A big thanks to all for taking time to drop in the feedback. It is really encouraging and motivating. I have a lot of ideas and will work on them as soon as I find time. Thanks once again!!
Now enjoy Vimanam on iPad 2 as well.
The game very closely simulates the real world experience.
Dice Accumulator: Each dice roll is now accumulated and the same can be applied to move the coins in more strategic manner
Powerful AI opponent – Your device is now equipped with powerful AI component along with the dice accumulator for better decision making
- You can continue to roll the dice and the dice values will automatically get accumulated
- Once done, you can select the glowing dice(s) from the right side of the screen and apply it on any coin of your choice.
More features to follow soon on. Sit back and enjoy this great game with your friends and family!
While version 1.0 still stuck in ‘Waiting for review’ state, an interesting thing happened. When some of our friends have seen the app, they wanted a iPhone version of it that we mercilessly declined. Mainly due to the following reasons:
- The board was too big to be shown on an iPhone
- Second, when the coins have to be manually selected, I was not sure if people with ‘fat’ fingers can touch the screen to make the selection
Though, we were not fully convinced that it would work, we just wanted to give it a shot. Spent 3-4hrs on the app and migrated all the screens to fit (a lot of photoshop work and a few lines of code extra) the iPhone resolution of 320×480 (iPhone 4 will automatically scale it to fit its resolution of 640×960). The result was very impressive and now we are happy to announce the ‘universal’ version of the app with version 1.1.
Things did not stop with this and here is a list of new things that we added:
- Added an option to select the number of coins from (1 to 6)
- Added a quick help
- Bug fix (when multiple coins were on the board, rolling 1 wont move the coins if the player is iPad/iPhone)
- Coins re-arrangment – If a slot has many coins and when a coin leaves, the coins would animate and rearrange themselves
- Sound effect for settings, about, help
- The feature that we really like is that now ‘You can play a random game’. Click this option, your iPad/iPhone will dynamically create a game for you and most of the times we see that this game is challenging enough to keep the user locked
- Removed the ‘Roll’ text and last dice image as it was a bit confusing
Here are the screen shots from my iPhone running the game.
Already series of testing is happening (very difficult to test games!!) and no bugs are found yet. So, planning to upload the version 1.1 today. We will keep you posted.
Dec 16,2010 Update: The game has been approved and is available for sale. Here is the link.
While we were having a chat a couple of weeks back around the gaming trends and how iPad is making waves in the gaming, the question that struck all of us was that what it would be like to develop indian classic games for iPad.
Interesting thought! Now all of us play games which are westernized and it is sad to see that our kids do not even know about our own treasure. So, we decided to give it a try.
As a result, we short listed a few games and the criteria we had for selection are that
- It should be very unique and untried one by others
- It should not be there on the Apple Appstore
- Capable enough to keep a person locked up with the game for at least 30mts to an hour once started
- Since it is our first project, we did not want to complicated strategy games as we are not sure of the popularity and hence it has to be simple and yet provide immersive game play
- Should have an excellent graphics and better user experience
So, we concluded with a game called ‘Vimanam’ (it is a Tamil word and means ‘Plane’ ) as the layout was very different and it was long forgotten. Though we wanted to keep the game simple, the UI design took most of our time and coding ended up being complicated, mainly because, the direction of path for the players are in opposite direction and the conditions we had to handle. Nevertheless we enjoyed our time.
We started the development on Nov 20th and we spent nearly 100 person hours to develop the game. The first cut was ready by Nov 29th and people who had seen it really enjoyed the antique look and feel and found the game was quite interesting than they thought!
So, here we are presenting the ‘Vimanam’ version 1.0 today. It is submitted to the Appstore this morning and we are eagerly waiting for its appearance in the appstore.
Here are the screen shots
Just a quick poll:
A major update to whaZZup Lite that comes with rich features. If you liked whaZZup Lite, then you will definitely love the Pro version. Check it out here: http://www.mobihand.com/product.asp?id=55415&n=whaZZup-Pro
The Pro version comes with a lot of performance improvements over the Lite version and provides access to your personal data in Yahoo upcoming. You can publish events to your Yahoo upcoming account, see what your friends are attending and also look for the group events.
Broadcast your event through twitter so that the your followers can attend as well.
See venue tips in and around the event venue (using FourSquare).
This app is powered by Yahoo Upcoming APIs. Follow @whazzuppro in twitter for latest updates
Coming up soon: Use ‘check-in’ feature on the day of the event to check-in into the venue and earn four square credits!
Update: whaZZup Lite goes OTA here at Mobihand App store as freeware. Check it out here -> http://www.mobihand.com/product.asp?id=55415&n=whaZZup-Pro and click on the ‘Free Trial’ link.
1. Have you ever imagined how would it be to have the December season concert details at the finger tips?
2. How about all the IPL Schedules?
3. How about all the kind of events that are happening around your current location or any location of your choice?
4. How about seeing all the events scheduled in your favorite venue (Museum, Hotel, Music academy, Universities ….(the list is endless)
5. How about seeing the venue location in a map and let the mobile show you directions to take you there to the venue?
6. How about an application that is aware of your location and enables you to search for events around your place?
7. How about adding your events to your Blackberry calendar (and hence to your outlook) and let the calendar remind you about the event when appropriate?
