November 24, 2012

Slim BMI Calculator Info & Screenshots

Hi there,

Here is some development information about the new app I created called Slim BMI Calculator.

Most of the process of creating this app was pretty straight forward as you would expect. I used the Android SDK from here, which is has everything you need, including an Eclipse IDE with Android Development Tools plugin already installed, and the Android emulator.

As for the code, it's pretty straight forward, I was using activities and views which used layouts outlined in XML files. The strings, including HTML content for the documentation / about views, were stored in XML bundles which allow to localize your app in other languages as well. The user provided input is stored in an SQLite database.

The only novel thing would be the use of a charting library called aFreeChart, which is a Android port of the famous Java library called jFreeChart. This library allows you to create various types of charts with customizable content.

Here are some screenshots of the application running on a Samsung Galaxy SII with Android 4.0.3 and on an Emulator with Android 2.3.3 with Romanian locale:

Android Emulator:

Samsung Galaxy SII:

Slim BMI Calculator (free) released

Hi there,

I worked on another (simple) app in my spare time for the last week and a half or so, which is called Slim BMI Calculator.
Slim BMI Calculator is a free, lightweight and simple to use Body Mass Index Calculator for Android, which features rich results and charts.
More information on Google Play.

Over and out!

Android app on Google Play

July 11, 2012

Mobile Game Engines book finally released

Hi there,

As I was saying in my previous post, I was featured (interviewed as a developer that used AndEngine) in a book called "Mobile Game Engines: Interviews with Mobile Game Developers" written by "Jason Brownlee".

The book was finally released by the author and is now available as paperback or e-book (includes most popular formats such as PDF, Kindle etc).

This book is useful to people that would like to get started with Mobile Game Development and are not quite sure what engine to use, as it contains valuable feedback (answers to a set of standard questions) from various developers that wrote mobile games using various mobile game engines.

You can find out more information here: link.


June 2, 2012

Featured on book "Mobile Game Engines: Interviews with Mobile Game Developers"

Hi there,

I have been interviewed for an upcoming book on mobile game development. The book is called Mobile Game Engines: Interviews with Mobile Game Developers and was written by Jason Brownlee.

The book includes interviews from mobile game developers, has tips and tricks for finding, evaluating, choosing and working with 15 modern mobile game engines.

The book will be available later this month (June 2012).
For more information about this book see: this link.

Over and out!

March 31, 2012

Zap The Ghost Available on Google Play

Hi there,

Zap the Ghost is finally available on Google Play.
Please try it and tell me what you think since this is my first Android Game :D

Get it on Google Play

Over and out

Zap The Ghost Privacy Policy

Zap the Ghost is a free android game which needs the following permissions per using the following frameworks and libraries:
Note that Zap the Ghost cares about your privacy and is not interested in automatically collecting sensitive information without your knowledge.

The only collected information is during Crash Report which the user has the liberty to send them or not. This information includes debugging logs made by the game itself and technical information about the device such as model, resolution and Android version. Note that this information is useful to the developer for quickly fixing problems that might appear.

Note that the collected information and Crash Reports are not automatically sent to the developer but the user is prompted by a dialog allowing them to add a comment and then either send or not send the report.

Bellow are the permissions used by Zap The Ghost:
  • INTERNET - Needed to access and submit scores to Swarm, access Credits links and send optional Crash Reports.
  • READ_PHONE_STATE - Allows Swarm to prevent fraud and create a secure environment (no personally identifiable information is used).
  • ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE - Allows Swarm to detect when a user is online or when the user's connection has been lost.
  • READ_LOGS - Allows debug logs to be collected and set along with optional Crash Reports. Note that you will be prompted when a Crash Report occurs and you can decide whether you want to send it or not.
  • WAKE_LOCK - Prevents the phone from going to sleep (locking) while playing the game.
Note that the developer can take the liberty of updating and improving the information shown here.

March 24, 2012

Presenting Zap The Ghost

Hi folks,

In the last month of so, in my spare time, I was working on an Android game which I called Zap The Ghost.
The purpose of the game is simple. You need to tap various characters as they appear on the screen for points. There are different characters from two categories: good and bad characters. As you probably guessed you only need to tap (kill) bad characters to gain points. You can lose points and even lives if you do not tap a bad character of more importantly if you tap a good character.

The game currently has the following features:
  • Uses AndEngine as the game engine
  • Has Settings and Local Highscores which are saved in an SQLite database
  • Has 2 difficulties: Easy and Hard which decide the number of starting lives and the speed to which the characters appear on the screen
  • Used Swarm as Global Scores Provider
  • Uses ACRA as Crash Reporter
  • Has sounds and music (in progress) which can be enabled or disabled
  • Has How To Play Instructions and Credits screens
This game will be available on the Android Market (Google Play) soon so stay tuned.

Below are some screenshots from the game:

Splash Screen


Main Menu


How To Play




High Scores


Game Play



Quit Game

Creating Android Games

Hi there,

Recently I was working on an Android app which I was planning to publish on the Android Market (lately known as Google Play).

The application is in fact a game. Here are some frameworks and technologies that I used in my game in case you are interested in developing your own Android games.


Game Engine

As you probably have figured out, developing a game from scratch can be very difficult and time consuming that is why it is much better to build upon existing infrastructure such as game engines.
A game engine can make it very easily to work with scenes, loading textures, creating sprites, using sounds, music, creating menus and so forth.
There are a few game engines available for Android. The one that I was using is called AndEngine and was developed by Nicolas Gramlich.

Here are some resources about AndEngine:

Global Highscores

In my game I have implemented a local high-score system using SQLite database which is bundled with Android. In a nutshell I have a database table which stores the scores for each difficulty which gets queried and updated while the game is running.

However in order to make the game more interesting you can implement a global high-scores solution. This means that the scores will be saved over the web and be available from the web on any device. There are a few services which can do this such as OpenFeint, ScoreNinja and ScoreLoop.

However the one I used is called Swam. I like Swarm due to being lightweight, simple to use yet powerful.
More information about Swarm:


Crash Reporting

Every application has bugs because we are humans and we make mistakes. However it is important to properly test your application and to collect the bugs from your customers in an easy and simple way.

This can be done by having the user / customer sent automatic bug reports to you. I found a tool for Android that does just that. It is called ACRA or Application Crash Report for Android.

This framework can collect various information about the device (including logs) when an error occurs that caused the application to crash. This information can be added to a Google Spreadsheet which you created or can be sent as an email to your mail server.

More information about ACRA:

These are 3 important concepts which I used while developing my game. I hope this helps you in developing your own Android Game.

Best of luck!

Getting started with Android Development

Hi everyone,

Five months ago or so I made a significant improvement upgrading my phone from Nokia 6300 to a marvelous Samsung Galaxy S II.

Since I purchased this phone I started being interested in Android Development so I searched the web for some good resources for learning Android Development.

Note that some of the prerequisites for doing Android Development are:
  • A good understanding of Java and Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
  • Knowing how to use a modern Integrated Development Environment (IDE) such as Eclipse
  • Installing the Google Android SDK and AVD (Emulator)
  • Owning and Android Device (not obligatory, but this can help a lot as it is much faster than using the emulator)
Here are some great resources to get started:
Best of luck!

March 17, 2012

My first post

Hi there,

My name is Flavius Ivasca and I live in Timisoara, Romania.
I work as a Java Software Developer but in my spare time I like to also do some Android Development.

Currently I am working on an Android game which I will be releasing on the Android Market soon.
I plan to use this blog as a developer page for my Android Market account.

Will come back with more updates and news soon.
Over and out!