Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Update Under Way!

The update of Commando Ghost is being worked on and it is definitely something to look forward to, with its all new graphically stunning backgrounds and epic battle vibrations! The features that I added like vibrations and completely randomized backgrounds are not simple but I will explain them to you.  

To program a randomizer it is not very hard! First you have to say:

Random r = new Random(); // Create an instance of the Random class and call it “r”

Then to get a random number “x” between 1 and 6 you would code:

x = r.Next(1, 6); 

In Commando Ghost, I use this type of code to choose a random starting background visual.  Then using the randomly selected background number in my Draw() function I display the correct background using code something like:

switch (CurrentBackground)
                    case 1:
                        spriteBatch.Draw(background, Vector2.Zero, Color.White);
                    case 2:
                        spriteBatch.Draw(background2, Vector2.Zero, Color.White);
                    case 3:
                        spriteBatch.Draw(background3, Vector2.Zero, Color.White);
                    case 4:
                        spriteBatch.Draw(background4, Vector2.Zero, Color.White);
                    case 5:
                        spriteBatch.Draw(background5, Vector2.Zero, Color.White);
                    case 6:
                        spriteBatch.Draw(background6, Vector2.Zero, Color.White);

The code above gets the int “CurrentBackground” and finds which number is in it. It then displays a different background depending on the randomized number.

To have the Windows Phone vibrate is normally a way to show that the user touched or hit something in a game. The only hard part programming it was trying to find the code for it and also trying to find what class to use. Here is how to do it.
First add this at the top:

using Microsoft.Devices;

Then write:

VibrateController.Default.Start(new TimeSpan(0, 0, 0, 1, 0));

The code above tells the Windows Phone to vibrate for 1 second! Normally for button presses you want to keep vibrations short and for deaths they can be a bit longer!
These are just two of the areas I recently worked on for the update!

Thank you for all the support with Commando Ghost and my blog and I hope you like the update for Commando Ghost and continue reading about me, the eleven year old programmer!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Racking Up the Downloads!

1,185 downloads for Commando Ghost! I may be just eleven but that is pretty impressive. I may not have gotten millions of them like when a company creates the third game in a series, but I have to say 1,185 downloads is pretty good. If you downloaded my game, thank you so much for the support, I really appreciate it. The chart up above is taken from the stats tab under Commando Ghost in the App Hub. I’m really happy!

Now I am working on the update and remember please comment on the current game because I really would like the feedback!  My current plan is for Commando Ghost 2 to have power ups, tons of different enemies, a world/galaxy map with tons and tons of fun levels, a lite/trial version, a trophy room, achievements, an alien encyclopedia, player health and characteristics, perks for the player, different gameplay mechanics, new music and much much more! If you want to learn more please ask and follow my blog or subscribe to my YouTube channel where I will briefly talk about it in some of my videos! Please stay connected for more of Logan the eleven year old programmer! I hope you love Commando Ghost as much as I do!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Commando Ghost Ad!

I created an ad for Commando Ghost using Xtranormal. here is the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsbOzSicmrs&list=HL1349217446&feature=mh_lolz

Out in the World!

Well, now that my Windows Phone game is submitted and finally published, I am super excited and want as many people to get it and hear my story! If you want to see my game here is the link:   

Please check it out and if you are lucky enough to have a Windows Phone please download it! Once again, I am super psyched about it and I hope you enjoy the game.

Next steps…
I am working on an update for Commando Ghost where I plan to add some improvements. As of right now I am still adding to the “feature list” and if you think of anything please tell me. First I plan to add vibration when you hit an alien force field; secondly I will add a high score system. I will also make the background change (I was saving the backgrounds for the different levels in Commando Ghost 2 but the background does get a bit boring so I decided to change it).  I will also tweak the gyroscope sensitivity because I believe that in the current version of the game it sometimes can get a bit “hectic”… so I will turn it down and tweak it in other areas as well.

As I said above, if you think of a something for an update or disagree with something I am adding in the update please tell me what you think.

Also as I create Commando Ghost 2, I will slowly release information and tutorials through the blog because Commando Ghost 2 is really different and crazy. I haven’t told you a lot of the stuff but as I implement it into Commando Ghost 2 you will find out!

