Category Archives: Windows

Another 10 levels for Xploding Boxes

IMG_20150206_175129_cropXploding Boxes has been updated to version 5.7 with 10 new levels. The new version of the app has been updated in Google Play, the Amazon App Store, BlackBerry AppWorld, Windows 10/Windows Phone App Store.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game where the goal is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level presents a different look and number of touches, requiring a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while still maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

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Setting up Windows to use ls like dir

After spending a lot of time with the unix command line you can get used to simply using the ls command to list the files in the current directory, it can be annoying when the option is suddenly not there on the Windows. Using the cd command to traverse through directories is the same, so it is a bit jarring when suddenly ls does not work.

Fortunately I was able to find a simple way to fix this from Stack Overflow. This approach maps the ls command to the dir, and is so simple that the file to do so can be created with a single statement on the command line.

echo dir %1 > %systemroot%\system32\ls.bat

This statement will create a new bat file that is always visible and will replace ls with dir behind the scenes. Now you can just use the ls command without having to think about what operating system you are running.

10 more levels for Starbeams

Z10Starbeams has been updated to version 2.2 giving the game a total of 220 levels.

About Starbeams

The object of the game is to assign colors to each star in order to ensure that none of the stars are connected to another star of the same color. The game starts off easy, but quickly gets more complex, adding more colors and seven pointed stars that can not be changed.

Starbeams can be downloaded for free for Windows Phone, Windows 8, Windows 10, and BlackBerry 10 devices. A one time in-app purchase is required in order to play past level 25.

Links & Information

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Writing to a file in a Windows 10 Cordova app

While writing to a file is easy in C# applications, for apps written in JavaScript things are a bit more complicated. Especially if you want to write to a file outside of the app’s sandbox. Fortunately this can be solved using Microsoft’s WinJS libraries.

var exportData = "String of data";
var savePicker = new Windows.Storage.Pickers.FileSavePicker();
savePicker.suggestedStartLocation = Windows.Storage.Pickers.PickerLocationId.documentsLibrary;
savePicker.fileTypeChoices.insert("CSV", [".csv"]);
savePicker.suggestedFileName = "Export.csv";

savePicker.pickSaveFileAsync().then(function (file) {
    if (file) {
        Windows.Storage.CachedFileManager.deferUpdates(file);
        Windows.Storage.FileIO.writeTextAsync(file, exportData).done(function () {
            Windows.Storage.CachedFileManager.completeUpdatesAsync(file).done(function (updateStatus) {
                if (updateStatus === Windows.Storage.Provider.FileUpdateStatus.complete) {
                    //file saved
                } else {
                   //file not saved, failed for some reason
                }
            });
        });
    } else {
        //file not saved, canceled by user
    }
});

This will allow Cordova apps to write out to a part of the operating system where users can easily access the files.

Ebscer highlights of 2015

With 2016 just beginning, I thought it was worth looking at some of the highlights of 2015.

Overall 4 apps were added for BlackBerry, 3 apps for Windows Phone, and 4 apps for Android.

Update released for Xploding Boxes

Nexus4Xploding Boxes has been updated to version 5.6 in BlackBerry World, Google Play, the Amazon app store, the Nook app store, the Windows 8 app store, and the Windows Phone app store. This update adds 10 new levels to the game, giving the game a total of 520 levels.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game where the goal is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level presents a different look and number of touches, requiring a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while still maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

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Additional levels for Starbeams

phoneStarbeams has been updated to version 2.1 in order to add 10 new levels to the game. This gives the game a total of 210 levels.

About Starbeams

The object of the game is to assign colors to each star in order to ensure that none of the stars are connected to another star of the same color. The game starts off easy, but quickly gets more complex, adding more colors and seven pointed stars that can not be changed.

Starbeams can be downloaded for free for Windows Phone, Windows 8, Windows 10, and BlackBerry 10 devices. A one time in-app purchase is required in order to play past level 25.

