Mobile Application Development University

An Update on Sweepy Cleaner

This morning I handed in ACW 2 for programming 2, A.K.A Sweepy Cleaner. I’m quite happy with the design of the game, particularly the fact I built it so that adding a new level requires only 4 additional lines of code and the relevant graphics. Below you can see some screen shots showing how it turned out:

My time to present my code to my programmer lecturer is midday Friday, so I’ll update the blog then letting you know what grade I get. Friday is also the day the game should go live on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, subject to being approved by Microsoft, so that’s something to look forward to! ūüôā

Once its up expect an update within a few weeks adding in some features which I’m working on now, including more realistic cleaner movement and additional levels.

I’d like to thank Shane Gravestock for producing all the music and sound effects for the game and Shaun Rhodes for making the game logo and the¬†vacuum¬†cleaner sprite ūüėÄ

Thats all for now,



Easter Projects

Here’s a badly taken photo of Hull’s Paragon Interchange Station, taken whilst waiting for my train home

Friday was our final day at University and consisted of a Lab session and a Tutorial in which we talked about the coursework for ACW 2 for Programming 2 — A.K.A. Sweepy Cleaner. Almost as soon as the Tutorial was over I was on my way to the station to head home for two weeks off, well deserved after a busy term.

In an attempt to keep on top of work and hone my skills as a Software Engineer I have lined up a few projects for myself, to be completed over Easter.

The first of my Projects is to design and develop a custom website front-end and back-end content management system for a local bee keeper who offers Bee Keeping courses, bees for sale, honey products and a range of soaps and lotions. The system will need to allow the customers to edit their product ranges and content on their pages, it will also need to provide an attractive interface to customers and be SEO friendly in order to rank well on Google Searches for Bee related terms.

The Content Management System will be a fair bit of work, but fortunately I can use my previous¬†experiences¬†on projects such as Worldwide Lighthouses in order produce a better system, I also enjoy making user interfaces — particularly for the web, so I’m looking forward to working on this project and hopefully making my customers happy.

My second project is to complete Worldwide Lighthouses, a website run by my brother which uses a custom made CMS (Content Management System). Due to a data loss around Christmas a lot of the workings of the site remain unfinished, hopefully by the end of  Easter all functionality of the previous website will have been restored and even improved upon.

My third project is for my lecturer, Rob Miles, and is to produce an application for the Windows Phone 7 platform which uses the MetaBlogger API to allow people with blogs on blogger and other services to upload, view and edit posts on the go.

My fourth and final project is to create an Augmented reality game. It’s based off of my original proposal for three thing game — ¬†a Tower Defence game which turns into an First Person Shooter once the enemy reaches the end of its route.

My aim is to have the “map” for the tower¬†defence¬†section of the game to be the actual location of the player, complete with enemies actually following the real roads to get to them, ¬†I will do all this using the Bing Maps API. The FPS section will use the image produced by the back-facing camera as the background and the user will have to occasionally point¬†their¬†phone to the sky to fight back helicopters, and point it straight forward to take on Soldiers and Tanks.¬†I think its an interesting concept, will be fun to play and is certainly technically interesting and possibly challenging to produce.

Expect to hear more about these projects soon!


Mobile Application Development University

An update on the Progress of Sweepy Cleaner

I posted this video to Youtube today which details the advancements made with my Sweepy Cleaner XNA game project for my Assessed coursework 2 for the Programming 2 Module. As I state in the video its mainly for the benefit of my friend Shane, who has very kindly agreed to make some banging 8 bit tunes for the Marketplace release of the game, but it does give an overview of the game as a whole for anyone who is interested (you also get to hear my very weird voice).


Mobile Application Development University

Learning XNA with Sweepy Cleaner

So, a few days ago we got our ACW 2 brief for the Programming 2 module. Our task, should we choose to accept it, is to make an “all action domestic cleaning game” or a ¬†bank management application. Wanting to learn how to use¬†Microsoft’s¬†XNA Framework, which is used to make games for Windows, Windows Phone 7 and XBOX, I chose the former.

So far I have learnt quite ¬†a lot (mainly from Rob Miles’ XNA Game Studio 4 book) including how to animate a sprite (which you can see being done with the world most realistic¬†vacuum¬†cleaner sprite in the video above), how to record and manage touch input (which is used to see when a button has been pressed) and how to use “Launchers and Choosers” (for example launch internet explorer, which I do to show the Sweepy Cleaner website)

For the moment I have only created the menu which has the following functions:

  • Allows the user to click to play the game
  • Allows the user to view highscores
  • Allows the user to visit the sweepy cleaner website
  • Allows the user to see who made the app and other information about the app itself
  • Allows the user to see other apps published by me in the store
  • Allows the user to rate “Sweepy Cleaner”

I’m currently in the process of writing code to decide if a user has achieved a new Highscore or is in the top 5 (or indeed if they have the worst score ever!) and then save these highscores to an XML file in Isolated Storage.

That’s all for now,


Evil Squash Demonstration

Today at 5:00 it was my turn to do my Evil Squash Presentation and get graded on my ACW 2 for programming which counts towards my module grade. This consisted of showing Rob Miles making sure my game worked according to a test sequence we had been given and conformed to the specification, then looking at my enhancements and finally looking at my evidence of testing and user documentation (effectively a manual).

Fortunately, my game worked correctly on the test sequence and had all aspects that we had to have from the specification, this was necessary for the first 40% of the grade. We could gain a maximum of an additional 20% for enhancements, but I had added more than enough enhancements to get that including;

  1. AI Players (worth 15%)
  2. Sound Effects (worth 5%)
  3. Windows Phone 7 Silverlight Graphical User Interface (GUI) (most people did console based games) (worth 15%)
  4. “Photocounters” (allowing the user to take a picture of themselves to be used as their counter on the board) (worth 5%)

The user documentation and test report were worth 10% of the total grade each and rob seemed happy with both, except that my test report wasn’t quite detailed enough, this is where I lost 4% of the total grade.

So overall I got 96% for ACW 2 for programming! Cant ask for much more than that ūüėÄ Good times.