Please check out my game and download it or follow the blog to get updates or information faster than normal. If you want to start coding please subscribe to my YouTube channel because I will be posting tutorials there (I’m sorry if I haven’t posted a video in a while I have been really busy with getting my game published and working on the update and Commando Ghost 2 but I will keep posting tutorials on my channel)

So now here are some questions for you:
1. Do you agree with the features I have planned for the update or do you think I should add more or different things?
2.   Are you interested in coding or do you have a son or daughter who is interested in it?
3.  Do you have a Windows Phone and if so are thinking of getting Commando Ghost?
4. Is there anything that you would like me to talk about on the blog or in one of my tutorials?
5. Would you like to see more screen shots of my game or have me do a video showing off my game?

I would really appreciate if you comment and tell me about what you think I should do. Anything will be helpful and if you download my game it will be super encouraging so I encourage you to do both!

Please enjoy the blog and please come and check it to see any updates on my game!

“I am Logan. An eleven year old programmer. I published a game and it is out in the world…”

It is up to you how I end this story!

Sunday, 30 September 2012


My game failed one time before this that I didn’t talk about in a previous article. It didn’t pass because on lower-end Windows Phones an application cannot use more than 90 MB of memory and according to the testing results my application exceeded that.  This meant in testing the ghost wouldn't move. Although when I tested it on my computer Visual Studio said my game only 36 MB of memory and I could run my game on the low-end (256 MB) emulator, so I don’t really know what the problem was but I do know there was one. Unable to figure out a solution, I finally just marked my game as requiring a device with more than 256 MB of memory.

That means, I finally got my game published and it is on the Windows Phone marketplace right now! I am so happy that it is finally out there so people can play it. I decided that all the stuff in the update that I talked about will actually be in Commando Ghost 2! Saying that, there still will be a minor update to the game. I hope you guys enjoy the game and tell your friends about it. I decided that this Commando Ghost will just be for interest (free) and then I hope to have tons of people get Commando Ghost 2 (as a paid app)!

Now I feel like I’m a master of submitting games because I had to try so many times it’s kind of funny. The next time I make a game, trust me it won’t take this long after I’m “Finished” to submit it, although I am 11 now so I guess I can have some room for error can’t I?

I’d like to thank everyone for their support and thank my family for motivating me and especially everyone who checked my blog to hear my story. It may not be a tale that a king would tell at his table at dinner but it’s definitely a tale around mine and it’s one I’m proud about because now I can finally say “I am an 11 year old programmer who has a published and it’s out in the world!”

I will continue to use this blog to talk about my adventures in programming and who knows maybe the next completely different game I make could have a ninja unicorn! I guess we’ll have to wait and see! (I always did like unicornsJ)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

A Minor Failure!

My game once again failed certification. All of my previous problems were fixed and I had to change no code. I can’t believe I actually forgot this and it is so minor that I submitted my game again a couple minutes later. I accidently forgot to put two game icons, so the icon that was displayed was the default icon. It was a quick fix, and once again I am in the period of waiting and worrying that comes along with submitting your game. I am severely confident, this time, and I believe my game will make it! One can only hope…

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


A few days ago, I re-submitted my game to the Windows Phone marketplace. I fixed all the faults and added some better visuals. In fact, the game is a lot more user friendly. I added an about screen and added volume controls to the settings screen. I fixed a lot of stuff and I think it was worth the effort. I also fixed a crucial problem with the force fields collision boxes. I am going to show you some before and after screen shots of my game and what I added:
Settings screen

I added the scale for the volume instead of just having it have an on and off switch. The volume works very well and I’ve tested it numerous times to make sure it works and won’t glitch or crash.

Before                                                                                   After


About screen

I added the about screen and put so information leading to here, my blog, and also put support information in it so if you have questions, comments, or feedback you can contact me.

Before                                                                              After

 (There was no before)


I simply made them more detailed and less pixelated; I have to say they look a lot better because of the touch ups. A noticeable thing that I think is the most prominent and important is that the alien’s texture gets an added “Mossy green” feel and colour to it that I blurred in it to make it look distinct and uniform.

Before                                                                                       After

Start screen

I put the settings screen button and about button on the start screen and made the buttons more “buttonesque” than before. I also added better touch points so they would work better.

Before                                                                                                                  After

I changed a lot of the visuals and code, now my game is being processed and I hope it gets published. I have worked very hard on this and I hope it pays off. I am continuing to work on the update and I probably will not be able to publish it as soon as I’d like. Thank you for all your support so far and I hope you like my game!