Archive for April, 2012




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Well, after two and a half years of handcrafting, I’m pleased to announce that Animal Trackers will be released on the App Store on 3rd May 2012. 🙂

However, not realising just how the App Store works with regards to app submission dates, release dates, availability dates and updated dates, I think I made a faux pas when I first submitted the game last week, as I intended to actually release it at a later date in an attempt to coordinate reviews with various websites.

After I submitted it, I took the plunge and spent the last of my savings on a new iPad. Since this was my first game, I half expected Apple to find that I’d done something wrong, so I figured after testing it with the new iPad, if I found anything that needed tweaking, I could just fix them all at the same time and resubmit.

Well, as it turns out, there were a few improvements that I wanted to make. It usually takes 5 business days (7 days including weekends) for an app to be reviewed, and a week after I submitted the original version of the game, it actually passed. This had the unfortunate effect of setting the official release date in stone as 24th April 2012.

In terms of exposure on the App Store, however, this is bad because it seems that the official release date (rather than updated date or availability date) is what is used to sort new games, so by the time Animal Trackers actually becomes available on the App Store on the 3rd May, it will already be nowhere to be seen on the list. 😦

What I had been hoping for was for a few people globally to try the game, like it, show it to their friends, who hopefully would like it and show it to their friends, etc. and have a number of expanding ‘pockets’ of players eventually join up to become one big global ‘pocket’… lol

But unless Apple decides to include Animal Trackers in the New and Noteworthy section, I guess that will just be a pipe dream.

Well, you live and learn, as they say…


Anyway, this is just the beginning.

I have numerous ideas for future updates and I’m sure some of you will have some, too.

But I need to get the word out that Animal Trackers even exists, so please tell anyone and everyone that …


Thursday 3rd of May


Animal Trackers Day!






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I just have a few tweaks left to make on the sound side of things, but it’s mostly there now.

Animal Trackers now has four background audio options: in-game music, ambient sound effects, iPod music and complete silence.


Pressing the cog symbol from the title screen (or pause menu during a game) will bring up the options console. At the top of the scroll view are the audio settings…

The speaker button controls sound in general, so disabling that will turn off all sounds, including music and sound effects.

The game will detect the status of this button on launch and if it is set to ‘off’, it will allow whatever music is already playing in the background to continue playing.

The musical note button enables/disables music and the ‘FX’ button enables/disables sound effects.

When playing the game, the player can have as a backing sound track either music or ambient sound effects (such as birds singing, wind blowing, etc.)

Beneath the ‘FX’ button are a check box and a play/pause button.

With a tick in the check box, ambient sound effects will play during the game (if background music has been disabled), otherwise just action sound effects, such as footsteps, flicking switches, etc. will play.

Pressing the play/pause button next to it will immediately play a sample of each ambient sound track.


Scrolling down will reveal the music controls…

These work in the same way as the sound effects controls.

The title music will play on both the title screen and the level selection map if there is a tick in the ‘Title’ check box.

The background music for a game will cycle through the tunes that have been ticked. Each successive start/restart of a game will select the next tune in the cycle.


Well, that’s it for the sound options. Hopefully, these will allow a level of control that will suit most players.




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I’ve now added a Twitter console to Animal Trackers, so that players have the option to tweet about their accomplishments.


Upon successfully finishing a level, a new Twitter button now appears on the score card…


Pressing it will bring up the Twitter console…

… which has a vertically scrolling picker view on the left containing all Twitter accounts that have been set up in iOS 5 and a pre-written tweet on the right containing information about the accomplishment.


The tweet may either be sent unmodified, with the success…

… or failure…

… of the transmission indicated in the status area, or sent with amendments…

… if the player wishes to add / remove / change anything in the tweet.


The number of characters remaining (out of the maximum 140 allowed by Twitter) is displayed in the status area, with the ‘Send’ button only being active if this value is at least zero.

Once a tweet has been successfully sent, the ‘Send’ button is disabled to prevent duplicate tweets, but if the player wishes to tweet again, tapping in the tweet area and making a change will reactivate the ‘Send’ button.

Finally, pressing the ‘Cancel’ button will dismiss the Twitter console and return to the score card.




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