HexSLayer for Android Public Release

by Stephen Fluin 2012.01.01

For the new year, I wanted to actually put one of the projects I have been working on out to the public. The game is called HexSLayer.

You should Download HexSLayer now!


I released a linux .deb on hexslayer.com about a year ago, but I haven't really tried promoting it or talking to anyone about it, due to the small market share of desktop linux. Hopefully now with this Android release, I'll actually get a few users, some feedback, and hopefully make a great game.

I built HexSLayer for Android by originally writing the game in Python using Pygame. About a month ago I noticed that they had released a tool called Pygame subset for Android that allows you to add a few minor calls in your game, and then you can package and deploy Android apps. There were a few headaches, such as an issue with the package that made me learn how to build android applications with Ant, but the game is playable on all of the devices I have tested it with.

Current Release

There are a few remaining issues, that seem to be limitations of using Pygame subset for Android. Among these are the inability to determine the screen size in-game. Additionally, it seems like the splash screen doesn't work on 100% of the devices I have tested it with. Overall, I'm not sure how happy I am cross-compiling from Python into Android using Pygame and the NDK, but it's pretty cool to be able to do almost no work and deploy on a great big new platform.

I didn't have to do much work to get it running, but I spent a lot of time focusing on usability on the new platform. I resized and moved everything on the screen so that it is relative to the screen size. I increased the size of the icons while you are dragging them, as a finger blocks the view of a small icon. The game works well on phones, but it works really great on tablets.