Our new puzzle game coming soon!
Our new puzzle game coming soon!
Well, it’s been almost two years (again) since I’ve posted my previous unity plugin suggestions. So, welcome to my now officially biennial post…
As before, Unity received major updates in the mean time and now sitting at v5.3. Some of the previous plugins are not needed anymore such as Unibill (now integrated to 5.3+) or NGUI as native GUI finally become something useable.
So, I’ll cut to the chase and here are my current suggestions for must have add-ons to Unity as of today.
Most Useful Unity Plugins
- DOTween Pro (Link): Just go and get this, it’s super performant and useful. Especially if you are used to working with NGUI and switched to uGUI, you’ll find it’s Animation Component (pro feature) very very very useful.
- Grids (any version depending on your needs) (Link): That one depends on your needs. But if you are planning to use any kind of Grids in your game, don’t torture yourself by coding everything and simply use Grids instead. It’ll save you lots of time.
- InControl (Link): I’ve found this one by the suggestion from Amazon. You can support all kinds of game controllers and this is also very useful for developing games for TV’s (Apple TV, Chromecast, etc.)
- Marvelous Techniques (Link): That one contains bunch of shaders along with some sample scenes. If you’re after a special kind of look for your game, that’ll be a gem.
- CloudOnce (Link): One simple API to deal with iOS Game Center, Google Play Game Services & Amazon GameCircle. That was one the most time consuming parts of my work till that one came along. It also support Cloud saving for all 3 platforms, so do I need to say more?
And the rest
Those are still in my list, but I’ve already mentioned them before. Check out my previous post(s) for more information.
Of course there are more, some of them are already on my wish list. But it wouldn’t be fair to list them above as I haven’t actually used them yet. So, if you are looking for more check out the link!
It’s been a while since my first post on the subject. Currently, many things changed (even the design) & fixed on iTunes Connect. We still have “Availability Date” but the “Release Date” is now replaced with “Version Release”. I wanted to share how those two options working together to achieve different results.
First, let’s take a look at the options.
That option is still working as before. By default, it’s set to the date of your app record creation. If the current date is greater than this date, then your app will be available on the App Store considering your version is “released” and approved, standing in “Ready for Sale” state. If not, it won’t be available on the store. Btw, you may also use that option to remove the app from sale, if you ever need to do that simply change the date in sometime in future as an alternative to removing the app from regions to do that.
This option is mostly used for app updates but currently you can also use that for the new apps. For app updates, you can have an app released & available on the store but might want to withhold the release of an update until a certain event. In that case, that’s the option you’ll want to use.
Current state based on our recent experience.
- “New Releases” list problem seems to be fixed. As long as the app is released & available, and that’s happening for the first time (for the region) your app will be featured in the new releases list of that region.
- If you have a fixed release date in the future just set the availability date to match it and make sure the app will be automatically released after review.
- If you want to release manually, just make sure the availability date is set to a date in the past and manually release the app when it’s time.
- Version release might take few hours to make it to the store while availability date works faster. So, if you want to release an app at 00:00 local time of each region, use the availability date. If you release it manually at 00:00 at some local time, it’ll will be available on the store at different times for each region after the app store process complete (which might take some time as noted above).
If you have any suggestions/corrections, please share in comments so I can update the article as needed.
Well, that might sound a little bit crazy at first but it’s completely possible. Here is how…
App Preview Videos in Photoshop
If you are fortunate enough to use a Mac on OS X you may use recently updated iMove to create your app previews. Or if you have a professional video editor lying around such as Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere or After Effects you can also use those. Not all of us have those in possession but I’m sure many of us have a copy of Photoshop CS installed. And if the version of your PhotoShop is CS3+ (I’ve used CS6) you’re in luck, it has very very basic (but more than enough for app previews) video capabilities similar to AFX or Premiere.
