I finally got it all done, and started cutting the best moments together. I think it came out quite nice in the end! 


Trailers. Man. So much work.
— Aristotle

 Rare occasion - both of them sleeping at the same time!

Rare occasion - both of them sleeping at the same time!

So here it is, the trailer, in all of it's glory. Music by the amazingly talented LIEKE (who also did the soundtrack!)

 

As always, please follow me on the Instaface Tweets!

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Unity Quick Tip: Hickups and framedrops

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Unity Quick Tip: Hickups and framedrops

This problem drove me to the edge of insanity, and I couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. Everytime I was playing "Animal Drivers" and turning a corner where new models and textures needed to be loaded to the GPU, there was a very clear 0.5s-1s delay in the editor / on the device (less clear here though).  

So if your game has this issue, here's all you have to do:

1. Create a script or just add it to one of your existing ones.

2. Put Shader.WarmupAllShaders(); in your Start function. 

That's it! Fixed!
Make sure this runs at the start of your level, and all will be well.

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Animal Drivers Devlog - May Update

Animal Drivers is getting closer to being a finished game!


Two levels are completed and are being fine-tuned, and a few more tweaks are needed before I can send the game into soft-launch for iPhone and iPad. Hopefully I can get some players in to test the functions and iron out any major bugs before I release it to the rest of the world this summer!

We have a new baby on the way, and she's coming in a mere two weeks so I have no idea how that will impact progression on the game. Hopefully I can get most of this stuff done before she arrives. 
And then maybe those soft-launchers will send some diaper-money our way ^__^  

Man, oh man. Diapers. Again.

Just a dream, but Psssst... hey.... Sony, give me a call ;)

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Animal Drivers Icons

Ahh... the app icon.

A lost art, some say. An unthinkable pain, other say. 
Right now I'm with the latter crowd. Have been putting this off for quite some time. Ironically, every other app icon I have done has been super simple, made it work and had it stick on the first go. But for Animal Drivers, it is really different. Maybe it's because it's so damn important. The first thing you see in the App Stores, and what you base your decision of whether or not to download on. 
I particularly like the colors and attitude in the first one. The second really tells you all about the game, and what it's about. I think I'll have to make more sketches before this decision falls! 

Until then, I'm going to go roll around in pig fat to get my creative juices going. 
There, that's my secret to staying creative. Pig fat.

Here's this post from the Animal Drivers Facebook page. Feel free to press that Like button! ^___^

Some icon sketches for Animal Drivers , having trouble deciding on the direction of these. Will need to sketch more... What do you guys think?

Posted by Hello Bard on Sunday, May 10, 2015

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Unity Android Tip: Testing Android apps on the cheap

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Unity Android Tip: Testing Android apps on the cheap

So you are a total Apple fanboy, but you want to port your game to Android to make some extra bucks. I get it, we're the same you and I. Hey, look we're even wearing the same t-shirt. Go figure. There are a couple of unconventional and cheap/free options to test an Android app.

1. Samsung Developer

Samsung has an excellent service for their developers (signing up is free), and it's a testbed of virtual Android devices of all of their phone/tablet models. You connect via the web, and you can upload your APK file directly and test to see if your game/app works. It's somewhat slow, but if you don't have the cash to get a bunch of Android devices, this is the best option out there.

Link here

2. Get a cheap stock Android tablet off Ebay for just $50 Go to Ebay.com and search for "android tablet". Set the Price + postage/shipping option and look for something around 30-50 dollars. These are perfectly decent devices with dual-core CPUs, and you'll be able to test your apps on a great low-end device. This way, you can figure out what everyone one Google Play will complain about (and they complain A LOT).

Cheap! Android! Crap!
Cheap! Android! Crap!

3. Borrow/steal a friend/foe's Android device.

So there we go, three two excellent options for testing your Unity apps on the cheap!

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