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.