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programming, design, integration, games, music

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

For a Game on Facebook #1 Most Important Metrics is Users Engagement

For a game on Facebook #1 most important metrics is users engagement, i.e. users should return to your game every day, post and share regularly from the game onto their Newsfeed; their friends should engage with shared posts (using likes and emotions) and install the game following engagement, etc.


Having said that the game should not be spammy.


The problem is in order to exhibit users engagement the game needs to have some initial users base. One of the options is to purchase Facebook ads for initial installs. A developer can do some test campaigns in the countries other than US to not spend much and to see if users stick to the app. The more targeted ads - the better.

posted @ 7:16 PM | Your thoughts

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Blog Restart

I decided to restart this blog after 4 years hiatus. In 2014 I put it offline because I didn't have enough time to blog and had other priorities.


I now plan to post occasionally and maintain the system.


Another thought: Facebook and Youtube killed most of the (tech) blogs. People prefer to write socially. On the other hand online thoughts are more self-censored than before.


I made a backup at the time though which made it easy to restart. After rereading some posts it seems to me that that the whole system and stuff that I wrote look more solid and more powerful than I thought. I also spotted and fixed a couple of severe bugs related to infrastructure which went unnoticed during all those years I was blogging and working on this blogging system.


Good luck in the new year of 2018.

posted @ 11:14 AM | Your thoughts

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Billy Beet v1.0.9 is Available With Improved Design

Billy Beet v1.0.9 is available on Apple AppStore.


Billy Beet is a unique animated high velocity shooting game for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.





In recent releases: redesign and huge improvements in graphics, special effects, additional fixes and enhancements.


Check out billybeet.com



Billy Beet 2 on Apple Appstore

posted @ 3:10 PM | Your thoughts

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Billy Beet v1.0.5 is Available on Apple AppStore

Billy Beet v1.0.5 is available on Apple AppStore.


Billy Beet is a unique animated high velocity shooting game for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.





In this release: additional fixes and stability improvements.


Check out billybeet.com



Billy Beet 2 on Apple Appstore

posted @ 1:21 PM | Your thoughts

Friday, March 08, 2013

Billy Beet v1.0.4 is Available on Apple AppStore

Billy Beet v1.0.4 is available on Apple AppStore.


Billy Beet is a unique animated high velocity shooting game for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.





In this release: many bug fixes, stability improvements, a new intermediate level are added to the game.


Check out billybeet.com



Billy Beet 2 on Apple Appstore

posted @ 8:23 PM | Your thoughts

Amazon Mobile Ads

Amazon just launched Amazon Mobile Ads - a new monetization option for app developers on Android devices.


You can read my quote towards the end of the post:


"We decided to try Amazon's ads because our overall revenue and eCPM was low on tablets when we were using another network. We initially integrated the Amazon Mobile Ads API in one of our apps distributed through Amazon since the majority of our users there are on Kindle Fire devices. Our effort has paid off! We saw eCPM jump 300% and our revenue doubled even though fill rate was lower at the beginning. Now we have the Mobile Ads API integrated in all our free apps distributed through Amazon."

posted @ 8:16 PM | Your thoughts

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Billy Beet - Shooting Game for iPhone

Billy Beet is a unique dynamic shooting game for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.





Billy Beet is featuring vegetables characters and you play for the flying beet character named Billy and your mission is to pass all the levels and shoot and defeat all enemies and ... via billybeet.com



Billy Beet on Apple Appstore

posted @ 8:37 PM | Your thoughts

Friday, February 15, 2013

Windows Phone 8 Backward Incompatible - Strategic Mistake

It's a big strategic mistake Microsoft committed when they launched Windows Phone 8 while it is incompatible with Windows Phone 7.


WP7 had been in the market just less than a year.


Users who are stuck with Windows Phone 7 devices are not able to upgrade and having this experience at the time they switch to a new device there is a good chance they don't purchase another WP. There are still many WP7 devices in stock and on the market and dealers have to get rid of them before they start to sell superior WP8 devices. Finally WP developers can't be happy since they have to purchase another device and maintain both versions.


Microsoft should have launched it in December 2012 instead of September 2012 but make it fully backward compatible.

posted @ 7:01 PM | Your thoughts

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The main reason why iOS is still ahead of Android

The main reason why iOS is still ahead of Android towards the end of 2012 is the quality of execution in design and technology. Android however is focused on functionality.


A couple of most bright examples I can fetch out of the top of my head are Voice over and iMessage.


Voice over makes the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch almost fully accessible for visually impaired and totally blind people and competitors don't have any reliable technology that can compete. Voice over in iOS 5 makes it possible for visually impaired users to use apps, play games, use twitter and any other built in software and gives almost 100% functionality support experience.


iMessage makes it possible to send text messages for free from Apple to Apple device, which makes SMS technology redundant.

posted @ 8:00 PM | Your thoughts

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Snake Handling

It turns out I rarely post lately being busy...