Links & Information

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More Levels for Xploding Boxes

ShapeItAppXploding Boxes has been updated to version 5.5 in BlackBerry World, Google Play, the Amazon app store, the Nook app store, the Windows 8 app store, and the Windows Phone app store. This update adds 10 new levels to the game, giving Xploding Boxes 510 levels overall.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game where the goal is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level presents a different look and number of touches, requiring a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while still maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

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Windows support added for Niagara Border Crossing app

wp_ss_20150823_0002The Niagara Border Crossing app has been released for Windows Phone and Windows tablets and desktops. Any Windows devices running either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 can download the app for free. As with the BlackBerry version, this app shows wait times for border crossings over the Niagara River between the United States and Canada.

Wait times are shown for all four of the bridges between Western New York and Southern Ontario. These include the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, and the Peace Bridge. Separate times are shown for cars, trucks, and also for those using the Nexus lanes.

Links & Information

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Forcing a dark theme on Windows Phone Universal Apps

While the introduction of Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 has done a lot to clean up the look of apps, Windows Phone still allows you to give your phone a light theme which can make your app look weird. This requires you to do additional testing for your apps and optionally hard code colors for some elements on the screen.

In 2013, I described how to force a dark theme on Windows Phone silverlight apps, but things have changed when it comes to the newer universal apps.

The ApplicationBar has been replaced by the CommandBar, and is fortunately rather easy to theme in XAML. The following code will force your CommandBar into a dark theme.

<CommandBar Background="#1F1F1F" Foreground="White">
</CommandBar>

App support for Windows 10

Yesterday Microsoft launched Windows 10. All Ebscer games that have supported Windows 8/8.1 have also been tested on Windows 10 without any issues.
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The available games for Windows 10 are…

If upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 then all of your saved settings and progress should transfer over to the new operating system without any extra steps.

Optimistic about Windows 10

Windows-10Windows 10 is set to be released at the end of the month, and I am somewhat optimistic about how it will do. While most PC users chose to skip Windows 8, I think that version 10 will get the widespread adoption that Microsoft is hoping for.

A few years ago when Windows 8 was set to be released I rushed to get my game Xploding Boxes ready for the launch. This turned out to be a bit of a misplaced priority as most users choose to stay with Windows 7, and not upgrade. This time it seems as if Microsoft has actually remembered that most PC users don’t have touchscreens and will be rolling out an OS the people actually want to use.

Unfortunately I don’t think that too many of these new users will be interested in the types of puzzle games that I have created for the platform. Instead the potential looks to be more that Metro-style Windows 8.1 apps will be able to act as a new baseline for your more boring business types of applications.

Xploding Boxes reaches 500 levels

Z10Xploding Boxes has been expanded to a total of 500 levels. Version 5.4 in now available in BlackBerry World, Google Play, the Amazon app store, the Nook app store, the Windows 8 app store, and the Windows Phone app store. In addition to the new levels, this update also improves the touch sensitivity on BlackBerry 10 phones, and adds additional menu options to the game play screen on Windows Phone.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game where the goal is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level presents a different look and number of touches, requiring a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while still maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

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Xploding Boxes updated with Windows Phone support

wp_ss_20150324_0002Xploding Boxes has been updated to version 5.3 in BlackBerry World, Google Play, the Amazon app store, the Nook app store, the Windows 8 app store, and the Windows Phone app store. This update adds 10 new levels to the game, and also adds support for Windows Phones for the first time.

About Xploding Boxes

Xploding Boxes is a strategy game where the goal is to start a chain reaction that will explode all of the boxes on the screen. Each level presents a different look and number of touches, requiring a different strategy to solve.

The game itself, and the first 25 levels are available for free, while a one time in-app purchase can be used to access the rest of the levels for just $2.99 while still maintaining your progress from the free levels.

Links & Information

Starbeams updated to add support for Windows Phone

wp_ss_20150224_0003Starbeams has been updated to version 2.0 which expands the number of available levels up to 200. This new version of the game also adds support for Windows Phone in addition to BlackBerry 10 and Windows 8 operating systems.

About Starbeams

The object of the game is to assign colors to each star in order to ensure that none of the stars are connected to another star of the same color. The game starts off easy, but quickly gets more complex, adding more colors and seven pointed stars that can not be changed.

Links & Information

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