The Google Play Store now lets me publish beta versions so that they can be tested by volunteers before they go live to the rest of the world! If you’re interested in helping me out and improving the quality of the app then please read on…
Follow these two simple steps and you’ll have any new beta versions pushed to your device automatically:
Join the CorsixTH community on G+. You don’t need to post or anything, Google just uses it for authentication to make sure you’re allowed to use the beta versions. (Whilst you’re at it, feel free to circle me too!)
Any feedback, bugs etc. should be reported by sending me a message on G+, emailing me or opening an issue on the GitHub Issue Tracker (preferred).
Please note, there’s a high chance of there being critical bugs which may delete your saved games. Don’t opt-in if you’re at all concerned about that. I won’t be uploading these beta versions anywhere else apart from the Play Store, so at the moment this is the only way to download them.
I’ve finally taken the step to publish my port of CorsixTH to the Google Play Store. This means that you’ll no longer have to check for updates here but now you can get them automatically as I upload them instead.
I’ve been hesitant to do it before because I’ve always thought that the quality of my port was such that it would negatively affect people’s opinions of the CorsixTH project as a whole, so I’d like to reinstate that just because I’ve published it to Google Play doesn’t mean that I think it’s finished. There’s still a lot of work to be done and there’s more than enough bugs and suggestions to keep me going for a long time. I think the reviewers on Google Play can be especially harsh about things like this, so I’ve tried to make it very clear about what to expect.
I’ll keep updating the version hosted here though as I’m aware that not all Android devices can run the Google Play Store. I hope to publish it to the Amazon App Store and others in the future sometime for these people, but for now, here and Google Play are the places you should get it from. It’ll probably be the last time a lot of you will visit this blog from now on, but I’ll keep updating it with (hopefully) interesting things that pop up along the way, so I hope you’ll be back.
There used to be an official application created by Channel 4 which allowed you to download from their on-demand service, 4od, but this has since been discontinued and is no longer available. This sucks if you don’t have a stable or quick internet connection, because it means that you have to put up with buffering and low quality streams available. It’s understandable as to why it’s no longer available; Channel 4 is not like the BBC which is uniquely funded by the TV license, but rather relies on advertising to generate revenue. Download programmes and watching them outside of the 4od framework obviously denies them this revenue source, so please consider this solution only if streaming shows from the 4od channel on YouTube or via the 4od website is unreasonable.
Rob Watkins has created a Ruby script which allows you to download 4od programmes from the website and play them back in a local media player. He has made it publicly available on GitHub with instructions on how to use it on OS X. Here’s how to get it running on Linux.
I just realised that I haven’t made a post about the changes in the 0.3.x versions of CorsixTH for Android. There’s been quite a few things that I’ve been working on since the feedback received from 0.2.2, and I’ve still got a to-do list full of things to work on over the next few weeks. Continue reading →
Over the past month, this project has had a lot of attention for which I’m very grateful. My e-mail inbox has been filled with some fantastic comments and constructive criticism which I’m slowly working my way through, and there’s still comments on this blog and on GitHub which I haven’t got round to addressing yet. I’m starting to collect all the suggestions and bug reports to try to work out the best order to tackle them, but if you think I’ve missed something then I’d love to hear it. The GitHub issue tracker is the best place to put these as I can manage them a bit better.
I’ve prepared a new test version in which I’ve tried to focus mainly on stability and performance improvements. I’ve squashed a few bugs that would cause problems if you tried to run the game with incomplete game files, and improved the error handling so that if something does go wrong, there’s a better chance of recovering from it. I’ve held off from putting anything “new” in there for the moment, but there’s definitely some new features I’d like to squeeze in before I’m done with version 0.3.
I’ve just pushed a new version of my port of CorsixTH to Android (v0.1.7). You can download it here
I figured this was worth posting about because this is the first version that doesn’t require any manual steps in order to get it up and running. You can just download the APK and the wizard will give you the option of downloading the demo version of Theme Hospital. Of course, you can still copy over a full version of Theme Hospital if you want, but the demo version will let you play a cut-down version without the hassle.
In other news, simonjonnemeth from GitHub has uploaded a superb video of the application on his YouTube channel which shows the full process from installing to playing.
There seems to be a bit of confusion as to which 16GB cards are compatible with the ZTE Blade, let alone 32GB ones, but my lust for high quality music required me to upgrade from an 8GB card.
I went with the cheapest 32GB Class 10 MicroSD card I could find on Amazon, despite being a unknown brand, and found that it worked perfectly with about 10MB/s write and 14MB/s read which seems reasonable for the price and size. I can confirm that it works perfectly on my rooted Gen 1 Orange San Francisco phone running CM7, but I would hope that it would similarly work on any flavour of Android you choose to install.
I’ve used the Android SDK for a few bits and pieces, but I’ve never tried to work with the Android NDK before. So, as an attempt to try to find my way around it, I set myself the goal of porting one of my favourite games – Theme Hospital – to the Android platform in the form of CorsixTH.
I’ve followed CorsixTH for a while, and they’ve made superb progress in recreating a Theme Hospital clone using the original assets from the game. There’s still a fairly extensive list of features in the original game that haven’t yet found their way into CorsixTH, but a large amount of the core game functionality is there.
CorsixTH has a great choice of open source libraries powering it, which actually made compiling it for Android surprisingly easy. In fact, SDL and some libraries that commonly accompany it have already been ported over with great success which really meant that all I had to do was rename a few functions and create a few makefiles to get it running; I’m sure that someone with experience with the NDK could do it in half the time it took me.
In any case, you can get the source code from my GitHub repository and there’s a link to the APK in the downloads section so that you can install it straight to your Android device without compiling the project yourself. I would happily invite anyone to fork the repository and make some improvements as there’s still a fair bit left to do, such as getting it to scale on different device resolutions and scrolling by dragging.
I’ve had a few problems getting the foot pedals working correctly with POD Farm 2 and I think I’ve finally solved my problem. I’m using Windows 7 and it seems as though if I launch POD Farm after my computer has been on Sleep/Hibernate, POD Farm will totally refuse to recognise and accept the input from my pedals, which are connected via 1/4 inch jacks to the back of my UX2. The only solution I’ve found so far is to totally reboot my computer which is a bit of a pain, but it does work.
The following video (not created be me) outlines how to go about setting it up inside POD Farm, and a quick Google search will reveal plenty more on YouTube and other sites, so I’m not going to go through how to do that. If you do get stuck though, please leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help out if I can.
Since my last post about the ZTE Blade went down quite well, I thought I would post a little bit on the latest changes for owners of the Blade, in particular the first steps towards running CyanogenMod on the Blade.
If you’re not familiar, CyanogenMod (CM) is a ROM based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) which adds additional features, enhancements and overall improvements both to performance and reliability over the stock ROMs. What’s so special about Cyanogen, at least to Blade users, is that unlike the previous ROMs we’ve been used to which have been custom made and designed specifically for the Blade, CyanogenMod has been compiled for and run on numerous devices from HTC, Google, Samsung etc. From the CyanogenMod site:
CyanogenMod (pronounced sigh-AN-oh-jen-mod), is a customized, aftermarket firmware distribution for several Android devices […] Based on the Android Open Source Project, CyanogenMod is designed to increase performance and reliability over Android-based ROMs released by vendors and carriers such as Google, T-Mobile, HTC, etc. CyanogenMod also offers a variety features & enhancements that are not currently found in these versions of Android.
The most recent version of CyanogenMod is 7 (CM7) , which made ‘Release Candidate’ status a few days ago. This version is based off Android 2.3.2 so satisfies the demand for a Gingerbread ROM for the Blade.