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AppGameKit/AppGameKit Studio Showcase / My Magic Storybook - EARLY ALPHA BUILD, testers needed

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Santman
12
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 2nd Feb 2013 01:28 Edited at: 2nd Feb 2013 23:40
Hi all. I need a little help if I can get it. I'm close now to moving to beta with my children's storybook app, and I was wondering if I could get some beta testers at all please?

The concept is simple: it's basically kindle for children's books, though at the moment the app has only one book (please note: this book is copyright of little bee and used with their permission for beta development however you cannot distribute this at all!).

Anyone who wants, please download and install the attached .apk. It is fully net ready, and your android device (sorry no apple yet as I don't own a mac to compile it!) will need some form of net access upon first launch to download the book. Sorry for this inconvenience, however I need the whole net routine working too to be able to test it. The app will also connect to a server (if I have it running on my machine at the time!!!), however this as yet will only verify a valid account - although you can set a username and password in the settings, please don't use anything that you don't want me knowing!!!

The book should run, and be viewable throughout, so a massive thank you to anyone willing to test it (this was months of work creating three full programs across two languages!), and any feedback/errors are greatly appreciated.

As a bonus, and for those who want it, the full app is scheduled for an early March release with a small catalog of books, and I am offering the first ten published through it free to anyone who tests the app (so long as you tell me here!).

EDIT: I should point out two things BTW - there is no advertising or revenue generation at all present in this, and no personal information of any kind is collected (except any user name or password a user enters, which is stored locally with other settings).

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=PRoF=
20
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Joined: 17th Mar 2003
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Posted: 2nd Feb 2013 23:08 Edited at: 3rd Feb 2013 11:59
I'm just downloading it now. I'll modify this post when I've read through the story.

>Edit<

Ok, I've watched it through several times on my Galaxy Note. It seems to work quite well. The word highlighting seems to work; and I quite like the way the page scroll works, but it seems odd that it only does it every other page (Although I can see why it happens like this)

I'll test this on my other 2 android devices shortly; and in the morning I'll let my little girl have a look and see what she thinks

>Edit 2<

Tested on my Tab 2 7.0 with the same results; app ran smoothly and the buttons were responsive.

When I tested it on my Galaxy Y (Much lower spec, tiny screen etc) I had some problems. Although the book ran fine and the writing was readable it was very pixelated.

I also had problems pressing the exit button when the "Press to Start" message was there. I kept clicking that by mistake.

I also let my daughter watch/read it on the tablet. She managed to use it on her own and listened to the story a few times before I could get my tablet back

My only real suggestion would be a way of "pausing" the story?

But other than that, good job

Santman
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 2nd Feb 2013 23:37 Edited at: 3rd Feb 2013 12:42
@Prof,

No problem, that would be great. The server has handled a few clients, so I know some people have tried it, so the lack of comments is actually a little worrying!

EDIT: Thanks very much for that Prof, very much appreciated. I'll look into the smaller screen thing. I've tested it on my own 8" tablet and it's fast and smooth, but I also tested on my galaxy s3. Despite the phone having plenty of "clout", so to speak, agk programs run chronically slow on it for some reason. Scrolling pages judder and frame rates are below 30 even on the title screen. :-$

It's nice to hear your daughter could use it though, it's obviously no good if kids won't use it seeing as they are basically the target market! Lol. Hopefully in a week to ten days an optimised version with more interactivity will be ready, so I'll look at maybe making the exit button etc easier to hit on a smaller screen. Do you mean pausing before changing pages etc? The editor to build the books I made using dbpro, and that's all customisable, but my fear was kids might get bored if the story doesn't automatically advance? Maybe I'm wrong there though.
=PRoF=
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Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Posted: 3rd Feb 2013 13:39
My initial thought was for a button, or maybe just a tap to pause the story as it was being read out. But maybe a good idea would be to include an option to either read all the way through, or stop at the end of each page with a "Turn the page" icon appearing in the corner.

Santman
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Location: Inverness
Posted: 3rd Feb 2013 13:59
Ah, I should have said, swiping left or right will let you move through pages. Eventually the cat will pop up and offer help for things like that, but I think you're right about maybe allowing it to be set to automatically move or not. Maybe after a short delay have a next page button appear and flash to indicate to press it?

Good idea, thank you.
DVader
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Posted: 3rd Feb 2013 17:38
I've had a look on my HTC phone, it looks pretty nice overall. The voice over is a bit scratchy (you can hear a background hiss all the time), so perhaps that could be filtered out in an audio package? The graphics also look a little squashed, at least on my phone. They may look better on a tablets resolution, as the ratio is less dramatic. I'd post a screen shot, but have no idea how to get one off my android.

I know what you mean about lack of comments. It is difficult sometimes to get much feedback even with a free game. You do worry it is because it is too bad to comment on, rather than people not being bothered. Personally I prefer someone to comment and point out issues, as then you can possibly address them and improve it. When you get no feedback, you can't really do anything to improve it beyond guess work.

Anyway, apart from the slight issues above it is looking pretty cool so far!

Santman
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Location: Inverness
Posted: 4th Feb 2013 12:45 Edited at: 4th Feb 2013 12:47
Thanks dvader, and I totally agree..... It's on here to get the constructive feedback, so I'd much rather people be honest. I know about the sound, it's being re-recorded with a lovely canadian-American female version instead, and the images will be getting replaced with the digital originals, so that should sort all that. Not sure about the pixalation though.... I think that's because agk is reading the phone as a low resolution device maybe?

Prof, The setresolution command says low resolution devices will always look like that. Do you know a way around this?
DVader
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Posted: 4th Feb 2013 16:49
Well, my phone is a HTC Desire HD, so I don't think resolution is the issue, more the display aspect. It's not pixelated, just squashed, like an old 4/3 ratio TV show, on a Wide screen TV. Sounds like you have everything under way anyway, but you will get different ratios between, phones and tablets, phones being more wide screen ratio, and the tablets being less so. So you need to account for that, or you will have the squashed look I mentioned.

Santman
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Location: Inverness
Posted: 27th Feb 2013 01:44
Hi all.

I've updated with a new beta, which is now in it's basic form fully featured. This one has two books available to download and some improved speech (hopefully clearer, less scratchy - though still not perfect). For those willing to test, please be aware that purchasing is fully implemented in this build, however pressing buy WILL NOT invoke the IAP code, and nothing will be charged to you - it's there to test the functionality of the app in registering purchases and adding to the user catalog only.

Again, any feedback/comments greatly appreciated.

@Prof - the options now allow to choose between automatic advance or not, though buttons are not in yet. Thanks for the idea.

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Santman
12
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Joined: 15th Sep 2011
Location: Inverness
Posted: 27th Feb 2013 01:51
Oh, I should point out I'm not leaving the server app running as that code is fine and electric isn't cheap....so logging in won't work. Lol.

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