Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vacation, Android Phones, and beta testing mysterious new technology

This week is vacation week, and I'm leaving Monday and Tuesday with the family.  I probably will just take the whole week easy so I can regain my inspiration and sanity again.

On the development front, I am now beta testing a new plugin for MMF2.  I don't think I signed an NDA(yet), but I'm not sure they want me spilling all the gritty details since they arn't finalized anyway.  Basically, know that it outputs MMF2 apps to Android OS., through a code translator similar to the Flash MMF2 plugin.  Like the flash plugin, the final files arn't the most efficiant use of space, but they can do everything MMF2's base engine can do plus access many exciting android phone/tablet specific features.  It's very unstable right now and buggy(thus the beta testing, duh).  But it's also exciting.

It also overwrites the normal MMF2 exe currently with a beta version.  While it "should" be safe to work on my flash games so long as I don't touch any android stuff with them, Clickteam doesn't recommend it, and I'd have to agree with them.  So my flash games are on hold while I help grind away all the bugs out of the android beta.  Actually, that isn't entirely true, I can work on my games, I just need to reinstall the base MMF2 over the android beta.  Due to the compiler references for C++, flash, android, ect. , it's not as simple as just installing two copies of MMF2.  Sadly they will read each other's settings and explode, among other fun bugs, so it's one or the other.

The benifits of being a beta tester are, for now, a discount when the plugin launches(price of the plugin is still to be announced, as is release date).  And of course the ability to learn all the nitty gritty details about things like the accelerometer device before the MMF2 plugin is even out, without needing to spend weeks studying and testing java or C++ code.

While I'm not being paid in any way as far as money goes, it's still a fun and useful experience.  It's also pretty cool to be able to suggest feature changes/additions so that when the plugin does come out everyone buying it gets their money's worth.  Plus, as an expert user of MMF2, I already know how to push the MMF2 engine to it's limits, and can dump those to the phone to watch it break down and cry.  (Which it currently does about 50% of the time.  Beta versions of creative development software that does lots of different things are fun!)

Till next time,

Gawain

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