8. Adding events and venues as favorites so that you can revisit them later on?
9. Search for keywords around a location
10. How about sending an invite to your friends? (Later)
Hmm. At least I would love to have one that fulfils the above
I have always been interested in the mobile platform right from the Palm OS days (anyone remember the Palm Pilots?) and the passion inside me woke up again and I wanted to get my hands dirty once again. But I started wondering as to what to try.
We have plenty of applications that pretty much do everything and I wanted to do something unique (non-existent or un-tried). After doing some research, I had narrowed down to a few ideas and then the question of which platform to develop struck me big time. So is it going to be iPhone or Blackberry put me in loop some time
As iPhone demanded a big fortune to be kept aside for the development environment set up itself. So natural choice became blackberry with its native support to Java and a lot of goodies available as free.
I set up my Eclipse and chose Blackerry 4.6.0 as my base SDK so that I can use my mobile itself to try out the results. So the development stated around Feb mid and the app took some good shape. Next thing I tried was to then make it backward compatible (so that it runs on 81xx, 88xx, 83xx Curve devices) and hence moved my SDK version back to 4.5 and I was not surprised when the application did not even compile. Fixed some of the APIs that were missing in 4.5 and had to provide a workaround to get the UI back.
- IBM Eclipse Ganemede 3.4.2
- Blackberry SDK 4.5 (JDE 1.x with 4.5.0 component pack)
- 81xx, 83xx, 88xx, 89xx Simulators
- Yahoo Upcoming API Key (you can sign up to get one)
- Blackberry signature files for accessing securing API keys ($20 and takes a week to get all 3 keys)
- Yahoo Upcoming RESTful APIs
- Use Location Based Services using device GPS (if the device does not have one, it is handled gracefully)
- Invocation of Google maps if installed
- Blackberry PIM manipulation
This is what whaZZup is all about.
I started the development around Feb 12 and now the application has reached a good shape to be shared with others. Has only one known glitch (the pop up menu gets a bit slugging on the home screen and I am working on it).
Let me know if you need the installation files (drop me a mail or leave a comment and I will send it to you). Use the Apploader.exe (“:Program FilesCommon FilesResearch In MotionAppLoaderLoader.exe”) to point to the alx file and you are done. The application is already signed. It has a small foot print of 125k.
Disclaimer: The events shown are as posted on the upcoming site and the application is not responsible for inaccurate results showing up (:-)). Believe me, sometimes search keywords gives me some results that has no relevance. It is a rarity though
If you have tried out, let me know how useful it is for you.
Vedanthangal is a small village near Madhuranthagam and is quite famous amongst birds than the people.
Yes, it is our country’s oldest and yet smallest bird sanctuary and is a spectacular breeding ground. This is situated around 80kms from Chennai.The name means “place for the hunter” and remained a famous hunting spot around 300 years ago. Villagers then wanted to protect the seasonal visitors and prevented the hunting of these migratory birds. During the British era, this place was converted into a sactuary (Google says 1936 )
- Garganey Teals- Canada
- Glossy Ibis – Sri Lanka
- Grey Heron – Bangladesh
- Grey Pelican – Australia
- Open-billed Stork -Bangladesh
- Painted Stork -Siberia (Seen above)
- Snake Bird-Sri Lanka
- Spot Bill Duck -Canada
We could see Grey Heron, Painted Stork and Egrets (Seen below) in large numbers.
And here is the jackpot
As the sun started setting all the birds could be seen returning to their nests in huge numbers and it is an amazing site to watch. This also reminded us that we should return home too. So we had to bid good bye to these beautiful species and left the place and needless to say with a sad note
Speaking of Madhuranthagam, a place close to my heart, I really feel nostalgic. Because, this is where I spent my early childhood days and is also a place of very famous Rama temple (“Yeri Kaatha Ramar”). I first went to school here in 1976 and did my 2 and 3 grades and learnt the English alphabets here in my 3rd grade. Vedanthangal is around 15Kms from here and I remember my first ever trip to this place around that time frame along with my dad and grandpa. We took a bus early in the morning and reached there and spent around 3-4 hours and took another bus to return home in the evening. This place is very poorly connected by public transport (even now) and I have faint memories of that trip even now
- A fast lens with a good tele range, 300mm or more. It is time I upgraded my kit (I hear my wife’s voice as I write this) with a long range.
- Hi-speed memory card with good write speed as you will capture continuous shots to get at least a few right. Regarding the bird flight shots above, I took nearly 20 shots to get these right.
- Solid tripod as you have to shoot only with ambient light. You need a really sturdy one. It is good if it has a Pan head. I mounted the camera and for the continuous shots, I had to pan the camera to follow the bird
- A good camera with good FPS (Frames per Second) and good built-in image buffer.
- The other accessory that you need is a pair of Binoculars (mine is a good 10×50 and 8×40) and we really enjoyed watching the birds through these.