I figured out I'd better post some crazy stuff for motivation to be at the top of the feed for a while...


The clip below is called "Sunspot" by Of the Wand & the Moon from 2011.



The footage is very powerful. For more information about what is going on in the video search for snake handling or George Went Hensley. Enjoy :)

posted @ 12:00 AM | Your thoughts

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fosimo 1.1.3

Fosimo 1.1.3 is available for download. Fosimo is a desktop tool for Facebook which helps you control your Facebook account without browsing through Facebook.


It has been more than a year and a half since the previous major releases of Fosimo while we focused on other projects. Since then Facebook has done a lot of changes and deprecations to their API so we found it counter-productive to catch up with that. However Fosimo proved to have a significant number of die-hard fans who continue to use the app.


We decided to catch up with the API changes namely converting to Oauth and Graph API, redesigned the authentication flow, fixed a number of bugs and simplified everything to make it much faster, lighter and easier to make changes in the future. Fosimo is still full-feature working and is able to notify the user about their friends status updates, upload photos to Facebook, update Facebook statuses, browse friends without browsing through Facebook, backup inbox and more.


Enjoy


EDIT: just forgot to mention this - Fosimo is 4 years old project already.

posted @ 5:00 AM | Your thoughts

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

RIP Facebook Developers Forum

RIP Facebook Developers Forum.


It has been almost 4 years and over 6000 posts by myself alone. Actually the first 1.5 years was pretty fun and even amazing then Facebook had committed all possible mistakes to alienate the community so good folks moved elsewhere to other platforms.


It was fun while it lasted.


EDIT: official replacement forum for facebook devs is stackoverflow. Which sucks since stackoverflow is QnA type of forum without any discussions, argument or brainstorming type of threads. Experienced devs who helped folks on the old forum during last 4 years have to star with zero reputation.

posted @ 6:49 PM | Your thoughts

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How to Play Sound Effects in Objective-C (iOS)

Mobile game or application with sound effects is usually more fun for users than without. So how to implement sound effects on iOS? There are a few ways. If you search on the net - the most frequent recommendation is to use AVAudioPlayer library and component. My opinion - don't do it if you just want to implement short sound effects that last several seconds. AVAudioPlayer is very expensive performance-wise and has lag issues. It is also not very reliable in terms of leaks since you have to release it on the audioPlayerDidFinish callback of AVAudioPlayerDelegate delegate.


AVAudioPlayer is best for playing longer loop-able music tunes as a background. In order to play short sound effects it is performance-wise cheaper to use AudioServicesPlaySystemSound method from AudioToolbox.h. In order to do that you need to declare SystemSoundID like so:


SystemSoundID audioEffect;

and don't forget to dispose it in i.e. dealloc like so:


AudioServicesDisposeSystemSoundID(audioEffect);

Below is a short example function that gets a resource file name and file extension as parameters and plays sound effect:


-(void) playSound : (NSString *) fName : (NSString *) ext
{
    NSString *path  = [[NSBundle *mainBundle] pathForResource : fName ofType :ext];
    if ([[NSFileManager defaultManager] fileExistsAtPath : path])
    {
        NSURL *pathURL = [NSURL fileURLWithPath : path];
        AudioServicesCreateSystemSoundID((CFURLRef) pathURL, &audioEffect);
        AudioServicesPlaySystemSound(audioEffect);
    }
    else
    {
        NSLog(@"error, file not found: %@", path);
    }
}

Enjoy :)

posted @ 1:05 PM | Your thoughts

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

User Preferences in Objective-C (iOS) - NSUserDefaults

This post is about how to handle user preferences in iOS. User preferences is needed for storing small amounts of data locally and can work out as a small database for your app where you can store simple stuff like score and etc. This is all done via NSUserDefault class. Examples:


Fetching preferences


NSUserDefaults *settings = [NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults];
NSString *myParam = [settings stringForKey : @"MY_PARAM"];

Storing preferences


NSUserDefaults *settings = [NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults];
[settings setObject : strMyParam forKey : @"MY_PARAM"];
[settings synchronize];

Enjoy :)


posted @ 1:05 PM | Your thoughts

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Handling DateTime in Objective-C - How to get Current DateTime

Sometimes it is a bit non-trivial to developers coming to Objective-C from more common Java or C# how to deal with simple things. This post is about handling DateTime and I will illustrate dealing with it with a simple example.


How to get current DateTime


-(NSDateComponents *) getCurrentDateTime
{
    NSDate *now = [NSDate date];
    NSCalendar *cal = [NSCalendar currentCalendar];
    NSDateComponents *cmpnnts = [cal components : 
        NSHourCalendarUnit + NSMinuteCalendarUnit + NSSecondCalendarUnit fromDate : now];

    return cmpnnts;
}

For those used to work with Unix timestamps it will be easier to get current time in milliseconds, in Objective-C it is like so:


double nowMillis = 1000.0 * [[NSDate date] timeIntervalSince1970];

Enjoy :)

posted @ 8:51 PM | Your thoughts

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fosimo.AA 0.9.8

Hello all!

