Devil in the device...

Hello there dear readers! This time I will start with a story, bah, even better – A true story! See, we are currently in the middle of developing a new hybrid game and like always, the process of building the game is a constant struggle against obstacles and problems. However our brilliant CTO (Chief Technology Officer, as the title is known in Lingua Corporationis) always manage to bull his way through them, as he is a level 18 Programmer Wizard. However the story below will show you how sometimes you need a person entirely ignorant in the glorious world of code to find an issue and solve it. The educated ones from time to time sometimes simply wouldn’t think of such simple solutions.

In a glorious summer day, not so long ago, our prototype App for a game we are working on was making a lot of problems. Mostly, it had a nasty tendency to crash pretty much on the spot when ran on an Android device.  Of course our coders were able to make quite a fat list of things that can cause that and so, under the enlightened lead of out CTO they began the prowl through the code to find the offensive bug and get rid of it. The journey was long and painful, and no matter what they supposedly fixed, the problem persisted… The app would crash on the Android OS like a plane over Bermuda Triangle and with the same reliability. Bugger.

As the precious hours turned into precious day that passed by without solution and with a lot of stress on entire team our art director – a person entirely and fully ignorant of all the codes and math in the world (and slightly proud of it!) decided to join in the fray. He took the phone. He laughed. He clicked a few things. And handled the device back in the hands of the coders… Voila. App was working smoothly and without any issues. After a few more tests it continued to work well, perplexing the adepts of the binary languages. It turned out solution was just too simple for them to think about it in the first place.

The device was overloaded. In poor shape. In bad condition. Simple as that. App was good from the start and it was crashing simply because our test smartphone had not a bite left in its memory and on its drive and had about half a million (slight exaggeration!) processes running on it. All that had to be done is turn off some of the background apps, clean some space, free the memory usage and everything was working just fine.

Simple, right? And you know what is the moral of today story? It’s not the app. It’s you(r device)! Yes, I played myself with some hybrid games. It comes with the work, really. And I myself had some issues both with XCOM app and the Alchemists, be it issues with recognition of the cards or simply sluggish reaction and ‘laggy’ behaviours. And of course like any user of modern technology, even if fully capable of taking good care of it, I blamed the device. I mean, come on, it should be convenience, not a hindrance! And what If I don’t care well for how much stuff my poor tiny mobile computer have on its shoulders?

It matters, really. And it’s a point of advice that most likely any mobile gamer knows to the core. If the app doesn’t work well, if it crashes, if it slows down, before you fly into a righteous rage about the chunkiness of the application and the shoddy optimisation, be sure to put that hot feeling on the shelf… You can always return to it if the game won’t run well on a cleaned device with free memory to use. Because it just might happen that you won’t have to reach for that rage again, because the game will work just fine if you only give it some space to work with…

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