My 2020 Wrap-up and 2021 Plans

Another year is at an end, so its time for a wrap-up of my game development year and my plans for 2021. This year completes my 9th year developing mobile apps and games… and what a year it was. The pandemic took center stage, and lots of my development plans took a back seat. Even though I was home a lot more this past year, time and motivation to work on my games was lacking.

My 2020 Accomplishments

I Participated in Two Ludum Dare Game Jams

I created and published games for 2 Ludum Dare events, Insect Infestation and The Pongs. With both events, I had a lot of difficulty early on, and decided that in order to complete Ludum Dare I submitted to the Compo. The Compo event allows pre-made assets and that helped tremendously. For Insect Infestation, I had to enter the Compo in order to use pre-made graphics, and for The Pongs, I entered the Compo due to lack of time to complete the Jam.

I Updated All My Existing Games for App Store Compatibility

All my existing apps required some changes in order to meet the new requirements of the Apple and Google stores.

Items In-Progress

I Started Development on a Complete Rewrite of Spell Them Out

I’m using Unity for the rewrite and I made a lot of progress. This version will have an improved UI, more bells and whistles, particle effects, and… the much requested save game feature! I hope to go into extended testing some time in early 2021.

I Am Completing an Update to My Object Pooling Library

I added some updates to the Editor scripts, and fixed a big earlier in the year. This upcoming update will create constants that can be used in all pool calls instead of the actual pool name as a string. GBC Object Pool is a free, open source pooling library, so feel free to grab a copy to use or to add some features!

Unfinished Goals

Looking at last year’s blog post I see there are a lot of things I wanted to complete, but just could not get to.

Incomplete Goal: Re-write All My Apps

Well, Spell Them Out is quite far into development, but all the other games remain the same (other than the updates I mentioned above). I don’t expect to rewrite everything within 1 year, but I thought I would be further into it.

Incomplete Goal: Finish Johnny’s Flipbook Adventure

Not complete, not even touched in 2020. Between this game and the Space Mission Survival rewrite, I just don’t know what to do with these. I’ve rewritten each one several times, and it seems like both games can be combined into a single new game, but I haven’t put the killer game together in my mind.


January 1, 2021 starts my 10th year in game development. I enjoy most of the game development process, but I have not released a new game in a while. I hope to release something new, in addition to keeping me existing games up to date.

Motivation seems to be the deciding factor in my case. Development takes a lot of time and effort and feedback from users is minimal (I’m totally to blame, since I do not market myself). There’s probably a lot of game devs like me and a bit of feedback or encouragement really helps a lot. I am going to attempt to provide more encouragement to other lesser-known developers this year.

I am also learning Flutter for some apps (non games) I want to develop as well. Flutter looks interesting, and I hope to get an app or two out in 2021.

GBC Object Pool (Unity) Update

Just a little note to tell everyone that I made an update to my free, open-sourced Unity asset, GBC Object Pool.

GBC Object Pool is an easy to use and light-weight object pooler for Unity. This update allows easier set up through the Inspector. Just create some pools, drag in a prefab add a name and amount of items to pool, and you are all set.

I plan on some more updates in the new year, and since this is open-source, I encourage you to contribute!

Tappy Holidays: The Rewrite

I decided to play a bit with the Unity 2019.3 beta… I was interested in seeing what the 2D lighting effects and the new Universal Render Pipeline can do, and what better way than to create a small game? Even better… what better way than to take an already existing game and upgrade it?

I took my existing game, Tappy Holidays, and rewrote it using the beta version of Unity 2019.3 and it was a pleasant experience (although there were some issues, that’s beta for you!). As of this writing, Tappy Holidays is available for Android, and should be available on iOS soon.

The left screenshot is the Corona version, the right is the Unity version. Look at the improvements on the Unity side: 2D lighting effects the nearby sprites, superior text with drop shadows, and particle effects on the title screen. Impressive.

Tappy Holidays screen shot

I wanted to get this game out around Thanksgiving, but due to some beta issues with Unity, it took a little longer. Once a release candidate of Unity was available, it was easy to package and release.

I hope you give Tappy Holidays a try. Let me know your thoughts and if you run into any issues. The game has always been free, but as an added bonus, this version contains no ads!

Tappy Holidays!

Johnny’s Flipbook Space Adventure – Development Underway!

I decided that my Ludum Dare 42 entry, Johnny’s Flipbook Space Adventure, deserves an official release, so I have been working on a rewrite which will be released on PC, Mac, and hopefully consoles. There are two reasons I decided to continue development.

First, the game was very well received by the Ludum Dare community. After every Ludum Dare, I think about continuing development, but since this game scored so well, I think that this one should be improved so it can be released. I plan to add and tweak a few things to make game play better.

My second reason is that I think the game I was working on, Space Mission Survival: The Next Mission, would make a great add-on. You can read about my on-again, off-again development of SMS:TNM but to summarize: I love that game, I’ve made a lot of progress, but I get waves of doubt and discouragement in developing it since I am unsure of it’s success for various reasons (I still have plans to release that game, but a flip book version fits in well here).

