vendredi 22 avril 2016

Time for a better information process

This blog was opened several years ago as I started developing the app that was once MiniWar Companion. The goal was then to have a single place where I could post update information about the apps. But over the years, several issues have risen.

  • First of all, this blog was opened on Blogger so I would not have to spend much time on technical issues. But at the end, the layout here is pretty lame.
  • I am not really focused on this blog. So, I am not posting as much as I should. Actually, some of the articles I intended for this blog found themselves on Geekgarage.
  • As a consequence, this blog does not have that much followers and most of this posts are useless :(
  • A final point is that some of my apps have different audiences. I lately updated the Alkemy Companion with the feedback of its gaming community. But that community is mostly french and you know that readers like to read posts in their native language. And I don't like to mix languages in blog posts…

So, starting today, this is where you will find information about Brothers in Games apps.
  • For updates, you can follow the Brothers in Games Facebook page or the Brothers in Games Twitter account. Yes, you may see posts in different languages. If I do write articles, I will post a link trough those media.
  • If you are looking for technical posts about Android, iOS, mobile or Pyhton development, you can follow my blogs. I am active on my french blog Dad 3.0. But I will now be more active as I was on my international one, Geek Garage.
So, this is certainly my last post on this blog. I let it live because there are still links pointing here.

I hope to see you on the links given above.

Enjoy your games.

vendredi 5 février 2016

Tournament Tracker update,

Hi Brothers

I am currently working on some kind of filters for the list of tournaments on the Tournaments Tracker. I want to make it easier for you to access to an information of interest. So, I am adding what we can call filtered views so the list will filter the tournaments by country and/or game.
At this point, I have added that list view and the form from which you can set up a new filter.

But a problem arise last week and dealing with it will have some consequences which can delay the release of this feature.
To give you Tournaments Tracker, I need some place to store the tournaments data. For that service, I rely on Parse, a Cloud backend for mobile apps. Unfortunately, last week, the Parse team announced that the service will be discontinued. This have two consequences:

  • There is some Parse-specific code in the app especially in everything concerning the data management. Cleaning up that code is not complicated but spending time on it means spending less time on features improvement.
  • I do not only manage the game data on Parse but also the users connexion. This will be the tricky part…

New filter form
So, the consequence of the Parse-specific code is that if I want to finish the filters list view, I have to add specific code that I will have to get ride of later. The best thing to do is to start removing that code dependency right now. But that means to break what is done until now. Before doing that, I prefer to release a version where you can filter the next tournaments view.

The currently release gives you access to the filter criteria form. The next release will allow you to save your selection.

Because of the users management consequences I will have to deal with, I have disabled the sign-in. You will not be able to create a new mail account. If you have already created an account, you can still access to it. You can also log in the app using your Facebook profile.

The user management will be my priority for the next release, together with the filtering of the tournaments view.

Now one more thing. If you are an Alkemy player using the Alkemy Companion, you may have noticed the disabled Tournaments button. That button should work with this filter view. So of course, you can expect an update of the Alkemy Companion which will activate that button ;)

samedi 16 janvier 2016

Alkemy Companion V2 released !

I am proud to inform you that the Alkemy Companion has been released in its V.2.

The last update of the Alkemy Companion was released two years ago. Since then, I needed to update the game data but also the app itself as it was designed for Android 2.x. So for those who know the old version, you can now enjoy a modern Android app.

But I didn't upgraded the version number just because of a design update. This new release introduces a new way to manage the game data. You will not have to wait anymore for an app update to see new game data or a fix in those data. The data is managed online so you can always be up to date.

Don't worry, the Alkemy Companion didn't turned into an online-only app. For every information you would want to see, the app will first check if it is available on the device and displays it. It will then check for the same information online and update the displayed and stored data.

So, make sure your device is online the first time you check some kind of information. Currently, the data is loaded only when the app displays that info. There is no feature that will load it in the background once the device is back online. It may come, but there is currently none.

The main audience of Alkemy, the game, is in France as it is a french miniature game. I focused on that audience for this release and I didn't had the time to translate the game data. So, rather than leave you all with an old app containing outdated data, I chose to display the data in french for everyone. I will roll out translations in the next... Lets say weeks. That will require an app update.

I have tried new things with this release. So the app is not perfect yet. The loading and display data process may not be as efficient as I wanted. I know and I am working on it. But of course, feel free to give me a feedback on anything you think that needs to be improved in the app.

I hope you'll enjoy this app. Download it for free from Google Play.

vendredi 8 janvier 2016

Alkemy companion 2.0 released next week

Good news for all Alkemy players, after several months in beta, the Alkemy Companion will be released as a 2.0 version next week.

As the previous version, the Alkemy Companion gives you access to the profiles, abilities and formulas so you can always check any data you want. This new version is finally designed for a modern Android device. Also, the data is now stored on the Cloud, which allows us to update it without releasing an new app version. The first time you check an information, it is backed-up on your device so if you will be able to check it without a network connexion.

Gathering and storing the right information is a lot of work. Currently, only the french version of the profiles is available for the 4 first factions and the Temple. I will add the others factions first and then translate them in English. In the meantime, everybody will have access to the french version of the data.