Initially I’ve outsourced our app previews along with our trailer. That turned out great, we had app preview videos ready in requested technical format and submitted them for review along with our game. But those caused our first metadata rejection. Problem was the content in the ending of the video, we had a death scene and even if it’s very light & cartoony they’ve rejected it. So, a fair bit of warning here to our fellow developers, make sure you do not have ANY kind of death/gore/blood in your app previews or it will be rejected. If your game is about unicorns or bunnies you might be in luck, but I’m not sure how you should handle it if your game is about killing zombies with head shots…
As the rejection come in 1am in the morning I had to act quick to save some precious time to not to miss our release date. So, instead of going back to our video guy (which means waiting for at least few days to receive updated videos) I’ve decided fix those by my self. I knew about Photoshop’s video capabilities but even if I’ve never used it before, I’ve decided to dive in.
What Apple wants
App previews have many restrictions. Besides the technical restrictions (see last chapter) Apple wants you to create simple videos that shows the gameplay. Those should not feel like ads or trailers with full of effects or extra non game art/content.
So, basically you’ll need mostly game play videos stitched together with mix or fade (to black/white/color) transitions, overlaid on a one piece music for continuity. There may be few text (not recommended as localization not possible) overlays, mandatory if you need to disclose in-app purchases if the video section of the game shown requires a purchase such as a vehicle, hero, etc.
Good news is you can do all those and even a bit more with Photoshop’s video capabilities. In my opinion using a full featured video editor for that (specially if you are thinking about investing in one) would be an overkill…
How to create videos in Photoshop
Well, I might do a full tutorial on this in the future but right now I simply have no time. But, it’s not hard! A quick google search revealed the following tutorials, I’m sure there are more and those should be enough to get you started.
Make sure you have the source content in full format (1920×1080 for iPhone(s) & 1200×900 for iPad) for the best quality. I also like to bust a myth here, you don’t have to own each device (iPhone 5/6/6+ and iPad) to capture in all required sizes. Or you don’t have to own one of those devices at all in our case, I’ve just captured them from the computer using the Screenflick while playing the game in Unity editor at 1080p.
Technical Requirements of App Previews
iTunes connect is very picky when it comes to app preview videos. You’ll need to make sure your videos are formatted exactly the the way they wanted or you won’t be able to upload them or you might experience all kinds of problems.
But I have some good news and a small gift for you!
As the Photoshop’s video exporter is based on the Adobe Media Encoder I was able to create 4 preset that exports the videos exactly as Apple wanted. Once you have your video ready in Photoshop you may simply select the required preset and you’ll have 100% compatible video ready to upload.
Download the package here:
After downloading extract the contents and you’ll see 4 files with .epr extensions. Place those in the video presets folder of Photoshop so the option would be available when exporting. In my case that location on OS X was “/Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS6/Presets/Video/Adobe Media Encoder/H264/”. You’ll see bunch of other (default) epr files there. Just add those and re-start the application.
After importing, presets section of the exporter should look like this:
On another note, as those are EPR files, you may also use them in Adobe Media Encoder, Adobe Premiere or Adobe After Effects or any other editor that uses compatible format.
For best results, you should have two different projects. First one should be using 1200×900 iPad footage and exported using iPad preset. Second one should be 1920×1080 footage and you can use that one to export all 3 iPhone resolutions.
I hope that would be useful for you, if it is make sure to share using the buttons below. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to reply as soon as I can…
When our latest game Whip Swing received a metadata reject after waiting 10 days in queue for review, I was little worried as that rejection was a first or us. We’ve fixed the issue within an hour and re-submitted but I wasn’t sure what will be our status in the queue. After spending some time with google search I was able to find some forum discussions and mentions of the the issue but there were no definitive answer.
Since we’ve experienced this at the first hand, I wanted to share my knowledge of the issue.
When your app is metadata rejected, if you fix the meta issue without touching the binary you WILL NOT go back to beginning of the review queue. In our case our app went in to review about 20hrs later and spent around 3 hours in review to get approved this time.
But if you edit or change your binary in any way, you WILL go back to beginning of the review queue. That doesn’t matter even if there was an issue with the iTunes Connect, etc. So, make sure to not to touch your binary in situations like this…
A big thank you goes to AppAdvice for featuring Whip Swing on their GamingSOON platform.