So, Johnny’s Flipbook Space Adventure will have two chapters: an enhanced version of my Ludum Dare entry, and the classic Space Mission Survival game released to mobile years ago, but with the new flip book style. I think this will be a great game, and I am excited about its development. I hope to get a game play video out soon, and I am hopeful that a playable beta can also be released.


Pumpkin Patch Match Now Available on Windows

Pumpkin Patch Match is now available on the Windows desktop platform!

Pumpkin Patch Match is a spooky spin on a classic audio pattern matching game. Jack-o-lanterns will light up and display an audio tone in a random pattern.  Repeat that pattern to advance to the next level.  Pumpkin Patch Match will add one more jack-o-lantern to the pattern every time you are successful.

If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, the concept of Pumpkin Patch Match will be familiar to you.   Great for kids!  Fun for adults!   Great for Halloween, or anytime!

See how many jack-o-lanterns you can pick in a row.  If you make a mistake, a second chance is available.

Supports English, Spanish, German, Chinese, and Japanese languages.

Pumpkin Patch Match was originally released in 2015 for mobile platforms. A Macintosh version will also be available soon.


Alphabeta Asteroids Now on

The PC and Mac desktop versions of Alphabeta Asteroids is now available on

Alphabeta Asteroids was originally released (and is still available) for Android , iOS and Kindle devices way back in 2013. Along the way, we’ve added some things and improved some things, and we finally decided to give a desktop build a try.

The PC and Mac versions are available to you for free, although any donation would be appreciated. these donations, along with your feedback, will help further development of Alphabeta Asteroids.

I hope you enjoy my game, and I welcome your feedback.


My First (Upcoming) Unity Release

All of my previous game releases were written with CoronaSDK, but about two years ago, I decided to learn Unity. Since that time, I have used Unity for several game jams, but I have not officially released anything. Since September 2017, I have been working on a mobile game using Unity and I am planning on releasing it in the next couple of months.

I have three “Tappy” games released on mobile: Tappy Holidays, Tappy Valentines, and Pumpkin Patch Match (ie: Tappy Halloween). These are very basic games written in Corona, and I decided to create another simple Tappy game with Unity as a good first attempt. I present to you: Tappy Easter.

Tappy Easter will be my first new game in almost two years. It’s also my first released Unity game. I decided to try something “simple”  (although it became more complicated that I expected) so that I can learn what it takes to publish a mobile game with Unity. I already had a good understanding of C# coding, UI, graphics, etc. It was all of the additional “stuff” that makes a game that I had to learn. I decided to buy a couple of assets (in addition to the assets I already owned) to make it easier on myself. Here’s some detail around the new and additional things I encountered:

  • Mobile UI. I started working on swipe code myself, and decided to bite the bullet and buy an asset that helps with this. I purchased Fingers Touch Gestures, and decided to use that for my swipe code, as well as all the other tap code. What a time saver! Swipe, tap, gestures all included, and you can simulate it in the editor with your mouse.
  • Achievements. I purchased the Easy Mobile asset to help with integrating Google Play and Apple Game Center. Again, a great time saver. One call, and Easy Mobile takes care of everything. This asset has a lot of cool features to help with Achievements, Leaderboards, Advertisements, Ratings, and more.
  • Admob. Easy Mobile to the rescue again… so easy to configure and use.

Unrelated to Easy Mobile, I did have a hell of a time integrating Google Play and Admob on the Android version of Tappy Easter.  It took a couple of days to figure out and fix the issue. Turns out Google includes libraries in each asset that are incompatible with each other, so you have to be sure you are only importing the latest version of the libraries. A lot of time was spent looking up the problem and figuring it out. The solution is so simple but is not documented adequately enough.

Other assets I bought previously were DoTween and Text Mesh Pro… both are fantastic. Both are free, although there is an enhanced paid version of DOTween I recommend. DoTween is a very powerful and fast tweening library, and I use this in everything I develop. Text Mesh Pro is unbelievable for enhancing your text. I purchased it prior to Unity making this a free asset.

I also decided to learn Unity Analytics, especially for the Remote Settings feature. I can see this being valuable… once I understand it a bit more.

All in all, it was a great learning experience, and I expect Tappy Easter to be available some time in mid to late February.


Pumpkin Patch Match Update Released

Version 2.0 of Pumpkin Patch Patch, our classic audio pattern matching game, has been released on the iOS and Android platforms, and is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Version 2.0 improves a bit on the user interface, and adds support for in-app purchases. Video ads are now sourced from Admob and the ads pushed to the game are family friendly as determined by Google. In-app purchases also allow you to remove ads either temporarily or permanently for those that wish to continue play without advertisements.


Announcing: GBC Object Pool

My latest plugin, GBC Object Pool, is now in the marketplace.

The GBC Object Pool plugin allows the CoronaSDK developer to easily and quickly implement object pooling within your application. Using two lines of code, you can create an object pool. GBC Object Pool optimizes the management of pooling, allowing for object reuse and eliminates garbage collection inherently found with traditional create/destroy functions.

The plugin provides several examples of pooling.  If there are any questions or requests, please let me know. I plan on writing more examples, blogs, and perhaps some videos on the  use of this plugin.

Some links:

GBC Object Pool in the Corona Marketplace

Link to documentation

Link to example code