So, keep an eye on your updates and follow us on Twitter @big_theapp.

jeudi 24 septembre 2015

Mise à jour du compagnon Alkemy

This post is also available in english

Bonne nouvelle pour tous les joueurs Alkemy. Après presque deux ans, nous avons trouvé du temps à consacrer au compagnon Alkemy. Deux ans, c'est une éternité lorsqu'on parle d'apps. Il y a donc un travail important à réaliser. En parallèle, les données doivent être mises à jour avec les nouveaux profiles et les différents correctifs.

Pour commencer, parlons de l'app et de son interface.

Brothers in Games... Alkemy a été publié lorsque Android 2 était la version majoritaire sur le marché. Mettre à jour vers Android 4 (car c'est la version majoritaire actuelle mais nous avons aussi des composants relevant d'Android 5) nécessite de réécrire toutes les vues. Cela va prendre un certain temps, et c'est la raison pour laquelle nous avons décidé de publier une beta. Cette beta est évidemment incomplète et ne propose pour l'instant que quelques vues. vous pouvez ainsi voir à quoi ressemblera cette app et suivre son évolution jusqu'à la release. Nous mettrons cette beta à jour très régulièrement. Si vous la testez, nous aimerions beaucoup avoir vos retours.

Et à propos des données.

Le but de Brothers in Games... Alkemy rest de vous permettre de consulter les profiles du jeu Alkemy sur votre mobile. Pour faciliter les mises à jour, nous gérons maintenant toutes ces données en ligne. Il ne sera donc pas nécessaire d'attendre une mise à jour de l'app pour disposer d'une mise à jour des données.

Mais saisir toutes ces informations est également un travail long et fastidieux. Pour l'instant, nous n'avons publié que quelques profiles dans un mix français et anglais... Nous nous occuperons de compléter ces données une fois l'app publiée en version définitive.

Pour utiliser l'app Alkemy, vous devez disposer d'une connexion à Internet. Oui, nous savons que vous devriez pouvoir consulter ces profiles hors ligne et ce sera le fonctionnement dans la version définitive. Entre temps, pour éviter de gérer de fréquentes mises à jour et synchronisations, nous préférons rester sur l'option "tout en ligne".

Si vous voulez tester cette version, n'hésitez pas à installer la Beta du compagnon Alkemy.

Nous espérons que vous appréciez cette app et n'hésitez pas à nous communiquer votre avis.

Updating the Alkemy companion

Ce billet est également disponible en français.

Good news for you Alkemy players. After nearly 2 years since the last update, we have found some time to work on the Alkemy companion. When we talk about apps, 2 years is an eternity. A lot of things must be fixed for the app to be up to date. In the meantime, the data must also be updated to include the new profiles and all corrections.

So first, lets talk about the app and its interface.

Brothers in Games... Alkemy was last released when Android 2 was the main version out there. Updating to Android 4 (because it is the main version for now, but we also include Android 5 features) requires to rewrite all the views. it will take some time to set it all right, that is why we are just releasing a beta for now. This version is incomplete, it displays only a few views. We have decides to release it so you can see what this new app will look like. This beta will be frequently updated until the official release. If you are testing it, we will really love to read your feedback.

Now about the data.

Brothers in Games... Alkemy purpose is still to give you access to all the profiles of Alkemy, the Game. For an easier update, we are managing this data online. Setting up all the information is a lot of work, so, for now, we have published only a few profiles in a mix of french and english... We will focus on the data once the app is completed.
So, to use the app, you must have an internet connexion. Yes, we know, you should be able to access to the profiles offline and that is how the app will work once released. Until then, to avoid to deal with the frequent updates and sync, we prefer to keep an online-only version.

So, if you want to test this version, you can get the beta of the Alkemy Companion.

We hope you will like this app and feel free to give your feedback.

mardi 16 juin 2015

Track your tournaments in a gamer way

Hi Brothers,

we have been silent on this blog for two releases, it is time to review where we are with Brothers in Games TTracker. The last update we are currently releasing is bringing a change in its interface.

One app for one feature

Two releases ago, we rebranded Brothers in Games T3 as Brothers in Games TTracker for Tournaments Tracker. It is true that originally, the app was a stand alone client for TableTop Tournaments. User's favorite tournaments management was part of Brothers in Games main app.

The idea was to provide you all your personal stuff in the main app and have dedicated apps for specific services. That was a terrible idea leading to a messy main app and forcing you to have two apps for one purpose (tournament discovery and management).

So, Brothers in Games T3 was rebranded to reflect its usage. The app still helps you discover new tournaments, but it will also help you keep track of them. Your favorite tournaments list is part of the app since that update. Moving from a single task app to a fully featured app requires some redesign which we are actually on. So some basic features are still missing (remove element from favorites, filter past and futur events...) but we are working on it to bring them back.

Get your involvement rewarded

In this release (1.15), your landing screen is a Dashboard. It contains a card with basic information of your profile if you are connected. You can notice a rank under the name. This rank will reflect your activities as a gamer. How can you progress ? We are setting things those things up. Attending a tournament, your ranking at the tournaments, managing clubs... All those actions could be taken into account for your décorations.

Features allowing you to progress in the rank and gain other decorations will come in futur releases.

Get or update Brothers in Games TTracker and look for the fun near you.