Jeff Hangartner – Revealing the Path Less Travelled in Video Game Industry

Jeff HangartnerJeff Hangartner, the founder of the gaming start-up, Bulletproof Outlaws has been a professional developer of games over the last half a decade. Creator of Pixelation, the 1st Pixel Art Forum and also originator of the Pixel tutorials which have been published in the form of a book. Jeff has always been a pioneer of the gaming industry.

CG Today is proud to present Jeff’s exploration as he shares the whole process of creating a start-up right from day 1. With the belief that gaming development is coming back to its original “one programmer in the basement roots” idea, Bulletproof Outlaws is chronicling every step of its start-up process from strategies, to marketing, setting goals and outsourcing, successes and failures. The aim is to help other developers who have ideas but are intimidated by the whole start-up process and are not sure how to go about it.

You can visit his website Bulletproof Outlaws to know more about him or send an email to get connected.

Today we were trying to get the thing working on the iPad, and we did a little tweaking to the Options menu. Derek got the Options Music/SFX sliders set up, and we were having problems with the iPad blowing up and looking for ways to reduce the art. Derek set things up so that the non in-game textures (aka .PNG files, aka the art) were forcibly purged when the in-game stuff started up, to free up some memory and that was a good step toward getting it working and apparently the magical epic awesome Cocos2D setting that helped save the day is the CC_TEXTURE_NPOT_SUPPORT setting, which “If enabled, NPOT textures will be used where available. Only 3rd gen (and newer) devices support NPOT textures.”

(NPOT = Non Power Of Two textures, so .PNG files that don’t have dimensions of 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048)

If you don’t know what the NPOT stuff means, allow me to illustrate:

Screen resolution of iPhone and iPad

If you’ve got an image with a Width or Height that isn’t a power of 2, it gets padded with extra space to become the next power of 2 up. So in the example above, the top-left sprite has a width of 256 but a height of 241, so the height gets stretched to 256, making the final sprite 256×256, a power of 2 sprite. Follow me? So now say you made your sprite 279×263 like in the bottom example…both of those are over 256, so they both get padded to the next power of 2 up which is 512×512. Now your tiny little sprite has become this massive waste of space/memory.

So the option we’re looking at ignores the padding up to powers of 2, but the catch to this is that it’ll make the game only work on 3rd gen and newer devices…fortunately Derek was able to set it up so that it only does this for the iPad version of the game and not for the iPhone version. The end result should theoretically be that the game works on all systems, even the older iPhone/Touch devices, AND the iPad.

…fingers crossed! haha

Email: Jeff Hangartner | Web: Bulletproof Outlaws - Elusive Ninja: The Shadowy Thief


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