We just released a new version of the tool - Fosimo.AA 0.9.8 is available for download.


You can download Fosimo.AA 0.9.8 here.


New in this release:

- Test users manager - provides ability to create, delete test users for any of your apps. With test users you don't need to worry about getting banned just for testing your application, you can create users with different set of extended permissions, with application already installed or not. So you can test many scenarios.


Test users manager


- Starting from this version of Fosimo.AA - News manager module is now unlocked and you can use it without a license for free and post global news (aka addGlobalNews) to applications/games dashboards and also post news targeted for specific users (aka multiAddNews).


Ban manager and Test users manager modules are currently the only 2 modules which require a license for the Fosimo.AA to be purchased. Everyone who already purchased a license - your license will be still valid :)


For now the license is $30 but in 2011 we plan to raise the price.
To obtain a license - please send email to info@x2line.com with your name, email. Or you can pay via paypal directly on the Fosimo.AA download page and the license will be sent to your paypal email address.


thanks and happy holidays to all!

posted @ 9:00 AM | Your thoughts

Monday, November 29, 2010

Patch for Facebook Android SDK

If you are using facebook android SDK the following patch should save you much trouble and working hours in certain scenarios. It fixes a pretty serious bug in the facebook android SDK. In Facebook.java:


public void setAccessExpiresIn(String expiresIn) {
        if (expiresIn != null && !expiresIn.equals("0")) {
            setAccessExpires(System.currentTimeMillis()
                    + Integer.parseInt(expiresIn) * 1000);
        }
+       else if (expiresIn != null && expiresIn.equals("0")) {
+           setAccessExpires(0);
+       }
    }

Would like to know what is the bug this patch solves? I'll leave that for you. It is a good exercise to find out and not too complicated. Thanks.

posted @ 5:47 PM | Your thoughts

Friday, October 01, 2010

Delicer v0.9.5 is available

After a long hiatus of more than 3(!) years I'd like to announce a new, completely redesigned version of Delicer - Delicer v0.9.5. Delicer is a windows client for delicious. You can download it for free here.


Well Delicer is not a very high priority project of mine and seems like delicious is not a high priority service project @ yahoo and seems like yahoo is loosing their positions globally as a service provider. Therefore we have not released any update to this tool for more than 3 years. But somehow I realized that people continue to download it every day and they send me emails. It amazes me. During these 3 years yahoo redesigned authentication scheme for all their APIs including delicious API. All yahoo APIs now use oAuth authentication scheme, which is awful in my opinion however widely adopted, lol.


In this release:


  • Yahoo ID support. We no longer support delicious native authentication. You need to migrate to yahoo IDs on delicious to be able to continue and use this tool. That's very easy to do on delicious - options.
  • oAuth authentication
  • Major redesign.

Known issue: delicious authentication token is very limited in TTL therefore it can expire during your work. If you get "unauthorized" errors - please go to tools - options and manually reset the authentication token, then restart the tool. We will fix this issue in the future release.


Enjoy :)

posted @ 3:46 PM | Your thoughts

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fosimo.AA 0.9.7.5 is available

Fosimo.AA 0.9.7.5 is available for download.


download Fosimo.AA here.


See our first post about Fosimo.AA - Introducing Fosimo.AA — Desktop Tool for Facebook Application Administration.


Fosimo.AA is a desktop extension to your existing apps. New in this release:


  • insights raw data for your applications (this functionality is new facebook released just last week).
  • multi-add news for the app dashboard (in addition to global news previously available).
  • APP_ID instead of API_KEY in the configuration.
  • fixing reported bugs and issues.
  • working with the new Graph API.

Enjoy :)

posted @ 11:10 PM | Your thoughts

Friday, May 07, 2010

Fosimo 1.1.0 — New Authentication Flow

Fosimo 1.1.0 is available. Fosimo is a desktop app for Facebook which helps you control your Facebook account without browsing through Facebook.


Facebook released a new applications authentication flow based on OAuth protocol and a new Data permissions dialog so we moved forward and updated Fosimo with it.


Starting from Fosimo 1.1.0 version the user is no longer required to enter the username and password into Facebook's login page to authenticate and authorize the app. Instead the user have to provide a bunch of necessary data permissions for the app and Facebook processes the whole authorization process behind the scenes.


Unfortunately the new scheme is not fully backward compatible therefore if you are a Fosimo user you may notice some parts of the app not working starting today. In this case you need to remove the application from your Facebook account (via "My account" >> "Application settings") and restart it on your computer (make sure you have a new 1.1.0 version of Fosimo). This is supposed to solve permissions/authentication problems during the migration.

Enjoy

posted @ 11:46 PM | Your thoughts

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