Bouncy Ball NG Announcement

November 27, 2017: Announcement
December 6, 2017: Progress report 1
December 31, 2017: Progress report 2 Apple TV
January 17, 2018: Progress report 3 the home stretch!
January 24, 2018: Progress report 4 signing the certs!
January 29, 2018: Progress report 5 Submitted to the app store!

I really had an itch to play Bouncy Ball, the Color Computer game I wrote back in 2016. I also needed to learn SpriteKit for iOS and macOS. So I put the two needs together and created Bouncy Ball NextGen for iPad, iPhone and Mac. Everything from the original is intact, only getting an update to the UI, level flow, and sounds.

When playing it on the Coco, I always thought the game worked really well using a joystick. Now on the iPad, touching the left and right side of the screen to make it scroll is a perfect replacement. It just feels right, especially with the buttery smooth scrolling.

I wanted to keep you in the game longer, and not break the action. So progression from level to level, and death no longer requires user input, and just jumps right back into the game.

You can check out my promo video below.

November 27, 2017

CxxTest for unit testing C++ programs

I just discovered CxxTest, and just had to mention it. Fantastic unit test framework for C++ programs. To brush up on my C++ coding, I decided to write a simple 6809 CPU emulator, with the goal of being able to plug-in other CPU’s. This project really lends itself to the idea of unit tests. It’s very easy to test each part of the emulator, and check the results after an instruction has run.

After reading @noel_llopis‘s article Exploring the C++ Unit Testing Framework Jungle I figured I would check out CppUnit first, since I had seen it mentioned it was the standard on, or at least widely used. Not sure how that is possible, given the weak documentation and complicated setup. The docs never once tell you what to include and what to link against. 30 minutes later I decided to move onto CxxTest. Glad I did as CxxTest was very simple, and I had unit tests running within 5 minutes. The true mark of a well setup project. My emulator processed it’s first instruction today, LDX #$1234. And the unit tests were right there to validate the results.