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Wireless Widget Update

I found a decent box!
I also integrated the synaptics touchpad with the widget, the plan is to fit the touch pad on the back of the widget box, allowing decent control and interaction with the firmware other than the three front panel buttons.

Gets a new home!
Gets a new home!

Check out the widget page for a full size image.

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Tech Adventure in Bristol

Oooh! Its a spider! A robot! A robot Spider!

Tech Adventure
What do you get when you mix lots of techies and Uni Students? Something like this, involving Robot spiders being hunted by automatic robot sentry bb guns.
I was very impressed by everything I saw, but the robots really took my attention. This hex walker was so cool. Seing it in photos and videos doesnt do it justice, watching it move in front of you is amazing. Click the Image for a youtube experience of the Spider moving about. Its called ‘Heximotional and comes from UWE (university of West of England).
Anyway, Thanks to all those that turned up! Check out my
Flickr Stream for all the photos.

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PunchPunch Revolution out now

Doesnt he look good?
Doesnt he look good?
PunchPunch Revolution is now in the appstore.
A sparkling combination of reaction, memory and fighting. Your scores can be uploaded for Internet ranking, see how high you come in the world.

Watch a (admittedly blurry) video of it in action here,
Its currently £1.19 ($1.99)
Its on special offer at only $0.99 !! buy it quick!

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Are bedroom programmers being intimidated out of free market competition against big publishers in the iPhone market?

I am Pyrofer, author of Rockfall for the iPhone. It has been for sale on iTunes since early July.

I am not a professional developer, just a fan of Boulder Dash(r), who has a full time job and a family to support. I made a game in my spare time that is admittedly inspired by Boulder Dash(r), as I am a huge fan of that game. I had no idea that this would cause any problems, as I have used no code or graphics from Boulder Dash(r). but merely made a game of similar style. The video game industry is full of games that are quite similar in style and appearance. Also there are many imitations of Boulder Dash(r) freely available on almost every system. Most of them are much more similar to Boulder Dash(r) than my Rockfall game is.

First Star Software have demanded that I cease all distribution of Rockfall. They have not stated exactly how my game is infringing their copyrights, and what I would need to change to avoid infringement. They insist they are legally obliged to behave in this way. It seems an unreasonable request to remove the game totally without knowing which elements are at fault. However to avoid any costly legal action I will respect their request and remove the game from iTunes.

I heard that other Boulder Dash(r) inspired games have been removed from iTunes due to pressure from First Star. They mentioned that they are preparing an official Boulder Dash(r) game for the iPhone but it is not finished yet.

I wonder what other readers think of this situation. I am not aware of other video games companies that take such an extreme view of their copyrght. If they did, I think 99% of games in existence would be illegal. Do you think First Star are using their financial strength and legal resources to bully legitimate competitors into withdrawing from open market competition? Or do you think that they are legally justified to do this, and that other video game companies should do the same? Or perhaps you think current copyright law is in need of reform to enable legitimate competition? How can bedroom programmers know what is safe and what is not when writing games?

Note that Boulder Dash(r) is a registered trademark of First Star Software. Any other registered trademarks that may have been accidentally mentioned in this message are fully acknowlegded as beinging to their respective owners.

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App Store Madness, Blame Apple.

Apple, a global company have missed the point.
The Appstore, a unified single point of sale for all iPhone Apps isn’t global, or unified. Did you know that a review for an app is only visible in your own country?
Did you know that although all revenue goes direct to Apple in America, when paying developers they seperate every country into a seperate revenue stream and only pay out when its greater than $250 value?
Some devs may never see their sales even though they make $1000, because its spread accross the world.
I was unaware of bad reviews for my App, because they were in the American app store only. How does that help me improve the app to fix the issues raised when I never saw them.
Also, reviews can be nothing more than slander and the dev can do nothing about it. I have a bad review complaining that the accelerometer doesnt work and the user can’t play the game. The first line of my Instructions page says “Swipe the screen to move”. Its not an accelerometer game and Yet, People will see this bad review and think, “Hmm, I wont buy that if the controls dont work.”. So a single moron has ruined my sales because he is too stupid to read the instructions.
In essence, the Customers are being hurt because feedback via reviews is being missed 90% of the time as the Developer is native to another Country.
The Developers are being hurt by poor reviews they can’t see or do anything about. They may not even get paid for their sales in a region because its less than $250 equivelent.
Updates are taking weeks, two or three in cases. Bugs fixed in minutes can ruin sales as users complain for a month while the dev waits for Apple to approve an update. When the update goes through, the review complaining about the bugs sits there and the Developer can’t have it removed, so potential sales are lost because new customers think the bugs are still there.
Apple didnt even tell us how many we were selling for the first, and most crucial three weeks!
Apple, the AppStore is a total mess. Please fix it.

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Rockfall Available on Appstore now.


Ok, Price is down, version is up! Now only £1.19 and up to version 1.9 already. Buy it here,
Yes, its here. Currently version 1.0 is showing, but ive already updated it with more levels and creatures to meet. Im going to be working on this a lot to polish it off and get it popular. Ill try and make as many updates as I can for free!(after initial purchase of the game of course)
The game costs ?2.99.
Control is simple, swipe the direction you want to move. There is no quit button at the moment, just wait out that timer if you get trapped!

Discuss in the forum.