Alright, time to get back in to the routine.
It’s been two weeks since the last post. Last week became an impromptu holiday for me — I am a Canadian living in Canada, but I deal mostly with US companies, so American Thanksgiving seemed safe.
The week prior was busy though. I sent off the initial version of Smiles HD for the Mac App Store. It still sits in the approval queue, but I’m there.
That wasn’t the only build I submitted though. For the past month, I’ve been part of the private Desura beta — a steam-like store from the ModDB and IndieDB people. They’re new and have just barely launched, but the system is very slick (it even supports buying and selling mods). Definitely one to watch.
You can check out the Smiles HD page on Desura here:
Also, this is the first Windows version of Smiles HD available for sale (Smiles on AppUp is Netbook tuned) — not even my “buy direct” option is available yet (much website work to still do). The game wont be exclusive to Desura, but it is very easy for me to make and push updates with them (until I get my own system in place).
Both the Mac App Store and Desura have Smiles HD 1.1.0. Once I add a few more things, I’ll send out a 1.1.1 update.
One thing that held back the Linux build was a little discovery of mine. It seems the stock Intel GMA drivers that ship with Ubuntu 10.10 don’t support S3TC (DXT) texture compression.
Actually this isn’t a very big deal as there’s an update that should fix it, but it reminded me I may want a fallback option. So versions of Smiles HD newer than 1.1.0 will include both the full 1080p assets, and some non-texture-compressed 16bit “720p” assets. That adds about 10 MB to the game (already 40 MB). Not much really, and it guarantees compatibility. I suppose an option would be to write a software decoder for S3TC (DXT) compressed data, but for PC’s I’m okay with adding 10 MB. I’ll probably omit it from the Mac version though, since the store requires OS 10.6.6.
One thing that didn’t make 1.1.0 was a toggle button for switching between fullscreen and windowed (the game fullscreens). I put off adding the feature for a number reasons; The main reason was that I didn’t have a good idea what resolution to make the window, and I wasn’t liking the idea of adding a resolution selection screen (it’s cluttered enough already!).
When Smiles HD starts, it checks the desktop resolution and uses that as the game resolution. Every system I’ve tested it on runs nearly 60fps. Interestingly, as the resolution of the attached monitor goes up, the computers seem to have a beefier GPU (no Intel GMA 950’s attached to 1080p screens… except for my Mac, and it runs fine there).
So what I’ve decided to do is create a window 85% of desktop resolution. I tried 80% initially, but it seemed too small, so I bumped it up. I figure that *should* be enough room. Worst case, you’ll always have the fullscreen button available to you if you can’t fit it all. I still have to make the button work, but that is the plan.
That’s all for now.