I have been working my ass off the last few days to create some decent graphics for Dope Runner. With my previous projects, I always used dummy graphics at first and didn’t start working on proper stuff untill all the coding was done, but I’m not gonna do that anymore. It’s a lot of work, and I don’t want to do it all at once. Instead, I squeeze it between my coding sessions. The screenshots you see are the result of lots of work and a few failed attempts. Often I have an idea in my head, I start drawing something, I think it looks fine at first but when I run the app on my phone it looks like absolute crap! Usually this means back to the drawing board!
The menu got a thorough overhaul. The molecule in the background is an LSD molecule, by the way. I also designed an app icon, a task that can be more difficult than any other. I came up with a good color scheme for the entire app. Considering you play the bad guy, it had to be something dark. And I designed some map icons. These represent the different locations you can visit. There are drug dealers, labs and farms, a loan shark for when you’re low on cash, a gun shop, a doctor in case you get shot and, of course, your safehouse. The last screenshot is the game’s main screen. This is still a work in progress. You always see your location here, game status (such as money) and a menu. At the bottom, there will be a pager-like display for receiving messages.
Besides graphics, I also tweaked the code a lot. When I first tried it on my phone, it drained the battery in about an hour! That’s what happens when you set the GPS receiver to update continuously. Updating every few seconds is more than enough for an app like this. And I put the GPS code in a background service. When I started development on Dope Runner, I just put GPS code in the activities themselves, wich results in a lot of duplicate code. Now I only have to write GPS code once and it sends the location data to the different screens. This wasn’t easy since I never used services before. It was a bit confusing at first, but now it works fine.
My focus at the moment is tracking the location and enabling and disabling menu items when you’re near certain locations. I have also drawn up some blueprints for the buy/sell drugs screen, wich will be a major milestone.