Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Treasure Hunt Challenge

In order to break up the monotony of battles, there will be mini-game challenges to gather resources. In this one called Treasure Hunt, after a match is made, one cell (typically the latest one moved) of a contiguous block will be upgraded to the next type and the rest are removed. A match can be made mid-air with that upgraded cell, before it even falls to the bottom. There are a limited number of turns, and a match-4 or greater awards one extra turn.

It makes a lot of sense when played. There are many strategies too.

"Treasure Hunt"

I had to rewrite the algorithm a few times until I got it completely correct. I use basic AI to play the game for me in fast-forward mode. There was a rare bug I fixed where cells would annoyingly overlap one another.

The order of the upgrades.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


For August I have settled into a comfortable modern studio apartment on the western side of Hanoi. Kitchenette, large bathroom, air-conditioner, great desk, and very spacious. Each month is different, as I hop from one city or town to another.

One of the many lakes on the western side.

The Old Quarter of Hanoi on the eastern side.
The Old Quarter on the eastern side is only a Grab motorbike ride away. There are plenty of landmarks and live shows.

This city is more dense compared to other cities of Vietnam. It is easy to walk around and explore the narrow roads that all seem to lead to delicious fragrant food like traditional phở, best enjoyed with sweet iced-coffee or fruit smoothies to cool off during these warm days.

Northern-style phở.
(More onion, clearer broth, no side basket of herbs, but more variety of sauces)
Here on the western side, I am living in a Japanese and Korean neighborhood, with a hint of Russian influence due to the nearby embassies. I buy fruit every other day at the local market, interacting with locals with as much Vietnamese that I can speak and understand. I am thoroughly enjoying everyday out here.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Big update for Zombie Guard!

It is about time. A much needed update for Zombie Guard is on the way! Three new weapons, a new level, and multiple competitive survival modes.

Working on this update is a delicate task. I must be very careful not to make mistakes that could destroy the saved progress of many of the current players. I plan to serve the update to a small percentage of users, gradually increased to 100% if there are no reported issues.

But fortunately, this update does fix a notorious bug that has existed from the very beginning. Thanks to a fan, I was able to reproduce it. It turns out equipping landmines as the primary weapon would freeze the game going into any mission.

In the future I am a bit tempted to make a Zombie Guard 2, in Unity, with much better special effects, audio, music, and features. Zombie Guard is made in Corona, which these days is a less supported engine that I do not recommend.